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The Reformation: How a Monk and a Mallet Changed the World [Paperback]

By Stephen J. Nichols (Author)
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Item description for The Reformation: How a Monk and a Mallet Changed the World by Stephen J. Nichols...

Overview
Goes behind the scenes and uncovers the human side of the larger-than-life Reformers through user-friendly narrative stories on the Reformation.

Publishers Description

Mention history and some might struggle to stifle a yawn. But when presented as a narrative it can often be compelling reading. Stephen J. Nichols takes a key period in time, the Reformation, and presents its major players in a fresh way. From Martin Luther, a simple monk who wielded the mallet, to kings and queens, this book goes behind the scenes to uncover the human side of these larger-than-life Reformers. Along the way readers meet Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, John Calvin, Kings Henry VIII and Edward VI, Lady Jane Grey, Anne Bradstreet, and many others.

For those wanting to see history in its context, Nichols also provides a sampling of primary source materials. It is an engaging read that will remind readers of the foundational truths that can never be taken for granted by the church in any age. Includes numerous illustrations.

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Item Specifications...


Studio: Crossway Books
Pages   159
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.44" Width: 5.78" Height: 0.41"
Weight:   0.45 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 14, 2007
Publisher   GOOD NEWS PUBLISHING #65
ISBN  1581348290  
ISBN13  9781581348293  


Availability  15 units.
Availability accurate as of Jan 24, 2017 06:36.
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More About Stephen J. Nichols


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Stephen J. Nichols (PhD, Westminster Theological Seminary) serves as the president of Reformation Bible College and chief academic officer of Ligonier Ministries. He is an editor of the Theologians on the Christian Life series and also hosts the weekly podcast 5 Minutes in Church History.

Eric T. Brandt (MA, Wheaton College) is an instructional designer and adjunct professor of church history at Reformation Bible College in Sanford, Florida. Eric and his wife, Megan, live in Lake Mary, Florida.



Stephen J. Nichols currently resides in the state of Pennsylvania. Stephen J. Nichols was born in 1970.

Stephen J. Nichols has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Theologians on the Christian Life


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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General


Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Church History
Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > General



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Reviews - What do customers think about The Reformation: How a Monk and a Mallet Changed the World?

Great Introduction to The Reformation  Nov 19, 2008
How do you consolidate into one little book an era that has had thousands of volumes written on it? Well, you have to cut a lot of stuff out, of course. But what makes this book by Stephen Nichols so helpful is what he puts in, and how he does it.

Nichols is a flat out terrific writer. He is able simultaneously write in an informative and entertaining way. His priority is to show that church history matters and that history should be fun. Thankfully, he is aided by some pretty interesting characters in the Reformation period. The chapter titles bear this out:

1. Five Hundred Years Old and Still Going Strong: Why the Reformation Matters Today

2. A Monk and a Mallet: Martin Luther and the German Reformation

3. Some Middle-Aged Men and a Sausage Supper: Ulrich Zwingli and the Swiss Reformation

4. The Not-So-Radical Radical Reformers: The Anabaptists and the Reformation

5. An Overnight Stay in Geneva: John Calvin and the Swiss Reformation

6. A King and a Divorce: The Anglicans and the British Reformation

7. Men in Black: The Puritans and the British Reformation

8. Women in Black Too: The Untold Story of Women and the Reformation

Appendix: In Their Own Words: Selections from Documents of the Reformation

The book is written in an easily understandable way. I read the book out loud at the dinner table to our kids. I will admit that the younger ones (4 & 6) were less than enthralled but my older kids (9 & 13) were engaged. All of this to say, Nichols keeps it moving and it is filled with a lot of the important stuff.

I also found it encouraging that even from a 15,000 foot overview Nichols did not try to cover up the warts of our favorite Reformers. Whether it be Luther's anti-Semitic statements, Calvin's issues with Servetus, the dreadful persecution of the Anabaptists, or Zwingli's organ smashing, we are given a helpful introduction to these guys.

If you are looking for a good introduction to the Reformation I heartily recommend this book by Stephen Nichols.
 
Good Primer on the Reformation  Sep 23, 2008
Stephen J. Nichols is starting to build a reputation for making Christian history acessible and fun to read. This little primer on the Reformation is no exception. It serves as a great refresher for those a bit rusty on the big picture or an introduction to those first interested in the topic which undoubtedly is quite daunting. This would also make a great text for homeschoolers.

Nichols gives a brief overview of the key reformers like Luther, Zwingli and Calvin. He surveys the Anabaptist reformers and spends 2 chapters on the Reformation in Great Britan including the exploits of Henry VIII and the Puritans. The book starts with an excellent chapter on why the Reformation is important to study and understand. It was a large scale recovery of the heart of the Christian faith, the gospel itself as expressed in the 5 solas of the Reformation: scripture alone, faith alone, Christ alone, grace alone and to the glory of God alone. The last chapter focuses on important but often forgotten women of the Reformation. Finally the book ends with several apendices that include excerpts from key documents, confessions, catechisms and prayers of the Reformation. The text itself is accompanied by a number of highlighted sections focusing further attention on important issues. There are also quite a number of illustrations, photos and portraits of the reformers that make the book more acessible and enjoyable.

What I like about this little primer is that Nichols inserts at key points important lessons to be learned from the Reformation. Standard academic histories often try to treat its topics with a neutral point of view (however impossible that is). Even when a historical work is sympathetic to its topic it usual tries to hide the fact by being subtle about it. Nichols doesn't wear his sympathies on his sleeve, but he does seek to point out the Biblical truths the Reformation teaches us. He also does not hide the weaknesses, failures and even sins of the reformers. Those are lessons too.

This is a short book by design and so it will not cover many topics. However, I was dissapointed that nothing was said about William Tyndale, the early English reformer and Bible translator. Some emphasis on the precusors to the Reformation might have been helpful as well - men like John Wycliffe and Jan Hus. Otherwise, I was pleased with the book and heartily recommend it to all.
 
A quick and easy-to-follow survey of the Reformation  Jun 6, 2008
The Reformation wasn't so much an event as it was a period. Today some of us tend to remember it as one man's struggle against the prevailing religious organization of his day -- that is, as Martin Luther against the Roman Catholic Church. But the Reformation was more than that. In fact, Luther wasn't the only reformer pushing for reform, and Germany wasn't the only country being reformed. Others such as Ulrich Zwingli and John Calvin in Switzerland, John Knox in Scotland, and the Anglicans and Puritans in Great Britain, were also pushing for reform. But who were these reformers? And if the Reformation wasn't just one event, what was it?

In his book entitled The Reformation, Stephen J. Nichols takes us on a tour of the Reformation along with its key figures and events. He writes on Luther and the German Reformation (ch. 2), on Ulrich Zwingli and John Calvin and the Swiss Reformation (chs. 3, 5), the Anabaptists (ch. 4), the Anglicans and Puritans and the British Reformation (chs. 6-7), and the women of the Reformation (ch. 8). He tells us why the Reformation matters today (ch. 1), and gives us selections from documents of the reformation in the appendix. Throughout the book Nichols notes how the different players of the Reformation influenced each other. Indeed, one of the many helpful things about Nichols's volume is that he depicts the Reformation as a constellation of smaller-scale reform movements that coalesced into a larger, more widespread Reformation ethos. And this ethos was undergirded by the five solas that came out of Reformation thought: 1) Sola Scriptura; 2) Sola Gratia; 3) Sola Fide; 4) Solus Christus; and 5) Soli Deo Gloria.

At 156 pages, The Reformation is a short book. Yet Nichols covers a lot of ground. Even though he stretches himself to fit so many important details about such a vast and sprawling movement into a short space, his well-organized content and easy-to-follow style make this a wonderful introduction to the Reformation.
 
An Entertaining and Helpful Tour of the Reformation  Jan 18, 2008
The Reformation: How a Monk and a Mallet Changed the World is one of the most entertaining books I have read in awhile. One of Stephen Nichols goals in writing the book was to prove that history can be fun. He succeeded. There were numerous times I was laughing out loud as I read his overview of the Reformation. He makes the men and women of the Reformation come alive. From Zwingli's sausage supper during Lent to Katharina (Katie) von Bora's conquest of Luther's heart, Nichol's presents the human and humorous side of the Reformers.

He also does a great job teaching history. The book has eight chapters covering Luther, Zwingli, the Anabaptist, John Calvin, the British Reformation, the Puritans and the women of the Reformation. Nichols overviews the leading people and events in a compelling narrative that makes the history easy to remember. He even points out things that are frequently not mentioned or considered in overviews of church history. For example, Luther's decision to post the Ninety-Five Theses on October 31, 1517 was likely connected to the celebration of All Saints' Day, the next day. On All Saints' Day pilgrims would file past the relics in the church and appeal to the excess merits of the saints in hopes of pleasing the righteous demands of God - the very activity Luther was trying to correct.

Nichols decision to focus on lesser known (or misunderstood groups) like the Anabaptists, puritans and women brings people who are frequently lost in the shadows of Luther, Zwingli and Calvin into the light of history they deserve. There is also a scorecard in the back of the book that will help you remember the major people and events covered in each chapter.

I highly recommend this book for those who want an initial overview of the Reformation or a quick refresher. I enjoyed it so much that I have added his more extensive book on Luther to my "to be read" list.
 
Helpful Introduction...  Nov 10, 2007
Stephen J. Nichols has been coming out with a lot of books lately and has been highly recommended by a lot of people that I respect. I decided to take a look at a couple of his books and this one in particular, being that I am always looking for more information on the Reformation.

Nichols sets this up for an introduction for the differing reformations that happened all over the globe after the way that was paved by Wycliffe and Hus and then finally with the most powerful Martin Luther.

You can actually get a great understanding of where the book will lead you by seeing the different chapter titles.

1. Five Hundred Years Old and Still Going Strong: Why the Reformation Matters Today

2. A Monk and a Mallet: Martin Luther and the German Reformation

3. Some Middle-Aged Men and a Sausage Supper: Ulrich Zwingli and the Swiss Reformation

4. The Not-So-Radical Radical Reformers: The Anabaptists and the Reformation

5. An Overnight Stay in Geneva: John Calvin and the Swiss Reformation

6. A King and a Divorce: The Anglicans and the British Reformation

7. Men in Black: The Puritans and the British Reformation

8. Women in Black Too: The Untold Story of Women and the Reformation

Appendix: In Their Own Words: Selections from Documents of the Reformation

So, as you can see Nichols tries to cover a lot of ground in one little book, as the book, including the appendix is only 150 pages. It is very short in a lot of areas but it has to be so that the reader that is not accustomed to the Reformation can get their pallet wet enough to want to read other works that get more detailed each of these particular reformation periods.

The one thing that was stated at the first of the book that I was excited to see more about, that I found lacking, came when Nichols said we need to "humanize" the people of history. Meaning, we need to show who they were and not merely what they did. I felt as though Nichols did a pretty good job in this with Luther, but felt that this dropped off in the future chapters with the others. This, by no means, makes this book a disappointment and would definitely recommend it to others for an introduction to who and what went before us.

Nichols does make this history very readable and interesting to read without merely spitting out facts, which is happening in another book I am reading on the same subject. The book flows very well and makes you want to learn more about the reformers, instead of seeing history as a dry and dead subject.

I look forward to reading more books by Nichols and would defnitely recommend this to any who need an introduction to the Reformation from Wycliffe to the Puritans.
 

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