In the Protestant tradition, all individuals have direct access to God without the mediation of priests or institutions to establish boundaries. The “dangerous idea” is that there is no authority apart from the Bible--yet the Bible is open to many diverse interpretations. The result is a colorful five hundred year history of remarkable innovation and adaptability marked by seeming incoherence and instability. At a time when Protestants will cease to be the predominant faith tradition in the United States, McGrath’s landmark reassessment of the movement’s core identity and future is very well timed. Organized thematically in three parts-Origination, Consolidation, and Transformation-and replete with helpful modern-day examples that explain the past, McGrath brings to life the movements and personalities that shaped history and continue to shape world events today.