As we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, special focus returns to the questions on Protestant doctrine. How much different was it from the Catholic Church? Was a doctrinal split inevitable? In Nathan Busenitz's new book Long Before Luther: Tracing the Heart of the Gospel from Christ to the Reformation (Moody Publishers, 2017), the author seeks to answer the oft-asked question: Where was the Gospel before the Reformation? Through a careful examination of the development of the doctrine of justification, Busenitz shows the beautiful flourish of justification throughout church history.
Augustine is used as the "turning point" in the book; with the doctrine of justification examined in pre-Augustinian and post-Augustinian theologies. This subject may turn away some; however, the chapters are very short and easy to read. With a dense bibliography and extensive use of primary sources, readers are able to trace Busenitz' logical argument for how justification was not a Reformation invention, but rather a relative rediscovery of a treasure lost in history.