Is The Reformation Over?
We must teach, explain, and defend the gospel in each generation. We must defend the gospel from additions and from subtractions. We must defend it from legalism and from lawlessness. In His book, “Rescuing the Gospel”, Pastor and Author Erwin Lutzer gives an overview account of the key theological issues and key leaders in the Protestant Reformation. He gives background and clarification on the key doctrinal debates over Transubstantiation, Indulgences, Mary and Saint Worship, Papal Authority, Icons, and the nature of the Church. Lutzer enlightens the reader to the courage and clarity of the Reformers John Huss, Martin Luther, Huldrych Zwingli, and John Calvin. The accounts are candid honoring the leadership of these Godly men while also showing their human discrepancies. He in no way worships these men but exalts our God who delights in using fallen men who walk by faith. Dr. Lutzer helps the reader understand how these great Bible Scholars and leaders could teach the gospel with such clarity yet have such strange views concerning the nature of Church and State, how to deal with heretics and opponents, and baptism.
The final chapter of the book entitled, “Is The Reformation Over?” is worth the price of the book alone. Dr. Lutzer shows with specific and recent quotes and personal accounts how these issues have not gone away. The Catholic Church has not changed their views on many of these doctrines despite its attempt to show that Catholics and Evangelical Protestants believe the same things. These are not mere secondary issues either. The very foundation of our faith, Justification by Faith Alone, in Christ Alone, by Grace Alone, is at stake. Although Catholics use the same terms, one simply has to look into their catechism and publications to see that the definitions and applications of these terms are vastly divergent from what the scriptures teach. He gives a strong warning and indictment against recent movements to bring Evangelicals and Catholics together in ecclesiastical, doctrinal, and missional endeavors.
The reader will be encouraged to see how God uses fallen men who are willing to take a stand on the truth of the gospel that had been revealed to them. These men had some strange views and ideas. They also had some glaring faults. But these reformers had come to understand and receive the free gift of salvation by Faith Alone in Christ Alone by Grace Alone. They knew they had not arrived but with God’s help prayed to see the Church of God always reforming. May we continue to reform our faith and practices, our lives and thoughts, to the holy word of God in defense of the unchanging gospel.