"There's GOLD in 'dem 'der hills!" I've heard this phrase a few times in reference to a variety of books or resources. Always the implication is that beneath the rough exterior is immense wealth. And so it is with the Reformed Confessions. I grew up in a Reformed Church (RCA), went through catechism class, and even watched a video series on the Belgic Confession in high school. Yet, somehow, very little of it stuck. I was a practical Arminian until I came under a number of strong Reformed influences during my seminary career. (Yes, I just admitted that when I first went to seminary I was largely Arminian. Let's move on...)
Early in my time in seminary my wife (who was my girlfriend at the time) encouraged me to think more carefully about Ephesians and what Paul says there, my own study of Scripture left me constantly with the feeling of "God can't really be like that, can he?", and then I began to look at the Reformed Confessions and my mind (and heart!) were changed. It took time for the change to mature. I left Western Seminary (which, consequently, did not contribute to the reformation of my mind), and ended up at Reformed Theological Seminary where so much of this teaching truly took root deep within my soul. I'm not a rich man, but I have the richest theological tradition in the world. Can you ask for more?
Not Reformed? I'd like to challenge you to do something, something I wish I had done many years before I did! Read the confessions (Heidelberg, Belgic, Dort) and read them with an open mind. Read the Scripture references that are littered all over the page. Read them for what they say, see how they see Scripture as one story of one God's work of redemption of his one chosen people. See how it fits together in harmonic unity in a way that no other understanding of the Bible fits together. And as you do ask yourself, "Is this faithful to the word of God? Is this what Scripture teaches?" For me the answer is an unconditional, "Absolutely!"
Here's a link to the book. http://www.wtsbooks.com/product-exec/product_id/1160/nm/Ecumenical+Creeds+and+Reformed+Confessions+%28Paperback%29
It's not a beautiful book but, besides the Scriptures themselves, it's the richest read you're ever going to find. There's GOLD in 'dem 'der hills!