For more than twenty-five years Martin Bucer was the undisputed leader of the Protestant Reformation in the city of Strasbourg. Yet he managed to achieve all that he wished due to the opposition of the city's political leaders. In 1549 he moved at the invitation of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer to England, where he spent the last few years of his life at Cambridge.
Ten years earlier in 1538, Bucer produced what he called "this little book." A Reformation handbook of pastoral theology, it sets out his ideal of a godly Christian society, and was "written solely for the Lord's glory and the improvement of his church at this time when Christ's sheep are so deplorably scattered." Although largely rejected by the government of Strasbourg, Bucer's Concerning the True Care of Souls met with much more success further afield and was to excercise a vast influence on later history. Nearly 500 years later we can still benefit greatly from Bucer's spiritual wisdom as he sets out, in a vivid and persuasive way, biblical principles for church life, ministry, and discipline.