Three Forms of Unity
The Synod held at Dort
From 1618 to 1619 the Dutch government, on behalf of the Dutch
Reformed Church, called and convened the Synod of Dort. Dutch
delegates, along with twenty-seven Reformed representatives from eight
other countries, met at this Synod of Dort, where they collectively
summarized their views in what was called the "Canons of Dort".
This same Synod then added these Canons to two other documents, both
of which were in common use by the Dutch Church at the time: the
to formalize their understanding of the biblical teachings on the Trinity, the incarnation, predestination, justification, and the church; to allow members to gather together in unity around fundamental, shared beliefs; and to relegate certain non-essential ideas (political positions, educational platforms, etc.) to a lower status to prevent the churches from needlessly splitting.
The forms also provide a basis upon which ecumenical efforts can proceed based on whether a body accepts the essentials laid out in these forms. The different documents each serve different purposes.
The Catechism is written in a question-and-answer format to help
explain biblical teaching to children and those new to the faith.
The Confession explains various biblical teachings.
The Canons are a series of technical responses to specific theological
controversies raised by the Dutch
Text and description of the Three Forms from Philip Schaff's Creeds of the Evangelical Protestant Churches at the Christian Classics Ethereal Library:
Audio Recordings of the
Three Forms of Unity
^ a b FRC:
Canons of Dort
v t e
Reformed confessions of faith
Tetrapolitan Confession Helvetic Confessions Consensus Tigurinus French Confession of Faith Three Forms of Unity
Heidelberg Catechism Belgic Confession Canons of Dort
Harmony of the Confessions of Faith Helvetic Consensus Conclusions of Utrecht Barmen Declaration Belhar Confession
British and American
Scots Confession Westminster Standards
Westminster Confession of Faith Westminster Shorter Catechism Westminster Larger Catechism
Confession of 1967 Book of Confessions
Thirty-nine Articles Lambeth Articles
1644 Baptist Confession of Faith Keach's Catechism 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith New Hampshire Confession of Faith Baptist Affirmation of Faith 1966
Cambridge Platform Savoy Declaration Saybrook Platform