The 500th Anniversary of Reformation Day (2017)
I cannot let this week pass without noting that this is the 500th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther, a Catholic Augustinian monk and university professor, nailing 95 Thesis to the main north door of Castle Church at Wittenberg. All Luther wanted was to do was discuss a number of theological topics with which he took issue. But disagreement with the hierarchy and discussion were not allowed in those days.
Luther was eventually given the choice to recant or suffer the consequences.
Reformation scholars render his answer as follows, “Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Holy Scriptures or by evident reason-for I can believe neither pope nor councils alone, as it is clear that they have erred repeatedly and contradicted themselves-I consider myself convicted by the testimony of Holy Scripture, which is my basis; my conscience is captive to the Word of God. Thus I cannot and will not recant, because acting against one’s conscience is neither safe nor sound. God help me. Amen.”
His stand resulted in his being booted out of the church (excommunicated) a number of years later.
Those that stood with Luther for theological and political reasons looked to him for religious guidance. He reluctantly became their religious leader and was a prolific writer. If you plan to read just one of his publications, I would recommend his commentary on Paul’s epistle to the Galatians or for shorter reading the introduction to his commentary on Paul’s epistle to the Romans.
Oh, and by the way, Happy Halloween, too.