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Forms Of Unity Or Of Disunity—The Confessions In The Recent History Of The Protestant Church In The Netherlands

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Chapter Summary

The confessions of the Reformed churches in the Netherlands, the Belgic Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism, and the Canons of Dordt, are sometimes called the Forms of Unity. The term 'unity' refers to the unity of the catholic and apostolic faith of which the confessions intend to be an expression. In practice, however, the forms can also lead to disunity, as the recent schism in the Dutch churches shows. The history of the unification that led to the Protestant Church in the Netherlands proves that new confessions can easily become a stumbling block for church unity. The Reformed position does not exclude other Christian positions; but rather, includes them as, at least intentionally, the purest expression of biblical truth. A church that unites the Reformed and Lutheran traditions is a true church - although it might have an impure confession from a Reformed perspective.

Keywords: Belgic Confession; catholic confessions; church unity; Heidelberg Catechism; Lutheran traditions; Netherlands; Protestant Church



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