The Reformation | Observing 500 Years
It’s been said that in the history of Western civilization only one individual has had more books written about him than has Martin Luther: Jesus Christ.
What was it this small town priest from a little known university in a town on the fringes of German society said and did that has caused generation after generation to assess the impact and fallout of events from 500 years ago? According to Luther himself, it all began in Wittenberg, Germany on the eve of All Saints Day, October 31, 1517, when he posted the 95 Theses. What did he say that offended so many people? And how did that event ignite a revolution that impacted not only religion, but also the social, economic and political forces of the day?
During the next year we invite you to follow this story as we look at who Luther was, where he came from and what informed his ideas. Luther wasn’t born a Lutheran, nor did he set out intending to be a reformer. Coming out of a working class family with a traditional education he was, by his own admission, surprised by what transpired in the months following the Ninety-Five Theses – a document that spread like wildfire across continental Europe.
We will also dig into Luther’s thought and theology and start to unpack what it was about this man, Luther, and his understanding of Scripture that not only inspires but also creates controversy– even today.
So whether or not you’re new to the Lutheran conversation or you’ve been born and raised in it, join us as we explore the man and the theology that sparked a revolution.
Week 1 | Unexpected Consequences | Who Was Luther?
Did you realize Martin Luther was not born a Lutheran? In fact, he was no different than you and I — he learned as he went. He received a typical education and, because of his intelligence, was put on a path to becoming a lawyer. But as the story goes, lightning struck and he changed course; deciding to become a monk instead. He excelled in that life, and had no desire to do anything more. His superiors had other plans for him, however, and he soon found himself a professor at the University of Wittenberg: a start-up university in an unknown shabby little town. But soon, the name of this school and the town in which it was located would be known throughout Europe.
Source: Luther House of Study