by: Michael Reeves
Review by Ed Ender
Hearing the words church history and Reformation might produce in you a monumental yawn. But when you encounter the subject, as it is relayed by Michael Reeves, you cannot help but be drawn out of your stupor. Reeves writes an introduction to the Reformation, which means it isn’t painfully long or heavy going. Actually it’s fast-paced, it cuts straight to the highlights (and lowlights), and it even manages to be funny.
From the first page we are whisked off on an adventure through the controversies and upheavals of the Reformation era. We meet its main protagonists as they take on the established might of the Church of Rome. From the very colourful Martin Luther (who had a bowling alley in his back yard) to the heroic Ulrich Zwingli and the steady genius of John Calvin, we get a taste for who these great Christian leaders were and what they were fighting for. Their fight (sometimes to the death) means that Christians today now have the privilege of an open Bible in front of us, and in our language. It also means we have been reunited with some of the most wonderful and central teachings that God has made known (justification by faith and the authority of scripture being two of them). For that reason alone we ought to know something of the men and women who laid down their lives. But, as I’ve already mentioned, there are other good reasons for getting stuck into this book.