History of the Reformation
The Reformation was a vital period of time in both Church and secular history, and we want our children to understand what happened during that period. Because the Reformation lasted from 1350 to 1648 and so much important doctrine and theology was affected, there are important Reformation stories our children may miss in their study of history if we don’t introduce them to it!
William Boekestein has a fabulous set of Reformation stories you’ll want to introduce your children to!
Reformation Stories for Children
- Contending for the Faith: The Story of the Westminster Assembly (Reformation Heritage Books, 2022) by William Boekestein and Joel R. Beeke – The fight for Reformation in England fell finally to the Westminster Assembly. The Assembly wrote five documents: the Form of Church Government, the Directory of Public Worship, the Confession of Faith, the Larger Catechism, and the Shorter Catechism. The Church of England chose another path, but Reformed and Presbyterian churches throughout the globe still refer to these documents today.
- The Quest for Comfort: The Story of the Heidelberg Catechism (Reformation Heritage Books, 2011) by William Boekestein – In 1563, as the Protestant Reformation became more established, three men banded together in Heidelberg to create a catechism that would teach the Reformed faith. Frederick III brought scholars Zacharias Ursinus and Caspar Olevianus to his kingdom to instruct his people. They wrote the Heidelberg Catechism, focusing on the themes of sin, salvation, and service. tells the story of all three men, and the manner in which God used their work for our comfort and His glory.
- Faithfulness Under Fire: The Story of Guido de Bres (Reformation Heritage Books, 2010) by William Boekestein – Guido de Bres (1522-1567) was a hero of the Reformation from Belgium. Like many who sought to teach and study the truth of God’s amazing grace during the time of the Reformation, de Bres suffered greatly. He fled to England, then to Switzerland, to study, finally returning home to teach his people the gospel during a time of great persecution under Francis I of France. Guido de Bres wrote the Belgic Confession and led many to a saving faith in Christ before being martyred for his faith.
- The Glory of Grace: The Story of the Canons of Dort (Reformation Heritage Books, 2012) by William Boekestein – The Reformation was a period of chaos and persecution for the Reformed people of the Netherlands. While fighting military pressure from Spain during the Spanish Inquisition, the Reformed Church also dealt with the teachings of Jacob Arminius, an opponent of the doctrines of grace. The teachings of Arminius’ followers, the Remonstrants, became so divisive that a council (synod) was held in Dort in 1618. The synod agreed on worship, parental discipleship responsibilities, and preacher responsibilities. Arminianism was rejected, and the Canons of Dort were written. These five canons are now referred to as the five points of Calvinism (or TULIP). The Glory of Grace tells the story of how the Canons of Dort came to be, as well as explains each one.
I highly recommend William Boekestein’s Reformation stories. I’m happy to include them in our family’s library and in our studies.
It’s remarkable to me that children can get such a great overview of a wide swath of history and theology in these compact picture books. It’s not easy to find quality Reformation resources for children, and I’m thrilled to have located these books.
The storytelling and the wonderful illustrations by Evan Hughes (reminiscent of both medieval woodprints and of comic book illustrations) are perfect for grade school children, but also engaging for middle school students. As a set, the books are just right for adding to a week of independent reading for preteens.
More Books by William Boekestein
William Boekestein, married father of three, a Master of Divinity from Puritan Reformed Theological Seminar, and a Pastor at Covenant Reformed Church in Pennsylvania. His books are wonderful, and you’ll want to check them out.
Reformation Stories from Danika Cooley (that’s me)
Bible Resources for Your Kids
Christian Biographies for Kids | Christian History for Kids | Theology for Kids
Christian History Matters for Our Kids.
History matters. Now, more than ever, we see how important it is for our children to know and understand history and the Bible.
- God is the sovereign ruler of all things. It’s important for our kids to see his hand in the history of nations and in the lives of both peasants and kings.
- Christian history is the story of our family history. Our kids get to see how people who love Jesus follow him.
- Understanding history can help our kids learn historic and biblical theology. They learn what the Bible says and what that means for us. They also see when the study of Scripture has taken important turns that have changed the Church.
- Reading Christian biographies and history can be a wonderful way for kids to think outside their own time and culture. God’s Church spans centuries and includes people from every nation.
- Christian biographies help kids consider their own faith, walk with Jesus, and the impact their witness may one day have on others–and on history.
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