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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
20


on 10 May 2016
Michael Reeves writes in an engaging accessible style and does a very fine job in covering some of the essentials of the Reformation and the role of some of the main characters who played such a pivotal part in history. He is clear and lucid. However, although he is excellent in bringing out the many huge positive changes in this crucial time of history, he is less impressive in dealing with some of the negatives. For instance, the fierce campaigning of Luther in his latter years, in encouraging and enacting persecution of the Jews, is somewhat glossed over. It is indeed no surprise that Luther's writings and actions were later used by the Nazis to support their persecution of the Jews. Nevertheless, Michael Reeves writes (p.59) of Luther's 'On the Jews and Their Lies' that 'It is hard for a modern audience, not only to avoid reading later racial anti-Semitism into such unpleasant material, but also to understand that these were, at the time, standard measures taken against heretics.' Likewise, tragically, following the practice of the Catholic Church before them, some of the Reformers cooperated with the might of the state to persecute opponents. With reference to John Calvin, Reeves mentions Calvin's support of the execution of Michael Servetus and writes (p.106) 'This was no big deal: all Christendom agreed that death was the appropriate sentence for heresy...' However, as some of the 'Anabaptists' of the time preached, such church/state persecution was not biblical Christianity. It's a pity that the book's excellence in ably outlining the many huge positive achievements and bravery of many of the Reformers in the fight for the truths of the Scripture, is not matched by an impartial appraisal of some negative practices also present during the Reformation.
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on 29 April 2017
The easy style of the author combines humour and insight in this book This is an excellent, brief (192 pages) introduction to the Reformation that will engage heart, soul and mind. Martin Luther's well-known comments on the Jews are set in their context and will challenge the charge of anti-Semitism in view of his support and prayers for Jews. I would have appreciated an index.
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on 21 November 2016
an excellent, clear, concise book. If you need one primer on the reformation, this is it. Reeves doesn't get bogged down in excessive detail, but still engages seriously with important people and issues. Reads like a good story - a genuine page-turner!
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on 22 May 2014
Michael Reeves has written a number of Christian books but for a first read, I chose this account of the Reformation, as that was a period of history I studied at school. I was certainly not disappointed and it is clear the author has researched the subject very fully and he brings to the subject the skill of an historian backed by his training as an ordained priest. I liked the style and approach, but it is a pity the pictures are not clearer. I would recommend to anyone interested in this extraordinary period of Christian history to read this book.
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on 4 February 2018
An extremely readable book covering all aspects of the Reformation sympathetically. Enough detail to make it understandable but not too much to make it tedious. Highly recommended.
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on 19 April 2017
Easy to read and a genuine page turner, yet brilliantly researched and very informative. A great read. This is a great historical primer, and yet acts as a useful mirror as Mike Reeves holds up history that we might see ourselves in it.
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on 25 February 2011
I picked up a copy of this book because I was wanting to develop a resource site for students of Reformation Church History. However, as I have never studied this period before in any detail I needed a pithy overview that covered the important facts. I am happy to say that that is what I got!

Michael Reeves has done an excellent job of summarising the background, major characters and politics of this turbulent period in European history in style that is both witty and engaging. I would have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone starting a course on the Reformation.
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on 24 October 2017
If you read one book in the reformation, it should be this one. Easy to read, exciting, funny, and a great introduction to the biggest moment in history since the first century.
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on 5 December 2014
Wonderful book. I learned so much about this period in our history. Funny, too, an added bonus! Highly recommend.
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on 17 January 2016
A great introduction to the reformation. One is left marvelling at the glory and supremacy of God and inspired by the 'cloud of witnesses' who obeyed God and brought great glory to him.
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