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Welcome to a Reformed Church: A Guide for Pilgrims

By Daniel R. Hyde
February 2011 | Review by Dominic Stockford

Synopsis

In layman's terms, Daniel 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.

  • Publisher: Ligonier Ministries
  • ISBN: 978-1567692037
  • Pages: 178
  • Price: £9.00
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Book Review

I approached this book with hope. The question ‘Who are these guys?’ appears on the back cover. To have a book that answers this question for those looking at the Reformed faith from other Christian backgrounds is laudable.

My first read continued to give hope that this would be a book for them, and also to those within Reformed churches who need to learn more about the basis of their faith.

I initially thought too that the Americanisms used by the author could be overlooked and I even thought I could pass over the omission of the 39 Articles from among the confessions of faith mentioned!

However, considering further, I realised that this could not be a book I would suggest to those from ‘outside’. I might well give it to some pastors I know, who I think ought to know more about the Reformed faith. I would expect them to have a greater understanding of theology in the first place – and so the frequent references to various ‘confessions of faith’ would come more easily, as should the effort needed to get into this book.

But I think that for the majority of those coming from outside the conservative evangelical spectrum, this book asks too much. Yes, it is an accurate synopsis of Reformed belief; yes, it is faithful to the gospel. But no, I do not think it achieves its aim of presenting a ‘clear, insightful, and accessible introduction to the beliefs, practice, and worship of Reformed Churches’ – certainly not for those ‘encountering this new world for the first time’.

I would, however, agree that it is a useful ‘primer for those who want to know more about their Reformed heritage’.

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