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Rescuing the Gospel: The Story and Significance of the Reformation (Lutzer)

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A riveting account of the Reformation--and why it matters today

The Reformation unfolded in the cathedrals and town squares of Europe--in Wittenberg, Worms, Rome, Geneva, and Zurich. The story begins with the Catholic Church and its desperate need for reform. The dramatic events that followed are traced from John Wycliffe in England, to the burning of John Hus at the stake at the Council of Constance, to the rampant sale of indulgences in the cities and towns of Germany, to Martin Luther nailing the Ninety-Five Theses to the door of the Castle Church in 1517, to John Calvin's reform of Geneva. 

In prose that captivates as it informs, Erwin W. Lutzer captures the people, places, and big ideas that fueled the Reformation. He explains its lasting influence on the church and Western civilization. And, perhaps most importantly, he shows why the actions of passionate believers five hundred years ago still matter today.

Table of Contents:

  1. Power, Scandals, and Corruption
  2. A Morning Star and a Goose and Swan
  3. The Wittenberg Door
  4. Who Was Martin Luther?
  5. The Great Discovery
  6. The Dominoes Begin to Fall
  7. The Wild Boar in the Vineyard of the Lord
  8. Here I Stand
  9. We Are Protestants Now
  10. Disputes, Disunity, and Destiny
  11. Luther and the Bible
  12. Luther, Katie, Children, and Death
  13. Zwingli: Reforming Zurich
  14. The Anabaptists: Promise and Persecution
  15. Calvin: Reforming Geneva
  16. Calvinism’s Lasting Influence
  17. Is the Reformation Over?



Erwin W. Lutzer (BTh, Winnipeg Bible College; MA, Loyola University; ThM, Dallas Theological Seminary) has been senior pastor of Moody Church in Chicago for thirty-six years. He has led tours to the sites of the Reformation in Europe, including Wittenberg, Worms, Geneva, and Zurich. He is the ECPA Gold Medallion Award-winning author of Hitler's Cross, as well as many other books, including, The King Is Coming and When a Nation Forgets God. He is the featured speaker on three radio programs, including Running to Win. Lutzer and his wife, Rebecca, live in the Chicago area.



"At the Reformation's five hundredth anniversary, Erwin Lutzer reminds us not only why the Reformation is one of the most significant events in Western history but also why it still holds important lessons for the church today. As Lutzer demonstrates in this book, the theological convictions of Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin need to be recovered as an antidote to the watered-down gospel proclaimed from many Protestant pulpits in our day. Every Protestant needs to recognize the incredible theological debt we owe to the Reformers. Let this book introduce you to their lives, their ministries, and, most importantly, their theology." - R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

"Erwin Lutzer helpfully traces the basic events and teachings of the Reformers in a fashion that readers can easily understand. This little Reformation 101 book reminds us that the Reformation still matters--and why. Reading this book will whet your appetite for more information about the Reformation and its powerful, biblical teachings." - Joel R. Beeke, president of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary

"If we truly want to be relevant today, we must proclaim the ancient gospel. The gospel that Jesus and the apostles proclaimed in the first century is the gospel that Martin Luther and the Reformers proclaimed in the sixteenth century, and it is the same gospel we must proclaim today. With pastoral wisdom and passion, Dr. Lutzer explores the remarkable story of the Reformation, and he powerfully demonstrates why the story of the Reformation is, in fact, our story. Dr. Lutzer sounds a much-needed clarion call to a generation that is quickly turning away from the one and only gospel. I am grateful to our God that Dr. Lutzer has provided us with a refreshingly enjoyable and accessible look at the Reformation and what the Reformation was all about--the unchanging gospel of Jesus Christ." - Burk Parsons, copastor of Saint Andrew's Chapel; editor of Tabletalk magazine