Tuesday 31 October 2017

It's Reformation Day!

Today, many Christians around the world will be celebrating the 500th anniversary of the day on which a German Priest and Theologian, Martin Luther, nailed his "95 Theses" to the door of All Saints Church in Wittenberg. 
This is regarded as the start of the Reformation- his protests against the Pope, and the Catholic church, brought about the 'Protestant' faith. Luther had come to understand that 'eternal life' wasn't something you could earn by good works, or buy from a priest 
[the poor people were spending their money on 'papal indulgences' which purported to ensure their loved ones would go to heaven after death] 
He had found that eternal life was a free gift of God's grace, available to all, and that this abundant life began straightaway, not after death. He wasn't popular with the Pope and the other Catholics. 
He was called upon to recant his heresy. But he wouldn't [Here I stand...] so was excommunicated- cut off - from the Church of Rome. Once he was no longer a celibate priest, he married Katherine von Bora, herself an ex-nun.
People have got rather carried away with the celebrations [rightly so, imho] although some of the memorabilia is ...unusual. My Lutheran friend has been to the celebrations in Germany this summer, and returned with some Here I Stand socks[hopefully not too holy?]. 

You can also get life size figures of Martin and Katherine to decorate your home[tacky], a playmobil Martin for the children [cute], and much more...
In 1967, when it was the 450th anniversary [much more muted - that was pre Internet, so merchandising and publicising was harder] I was in Grammar School. Our History Master [Mr Watson, aka Pugwash] set his annual competition to write a biography of a historical character.
There were two winners that year, my Methodist mate Deborah, was one, with her bio of John Wesley - and I shared the prize, with my bio of Martin Luther. 
Here are a few good Luther Quotes - you can find plenty of others online [but just be careful - some uininformed people are confusing Martin Luther with the Baptist Preacher born 400 years later, and named after him - Martin Luther King!!]
I rather like this one
And this one
But this one really challenges me


  1. I have been attending a bible class "A Man Named Martin" followed by questions/explanations of the video led by seminary students. To what you have written I would add "translating the bible into German" as very important. Difficult for us today to understand books were scarce and very few could read.

    Martin Luther King started life as Michael and his father changed his name at age 5 after a trip to Germany.

  2. Thanks for your extra information Sandy. You're right, we do take our access to books for granted


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