This is a super book that fills a gap in the Christian book market. It is an updated, modernised and expanded version of an earlier work by Richard Newton called The Reformation and its heroes.
The book has a threefold aim — first, to teach a general knowledge of the Reformation and the events leading up to it; second, to encourage young people in particular to become familiar with the lives of these great saints; third, to understand and gain a deeper respect for the doctrines fought for during the Reformation period.
The book has an attractive format and is well illustrated. Its direct appeal is to older children and teens, though it will benefit anyone seeking a clear historical outline of the Reformation’s key features.
After a helpful introduction, each short chronological chapter presents a biographical sketch of a leading Reformer and highlights his contribution to the work.
It starts with Pre-Reformation men like Peter Waldo and works through the better known heroes to post-Reformation Elizabethan Puritans such as William Perkins.
The book concludes with chapters on the Counter Reformation and the lasting influence of the Reformation.
The book is clear and easy for a competent teenager to read, and technical terms are explained. It is engaging and lively without descending to mere adventure stories, and the truth shines out faithfully on every page. There is a helpful timeline, appendices, an informative glossary and a detailed bibliography.
The treatment of the Anabaptists reveals a strong prejudice against the Baptist/Independent position but this is the only blemish in an otherwise excellent work.
I can highly recommend this book as a valuable tool for any Christian family and it should have a place in the church library. Even an experienced Christian will find some hidden gems tucked away in this book. The bibliography would also make an ideal springboard for more extensive study.