Tuesday 15 March 2011

The Romance of Protestantism

This is a book that gripped me more as I went on, rather unexpectedly. Protestantism and romance are words which some would see as mutually exclusive. But as Deborah Alcock wrote this book a hundred years ago the word 'romance' conjured up different ideas then than now. It is to be understood in the sense of drama, thrilling heroism and true nobility. So the chapters of the book (which were originally given as 'talks') take in a broad sweep of church history in order to highlight these themes. This is done in a very informative way, and although somewhat coloured by the attitude of her era, it is also tantalising enough to make one want to know more about the people, events and circumstances. Fortunately this can be done by taking up her other books which, although strictly speaking are fiction, are more focused historically, eg. 'Crushed yet Conquering' (John Huss and Bohemia), 'Dr Adrian' (William of Orange and the Dutch Republic) etc. What I found of especial interest was what she handles here along the lines of, What is Protestantism anyway? The history of the name itself, and its meaning is excellently dealt with. It is always to be remembered as a testimony for the truth of the Bible, and not so much a protest against Roman Catholicism and/or Government policy. (ie. religious or civil powers). And so the ages furnish many examples of those who were willing to sacrifice all for this principle. It is very challenging, and makes the words of Romans 8:35-39 come searchingly alive.
The edition we sell is from the Canadian publisher Inheritance Publications and costs £8.00.

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