(WSJ) Joseph Loconte–When Luther Shook Up Christianity

When an obscure German monk hammered his indictments to the door of All Saints’ Church at Wittenberg on Oct. 31, 1517, he did not intend to impugn the authority of the Catholic Church, or malign its leaders, or rupture the spiritual unity of medieval Europe. Martin Luther wanted reform, not a Reformation.

But that’s what he got. On Reformation Sunday, nearly 500 years after Luther published his 95 Theses, Protestants will celebrate his revolution to recapture the meaning of the gospel and the authority of the Bible against that of popes or princes. As Luther told his accusers at the 1521 council known as the Diet of Worms: “Unless I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason””I do not accept the authority of popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other””my conscience is captive to the Word of God.”

Luther is either credited or blamed for shattering Catholic hegemony and plunging Europe into religious wars. But the Reformation is more complex than that, and speaks to today’s religious violence and political instability.

Read it all.


Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Church History, History, Lutheran, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Theology

2 comments on “(WSJ) Joseph Loconte–When Luther Shook Up Christianity

  1. Katherine says:

    I can’t agree with this part: “Hence the question: Given the failed revolutions of the Arab Spring, can Islam undergo a similar reformation?’ The problem with this comparison is that Luther and the other great Reformers were trying to bring Christian faith and practice back to the age of its first few centuries. The analogous movement within Islam is in fact the radical Islamists, whose goal is to take Islamic practice back to its earliest centuries. The great difference is the content of the two messages.

  2. MichaelA says:

    Well said, Katherine!