Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Review: Rescuing the Gospel: The Story and Significance of the Reformation by Erwin Lutzer

Review: Rescuing the Gospel: The Story and Significance of the Reformation
Erwin Lutzer
Baker Books

Rescuing the Gospel: The Story and Significance of the ReformationThis is a brief history of the Reformation and primarily the history of the part Martin Luther played.  I can hear those yawns now, but wait a minute.  This book is one that you will not want to put down once you start it.  Lutzer freely admits the book was not his idea, but one that he was encouraged to adopt.  I now understand why this other individual chose to engage him for this project.  Lutzer’s writing style is easy to read and his ability to condense the history of the Reformation period totally amazing.  I had to endure European history in school and maybe you did, too.  This is such a departure from what we remember of that course.  OK, so I like his narrative.  The book also has some illustrations from the period that give it more flavor.  Overall, it’s a good read.  Mostly.
The other reformers you might have heard of---Wycliffe, Hus, Zwingli, Calvin, Knox, Manz, or Bolt get some mention too.  Enough to get the idea.  Probably more than that would have produced what some call a tome.  So OK, I’ll live with that concession to brevity.  Then comes the last chapter which I wish had been left for another book at another time.  Is the Reformation Over? Is the chapter title.  “Brothers and sisters, Luther’s protest is over.  Is yours?” opens the chapter. (187).  

What was an otherwise good read then turns to encourage the reader to identify the threats of ecumenism, particularly ecumenism between the Protestantism and Catholicism.  Yes, there are major issues that still divide the groups.  And probably will for quite a while yet.  “We have to rescue it [the Gospel] from false religions that compete for the allegiance of men and women.” (200).  

Can I recommend this book? A reserved yes for the majority of the work.  Just be aware that the last chapter is coming.  

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a review.

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