The Protestant Reformation spanned more than a few countries and people. In his book titled Reformation Sketches: Insights into Luther, Calvin and the Confessions… Dr. Godfrey gives us insights into key thoughts and issues as well as the key figures during the protestant reformation.
He looks at Luther on law and gospel as well as Luther on the family. Augustine’s influence on Luther and his theology looms large. Luther’s 95 Thesis is examined in detail and discussion given to its leveraged impact.
Phillip Melancthon is covered as well, but Godfrey’s main emphasis is is Calvin and Luther.
Calvin is discussed in the book’s second section. For several chapters the author addresses Calvin’s views on maintaining the unity and purity of the church and how he dealt with attacks on justification and predestination. An informative chapter on Calvin’s work as a counselor correctly grasps his desire that Christians maintain daily faithfulness in this fallen world while looking to the victory Christ has won for them.
Other chapters turn the reader’s attention to the embattled Huguenots in France, the formation of the Heidelberg Catechism, and the Canons of Dort. A concluding chapter examines the relevance of the historic confessions for the contemporary church.
The diverse topics should make this volume of interest to a wide spectrum of Christians. Dr. Godfrey is a good communicator. In these pages one gains a better understanding of the historical context of the Reformation and some of the struggles that occurred between Reformers, as well as their struggles against opponents of the Reformation. The author clearly shows that Luther believed both law and gospel are to be preached while emphasizing the grace of God. He also shows that Calvin’s emphasis was on more than predestination. Additionally, Dr. Godfrey provides timely Christian application throughout the book. His writing proves the continuing relevance of the Reformation for today and also serves as a reminder that Christians need to continually reform their lives by God’s grace in terms of scripture.