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Why the Reformation still matters

By Michael Reeves & Tim Chester
November 2016 | Review by Stuart Fisher
  • Publisher: IVP
  • ISBN: 978-1-7835-9407-8
  • Pages: 176
  • Price: 9.99
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Michael Reeves and Tim Chester have done a great service to the church in writing this book. It is a timely reminder of what happened in Europe some 500 years ago, in what has been called the Great Reformation.

In modern times, more lip service than commitment is being paid to this momentous event and its principles. Nonetheless, the authors set forth their case and successfully argue that the Reformation still matters.

The body of the book consists of a series of chapters discussing the key teachings of the Reformation: justification, Scripture, sin, grace, and many other subjects. Each is carefully described and given its historical and theological setting.

Judicious quotes from the Reformers help to bring the book alive, and act also as tasters for delving further into Reformation literature. The doctrine in question is established and brought to its full significance for twenty-first century believers, all the while emphasising the currency of the Reformation for today’s church.

Though not lengthy or overly academic, the book is not always an easy read and may prove a challenge to young or new believers. However, it merits perseverance. The authors write with a lively pace, avoid clutter and keep to the heart of the matter.

The chapters do vary in quality and I found the earlier part of the book better. There are a few minor concerns I have on some subjects, but these in no way spoil the overriding usefulness of the book.

This is a necessary book and I would heartily recommend it, especially to those considering the ministry. Those more familiar with its precious truths will find it refreshing and stimulating, but my fear is that those who need it most, as a helpful corrective, may well be dismissive. But though many may see it as a rehash of bygone ideas, they couldn’t be more mistaken.

If you are aware of the importance of the Reformation for today, then buy this book, read it and pass it on to a younger person. It will do them a power of good.

Stuart Fisher

Bournemouth

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