Why Did the Reformation Happen? Teach your kids (ages 8-11) what caused the Protestant Reformation with a book about theology for kids.
In his book, The Consequences of Ideas, the late R.C. Sproul (1939-2017) wrote:
Foundational thinking cares about the difference between truth and falsehood because it cares about good and evil.
Theology for kids matters. It matters because ideas have consequences, and those consequences shape the course of world history. Often, we hold strong ideas at the core of our belief system without really understanding where those ideas come from. Are they truly biblical? Where did our belief system come from?
Fortunately for our kids, ideas have a history and history is a story. Our kids love story, and they learn well through the telling of story and biography.
Why Did the Reformation Happen?
Lost things, once they are forgotten, can be hard to find again. Have you ever cleaned the back corner of your closet, only to find something you once dearly loved? Maybe it was your favorite shirt and now you are too big to wear it.
Alas–that’s a word which means oh no!–just over five hundred years ago, God’s people lost his Word to us.
Why Did the Reformation Happen?, Danika Cooley (Christian Focus Publications, 2021), page 6
The Protestant Reformation (1350-1648) was a theological movement that changed the Christian Church–and the history of the world. It is important our kids know the history of the Reformation–and its causes.
From the street preaching of early Reformers like John Wycliffe and Jan Hus to the birth of new denominations and movements like the Anabaptists, Baptists, and Puritans, the Reformation was a fight to return to the truths of the Bible. Those truths were expressed in easily shared slogans we now call the five Solas.
What Caused the Protestant Reformation?
The time of the Reformation in Europe was marked by the domination–and corruption–of the Roman Catholic Church. Each of the Reformers fought for a return to the inspired, inerrant, infallible truths of the Bible.
There were many converging forces and new technology that both impacted and allowed for the Reformation. There were a few primary causes that our kids need to know about in order to understand why the Reformation happened:
- God’s Word alone is our authority and the Bible is sufficient for salvation.
- We are saved through Christ alone. It is his atoning work on the cross that saves us from our sin.
- Our salvation is by the grace of God alone–not through anything we can do to cause God to save us. It is a gift from him.
- Salvation in Christ by the grace of God is through faith alone. It is through the faith that God gives us that we are able to believe on Jesus and be saved from our sins.
- Our lives are to be lived to the glory of God alone, and all things work to bring glory to his holy name.
The Protestant Reformation was caused by a return to the truth of Scripture that our faith is in Jesus, not in councils, human tradition, or men. Our children need to know and understand what caused the Protestant Reformation.
The Reformation | Theology for Kids
In a fun and engaging tone, the Christian theology and history book Why Did the Reformation Happen? will take your kids through the story of the Protestant Reformation.
Why Did the Reformation Happen? chapters:
- Chapter One: The Finding of the Gospel
- Chapter Two: Sola Scriptura
- Chapter Three: First Steps Toward Truth
- Chapter Four: Solus Christus
- Chapter Five: Reformers Reforming Things
- Chapter Six: Sola Gratia and Sola Fide
- Chapter Seven: More Reformers Reforming Things
- Chapter Eight: Soli Deo Gratia
- Chapter Nine: Reformation Going Forward
Your kids will learn about major Reformers:
- John Wycliffe (c. 1328-1384), England
- Jan Hus (c. 1369-1425), Bohemia
- Girolamo Savonarola (1452-1498), Italy
- Martin Luther (1483-1546), Germany
- Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531), Switzerland
- John Calvin (1509-1564), France / Switzerland
- Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556), England
- John Knox (c. 1513-1572), Scotland
- William Tyndale (1494-1536), England
- Philip Melanchthon (1497-1560), Germany
- Katharina Zell (1497-1562), Germany
- Renee of Ferrara (1510-1575), France / Italy
- Charlotte de Bourbon (c. 1546-1582), France / The Netherlands
Once your life has been forever changed by Jesus, you cannot help but live differently. It is not good living that makes Jesus love us. But when we love Jesus, we live good lives for him because we are so grateful for how he loves us. Christians desire to worship and praise God the way he wants us to be adored.
The last slogan the Reformers used to help us remember the truth is soli Deo gloria, which means to the glory of God alone.
Why Did the Reformation Happen?, Danika Cooley (Christian Focus Publications, 2021), page 68
Fabulously illustrated by Martyn Smith, the Who What Why series books are each 95 pages long with 8-9 chapters, perfect for your middle grade (ages 8-11) readers. The fun narrative makes each book an engaging family read aloud, but kids will love, too, that they can read the books on their own.
In fascinating sidebars, your kids will learn about important Reformation documents:
- Five Slogans for Truth
- Sentences by Peter Lombard (c. 1150)
- Ninety-Five Theses by Martin Luther (1517)
- Institutes of Christian Religion by John Calvin (1536, 1539, 1559)
- Book of Common Prayer by Thomas Cranmer (1549, 1552)
- Acts and Monuments by John Foxe (1563)
- Heidelberg Catechism by Zacharius Ursinus and Caspar Olevianus (1563)
- Canons of Dort by Synod of Dort (1619)
- Westminster Confession of Faith (1646)
Why Did the Reformation Happen? is a fun way for kids to learn about a major movement in world history, important biblical truths, and the people God used to remind his Church that his word to us in the Bible alone, we are saved in Christ alone through grace alone by faith alone, and we are to give glory to God alone.
Purchase Why Did the Reformation Happen?
Grab the autographed Reformation Family Bundle!
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.
The Who What Why Series is the perfect resource to teach your kids about history, while helping them apply biblical truths to their lives today.
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