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Truths We Confess | Book Review

Updated: Jan 19


book cover truths we confess by r.c. sproul introducing the book review

Among our possessions, we have a copy of my husband's grandfather's old catechism, its pages worn and yellowed with time. Written in German, I can’t even tell you the basics with only a cursory ability in the language of our heritage.


Yet, we've kept it.


It sits on our bookcase, alongside others, like a keepsake, an heirloom sorts.


Our grandparents' generation was required to memorize the catechism in order to be baptized. When I was baptized we had a catechism class where we went through basic doctrines of the Christian faith. In our current local church, there's none. So, as I looked for opportunities to teach my kids, I found a very helpful resource in "Truths We Confess," by R.C. Sproul.


book cover truths we confess by r.c. sproul in book review

Truths We Confess | Book Review

Content


quote from truths we confess by rc sproul in book review

Content

Purpose of the Book

This comprehensive resource is a commentary on the statements of the Westminster Confession of Faith.


Table of Contents

1 Of the Holy Scripture 

2 Of God, and of the Holy Trinity 

3 Of God’s Eternal Decree 

4 Of Creation 

5 Of Providence 

6 Of the Fall of Man, of Sin, and of the Punishment Thereof 

7 Of God’s Covenant with Man 

8 Of Christ the Mediator 

9 Of Free Will 

10 Of Effectual Calling 

11 Of Justification 

12 Of Adoption 

13 Of Sanctification 

14 Of Saving Faith 

15 Of Repentance unto Life 

16 Of Good Works 

17 Of the Perseverance of the Saints 

18 Of the Assurance of Grace and Salvation 

19 Of the Law of God 

20 Of Christian Liberty, and Liberty of Conscience 

21 Of Religious Worship, and the Sabbath Day 

22 Of Lawful Oaths and Vows 

23 Of the Civil Magistrate 

24 Of Marriage and Divorce 

25 Of the Church 

26 Of the Communion of Saints 

27 Of the Sacraments 

28 Of Baptism 

29 Of the Lord’s Supper 

30 Of Church Censures 

31 Of Synods and Councils 

32 Of the State of Men after Death, and of the Resurrection of the Dead 

33 Of the Last Judgment


Summary

Each chapter covers one topic, first introducing the handful of statements from the confession, followed by the author's expository teaching. If you've read anything by R.C. Sproul before, you'll know he's a great teacher, explaining concepts effectively.


quote from truths we confess by rc sproul in book review

My Take

The Westminster Confession of Faith was written in 1646 to guide the church, and teach believers the concepts of the gospel. There is the very full version, and an adapted "shorter catechism" that is simplified. As I have been teaching my kids at home, we work through the questions and it's always amazing to see how much they remember and understand.


The author is writes this commentary on the confession, looking at the doctrinal truths that we glean from the confession. All this from a Reformed perspective.


As challenging as it can be to read theology, I found this to be an excellent read. Although he was an academic, Sproul has the ability to relate difficult truths to simple illustrations, which is beneficial especially for me as a regular person. His pastoral voice comes through in his teaching. There are many times that the concepts overlap, so I found the repetition helpful, as I visited the topics again.


quote from truths we confess by rc sproul in book review

My Recommendation

This is a long read. It may be best to take in smaller chunks, something you work through one section at a time, daily or weekly. Maybe you want to read it as you study a specific topic throughout Scripture.


However you would best want to use it, there's no doubt that as believers, we are called to continue learning and growing in what we believe about our faith. Theology is a big word we often want to throw out onto the pastors, leaders or missionaries. Yet, Sproul would say that we are all theologians, though some are good ones and some are not.


We won't grasp every truth right away, I know I sure haven't! But over time, as we keep learning and studying, these concepts become familiar to us and give us a firm foundation to stand, increase our praise and adoration of God, and equip us to bear fruit for the kingdom.


I think Grandpa's catechism stays on my shelf to remind me of our heritage of faith, to keep growing in knowledge, and encourage me in passing it on through our generations.


How are you building your foundation?


From the Author: Why Truth is Important



Quick Stats

# of Pages: 751

Level of Difficulty: Moderate

My Rating: 5 stars


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Scriptures About Doctrine

He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.(Tit. 1:9)
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness (2 Tim. 3:16)
Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them. (Heb. 13:9)
I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. (Rom. 16:17)
So that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. (Eph. 4:14)
Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers. (1 Tim. 4:16)
And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. (Acts 2:42)

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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a complimentary copy of this book, and the opportunity to post an honest review.


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