This book will approach the Reformation from the perspective on last year's Spring Harvest theme, 'One in Christ', and therefore look not at how or why the church split, or whether the church should have split, but from the perspective that the church cannot split because it is Christ's one body. From this basis, the book will explore themes of Christianity such as the church, attitude to scripture and faith, belief, grace and works seeking wisdom from each of the incarnations of the church that resulted from the disagreements of the sixteenth century.
Taking the early Reformation as its focus, Rediscovering the Reformation examines how a belief in one church and one faith has changed and been expressed throughout history. Looking at the way early reformers saw the different weaknesses and perceived corruptions of the church, Knell sheds light on the theological implications of their actions. By showing how those first reformers stayed true to the vision of the one body of Christ, this book works through the various developing beliefs and forms of the Christian faith. Knell ultimately shows us that in understanding how the different reform groups viewed the need to change we are able to see the first 1,500 years of church history in a new light. Rediscovering the Reformation calls on us to consider reforming thought anew, and explores what such renewal can mean for us today. Originating as a series of lectures to mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, Matthew Knell's new book reminds us that if we are to be true to the magisterial reformers our own reforming zeal must always be driven by love for the one church of Jesus Christ. It is a timely call to renounce sectarianism, as well as to engage with tradition; not something we evangelicals are very good at. Ian Stackhouse, senior pastor at Millmead, Guildford Matthew Knell has succeeded in unpicking complex matters of theology and church history with that happy knack of making it look easy. His handling of important themes is impressively sequential, highly informative, almost conversational in manner, and refreshingly free of any uncomfortable bias. Consequently, Rediscovering the Reformation resonates with detail that is logically presented and well worth excavating. Anyone who reads this book will benefit greatly from Matthew Knell's expertise and research, and we should be indebted to him for sharing both so generously. Rediscovering the Reformation can be enjoyed by the serious theologian and the more casual reader - therein lies its beauty. Stephen J. Poxon, author of the Through the Year and At the Master's Side devotional series