Review: Ideas that Changed the World (video course about the Reformation)

Dominic 'Introducing God' Steele has just produced a new 4-week course about the Protestant Reformation: Ideas that Changed the World. This comes in time for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation: an occasion/excuse to highlight the theological ideas that lie at the heart of it, ideas that not only changed the European world, but also have the power to change the lives of individuals for eternity.

The course involves some written content, video content filmed beautifully on location in the key locations like Wittenberg and Geneva. Each course covers one key Reformation idea, and one key Reformation leader: 

  • Luther and faith alone
  • Calvin and grace alone
  • Tyndale and Bible alone
  • Cramner and Christ alone

Strengths of the course

The production values are high. Going to the various sites gives a sense of depth and reality to the story, and brief interviews with key Reformation historians works well. Even making sure that the people who read quotes from the various figures have the appropriate accent (a German for the Luther quotes, for example).

As an engaging preacher, Dominic is a great host for the video content. He makes the ideas 'sing' to our hearts at various points, rather than just conveying the information.

Each study also includes Bible study questions that help you wrestle with the biblical teaching, rather than simply discussing and interacting with theologicans, which might give the impression. Many of these Bible bits unpack extended passages, and so avoid a string of proof texts, which also enhances the sense of heading the Bible speak for itself.

Each study also has a testimony from someone raised in the Roman Catholic Church how later came to discover the gospel, especially an aspect of these four themes.This underlines two things: that the Catholic distortions are still alive today, and the truths of the gospel are still life-changing today.


Who is it for?

Of the making of training courses there is no end. So I am always concerned to know, how vital will this course be? Will it have a place in the ongoing teaching/training/evangelism ministry of a church year after year? There seems only a little point in purchasing a course that will only be used once, in my opinion.

The course could work very well:

  • As part of an evangelistic and follow up strategy for reaching out to cultural Roman Catholics, whether in historically Catholic areas, or among migrants from Catholic countries. 

  • As a part of a regular training/church conference/growth group program to give 'the basics' of church history to your 'average' churchgoer.

  • In later year primary school and early high school settings at school or church.

The course would not work well in the following contexts:

  • In a university ministry setting: where students might encounter criticisms of these Reformation figures. The more simplified portrayals may seem jarring and unsatisfying.
  • Among more theologically informed and devout Roman Catholics: who would have a nuanced understanding of Catholic doctrine and apologetics. They may even find the testimonies of more 'cultural Catholics' as unfair and unrepresentative: picking a 'straw man'.
  • Among liberal or charismatic Catholics, we don't identity strongly with traditional Catholic doctrine.

The course is available for hard copy order through Matthias Media or digital delivery through their Go There For platform.

via Blog - Christian Reflections (NB: to comment go to