Study the Confession: Basic Study Methods



By Jeffrey A. Stivason - Posted at The Place for Truth:

I recently read an article that offered a disturbing statistic. The author claimed that 40% of students who enter college will not complete their degree. He also claimed that over 60% of this group would not drop out due to financial reasons but a good number would stop because they simply don’t know how to study. Now, this article is not about college drop outs, but it is about studying. And I have wondered if the church does not suffer from the same malady.

Let me put it another way. I have noticed that the church is deeply committed to teaching about the nature of Scripture and rightfully so. We teach people to speak and think the right words regarding this most important doctrine. We teach that the Bible is infallible, inerrant and authoritative. But the problem is that too few actually read it let alone study our holy book. And when I have inquired as to why this is I often hear the same response, “I just don’t know how to study the Bible.” Now, if our people don’t know how to study the Bible, then I think it’s safe to assume that they are not studying the Confession either! So, let me offer some help by sketching out three methods for studying the Confession.

The first is a thematic approach. For instance, you might do a study on how the attributes of God (WCF 2) and the characteristics of God’s decree (WCF 3) interface. ...

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Editor's Note: These study methods can be applied to other Confessions, as well as the Westminster Standards. I'm presently studying The London Baptist Confession of 1689 and hope to implement some of Pastor Stivason's advice as I work through them. - AW

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