Sin and Worldview

“The great danger is always to single out some aspect or phenomenon of God’s good creation and identify it, rather than the alien intrusion of human apostasy [sin], as the villain in the drama of human life. Such an error is tantamount to reducing direction to structure, to conceiving of the good-evil dichotomy as intrinsic to the creation itself. The result is that something in the good creation is declared evil. We might call this tendency ‘Gnosticism’… In the course of history, this ‘something’ has been variously identified as marriage and certain kinds of foods (the Gnostic heresy Paul warns Timothy against in 1 Timothy 4), the body and its passions (Plato and much of Greek philosophy), culture in distinction from nature (Rousseau and much of Romanticism), institutional authority, especially in the state and the family (philosophical anarchism and much of depth psychology), technology and management techniques (Heidegger and Ellul, among others), or any number of things. There seems to be an ingrained Gnostic streak in human thinking, a streak that causes people to blame some aspect of God’s handiwork for the ills and woes of the world we live in.”

Albert M. Wolters, Creation Regained: Biblical Basics for a Reformational Worldview (Eerdmans, 2005) p. 61.

Reformed Confessions of the 16th and 17th Centuries

On October 31 many of us will celebrate Reformation Day, an annual reminder of a time when the sharp scalpel of biblical convictions smoothed and refined the church in many of Her priorities, associations, methods, preaching, and ordinances. Not much was left un-reformed during the period and we see this in the abundance of reformed creeds produced during the period.

To commemorate the date, Reformation Heritage Books is preparing to release the first of a three-volume series beginning with the first title, Reformed Confessions of the 16th and 17th Centuries in English Translation: 1523-1552 edited by James T. Dennison, Jr. (2008). It will be shipping by Reformation Day. In total, the large cloth covered volume contains 33 confessions. Flipping through the volume I’m reminded of the speed with which the flame of reformation spread from country to country and find it difficult to comprehend the tumult of the period.

Some snapshots of the new volume.

The confessions are chronologically organized, and several of them translated into English for the first time. A brief introduction is included for each of the 33 confessions. The first volume includes:

1. The Sixty-Seven Articles of Huldrych Zwingli (1523)
2. Zwingli’s Short Christian Instruction (1523)
3. The Ten Theses of Bern (1528)
4. Confession of the East Friesland Preachers (1528)
5. William Farel’s Summary (1529)
6. Zwingli, Fidei ratio (1530)
7. The Tetrapolitan Confession (1530)
8. Waldensian Confession (1530)
9. Zwingli, Fidei Expositio (1531)
10. The Bern Synod (1532)
11. Waldensian Synod of Chanforan (1532)
12. The Waldensian Confession of Angrogna (1532)
13. The First Confession of Basel (1534)
14. The Bohemian Confession (1535)
15. The Lausanne Articles (1536)
16. The First Helvetic Confession (1536)
17. Calvin’s Catechism (1537)
18. Geneva Confession (1536/37)
19. Calvin’s Catechism (1538)
20. Waldensian Confession of Mérindol (1541)
21. Waldensian Confession of Provence (1543)
22. The Waldensian Confession of Mérindol (1543)
23. The Walloon Confession of Wesel (1544/45)
24. Calvin’s Catechism (1545)
25. Juan Diaz’s Sum of the Christian Religion (1546)
26. Valdés’s Catechism (1549)
27. Consensus Tigurinus (1549)
28. Anglican Catechism (1549)
29. London Confession of John à Lasco (1551)
30. Large Emden Catechism of the Strangers’ Church, London (1551)
31. Vallérandus Poullain: Confession of the Glastonbury Congregation (1551)
32. Rhaetian Confession (1552)
33. Consensus Genevensis: Calvin on Eternal Predestination (1552)