I’m frequently asked about good resources for studying the Westminster Standards. Over the past several years, we have witnessed the publication of a number of helpful works on these historic ecclesiastical documents (see, for example, here and here).
John Bower’s new book on the Westminster Confession of Faith makes a notable contribution in this regard. Bower locates the confession in the historical context of early modern Protestantism in general and demonstrates its Reformed and catholic character in particular. Among many strengths, I found his discussion of the confession’s structure especially instructive for getting a better grasp of its overarching theological and pastoral purpose.
Here’s the endorsement I wrote for the book:
John Bower’s most recent contribution to the Principal Documents of the Westminster Assembly series is a work of exceptional historical and theological scholarship. Not only does it provide a critical text of the Westminster Confession of Faith but it also offers a learned introduction to the sources, processes, and deliberations that led to the Confession’s publication. Students of early modern theology are in Bower’s debt, as are those who continue to receive and confess the Westminster Confession of Faith as a faithful summary of Christian teaching.”
If you are a Presbyterian minister, elder, or if you’re preparing to become one, this is a “must have” for your theological library.