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The Reformation was a time of tremendous upheaval, renewal, and vitality in the life of the church. The challenge to maintain and develop faithful Christian belief and practice in the midst of great disruption was reflected in the theology of the sixteenth century.
In this volume, which serves as a companion to IVP Academic's Reformation Commentary on Scripture, theologian and church historian Gerald L. Bray immerses readers in the world of Reformation theology. He introduces the range of theological debates as Catholics and Protestants from a diversity of traditions—Lutheran, Reformed, Anglican, and Anabaptist—disputed the essentials of the faith, from the authority of Scripture and the nature of salvation to the definition of the church, the efficacy of the sacraments, and the place of good works in the Christian life.
Readers will find that understanding how the Reformers engaged in the theological discipline can aid us in doing theology today.
"The list of useful books produced by Gerald Bray just keeps growing. In this book, written in Dr. Bray's characteristically accessible style, we are given an excellent introduction to the world of the Reformers and their key theological contributions. More than that, he shows how those contributions still affect us, not only through the Reformers' own writing but also through the confessions of the Reformation churches. What is remarkable is the breadth of understanding of the Reformation world that is evident throughout the book and the evenhanded treatment it provides of the theology of each branch of the Reformation. Here is a reliable introduction that is enjoyable to read. Those with a detailed knowledge of the subject will appreciate how well it has all been brought together, though there is no doubt room for disagreement on one or two particulars. Those who are just beginning to discover the riches of the Reformation will be thankful for such a helpful guide. Here is a challenge to do theology with the Reformers, for we cannot ignore their effect on our own grasp of the biblical gospel. Dr. Bray's book is a fine example of how to do just that."
Mark D. Thompson, principal, Moore Theological College
"Gerald Bray is an expert guide to the theology of the Protestant reformers of the sixteenth century, and this volume surveys the terrain in which they labored with his characteristic skill and verve. Let him take you on a tour of the theological landscape of Luther, Calvin, Cranmer, and others and inspire you with the ideas and doctrines that brought light to Europe five hundred years ago."
Lee Gatiss, director of Church Society, author of Light After Darkness
"Once again Gerald Bray has managed to combine his profound knowledge and his great writing style in a book that not only demonstrates that theology was the core matter of the Reformation but also what that theology was, where it came from, and how it functioned. This book is a wonderful help to understand the Reformers and their message and to see the relevance of Reformation theology."
Herman Selderhuis, president of the Theological University Apeldoorn, director of Refo500
Preface 1. The Education of a Reformer 2. The Sources of Theological Authority 3. The Interpretation of the Bible 4. The Work of the Holy Spirit 5. The Godly Commonwealth 6. The Emergence of Confessional Theology Conclusion Works Cited General Index Scripture Index