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Wittenberg vs Geneva: A Biblical Bout in Seven Rounds on the Doctrines that Divide Book Cover Wittenberg vs Geneva: A Biblical Bout in Seven Rounds on the Doctrines that Divide
Brian W. Thomas
New Reformation Publications
February 8, 2016
192

What are the differences between Lutherans and Calvinists, and do they really matter? In Wittenberg vs. Geneva, Brian Thomas provides a biblical defense of the key doctrines that have divided the Lutheran and Reformed traditions for nearly five centuries.

It is especially written to help those who may have an interest in the Lutheran church, but are concerned that her stance on doctrines like predestination or the sacraments may not have biblical support. To get to the heart of the matter, Pastor Thomas focuses solely upon those crucial scriptural texts that have led Lutheran and Reformed scholars down different paths to disparate conclusions as he spars with popular Calvinist theologians from the past    and the present.

Over the next couple of weeks, the Cross Focused Reviewers will be sharing their thoughts on Wittenberg vs Geneva: A Biblical Bout in Seven Rounds on the Doctrines that Divide by Brian W. Thomas (New Reformation Publications, 2016). Reviews will be added below as they become available.

Listen to an interview with Brian W. Thomas:

“I almost bailed on this book. I am glad I did not. I would encourage you to read it and read it to the end. You’ll be blessed and encouraged for doing so.”
Reviewer: Josh Skinner
Rating: 4 Stars

“I haven’t read a book on Lutheran theology that was articulated so clearly and made the doctrines so easy to understand. Even more than that, Thomas did an outstanding job demonstrating the Lutheran commitment to scripture in defining their doctrine.”
Reviewer: Aaron Cerda
Rating: 4 Stars

“I would recommend this book to anyone who is trying to come to a solid biblical theology but is confused by the differences between Lutheranism and Calvinism.”
Reviewer: Alex Houston
Rating: 3 Stars

“I very much appreciated the irenic tone. Thomas gently explored the differences between the two doctrinal camps. The issues discussed were the extent of the atonement, double predestination, the salvific nature of baptism, the presence of the Lord in the Supper, and perseverance of the saints.”
Reviewer: Mark Lugg
Rating: 5 Stars

“I was eager to read Brian W. Thomas’ Wittenberg vs. Geneva because it identifies and tackles the differences between Lutheranism and Calvinism. Thomas writes from a Lutheran perspective, so he defends Lutheran positions while critiquing Calvinist positions.”
Reviewer: James Pate
Rating: 3 Stars

“For individuals looking to find the differences between these two faiths it is a very thorough book to make a good solid decision on. The author did an excellent job with the facts and arguments. The book is a quick read and I was able to get it read in just a few hours.”
Reviewer: Jalynn Patterson
Rating: 5 Stars

“Overall, this book presents good arguments, uses verses from the Bible to back up the arguments, and gives things to think about in new ways.”
Reviewer: Eva Scott
Rating: 4 Stars

“So are you firm in your reformed faith? Do you know how and why you should defend your reformed faith? If so, then maybe it’ll be a good time to give this book a read. You’ll begin to see how your understanding of the reformed faith can be challenged and hopefully that will spur you to be more careful to dig deeply in the word of God to examine if what you believe truly comes and is according to the word of God.”
Reviewer: Chris Ho
Rating: 4 Stars

“For me, the greatest asset to this book is coming to have a better understanding of my Lutheran brothers and sisters in the faith. So, if you are not a Lutheran, read this book, and if you are a Lutheran, read this book and share it with someone who is not. I am better able to understand the Lutheran view thanks to this book.”
Reviewer: Peter Butler, Jr.
Rating: 5 Stars

“I was pleased with the book and feel that it accomplished most of its intended purpose. Thank you Brian Thomas and NRP Books for this informative resource.”
Reviewer: Cliff VanNostrand
Rating: 4 Stars

“…this is an encouraging book – if only because it tries to bring the two great wings of the Reformation back into conversation with each other. On many substantial issues of doctrine and life both Lutherans and the Reformed stand together in contrast to both Rome and much of the broader evangelical world. Perhaps this work can help believers from both traditions to work harder to understand what the other believes.”
Reviewer: Ben Franks
Rating: 3 Stars

“If you are looking for a rollocking good rout of the reformed folk by a Lutheran heavyweight who doesn’t pull his punches, this may be the book for you.”
Reviewer: Alan Davey
Rating: 3 Stars

“A healthy, respectful discourse is great, and Thomas gracefully engages his audience. Despite some theological differences, I would rate this book 5/5 and recommend it to any Bible students interested in this subject.”
Reviewer: Joe Westbrook
Rating: 5 Stars

Thank you for your interest in reviewing Worshipping with Calvin. This book review blog tour is now full. You can see our current list of available review books here: LINK.

Worshipping With Calvin by Terry L. JohnsonIn the ‘worship wars’ which have marked recent times, many aspects have been considered but rarely is the issue of truly Reformed worship addressed. In this pertinent work, Terry Johnson effectually fills a void – countless books have been written about Calvin, but to date there has been scant material on Calvin and biblical worship. The vital historical context is presented, and the practical ramifications for Reformed biblical worship today are explored.’

There is a revival in Calvinist thinking across a broad spectrum of the church today. As he takes notice of that, the author suggests that, in order for Calvinism to thrive, attention must be given to the ministry and worship that will sustain it. The belief is advanced that Calvin would not separate theology from worship and that the new Calvinism of today needs to take seriously the liturgical reforms of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, not merely the theological.

Terry L Johnson takes note of the revival in Calvinist thinking that is evident across a broad spectrum of the church. But, he notes, for Calvinism to continue to thrive, attention must begin to be paid to the ministry and worship that alone will sustain and perpetuate it. The new Calvinism must take seriously the liturgical reforms of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, not just the theological, if today’s dynamism is to endure. Calvin would not have approved of the separation of theology from worship. . . . Reformed theology determined Reformed worship; and conversely, Reformed worship was the nurturing womb from which Reformed piety and practice sprang. Theology, worship, and piety are inseparably linked, neither thriving without the supporting presence of the other. This is by no means a polemic against one or two forms of worship. Terry Johnson makes a strong historical and biblical case, so that whatever the readers preferred style of worship, this book will inform and challenge.

About the Author:
Terry Johnson was born and raised in Los Angeles. He studied history at the University of Southern California and also studied at Trinity College, Bristol, England, and Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, before earning his D. Min in 2008 from Erskine Theological Seminary.

Praise for Worshipping With Calvin:

“Terry Johnson has written an invaluable book based on broad and deep study showing that we cannot have Reformed theology and Reformed churches without Reformed worship. Reformed worship is not a matter of taste, but of biblical fidelity. All readers will find this book stimulating, challenging, practical and helpful.”
-Dr. W. Robert Godfrey: President of Westminster Seminary, California

“This is an important book, a timely book, a carefully argued book. But more than that – it is a book that cries for widespread implementation.”
-Carl Robbins: Senior Pastor, Woodruff Road Presbyterian Church, Greenville, S. Carolina

Book Information:

  • Publisher: EP Books
  • ISBN: 9780852349366
  • Page Count:  434

Blog Tour Details:

  • Tour Date: June 16-22 2014
  • Available Formats: Paperback (Continental US Only), E-book (.mobi & .epub), PDF
  • We ask that reviewers post a review to their personal website/blog and Amazon.

Thank you for your interest in reviewing Worshipping with Calvin. This book review blog tour is now full. You can see our current list of available review books here: LINK.