Wayne R. Spear
Reviewed by: G. I. Williamson
Date posted: 11/25/2007
Faith of Our Fathers, A Commentary on the Westminster Confession of Faith, by Wayne R. Spear. Published by Crown and Covenant Publications, 2006. Paperback, 176 pages, list price $8.00. Reviewed by G. I. Williamson, OP minister.
In one respect, this book reminds me of The Plan of Salvation, by B. B. Warfield. I say this because it says so much with so few words. It is a relatively small book in comparison with other commentaries on the Westminster Confession of Faith. The reason for this may well be the fact that the material was originally written as a series of short articles in The Covenanter Witness of Scotland and Ireland. But in the providence of God this limitation turned out to be a benefit because it has resulted in an exceptionally clear and succinct summary of the teaching of this great confession.
Time and again, as I read this book, I was struck by Dr. Spear's superb ability to state the Confession's truths accurately, without wasting a single word (much less a sentence or paragraph). It is also clear that behind virtually every statement in this study is a rich understanding of the history of the period in which the Confession was written, of the meaning of terms as they were used in that era, and a warm commitment to the Confession's teaching. As one who has had a sustained engagement with the Westminster Confession of Faith, I am genuinely impressed with his mastery of its teaching.
This book would make an excellent gift to people who are new to the Reformed faith. It does not take long to read any of its thirty-three chapters (which average about four or five pages in length). But it does take some intensive thinking—concentrated thinking—on the part of the reader, not because the author is unclear, but rather because he is so clear. He gives the reader big doses of important truth in amazingly compressed statements. Although he does not waste any words in responding to those who have maligned the Confession, he does make it very clear where he stands—and how great the chasm is between the historic faith expressed in this document and much that passes today for Christianity.
I hope that this little book will be widely used. It is excellent summary of the teaching of our confession.