Book Review - Here We Stand
Reformed Free Publishing Association
The following review was written by Kevin Huizinga on the book Here We Stand: Commemorating the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation by various authors, edited by Prof. Ron Cammenga (Jenison, MI: Reformed Free Publishing, 2018). This review was originally published in the October 2023 issue of The Grandville Gleaner.
"Here We Stand," a variation on Martin Luther's powerful concluding statement from his speech at the Diet of Worms, is an appropriate title for this book and theme for the event it summarizes. In October of 2017, a conference was held to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the great Reformation. Spread over two days, it included six different speeches which were then adapted by the speakers into written form. Each section highlights a different aspect of one of the most significant events of Christ's church on this earth.
Professors Ronald Cammenga, Barry Gritters, and Russell Dykstra and Reverends David Torlach, Martin McGeown, and Steven Key each write their own chapter based on a different topic. Subjects include Luther's internal struggle with the assurance of salvation, the return to Sola Scriptura, the priesthood of all believers, the recovery of right worship, the response to radical reformers, and reformation progress in the lowlands.
The Reformation has no shortage of subject matter, and the writers do well in covering a wide range of issues in depth without overlapping each other's material. Each chapter covers a serious error of the Roman Catholic church of that day, how various reformers responded to the error, and the application and effects we feel to this day. The writers did a good job of drawing parallels to doctrinal issues that we still encounter, and emphasized the importance of defending them with scripture. It was interesting to read how much of the weekly worship services in our churches today originated from reforms 500 years ago.
Throughout the book, even with the multiple authors and topics, there is a clear theme of God's grace in the gathering and preserving of His church. The years leading up to the Reformation must have been very difficult and seemingly hopeless for the saints of that day. In His perfect will, the Lord worked in the hearts of men such as Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, John Calvin, and many more to stand firm against the heresies of the corrupt church. As we approach another anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation, there is no better time to pick up this book.
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