Whether you go trick-or-treating or not, tonight is a great opportunity to curl up with the kids in the den with some cozy blankets and hot chocolate and watch a movie or documentary about some of the great Reformers.
Several years ago I couldn’t have told you that there were Five Solas of the Reformation, much less what they were. I’d certainly never heard of Reformation Day, or that it was even something that Christians could, or should, celebrate.
Thankfully, through our family’s homeschooling journey, the Lord has been gracious in putting individuals in my life who have been able to teach me so much, enabling me to bring up my son with a far greater knowledge regarding theology and Biblical history than I had when I was growing up. I had never heard of anyone actually celebrating Martin Luther’s igniting of the flame of the Reformation, but in recent years, we began celebrating it in our own family.
Part of celebrating the Reformation, of course, is knowing and remembering what the contributions of the Reformers, by God’s Providential Hand, has meant, and continues to mean, for the Church.
It could be said that their various contributions over a span of several decades can be summed up in the Five Solas, which mark a return to the core tenets of the Christian faith that by the 16th century had become quite obscured, or corrupted altogether over many centuries by Roman authority and “church tradition.”
In 2 Corinthians 12, the Apostle Paul is telling us about the “thorn” in his flesh, a messenger from Satan that would torment him to keep him from becoming conceited from the “surpassing greatness of the revelations” he was receiving from the Lord. He said:
“Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Cor 12:8-9)
One over-arching theme of the Reformation was a simple, but crucial, fact:
God’s grace is sufficient to save.
The teachings of the Roman Church at the time leading up to, and including the Reformation, greatly focused on works, treating the Christian faith much in the same way the Pharisees had treated their own ideas of righteousness and justification — as though it were some checklist to be completed. Continue reading “Reformation: The Sufficiency of God’s Grace”
Ghosts… Jack-o-Lanterns… Scream-fest movie marathons?
What about Martin Luther?
“Who?” you might say. “How does the Civil Rights movement fit in with Halloween?”
It doesn’t. But that would be a common response from so many Americans unfamiliar with history.
They hear Martin Luther and they immediately think of, “I had a dream….”
So many couldn’t identify an image of Martin Luther (not Martin Luther King, Jr.), much less say anything about who he was or the Reformation of which he played a pivotal role in sparking. Sadly, even large numbers of those identified as Christians in the United States would be at a loss to say much, if anything, about Luther.
It would be equally surprising to many that October 31st is the day in 1517 upon which the fire was hotly kindled to begin purifying the Church through the Protestant Reformation, when Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church at Wittenburg, Germany.