Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Three Cheers for Martin Luther!

Okay, so, it doesn't give you an excuse to dress up like a pirate or go door to door begging for mind-altering substances (or "candy" as many choose to call it), but it's still good to remember and mark the day, at least if you're some stripe of Protestant: Today is the 490th anniversary of the day Martin Luther posted his 95 theses on the door of the local church and, unbeknownst to him, altered the course of the Christian church. Celebrate by reading your Bible in your own language (he was the first to translate it to a language the common man could read, assuming, of course, the common man was German) and watching Luthur, the really great movie about Luther's experiences that led him to post the theses (featuring hottie Joseph Feinnes as Luther, who isn't quite as hot as a monk, I'll admit, but an excellent actor for the role).

Weird how I grew up in the church and NEVER ONCE heard this guy's name. Had no clue who Martin Luther King Jr. was named after. Had no idea there had been a time when the Catholic Church was the only game in town. Sad.

Dan's got a link to a great site with lots of cool reformation stuff; check it out!


Timothy Fish said...

"Had no idea there had been a time when the Catholic Church was the only game in town."

Let's not forget history. There have always been other games in town, but the other groups did not have the political backing that the Catholic church had. There are names like Montanists, Novations, Puritans, Cathari, Paterins, Paulicians. Anabaptists, Arnoldists, Albigenses, Henricians, Waldenses, to name a few. There were probably some groups that didn't have a name. All of these groups predate Martin Luther and they were not part of the Catholic church. History gets very foggy when we go back that far, so it is difficult to know a lot about these groups, but they did exist hundreds of years before Luther decided that he wanted to reform the Catholic church.

Alison Strobel Morrow said...

That underscores my point even more. I was never taught church history. Why on earth not? What's the famous saying--those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it? Why don't churches spend more time talking about the roads and movements and events that got us where we are today?

Oh yeah, because it's hard to turn that kind of information into a tidy three point sermon on how to live a better life. Silly me!

Timothy Fish said...

You may have a point there, it is a little hard to turn a history lesson into a three point outline about better living. I don't know how much time is the ideal amount of time a church should spend on history, but I will say that I had a significant amount of exposure to it growing up. Even now I get some exposure to it, but not as much as before. I suppose that is partly due to what different preachers know and think is important.