Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Robert Letham on the 39 Articles, the Westminster Assembly and fish & chips

It is often assumed that the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England had little impact on the work of the Westminster Assembly. According to B. B. Warfield only "minute" traces of the Articles may be found in the Westminster Confession and its attendant catechetical literature. However, in his recent book, The Westminster Assembly: Reading its theology in historical context (P&R, 2009), Robert Letham challenges that view, detailing where the Westminster Confession was dependent upon material drawn from the Articles. His surprising conclusion is this,
The Thirty-Nine were a major source for the Assembly, if not the major source. The Assembly is solidly in line with the English Reformed tradition. If the Assembly documents are like a sumptuous cheesecake, the solid, crunchy crust is Cranmer. If we were to suppose them to be a succulent piece of deep-fried plaice, the chips, salt, and vinegar come from the earlier English Reformed tradition. (P. 81).
I think that is what is meant by 'food for thought'.

1 comment:

Jonathan Hunt said...

Now I am hungry