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Carrying his substantial scholarship lightly, Rowland Ward has produced with "A Short Introduction to the Westminster Assembly and its Work" a modest volume which will be of considerable help to elders and church people, old and new in Presbyterian and Reformed churches world-wide and here in Australia.

Nicely illustrated along the way, Ward's book is easy to read and will certainly further help '... the recovery of confessional orthodoxy...' in the life of the local church. We need more volumes like this, which make 'righteousness readable' and to do it all in less than 125 pages.

The Westminster Assembly is set within its historical context simply but well. Then follows thematic studies on the (gathered) worship of the church, church order/confessional subscription and a review of the structure and character of the Westminster Confession and associated Catechisms.

30 pages are given over to 'notes' on some of the teachings of the Confession, condensed from Ward's larger WCF commentary. The reader finds much help here. For example, Ward gives 10 reasons to believe in the unique position of the moral law (96-97) and then comments helpfully, 'although the ten commandments can be distinguished, Christians do not obey them because commanded by Moses, but as they receive them from Christ in the Gospel. For we are not under covenant given through Moses, but under the new covenant given through Christ. Thus, one can readily admit that the law of Moses as a unit is superseded yet highlight the ten commandments as being of abiding relevance. This is so, not because are part of the law of Moses, but because in essence they date from creation, the Lord merely republishing them in a particular context through Moses.'

A surprising omission from the list of modern language texts of the WCF was the Westminster Confession of Faith for the 21st Century, prepared and published by the PCA to mark its centenary in 2001. It contained a very valuable scripture index to the WCF.

"Given the status of the Westminster Confession in Presbyterian circles, it is important that we have some idea of its origins and context. There are a number of scholarly works that provide such but these are often highly technical and expensive. Thus, it is great that Rowland Ward has provided the church with this fine, concise introduction to the Westminster Assembly. Clearly written and very accessible, Christians everywhere will benefit from Rev. Ward's learning, lightly worn." -Carl R. Trueman, Paul Woolley Chair of Church History and professor of church history at Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia

"This volume, reflecting the authorís careful study over many years of the Westminster Assembly, provides an excellent supplement to standard commentaries and other studies on the Confession and Catechisms. I commend it highly." -Richard B. Gaffin, Jr., Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology, Emeritus Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, USA

"Dr. Ward has written a short and simple introduction to the Westminster Confession which will be welcomed by layperson and student alike for its clarity, force, and expert scholarship. It will do much to foster a sound understanding of the basic teaching of the Confession not only in its original historical and theological context, but also in its relevance for today. It is a really useful little book for those who want to grow in their understanding of the Reformed faith in general, and the theology of the Westminster Confession in particular." -Martin Williams, Head of Theology, Reformed Theological College, Melbourne

SGCB Price: $10.95 (list price $16.00)