What are the Three Forms of Unity?


During the 16th-17th centuries the Reformed churches composed numerous Christian confessions. These confessions helped to distinguish the Reformed faith from Roman Catholicism and other Protestant churches. Among these were The Three Forms of Unity; a collective name for (1) The Belgic Confession (1561), (2) The Heidelberg Catechism (1563), and (3) The Canons of Dort (1618-1619). These reflect the doctrinal concerns of Continental Calvinism. These statements of doctrine are accepted by many Reformed churches.

For the differences between the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Forms of Unity please read A Comparison of the Westminster and the Reformed Confessions, by Herman Hanko (Protestant Reformed Theological Journal, (November 1986, Vol. XX, No.1). For the importance of creeds please see "A Plea For Creeds" below. Suggested reading; Reformed Confessions Harmonized, by Joel R. Beeke and Sinclair B. Ferguson (Baker Books. 1999).

Related Topics:

The Belgic Confession
The Heidelberg Catechism
The Canons of Dort
The Westminster Confession of Faith
A Plea for Creeds

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).