Westminster Confession

(1646)

The Westminster Confession, written in 1646, is a statement of Christian faith in the tradition of Calvinist, or “Reformed,” Protestantism. Its thirty-three chapters were meant to cover all the major issues of Christian theology as they existed in the mid-seventeenth century. The Westminster Confession was created by a group of ministers and theological experts from England and Scotland, mostly Presbyterian in faith, during the English Civil War (1642–1651). The group had originally been summoned by the English parliament to reform the Church of England.

Along with the Westminster Larger and Shorter Catechisms that summarize its doctrines, the Westminster Confession is the most influential statement of faith in the English-speaking Calvinist tradition and remains the theological foundation of most Presbyterian churches as well as strongly influencing churches outside that tradition, including Congregationalist and Baptist bodies.

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John Selden, a member of the Westminster Assembly (Yale University Art Gallery)

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