5.27.2007

Confessions

I was hoping to finish my read through the Bible with my daughter just
as our son arrived, so I could start over at the beginning with him.
But I finished a couple of months earlier than I thought I would - or
perhaps I should say the adoption of our son ran a couple of months
longer than I thought it would.

So Jada and I bided our time by working through the Presbyterian
Church USA's (PCUSA) Book of Confessions, a collection of eight or so
confessions written through the years that form the basis of the
PCUSA's beliefs. We just finished this morning, and it's not nearly
as dry of a read as you'd think, although with titles like
"Westminster Shorter Catechism" (which, by the way, is a lot longer
than you'd think anything with "shorter" in the title would be) it
certainly has the potential.

What was most interesting to me is how these confessions responded to
what were clearly the hot issues of the day. They were written, of
course, to be timeless, and indeed it is remarkable how fresh they
are, though centuries old. But they were also written at a specific
point in time, and usually because of some sliding by some in the
faith towards something not quite right.

You can probably guess that there were a few written during the
Reformation, and you'd be right. But there was also one written by
Germans during Hitler's uprising, and one in 1967 as part of the civil
rights movement. Spanning several centuries, these eight or so
confessions are sharp at times in denouncing bad doctrine, and are
always returning the reader to the primacy of Jesus Christ and of the
Bible, a not out of date call for the present day.

Aaron doesn't arrive for another 13 days, so Jada and I will have to
figure out what to read in the mornings until then - besides, of
course, the growing stack of kid books we simply must get through
before breakfast. But I'm surprisingly glad we took the time to plow
through the Book of Confessions. Maybe if there's time between the
time we finish the Bible with Aaron and when child number three
arrives?

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