Rescuing the Gospel

The Story and Significance of the Reformation

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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.


"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


A stirring story of courage and cowardice, betrayal and faith

"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."--Burk Parsons, copastor of Saint Andrew's Chapel; editor of Tabletalk magazine

"A wonderful journey through the history of the pre-Reformation and Reformation periods that will illumine what people need to know about the gospel, God's grace, the church, and religious liberty. These are crucial topics for our day, when so many opinions about them exist. As the book shows, history has much to teach us here."--Darrell Bock, executive director for cultural engagement at the Howard G. Hendricks Center for Christian Leadership and Cultural Engagement; senior research professor of New Testament studies at Dallas Theological Seminary

"Capturing the pageantry and danger following Martin Luther's bold stand in Wittenberg, Lutzer has penned what may be his most important book--a book that looks back on the glories of the original Reformation and looks forward to the hope of a new reformation."--Robert Jeffress, senior pastor of First Baptist Church Dallas; author of Not All Roads Lead to Heaven


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.


Endorsements

"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

"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

"Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Rescuing the Gospel is a wonderful journey through the history of the pre-Reformation and Reformation periods that will illumine what people need to know about the gospel, God's grace, the church, and religious liberty. These are crucial topics for our day, when so many opinions about them exist. As the book shows, history has much to teach us here. Erwin Lutzer's study shows us in a most informative and interesting way what we should learn from this crucial period of our past history."

Darrell Bock, executive director for cultural engagement at the Howard G. Hendricks Center for Christian Leadership and Cultural Engagement; senior research professor of New Testament studies at Dallas Theological Seminary

"Many books will be written about the five hundredth anniversary of the Reformation. But few, if any, will be written with such spiritual sensitivity, theological depth, or historical accuracy as Erwin Lutzer's Rescuing the Gospel. Capturing the pageantry and danger following Martin Luther's bold stand in Wittenberg, Lutzer has penned what may be his most important book--a book that looks back on the glories of the original Reformation and looks forward to the hope of a new reformation."

Robert Jeffress, senior pastor of First Baptist Church Dallas; author of Not All Roads Lead to Heaven

"The fastest way to kill a tree is to cut its roots! And Dr. Erwin Lutzer helps prevent us from doing that. We must never forget our spiritual and historical root system. We build upon the shoulders of those who have labored in the past. Rescuing the Gospel will introduce (or reintroduce) you to some forebears of our faith who fought hard to make the Scriptures the central for authority and practice. I have enjoyed every book Erwin Lutzer has written. He makes me think and helps me learn. In Rescuing the Gospel he does even more. He rekindles a love for the truth and helps us understand and appreciate the enormous contribution of the great Reformers to the roots of the gospel tree."

Skip Heitzig, senior pastor of Calvary Albuquerque

"A powerful evidence for the continuing importance of Luther's Reformation is seen when one of the most influential evangelical pastors of our day writes a solid theological book in its favor. Dr. Erwin Lutzer, pastor emeritus of Moody Church in Chicago, has done just that--and every evangelical would benefit greatly from reading it. Particularly important is the author's recognition that the differences between Catholics and Protestants on the central doctrine of justification have not been transcended but remain an obstacle to the unity of the church militant."

John Warwick Montgomery, professor emeritus of law and humanities at the University of Bedfordshire, England; distinguished research professor of philosophy at Concordia University Wisconsin; director of the International Academy of Apologetics, Ev

"A distance of five centuries can dull our appreciation for the revolutionizing impact of the Reformation. I deeply appreciate the clarity and candor of Rescuing the Gospel. It is only as we refresh our minds with the theological and historical realities of what was spawned by the courage of Wycliffe, Hus, Luther, and others that we can discern right paths in our day. The proclamation of the pure gospel message is still urgently needed today. This book calls, corrects, and challenges us to that end."

Paul Nyquist, president of Moody Bible Institute

"Hus, Wycliffe, Luther, the Reformation, freedom, faith--these people and these words have their theological/biblical roots in "grace alone, faith alone, in Christ alone," the enduring emphases of the Reformation. Dr. Erwin Lutzer, pastor emeritus of Moody Church in Chicago, delivers a well-researched work that shows the Reformation not as an ivory tower discussion of dispassionate theologians but as a dynamic movement of people, pastoral leaders, and lay leaders whose concern was for the forgiveness, life, and salvation that come to people as a gift of God's grace. Squarely positioned in the evangelical tradition, Dr. Lutzer gives all people of every religious stripe something to think deeply about when speaking of Christ and His grace for their lives today. As you read this book, you will realize anew why these discussions mattered five hundred years ago and why they still matter today."

Gregory Seltz, speaker on The Lutheran Hour; previously professor of theology at Concordia University Irvine

"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


The Author

  1. Erwin W. Lutzer

    Erwin W. Lutzer

    Erwin W. Lutzer (BTh, Winnipeg Bible College; ThM, Dallas Theological Seminary) is pastor emeritus of Moody Church in Chicago. He has led tours to the sites of the Reformation in Europe, including Wittenberg, Worms, Geneva, and Zurich. He is the ECPA Gold...

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