Michael Reeves and Tim Chester
Reviewed by Peter Barnes
This is quite a splendid book – only a little over 200 pages but comprehensive in its scope and ideal for beginners and for experienced readers needing a refresher. Eleven topics are covered: justification; Scripture; sin; grace; the theology of the cross; union with Christ; the Spirit; the sacraments; the Church; everyday life; and joy and glory. Historical interest alone should make us want to read a book like this, but there is more to it – there are spiritual insights all through which connect Reformation teaching to the modern world. For example, “The Reformation’s radical view of sin is why we sinners must throw ourselves on God’s grace alone.”
All of us can derive help from this clear summary of the issues of the Reformation. Here is Menno Simons on church discipline: “No one is excommunicated or expelled by us from the communion of the brethren but those who have already separated and expelled themselves from Christ’s communion either by false doctrine or by improper conduct. For we do not want to expel any, but rather to receive; not to amputate, but rather to heal; not to discard, but rather to win back; not to grieve, but rather to comfort; not to condemn, but rather to save.”
There are very few better modern introductions to the Reformation.
Buy it here from Reformers Bookshop.
Peter Barnes is editor of AP