by Rev. Dr. Marty Kuchma, Senior Pastor
On October 31, 1517, a Catholic priest and professor named Martin Luther posted his infamous 95 Theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. By so doing, Luther intended to reform the Catholic Church, but what he did resulted in a Church split that gave birth to Protestantism. His act precipitated a seismic shift in the life of the Church. Remember that before Luther, for about 1500 years, “the Church” was the Catholic Church. All of that changed 500 years ago this week. So, as Protestants, we celebrate that powerfully transformative moment in the history of the Church that had significant implications for the history of the world.
A number of factors converged at the moment in history when Luther approached the church door with his hammer in hand. For example, there had been previous attempts at reform over several centuries, like those led by Jan Hus who was burned for his heresy, John Wycliffe who translated the Bible into English in the fourteenth century, and others. Luther could capture some of that energy in his bold action. At about the same time, Gutenberg’s printing press had come into popular use, so Luther’s own writings could be published broadly and, as was Luther’s intent, the Bible could be mass produced in many languages. And, importantly, Luther addressed deeper issues of theological significance.
Luther’s concerns, as a faithful priest, were numerous, but in particular, he was driven to take action by the Catholic Church’s wide use of indulgences that had their roots in acts of simple penitence Continue reading REVerberations – November 2017