History and Theology of the Reformation (1517-1648)

Sunday School Class – Fall 2017-Spring 2018

Sept 18, 2017 – March 25, 2018

Teacher: Pastor Paul Gard: email – pgard@monadnockcongregational.com

  phone – 603.924.9532 (church); 603.439.1462 (cell)

Location: Fellowship Hall


Class Description: This class will cover a basic understanding of some of the systematic theology of the Reformation in its historical setting. There were many Reformers who had an impact on the European religious landscape but we will focus on Luther and Calvin as primary and while looking at others when it is appropriate. We will also look at the Roman Catholic Church’s response to the Reformation throughout the class. Each topic will have part of a class period setting up the particular doctrine we will cover over the following weeks.


Class Objective: The Reformation still has profound importance for today, yet there are many Christians devoid of the knowledge as to what makes us Protestant. This class is designed to help you understand the historical and theological reasons that the Reformers gave to make a break with Rome. We will look at the various doctrines of Christianity (God, man, Christ, Holy Spirit, salvation, etc.) through the eyes of the Reformers in order to equip you to grow in the various aspects of your faith.

Preparation for class: Almost every week I will try to provide a 1-2 page primary source that will be handed out to read over the following week. We will be discussing the primary source as a part of each class.


*Useful Reformation Primary Source Websites:



https://www.monergism.com (very useful website, but will need to search for people/topics)



*Suggested books on church history:


Woodbridge, John and Frank James III. Church History: From Pre-Reformation to Present Day, Vol. 2.

         Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2013.


Gonzalez, Justo L. The Story of Christianity: Vol. 2: The Reformation to the Present Day.

New York: HarperOne, 2010.


*Suggested books on the history of the Reformation:


MacCulloch, Diarmaid. The Reformation: A History. New York: Penguin Books, 2005.


Nichols, Stephen, The Reformation: How a Monk and a Mallet Changed the World. Wheaton, IL:

         Crossway, 2007.


*Suggested books on Historical Theology:


Allison, Gregg. Historical Theology. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2011.


George, Timothy. Theology of the Reformers. Nashville, TN: B&H Academic, 2013.


McGrath, Alistair. Historical Theology: An Introduction to the History of Christian Thought.

         Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013.


*Suggested books on Christian Primary Sources:


Bettenson, Henry and Chris Maunder, eds. Documents of the Christian Church. Oxford, UK: Oxford

         University Press, 2011.


Janz, David. The Reformation Reader. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2008.



Note on class, interaction/participation, and contacting the teacher:


It is the purpose of the class to provide an overview, not the overview of this period of history and theology. One class cannot provide every aspect of the theology of the 150 years we will be covering. In addition, it is impossible to provide deep analysis of a given person, idea, or event. If you would like me to cover something I have not covered, just let me know and I will do my best to add it where appropriate.


On interaction/participation: although this class is lecture based, I want to provide ample time for questions and discussion. Please pose a question at any time, but be aware that I may hold off answering the question due to timing or relevance. Also, please do not hold back questions because you may think they are irrelevant or silly. Chances are another person(s) has the same question and is glad you asked it!


I have some historical training and may from time to time be less than clear due to my excitement of the topic. If you desire clarification on anything I have said or presented, please call or email me with a follow-up. I am passionate about education, particularly history, so I encourage the questions and feedback.


Class Schedule:

(I will try to keep us on track as much as possible, but questions may lengthen each class.)


Sept 10 – Introduction and Medieval Background

Sept 17 – Medieval Background and Luther’s Europe

Sept 24 – The 5 Solas of the Reformation

Oct 1 – The Knowledge of God (Roman Catholic Church/Luther)

Oct 8 – NO CLASS

Oct 15 – The Knowledge of God (Calvin/other Reformers)

Oct 22 – The Doctrine of God (RCC/Luther)

Oct 29 – The Doctrine of God (Calvin)

Nov 5 – The Doctrine of God (other Reformers)

Nov 12 – The Doctrine of Man (RCC/Luther)

Nov 19 – The Doctrine of Man (Calvin)

Nov 26 – The Doctrine of Man (other Reformers)

Dec 3 – The Doctrine of Christ (RCC/Luther)

Dec 10 – The Doctrine of Christ (Calvin/OR)

Dec 17 – NO CLASS

Dec 24 – NO CLASS

Dec 31 – NO CLASS

Jan 7 – The Doctrine of Christ (other Reformers)

Jan 14 – The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit (RCC/Luther)

Jan 21 – The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit (Calvin/OR)

Jan 28 – The Doctrine of Application of Redemption (RCC/Luther)

Feb 4 – The Doctrine of Application of Redemption (Calvin)

Feb 11 – The Doctrine of the Application of Redemption (OR)

Feb 18 – The Doctrine of the Church (RCC/Luther)

Feb 25 – The Doctrine of the Church (Calvin/OR)

March 4 – The Doctrine of End Times (RCC/Luther)

March 18 – The Doctrine of End Times (Calvin/OR)

March 25 – Final Observations and Wrap-up