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