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The Reformation: How a Monk and a Mallet Changed the World Paperback – February 14, 2007


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Dr. Nichols has done it again! He's written a history book that will teach you without boring you to death. In fact, this book is fun! But more than that, this is a book that will cause you to rejoice in the Reformation and renew your commitment to the truths of the Reformation for our time. Read it! You'll be glad you did."
Steve Brown, Host, Key Life Radio Program; author, Three Free Sins: God Isn't Mad At You 

"Beyond merely summarizing Reformation history and teaching, Nichols draws us into the life and times of this era-as if the issues that inflamed an era still mattered. And they do. Read this book and you'll be glad that the Reformation isn't over."
Michael Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California; author, Calvin on the Christian Life

"Professor Stephen Nichols is already well-known for his remarkable ability to make history live and sing. This new work is no exception and will simply enhance his well-deserved reputation. It is a scintillating helicopter tour of the amazing men-and wonderful women-of the Reformation. Here conviction joins with courage, holiness with humor, in a wonderful medley of Christian heroes and heroines."
Sinclair B. Ferguson, Professor of Systematic Theology, Redeemer Seminary, Dallas, Texas

About the Author

Stephen J. Nichols (PhD, Westminster Theological Seminary) is president of Reformation Bible College and chief academic officer of Ligonier Ministries. Previously, he served as research professor of Christianity and culture at Lancaster Bible College. He is an editor (with Justin Taylor) of the Theologians on the Christian Life series and is the author of several books, including The Reformation, For Us and for Our Salvation, The Church History ABCs, and Bonhoeffer on the Christian Life.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway (February 14, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1581348290
  • ISBN-13: 978-1581348293
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #321,202 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stephen J. Nichols is president of Reformation Bible College and chief academic officer and teaching fellow for Ligonier Ministries. He earned a PhD from Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia and is author of numerous books, including For Us and for Our Salvation and Jesus Made in America.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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The book covers multiple aspects of a very complex period of history.
Joseph P. Bradley
I hope you are getting the sense that this book can teach you a lot, and you might even enjoy it too!
David A. Vosseller
Great book and great series of books I would highly recommend any of these books from these authors.
RANDY DANIELS

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Tim Challies TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 27, 2007
Format: Paperback
I love church history. I consider it absolutely tragic that so few contemporary Christians have any real sense of their heritage. They know a little bit of New Testament history, can list hundreds of today's best and worst teachers, but know almost nothing of the 2000 years between.

The Reformation: How a Monk and a Mallet Changed the World is one of a long line of books authored by Stephen Nichols, professor at Lancaster Bible College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Nichols is a prolific author who seems to be releasing books with impressive regularity. To this point all of his books have centered on church history. He has written several works on Jonathan Edwards, one each on Martin Luther and Gresham Machen, and one providing a guided tour of classic Christian writing. This new title "goes behind the scenes and uncovers the human side of the larger-than-life Reformers through user-friendly narrative stories on the Reformation."

The book is built upon two ideas, both of which I agree with entirely. The first is that the Reformation matters (which indicates that all of church history matters). Nicholas provides four reasons why: first, church history provides lots of examples of Christians from all walks of life who labored to bring their faith to bear upon the world in which they lived; second, church history can be humbling as we realize that we are not a whole lot better and smarter and godlier than people in the past; third, we are humbled by the spiritual insight and spiritual depth of our predecessors in the faith; fourth, we learn what matters most to the Christian faith when we look to church history in general the the Reformation in particular. The second idea behind this book is simply that history can be fun.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Seth McBee on November 10, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Stephen J. Nichols has been coming out with a lot of books lately and has been highly recommended by a lot of people that I respect. I decided to take a look at a couple of his books and this one in particular, being that I am always looking for more information on the Reformation.

Nichols sets this up for an introduction for the differing reformations that happened all over the globe after the way that was paved by Wycliffe and Hus and then finally with the most powerful Martin Luther.

You can actually get a great understanding of where the book will lead you by seeing the different chapter titles.

1. Five Hundred Years Old and Still Going Strong: Why the Reformation Matters Today

2. A Monk and a Mallet: Martin Luther and the German Reformation

3. Some Middle-Aged Men and a Sausage Supper: Ulrich Zwingli and the Swiss Reformation

4. The Not-So-Radical Radical Reformers: The Anabaptists and the Reformation

5. An Overnight Stay in Geneva: John Calvin and the Swiss Reformation

6. A King and a Divorce: The Anglicans and the British Reformation

7. Men in Black: The Puritans and the British Reformation

8. Women in Black Too: The Untold Story of Women and the Reformation

Appendix: In Their Own Words: Selections from Documents of the Reformation

So, as you can see Nichols tries to cover a lot of ground in one little book, as the book, including the appendix is only 150 pages. It is very short in a lot of areas but it has to be so that the reader that is not accustomed to the Reformation can get their pallet wet enough to want to read other works that get more detailed each of these particular reformation periods.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Erik Raymond on November 19, 2008
Format: Paperback
How do you consolidate into one little book an era that has had thousands of volumes written on it? Well, you have to cut a lot of stuff out, of course. But what makes this book by Stephen Nichols so helpful is what he puts in, and how he does it.

Nichols is a flat out terrific writer. He is able simultaneously write in an informative and entertaining way. His priority is to show that church history matters and that history should be fun. Thankfully, he is aided by some pretty interesting characters in the Reformation period. The chapter titles bear this out:

1. Five Hundred Years Old and Still Going Strong: Why the Reformation Matters Today

2. A Monk and a Mallet: Martin Luther and the German Reformation

3. Some Middle-Aged Men and a Sausage Supper: Ulrich Zwingli and the Swiss Reformation

4. The Not-So-Radical Radical Reformers: The Anabaptists and the Reformation

5. An Overnight Stay in Geneva: John Calvin and the Swiss Reformation

6. A King and a Divorce: The Anglicans and the British Reformation

7. Men in Black: The Puritans and the British Reformation

8. Women in Black Too: The Untold Story of Women and the Reformation

Appendix: In Their Own Words: Selections from Documents of the Reformation

The book is written in an easily understandable way. I read the book out loud at the dinner table to our kids. I will admit that the younger ones (4 & 6) were less than enthralled but my older kids (9 & 13) were engaged. All of this to say, Nichols keeps it moving and it is filled with a lot of the important stuff.

I also found it encouraging that even from a 15,000 foot overview Nichols did not try to cover up the warts of our favorite Reformers.
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