This October 31 marks the 500th anniversary of the start of the reformation, the day Martin Luther nailed his ninety-five theses on the door of Castle Church in Wittenburg, Germany. Depending on what circles you run in, you’ve probably been hearing all year long about conferences, books, and special events commemorating this special anniversary.

When I went to Europe last year, one of the highlights of my day in Geneva, Switzerland was visiting the Reformation Wall. This impressive stone monument was built into the old city walls of Geneva to commemorate the 400th anniversary of John Calvin’s birth. Calvin is just one of many reformers depicted on the wall who played a key role in the Protestant Reformation.

The Reformation Wall, Geneva

I love history in general, but church history in particular is even more exciting. For believers, the major events and leaders in the Church are not merely names, dates, and locations. They’re part of our own personal history. What saints throughout the years lived, fought, and died for impacted the world and affect us still today.

I’m guessing you’ve already come across an article or two (or fifteen!) this month about the reformation. Maybe you attended a conference, or plan to celebrate at your church on Tuesday. But on the off chance you aren’t too familiar with this event in church history, or you want to dig a little deeper, I’ve compiled a list of resources to help you out.

William Farel, John Calvin, Theodore Beza, and John Knox
A rainy day in Geneva, April 2016


What Is Reformation Day? by Dr. Stephen Nichols (Ligonier)

Is Protestantism Still at Odds with Catholicism? by Gregg Allison (Crossway)

3 Things Every Christian Should Know About the Reformation by Michael Reeves (The Gospel Coalition)

4 Ways We Get the Reformation Completely Wrong by Tim Challies (

5 Lessons from Reformation Women by Rebecca VanDoodewaard (The Gospel Coalition)

9 Things You Should Know about John Calvin by Joe Carter (The Gospel Coalition)

10 Things You Should Know about Martin Luther by Herman Selderhuis (Crossway)

The Luther Family and the Reformation of Marriage by Jeff Robinson (The Gospel Coalition)

A Mighty Fortress is Our God: Discovering the Power of Luther’s Original Lyrics by David Mathis (Desiring God)



Luther and the Reformation Teaching Series by R.C. Sproul (Ligonier)

Celebrating the Reformation with Dr. Erwin Lutzer (Revive Our Hearts)

5 Minutes in Church History special reformation podcast series (Ligonier)

Here We Stand: A 31-Day Journey With Heroes Of the Reformation podcast (Desiring God)

The Effects of the Reformation (

The Forgotten Women of the Reformation by Stephen Nichols (Crossway)

John Calvin’s church in Geneva

(I’ve not read every one but all come recommended from trusted sources)

Rescuing the Gospel by Dr. Erwin Lutzer

Why the Reformation Still Matters by Michael Reeves and Tim Chester

The Unquenchable Flame by Michael Reeves

The Reformation: How a Monk and a Mallet Changed the World by Dr. Stephen Nichols

Reformation ABCs: The People, Places, and Things of the Reformation―from A to Z by Dr. Stephen Nichols

The Legacy of Luther by R.C. Sproul and Stephen Nichols

The Heroic Boldness of Martin Luther by Steven Lawson

The Expository Genius of John Calvin by Steven Lawson

The Mighty Weakness of John Knox by Douglas Bond

Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther by Roland Bainton

Meet Martin Luther by Anthony T. Selvaggio (FREE October 31 only at Christian Audio)


Other Resources:

An interactive timeline of key reformation dates.

“Reformation Hymn” by Bob Kauflin.

This reformation tour video has some beautiful aerial shots of Germany!

Free download of “5 Things You Were Never Taught About the 5 Solas” by Matthew Barrett


Conference Messages on the Reformation:

Here We Still Stand (1517 Legacy Project)

No Other Gospel (TGC)

Reformation and the Ministry of the Word (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School)

We are Protestant (T4G)

Luther Today (Ligonier, in Wittenberg)

What have you read or listened to about the reformation or any of the reformers? What would you add to this list?

One thought on “A Celebration 500 Years in the Making

  1. Love this! So thorough and helpful. Some of these books and authors were noted in the conference we attended at Bible Church with guest speaker Guy Richard. Made me want to read more and learn more! Thanks, Leanna!

    Sent from my iPhone


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s