©2004 Patrick Collinson; (P)2004 Recorded Books, LLC
This is not a book for someone who knows nothing about the Reformation to begin with--the theological distinctions between Luther and Calvin, let alone Zwingli and Melanchthon, are hard for a non-Protestant to understand, and the relative brevity of the work doesn't give him time to really hash it out (to be fair, the issues that separated these guys are sometimes hard to appreciate, even when they're understood). However, it is very well-written, and since the author is one of the best-known scholars on the subject it is certainly reliable. It is an excellent overview of a complicated subject. In addition, the narrator is excellent.
As I listened to this book I felt like I was sitting on the needle of a compass that had no sense of true north. Rather the author seems to hold a magnet and spins the reader in all sorts of directions.
The Protestant Reformation is a relatively well-defined period in the history of western Christianity. Yet the book begins with a meandering discussion of the eastern church. Then after some mention of the key place of Martin Luther, he discusses how the Protestant Reformation is part of a wider experience of renewal in a variety of religions.
I purchased this book to gain a better understanding of the events and theological developments of the Protestant Reformation. This book is a great disappointment.
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