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Confessions As Instruments Of (Dis)unity?

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Chapter Summary

Are confessions instruments of church unity - or perhaps of disunity? Any answer will depend on the respective views of confessions, on how the purpose of confessions is seen, and, on what might be meant by instrument, and on diverse notions of and expectations regarding unity. The Reformed tradition has always been a confessional tradition. Creeds and confessions of faith have played a major role in defining the tradition: they have been crucial documents as Reformed churches in their various locales have identified themselves as members of the church catholic and have expressed their understanding of one gospel for their time and circumstances. The Reformed tradition shares most of these characteristics with broader Protestantism. In a certain sense, confessions represent a typically Protestant phenomenon. The Reformed faith is deeply committed to practice and embody the unity of the church visibly, as an integral part of its witness and service in the world.

Keywords: catholic; church unity; confession; gospel; Protestantism; reformed tradition



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