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A Review of The Westminster Confession of Faith for Study Classes

Pastors and church officers often wrestle with how to best teach today’s adults and youth the doctrines elucidated in the Westminster Confession.

  • Byron Snapp,
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Throughout church history a number of confessions of faith have been written to enable Christians to have a better grasp of scriptural teaching on various doctrines. One of the most famous of these confessions is the Westminster Confession of Faith written in the mid-seventeenth century. It remains the doctrinal standard, under Scripture, for a number of Reformed denominations today.

Pastors and church officers often wrestle with how to best teach today’s adults and youth the doctrines elucidated in the Westminster Confession. I can think of no better resource than this work by Williamson. First published in l964, the publisher has reissued it with an attractive cover but with the content basically unchanged. The content speaks much to the solid and applicable teaching that was the backbone of the original volume.

The work is divided into thirty-two chapters. With the exception of the Confession’s separate chapters on saving faith and repentance, which are combined herein, the author devotes a chapter to each of the Confession’s chapters. Williamson’s chapters are generally less than ten pages. They are broken into sections with review and study questions following the sectional discussions.

He has included helpful diagrams at several points in the text that are an additional aid to the reader’s understanding. His writing is concise and reader-friendly. He has an ability to define and answer major objections to doctrinal points in an understandable way. This facet of the book makes it good for apologetics as well as an excellent teaching tool.

Answers to the study questions are placed at the back of the book.

This volume has many uses. Homeschool families can confidently use it as a textbook for their older youth. It can also be used for individual study, officer training class, Sunday school, and Bible study groups. It should be placed in an accessible place in your library as a ready reference when doctrinal questions arise. Churches should make this volume part of their book table inventory.

  • Byron Snapp

Byron Snapp is a graduate of King College (B.A.) and Reformed Theological Seminary (M.Div.). He was Associate Pastor at Calvary Reformed Presbyterian Church, Hampton, Virginia, from 1994 until his retirement in December 2014. He is a native of Marion, Virginia.  He has had pastorates in Leakesville, Mississippi, and Gaffney, South Carolina.  He served as Assistant Pastor in Cedar Bluff, Virginia prior to his ministry at Calvary Reformed. He has served as editor of the Presbyterian Witness and was a contributor to A Comprehensive Faith and Election Day Sermons. He is currently a member of Westminster Presbytery in the PCA. He and his wife Janey have 3 children and several grandchildren. 

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