CCCC Theological Resources
Alwyn York, CCCC Historian
Membership in the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference requires full agreement with the CCCC Statement of Faith and its Statement of
Polity (church government). Both are simple and concise by design. They are meant to be expressions of basic principles. The Conference came into existence when basic beliefs of biblical Christianity and basic principles of Congregationalism were being abandoned by many Congregational churches. The Statement of Faith and Statement of Polity are meant to set forth the essential convictions that define Biblical Congregationalism. They do not aim to be a comprehensive presentation of biblical theology or church government. For those who would like further instruction in these subjects there are more in depth resources that are part of our Congregational heritage. The Conference has made them available to purchase through Next Step Resources (www.nsresources.com). A listing and brief description follows.
Historical Documents of Congregationalism puts together two of the most foundational documents of our tradition. The Savoy Declaration is a confession of faith published by the English Congregationalists in 1658. It is basically the Westminster Confession of Faith with some minor revisions which reflect a Congregational understanding. The Savoy Declaration gives a comprehensive and systematic presentation of biblical theology as developed during the English Reformation. The Cambridge Platform is the comprehensive manual of church polity published by the Congregational churches of New England in 1649. It represents a Congregationalism that is striving to be biblical at every point. Historic Documents of Congregationalism includes a preface to each document by Professor David Wells. Next Step Resources also offers Rediscovering Congregational Foundations, a booklet written by myself that introduces The Savoy Declaration and Cambridge Platform.
Evangelical and Congregational: The Principles of the Congregational
Independents was published by Evangelical Fellowship of Congregational Churches of Great Britain. It contains the Savoy Declaration as well as a description of the beliefs and practices of our Congregational brethren across the Atlantic.
Catechisms are a time honored way of instructing young people in the basic doctrines of Christianity. The CCCC page on the Next Step website offers two. The Westminster Shorter Catechism in Modern English makes a widely used teaching resource more accessible. The Shorter Catechism may be seen as largely a Presbyterian publication today, but it was also widely used by the Congregational churches of New England. Many generations of the youth of New England were raised upon what they called “the [Westminster] Assembly’s Catechism.” The archaic language of the original catechism makes it forbidding to many today, so this version was developed to make it more user friendly. The Heidelberg,Catechism is also available from Next Step. This catechism was used by many of the churches in the Evangelical and Reformed Church, a number of which have now come into the CCCC. This catechism is notable for its warm devotional tone.
Click on the images to go to Next Step Resources (nsresources.com) These resources are on the Next Step site under “Denominational Resources.”