Getting the Reformation wrong is a common problem. Most students of history know that Martin Luther nailed his ninety-five theses to the Wittenberg Church door and that John Calvin penned the Institutes of the Christian Religion.
However, the Reformation did not unfold in the straightforward, monolithic fashion some may think. It was, in fact, a great big mess of cultural upheaval. Interacting with the most current Reformation scholarship, James R. Payton exposes, challenges and corrects, the common misrepresentations, assumptions, people have developed about the Reformation.
To do this, Payton places the Reformation in the context of Medieval and Renaissance reform efforts, a context that is often not understood. He analyzes and shows how messy the relationship of the Reformers was, and how much they disagreed. He Clarifies misunderstandings of the central reformation doctrine of sola scriptura, the relationship and differences between the Anabaptist and Magisterial Reformers, and also critiques the post-reformation movement towards Protestant Scholasticism.
Finally Payton explores what significance the Reformation in all its elements can help and inform our Church experiences today.
Getting the Reformation wrong is a great read for specialist and non-specialist alike. It sheds a great deal of light on a period that is often taken for granted and/or caricatured. Great for college course and church study groups that are aiming to understand themselves in relationship to the historical protestant traditions they stand in.