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?