The London Baptist Confession of Faith
London Baptist Confession of Faith
(1677/1689) is similar to the Westminster Confession in most ways. Contrary to most modern
Baptists in the United States, this confession is firmly Reformed in its theology, rejecting the humanism
that was overrunning that period
and continues up to this day. Furthermore, the confession does not have some of the peculiar and questionable doctrines of the Westminster Confession, such as the legal fictions about marriage
presented in Chapter XIV.
The spirit of the Confession is one which closely follows the admonitions we find in Scripture:
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. – Col. 4:6
And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must
be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth. –
If there is any confession that could be incorporated into the constitution of a modern church body, this is the one to use. Why re-invent the wheel? Why trust the decisions of a small group
of men – however godly – who have little or no training in theology, history, Greek, Hebrew, or hermeneutics?
Why disgrace the church both with outsiders and the brothers with gross
ignorance? The signers (myself included) would be delighted if churches would do what is prudent and right.
The signers graciously recognized that the issue of infant baptism is an internal debate of the Church and they have no quarrel with the practice. Nor is there shrill language. They (along
with their Presbyterian brothers) were often in danger of the government for their views which may explain the lack of arrogance and hubris in the Confession. What a contrast this confession
is with the
statement of faith
of the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod.