Being new to the Reformed Baptist Church, I still struggle with the stress laid on the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith. I found the post ‘The Value of A Confession of Faith, part 4’, by Bob Gonzales, in the Reformed Baptist Fellowship blog both comprehensive and interesting.
Here is an extract from that treatise:
Not surprisingly, this is the reason Charles Spurgeon gave for reprinting the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith. In the second year of his ministry at New Park Street Chapel, gave these prefatory remarks to the republication of the Confession:
I have thought it right to reprint in cheap form this excellent list of doctrines, which were subscribed to by the Baptist Ministers in the year 1689. We need a banner because of the truth; it may be that this small volume may aid the cause of the glorious gospel by testifying plainly what are its leading doctrines….This little volume is not issued as an authoritative rule, or code of faith, whereby you are to be fettered, but as an assistance to you in controversy, a confirmation in faith, and a means of edification in righteousness. Here the younger members of our church will have a body of divinity in small compass, and by means of the Scriptural proofs, will be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in them.
We concur with Spurgeon that a confession of faith can be a valuable summary of that glorious gospel truth, which is contained in God’s word.
Our little church is only a year old. We are planning to become “confessional” very soon, adopting the 1689 Confession as well, specifically for those in leadership. We have a more general statement of faith for membership. I think it’s a good idea, at least forming some basis for doctrinal unity. We all came from churches with no membership at all, and little doctrinal emphasis.