CREEDS AND CONFESSIONS
Creeds and Confessions of the United Reformed Churches in North America (URCNA). Includes the Ecumenical Creeds (Apostles’, Nicene, Athanasian) and the Three Forms of Unity (Belgic Confession, Heidelberg Catechism, Canons of Dort).
174 pages, paperback, 2019 © The United Reformed Churches in North America (Canada)
The practice of writing and confessing creeds (from the Latin credo, “I believe”) is as old as the Lord’s church herself. Thus, we find in both the Old (Deut. 6:4) and New Testaments (Matt. 16:16; 1 Cor. 15:3–4; Eph. 4:4–6; 1 Tim. 3:16) of the Holy Scriptures summary statements of the faith of God’s covenant people.
The following ancient Christian creeds (Apostles’, Nicene, Athanasian) and the Three Forms of Unity (Belgic Confession, Heidelberg Catechism, Canons of Dort) contain the doctrinal standards, or publicly confessed faith, of Reformed Churches throughout the world, and unite us in a like precious faith.
As Christian churches, our foundational text is the Bible, the inspired and infallible Word of God. The basic beliefs of the Bible—that there is only one God, who exists eternally as a Trinity, and that Jesus Christ our Savior is both God and man—were expressed by the early Christian church in the Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds. The Belgic Confession says that “we willingly receive” these three creeds (art. 9), since they are ecumenical (general, universal) and have been accepted by a large portion of the churches of Christendom.
As Reformed churches, we belong to those churches of the Protestant Reformation that acknowledge Jesus Christ as Head of his church. He rules and governs his church by his Word and his Spirit, not by the dictates of men. Therefore, the authority of the creeds and confessions, to which all our office-bearers subscribe as fully agreeing with the Word of God, is always subordinate to the authority of his inspired and infallible Word, the Bible. It was in that context that our forefathers wrote the following Reformed confessions, also known as the Three Forms of Unity: the Belgic Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism, and the Canons of Dort.