Read about the Reformation


Since it is Reformation Day today (the 491st anniversary of the day on which Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the church door), and given that I have just finished reading an excellent book on the Reformation, I thought it might be a good idea to have a Reformation Day Reformation book review!

So here we go. Stephen J. Nichols certainly knows how to make history interesting. His book The Reformation: How a Monk and a Mallet Changed the World serves as a fun introduction to the Reformation and it's key personalities which is easily read whether or not you like history. I have to admit, I love history, so for me it is a book which has left me wanting to find out more about the lives of people like Ulrich Zwingli and Jeanne of Navarre.

However, if you don't normally like reading about history, don't be put off: the chapters are short enough that they won't lose your attention and the writing style is much more engaging than the average history book. As Nichols himself writes: 'This book is built upon two ideas. First, the Reformation matters. Second, history can be fun.' (page 13) Nichols does an excellent job in showing the truth of both these ideas throughout the book.

So, if you'd like to know about the role of sausages in church history (yes, there is a subheading that reads 'What the Bible has to say about sausage' - page 45) or why Calvin locked the church doors at the end of the meeting, then this is the book for you. Of course, at the same time you'll be reminded (or perhaps learn for the first time) what the Reformation was all about and why it is so important even today.

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The Tenets of the Apostolic Church

The Unity of the Godhead, and Trinity of the Persons therein.

The utter depravity of human nature, the necessity for repentance and regeneration and the eternal doom of the finally impenitent.

The virgin birth, sinless life, atoning death, triumphant resurrection, ascension, and abiding intercession of our Lord Jesus Christ; His second coming, and millennial reign upon earth.

Justification and Sanctification of the believer through the finished work of Christ.

The Baptism of the Holy Ghost for believers, with signs following.

The nine gifts of the Holy Ghost for the edification, exhortation and comfort of the Church, which is the body of Christ.

The Sacraments of Baptism by immersion and of the Lord's Supper.

The Divine inspiration and authority of the Holy Scriptures.

Church government by apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, elders and deacons.

The possibility of falling from grace.

The obligatory nature of tithes and offerings.