- Series: The Complete Idiot's Guide
- Paperback: 408 pages
- Publisher: Alpha; 1st edition (February 20, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0028642708
- ISBN-13: 978-0028642703
- Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.9 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #388,717 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Reformation and Protestantism Paperback – February 1, 2002
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Top Customer Reviews
What I did not like about the book is its tendency to deviate from a mostly chronological presentation. I found this was particularly annoying in the first several chapters. Later, I got use to it. There are "Protestant Pearls" (quotes) thrown throughout the book. Literally, they seem to have been thrown, having no relationship to the text. I think they should have been presented in the context of the relevant text. I would liken it to getting blips within a documentary movie have no bearing on the current scene. I found them distracting, breaking the flow so to speak. I adjusted by reading the "pearls" separately or when reviewing previously read text.
As a history, it's a disaster. It's full of factual errors, misquotations and anecdotal evidence. It labels anything not in line with the authors' current Protestant fundamentalist party line as being "erroneous" or--even worse--"heretical!" It would take a longer amount of space and time to discuss all the egregious mistakes in this little volume but just consider these:
Why are the beliefs of the Gnostics, the Montanists and Arians in "error," rather than alternative interpretations of the message of Christ?
Why is the apocryphal vision of Constantine given as fact?
Why is it stated again and again that the Papacy controlled the early empires when the sovereigns owned all the land except for the 10% ceded to God.
Why is there no mention of the outright competition between the secular and religious political institutions for economic control and hegemony?
Protestants who want a jolly fictive past of the road to justifying their convictions will indeed find this collection of anecdotes a fun read. It's got all the time-told stories and misinformation that can be found in any subjective takes on history written by authors wanting to present their points of view as fact.
However, for the serious student wanting to see the trace and record of the Protestant reformation and the viewpoints of the those reformers that departed from the early Christian church, this book must be viewed in the light of the bias and disposition of its fundamentalist authors.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have discovered more information in this book than any other history of the Reformation and Protestantism books that I have read. Loved it, thank you.Published 20 months ago by Patrick J. Tiernan
I bought this book because I am very intersted in the history of religion. I have looked through it and noticed there is a lot of information. I know it will be a very good read.Published on March 8, 2013 by jnyb
I am not certain that this is the "best" book on the Reformation, but I am sure that it holds a wealth of wisdom. Read morePublished on January 24, 2012 by Alex S
I bought this book while earnestly attempting to understand the Reformation movement. I really had nothing else to compare it to, but based on reviews of the same, I was trusting... Read morePublished on November 3, 2011 by RR
Well written, informative. If you want information about Martin Luther and the Reformation and the effect it had on Europe & America, this is an easy read.Published on January 4, 2011 by OkieAnnie
When we seem to be in a time of religious demagogues shouting about how the world is "going to hell" this book is very refreshing. It is fact based, easy to read and well designed. Read morePublished on November 2, 2010 by Cw Stevenson