Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Reformation Day

Last year I broached the topic of Halloween and Reformation Day, and we had quite a lively discussion on the subject. It was quite fun, in fact :). As most of you know (or can easily guess), I'm not a proponent of celebrating Halloween. But I've also questioned in retrospect if my tone last fall was genuine concern or self-righteousness - perhaps a combination? This year I'm trying a more positive approach to this day, and instead of explaining the reasons I hate Halloween, instead I'll just encourage everyone to take a bit of time today to remember the men who have come before us.

On October 31st, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his infamous Ninety-Five Theses to the door of the Castle Church of Wittenberg, thus sparking a flame of reform that would spread throughout Europe and alter Christendom forever. Our forefathers in the faith overcame unsurmountable odds over the centuries, especially in the time of the Protestant Reformation, to preserve and rediscover (not invent) the Gospel of Grace. We truly owe them a debt of gratitude as we stand on their shoulders. Their example and their writings still inspire us today as we seek to live life here on earth to God's glory.

I could attempt to write a stirring post on the Protestant Reformation, or I could glance at the clock, realize I still have planning to do, followed by tutoring, and then realize that it's not really a responsible option. So instead, I'll direct you to this retelling of Luther's Here I Stand speech. Ligioner has uploaded Max McClean's retelling to their site, in honor of Reformation Day. It's 26 minutes long, but worth every second of it.

HT: Tim Challies


John Dekker said...

Assuming that Luther did, in fact, say "Here I stand, I can do no other."

Susan said...

Right, right, right, John.

Quoting Roland H. Bainton's Here I Stand (the definitive biography on Luther):

". . . I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen."

The earliest printed version added the words: "Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise." The words, though not recorded on the spot, may nevertheless be genuine, because the listeners at the moment may have been too moved to write.

*shrugs* Regardless, it's a stirring speech :).