And so, to try to correct that deficiency, I recently sucked down a textbook, Reformation Thought: An Introduction. Alister E. McGrath is an ordained priest in the Church of England and an Oxford professor of Divinity; if academic economics in a U.K. university resemble ours, I suspect this book is his cash cow as it is aimed at the beginning student and has gone into four editions.
Here's how McGrath describes his project:
The book is pedestrian, but it does the job. I can now more meaningfully distinguish between Lutheran, Reformed, and Anabaptist strains in the mosaic of European groups who brought their churches to this country and created its dominant Protestantisms. I find that useful for thinking about our history. McGrath is hard on the intellectual content of his own branch of Christianity: in fact, he questions its theological depth, asserting:
His conclusion is a little caustic:
This is not a book I'd recommend to everyone, but I appreciated that it offered what I was looking for.