Monday, April 3, 2017

A book on the Reformation that left me satisfied, with six measures left over!

Since 2017 is the 500th anniversary of the start of the Protestant Reformation, we can expect to see a good number of books about this period coming out over the next few months. I expect that Reformation Theology will vie for first place amongst them. This book is massive—over 750 pages, but as girth does not always equate to worth, it's the contributors that make this volume a must have for any serious student of the Reformation.

Matthew Barrett, a capable scholar in his own right, as editor leads an all-star cast of theologians and scholars who take you doctrine by doctrine through the eyes of the various figureheads of the Reformation like Luther, Melanchthon, Zwingli, Bullinger, Calvin, Beza, Cranmer, and more. Many of their works and writings are cited, including ones most of us have probably never read, making the Reformers that much more accessible to us today.

"Introductory" materials (about 50 pages) take a step back to consider what we are celebrating this year and bring us back to the principle of reformation itself. From there the book launches into a "brief" (about 80 pages) look at the development of theology in the few centuries before the Reformation, as well as the Reformers themselves. Had the book ended there, I would have been happy and full with what I had gleaned, but then I was invited to the banquet itself and left with six measures more than I could have expected: 17 chapters on doctrines from Sola Scriptura to End Times.

This is not a book most (including myself) will sit down and read cover to cover, at least, not in one go. There's only so much one can digest at a time! But it is a book that I do plan to read cover to cover, a chapter here, a chapter there. I've already read through a good portion of it, and skimmed over a few more sections. It's well worth the read, and well worth having.

I received this book from the publisher in order to provide this review.

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