Quincentenary. Not the sort of word that features in a regular, everyday conversation. It signifies a five-hundredth anniversary. I predict we will hear it often in the lead-up to October this year, when Martin Luther’s historic protest will be commemorated. But what is the message of the Reformation for us in 2017? It is, of course, the message of the Gospel – of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. That message needs to be heard plainly right now.
Sometimes a speaker or author drops a phrase that instantly embeds itself in the memory. In effect, it acts like one of those prickly burrs that stick to a walker’s socks in a wild field. Just as this seed case clings like super velcro to the clothing, so the idea sticks in your mind and won’t let go. • For many Christians, William Carey’s admonition is of this variety: “Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God.” • Or that famous line that could be seen on a
As they addressed journalists about the Pope’s ecumenical visit to Sweden in October 2016, Rev Martin Junge (General Secretary of the Lutheran World Federation) and Cardinal Kurt Koch (head of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity) waxed lyrical about how this event represented such a big step forward, “because Catholics and Lutherans are ‘no longer defining themselves in opposition to each other,’ but in communion with one another.” They noted how the 500th an
Print is deeply associated with the Reformation. It fuelled the scale of the Protestant cause. For the new Protestants, print was the way of opposing Church and State power. It was the medium used to spread ideas, disseminate beliefs, circulate the Word of God and shape public opinion. Between 1517 and 1520, Luther’s publications sold over 300,000 copies. Woodcuts - or 'engraved pamphlets' – became a chief means of spreading messages during the 'propaganda wars' that raged at
The Kirk Session of Martyrs Memorial Free Presbyterian Church formally approved the concept of the Reformation Room project as soon as it was proposed to them in the latter months of 2016. I am delighted to report that, when presented with the updated plans for this venture, plus details of the significant expenditure that it will most likely entail, both Session and Committee unanimously approved the release of funds to realise the total project. It may have been possible to
Encouraged by the cartoon above, I decided to scan over the list of Luther's 95 Theses to ascertain which ones would be suitable for tweeting without any editing. Constrained by the limit of 140 characters, a surprising number managed to squeeze into this space. For example: #1: Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, when He said “Repent”, willed that the whole life of believers should be repentance
#6: The pope cannot remit any guilt, except by declaring that it has been remitt
As part of our Luther Exhibition we aim to show a child friendly, but historically accurate and biblically challenging film on Luther's life and ministry. We have one in our sights at present that seems to 'tick all the above boxes.' More about this at a later date ... . Meantime my attention was drawn today to another film about Luther that is currently 'in the works.' This is being produced by Stephen McCaskell, an independent filmmaker based in Manitoba, Canada. Stephen is
The Vatican office charged with issuing stamps, known as the Philatelic and Numismatic Office, confirmed (Tuesday, 17 January 2017) to LifeSiteNews that the Protestant Reformer Martin Luther will be celebrated with a postage stamp in 2017. It must be said that the article posted on the Roman Catholic website LifeSiteNews seems far short of enthusiastic at the sound of this proposal: “The Vatican regularly issues such memorabilia for special events, including papal trips and h
Further posts are planned for this blog on the huge point of controversy between Roman Catholicism and New Testament Christianity – the doctrine of Justification. As a primer, this is a brief summary of the divergent views.