31 October is Reformation Day. The message of The Greatest Century of Reformation is both important and urgent. We want God to bless our countries. But we cannot expect God to bless those who are in rebellion to His Laws. Our societies need Reformation and our churches need Revival.
As in the days of the Reformers, today we are facing both internal and external threats. Internally we are facing a renaissance of paganism. Externally we are facing threats from an aggressive radical Islamic Jihad.
Even more seriously, there is a crisis in our churches. Most of our people are ignorant of history, and have a very superficial grasp of Scripture. As a result, many professing Christians are compromising, cowardly and ineffective. Our churches are filled with weak and worldly, lukewarm and inactive members. In many cases the salt has lost its flavour, and the light is being hid under a bushel.
With many Christians in defeat and retreat, we are facing a resurgent paganism, a pervasive Humanism and an aggressive Islamic radicalism. To counter these threats we need the faith and boldness of Martin Luther, the courage and conviction of Ulrich Zwingli, the doctrine and devotion of John Calvin, the evangelistic zeal of William Farel, the dedication of William Tyndale, the faithfulness of Heinrich Bullinger, and the steadfastness of John Hus.
We are in a war of worldviews, a clash of civilizations. The battlegrounds today are found in classrooms and on university campuses, in bookshops and market places, in pulpits and parliaments, in homes and hearts.
To win our world to Christ we need university professors like John Wycliffe, John Hus, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Theodore Beza, Heinrich Bullinger and Martin Bucer.
We need Theological seminaries like Luther's Wittenberg, Calvin's Academy, Zwingli's Carolinium, and William of Orange's Leyden.
We need writers like John Wycliffe, John Hus, Martin Luther, William Tyndale, Ulrich Zwingli, William Farel, John Calvin, Heinrich Bullinger, and Thomas Cranmer.
We need field workers of the Reformation like the Lollards, singing and reading Scripture and preaching the Gospel in the common language, in the market places, highways and byways and from door-to-door.
We need creeds like The Augsburg Confession, The Belgic Confession, The 39 Articles, and The Heidelberg Catechism.
We need worship manuals like the Genevan Order of Service, Cranmer's Book of Common Prayer and Knox's Book of Common Order.
We need handbooks like Bullinger's Decades, Cranmer's Homilies, and Calvin's Institutes.
We need to remove idols, re-emphasise Reformed doctrine, revive worship, renew prayer, revitalise our families, restore Biblical economics, Reform society, re-establish Christian schools and restrict government to Biblical limits.
Reformations need literature, leadership training and itinerant evangelists.
The Greatest Century of Reformation gives the broad sweep of the unforgettable characters and momentous events that made the 16th century the greatest century of Reformation. By focusing on the personalities and activities that God used, this book aims to inspire, inform and involve the readers in a hunger for Revival and bold initiatives for Reformation in our own day.
Examples of Excellence
The book begins with a fast moving overview of the dramatic events and geo-strategic conflicts involved in the 16th century, then it takes a good look at the pre-Reformers, the Waldensians, Wycliffe and Hus. There are chapters on each of the great Reformers: Luther, Zwingli, Tyndale, Farel, Calvin, Cranmer, Viret, Bullinger, Melanchthon and Bucer. There are also chapters on the politicians behind the English Reformation, the martyrs of the Reformation, how the Reformation changed the church, how the Reformation changed the world, and Luther's Practical Programme to Revive Your Prayer Life.
A Handbook for Reformation
The Appendix includes many helpful features such as The People of the Reformation, a Chronology of the Reformation, a Reformation Calendar (which works day by day through the key dates, events and people of the Reformation). There are also articles on The Popes of Rome, Libel Against Luther, and Answering Common Attacks on the Reformation. The Five Points of Calvinism are given - all in the Words of Christ from the Gospels. There is an inspiring article on The Power of Printing, both in Luther's day and today; and on what the Reformers taught concerning The Challenge of Islam.
Most practically, the book concludes with 25 Steps You Can Take for Reformation Today, Reformation Key Contacts (including websites worldwide), Resources for Reformation and Questions for Discussion which school teachers, home schoolers and college lecturers will find most useful.
Resources for Reformation
The Reformation Society has also produced a tremendous selection of audio CDs and PowerPoint presentations on the Reformers, their doctrines and achievement. These audio CDs, data CD-ROMS and MP3s are supplemented by the www.ReformationSA.org website which provides invaluable resources to pastors, teachers, home schoolers and missionaries.
Mobilising a New Reformation
It is our prayer that God may be pleased to use this Greatest Century of Reformation book to motivate and mobilise us to be more courageous for Christ, more faithful to God's Word and more effective in fulfilling the Great Commission of our Lord Jesus Christ. May the examples of these Reformers inspire us to go back to Bible, to love God wholeheartedly and to fear God alone, to work for Biblical Reformation and to pray for spiritual Revival.
Dr. Peter Hammond
The Greatest Century of Reformation is 220 pages, with 180 pictures and maps. It is available in both hardcover at R150, or softcover at R68. In addition The Reformation MP3 has 30 audio messages for R98. The hardcover book and audio MP3 are available as a special combo for just R170 from CLB. Please note all prices exclude postage.
Christian Liberty Books
PO Box 358 Howard Place 7450
Pinelands South Africa.