Book Review: Welcome to a Reformed Church

21 January 2011 by Wes Bredenhof

Welcome to a Reformed Church: A Guide for Pilgrims, Daniel R. Hyde, Orlando: Reformation Trust Publishing, 2010.  Paperback, 179 pages, $12.00.

For some people coming to a Reformed church is like entering into a different world or a different culture.  In many ways it is exactly that.  Confessionally Reformed churches are not only different from anything that might be encountered in the world, they’re also different from most of what will be encountered in the world of Protestant Christianity, broadly understood.  This book is an excellent resource to give to people just getting to know us.

The author has developed a reputation for solid Reformed books.  Daniel Hyde is the pastor of the Oceanside United Reformed Church, a church which he planted some years ago in San Diego’s North County.  Hyde himself came out of a non-Reformed background, so he is sensitive to the issues and questions people might raise.

Welcome to a Reformed Church covers nine important areas:  our history, our confessions, our view of Scripture, covenant theology, justification, sanctification, ecclesiology (the doctrine of the church), worship, and our view of preaching and sacraments as means of grace.  With clear language, Hyde explains the biblical basis for who we are, what we believe, how we worship, and how we live.  As in all his books, Hyde is biblical, confessional, and historical.

Every Reformed church should have this little book on hand to give to inquirers and visitors.  If we want to be an outward looking church, we have to recognize that newcomers are going to be confused at first and in need of some orientation.  However, Welcome to a Reformed Church might also be a helpful refresher for Reformed church members who may be in danger of taking their rich heritage for granted.  For those who wish to do further study, Hyde has provided detailed endnotes and an appendix with a basic bibliography.  This review may sound like a “puff-piece,” but I genuinely enjoyed this book and would encourage churches to buy it and use it.