Where was the gospel before the Reformation? Contemporary evangelicals often struggle to answer that question. As a result, many Roman Catholics are quick to allege that the Reformation understanding of the gospel simply did not exist before the 1500s. They assert that key Reformation doctrines, like sola fide, were nonexistent in the first fifteen centuries of church history. Rather, they were invented by Martin Luther, John Calvin, and others.
That is a serious charge, and one that evangelicals must be ready to answer. If an evangelical understanding of the gospel is only 500 years old, we are in major trouble. However, if it can be demonstrated that Reformers were not inventing something new, but instead were recovering something old, then key tenets of the Protestant faith are greatly affirmed. Hence, the need for this book.
In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.
This book is a balanced, winsome, easy-to-read, biblical and historical defense of the Reformation doctrine of sola fide. With meticulous documentation from primary patristic and medieval sources, Nathan Busenitz has convincingly debunked the notion that the Reformation teaching of justification by faith alone was a sixteenth-century novelty unknown to the prior 1500 years of church history.
—William Webster, pastor at Grace Bible Church, Battleground, WA and author of The Church of Rome at the Bar of History
We have long needed a book that helps us clearly understand who held to the essential gospel truths, recovered in the Reformation, before the Reformation exploded onto the scene. We now have such a book, Long before Luther by Nathan Busenitz. In every generation, God has had a remnant of faithful believers that held to the core doctrine of justification by faith alone. Here is a book—carefully researched, precisely documented, and skillfully written—that will help you discover who laid this theological landmark from the second to the fifteenth centuries. You need to know what is contained in these pages.
—Steven J. Lawson, president of OnePassion Ministries in Dallas, TX and author of Pillars of Grace: AD 100–1564
Nathan Busenitz, (M.Div., Th.M., Ph.D., The Master's Seminary) is the dean of faculty and assistant professor of theology at The Master's Seminary. He holds a doctorate in church history, with a specific focus on patristic theology. He has served as a full-time member of the pastoral staff at Grace Community Church, director of the Shepherd's Fellowship, managing editor of Pulpit magazine, and as the personal assistant to John MacArthur.