Random Reformation 500 Thoughts

I chose today to start blogging again: the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther releasing his 95 theses. The Reformation Anniversary.

Some random thoughts:

  1. I have doubts that Martin Luther actually nailed his 95 theses to the door in Wittenberg. I used to believe this until many of my German friends convinced me it was a great story but probably not true. Until I hear it from better authority, I will refrain from saying he “nailed his theses to the door’ and will refrain from judging those who do. But for now, I categorize it as a myth.
  2. I almost submitted my idea for a talk at Greenbelt Festival in England on the Reformation and the new Reformation, with a hat tip to the London Cockney dialect, entitled “95 Feces and other Myfs about the Reformation” but upon better judgement the next morning, I decided to let it just be a private joke between me and me. I still think its funny! Pray for me.
  3. One of those myfs . .  I mean MYTHS . . is that the Reformation was primarily about a change of doctrine but I have blogged before on this and believe the Reformation was initially an attempt to purge the church of greed and financial corruption, with a revolution in doctrine coming later as a wonderful bonus.
  4. Church History is never an interesting subject but I feel my contribution on the etymology of the word “Protestant” and its Latin roots in the word “testes” and its relationship to “testicles” was a scholarly and worthy contribution to that made history interesting again, even if only for high school boys.  But I think its worth revisiting since Protestantism is being critiqued by bloggers, and in particular women bloggers like these, as struggling with a patriarchy that is unhealthy and unchallenged.
  5.  I used to think this 500th anniversary would be a momentous occasion and offer evidence of a quantum leap forward but I have come to believe that reformation happens little by little, year by year. Baby steps, Bob.
  6. Luther really screwed up on the Peasants War by not standing up for the poor and oppressed. When I flew to Germany a few years ago to speak at Kirchentag, the huge Protestant Church Day gathering, I wanted to address the recent Wall Street crash from the mortgage crisis and discuss Luther’s warnings about “financial instruments”.  I sought advice from a friend who was the Magistraat (Treasurer) of one of Germany’s main cities. He advised me not to mention Luther at all, since he had lost credibility. I asked why. He said, because of the Peasants War.
  7. Having said all that, Thank you Germany for your incredible contribution to our spiritual path, the fact that we have a Bible to read in our own language and interpret within our own communities, the birth of Protestantism which has been a great ride, and for your contribution to the Roman Catholic Church which also responded with amazing innovations.

Previous Random Thoughts:

Dealing with Corruption (2011)

Reformation: A little Scottish Oats with your Bratwurst.

Philanthropists and the Reformation

Reformation Unfiltered: Evidence of pre-charismatic phenomena in the Scottish Reformation.

Reformation Day – when I wrote about the relationship between Protestantism and Testicles. (Always popular with youth pastors and high schoolers)

1 Comment

  • Nice to see you bringing your thoughts back to blogging! I always wonder about the biology of the founders or ancient writers – I think instead of speaking about actual body parts they were speaking about the knowledge that comes from deep with – that chutzpah that knows no gender – and while they used male anatomy to describe it it is genderless. So many times in scripture they speak of locations on the physical body that describe something that we know as a current culture, but not with the parts they speak of in scripture. Gut knowledge isn’t addressed by body part in the bible, but I think that the writers knew about it and wrote about it, but used a different physical metaphor.

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