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Why the Reformation Still Matters

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4.24  ·  Rating details ·  377 ratings  ·  97 reviews
Five hundred years after the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, many people—Christians and non-Christians alike—view it as a conflict about issues that are no longer relevant to the church. But what if the Reformation still has something to teach us? What if the doctrines so vigorously debated and defended by the Reformers still matter today? In this accessible prime ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published September 30th 2016 by Crossway Books (first published April 21st 2016)
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Emily
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
31st October, 1517 -- five hundred years ago this Halloween -- German monk Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of a church in Wittenberg. He had rediscovered the Bible and realised how the 16th century Roman Catholic church was departing from it, and he was determined to bring Europe back to the truth of God's Word.

The key is grace -- salvation by grace, not by works. Luther shows the futility of a religion based on one's own efforts:

"I was a good monk and kept my order so st
...more
Jordan Shirkman
Nov 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Spoiler alert: the Reformation still matters.

A high-level overview of the Reformation with practical applications for Christians today. Important reminders of what exactly the Protestants were protesting and interesting insights into Reformation thinking and debates.
Nick
Feb 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Good book.

I didn't like their take on Aristotle (and Augustine by proxy). Aristotle's Ethics isn't trying to address justification (obviously), but virtue. The idea of virtue (i.e. developing good habits until they become automatic) is so foreign to our time and really misunderstood. Paul tells us to imitate him. Why? So we can grow more like Christ. I agree: you can't "fake it until you make it" (as they say in the book) when it comes to our righteousness before God, but that's not what Aristo
...more
Omar
Dec 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a good little history of the religious differences that shaped the Reformation.
Becky
Why The Reformation Still Matters by Michael Reeves and Tim Chester is a MUST READ in my opinion. At least it is a must read for believers within the Protestant tradition. The book sets out to answer the question, DOES the reformation still matter? Their answer is YES, MORE THAN EVER!

Each chapter sets out to explain to readers WHY the reformation still matters. They go through the doctrines held dear by the Reformers one by one. In the first chapter, for example, the focus is on justification by
...more
Trevor Hoffman
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Outstanding. Informative, insightful, and soul-enriching. Five stars if I didn't feel like it would be dated in 10 years.
E
Sep 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
The blurb on the back of this book calls it an "accessible primer" of Reformation theology. It is that, although it is almost entirely about Luther. Calvin pops up only occasionally, while Zwingli appears even less (as do the Anabaptists; the Anglicans basically not at all). Thus I can't give it 5 stars.

Reeves and Chester in their 11 chapters address justification, Scripture, sin, grace, Luther's "theology of the cross," union with Christ, the Spirit, sacraments, the church, everyday life, and w
...more
Yan Ying
Apr 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It's October 31; it commemorates the events of October 31, 1517. On that day, Martin Luther, an Augustinian monk, pinned 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg, Germany. He were not afraid to speak up, argued for the rediscovery of true biblical Christianity - justification by grace Christ alone through faith alone. His actions led to what we now call the Reformation. But, why would Luther do that? Does the Reformation still matter? Now, to answer these questions, you need to read this littl ...more
Rick Stuckwisch
Oct 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is well written, easy to read, helpful, and even enjoyable. A nice survey of fundamental Reformation concerns, with reference to teaching and practice. It is clear and cogent in its presentation, and a worthwhile introduction to the topics at hand. Its weakness, like that of other books treating the Reformation, is that it attempts to treat "Protestants" (including Lutherans) as a more-or-less united group vis-a-vis the Roman Catholic Church. The authors certainly acknowledge some diff ...more
Amanda
Almost equal parts history and theology, this is a good book for those looking for a basic understanding of Reformation theology and why what the Reformers fought for still matters today. For me, the biggest negative to this book is that the authors focus on Luther and mention other Reformers mostly when they either want to back up Luther or show that there was a plurality of beliefs among the Reformers.
Logan
Aug 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was actually pretty good, giving a good, basic introduction to the Reformation, why it was important, and why the issues that were at stake weren't just quibbling, but essential to Christianity. Recommended for those who want to find out about the Reformation or who question its importance.
Emily
Nov 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was looking for an introduction to the Reformation when I found this. I couldn't be happier. Aside from providing a history it included a lot of thoughtful analysis, not just about why the Reformation matters but why it still matters in the day to day lives of Protestants.
Noel Burke
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
What I appreciated most was understanding the theological positions and circumstances of that day. It helped to paint a picture of why they did and said what they did. It was well written and had a logical flow.
T.J. Telfer
Aug 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'd recommend it as a helpful read. It is not a thorough review of reformation thought but a helpful reminder of some of the critical ideas which remain relevant into the 21st century. More of a pastoral text.
Donald Owens II
Dec 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
2017 had to have a book like this. I'm glad Reeves and Chester wrote one that, though a bit perfunctory and ecumenical, is a otherwise solid. There's nothing new here, but that's the point, isn't it?
Joey
Dec 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Listened to the audiobook. It was very good!
Eric Durso
Good book to read for the 500th anniversary.
Peter Day
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An excellent summary of the issues around the Reformation and their relevance for today, along with a challenge to live in the light of the glorious truth of justification by faith alone.
Mark Loughridge
Dec 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Essential reading. Packs a lot of theology in. Stand out chapter on union with Christ. 4.5 stars
Brian Nicks
Aug 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very easy to read survey of the Reformation and why it matters in21st century America. Well written and it does not shy away from difficult topics. Good year to read this book.
Chris Wray
Sep 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
The central point that Mike Reeves and Tim Chester seek to make in this book is that the Reformation is still relevant today, and indeed is still in progress. They point out that the modern world finds the Reformation alien, which says as much about us as it does about the Reformers: “It exposes our preoccupation with this material world and this momentary life. If there is a world beyond this world and a life beyond this life, then it does not seem to matter very much to us— out of sight, out o ...more
Jimmy
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A timely book I read in light of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, though this book was published a year ago (2016). This book is written with the general Christian readers in mind and argues that the Reformation still matters and why it matters is because the doctrines recovered in the Reformation are biblical and has implication for our lives today. Whether you are a general Protestant or you are new to Reformed theology or you are a seasoned saints in a Reformed church or a non-Christ ...more
Mike
Nov 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"The reformation is over!", many suggest.  "There is no more need for squabbling over small matters."

Is the Reformation over? 
Is there no more need to dispute? 
And were the protestations really over small matters? 

Authors Michael Reeves and Tim Chester address not only that the Reformation is NOT over (after all, Semper Reformanda -- always reforming), but that it MUST continue.  The true Church must always be about keeping in line with the doctrines of God, and any stray teaching must be cor
...more
Rodney Harvill
Nov 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I chose to read this book because of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation and don’t regret it. Many of the very issues that were fault lines five centuries ago remain relevant. The authors address eleven topics in the book, and I will comment only on a few of them.

First, in the chapter on the doctrine of scripture, it is noted that the reformers held a high view of preaching but not a high view of preachers. In other words, God speaks to us through the preaching of the Word by fal
...more
David Steele
Oct 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Michael Reeves and Tim Chester, Why the Reformation Still Matters. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2016, 223 pp. $10.72

October 31, 2017, will mark the 500 year anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. This quincentennial celebration is remarkable in many ways as Protestants around the world will remember the accomplishments of the Reformers, most notably the bold move by Martin Luther in nailing the 95 theses to the castle door at Wittenberg.

Despite the widespread celebration of many who take delight
...more
Hank Pharis
Sep 08, 2017 rated it liked it
A well written survey of the differences that still significantly separate Protestants and Roman Catholics. Some quotes:

"At its heart the Reformation was a dispute about how we know God and how we can be right with Him. At stake was our eternal future, a choice between heaven and hell. ...
The Reformation still matters because eternal life still matters."

"Our contention is that on key issues like justification and Scripture the issues remain and are not negotiable."

“Justification is not about
...more
Hannah
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a helpful overview of some of the key distinctions between Roman Catholic and Protestant doctrines and a valuable summary of the theological disputes that gave rise to the Reformation.

With a number of friends who are Roman Catholics and who are also, from what I can tell, genuine believers—in spite of what I believe to be their doctrinal errors—I can find it easy to downplay some of the disagreements that I, as a reformed protestant, have with the church of Rome. Not that I've ever tho
...more
Bill Pence
Oct 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The authors write that at the heart the Reformation was a dispute about how we know God and how we can be right with him. Our eternal future was at stake, a choice between heaven and hell. For the Reformers there was no need more pressing than assurance in the face of divine judgment, and there was no act more loving than to proclaim a message of grace that granted eternal life to those who responded with faith. Though many will tell you that the Reformation doesn’t matter or even was a bad idea ...more
Jeff
Dec 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As strange as this sounds, I was completely enthralled by this book.

The narrative through history is seamless, logical, and ripe with thoughtful conclusions for each of the church's decision, regardless of denomination. Even though this book has a particular denomination in mind as the correct winner of all subsequent arguments, I felt that the most profound truth lay in the arguments that started the division. To paraphrase: I am right because I say scripture says ______. You are wrong because
...more
Dominic Scalfaro
Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Reformation isn't church a period in Church History. While essentially it is, the Reformation also calls all Christians to continually pursue the Lord. This often times means evaluating your own dogmatic practices to determine why we actually do them. For what purpose do they serve? Can the gospel actually be seen in it? Are they biblical? These are only a few questions that Reeves and Chester approach in the book "Why the Reformation Still Matters."

It was a great snapshot at not just Marti
...more
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He is also theological advisor for Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship (UCCF), a charity supporting evangelism in higher education throughout the United Kingdom. He was previously associate minister at All Souls Church, Langham Place and holds a doctorate in systematic theology from King’s College London.
“This is the highest honour of the Church, that, until he is united to us, the Son of God reckons himself in some measure imperfect. What consolation is it for us to learn, that, not until we are along with him, does he possess all his parts, or wish to be regarded as complete!109” 0 likes
“A justificação, portanto, não trata de Deus nos fazer justos, mas de nos declarar justos. Essa é a linguagem de um tribunal de justiça, e não de um hospital. A justificação não é um processo de cura, mas uma declaração de que temos uma posição justa e positiva diante de Deus.” 0 likes
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