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Reformation Overview (W/ PDFs)

This series covers the key reformers: John Wycliffe, John Hus, Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, John Calvin, The Anabaptists, and William Tyndale. Includes curriculum in pdf.

  • Item 500793D
  • Region: All
  • Media Type: DVD
  • Running Time: 2 hrs 41 mins

Alternate formats: Digital Video - $3.99

Retail: $59.99
Price: $14.99
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  • Certificate of Merit-Finalist

    Worldfest - Houston 1995


Based on the Gateway Films/Vision Video church history film series, these six half-hour programs vividly bring to life the Reformation, its colorful leaders, and history-shaping turning points. Fullscreen.

1. John Wycliffe - Called the "Morningstar," this courageous forerunner paved the way for momentous changes to come. His teachings challenged the authorities, but they exiled him, and his exile provided the opportunity for his monumental achievement that has benefitted us all -- the Bible in English.

2. John Hus - He carried forth Wycliffe's groundbreaking work. His passionate calls for reform brought him before the Council of Constance. There he was betrayed by false accusations. He refused to capitulate and was condemned to burn at the stake. He died singing.

3. Martin Luther - He wanted only the quiet solitude of the monastery. There this guilt-burdened monk discovered the freedom of the Gospel. He couldn't keep quiet about it, nor could he stop the relentless swirl of events that propelled him to a decisive role in the shaping of the modern world.

4. Ulrich Zwingli and John Calvin - They led the Reformation in Switzerland. Both capable scholars, they had to interpret the newly recovered dimensions of the Gospel in the midst of a hurricane of change, social chaos and fierce opposition. From Zurich and Geneva their writings and developments would permeate the church worldwide.

5. The Anabaptists - Called "the Radicals," they were opposed by just about everyone--Catholics, Protestants, and political leaders. Two of their earliest leaders, Michael and Margaretha Sattler, were executed for their beliefs while still young, but their legacy endures to this day.

6. God's Outlaw: William Tyndale - This humble, young scholar became one of the most hunted fugitives ever, pursued by King Henry VIII, Cardinal Wolsey, Sir Thomas More and others. His crime? Translating and circulating the Bible in English. He was caught and killed, but his unquenchable vision was marvelously fulfilled.

PDFs included on the DVD:
48-page leader’s guide with background information, discussion questions, and optional Bible study for each session
24-page student workbook

Editorial Reviews

Wycliffe. Hus. Luther. Zwingli. Calvin. Tyndale. The Anabaptists. These are just some of the names to whom Christians owe a debt of gratitude, and you'll learn about them with Christian History Institute's Reformation Overview. The curriculum set includes two videos with three lessons each, a leader's guide, student worksheets, and more. It offers you and your students an in-depth journey into the 14th-through-16th-centuries movement to reform the established church. The videotapes combine edited versions of full-length movies on most of the reformers with on-site, live teaching. Full-length versions of these movies are also available through Vision Video. However, this is not a "pop in a tape" type of teaching tool. You are led through the Reformation by Ken Curtis, Ph.D., the founder and president of Vision Video. Dr. Curtis teaches in a non-inflammatory manner, helping the student see the history of the events, and the motivating faith behind the men -and women- of the movement. You may teach the course in six, 12, or 13 sessions; however, the curriculum is flexible enough to allow for "crash courses" of two-to-three weeks, or for open-ended "exploration" over an extended period of time. The 24-page Bible Study Student Workbook is reproducible. You'll want a copy for each student. Worksheets are not based on regurgitation or busy-work drivel, but are an excellent exercise in thought, prayer and meditation, and personal reflection. The curriculum is appropriate for junior high students and up; even college and adult Bible studies and Sunday schools would benefit from this historical accounting of the church's past. Younger students will need help with the deep questions in the Workbook, and the youngest would need some shielding from the horrific deaths most of these reformers suffered. Reviewed By: Deborah Deggs Cariker

As Christians living in lands where we enjoy religious freedom we are apt to forget the price that so many have paid for their faith. As Christians with a great wealth of theology at our disposal, we also forget that the faith as we know and love it has been bought with the price of much blood. The history of the church is filled with stories of men and women who advanced our understanding of the Scriptures only at great cost to themselves. Even those who did not sacrifice their lives often paid a terrible price as they were despised and rejected by their peers. We owe a great debt of gratitude to those whom God chose to use in this way.

Reformation Overview provides brief, half-hour overviews of some of the men who were used by God to carry-on the faith. Based on the Gateway Films/Vision Video church history video series, this DVD combines narration from Dr. Ken Curtis, President of the Christian History Institute, with clips from the film series. Divided into six equal segments, the series examines several of the most prominent Reformers: John Wycliffe, John Hus, Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli and John Calvin, The Anabaptists and William Tyndale. Dr. Curtis brings narration directly from many of the scenes that are so important to church history - the pulpit where John Wycliffe preached his final sermon; the monument that marks the spot where Jon Hus’ was burned; the door of the Wittenburg Cathedral; the room where William Tyndale translated the Scriptures into English. History comes to life not only through a glimpse of these locations, but through the films.

The lessons the viewer will learn from this series are clearly beneficial. He will learn of the conflict that has always followed God’s people as they sought to understand the Scriptures and spread the gospel message. He will learn of the price that so many Christians have been privileged to pay for their beliefs. He will learn of the great faith displayed by so many faithful servants of the Lord. Ultimately he will have his faith strengthed and hopefully understand how important it is that we remain students of history. The old adage that “those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it” seems especially significant in the church, which so often seems set on erasing its collective memory of the past. There is church history past 1972 and it is critical to our faith that we maintain a link with the great Christians of days past.

Included on the DVD are two PDF files, one of which is a 24-page student workbook, and the other a 48-page leader’s guide and optional Bible study. This adds great value to the presentation and makes it useful for Bible studies or part of a home schooling curriculum. This series is a perfect addition to a church or school library. If your local public library allows donations, consider adding this to their collection.

Reformation Overview is a wonderful little series and one that was beneficial to my faith. I watched much of it with my son, who, although only five years of age, enjoyed it as much as I did. It provided us many opportunities to discuss how deeply Christians ought to love God and how deeply Satan despises this faith. It was an opportunity to grow for both child and adult.

Customer Reviews

- Excellent for World History

I use several of these in my world history class at the high school where I teach. I believe it is very appropriate for high school history to help teach the Protestant Reformation. I own the full length movies of Wycliffe The Morning Star John Hus and God's Outlaw where Vision Video has included the Ken Curtis teaching videos as special features. I should buy this series so I have the others as well. I only have the VHS the format being obsolete of the Swiss Reformation episode. I highly recommend these.

- Excellent resource

The Reformation Overview DVD is a wonderful introductory resource to the fascinating story of the Reformers. The 30 minute segments are ideal to use in Bible study groups or at home. They are also a good way to prepare for taking a Reformation trip to Europe.

- Excellent !

I would like to thank Vision to make available this video series and all others too. The content is a good reflection of what really happened in history. These Christians of old suffered a lot so that God may reach us with the Gospel of Christ. Congratulations for your effort to communicate the good news.

- A useful package

All of these videos go together if you watch one you will want the next. I find the pdf's simplistic. I wrote a fuller review in the set without the pdf. Having the full length and the shorter length on one DVD is a real treat. The shorter length has the actual sites and Ken Curtis giving more information. Also more modern in case you have people who can't tolerate "old" movies.
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