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BreakPoint: The Reformation Turns 500

If someone bangs on your doorway tonight, they substantially wish candy. Five hundred years ago, someone banged on a doorway for a very opposite reason.

On this day in 1517—at slightest according to tradition—a German monk-turned-Bible-professor nailed a list of plead topics to a church door, altering the march of history.

Now, we don’t know the accurate date when Martin Luther posted his Ninety-Five Theses, nonetheless he did contention them to his archbishop on Oct 31. What we do know is that Luther never dictated to challenge the church or separate Western Christendom. When he challenged all comers to a plead on the sale of indulgences—which were radically a way to buy into Heaven—he wanted to call God’s ministers back to Scripture.

But those ministers resisted. Luther wouldn’t budge, and the outcome was what we now know as the Protestant Reformation.

Historian Philip Schaff writes that next to the commencement of Christianity, the Reformation was “the biggest eventuality in history.” That may be hyperbole, but not by much. If you ceremony in a Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, non-denominational, or—of course—Lutheran congregation, you’re directly influenced by Martin Luther. Anglicans have been influenced too, and even Roman Catholics saw reforms within that communion that came about given of Martin Luther.

And the Reformation’s change goes distant over the church doors. Luther’s coming before the Diet of Worms—that famous moment when he reportedly said, “Here we stand, we can do no other,” has been called “the hearing that led to the birth of the complicated world.”

Our ideas about free inquiry, democracy, education, and capitalism can all eventually be traced back to the Reformation.

And the Reformation also reemphasized ideas like the virtue of all callings, and spheres of management in human society. In Luther’s mind, people and polite magistrates, as good as the clergy, were obliged to read, understand, and heed the Bible.

As Eric Metaxas and we plead on this week’s BreakPoint podcast, Luther came to model the energy of Scripture. In his superb new autobiography on Luther, Eric tells how this confidant reformer stood at the intersection of the Middle Ages and the complicated world, insisting that there is “daylight between law and power.”

And it was this idea—that God’s created word is the top management in the Christian faith, accessible to everyone—that birthed a still some-more insubordinate idea: that God Himself admits us into His dominion by beauty alone.

“The Reformation,” wrote the late Episcopal clergyman Robert Capon, “was a time when men went blind, towering dipsomaniac given they had discovered, in the dry groundwork of late medievalism, a whole attic of fifteen-hundred-year-old, two-hundred explanation Grace—bottle after bottle of pristine essence of Scripture, one sip of which would convince anyone that God saves us singlehandedly.”

Now the fallout of the Reformation wasn’t all good, and even currently Christianity is tormented with divisions, disagreements, and distortions of Luther’s project. Luther, himself, was distant from perfect.

But I’m a mentee of Chuck Colson, who together with Father Richard John Neuhaus brought evangelicals and Catholics together over common cause. we urge and trust that the groups of the 1500s—which sojourn genuine and poignant to this day—can be addressed but sacrificing truth, and nonetheless in the meantime, we can provide any other with adore and grace, and should work together whenever and wherever we can.

As we symbol 500 years given Luther’s initial protest, it’s transparent there’s some-more reforming to be finished on both sides of the Wittenberg door. But that’s because Reformation is not just a moment in history. It’s a posture. During the next 500 years, the sound of Luther’s produce should call us as the people of God to heed ourselves to the Word of God, and eventually to the Person of God in Jesus Christ.


The Reformation Turns 500: How Luther Shaped Our World

Delve serve into the story of the Protestant Reformation by checking out the resources at the Colson Center online bookstore. One good idea is Eric Metaxas’s latest book “Martin Luther: The Man Who Rediscovered God and Changed the World.” Get your duplicate now. And listen to the podcast of John articulate with Eric about Martin Luther, the Reformation, and the complicated universe by clicking here.

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