Getting the Reformation Wrong: Correcting Some Misunderstandings, By James R. Payton Jr. alt

Getting the Reformation Wrong

Correcting Some Misunderstandings

by James R. Payton Jr.

Getting the Reformation Wrong
  • Length: 272 pages
  • Published: July 02, 2010
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 6749
  • ISBN: 9780830867493

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Getting the Reformation wrong is a common problem.

Most students of history know that Martin Luther nailed his ninety-five theses to the Wittenberg Church door and that John Calvin penned the Institutes of the Christian Religion. However, the Reformation did not unfold in the straightforward, monolithic fashion some may think. It was, in fact, quite a messy affair.

Using the most current Reformation scholarship, James R. Payton exposes, challenges and corrects some common misrepresentations of the Reformation. Getting the Reformation Wrong:

  • places the Reformation in the context of medieval and Renaissance reform efforts
  • analyzes conflicts among the Reformers
  • corrects common misunderstandings of what the Reformers meant by sola fide and sola Scriptura
  • examines how the Anabaptist movement fits in with the magisterial Reformation
  • critiques the post-Reformational move to Protestant Scholasticism
  • explores how the fresh perspective on the Reformation could make a difference in today's churches



1 The Medieval Call for Reform
2 The Renaissance: Friend or Foe?
3 Carried Along by Misunderstandings
4 Conflict Among the Reformers
5 What the Reformers meant by Sola Fide
6 What the Reformers meant by Sola Scriptura
7 How the Anabaptists Fit In
8 Reformation in Rome
9 Changing Direction: From the Reformation to Protestant Scholasticism
10 Was the Reformation a Success?
11 Is the Reformation a Norm?
12 The Reformation as Triumph and Tragedy

Name Index

Subject Index


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James R. Payton Jr.

James R. Payton Jr. (PhD, University of Waterloo, Canada) is emeritus professor of history at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ontario, Canada. He is the author of Light from the Christian East: An Introduction to the Orthodox Tradition and Getting the Reformation Wrong: Correcting Some Misunderstandings, as well as the editor of A Patristic Treasury: Early Church Wisdom for Today.