This volume deals with the period of Church history that was dominated by the Reformation. Here we encounter the Lutheran Reformation, spearheaded by figures like Martin Luther and Philip Melanchthon, and the Reformed Reformation, where Ulrich Zwingli, Martin Bucer, and John Calvin led the way. We meet the Radical Reformers, in all their diversity, including Menno Simons and the Mennonites. We also examine the Catholic Counter-Reformation, and explore the very different world of Eastern Othodoxy. In all this we see how theology, spirituality, worship and culture were affected by the events of the sixteenth century.
The Renaissance was a reaction against the attitude of the Middle Ages. And the Reformation was the passionate, divisive argument that grew out of it. Catholics, Calvinists, Lutherans, Anabaptists – our present-day divisions were the front-page headlines of the Reformation. Volume three of 2,000 Years of Christ’s Power, in showing the progression of the Reformation era, and the daring bravery of its figures, presents a period of history from which there are many lessons to be learnt – not least of all, the vibrancy of people’s lives and the courage with which they faced death.
What makes the books so useful is that in a non-technical (but not simplistic) way, they bring out the main story line of the history of the church through the centuries. But in addition, and most helpfully, each chapter concludes with a selection of writings (translated of course!) from people discussed in the chapter. This means that we are not only told what certain people believed, but we are able to read some of their actual writings — and this is often extremely illuminating. (Martin K. Bussey ~ Lecturer in theology, Africa International University, Kenya)
It is a brave historian who tackles the extremely challenging task of writing the 2,000-year history of the Church. Well, Nick Needham has more than risen to the challenge. This eagerly-awaited fourth volume has been well worth the wait and, not to pressure our brother scholar, we now look forward to the concluding volume! (Michael A. G. Haykin ~ Professor of Church History and Biblical Spirituality, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky)
For many years now I have said: if you want a thorough, learned but accessible and well-written history of the church, read Nick Needham’s 2,000 Years of Christ’s Power. Now, with the fourth volume finally available, Christians have an excellent resource for improving their knowledge of the history of their faith. Highly recommended. (Carl R. Trueman ~ Paul Woolley Professor of Historical Theology and Church History, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Nick Needham’s volumes on church history explain everything that someone new to the subject might not understand. At the same time, they achieve a depth of detail to interest those who already know something of the subject. We use them as standard texts at LTS and look forward eagerly to forthcoming volumes. (Robert Strivens ~ Principal, London Seminary, London)