“Here, unmistakably, the confession [WCF I.1) is following the trail laid down by the Apostle Paul in Romans 1-2 (see esp. Rom. 1:19, 20, 32; 2:1, 14, 15; cf. Psa. 19:1-3). In those chapters the apostle both reminds us of this general revelation and tells us that it leaves every person without an excuse before God. For this reason, both in our evangelism and in our defense of the faith, we should always remember that Christians should never be trying to prove the existence of God to unbelievers. We are reminding unbelievers of what they already know. Every person has been stung with knowledge of God; there is an Existence about which they may be intensely aware, or which they may consciously or subconsciously suppress. But every person knows enough about God that they ought never to stop searching for him” (Chad Van Dixhoorn, Confessing the Faith: A Reader’s Guide to the Westminster Confession of Faith, 4).
“Readers will quickly see that, chapter by chapter, the Westminster Confession of Faith traces the great history of our redemption: the grim realities of the fall, God’s gracious covenants with man, the stunning announcement of salvation, and our sure hope of eternal life — all these are sketched out in bold but considered strokes” (Chad Van Dixhoorn, Confessing the Faith: A Reader’s Guide to the Westminster Confession of Faith, xix).
“It is enough to recognize that, whenever any observances of piety are transferred to some one other than the sole God, sacrilege occurs” (Translated by Ford Lewis Battles, John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, 120).
“The Westminster Confession of Faith is a summary of biblical doctrine. But it is more than that. It is a creed, and one from which all evangelical Christians will derive much benefit if it is carefully studied. This is a text rich in theology, offering a wealth of biblical and doctrinal reflection. It is not flawless. Nonetheless it is very good. And I consider its age to be more of a benefit than a liability; it is good to study texts which remind us that Christianity was not invented last Tuesday. . . . As I see it, the church needs to experiment with theological maximalism in place of its current minimalism if we are to maintain a faithful witness to Christ in our generation. A dozen doctrinal points on a website is probably inadequate for the church’s thriving, for its mission not only to evangelize but also to teach the nations. This creed from Westminster holds out a large faith for us to own, a welcome view of the triune God and his work, and an unusually robust statement of the gospel of Christ” (Chad Van Dixhoorn, Confessing the Faith: A Reader’s Guide to the Westminster Confession of Faith, xii).
“Indeed, the knowledge of God set forth for us in Scripture is destined for the very same goal as the knowledge whose imprint shines in his creatures, in that it invites us first to fear God, then to trust in him. By this we can learn to worship him both with perfect innocence of life and with unfeigned obedience, then to depend wholly upon his goodness” (Translated by Ford Lewis Battles, John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, 98).
“For by a kind of mutual bond the Lord has joined together the certainty of his Word and of his Spirit so that the perfect religion of the Word may abide in our minds when the Spirit, who causes us to contemplate God’s face, shines; and that we in turn may embrace the Spirit with no fear of being deceived when we recognize him in his own image, namely, in the Word” (Translated by Ford Lewis Battles, John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, 95).
“But John, thundering from the heights, lays low more mightily than any thunderbolt the obstinacy of those whom he does not impel to the obedience of faith. Let all those sharp-nosed faultfinders — whose highest desire is to drive the reverence for Scripture from their own and others’ hearts — come into the open. Let them read John’s Gospel: whether they want to or not, there they shall find a thousand sayings to arouse, at least, their dull minds — nay, I should rather say, to burn a dreadful brand upon their consciences for the restraint of their mockery” (Translated by Ford Lewis Battles, John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, 91).
“Those for whom prophetic doctrine is tasteless ought to be thought of as lacking taste buds” (Translated by Ford Lewis Battles, John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, 83).
“Let us, then, know that the only true faith is that which the Spirit of God seals in our hearts” (Translated by Ford Lewis Battles, John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, 81).
“For as God alone is a fit witness of himself in his Word, so also the Word will not find acceptance in men’s hearts before it is sealed by the inward testimony of the Spirit. The same Spirit, therefore, who has spoken through the mouths of the prophets must penetrate into our hearts to persuade us that they faithfully proclaimed what had been divinely commanded” (Translated by Ford Lewis Battles, John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, 79).