The Belgic Confession: Historical background, contextual meaning, contemporary relevance

Volume editor
Albert J Coetsee
Volume editor
Sarel van der Walt
Volume editor
D Francois Muller


This book investigates the contemporary relevance of the Belgic Confession. The book groups the 37 articles of the Belgic Confession together in order to cover the whole confession in 12 chapters (alongside an introductory chapter). The emphasis of the publication falls on two aspects: (1) providing a scope of contemporary theological, ethical and general issues and possible controversies regarding the content of the Belgic Confession; and (2) formulating ethical perspectives and guidelines from the Belgic Confession that may assist in the building of societies. Where applicable, chapters also discuss the history of the text of the Belgic Confession, the organic unity between the articles of the Belgic Confession, a dogma-historical perspective on the development of the doctrine/content of the Belgic Confession and the relationship between the Belgic Confession and other confessions.


  • Chapter 1
    Introduction: The texts and contexts of the Belgic Confession, then and now
    D Francois Muller
  • Chapter 2
    Belgic Confession Article 1: The only God
    Rikus Fick
  • Chapter 3
    Reading Scripture as God’s revelation: Perspectives from Belgic Confession Articles 2–7
    Albert J Coetsee
  • Chapter 4
    All these are equal: The doctrine of the Trinity in the Belgic Confession (Articles 8–11)
    Gijsbert van den Brink
  • Chapter 5
    Unassailable faith statements encompassing creation, providence, humanity and fall, original sin: The Belgic Confession Articles 12–15
    Raymond M Potgieter
  • Chapter 6
    With Christology, everything is at stake: Insights from the Belgic Confession Articles 16–19
    Sarel van der Walt
  • Chapter 7
    God’s justice and our righteousness: Belgic Confession Articles 20–23
    HH van Alten
  • Chapter 8
    Regeneration and human access to the divine in contemporary theological and ethical thought: A reflection on the Belgic Confession Articles 24–26
    Manitza Kotzé
  • Chapter 9
    Towards a relevant ecclesiology: An exposition of Articles 27–29 of the Belgic Confession
    Wim Dreyer
  • Chapter 10
    To keep God’s holy order: The relevance of Reformed governance in Articles 30–32 of the Belgic Confession for churches today
    Leon van den Broeke
  • Chapter 11
    Widening wings? Re-emphasising sacramental ‘joyful exchange’ (Articles 33–35)
    P Paul Kruger
  • Chapter 12
    Belgic Confession Article 36: On those who are in and under authority in this life: Citizens obeying the civil rulers obeying God
    D Francois Muller
  • Chapter 13
    To declare himself the judge: The last judgement (Article 37)
    Arnold Huijgen


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