An Explanation of the Name

“Ephphatha Reformation Ministries”


The word “ephphatha” is found in Mark 7:34.  An Aramaic word within the Greek text, it is left untranslated in modern versions especially since the gospel writer translates the word for us as meaning “Be opened.”  As Christ speaks this word of command to heal a deaf and speech impaired man and as this man begins to “speak plainly,” we are provided with something of a metaphor for an open, plain-speaking ministry of the church through the power of Christ’s Spirit.  After ten years of ministry as a pastor, it is my conviction that the church needs to speak and teach more openly and plainly in discipling her covenant children and evangelizing unbelievers.  Thus Ephphatha is committed to being open and speaking plainly and to encouraging and equipping the church to do the same.



Reformation is the call of God for the church of every generation.  We are to be “always reforming according to the Word of God.”  Contrary to some modern notions, this does not mean always changing for the sake of change; nor does it mean always accommodating the Christian faith to the culture.  Instead, it means always examining ourselves to see if we are in the faith, always repenting of being wayward from God’s Word, and always reforming the church to be a pillar of truth in the world and to answer the call of Christ to be His faithful church.



There are many excellent organizations working for reformation in the church.  Why another one called “Ephphatha Reformation Ministries”?  While so many of these organizations excel in encouraging and equipping church leaders, it is my conviction that there is need for greater encouragement and equipping of families and individuals, especially new believers or those newly quickened to study God’s Word.  It is time to restore ministry in the home and to take up the practice of family and personal worship once more.  It is true that “as goes the pulpit, so goes the church,” but too many pastors are out there on their own, without understandable material to give to families and individuals in their churches as confirmation and application to their faithful preaching and teaching.


Statement of Purpose

Ephphatha Reformation Ministries is a non-profit organization, dedicated to the Word of God and the glory of Christ, by working for the support and encouragement of Christian families, individual disciples of Christ, and church ministries, with an emphasis on publishing, promoting and distributing devotional materials and study resources.


Values and Commitments

1. Be biblical. The Christian faith is a revealed religion through the holy, inspired and inerrant Word of God.  Without God’s Word, we are left  to be blown here and there by every wind of teaching.  Unless we take a consistent stand on God’s Word, allowing Scripture to define and shape every aspect of our faith and practice, we lose the opportunity to uphold truth and confront error without hypocrisy.  One’s commitment to “be biblical” will inevitably mean being Reformed, in the tradition of Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, the Puritans, Machen, R.C. Sproul and John Piper.

2. Glorify Christ through the proclamation and explanation of the Gospel.  “Gospel” means “good news,” and the Gospel is the message of God’s Word from beginning to end.  The call of God is to proclaim the Good News of Christ’s saving life and work on the cross.  God’s Word calls us to a faith that glories in Christ Jesus, confessing Him as God and Sovereign Lord and the desperate sinner’s only sure hope.

3. Be open and speak plainly. Christians need material they can understand.  When a teacher sets out to teach God’s Word, his first concern should be to communicate well and to be understood, not to impress his fellow teachers and scholars.  There is certainly a place for scholarly work and writing, but Ephphatha Reformation Ministries is more interested in teaching God’s Word to the average believer as we recognize that the message of the Gospel is gloriously simple and simply glorious.

4. Be instructive.  Christians need teaching in God’s Word and not just shallow inspiration through clever stories and endless illustration.  If a teacher wants to write an autobiography, he should state his intention up front and not pretend to be teaching God’s Word when he is primarily “sharing” and talking about himself.  This applies to both written instruction and the spoken word, especially preaching.

5. Be concise. Christians need material that they can read in a reasonable amount of time, preferably in one sitting.  We rightly lament how little time most Christians give to the study of God’s Word, but it will take God’s Word to draw them deeper into the Word that they might give themselves more fully to Christ.

6. Be a good team player by networking with other organizations and materials.  Christians need materials for further study and need to know how and where to get them, and Ephphatha Reformation Ministries does not intend to duplicate the fine works already produced and ready to be used to the church’s blessing.  However, we will be discerning in choosing to promote and distribute only those materials that conform to our philosophy.  They must be plainly written, instructive in God’s Word, and concise.  Otherwise, most people will not use them nor benefit from them.

7. History and tradition are valuable resources. The popular approach today is either to spurn tradition for tradition’s sake or to follow tradition for tradition’s sake.  Instead, we must test tradition by the Word of God, and where it is found to be sound, we must recognize tradition as a legacy and heritage of faithfulness.  The church’s Confessions are valuable resources, and while diction and style can be updated, they are like a beautiful antique oak desk that must not be replaced by a plastic or plywood counterpart.