James R. Payton seeks to set the record straight in his book Getting the Reformation Wrong: Correcting Some Misunderstandings. My only fear is how many misunderstandings will I find myself guilty of! Well, no better time than the present to get it right.
Take a look at the table of contents:
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
Here are a few of the endorsements:
"Getting the Reformation Wrong gets the Reformation right. All students of the Reformation, whether academic or just interested, must read this book. It rightly sets the record straight about the great people and ideas of the Protestant and Catholic Reformations of the sixteenth century in a refreshingly engaging style."—Roger Olson, author of The Story of Christian Theology
"Dr. Payton's new book, Getting the Reformation Wrong, is a refreshing and stimulating look at the events of the sixteenth century and their implications. He combines a solid understanding of the scholarship with a sensitivity to the faith issues involved, particularly for Christians of all types who may be reading these pages. Ending with reference to the worldwide Protestant missionary movement, he urges his readers to consider the tension between the triumph and the tragedy that are both the legacies of these long-ago events in a way that moves the discussion of the challenges of being a Protestant Christian right up to the present." —Helen Vreugdenhil, assistant professor of history, Redeemer University College
"The title is provocative, but what James R. Payton Jr. has in mind is not the overthrowing of generations of scholarship on the Reformation, but the use of the best scholarship to guide and correct misleading impressions often held by the common reader and Christian laypeople: for example, that the Reformation was a revolutionary bolt from the blue, that the principle of sola scriptura meant a wholesale rejection of Catholic theological tradition, that the Catholic Church was truculent over against the Protestant assault, refusing all efforts at reform, and the like. These notions are indeed false. On this basis of 'getting wrongs right,' the book proves to be a lively narrative that tells the story of the most important epoch in the history of the church in a clear, understandable, unfussy manner, yet one rich in detail. I appreciate especially Payton's sober conclusion on the tragic elements of what the sixteenth century wrought."—Walter Sundberg, professor of church history, Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MinnesotaLook for it this August. Getting the Reformation Wrong will be a paperback with 240 pages and sell for $23.00.
James R. Payton Jr. (Ph.D., University of Waterloo, Canada) is a professor of history at Redeemer University College, Ancaster, Ontario, Canada. He has studied, taught and been in dialogue with Eastern Orthodoxy for many years and is the author of a number of articles on Orthodoxy and Protestant-Orthodox relations. Another area of interest for Payton is the Reformation on which he has written many articles and book reviews. Some of his works cover subjects such as John Calvin, Martin Bucer and the influence of the Reformation in Ukraine. He is also the author of Light from the Christian East: an Introduction to the Orthodox Tradition. It was a recipient of the World Guild 2008 Canadian Christian Writing Awards in the Biblical Studies category.