Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Is the Reformation over?

A review in Evangelicals Now put me on to MIchael Reeves' book 'The Unquenchable Flame' - subtitled 'Introducing the Reformation.'

I haven't read it all yet, in spite of receiving it yesterday evening (I've been busy).  But I want to draw attention to it today because of its very helpful last chapter 'Is the Reformation over?' looking at issues raised by (among others) Noll and Nystrom, in their book of that title.

Noll and Nystrom argue that Rome and Evangelicals are now so close together that we may regard one another as fellow Christians - and that, in fact, we are close together on the issue of justification by faith. 

Reeves is able to show - in a non-technical way that even I could understand - that it is not so; the Joint Declaration of the Roman Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Foundation (1999) does not indicate much progress since the Regensburg Statement of 1541, which Luther dismissed as a messy patchwork of theologies.

Further, Reeves even manages to show why we are so ready, today, to believe that the disputes are over.  I'm not saying it's exhaustive - but it's a fine chapter and worth the cost of the whole book.

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