Friday, July 9, 2010

Review of The Unquenchable Flame by Michael Reeves

Author: Michael Reeves

Pages: 208 pgs

Publisher: B & H Publishing

Price: 10.19

Genre: Church History/Reformation

Quick Summary:

Touted on the back cover as a “remarkably accessible introduction to the [Reformation] historic era” this 208 page book focuses on Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, and the Puritans. As these key figures are analyzed the heart of the reformation is uncovered. The book begins by glancing at the pre-history of the Reformation and closes by asking “is the Reformation over?”.

What I Liked:

The Reformation is an interesting time period to study. I have, however, read books that make it seem boring and stale. Thankfully, this book is not in that line. Michael Reeves writes with humor, passion, and insight. He allows the main characters to be who they really were. He does not take pains to gloss over their rough edges or to needlessly exalt them. He allows them to be. And in so doing he points out the heart of the Reformation—the redeeming work of Jesus Christ alone.

There are also little sidebars that help us to take a slice out of these particular time periods and focus on a crucial event or character. These are helpful for seeing the well-rounded landscape of the Reformation. Reeves does a great job of not confining the Reformation to one particular location but showing how it impacted all of Roman Catholic lands.

What I Disliked:

I always greatly dislike footnotes at the end of a chapter. I prefer them at the bottom of the page, or even at the end of the book, but it is laborious to try to find the last page of the chapter ends on every time you want to check the footnote. Other than this minor dislike, there is nothing else I can point to as a dislike worth mentioning.

Should You Buy It?

It is a fun read even for those that have read many books on the Reformation period. Particularly helpful is the chapter on Zwingli (he doesn’t get much press in Reformation books). If this is your first exposure to the Reformation then this is also a great place to start. So, no matter who you are I think this book would be an asset. You can buy it here for only 10.19

Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars

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