Review: The Confession of Faith: A Handbook of Christian Doctrine Expounding the Westminster Confession

The Confession of Faith: A Handbook of Christian Doctrine Expounding the Westminster ConfessionThe Confession of Faith: A Handbook of Christian Doctrine Expounding the Westminster Confession by A. A. (Archibald Alexander) Hodge
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A helpful exposition of the Confession. Hodge is a clear thinker, and does an excellent job on most fronts. At times, however, he is not above sneaking his own views in as those of the Confession such as active and passive imputation, (which the writers of the confession deliberately avoided making an issue in the Standards), the probationary character of the covenant of works, the covenantal imputation of Adam’s sin, and the idea that believers do not feed on the body and blood of Christ in a unique way in the Lord’s Supper.

On other areas of debate in the Reformed world, however, Hodge surprises: his statements on the efficacy of baptism would rattle the cages of many, and his refusal to separate the visible church from the true church, and allowing that time is a significant element of what distinguishes the visible from the invisible church should slow down some of the ranting of the TR types.

Don’t just read this one. Add Sproul’s three volumes, and Letham’s excellent new book on the Westminster Assembly for a broader picture. But don’t neglect Hodge, either. He is a worthy guide to the Reformed tradition.

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