The Reformation, A Tragic Necessity

By Timothy George

old churchJaroslav Pelikan (1923-2006) was the greatest historian of Christian doctrine since Adolf von Harnack, and he was both more comprehensive and more sympathetic to the tradition he studied than was the great scion of German liberal Protestantism. Pelikan also had a knack for framing profound and complex issues in short, memorable statements. “Jesus Christ is too important to be left to the theologians,” he once wrote. Again, “Tradition is the living faith of the dead; traditionalism is the dead faith of the living.” In 1959, on the eve of the Second Vatican Council, he coined another phrase of continuing relevance when he wrote of “the tragic necessity of the Reformation.”

About Stan Guthrie

Stan Guthrie is an editor at large for Christianity Today magazine and for the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview. His latest book is God's Story in 66 Verses. He also is author of All that Jesus Asks: How His Questions Can Teach and Transform Us, Missions in the Third Millennium: 21 Key Trends for the 21st Century, and A Concise Guide to Bible Prophecy. He is co-author of The Sacrament of Evangelism. Besides authoring, writing, and editing books, Stan is a literary agent, bringing together good authors, good books, and good publishers. Stan writes the monthly Priorities colum for He has appeared on National Public Radio's €œTell Me More,€ WGN's Milt Rosenberg program, and many Christian shows, including The Eric Metaxas Show and Moody Radio'€™s €œNew Day Florida.€ A licensed minister and an inspirational speaker, he served as moderator for the Christian Book Expo panel discussion, Does the God of Christianity Exist, and What Difference Does It Make?
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