Book Review | The Westminster Standards For Today

The Westminster Standards is among the historic confessions that guided and shaped the church over the last three centuries. Christians, specifically Presbyterians and Reformed, subscribe to this historic document as their statement of faith and compendium of the core tenets of the Christian faith. I, personally, believe that it is the best summary and embodiment of the doctrines and teachings taught in the Holy Scriptures. On the other hand, I also admit that it could sometimes be overwhelming and difficult to understand, considering the language in which it was written.

In the Westminster Standards For Today, the Standard has been translated into modern English. The general editor, Kevin Bidwell, has done an excellent job of updating the Standard’s language without compromising its content. As he noted in the book introduction, the Confession and the two Catechisms remain intact without revisions with only certain alterations. These alterations were uncomplicated in their change from the original text to modern English. Words such as Holy Ghost, vouchsafes, contemn, supererogate were translated to today’s language. Most people today would definitely not know these terms and could only be understood with the use of certain dictionaries. This update to modern English made these historic documents more accessible and readable to the modern reader.

Along with the modern English version of the Westminster Standards which is composed of the Westminster Confession and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms, some of the Ecumenical Creeds of the Christian Church were added in the latter part. These include the Apostle’s Creed, the Nicene Creed, the Athanasian Creed, and the Definition of the Council of Chalcedon.

Aside from the creeds and confessions included herein, this book also includes some essays on history, worship, and church government as taught in the Westminster Standards. I find these essays edifying and enlightening—helpful in better understanding of the Westminster Standards. These essays capture the very essence and title of this book: the Westminster for today, and for everyday Christian living.

I am so delighted to see this in print. The Westminster Standards for Today, which started as a project for the benefit of the editor’s local church, is an indispensable and useful resource from which faithful Christians will greatly benefit. This volume is a treasure for the church—relevant and useful more than ever before.

Disclosure: A review copy of the Westminster Standards For Today (ISBN 9781783972098) was provided for review by 10 of Those, from whom you may purchase a copy.

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