Welcome to a Reformed Church: A Guide for Pilgrims   -     By: Daniel R. Hyde
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Welcome to a Reformed Church: A Guide for Pilgrims

Reformation Trust Publishing / Paperback

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Who are these guys? That was the question the teenage Daniel R. Hyde posed to his father when he first encountered Reformed believers. With their unique beliefs and practices, these Christians didn t fit any of the categories in his mind.

Not so many years later, Hyde is now Rev. Daniel R. Hyde, a pastor of a Reformed church. Recognizing that many are on the outside looking in, just as he once was, he wrote Welcome to a Reformed Church: A Guide for Pilgrims to explain what Reformed churches believe and why they structure their life and worship as they do.

In layman s terms, Rev. Hyde sketches the historical roots of the Reformed churches, their scriptural and confessional basis, their key beliefs, and the ways in which those beliefs are put into practice. The result is a roadmap for those encountering the Reformed world for the first time and a primer for those who want to know more about their Reformed heritage.

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Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 178
Vendor: Reformation Trust Publishing
ISBN-13: 9781567692037
Availability: In Stock

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ChristianBookPreviews.com

Welcome to a Reformed Church by Daniel B. Hyde is a rather small book of fewer than 200 pages yet is packed with information about the history, beliefs, and practice of what makes a church Reformed. In the introduction, Hyde writes the purpose for his book: “My prayer in writing this book is that I can begin to clear up any misunderstandings you might have about what Reformed churches believe and even begin to open your eyes to a new world, a new way of looking at the faith that was ‘once for all delivered to the saints’ (Jude 3). Frankly, I do not want you sitting at a table in confusion as I did so many years ago. I invite you to read this book as if we were in a conversation together as pilgrims on a road, discussing the Scriptures, church history, and the Christian life as understood by those branches of Christ's church that call themselves ‘Reformed’” (p. xxvi).

Hyde begins by giving the reader a brief history lesson, addressing the roots of Reformed Christianity and spending some time addressing the confessions -- the doctrinal foundations that the Reformed church is built on. As I was reading this, I realized how very important these confessions are to the church. As the author notes, his book cannot sufficiently summarize the Reformed faith and encourages readers to look more fully into the creeds and confessions. On page 33 he writes, "I recognize, though, that a short introduction to our beliefs may persuade you to stop looking in our church windows, and to walk in the front door." I think this book does a very good job of this. For those that know the history and beliefs of the Reformed Church, this might be a review. For some that are a bit newer to the Reformed faith or curious to what it really is about and believes, this book is perfectly suited for them.

Additional chapters in Welcome to a Reformed Church include: Scripture: The Final Authority; Covenant: God's story; Justification: Grace Alone, Faith Alone, Christ Alone; Church: Distinguishing Marks; Worship: Of God, by God, for God; and Preaching and Sacraments. There are also two appendices: one in a question-and-answer style, the other with recommended books for further reading.

Though this book is short, I learned things about the Reformed faith and was challenged to re-examine a bit more fully what I believe and why I believe it. I found this book biblically accurate, and really helped solidify my beliefs on the foundational subjects of my faith. – Victoria Blackmon, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com

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  1. Grace for Sinners
    Simpsonville, SC
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Good Intro to Reformed Theology
    July 16, 2012
    Grace for Sinners
    Simpsonville, SC
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 3
    Discovering our place within the history of our church and rooting our theology to our spiritual forefathers answers many of the problems we face today. The novelties are rarely novel. They are the dried regurgitation on the bib of the early church. That's what makes a book like Welcome to a Reformed Church valuable--it seeks to do two things: first, explains a misinterpreted term (reformed) and roots that term in its historical context.

    As much as a I advocate for a broad understanding of the term reformed today so that it can rightly include our Baptist brothers and those who consider themselves reformed who are loosely Calvinistic, you can't provide the leeway without first tethering the rope to the tree.

    And lest you think reformed folks value being reformed over being a Christian, Guy Prentiss Waters says in the foreword,

    We say, with the nineteenth-century Scottish Presbyterian theologian John "Rabbi" Duncan (1796-1870), ‘I'm first a Christian, next a Catholic, then a Calvinist, fourth a Paedobaptist and finally a Presbyterian. I cannot reverse the order'" (xv).

    And later Hyde echoes this, "This term, Reformed, was a shorthand way of saying, ‘Churches that are reformed according to the Word of God'" (12). Everything commended from the confessions on is tethered to Scripture.

    Hyde develops his definition around core distinctives of reformed theology: history, confessions, Scripture, Covenant as God's Story, Justification, Sanctification, the Church's Distinguishing Marks, Worship, & Preaching and the Sacraments.

    As a guide, I found it helpful. My only concern is that those who are not familiar with reformed thought especially found in the confessions and creeds may be overwhelmed by larger quotations from these documents. In some of these instances, a glass of water might have served the weary pilgrim better than the garden hose.

    The emphases on a living faith was refreshing. The Reformed are accused of being all head and no heart but Hyde points out that the Heidelberg Catechism and the Westminster Catechism gives nearly 40% of their emphases to "holy living" or "sanctification" (88; see an helpful illustration about good works and justification on page 92). Passionate Christian living is a core tenant of reformed theology.

    Welcome to a Reformed Church ends with an helpful question and answer section and a bibliography to help those who are interested in learning more. I would recommend keeping a few copies of this book on hand for those who have serious questions or interest in the reformed church. Especially in a church context, it could be used with great benefit for those searching.

    A free copy of this book was provided by Reformation Trust.
  2. Penny
    San Diego, CA
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Great read for any interested in the ref. Church
    January 1, 2011
    Penny
    San Diego, CA
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    Quality: 4
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Very helpfull for those interested in gaining a deeper understanding on why the church, especially the reformed church, does what it does. Great historical and scriptural support, easy to read for both pastor and lay person, and user friendly layout. Serves as an excellent read for the regular reformed church attendee (member) or the interested visitor.
  3. Dan
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    July 25, 2010
    Dan
    This is a great book. It is very informative and the author's style of writing makes it an easy read. He is a gift teacher and I look forward to reading other books of his.
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