Reformation 500: The Enduring Relevance of the Lutheran Reformation

Edited by Curtis Jahn

Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 2017. 262 pages. $37.99.

Reviewed by Rev. Zelwyn Heide. Pastor, Redeemer Lutheran Church, Grassy Butte, ND on 02/06/2018

Reformation 500 is a collection of essays devoted to demonstrating that the Reformation is not merely a historical phenomenon, but a continuing influence shaping the Lutheran church even in the present day. Produced by the Wisconsin Synod, it is primarily an “in-house” document. Non-Wisconsin Synod readers may be puzzled, for example, by references to Christian Worship and occasionally the Wauwatosa theologians. This does not mean that other readers cannot benefit from it, but rather that its intended audience is somewhat narrow.

The ten articles, mostly popular in tone and focused primarily on Luther, are of uneven quality. Some tend to rely too much on block quotations. That being said, readers may well find Reformation 500 a welcome refresher on the importance of the Reformation, and some articles, such as Wade Johnston’s article on Matthew Flacius, are bound to be helpful for many.