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The 2007 Reformation Day Symposium
October 31, 2007
Today is Reformation Day—the 490th anniversary of the day Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of Wittenberg’s Schlosskirke. That small act triggered a series of events that forever changed the world. It stands as one of the most important events in all of history—though an event that has been largely forgotten. Today we remember that day and express our gratitude to God for raising up men such as Martin Luther.
As I spent time alone with God this morning, my thoughts and prayers turned continually to the word “reform,” but with -ing appended to it instead of -ed. I love to claim the title of “Reformed,” but today my prayer was that God would continue reforming me. I am a work in progress and pray that God will continue to reform me and to reform the church. Perhaps He will work through some of these great articles that are coming in from the far reaches of the blogosphere as part of this Reformation Day Symposium. Each of these articles was prepared by a different blogger. Each makes a unique contribution. I’d encourage you to read at least a few of them.
If you have prepared an article you’d like to share, let me know and I will update this list throughout the day.
Additions at 4 PM
Here are a batch of additions at around 4:30 PM EST. This will be the last batch added, so if you still have something to share, post a comment with a link.
Grace Notes says “If you have a Bible on your shelf, or somewhere in your home, you owe a great debt of gratitude to Martin Luther.”
Nothing in Particular provides a Reformed analysis of the Catholic understanding of the doctrine of justification.
Everything Domestic says, “Let them sing psalms!” “How thankful we should be to have this continuing heritage of psalm-singing! We have such easy access to the Word of God, not just on paper, but set to music as well! I wonder if we recognize how blessed we are?”
Delighted says “Last of all, i remember the Reformation today, because Reformation should lead to reformission. The Word of God doing an unrestricted work of glory in our hearts should lead us to want to reach out to our lost, perverted, sick, devil worshipping towns and cities.”
Recover the Gospel posts an article by John MacArthur on “Unmasking the Pope.”
Additions at Noon
Here is the first round of updates, comprised of articles that have been forwarded to me as of noon (or so) EST.
Musings of the Dings goes for the brownie points by having the five-year old share his “My Little Martin Luther Book.” I’m quite sure he’s the youngest (and cutest) participant!
Reformed Evangelist asks “So what’s the point of celebrating Reformation Day? Especially when we already have an opportunity to witness to lost people on Halloween!”
Hiraeth writes about Albrecht Durer. “Did you know that Durer could be considered the ‘Artist of the Reformation?’”
Rebecca Writes writes about Jan Huss whom she calls “The Bohemian Morning Star.” “Luther was quite willing to acknowledge that his teachings were Hus’s teachings. “We are,” he said, “Hussites without knowing it.””
A Threefold Cord writes about John Knox, one of his heroes of the faith and one of the most influential reformers.
Allen Mickle asks “Are Baptists Part of the Protestant Reformation?” “If you are a Baptist this day (Reformation Day) take heart and rejoice in what God has done in history to rescue the truths of the Scriptures and bring them back into the church and thank God for the privilege of being part of that Reformation!”
Exploring Truth suggests “Evangelicalism: A Modern Day Tetzel?” “It’s my prayer that the Tetzelizing of Christendom will awaken more Luther’s and continue to raise that same ocean tide of fervency for truth in their hearts that marked the start of the great reformation.”
Relentlessly Biblical writes about Martin Luther’s holy matrimony.
Nauvoo Pastor remembers Matthias of Janow on Reformation Day one of the pre-prereformers who preceded even John Hus.
Wiser Time published “”I Will This Day Most Joyfully Die”: A Reformation Day Meditation on John Hus.”
The Lead of Love remembers “Promises Kept” as he focuses on Reformation Day.
Delivered by Grace writes that Luther’s legacy is love for the external Word.
Grace for Life celebrates Reformation Day with Abraham, Martin and John and invites you to do the same.
Kschaub marks the day with a review of Stephen Nichols’ The Reformation: How a Monk and a Mallet Changed the World.
Glory and Gettysburg says “I thought it would be appropriate to write on something that I feel is the backbone of reformed theology, why we were chosen. I think it is described subtly in the Word like any other theological concept and is there in front of us waiting to humble us into submission to Christ.”
The Regrafted Branch says “Let us thank God for those down through the ages who—like that monk—have been called to steadfastly teach the greatest and most surprising truth of all: that salvation is by grace alone, a gift of God’s mercy whose splendour, beauty, and matchless value lies precisely in the fact that it is a work untouched by human hands.”
Reformation Day Symposium—Initial Entries
Gazing at Glory (Doug was kind enough to send along the graphic that heads up this article) writes about “The Danger of Getting Bored with the Gospel.” “Reformation Day is something to celebrate, because of the recovery of the Gospel. But this day also reminds us that there is something we must guard. We must guard the purity and clarity of the message of the Gospel. But we must also guard our own hearts so that we never become immune, inoculated, or bored concerning the wonderful news that Jesus Christ really does save sinners.”
Vine and Fig includes a poem but first writes, “Luther was a monk who re-discovered and proclaimed the wonderful, life-giving truth that we can be saved not by penance, not by pilgrimages, not by the excess merits of the saints, not by papal dispensations, but by God’s grace, through faith in Jesus Christ who died for sinners and who rose up again, the proof that he’d paid in full for the sins of his people.”
Reformed Baptist Fellowship has a multi-part series on the Reformation with today’s article asking (and answering) “Why was Oct 31, 1517 so important?”
Eternally Significant posts a review of Here I Stand, Bainton’s classic biography of Martin Luther. “The greatest value of this book is the fuller understanding of the life of Luther… Although his work is over a half century old, those who study Luther, both detractors and sympathizers, will continue to be able to take Bainton’s biography and support their argument with facts.”
A Deeper Love writes about the confidence Christians can have when looking to the Bible. “The work that these people did has given many millions of people the gift of confidence in God’s saving work. No longer do God’s people have to labour under the burden of uncertainty about whether they have “measured up” to a standard that will allow them to enter heaven. They can have confidence that Christ has met that standard for them.”
The Blue Fish Project seeks Reformation for his own heart. “I’m the one who keeps changing, reverting to the easy path of walking out of step with the Spirit. What I need is men and women who will rub the grace of God in the gospel into my heart. Not just once a year, but daily. Not because I don’t know it but because I do.”
Biblical Thought makes a plea to Reformed Christians in the West. “To identify your theological heritage as “Reformed,” like I do, is O.K. as it pertains to doctrine and tradition, but may lead to a relaxed Christian life with potential vulnerability. I find it helpful to be in constant reform-ing mode because the objective standard to which the church reforms to (Scripture), remains as the lens through which all of life is viewed.”
Chris’ Considerations provides a brief history of the issues at stake in the Reformation and asks how these things shaped and should continue to shape the Church of England.
Semper Reformanda highlights one of the lesser-known figures, the pre-Reformer John Huss. “On the 490th anniversary of Luther’s nailing of the 95 Theses on the church door in Wittenburg, we also celebrate John Huss, an early advocate of sola Scriptura, who was willing to die a martyr’s death for the One who had died for him.”
Sola Gratia Grigoletti’s Christian Blog writes of “A Baptist’s Love of Philipp Melanchthon.” “The reason why I choose to write about Philipp Melanchthon on this special day for Christians is because recently I have began to read the Augsburg Confession and it is clear that Melanchthon defined sola fide in a more theologically precise than Dr. Luther and while Dr. Luther did indeed teach sola fide it is also true that Melanchthon expanded on the work and theology of Luther.”
Sweet Tea and Theology writes about the sinner’s justification saying, “It is probably even more important that the faithful get back to preaching this doctrine of justification in light of our sinfulness. Not only preaching it, but living it out in our local churches.”
A Reasonable Faith says “It seems to me that in these days when certain denominations seem to be going sideways, in need of a new Reformation for all intents and purposes, we might gain encouragement from God’s promise that He will not allow His true Church to die.”
Jollyblogger shares a Reformation Day sermon in which he covered the subject of Total Depravity.
On the Other Foot, writing from a Catholic perspective, wishes Protestants a happy birthday but tells us that we are really just daughters of the mother church.
Kingdom People posts the top ten moments of the Reformation and also writes about Justification: the Defining Doctrine of the Reformation.
Provocations and Pantings wants the SBC to move from resurgance to re-formation. “By re-formation I mean we must reconsider just how we function as Southern Baptists in cooperation with one another.”
Titus2Talk re-posts their excellent biographical sketch of Katie Luther.
The Thirsty Theologian shares Spurgeon’s cry for a new generation of Luthers and Calvins. “We want again Luthers, Calvins, Bunyans, Whitefields, men fit to mark eras, whose names breathe terror in our foemen’s ears.”
Whatever Things shares a short piece about John Hooper, one of the English reformers.
After Darkness Light writes about “Assurance and the Gospel: A Post in Celebration of Reformation Day.” “Today, even among many evangelical churches, assurance of faith is too frequently peddled to the masses in the guise of a gospel that is just as inadequate as the gospel Luther struggled against.”
Pastor Steve Weaver collects a number of sermons, papers and posts he has written related to Reformation themes.
Four Scores and Seven Films Ago continues a mock news story about Martin Erasmus Hinn, a young man who seeks to make people aware of the existence of Reformation Day.
John Dekker writes about “Reformed Unity #1: Remembering the Reformation.”
Darryl Dash writes about a rediscovery of the gospel. “What I’m thinking about most today, though, is what lay at the heart of the 95 Theses: a rediscovery of the gospel. The person who has helped me understand why this is so important is Tim Keller…”