A Twisted Crown of Thorns ®

Reformed. Christianity. Evangelism. Modern Culture.

How short should a statement of faith be?

The modern trend is to shift towards short, vague, and essentially ambiguous belief statements which the modern church uses almost as tools of evangelism. To demonstrate this trend, I’ve (borrowed)  Old Truth’s 2006 chart below showing a word count for the statements of faith of some of the most popular churches in America (as in September 2006). For comparison purposes, I’ve also included some old school Christians who have held to the historic belief statements of a better Christianity from times gone by. (Of course I hope this information has changed for the better over the last couple of years)

Statement of Faith Subscribers Word Count Year
London Baptist Confession CH Spurgeon,
James White
15,163 1689
Augsburg Confession Martin Luther 14,938 1530
Westminster Confession RC Sproul,
Michael Horton, Jonathan Edwards
12,307 1646
Grace Church
Doctrinal Statement
John MacArthur,
Phil Johnson
5,700 recent
Willow Creek
Statement of Faith
Bill Hybels 3,731 recent
Bethlehem Baptist Church Beliefs John Piper 1,010 recent
Cedar Ridge Community Church Beliefs Brian McLaren 877 recent
Saddleback Beliefs Rick Warren 557 recent
Fellowship Church Beliefs Ed Young Jr. 555 recent
The Potters House
Belief Statement
TD Jakes 417 recent
Northpoint Community Church Beliefs Andy Stanley 362 recent
Crystal Cathedral Robert Schuller 361 recent
Lakewood Beliefs Joel Osteen Low! 206 recent

At the bottom of this chart are the churches with the shortest belief statements, and supposedly – the least emphasis on biblical doctrine. Can there be any other churches with shorter state ments of faith but strong on doctrine?  What do you think?


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