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Reformation 500 month: introduction

October 3, 2017 | by: Ben O'Donoghue | 0 Comments


On the 31st of October 1517, Martin Luther- now both an Augustinian monk and professor of the Bible in Wittenberg, Germany- sparked what we now call the Protestant Reformation when he posted his 95 theses. This was intended to be a spirited debate with other academics about the appropriateness of the church’s relatively recent practice of selling indulgences (where desperate folk could pay to reduce the amount of time they or their loved ones spend in purgatory for their sins). What transpired can only be explained by the sovereignty of God, as Luther’s challenge spread like wildfire, drawing a swift response from the church and a rapid development in Luther’s own theological understanding.

Much can be said of Luther’s role in the recovery of Biblical foundations in the reformation of the church, but it would be a limited perspective to focus purely on Luther himself. The reality was that the pressure released by Luther’s explosive actions had been building for some time, with many likeminded reformers having challenged the establishment in the decades and centuries prior to 1517.

This month we acknowledge 500 years of the Reformation. We will have a message in a few weeks’ time which will be something of a ‘Reformation Refresh’, considering the relevance of the protestant position today. To help us all engage with the foundations of reformed thinking- from which we draw our own church teaching- I will be posting a few mini-biographies of some of the figures who played a part in reclaiming the centrality of God’s Word alone as it teaches salvation by faith alone in Christ Jesus alone.

Come back regularly over the coming weeks, as there will be new posts every few days as we give thanks to God for those who taught and fought for the truth of the gospel.

Soli deo gloria (for the glory of God alone!)

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