Doctrine

Our confessional standard is the London Baptist Confession of 1689 (PDF): Our confession is one of the historic confessions of the faith. It is almost identical to the great Westminster Confession of Faith adopted in 1646, but upholds believer's baptism and congregational church government. It has been used by Baptist congregations worldwide for over 300 years. 

Chapel Library and Differing Theological Views

We are often asked about how we select the titles that Chapel Library publishes. After prayer and careful reading, we have made regular additions over the years of tracts, booklets, and paperbacks to our catalogue that now number more than 850 titles. Chapel’s aim is to make available Christ-centered, grace-exalting literature without charge, publishing great teachers and preachers of the past, such as, Spurgeon, Calvin, Luther, Ryle, Bonar, Pink, Bunyan, the Puritans, and many more.

However, with such a broad selection from widely differing denominational and theological backgrounds, we add a disclaimer to our publications: “Chapel Library does not necessarily endorse all the doctrinal views of the authors it publishes.” We want our readers to know that our publishing an author on one subject does not necessarily mean that we agree with him in every doctrinal point. In fact, we may disagree strongly with a published author on other doctrinal issues. For instance, we love Calvin; but we do not hold his view of baptism. We love Ryle and Bunyan, but we do not hold their view of universal atonement. The list could go on for quite a while.

Furthermore, we generally avoid publishing modern or living authors; however, we occasionally publish a specific title on a much-needed topic, for which we have not found a sufficient older writing. We carefully review titles to add clarifying theological, historical, and biographical footnotes. The Word of God is the standard by which we judge our publications, while we also appeal to the London Baptist Confession of 1689 as a guide to most doctrinal questions. We are therefore confident that each title will be useful to Christ’s church, but we also realize that not all ancient or modern authors agree with us on every point of doctrine or practice.

An example of this would be our recent use of an article by a living, well-known president of an American seminary. Readers asked if we have become supporters of certain forms of Contemporary Christian Music because of our use of the article. We have not. Mt. Zion Bible Church practices hymnody, using psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs from the Trinity Hymnal Baptist Edition along with a collection of 48 classic hymns that we publish as Christ-centered Hymns (which is available from Chapel Library). We understand that our exclusive psalmody brethren will not agree with us here, though we do hope someday to add a psalter. Other readers asked if we have become supporters of “the New Calvinism” because of some of our authors. We are thankful that many young people have embraced the doctrines of grace, and we hope they will read the rich treasure of authors we publish; but we are not and have no desire to be a “movement” oriented ministry. Period. We are aware that some of our authors and readers differ significantly with us, and with other authors that we publish, in numerous doctrinal matters. But we believe making the best biblically orthodox teaching available to Christ’s churches is an important way of edifying them with sound doctrine. Christ prayed, “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us” (Joh 17:21). We attempt to find those areas of love for Christ and His Word in which we may walk with differing brethren. As Vincent Alsop said, “[Love] will lend us one safe rule—that we impose a severer law upon ourselves and allow a larger indulgence to others. The rule of our own [behavior] should be with the strictest; but that by which we censure others, a little more with the largest.” This is our methodology.

Ninety-five percent of our titles are from prior centuries, and many of these authors did not agree with one another in all doctrinal matters. We therefore encourage our readers to be discerning and to be as the Bereans, who searched the Scriptures to determine if what they were hearing was true (Act 17:11).