I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Every Christian should have a sense of urgency to learn about his spiritual heritage. Learning the history of our faith is a motivational factor to live the life Christ expects from us. If you are a believer and have but a rudimentary knowledge of the faith – in particular the Reformation – Rescuing the Gospel: The Story and Significance of the Reformation by Erwin W. Lutzer should move to the top of your reading list.
Lutzer is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary and has been the senior pastor of Moody Church in Chicago for thirty-six years. When he writes about the Reformation, it is with familiarity of the historical places for he has traveled there extensively. This is an author well familiar with his subject matter.
It seems unnecessary to say that Rescuing the Gospel: The Story and Significance of the Reformation is all about the Reformation. That’s what it is. But it is more than that. It is not a routine retelling of dry, historical facts. Lutzer interweaves thoughtful analysis of both the Catholic Church and Luther. As you might expect the majority of the volume centers on Martin Luther – the catalyst of the Reformation. Ten of the seventeen chapters focus on Luther. There are also chapters on John Wycliffe, Huldrych Zwingli and, of course, John Calvin.
To help us understand Luther, the man, Lutzer also includes chapters on Luther and his view of the Bible and Luther as a family man. We get the realization that Luther was not a perfect man. Lutzer masterfully presents Luther as a man with faults despite the great spiritual revolution that he began.
The book, which is also presented as “An Illustrated History of the Reformation,” includes forty-six images which helps the text come alive.
While this is not a thorough examination of the Reformation, Rescuing the Gospel is a must read for every Christian, a book that must be fully examined sooner rather than later. It will whet your appetite for more study in the history of our faith. Once again, move this volume to the top of your summer reading list.
Disclaimer: The book was provided to me by BakerBooks for a fair and honest review.