October 31, 1517 – “Next to the introduction of Christianity, the greatest event in History”


The quote from Philip Schaff in the title is speaking towards the entire Protestant Reformation. Martin’s 95 Theses, mentioned below, is what brought such a period of time.

After serious deliberation, without consulting any of his colleagues or friends, but following an irresistible impulse, Luther resolved upon a public act of unforeseen consequences. It may be compared to the stroke of the axe with which St. Boniface, seven hundred years before, had cut down the sacred oak, and decided the downfall of German heathenism. He wished to elicit the truth about the burning question of indulgences, which he himself professed not fully to understand at the time, and which yet was closely connected with the peace of conscience and eternal salvation. He chose the orderly and usual way of a learned academic disputation.

Accordingly, on the memorable thirty-first day of October, 1517, which has ever since been celebrated in Protestant Germany as the birthday of the Reformation, at twelve o’clock he affixed (either by himself or through another) to the doors of the castle-church Wittenberg, ninety-five Latin Theses on the subject of indulgences, and invited a public discussion. At the same time he sent notice of the fact to Archbishop Albrecht of Mainz, and to Bishop Hieronymus Scultetus, to whose diocese Wittenberg belonged. He chose the eve of All Saints’ Day (Nov. 1), because this was one of the most frequented feasts, and attracted professors, students, and people from all directions to the church, which was filled with precious relics.

– Philip Schaff
History of the Christian Church, Volume VII: Modern Christianity, The German Reformation. 1910, p. 155-156

In a much less elegant manner, I have something to say to the Church of today and of the future. The video below was recorded for submission in the Something Beautiful Podcast’s 1more Video Series.

What are your thoughts on the Protestant Reformation? If you wanted to say something to the Church of today, what would it be?

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2 thoughts on “October 31, 1517 – “Next to the introduction of Christianity, the greatest event in History”

  1. I consider Church not a building, but a movement or group of people. While I believe Church is important, I’ve seen many different examples of Churches that have no building, but have structure.

    You summed it up it nicely at the end of your video.

    For we are both God’s workers. And you are God’s field. You are God’s building. (1 Corinthians 3:9) In essence, WE are the CHURCH. So if I had a message I’d tell fellow believers of today and of the future, it would be, “Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, 5 so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.” (Romans 12:4-5)

    • Thanks for your thoughts on the video and for sharing your view on the Church. I agree with your view, that we are a group of people, actually THE body of Christ, not a building with walls and such. This is a common misunderstanding, and something that I believe has created a generation of confused believers who have come to view Church as Sunday morning only. It is hard for them to see past the closing prayer and into their week.

      And great advice to the Church!

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