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Ken Brownell brilliantly summarises what Luther stood for 500 years ago as well as updating his ideas for 500 years later - today
An informed and essential guide to Luther's life and theology through the presentation of the 95 theses that changed the course of church history. Brownell not only expounds the significance of that document in the context of the 16th century but helps the reader to apply it to our present-day situation. The conviction that lies at the heart of the book is that the Protestant Reformation has many lessons to teach to Reformational churches as they seek to remain faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the midst of the many challenges they face, both internally and externally. A simple yet profound book to be accompanied by in the celebrations of the 5th centenary of the Reformation.
Each generation of Christians needs to be exposed to the great events of church history that stand out like towering mountain peaks in order for their souls to be emboldened to seek spiritual revival in their own day. The start of the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century is one such great event. Kenneth Brownell captures that historic moment in this admirably readable little book. He then proposes "9.5 thesis" that challenge us to follow in the footsteps of the Reformer Martin Luther to recover Reformational (i.e. true biblical) Christianity today. What will our response be?
It’s 500 years since Martin Luther famously nailed his 95 Theses to the door of a church in Wittenberg initiating the process that we now call the Reformation. As we remember this anniversary Kenneth Brownell highlights 9.5. (10 really) things we need to do if we are to recover the Christianity of the Reformation in the UK. This pithy book, it takes about an hour to read it from cover to cover, begins with two fast-paced chapters giving an overview of the life and work of Martin Luther. Brownell then loosely uses Luther’s 95 Theses to provide 10 short thoughts to shape our practice as evangelicals today. Brownell Theses’ include amongst other things the centrality of Scripture to all we do, the need for well-trained pastors whose ‘learning must fear God and be intellectually rigorous’ and the need for us to care passionately about ordinary people’s spiritual welfare and consequently to have preachers who can reach all kinds of people. In his chapter on the crucial doctrine of the justification by faith is an excellent challenge to make this doctrine ‘a living reality in our churches and lives.’ Brownell includes a superb observation that many of us take God’s holiness so lightly that we barely see the need for justification whilst others amongst us, despite theoretical commitment to the doctrine, actually rely on our good works for our justification. I certainly felt challenged to ‘start each day with a thoroughgoing stand on Luther’s platform.’
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