The Reformation: What You Need to Know and Why – Review

The Reformation: What You Need to Know and Why from Hendrickson is a book about the Reformation in the Lausanne Library by Michael Reeves and John Stott. It’s a short book at 100 pages and small enough to fit into a pocket, but it gives an excellent overview of the key events and people of the Reformation.

It includes two major sections written by the authors and several supporting documents including a pre-Reformation hymn from the 1300’s by Bianco de Siena and translated by Richard Frederick Littledale. The Forward was written by Lindsay Brown.

Reformation Timeline

The timeline is almost 5 pages and provides the date and a short description of key events and people of the Reformation. This is an important outline for the book as some of the people here are not mentioned in the other sections, and it’s easy to see the events at a glance.

The Story and Significance of the Reformation

This section was written by Michael Reeves and gives a short overview of the events and key characters of the Reformation. This is my favorite section of the book. It is so well-written and informative that I would like to have seen even more of the history.

It does a great job of painting the picture of what it was like during the time of the Reformation and shows the need for the Reformation simply from the events they faced.

Keep the Faith and Pass it On

This section was written by John Stott and covers the basic doctrines of the Reformation based on the Apostles Creed. As expected this has to include doctrinal bias, but it isn’t heavy in doctrine and does a great job of simplifying the basic beliefs and provides Scripture for study. It also covers what we should do to spread the Gospel. I especially like the point that we should adorn the Gospel and the tips on how to proclaim it to others. There are some great points here, but I will always caution readers to do their own study when it comes to doctrine.

Jesus’ Prayer For Unity in His Church

This is an appendix written by Alan Purser and covers the prayer of Jesus from John chapter 17. It discusses teachings based on John 17 from a couple of teachers including John Stott. The main point focuses on the need for unity for effective missions. It places the prayer of Jesus into perspective and shows the need for us to be mission-based.

Martin Luther’s 95 Theses

This is all 95 of Martin Luther’s theses translated into English with no additional comments. I like that this list was included because this was the catalyst of the Reformation. It’s good to have easy access to it.

Questions for Study and Reflection

This section includes 6 points of study. The first point contains questions to answer. The rest give homework to read a book or listen to a class, read a confession, answer a question, discuss a point, etc. All but the first one requires you to go outside this book to other resources which many may not have access to.

Recommended Reading

This is a list of recommended reading from the Lausanne movement and provides a short description of the movement and its mission.


The Reformation: What You Need to Know and Why is an interesting book about the Reformation. In just a few pages it covers why it was needed, the key events and people, and shows from Scripture what we should do to carry the Gospel to others. I enjoyed reading it and I recommend it to anyone looking for a short overview of the Reformation.


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Photography by hannah C brown

Hendrickson Publishers provided this book free for review. I was now required to give a positive review – only an honest review. My opinions are my own.

About The Author

Randy A Brown

WordPress writer by day, Bible reviewer by night, pastor all the time. And there's also that author thing.

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