Bible Think Tank

This site is designed to help you interact with others about God's Word. I further some thoughts we developed during morning and evening gatherings at church. I have my NT translations from the original Greek to English. Also, I have book reviews and other current events.

Monday, October 08, 2007

The Outworking of the Reformation


Classic Luther PortraitSince it is Reformation Month, culminating on the last day of October when we remember Martin Luther, a Augustinian monk and Professor of Theology at Wittenburg University, I wanted to spend some time together thinking about the outworking of the Reformation. In other words, my belief is that this select generation (mid 1500's) pushed the Church in a direction that is beyond what they intended BUT was what the Spirit of God intended.

Luther's reFormational Principle

TRA    DIT   ION !!!!!Here is the reasoning. When Martin began reading the Bible and found inconsistencies between the doctrine in the Word and the doctrine in the Church. His position was that we must believe the Scripture rather than the Councils and Traditions. It is ironic, however, that he still read many of the Scriptures with his Catholic glasses. For example, he didn't for the longest time seek marriage though he encouraged many of his former monks and nuns to marry. Finally, however, he did wed. Another example would be his view of the sacraments. Both the Eucharist (communion) and baptism were imported from Catholicism with some minor alterations in the Eucharist (and he still called it that).

Application of the Principle

Where did he begin?  Square OneSo now for some application of this principle: the reformation began as a principle that continues to this day and into the future. Luther started at square-one and proceeded from there. What happens in all our lives is that there is some guiding principle, some formative philosophy that drives us to alter our behavior. The principle applies to all of life, but we are only able to work on some of the things that need reforming. Luther started with what he felt was central: the mode of justification. But his starting culture, namely the Roman Church, still held sway over his comfort zone for other issues like baptism of infants.

Comfort Zones Hold Us Back

The   Comfy   Chair   ?!?!He was so comfortable within the Roman view of baptism that I don't think he saw it as inconsistent to hold justification by faith and baptize the unjustified. But the generations after were able to continue where the preceding generation left off, constantly, slowly, reforming the Church to a more Biblically shaped one. Again, when we start with the question "what does the Bible say?" it is much different than the question "what has been done?" or the question "what is nice or meaningful to do?"

For Us

Really Think It ThroughSo, what is unBiblical about our generation's Church? What is in need of reforming? What in your walk with the Lord is in need of reforming? It began in 1517 with some rumblings before it. But the aftershocks will never stop.

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