Book Report: Reformation: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow by Carl R. Trueman

Carl Trueman spoke this year at Together for the Gospel on a panel discussing celebrity pastors. He has been outspoken on the dangers of celebrity pastors, especially for pastors who see themselves as failures when their churches aren’t huge, Crossway isn’t beating down their door for a manuscript and no one asks their opinion about how church should be done. With this in mind, his book Reformation: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow speaks clearly about the need to return to the Christo-centricity and Biblical fidelity of the reformation. I underlined half of this book, but I will share a few of my favorite excerpts:

Those who defend any aspect of tradition, whether in belief or in practice, are likely to find themselves tarred with the brush of reaction, bigotry, thoughtlessness and fear. The idea that new is good and old is bad runs deep in contemporary society, and this affects the evangelical church as well as the wider culture. The underlying assumption is many quarters is that the past is of no use to the church in the present. We need to bring in new management, repackage ourselves in a more attractive wrapper, and market ourselves in a slicker fashion.

What is needed above all at the present time, then, is a ministry which handles the Word of God with respect and which impresses on the congregation not just the fact that God’s Word is true and powerful, but why it is so and what the significance of this is. The only way that one can do this, I believe, is through systematic expository preaching, which impresses upon congregations the fact that the Bible ultimately tells one story, that of humanity’s fall and redemption, and contains one history, that of God’s dealings with men and women, culminating in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

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