Cherishing the church as the universal bride of Christ in her invisible form goes hand in hand with valuing and being committed to the church's visible manifestation in terms of specific churches and denominations. Too often today, church members do not understand their own church and denomination, with the result that they do not love it enough. Then, too, denominations often do a poor job of communicating their beliefs, distinctive, and ministries to those who may be interested in knowing them, especially similar-minded churches around them.
This booklet seeks to address this need for the relatively new Heritage Reformed Congregations by setting forth its goal and vision; origin and history; doctrinal standards and worship; biblical, doctrinal, experiential, practical, and ecclesiastical emphasis; and its denominational ministries. Our prayer is that this booklet will promote a deeper appreciation of and commitment to Christ's bride, as laid out in Scripture and envisioned by the Reformers, as she functions within the Heritage Reformed denomination.
Table of Contents:
1. Goal and Vision, Origin and History
2. Doctrinal Standards and Worship
3. Biblical Emphasis: Church, Home, and School
4. Doctrinal Emphasis: Major Teachings
5. Experiential Emphasis: Applicatory and Discriminatory Preaching
6. Practical Emphasis: Holiness and Commitment
7. Ecclesiastical Emphasis
8. Denominational Ministries
9. Reformed and Reforming: A Personal Invitation to You
Appendix 1: A Doctrinal Summary of the Six Major Divisions of Reformed Theology
Appendix 2: A Personal Summary of the Reformed Faith
Joel R. Beeke (PhD, Westminster Seminary) is president and professor of systematic theology and homiletics at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary; a pastor of the Heritage Reformed Congregation in Grand Rapids, Michigan; editor of Banner of Sovereign Grace Truth; editorial director of Reformation Heritage Books; and a prolific author.