Early comment on Recovering the Reformed Confession:
At a time when “all that is solid melts in the air” and distinct colors fade to gray, R. Scott Clark reminds us of the loveliness, depth, and richness of Reformed Christianity. Not only a TULIP, but a confession that bears fruit in both faith and practice, the account that you will find in this book may challenge, but its point is not to be missed.
In a day when many follow charming personalities, fundamentalism, heterodoxy, individualism, and postmodernity and attempt to commandeer the Reformed tradition, Dr. Clark ably challenges such efforts. Clark brings a much needed corrective for basing Reformed identity in its understanding of the Scriptures through its historic confessions and creeds and a robust understanding historic Reformed worship. Well-researched, thoughtfully presented, and provocative, this work is a must-read for ministers, elders, and for anyone who claims to be Reformed.
J. V. Fesko, Ph.D.
Pastor, Geneva Orthodox Presbyterian Church
Adjunct Professor of Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary
In addition to being a first-rate scholar, Dr. Clark is a brave man. He’s not afraid to remind us of the substance and meaning of many aspects of our historic Reformed confessions which we now either take for granted, or which are at odds with a number of our current practices. In Recovering the Reformed Confession, Clark reminds us of what it means when we “confess” that we are “Reformed.” It means focusing upon those things set forth in our confessions (the highest common denominator), instead of neglecting them or even denying them. In addition to gently pointing out where our words don’t match either our praxis or our deeds, Clark offers a number of practical ways we can recover our confession, and thereby recover a distinctly “Reformed faith and practice.”
Kim Riddelbarger, Ph.D.
Pastor, Christ Reformed Church, Anaheim
Adjunct Professor of Systematic Theology, Westminster Seminary California
Co-host, White Horse Inn
While I am personally encouraged by and enthusiastic about what has been called the “young, reformed awakening,” we still await (and long for) a renaissance of a genuinely confessional reformed theology, piety and practice. Scott Clark’s historical work, diagnosis and critique, and constructive, churchly, confessional recommendations are all worth a rigorous and respectful engagement, and point us in a number of helpful directions. As one who comes from and happily identifies with a branch of the Reformed tradition far from immune to Dr. Clark’s critique, I welcome this volume as a faithful conversation partner, seeking to administer “the wounds of a friend” for the sake of the church and the glory of God in this world.
Ligon Duncan, Ph.D.
Senior Minister, First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, Mississippi, USA
President, Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals
Adjunct Professor, Reformed Theological Seminary
1. Whatever Became of Reformed Theology, Piety, and Practice? 1
Part I: The Crisis
2. The Quest for Illegitimate Religious Certainty 39
3. The Quest for Illegitimate Religious Experience 71
Part 2: The Recovery
4. Recovering a Reformed Identity (1) 119
5. Recovering a Reformed Identity (2) 153
6. The Joy of Being Confessional 193
7. Recovering Reformed Worship 227
8. Whatever Happened to the Second Service? 293
Epilogue: Predestination is Not Enough 343