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Five English Reformers

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  41 ratings  ·  9 reviews
The conviction that martyrs, though dead, can still speak to the church, led Ryle to pen these pungent biographies of five English Reformers. He analyses the reasons for their martyrdom and points out the salient characteristics of their lives.
Published September 1st 1991 by Banner of Truth
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The biographies as biographies were just so-so, and Ryle's writing style is likewise fairly standard (for the 19th century, anyway).
The true value of this short volume comes in the first chapter, in which Ryle engages the question: "why were our Reformers burned?" That is, why were a generation of English Christians persecuted and executed? Ryle gives two answers to this: a general answer and a specific answer.
The general reason the Reformers were burned is that the Roman Catholic Church burne...more
This book makes you appreciate what true Christians had to go through during the reign of Bloody Mary in England. It is a shame these talented men and authors could not have lived longer and contributed more to Christianity through their preaching and writings. JC Ryle warns his readers how cruel non - Christians can be to Christians for their beliefs. He focuses on the lives of 5 devoted men, although hundreds were burnt at the stake for their beliefs during this timeframe.

James Bunyan
You really feel his gratitude to these men and his love for Jesus seep through these pages, as he deals with each John Hooper, Rowland Taylor, Hugh Latimer, John Bradford and Nicholas Ridley. He helpfully narrates their life, their character and their death in whatever detail is possible. But for some, Ryle also spends time quoting some of their work, so that you are in no doubt as to their opinions- which is very helpful.
Seems to be written as a polemic against growth of Catholic practices in t...more
David Sarkies
Mar 28, 2013 David Sarkies rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Students of Church History
Recommended to David by: It was on my bookshelf.
Shelves: christian
Well, since I have a couple of hours to go before my plane to London begins boarding, and as I am sitting at a table looking out over the staging area (at least around my gate) at the Frankfurt Internation Airport (I won't write in German, despite being in Germany, but then again my German isn't all that good) I thought I might kill some time writing about the English Reformation (namely because it has been a while since I read this book so I cannot quite remember who the particular reformers w...more
The content is excellent but the writing style doesn't make this a very enjoyable read. Apparently these chapters were first produced for use in a magazine in the 1890's. It would probably have been better had a little more work gone into editing this before being produced as a book.
Timothy Carr
Stirring accounts of faithful Christians martyred in the days of Bloody Mary.
Good short overview of the lives of several key English reformers.
Dec 26, 2010 Michelle marked it as to-read
Shelves: biography, honey, history
the story of 5 martyrs from 1550s England. Rec. in Honey
Nov 21, 2009 Jonathan added it
Shelves: history
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J. C. Ryle was a prominent writer, preacher, and Anglican clergyman in nineteenth-century Britain. He is the author of the classic Expository Thoughts on the Gospels and retired as the bishop of Liverpool.
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