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Theology of the Reformers

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  345 ratings  ·  53 reviews
'Theology Of The Reformers' will intrigue and inform all those who are concerned both with the church in the time of the Reformation and the church in the modern era. ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published January 1st 1999 by B Academic (first published June 1988)
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Feb 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
George's Theology of the Reformers explores the history and theology of four key reformation leaders: Luther, Zwingli, and Menno Simons. The writer displays the personal challenges and struggles of each of these men and the resulting impact on their faith and theology, for it is their theology that bears great impact on the theology of Christians today. As George himself states, "for those who stand committedly within the Christian tradition, it is a matter of genuine concern to understand what ...more
David  Schroeder
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: faith, history
This is an essential book for anyone learning about the Reformation. To study the Reformation is to know these brave men who risked all to share the faith we know today. Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, Menno, and Tyndale are featured in the book. Theology of the Reformers was the most helpful resource for me as I taught the Reformation in my church. There were several additional books that were also helpful to study these men like their respective biographies, John Piper's "21 Servants of Soverign Joy, ...more
David Bruyn
Apr 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Clear, lucid summaries of Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, Simmons, and Tyndale.
Not only did I gain a better understanding of the reformers Luther, Zwingli, Calvin and Menno Simons and their theology, but I was also deeply moved by their testimonies in different ways. Luther inspired me by his anguished, tenacious ransacking of Scripture to find its true teaching about salvation. I was also amazed by his boldness to speak out against the vast machine of papalism. Reading about Calvin made me want to read more of John Calvin. Timothy George does a great job of summarizing th ...more
Ben Smitthimedhin
Timothy George's Theology of the Reformers is an accessible but scholarly sketch of the lives and theology of Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, and Menno. Although each chapter contains around 150 or so footnotes, George's storytelling contextualizes the four reformers in a way that's both entertaining and helpful.

Reading this also helped me locate my own faith. I originally decided to read the reformers because I wasn't sure if I could still call myself Protestant. Some of the surprises along the way in
Neil Kruger
Nov 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars

Excellent theological biographies of five key Reformers. The chapters on Calvin and Menno Simons were a particular delight.
Craig Hurst
Dec 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At the end of his life, Augustine wrote what has become a very misunderstood book, especially by those who have not read it or any of his previous works. The book was titled Retractationes which literally means “re-treatments.” Augustine retraced his works and addressed many of the things he had already written by way of clarifications and some changes. Augustine was not recanting of the things he wrote but rather coming to them once again as a more seasoned believer and theologian.

In 1988, whil
Jan 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This text centers on the ideas of reformers (Martin Luther, John Calvin, Huldrych Zwingli, Menno Simons) who lived some 450-500 years ago. Their world was much different from our own, in many ways that we cannot comprehend. Yet, Timothy George helps us to bridge that gap in this highly illuminating and insightful work.

Having read multiple biographies on Luther, as well as various works on Calvin and the Anabaptists, I was surprised by how many new insights Theology of the Reformers contains. No
Jul 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
The strength of this book is that it does not simply tell about the life and writings of the reformers, but it also speaks of the theology behind what the reformers said and wrote. George highlights four men: Luther, Zwingli, Calvin and Menno Simmons. He exemplifies a mastery of the material, moving easily from the theological writings to personal letters and sermons to events in the lives of the reformers, showing how their life experiences shaped their theology and how their theology shaped th ...more
Keith Kresge
Aug 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: chbc
Timothy George synthesizes vast swaths of theological and historical works into one volume on the five major reformers: Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, Simmons, and Tyndale. He begins by examining the history of ideas and theologies flowing into the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, especially the humanism of Petrarch and the anxious religiosity stemming from the medieval ethos of a vengeful God (George, 22–27). He proceeds to examine each reformer in his unique contributions to the reformation, focus ...more
Apr 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: genreal-theology
This is a great book for an introduction to the history and theology of the reformers, written by a reformed baptist. The author writes with good humor. I give it 4.5 stars instead of 4 because of the pleasure of the read.
Todd Miles
Sep 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book. Eloquently written. Easy to understand. Seeks to demonstrate that the Protestant Reformation was primarily (though not merely) theological. A must read for any seeking to understand the theology of the magisterial reformers.
Tim Michiemo
4.6 Stars
L. R. Bouligny Bouligny
Feb 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
Theology of the Reformers by Timothy George surveys the development of the Reformed Christian tradition that began in the 16th century throughout various parts of Europe. George charts the progression of theological thought during the Middle Ages, examining four men of great influence whose impact on theology redirected the course of the church for centuries afterward, and presumably, until the end of time. The author codifies the journeys and theologies of four men: Martin Luther, John Calvin, ...more
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, theology
Theology of the Reformers by Timothy George looks at five men who contributed to the important Reformation of the church in Europe during the sixteenth century. Martin Luther, Huldrych Zwingli, John Calvin, Menno Simons and William Tyndale are all explored in this important work. This book shows the beginning of protestantism and the theology that drove the divide between Protestants and Catholics and is very needed during this time in our Western culture.

More and more protestant denominations a
Justin Leitch
May 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Theology of the Reformers is an excellent place to start for any person interested in an introduction to the Reformation. Timothy George, a professor of church history who has published numerous books and scholarly articles, sets out to give the contemporary theological student an introduction to the ‘shakers and movers’ of the Reformation. George shows that the Reformers, even though their conversations seem far removed from our context, have much to offer the church today. In doing this, his h ...more
Jeremy Mueller
May 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book, though dense at times, covers an incredible depth of history and theology from the great era of the Reformation. Specifically, Reformers brought three emphases to protestants: 1) establishment of the Word, 2) emphasis on sound doctrine, and 3) a concern for the communal aspect of faith. Churches today could benefit from these emphases, which I why I think this book is a helpful and necessary volume for pastors. See "Unquenchable Flame" by Michael Reeves for a more condensed and easier ...more
Matt Crawford
Nov 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a great book and excellent survey of some of the more well known Reformers: Luther, Zwinglis, Calvin, Menno Simmons, and Tyndale. I would have liked others, perhaps Martin Bucer. The chapters are lengthy, but each deals with one particular Reformer. They are long because there is a plethora of info. George puts an emphasis on their orthopraxy rather than thier writings. It is a good survey of the men rather than on their writings. Highly recommended for any good Reformation Scholar.
Amanda Renaud
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent intro and highlight of 5 key reformers and insightful application. Moderately difficult read, but aside from a few deep dives (Calvin’s Institutes, nuanced ecclesiology, etc) it generally kept a good pace. The accounts of Menno and Tyndale were particularly fascinating, and I learned a lot about Calvin, Luther and Zwingli as well. The author did a great job of comparing/contrasting the nuances of their theologies without getting too into the weeds.
Christopher Gow
May 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Good! The fact that it’s been considered a good textbook for >30 years says a lot. Lots of primary source material and covers a lot of ground.
Pretty thorough depiction of the life and theology of 6 representative Reformers: Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, Menno Simons, and Tyndale and their movements.

Decent overview of the atmosphere in which the reformation started and its theological implications for today.
Nick Abraham
Oct 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Used this as a main source for a Wednesday night study at our church leading up to Reformation Day. This book is a perfect balance of biography and theological primer for dominant Reformation figures.
Dónal Walsh
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent survey of key themes and contributions of the Reformers to the church. Lots to glean for today, the chapter on Calvin was an especial highlight
Jonathan Homesley
Feb 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
May 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Excellent. Well written and thought-provoking.
Matthew Richey
Read through in preparation for a class I'm teaching at my church on the Reformation. Excellent. ...more
Michael Boling
Jan 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The writings and influence of Reformers such as Martin Luther without a doubt had a giant impact on the church. Furthermore, the works and leadership of other perhaps lesser known Reformers such as William Tyndale, Menno Simons, and Huldrych Zwingli also deserve attention as they too provided a major impact in what is considered as Reformation thought. Dr. Timothy George, in a slightly revised version of his work Theology of the Reformers, provides an excellent analysis of the theological though ...more
Del Herman
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Timothy George, Dean of Beeson Divinity School, has written a marvelous book on the theology of four of the leaders of the Protestant Reformation: including the famous Martin Luther and John Calvin, but also including Huldrych Zwingli (the little discussed third Reformer) and Mennos Simon, one of the leading figures of the Radical Reformation, itself an even more anti-institutional Reformation of the Reformation.

George's analysis of how these four Christian thinkers evolved out of the turmoil o
Aug 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Timothy George begins the book by taking the Reformation out of the hands of the humanists that seek to leverage it as the dawn of the modern age and "human freedom." Instead, George puts the Reformation in the context of the medieval church, and the Reformers' desire to return to the true Apostolic Church. The Reformation was not an expression of liberation from authority, but a return to the authority of the Holy Scriptures.

The early part of the book is dedicated to a brief retelling of how th
Jamie Fugate
Oct 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I found this book to be both enjoyable and beneficial, I love church history and have special appreciation of the reformation era. I have done a good bit of reading in this period and I'm really impressed that this book wasn't simply a rehashing of stuff I'd already read. Timothy George is clearly an excellent scholar (his Galatians commentary which is very good convinced me of that previously), but is also an engaging writer. Which isn't a given, I have read very dry books about engaging people ...more
Noel Adams
May 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
If the God used the patriarchs, the prophets, and the apostles to build His church, He used the reformers to protect His church. Theology of the Reformers is a history book as much as a theology book, devoting upwards of 60 pages each to the personal stories of giants Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, Simons, and Tyndale. Huge learning curve for me.

I am thankful for most of them and their careful, pastoral return to the Word. (Simons, though, transported me back to that Sesame Street 'One of these thing
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Timothy George is Dean at Beeson Divinity School, Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. He is also editor, together with his wife Denise, of the Library of Baptist Classics series. He previously was an associate professor of church history and historical theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

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