Brad S. GregoryJanuary 9, 2006 - 11:07am0 comments
Is the Reformation Over\?
by Mark A. Noll and Carolyn Nystrom
This book’s title might baffle those familiar with the Reformation era and attuned to current American realities. Open the yellow pages and look under “Churches.” Or drive down the streets of any American town and note the variety of Christian places of worship. Of course the Reformation isn’t over-look at how divided Christians are among themselves!
Such realities are not lost on the authors, respectively a leading historian of American Protestantism and a freelance writer who has written on Thomas à Kempis for evangelical Protestants. Yet their useful, sympathetic book compiles evidence for the extent to which relationships between evangelical Protestants and Roman Catholics, particularly in the United States, have changed dramatically over the past half-century, and offers “an assessment of the contemporary Roman Catholic Church” based on “the classic ideals of the Protestant Reformation” (sola scriptura, sola fide, and the priesthood of all believers).
Accordingly, the study is part historical, part sociological, and part theological. On the basis of opinion polls, sociological studies, comments by church leaders, shared activities, and joint statements from the formal, Catholic-initiated ecumenical dialogues, the authors make a very strong case about how a relationship characterized mostly by mutual antagonism between the sixteenth century and the 1950s has largely become one of mutual respect and...