The London Baptist Confession of 1689

Adapted from James M. Renihan, Faith and Life for Baptists: The Documents of the London Particular Baptist Assemblies, 1689 - 1695 (RBAP, 2016)


As it is the responsibility of Christ’s Church, and especially its pastors and teachers, to teach and defend sound doctrine (Matthew 28:20; Eph. 4:11-13; Titus 1:9), we believe this involves investigating and articulating that which God has revealed in the Bible with great care (Acts 17:10-11; 2 Tim. 2:15).

Throughout church history, Christians have developed statements that summarize key biblical doctrines, in order to better understand and teach what God has revealed in His written Word (note also that statements prioritizing and summarizing doctrine are found in Scripture itself, e.g. Deut. 6:4-5, Matt. 22:35-40; 1 Cor. 15:3-8). Thus the church has been helped by various Creeds and Confessions, especially those that have stood the test of time (including the Apostles’ Creed [c.AD 200-400], the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed [AD 325/381], and the Chalcedonian Definition [AD 451]).

While Creeds (from the Latin, “Credo”, “I believe”) and Confessions (typically longer documents), written since the New Testament era, do not themselves carry the authority of Scripture, they have value for Christians insofar as they accurately summarize and express Scripture’s teaching.

Historically, the process of a local church adopting a doctrinal statement of faith has often involved evaluating and occasionally modifying historic confessional statements, to better align with the leadership’s understanding of the Bible’s teaching, recognizing that Scripture itself is the authoritative norm by which all such statements are to be judged.

Such modification occurred when the Westminster Confession of Faith (1646) was lightly revised to produce the Savoy Declaration of Faith and Order in 1658, geared toward congregationalist church polity. Still later, the Savoy Declaration was further revised to reflect Baptist convictions in 1677, and then formally adopted in 1689. That document is sometimes called the Second London Baptist Confession, or simply, “The 1689”, to differentiate it from an earlier Baptist confession written in 1644 . The degree of agreement between these revisions, in matters we would consider essential to the Christian faith, is striking (an agreement not altered with the appended comments we provide).

We appreciate the breadth of biblical doctrine covered in the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith, the rich heritage from which it originated, and the time tested quality of the statements contained in it. We the Elders of Canyon Bible Church of Prescott therefore commend it to our members, for their edification, study, and worship, with the appended statements of qualification or revision found in the appendix of this copy.

Grace and Truth,

Your Elders

Canyon Bible Church of Prescott