One reader writes to say, “It resonated with me as nothing I’ve read for years. Water on parched ground.” Another reader says, “I purchased a copy of Recovering the Reformed Confession today (it came over night) and I read the first chapter.” He continues by saying that he wondered if I was sitting in his session meeting. No, I wasn’t in that particular session meeting but I’ve been in (and continue to be in) lots of consistory and council meetings. I write out of that experience. The book was written against the background of my pastoral work, time in children’s catechism classes, adult classes, and in counseling sessions.
This is as it should be. Our confessions are ecclesiastical documents written by pastors and pastors and sessions (consistories) have always faced the same challenges. Pragmatism is not new. Moralism is not new. Rationalism is not new. Mysticism is not new. Enthusiasm is not new. We’re not the first to face a low view of the sabbath, or the question of whether to cancel the evening service. We’re not the first to lose sight of the centrality of the “due use of ordinary means.” The good news is that the Reformed confession (defined narrowly and broadly) possesses the resources to address these problems and more. The framers of our confession knew, as chapter 6 shows (pp. 193-227) that there are many compelling reasons to be Reformed.