There’s a popular version of the Protestant Reformation that goes something like this: By the sixteenth century, the Catholic Church had become thoroughly corrupted. Its doctrines were tainted by superstitions and false “traditions of men”; its leaders were depraved, forsaking the gospel to indulge their worldly greed and lust; and its practices kept Catholics living in ignorance and fear.
Only the heroism of Martin Luther and John Calvin, the story continues, was able to break the Catholic Church’s grip on power and lead the Christian world out of medieval darkness into the light of true biblical faith.
Chances are you’ve heard this story before. But it’s just a big myth, says historian Steve Weidenkopf.
In The Real Story of the Reformation, Weidenkopf dismantles the mythical narrative about the two pivotal figures of the Protestant Reformation—or rather, Revolution, because what they wrought was not a reform of the Church but a radical break from it. He replaces that narrative with a true account of Luther and Calvin’s ideas, their actions and character, and their disastrous legacy for the modern world.
If you have ever been challenged to defend bad popes, the sale of indulgences, or any other alleged Catholic corruption that the Reformers supposedly abolished, listen to The Real Story of the Reformation and get the knowledge you need to respond.