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Roots of the Reformation Paperback – December, 2000


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Editorial Reviews

Review

I guaruntee [this book] will lead you to a deeper understanding of your own faith heritage, if not challenge it. -- Marcus Grodi, President, The Coming Home Network

One of the great Catholic theologians of the twentieth century, Karl Adam, shows us the engaging force of history. -- Kenneth J. Howell, Ph. D.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 108 pages
  • Publisher: Coming Home Resources (December 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0970262108
  • ISBN-13: 978-0970262103
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #812,991 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Stratiotes Doxha Theon VINE VOICE on June 9, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a brilliant and inspiring classic on the root causes of the Reformation and the devastating affects it has had on Christendom. It is short yet direct. Direct yet avoiding vindictive polemic. A charitable conveyance of truth. All the while never losing site that truth is not relative and that, "For [the Church] there is only one true union, reunion with herself...she is bound to reject absolutely the opinion put forward by certain Protestant theologians that being a Christian is simply a question of accepting the 'fundamental' articles of the faith, even simply of accepting Christ, and not receiving in faith all the truths expressly or implicitly included in our Lord's teaching."

There is no middle ground of unity. Unity without objective truth is no unity at all.

Included in this new edition from The Coming Home Network is an update and summary from Dr. Kenneth Howell, former Presbyterian minister and theologian.

A well-reasoned and heart-wrenching appeal that should not go unnoticed. Well worth the short time it takes to read this concise but intellectually packed work. Very highly recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By James G. Bruen Jr. on February 21, 2012
Format: Paperback
Karl Adam gives an unsparing rendition of the corruption in the Catholic Church that required reform, but argues persuasively that Martin Luther's break from the Church proceeded from his universalization of his personal religious experience rather than from a reaction to the filth in the Church. "The abuses in the Church were not the real cause but only the occasion of the Reformation."

Adam believes Luther would have become a saint if he had reformed the Church from within, but that in dividing the Body of Christ he committed one of the greatest wrongs possible. "The tragedy of the Reformation and of German Christianity - he let the warring spirits drive him to overthrow not merely the abuses in the Church, but the Church itself." Even so, Luther remained closer to Catholic belief and practice than did his Lutheran successors. Adams argues that Luther reacted against Ockhamist teaching on works which he mistakenly thought was Catholic teaching.

With the reforms of the Council of Trent, the corruption was corrected, and some of the dogma that was debatable when Luther first came to prominence took on definite form. Adams believes the differences between Luther and the Catholic Church are largely - with the exception of the role of the pope - over matters that are practices and accidents (not dogma or morals) and thus changeable.

The Roots of the Reformation is not a recent book: it received its imprimatur in 1951. Its focus is on Germany and Luther rather than on other countries and other reformers.
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16 of 22 people found the following review helpful By david the great on May 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed this book. I'm a Roman Catholic and this book seemed to be very honest with the shamefull behavior of some of the Catholic hierarchy at and prior to Luthers time. It was very revealing in that if Luther had a problem with the Church then that should have been what he wanted to change. But that wasn't the case. This book explains how he used this unfortunate time to use as a catalyste to perpetuate his own theology and religion. If Luther and other protostants have a problem with the "infalability" of the Church and the Pope, how can they think Luther was infalible?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By quasiperfect on February 27, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a tremendously useful resource for the thoughtful Christian who wishes to understand the many varied events and practices that fomented the reformation. I believe it is principally a text for Catholics. Most of the devoted protestants in my acquaintance would probably toss the book shortly after they began reading the 2nd chapter. If they did then they would miss a great opportunity to better understand Catholic teaching.

The forces that influenced Luther's actions were extremely powerful. Some have speculated that other centrifugal forces would have split Christianity had Luther not come to the forefront. I'm more inclined to accept that speculation after reading this text.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Fr Adrian G. Head on May 26, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book tells all the facts, distressing as they are to read, which caused the Reformation. It is part of a bigger History by Karl Adams. He does not agree with what happened in the Reformation, but he points out without subterfuge what brought it about. In that sense it is very revealing. He does not 'put down' the Catholic Church, but nor does he hide distressing things.
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This a fascinating book unfortunately it seems that parts of it are not accurate. I was raised as an evangelical and converted to a Luthern. At 62 years of age I am converting to the catholic church.
I have been doing a lot of research to determine how the reformers went off the rails. This book gives a lot of good background information about the corruption in the catholic church. The information concerning William of Ockham is most likely not completely accurate. It seems that William of Ockham is a favored whipping boy. I have read many articles which attempt to shed light on the issue of why Luther went so wrong. Check this article "THE APOSTLE PAUL AND THE INTROSPECTIVE CONSCIENCE OF THE WEST" by KRISTER STENDAHL and "THE PAUL OF HISTORY AND THE APOSTLE OF FAITH" by By N. T. Wright. Most importantly check out this website which will directly correct the misstatements in this book.
http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2005/03/influence-of-william-of-ockham-and.html

I have read over the book of romans over 100 times and I now realize that as a Luthern I was reading the doctrine of Sola fide into the text.
I still recommend this book but much more is needed to understand the reformation.
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