This volume of the History Lives series is devoted to the Reformation period 1517-1700 AD. Courage and Conviction begins with a brief overview of the Reformation and the issues at stake, and continues all the way to the settlement of America and early missions to the Indians. Treatments are even-handed: Erasmus is considered beside Luther, Reformation doctrine beside that of the Counter-Reformation. The origins of the Anglican Church, the relationship of politics and religion in Reformation Europe, and the rise of Puritanism are all covered.
A lot of books on the Reformation opt to villify the Catholic Church, posing saints like Luther and Calvin against the oppressive and heretic Church of Rome. While the Withrows are Protestant, they refrain from such a simplistic approach, instead presenting each side's case and profiling godly men and women on both side of the debate. This even-handedness offers a far more accurate appraisal of one of the most crucial periods in the history of the Church, and does much more to reveal what really went wrong in Catholic doctrine than more one-sided treatments.
Oops: Mistakes are inevitable! Please note the following corrections to the first edition: Page 248 declares that Richard Baxter died in 1707, but the correct year is 1691. Also, canon(s) should be spelled cannon(s) throughout the volume.