Welcome to a Reformed Church

Review: Daniel R. Hyde, Welcome to a Reformed Church: A Guide for Pilgrims. Reformation Trust: Orlando, 2010. pp.

URC church planter Daniel Hyde felt the need for a clear, concise, and cogent piece of literature to give out to the droves of visitors, inquirers, and curious onlookers that would wander into his church. In order to create something like this, Hyde started over 7 years ago, writing and planning a book that would be more than a mere booklet or a small pamphlet, yet not intimidating to those that did not know of the Reformed faith. The result became Welcome to the Reformed Church, which is trying to get across exactly that—Welcome! Rev. Hyde would like to see those that have specific questions, tend to wonder, or would like to understand what Reformed Church truly is, to be able to get some answers in less than 150 pages. But what makes Rev. Hyde’s book different from those that have tried to do the same in the past, is that Hyde follows the emphases that his own confessions hold, and writes as a former outsider of the Reformed faith in a conversational way. This is extremely helpful to the non-Reformed or the New-Reformed individuals as they are able to see the distinctions of the Reformed Church and differences that had once stood out to Rev. Hyde himself before he became Reformed in confession and practice.

The purpose behind Rev. Hyde’s book is to show exactly what the “roots” are of the Confessional Reformed church—from what they believe and how they live, to where they came from and how they worship God. Hyde lets his thesis be known right from his introduction on pages xxv-xxvi, saying:

“While there are variations from one Reformed church to another, what I hope to communicate to you in this basic welcome to the Reformed churches as a whole can be summarized in three points. First, Reformed churches are Christian churches. They are Christian churches because they believe the Bible is the Word of God, that there is only one God who exists eternally as a Trinity, and that Jesus Christ our Savior is both God and man. Reformed churches hold these beliefs in common with all Christians in all times and places. In the words of Vincent of Lerins (d. 450), “We hold that faith which has been believed everywhere, always, by all.” Second, Reformed churches are Protestant churches along with Lutheran churches because they reject the claims of the pope to be the head of the church, acknowledging instead that Jesus Christ is the Head of His church, and that He rules and governs His church by His Word and His Spirit, not by the dictates of men. Third, Reformed churches are just that—Reformed churches. They are a subset of Protestant churches in that they believe sinful humans are saved by grace alone, from eternity past to eternity future, and that we experience this grace of God earned for us by Christ alone when the Holy Spirit uses certain means that God has appointed in the church: the preaching of the Word of God, which is the Bible, and the celebration of the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper.”

Rev. Hyde then supports his thesis by focusing on the most important issues dealing with the Reformed Church through its history, such as: What are their roots? Why does the church have confessions? Scripture as the final authority, God’s making of covenants with mankind, What is Justification? What is sanctification? What makes a church? What is worship? and How are preaching and the sacraments the means of grace today?

Rev. Hyde starts the first chapter of his book with a brief history—or “roots” as he calls them—saying to his readers, “Although you may never have been in a Reformed church, we did not just come out of nowhere. We’ve been around the block a few times.” After this, Rev. Hyde shows the importance of why it is necessary to explain what the Reformed Church’s creeds and confessions are, and then details their doctrinal emphases for the reader in chapter two. Moving on throughout the book, another chapter which stands out is chapter 5: “Justification: Grace Alone, Faith Alone, Christ Alone.” This is the article upon which the church stands or falls; the hinges upon which true religion turns; the heartbeat of heaven; and the pulse of the pilgrim.

Two other chapters that also stand out from the others are chapters 8 (on worship) and chapter 9 (on the means of grace in the Reformed Church). As Rev. Hyde told me recently when I asked him about these two chapters in an interview I had with him:

“Not only is evangelicalism a churchless phenomenon—meaning, that the doctrine and nature of the church is utterly neglected—but much of what is passing itself off as “Reformed” today has no real semblance of ecclesiology. Sure there are great preachers out there and people who believe in the so-called five points of Calvinism, but it’s just evangelicalism with the doctrine of election added on. All this to say that I want visitors to my church, and those who may visit other churches, to know that we have a high regard for the church. Worship is our chief end as the Westminster Catechisms state and it is the context in which God meets with his people through the means he has appointed: Word and sacraments.”

Rev. Hyde finishes his book on the Reformed Church with a little extra for those that read beyond chapter 9. He includes 2 appendixes that are most useful for the reader to further study about the Reformed Church. Appendix 1 is a basic “question and answer” of the some of the remaining questions one may have about the Reformed Church. Appendix 2 is a bibliography for those that wish to seek further study on a number of different areas in relationship to the Reformed Church, including theology, covenant, God, Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit, history, liturgy, and community.  Rev. Hyde hopes to settle the dispute today among American evangelicalism of what Reformed really is in 3-points: Reformed is Christian, Reformed is Protestant, and Reformed is only Reformed churches, nothing else.

A Methodist would never call himself a Baptist, nor would a Lutheran ever called himself Catholic; it simply would make no sense at all. More still, a Lutheran would never call himself a Reformed-Lutheran for only agreeing on John Calvin’s Soteriology. Today in American evangelicalism, with the growth of John Calvin’s Soteriology in many different circles, comes the title in which many New-Calvinists claim to be: “Reformed.”

Rev. Hyde provides the much-needed definition and historical value, and what it truly means to be a part of a Confessional/Historical Reformed Church. In less than 150-pages, Hyde defines and gives proof of the much used word “Reformed”—what it truly means in its’ historical setting and what the Reformed Church was, and is still today. Additionally, Hyde lays out the foundation and the history of the Reformed Church, examines why they use confessions, and what key doctrines make up the identity of the Reformed Church in today’s culture. If one is new to the term Calvinism, this book should surely help them understand the historical/confessional Reformed faith that lies in churches today. If one is a New-Calvinist, this book is a must read so as to understand what it means to be truly Reformed in its’ historical definition and identity. If one is in a Reformed Church already, this book will give a great reminder of who you are, what it is you came from, and why you believe the truths of the gospel in the way you do.

No matter where you are at in the Christian Faith, Welcome to a Reformed Church must be read for its defining of what and why the Reformed Church truly is what it is today. Furthermore, reading this book will—if nothing else—make you consider and reflect on why you are what you are, and what you believe in the Christian faith.

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Welcome to a Reformed Church, by Danny Hyde

Book: Rev. Daniel Hyde, Welcome to a Reformed Church: A Guide for Pilgrims. (Reformation Trust: Orlando FL, 2010).

Essentials: Rev. Daniel R. Hyde is senior minister of the Oceanside United Reformed Church in Oceanside, California. He is the author of a number of different books such as; Jesus Loves the Little Children, What to Expect in Reformed Worship, The Good Confession, God With Us, In Living Color, and most recently Welcome to a Reformed Church published by Reformation Trust of Orlando Florida in March, 2010. Welcome to a Reformed Church retails at $12.00 and can be purchased through Ligonier’s bookstore at a number of group prices.

  • 1-5 ———- $9.60 each
  • 6-25 ——– $ 7.80 each
  • 26-99 —— $ 5.40 each
  • 100+ ——- $3.00 each

Reformation Trust book description states,

“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.”

Reason: The purpose behind Rev. Hyde’s book is to show exactly what are the “roots” of the real Reformed church, to what the believe, how they live, where they came from and how they worship God.

Thesis: The thesis of Rev. Hyde’s book can be found in his introduction on pages xxv-xxvi:

“While there are variations from one Reformed church to another, what I hope to communicate to you in this basic welcome to the Reformed churches as a whole can be summarized in three points. First, Reformed churches are Christian churches. They are Christian churches because they believe the Bible is the Word of God, that there is only one God who exists eternally as a Trinity, and that Jesus Christ our Savior is both God and man. Reformed churches hold these beliefs in common with all Christians in all times and places. In the words of Vincent of Lerins (d. 450), “We hold that faith which has been believed everywhere, always, by all.” Second, Reformed churches are Protestant churches along with Lutheran churches because they reject the claims of the pope to be the head of the church, acknowledging instead that Jesus Christ is the Head of His church, and that He rules and governs His church by His Word and His Spirit, not by the dictates of men. Third, Reformed churches are just that—Reformed churches. They are a subset of Protestant churches in that they believe sinful humans are saved by grace alone, from eternity past to eternity future, and that we experience this grace of God earned for us by Christ alone when the Holy Spirit uses certain means that God has appointed in the church: the preaching of the Word of God, which is the Bible, and the celebration of the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper.”

Rev. Hyde hopes to settle the dispute today among American-Evangelicalism what really is Reformed in 3-points, Reformed is Christian, Reformed is Protestant, and Reformed is only Reformed churches, nothing else.

Development: Rev. Hyde supports his thesis by focusing in the most important issues dealing with Christianity through its’ history, like: What are their roots, why does the church have confessions, scripture as the final authority, God’s making of covenants with mankind, what is Justification, what is sanctification, what makes a church, what is worship, and how are preaching and the sacraments the means of grace today?

Who is Daniel Hyde?
Rev. Daniel R. Hyde is the church planter and minister of the Oceanside United Reformed Church, a congregation of the United Reformed Churches in North America, in Carlsbad, California. He is married to his college sweetheart, Karajean, and they have three sons, Cyprian, Caiden, and Daxton.

Baptized into the Roman Catholic Church, converted at 17 1/2 in a Foursquare Church, educated at an Assemblies of God liberal arts college, and served as a youth pastor in a non-denominational church while in college, Danny came to experience the joy and assurance that he was justified by faith through the writings of the Puritans. After his undergraduate work in the department of religion (BA, Vanguard University) Danny attended Westminster Seminary California (MDiv) and became the church planter of the Oceanside URC in February 2000, which he has served ever since.

Danny is currently a Master of Theology (ThM) candidate at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His thesis advisor and mentor is Dr. Joel Beeke and his proposed thesis is on a neglected aspect in seventeenth century studies: the liturgical theology of the English Congregationalist, John Owen. Lord willing, he will complete this thesis and graduate in May 2010.

Welcome to a Reformed Church Format

Abbreviations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xii
Foreword by Dr . Guy Prentiss Waters .  .  .  .    xiii
Acknowledgments  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  xxi
Introduction: Welcome to a New World  . . . . xxiii

1 Roots: our History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
2 Confessions: Doctrinal Foundations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
3 Scripture: the Final Authority  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
4 Covenant: God’s story  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  51
5 Justification: Grace Alone, Faith Alone, Christ Alone  .  .  71
6 Sanctification: the Christian Life  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  87
7 Church: Distinguishing Marks  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .103
8 Worship: of God, by God, for God . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113
9 Preaching & Sacraments: Means of Grace . . . . . . . . . . . . 131

Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143
Appendix I: Questions & Answers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .145
Appendix II: A Basic Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  155
Index I: scripture References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 163
Index II: Confessions References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 169
Index III: subjects & Names . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 173

Back matter: “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.

Summary: A Methodist would never call himself a Baptist, nor would a Lutheran ever called he a Catholic; it simply would make no sense at all! Better yet, a Lutheran would never call himself a Reformed-Lutheran for only agreeing on John Calvin’s Soteriology. Today in American evangelicalism, with the growth of John Calvin’s Soteriology in many different circles, comes the title in which many New-Calvinist claim, “Reformed.” Rev. Hyde places the much-needed definition, historical value, and what it truly means to be a part of a true Reformed church. In less than 160-pages Rev. Daniel Hyde defines and gives proof of the much used word “Reformed,” truly means in its’ historical setting and what the Reformed Church is today.

Rev. Hyde lays out the foundation, the history, why confessions, and what the doctrine is of a true Reformed Church in today’s culture. If new to the term Calvinism, this book should surely help you understand the true Reformed faith that lies in their churches today. If a New-Calvinist, this book is a must read, so that you understand what it means to be truly Reformed in its’ historical definition, and identity. If in a Reformed Church already, this book will give a great reminder of who you are, what it is you came from, and why you believe the truths of the Gospel in the way you do. No matter where you are at in the Christian Faith, Welcome to a Reformed Church must be read for its’ defining of what truly the Reformed Church is today, and why. No matter if your Reformed, New-Reformed, or nothing at all, reading the book will at least make you wonder why you are what you are, and what you believe in the Christian faith.

You can read a sample chapter here.


With Arms Wide Open

An interview with Danny Hyde about his new book published by Reformation Trust, Welcome to a Reformed Church.

Rev. Daniel R. Hyde has been the pastor of the Oceanside United Reformed Church in Carlsbad/Oceanside, California, since it was planted in 2000. He is the author of seven books (see his bibliography here). He has a M.Div. from Westminster Seminary California and will complete his Th.M. this May under Joel Beeke and Derek Thomas at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary with a thesis entitled, “Of Great Importance and of High Concernment: The Liturgical Theology of John Owen (1616–1683).”

Danny, before I begin asking questions about your newest title, Welcome to a Reformed Church: A Guide for Pilgrims (Reformation Trust), let me ask you a few questions in general about your process in writing this book.

1. When did you first realize the need for this title?

Thank you for the opportunity to discuss the book, Michael. As a church planter I am always looking for clear, concise, and cogent literature to give out to the droves of visitors, inquirers, and curious onlookers that have come to OURC over the past ten years. So basically I’ve felt the need since I began planting this church.

2. When did you start the process of writing this title?

The genesis of this book was about seven years ago. I was giving out dozens and dozens of Stephen Smallman’s, What is a Reformed Church?, and John R. DeWitt’s, What is the Reformed Faith? These are fine little booklets, but I felt they were too small and too narrowly focused on only a few doctrines. What I needed was an introductory book that I could give visitors that would explain to them what we are all about, but to do so in a way that was faithful to the emphases and contours of our confessional documents.

3. How long did it take to write this title?

Now that’s a good question! As everyone who knows me knows, I never sit down to write a book. I started a file “Welcome to a Reformed Church” about four years ago. I first wrote a church webpage with that title and topic, then it morphed into a little booklet for our literature rack, then into a proposal that was rejected by a publisher, and finally into a better proposal and manuscript that Reformation Trust so graciously accepted.

4. What was one of the most surprising things you learned when writing this title?

I wouldn’t say I was “surprised” by anything in particular; instead, I was impressed and moved by our historic confessions once again. As you see in the book, I basically follow the doctrinal emphases of our confessions. There is a reason these documents have stood the test of time and I am honored merely to parrot them back to those among whom I minister.

5. What was the hardest part of writing this title, and why so?

The hardest part of writing for me—and this is going to sound contradictory—is starting and stopping. It’s easy to feel some inspiration to pump out a few pages here or there, but having to stay motivated so that I start and re-start over a season of life is a challenge. It’s also a challenge to stop and not blather on and on as if I were God’s gift to literature.

6. How’d you come up with the title, Welcome to a Reformed Church? Or did someone else.

Hey, I’ve got some originality! When I saw the need and started writing, I envisioned this volume as a follow-up to my little booklet, What to Expect in Reformed Worship? I basically thought of a recent visitor we had to church and wanted to communicate warmth and hospitality: Welcome!

Okay enough of the easy questions; let’s get a little bit more specific with this book.

7. What makes Welcome to a Reformed Church different than any other introduction to Reformed churches and their faith?

I believe the main features that distinguishes my book from others like Smallman’s and DeWitt’s is that I follow the emphases that our own confessions emphasize and that I write an a former outsider to the Reformed Faith in a conversational way.

8. What, who, or where did you come up with the layout for your newest title, Welcome to a Reformed Church? By layout, what I mean is the table of contents – why did you break it down to the topics: Roots, Confession, Scripture, Covenant, etc.?

I wanted to open with a brief history to say to people, “Although you may never have been in a Reformed church, we did not just come out of nowhere. We’ve been around the block a few times.” After that it was necessary to explain what our creeds and confessions are and then to detail their doctrinal emphases.

9. For those of us that know Dr. Godfrey’s title, An Unexpected Journey: Discovering Reformed Christianity, in what ways does your title, Welcome to a Reformed Church differ?

Wow, you’re asking me to compare myself with one of my mentors and men I look up to the most. There’s a reason I dedicated one of my books to him with the inscription, non est servus maior domino suo (“the servant is not greater than his master”). Basically what I would say is that Dr. Godfrey’s book is a different genre, being his spiritual autobiography.

10. As an introduction to your book you place a section entitled “Welcome to a New World?” Besides actually reading the short 3-4 pages of material, can you tell us just how different a Reformed Church is from those that most visitors to your church are used to?

A Reformed church that focuses on reverent worship, expository preaching, the sacraments, and public prayer is going to look like a foreign world to most evangelicals who visit. It seems cold, boring, lifeless, and joyless. I would argue, though that there is nothing farther from the truth. What I’ve always found wonderful is how unbelievers who worship with us always respond, “If I were to become a Christian this is what I expect, a church to be like a church.”

11. What chapter: scripture, confession, justification, etc. was your favorite to write? Why?

No question about it: chapter 5, “Justification: Grace Alone, Faith Alone, Christ Alone.” This is the article upon which the church stands or falls, the hinge upon which true religion turns, the heartbeat of heaven, and the pulse beat of the pilgrim. Westminster Larger Catechism, Q&A 70, was the question my beloved college theology professor read in class one day that transformed my life. I will never tire of preaching, teaching, or writing about justification.

12. Two of the chapters that stood out from the others to me were chapter 8 on worship and chapter 9 on the means of grace in the Reformed church. Can you maybe expound upon the reasoning that you added these to the book, and the importance that worship and the practice of the sacraments have in Reformed churches today?

Sure. Not only is evangelicalism a churchless phenomenon, meaning, that the doctrine and nature of the church is utterly neglected, but much of what is passing itself off as “Reformed” today has no real semblance of ecclesiology. Sure there are great preachers out there and people who believe in the so-called five points of Calvinism, but it’s just evangelicalism with the doctrine of election added on. All this to say that I want visitors to my church, and those who may visit other churches, to know that we have a high regard for the church. Worship is our chief end as the Westminster Catechisms state and it is the context in which God meets with his people through the means he has appointed: Word and sacraments.

13. I must ask the one question that has been bugging me, why the subtitle A Guide for Pilgrims? Is it a guide for only those in the Reformed Church today?

As I mention in the Introduction, I pray that those who are wandering throughout the morass of churches today and who find their way to a Reformed church would find a home—at least a temporary one until the dawning of the age to come.

14. Answering the last question, I move to asking, whom exactly is your book written for? Age? Denomination? Reformed? Non-Reformed?

Every time I write a book I envision myself talking with an individual person. In this case, I wrote it for someone who was just like me the first time I walked wide-eyed into a Reformed church—young, burned out on evangelical religion, without a clue as to what a Reformed church was all about.

15. How do you see this title helping those new to the Reformed faith?

I see it as giving them a road map on their pilgrimage. It is intended to explain as clearly and concisely as I can what we are all about, to enlighten the mind, move the will of a person to united him or her self with a Reformed church, and to fan into flame their affections for the Lord, his Word, and his Church.

16. For those in the New-Calvinist/New-Reformed movement, how would a title like this help them understand what truly is the Reformed Church?

I have such a desire to these brothers and sisters. As I mentioned above with the question about worship and the means of grace, this movement either needs to mature into historic Reformed Christianity or those within it need to transition from it to the authentic article. I hope my book explains, “It’s great you believe in predestination, but so did the rest of medieval Christianity; now you need to mature and see the rest of the story.”

Danny, Let’s end how we started with a few general questions.

17. What other projects are you working on?

Well, first and foremost, I am a husband and father, as well as a pastor and preacher of the Word of God, so all other projects have to fit into my schedule of preaching every Lord’s Day morning and evening, catechizing my group of third to eighth grade students, teaching a mid-week class on theology, and visiting my flock in their homes.

My most pressing project is my Th.M. with Joel Beeke and Derek Thomas on the liturgical theology of John Owen. I will be done by May. I have several books already done and in the process of coming to print. I have a small book on the descent into hell of Jesus Christ coming out in April or May with Reformation Heritage Books, a book I co-edited and contributed to on planting confessionally Reformed churches coming out early in 2011 with RHB, and a booklet in P&R’s series “The Basics of the Faith” on the existence of God coming out early in 2011 as well. Beyond that I still am working on editing my sermons through the tabernacle narrative in Exodus to turn into a book that shows how Christ is the sum of substance of it.

18. What other books have most influenced your life that you would recommend for others to read on the related subject of Welcome to a Reformed Church?

I do offer a list of recommended readings at the end of the book, but I would say the books that have most influenced me are John Calvin’s Institutes for its breadth and depth of doctrinal discussion, John Owen’s Communion with God for its leading me to worship our Triune God, Athanasius’ On the Incarnation of the Word for its causing me to stand in awe of the wonder of the Incarnation, and William Perkins’ The Art of Prophesying for giving me a God-honoring method for proclaiming the Word of the life.

19. In what way do you hope to see Welcome to a Reformed Church used today in the church among believers? Small groups? Book study?

I hope it finds a wide readership in Reformed churches to enliven and equip our people to testify with greater boldness and is used on book racks, book tables, new members’ courses, Sunday school classes, etc. I am so glad that Ligonier has made it available at their special “Spread-the-Word” pricing so that it can be used far and wide.

Lastly, Danny next time you write a book, (I told you this once before with your last title Living In Color) do not, I repeat do not use endnotes. Please for the sake us in seminary that wish to use your title, use footnotes. Thanks!

 

Purchase through RHB here


I Just Received my copy of By Grace Alone

From RT,

“Are you truly amazed by God’s grace? Or have you grown accustomed to it? Yes, we sing of God’s “Amazing Grace,” but do you truly understand what you as a Christian have experienced in receiving the grace of God? Or do you take divine grace for granted?

In By Grace Alone: How the Grace of God Amazes Me, Dr. Sinclair B. Ferguson laments that “we have lost the joy and energy that is experienced when grace seems truly ‘amazing.’” In an effort to restore the wonder of divine grace, he reflects on it from seven angles, each built around a stanza from a rich but little-known hymn, “O How the Grace of God Amazes Me,” written by Emmanuel T. Sibomana, a pastor in the African nation of Burundi.

This book poses probing questions for today’s believer: “If I am not amazed by God’s grace, can I really be living in it? Can I really be tasting, and savoring, and delighting in it?” But those willing to delve into God’s Word with Dr. Ferguson will come away with a deeper astonishment at the depths of God’s grace.”

Image: Front Cover (High Res)
Image: Back Cover (High Res)
Document: Sample Chapter
Link: Free MP3 Download: “O How the Grace of God Amazes Me” Hymn

Welcome to a Reformed Church

Available from Reformation Trust here.

Samples: Chapter One, “Roots: Our History” .pdf here.

Taken from Reformation Trust Publishing,

“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.

Endorsements:

“In the providence of God through Rev. Daniel Hyde, you have in your hands an excellent instrument to use in developing the life and ministry of new members, church leaders, and all disciples. This book illustrates the blessings of the historical legacy of the Reformed church with confessional integrity to equip believers and churches with evangelical breadth and theological depth. This is sound doctrine for sound lives. The key to the apostolic church is prominently displayed and easily accessible throughout the pages of Welcome to a Reformed Church.”

—Dr. Harry L. Reeder, III, Senior pastor, Briarwood Presbyterian Church (PCA), Birmingham, Alabama

__________

“As one who has made much the same journey as I did, Rev. Hyde offers a thoughtful and compelling guide to the distinctive emphases of the Reformed churches for those coming to them. He explains how those wonderful doctrines are worked out in the life and worship of Reformed and Presbyterian churches. If only I had had a book like Rev. Hyde’s Welcome to a Reformed Church, my own journey would have been a bit easier, for I would have had someone to ‘connect the dots’ for me.”

—Dr. Kim Riddlebarger, Senior pastor, Christ Reformed Church (URCNA), Anaheim, California

__________

“Daniel Hyde has written an invaluable road map for pilgrims new and old so they can know what Reformed churches believe and why. With this book, Christians can navigate the often-confusing landscape of different denominations and understand what makes Reformed churches unique and, more important, biblical. Pastor Hyde’s work is clear, succinct, informative, and faithful to the Scriptures. I highly recommend this work to anyone who desires to understand the theological pillars of the Reformed faith.”

—Dr. J. V. Fesko, Academic dean and associate professor of systematic theology, Westminster Seminary California, Escondido, California

__________

“Daniel Hyde’s popular introduction to the Reformed faith will prove a wonderful tool for busy pastors who are looking for help in welcoming new believers into membership in the local church. Welcome to a Reformed Church will also serve as a kind of road map for those who are new to the Reformed faith—to its history, confessions, doctrinal commitments, and patterns of worship and ministry. In its own way, this book is a great example of the kind of ‘hospitality’ Reformed churches are called to show to those whom the Lord is gathering into their fellowship by His Spirit and Word.”

—Dr. Cornelis Venema, President and professor of doctrinal studies, Mid-America Reformed Seminary, Dyer, Indiana

__________

“As a minister in a Reformed church, I am delighted to be able to commend this book by Daniel Hyde, as it provides one of the most useful studies of the basics of Reformed belief, worship, and practice that I have come across. I will be commending it not only for people wishing to know more about the basics of the Reformed faith, but also for those who sit in Reformed churches and need to know more deeply their own heritage.”

—Dr. Mark Jones, Pastor, Faith Presbyterian Church (PCA), Vancouver, British Columbia

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“Daniel Hyde has done the church (and church planters) a great service by giving us this well-written, concise, easy-to-understand book explaining what it means to be a ‘Reformed’ church. Yet, at the same time, this is a theologically deep book that will send us back to Scripture and our confessions so that we might understand just what the church really is. In a day of great doctrinal confusion, especially about the church, I know of no better tool to give to those who want to know more about Reformed churches.”

—Rev. Kevin Efflandt, Pastor, Bellingham United Reformed Church (URCNA), Bellingham, Washington

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“As a fellow import to the Reformed faith from the Pentecostal/ charismatic movement, I can say that Daniel Hyde has summarized our Reformed distinctives in a clear and concise manner, answer- ing many of the questions modern evangelicals ask. I heartily commend this book to newcomers in my church and all Reformed churches.”

—Rev. Jerrold Lewis, Pastor, Lacombe Free Reformed Church (FRCNA), Lacombe, Alberta


John by Dr. R.C. Sproul

In John, the second volume in the St. Andrew’s Expositional Commentary series, Dr. Sproul deals with major themes in his easily understandable style. Readers will find invaluable insights into the goals John had in writing his Gospel, the background for Jesus’ time, and the meanings of some of John’s most difficult passages. This introduction to the Gospel of John is packed with insights and exhortations that will draw the reader closer to the Savior and encourage him or her to a greater depth of love and devotion to Him.

John presents the fruits of Dr. R. C. Sproul’s lifetime of biblical study as expressed in his most recent calling. After a long and distinguished ministry as a teacher in various settings, Dr. Sproul accepted a call in 1997 to preach at St. Andrew’s in Sanford, Florida. There, he adopted the ancient practice of preaching through books of the Bible, eventually working his way through several of them. He has now begun to adapt those sermon series in book form, and the result is the St. Andrew’s Expositional Commentary series.


Sola Scriptura: The Protestant Position on the Bible

Sola Scriptura, the formal principle of the Protestant Reformation, is essential to genuine Christianity, for it declares that the Bible is the inspired word of God, the church’s only rule of faith and practice. Yet this doctrine is under assault today as never before, both from outside and and inside the church.

In this book, several leading Reformed pastors and scholars, including Joel Beeke, Sinclair Ferguson, Robert Godfrey, Ray Lanning, John MacArthur, R.C. Sproul, Derek W. H. Thomas, and James White, unpack the meaning of the doctrine of sola Scriptura (“Scripture alone”). They also explain where the attacks on the Bible are coming from and show how those who accept the Bible as God’s inspired Word should respond. Sola Scriptura: The Protestant Position on the Bible is a treasure trove of information and a comfort to those who grieve to see the twenty-first-century church wandering away from the safe harbor of the Bible.


Crucial Questions Booklet Series

Throughout his nearly fifty years of teaching the content of the Bible and theological concepts, Dr. R. C. Sproul has “majored on the majors”—the most important doctrines and truths of the Christian faith. As a gifted communicator, Dr. Sproul has helped many believers grow in their understanding of such matters as the nature of God, the history of redemption, and the manner in which we are saved. Now Dr. Sproul’s lucid teaching on these vital matters is available in a series of concise booklets that are perfect for personal learning and refreshing, as well as small-group study. 

The initial booklets in the Crucial Questions series deal with such topics as the true identity of Jesus, the will of God, the value of prayer, and the trustworthiness of the Bible. Future booklets in the series will address equally important subjects. For a quick introduction to matters at the very core of the Christian life, for yourself or a friend, consider the Crucial Questions booklets, new from Reformation Trust Publishing. 

The initial booklets in the series include:

  • Can I Know God’s Will? (ISBN 1-56769-179-5)

  • Dr. Sproul notes that the will of God can mean many different things. He explains the different meanings, then shows how Christians can seek and find God’s will, especially in the key areas of our jobs and marriages.

  • Can I Trust the Bible? ISBN (1-56769-182-5)

  • There is a common assumption that the Bible is “full” of errors and contradictions, making it useless. But Dr. Sproul affirms that there are many solid reasons to trust the Bible, for it is inspired of God and therefore inerrant and infallible.

  • Does Prayer Change Things? (ISBN 1-56769-178-8)

  • Affirming that prayer does not change God’s mind, Dr. Sproul nevertheless asserts that prayer has value as the means by which God works out His will. He also shows what prayer is supposed to be and what it is not. 

  • How Should I Live in This World? (ISBN 1-56769-180-1)

  • Christians want to “do the right thing.” But it can be tough to know what the right thing is. Dr. Sproul argues that the Bible is the supreme source for ethical guidance, providing ethical principles. He then shows how we can uncover and apply these principles.

  • Who Is Jesus? (ISBN 1-56769-181-8)

  • Dr. Sproul unfolds the meaning of the biblical titles of Jesus, then surveys His life and ministry to show that Jesus was no ordinary man but God incarnate. 


    Paperback 4.5 x 6.5 | 120 Pages each 
    Released September 2009 

    Order the series for $24.50
    Order the individual books for $5.60 by clicking on the titles listed above

    About the Author Dr. R. C. Sproul is the founder and president of Ligonier Ministries, and the minister of preaching and teaching at St. Andrew’s in Sanford, Fla. He is the author of more than sixty books and served as the general editor of The Reformation Study Bible. Dr. Sproul is renowned for his ability to communicate deep, practical truths from God’s Word.


    New from Reformation Trust Publishing

    Crucial Questions by RT as they write,

    “We are pleased to announce the arrival of the newly revised and expanded editions of Crucial Questions from Reformation Trust Publishing. This series is designed to present Dr. Sproul’s insights on various questions that tend to come up often in the minds of evangelicals today. The booklets deal with issues that trouble us, frustrate us, or confuse us. Dr. Sproul brings his trademark clarity and biblical and theological acumen to each topic.”

    See here for more information.


    Dual Citizens: Worship and Life between the Already and the Not Yet

    916Last week on Thursday (1st day of the Puritan Reformed Conference) I received from Reformation Trust my copy of Dual Citizens. I hadn’t even heard of the book until I took it with me to read during the Conference when people left and right started coming up to me and asking, “How much will you take for that book?” I told them you can purchase a copy like always on Ligonier’s store. Looking at the book, I had not a clue who Jason Stellman was, but looking at the title, Dual Citizens: Worship and Life between the Already and the Not Yet, I figure he had graduated from Westminster Seminary California.

    Seems that today’s younger Reformed crowds are starting to make quite the distinction between Redeeming the Culture Kuyperianism and the old school Puritanism Two Kingdom Theology. Then there are some that think they can take the middle ground… Ha! Good-luck with that! Nonetheless, when I was 21, 22 graduating College I remember coming to Neo-Calvinism, redeeming everything in my path I touched, I saw, I listen to… You get the picture of what I mean. However after about two-years studying at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary that left and seeing the importance of being a Citizen of Two-Kingdoms made much more theological sense.

    After Kevin DeYoung spoke two months ago at my churches “family-camp” on Two Kingdom Theology and Neo-Kuyperians taking a middle ground on the theological issue, I myself was quite concern. Exactly what am I concern about? I am concern of the of the younger generation in theology that happens to always try two things.

    Always standing in the middle trying to  bridge a gap between to theological stances.

    Thinking that we can actually take the best of both theological stances then make our own in the middle which is then perfect… Or better.

    On August 14 Kevin then summarized what he had spoke of at Harvest OPC churches family-camp. For more information on dealing with these stances in theology see:

    1. White Horse Inn Blog – Why Two Kingdoms, More on two Kingdoms, Another 2 Kingdom Perspective

    Kevin DeYoung’s respond to White-Inn Horse

    Darryl Hart’s Interviews on 2 Kingdom Theology – Part I & Part II

    Darryl Hart’s post, “Two Kingdom Theology is the Change We’ve Been Waiting For

    Anyways back to the book…

    What is Dual Citizens about?

    New covenant believers live between “the already” and “not yet,” a point in redemptive history between the partial and complete fulfillment of God’s promises. This means they are exiles and pilgrims in the divinely ordained overlap of the ages. As Rev. Jason J. Stellman argues in his book Dual Citizens: Worship and Life Between the Already and the Not Yet, this biblical motif shapes the identity of Christians at every turn and affects their every activity in both the sacred and secular realms. Stellman explores the Christian pilgrimage with deep biblical insight, humor, and relevance to our contemporary context, revealing how Christians are to think of themselves and their role this side of heaven.

    Who is Jason Stellman?

    is a native of Orange County, California, and became a believer through the ministry of Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa in 1989. After coming to understand and embrace Reformed theology, Pastor Stellman received his M.Div. degree from Westminster Seminary California, where he studied under such scholars as Dr. Michael Horton, Dr. W. Robert Godfrey, and Dr. D. G. Hart. After graduation, he was ordained by the Pacific Northwest Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church in America and called to plant Exile Presbyterian Church in the Seattle area. Rev. Stellman has written articles for Modern Reformation and Tabletalk magazines.

    Who endorsed this well of course!

    “The subject of Christ and culture has never been as popular among conservative Protestants in the United States as it is today, and the topic has never needed as much attention from the perspective of the church. It gets that attention in this important book by Jason Stellman. Dual Citizens will certainly upset those used to thinking of Christ as mainly the transformer of culture. But for genuine wisdom not only on the culture wars, but on the culture, ways, and habits of the church, Stellman’s discussion is the place to go.”-Dr. D. G. Hart

    “For too long I struggled to recommend reading on the subject of living the Christian life as a ‘resident alien.’ Often I was reduced to directing readers to liberal Methodists (such as Hauerwas and Willimon) as the best embodiment of Christian convictions. At last I can point to practice that is firmly grounded in Reformed theology. Dual Citizens is written by someone who loves the world: its movies, its music, and its authors. But this is a rightly ordered love because it is a penultimate love. Here is a robust pilgrim theology that marches on to Zion while avoiding the pitfalls of asceticism and legalism. By putting earthly kingdoms in their proper place, Pastor Stellman demonstrates how rightly to use the present world even as one eagerly awaits the next.”- John Muether


    Order for $14.40

    Table of Contents and Sample Chapter

    High-Res Image: Front Cover | Back Cover

    In my personal opinion, not like it matters much, but this may be the best yet (besides RC’s The Truth of the Cross) that Reformation Trust has publish yet.


    The Prayer of the Lord by R. C. Sproul

    From Ligonier: What is the Lord’s Prayer? In The Prayer of the Lord, Dr. R. C. Sproul writes, “Jesus’ intent was to give His disciples a model prayer, an example to follow, one that would teach them transferrable principles for conversation with God.” In short, Christ gave the Lord’s Prayer to teach His disciples about prayer, and Dr. Sproul, in his trademark fashion, brings out many of the truths Christ intended for His followers to learn. Readers will learn how not to pray, then will be led into a deeper understanding of such topics as the fatherhood of God, the kingdom of God, the will of God, the nature of sin and forgiveness, the dangers of temptation, and the cunning of Satan. The final chapter includes questions and answers on various aspects of prayer not covered elsewhere in the book, and the appendix addresses the difficult question of the relationship of God’s sovereignty and prayer. The Prayer of the Lord is an eye-opening journey, one that reveals new vistas in familiar terrain. 

    939
    Retail $15.00 | Ligonier’s Price $12.00
    Hardcover 5.5 x 8 | 144 Pages  
    ISBN 1-56769-118-8 | Released May  2009 

    Order Here for $12.00
    Table of Contents and Sample Chapter
    High-Res Image: Front Cover | Back Cover

    About the Author  Dr. R. C. Sproul is the founder and president of Ligonier Ministries, and the minister of preaching and teaching at St. Andrew’s in Sanford, Fla. He is the author of more than sixty books and served as the general editor of The Reformation Study Bible. Dr. Sproul is renowned for his ability to communicate deep, practical truths from God’s Word.

    My Thoughts: If you are looking for a short little book that is to the point on the Lord’s Prayer R.C. Sproul’s newest little title goes through it line by line. Dr. Sproul goes through the model of Christ example in how we believers are to pray to our Father. My Favorite part of the whole book is chapter one dealing with, “How Not to Pray.” The chapter deals with: Avoiding Hypocritical Practices, A Facade of Hypocrisy, Avoiding Pagan Practices, and Praying to a God Who Already Knows.

    In a day and age that Christians can often try to pray like they are some “holy-roller” or show themselves as if they know more then the guy next to them in their prayers, Dr. Sproul starts by showing exactly what not to do before dealing with Christ example in what to do. No matter for the young convert in learning how to pray, or the seminary student that studies all day, the book is a great reminder of the example from Scripture that christ has given his church to follow.


    Living for God’s Glory

    Reformation Trust new title (Living for God’s Glory, by Joel R. Beeke) has come out today and can be bought at RHB for only $18.00.