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For the Cause of the Son of God-2

The Missionary Significance of the
Belgic Confession

by Dr. Wesley L. Bredenhof

ISBN 9 780977 344253
Now available in print & PDF Ebook versions

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For the Cause of the Son of God


Book Description
Table of Contents
Biography on Wesley Lloyd Bredenhof
Introduction to this book
Introduction to Reformed Mission History Series
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Biography of Wesley Lloyd Bredenhof

Wesley Lloyd Bredenhof was born in Taber, Alberta, Canada.  He graduated in 1996 with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Alberta in Edmonton.  In 2000, he received the Master of Divinity degree from the Canadian Reformed Theological Seminary in Hamilton, Ontario.  The following year, he was granted the Diploma of Missiology.


In 2000, he was ordained to the ministry as a missionary to the native people living in Fort Babine, British Columbia.  He did this work under the oversight of the Canadian Reformed Church at Smithers, British Columbia.  In 2005, he accepted a call to serve as co-pastor of the Langley Canadian Reformed Church, in Langley, British Columbia.  Since September 2009, he has served as the pastor of the Providence Canadian Reformed Church in Hamilton, Ontario.


In April 2010 he was awarded a Doctor of Theology degree from Reformation International Theological Seminary in Fellsmere, Florida.  He did his doctoral work under the supervision of Dr. L.J. Joosse (retired pastor of the Reformed Church in Groningen-West, the Netherlands).  The title of his dissertation is: “For the Cause of the Son of God: the Missiological Relevance of the Belgic Confession.”


He currently serves as the convenor of the synodically appointed Canadian Reformed Website Committee.  He is also serving on the Committee for Bible Translation.


He has written numerous articles and reviews published in a variety of publications including Clarion, Christian Renewal, Reformed Perspective, Modern Reformation, The Westminster Theological Journal, Mid-America Journal of Theology and The Confessional Presbyterian.  He is the editor of a compilation of creeds and confessions, We Believe.


He and his wife have four children.  His “extra-curricular” interests include hunting, fishing, and aviation.




Dr. Joel Beeke Dr. Jeffery K. Boer Dr. Frans L. Schalkwijk
Dr. Arlan de Visser Dr. Leen Joosse Dr. William Boekenstein
Dr. Stephen Westcott Dr. Richard Knodel, Jr. Rev. Geoffrey Donnan
  Rev. Christopher Gordon  


Endorsement by Dr. Joel Beeke

The Belgic Confession has been a gospel witness sealed in blood ever since its first edition was thrown over a wall to Roman Catholic authorities inside the castle of Tournai.  Dr. Bredenhof sets the Confession at the intersection of biblical, theological, and historical discussions over the church's mission.  He draws from international scholarship and a broad array of academic disciplines in providing a holistic challenge to the caricature of the Reformation as an inward-focused neglect of the church's missionary enterprise.  Especially interesting is the connection Dr. Bredenhof draws between the Confession and the suffering martyr-witness of the confessing church to a lost world.  For the Cause of the Son of God will be welcomed by those who love the Reformed confessional witness to biblical truth and who are zealous for the world-wide preaching of the gospel.  -- Dr. Joel R. Beeke, President of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan.



Endorsement by Dr. Arland de Visser

It would be an understatement to say that Dr. Wes Bredenhof has chosen a neglected topic for this book by studying the missiologicalrelevance of the Belgic Confession. Many missiologists would consider impossible topic! In our days the idea is widespread that the Belgic Confession has no missiological relevance at all. Yet, Dr. Bredenhof succeeds admirably in arguing that the Belgic Confession has definite missiological strengths even though it does not set forth a global approach to mission work. Written during a time of persecution, the Belgic Confession aimed to defend and promote the Reformed faith — an evangelistic purpose! In addition, Dr. Bredenhof shows that much of the content of the Belgic Confession, with its emphasis on justification by faith and its Christological focus, is surprisingly relevant for teaching in missionary situations today. What makes reading of Dr. Bredenhof’s book all the more interesting are various excursions into historical and contemporary developments, ranging from the mission work of Johannes Megapolensis among the Mohawks to the Christian Reformed Church’s endeavour to formulate a Contemporary Testimony.  -- Dr. Arjan de Visser, professor of mission at Canadian Reformed Theological Seminary, Hamilton, ON, Canada



Endorsement by Dr. Stephen Westcott

True biblical Christianity has always faced two imperatives: a) to remain doctrinally sound, and b) to propagate that genuine, saving, faith, as widely as possible. Church history demonstrates how often these two foundational requirements have drifted apart, to the great detriment of the faith. In the centuries since the great Reformation it had often been the case that theology has been the preserve of the learned and the scholastic, whilst those with a zeal for missions have pressed ahead ‘without tarrying for any’, and often with a very defective understanding of the faith they wished to share. Dr. Bredenhof reminds us that this was not always the case, and indeed, should never have been the case, for it is far from the vision of the Reformers. In the fiery heat and battle to re-establish Biblical Christianity the Reformers forged a two-edged sword: true Bible doctrine, and an urgent desire to spread that saving truth to all to whom it might be presented. This is the strength of the Belgic Confession (true Bible Doctrine) and the vision of its prime author Guido de Brès (that truth for evangelism and missions), in a day when men faced the daily possibility of being called to die for their faith. In this magnificent study Dr. Bredenhof employs the Belgic Confession and its history to call the church back to its Reformation vision, its Reformation zeal, and its Reformation commitment. May ‘For the Cause of the Son of God’ be widely read, for it has a message desperately needed by the Church today!  -- Dr. Stephen P. Westcott, Author, Professor and Doctoral Member Committee at Reformation International Theological Seminary



Endorsement by Dr. Jeffery K. Boer

For the Cause of the Son of God by Dr. Wes Bredenhof gives the following definition of "Mission".  "Mission is the official sending of the church to go and make disciples by preaching and witnessing to the good news of Jesus Christ in all nations through the power of the Holy Spirit."

Dr. Bredenhof does a masterful job of demonstrating, through careful historical study, that the Reformed confession of faith known as the Belgic Confession, derived from the Scriptures, not only sets forth the proper content of the Gospel that is to be preached, but also provides a primary motivating force behind the missionary outreach of Reformed churches.  Both of these factors are necessary if trhe Reformed churches of our day are to continue to fulfill the Great Commission properly. -- Dr. Jeffery K. Boer, Pastor of Sharon Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Hialeah, FL (USA), former member of the OPC Committee on Foreign Missions; Board member and Doctoral Committee member of Reformation International Theological Seminary.



Endorsement by Dr. Leen Joosse

In this study Bredenhof has broken new ground. Using newer Reformation research methods he has reopened the discussion on the link between the Reformers and mission. He has rightly left behind the obsolete idea that the Reformation was lacking in missionary character. Bredenhof demonstrates how the Belgic Confession emerges from a perspective in which its author and original adherents believed that they were witnessing to an unbelieving world. Moreover, he argues that the Confession’s missionary character has to be considered in close connection with the phenomenon of martyrdom. Guido de Brès and his fellow Reformed believers could have avoided martyrdom by keeping silent, but they chose to speak and their model is instructive for us today too. The study goes on to show how the Belgic Confession can be an instrumental part of developing a Reformed missiology. Both its strengths and weaknesses in that regard are taken into consideration. We live in a time in which many Christians want to move away from Scripture and our creeds. We need to have our thoughts developed in a confessional way, also when it comes to mission. For the Cause of the Son of God will be a great help in moving us in that direction, bringing us to a faithful summary of the Bible’s teachings so that we can be more effectively engaged in the task to which Jesus has called us. -- Dr. Leen Joosse, retired pastor of the Reformed Church of Groningen-West, the Netherlands.



Endorsement by Dr. Richard Knodel, Jr.

Wes Bredenhof has composed the best study of Reformed missions (both missiology and missions) in print. It is quite simply essential reading, and puts to bed (hopefully forever) the claim that the reformed church has been deficient in its evangelical activity. Bredenhof’s scope is very broad so that one is sure to discover new things about the Reformation and its advance. Yet he focuses sharply on missions and the advance of Christ’s church from an originally Protestant and Reformed perspective. No one will regret purchasing this book! -- Dr. Richard E. Knodel, Jr., Church Planter, Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, Cincinnati, Ohio; Adjunct Professor and Doctoral Committee member of Reformation International Theological Seminary; former missionary to Scotland; former Orthodox Presbyterian Church pastor.



Endorsement by Dr. Frans L. Schalkwijk

Though often decried as an inward looking church document, Dr. Bredenhof proves clearly, both from internal evidence and contemporary sources that this confession by Guido de Brès was written as a ‘martyr’ document in the double sense of the word. In the first place, it is a clear missionary witness (martyria) to those who needed the pure light of the gospel of grace; besides that, conceived in a time of much persecution, the author himself became a martyr and died by hanging because he preached the simple Word of God. Very soon after its publication, this pamphlet in 37 articles was embraced by many believers in the Low Countries and adopted as the confession of all Reformed churches in that region. Their leaders had a clear vision of their mission task for the sixteenth-century world around them: to spread the gospel. As a retired missionary of those churches, I do hope and pray that this profound study of their oldest Reformed confession may serve to refocus the mission vision of our churches for a biblical witness of the pure gospel of our Savior Jesus Christ to our twenty first-century needy world. -- Dr. Frans L. Schalkwijk, author of The Reformed Church and Its Mission in Dutch Brazil (1630-1654)


Endorsement by Dr. William Boekenstein

For the Cause of the Son of God provides a well-researched, respectful and timely answer to the claim that predestinarian, creedal theology is detrimental to missions. As the author demonstrates, this nagging complaint against Reformation theology certainly finds no support in Guido de Brès’ Belgic Confession. De Brès’ life beat to a missionary pulse, his martyr’s death sealed the authenticity of his ministry and his great confessional contribution to Christian thought abides as a summary of the kind of religion that inspires and enables men to do great things for God. In shedding much-needed light upon the relationship between Reformed theology and God-honoring missions the author has done a service to both. No one who is serious about theology or missions will want to be without Rev. Bredenhof’s weighty contribution to the church. -- William Boekestein, Pastor, Carbondale, Pennsylvania; Author of Faithfulness under Fire: The Story of Guido de Bres



Endorsement by Rev. Christopher J. Gordon

Wes Bredenhof’s detailed study of the Belgic Confession is brimming with insights for those who want to understand better how the Reformed confessions are crucial to the missionary activity of the church of Jesus Christ.  It has generally been assumed that the Reformed confessions of the sixteenth century are a hindrance to the advancement of the gospel to the ends of the earth.  Wes challenges this assumption in this historical, lucid, and faithful study of the Belgic Confession.  This book should be read by anyone who wants to better understand how the mission of the church of Jesus Christ is never something that can be separated from what she confesses. -- Christopher J Gordon, pastor, United Reformed Church of Lynden, Washington.



Endorsement by Rev. Geoffrey Donnan

It is somewhat embarrassing to admit that as a missionary since 1976, it never occurred to me to think of a Confession of Faith as a missionary statement. My mind has been given a serious and well- needed course correction after reading For the Cause of the Son of God by Dr. Wes Bredenhof. My hope is that many others who may suffer from this same malady will also be enlightened by this profound work. Its reading and study should prove additionally useful in rectifying the thoughtless addiction of many who mistakenly consider the Reformed and Presbyterians as late-comers to the outreach of missions. They will now be able to see more clearly that the same Son of God who was the center of focus and force behind the Reformation was also the same force that spearheaded what we now call modern day missions initially through the early Reformed and Presbyterian churches. He must remain so today in today’s missions and missionaries. -- Rev. Geoffrey W. Donnan, President, Reformation Christian Ministries; Co-Pastor, King’s Reformed Presbyterian Church, Palm Bay, Florida


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