Happy Reformation Day! 500th Anniversary, History & Resources
It wasn't too many years ago when a quirky young man and new pastoral resident at our church came into our lives. As I followed him on Instagram I noticed his posts around this time of year about Reformation Day. I had heard of Reformation Day, but I hadn't paid attention to what it was or what it meant.
I find it amazing that I missed out on this important date in history for most of my adult life. Maybe you, like me, until recently, didn't know how pivotal this day in history was and still is. Maybe you still don't. I want to welcome you here so you can learn, as I did, how this day changed history and impacted the body of Christ.
Even now, as we recognize the 500 year anniversary of this important day, it is hard to imagine the uproar this day caused. So, I encourage you to learn about this day along with me, as we both scour the resources provided to us by this quirky young man...who happens to now be my wonderful son-in-law.
Thank you Asher, for taking the time to gather and share these resources with us. Your passion for the church inspires me.
In His Love,
What if I told you that what happened on October 31st, 500 years ago, was one of the most scandalous, culture-shaping, and divisive events in church history - but has nothing to do with Halloween?
October 31st is the anniversary of the Reformation – the day that Martin Luther, a German pastor and theologian, took a stand against the Roman Catholic church by stating that salvation from God saves people exclusively through Christ, by faith. For decades and centuries before this, the Catholic Church was distorting the gospel by allowing people to believe they could be saved by doing things beyond repenting and turning to Christ in faith.
Your church’s calendar has many events that you probably plan your personal schedule around – days like Christmas and Easter. And while the Reformation is not on the same level as those two days, I hope you’ll take time and promote what the Reformation stood for to your family, your friends, your church, and maybe even your pastor. The Reformation, though complex and still in many ways happening, asserted that salvation is received from God by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Basically, the Reformation was the Church turning back to the truth of God as revealed through His Scriptures.
There have been hundreds and hundreds of books written about the Reformation. Even some movies have been made! But if you don’t know where to start, below are some resources to help guide you.
- Documentary about Martin Luther: 2017 has provided many written materials, but here is a great documentary on Martin Luther. Luther: The Life and Legacy of the German Reformer
- Children’s Book: Martin Luther by Simonetta Carr
- Quick Read Book: The Essence of the Reformation by Kirsten Birkett
Accessible Summary Book: The Unquenchable Flame by Michael Reeves
- Luther Biography: Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther by
- Academic Book: The Reformation: A History by Diarmaid MacCulloch
- 5 Reasons to Teach Your Kids about the Reformation by Jeff Robinson
- 4 Ways the Reformation Changed the Church by Alex Duke
- 3 Lessons I’ve Learned from the Reformation by Harry Reeder
- Luther and the Reformation of Marriage by Ian Clary
- Reformation Course: Carl Trueman Lectures at The Master’s Seminary
Before I conclude this article, I must share one final resource with you. If there anything you should be spurred to dive into, consume, and share in light of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation – it’s the Bible! Every reformer (whether it was Luther, John Calvin, William Tyndale, or others) … every reformer … was so convinced of God’s glory and goodness, that they devoted their lives (and it cost some of them their lives) to spreading His life-altering gospel as it is given to us through the Scriptures.
In the Scriptures, the Spirit speaks to us. In the Scriptures, Christ Jesus is revealed to us. And in the Scriptures, the Father is summoning us to see Him as He has always been: holy, holy, holy.
May we all be continually reformed by God, toward greater godliness, and for God’s glory.
And on October 31st, Happy Reformation Day!
Bio: Asher grew up north of Oklahoma City and has lived in Oklahoma, Washington D.C., Alaska, Kentucky, Virginia, and now New Mexico. He attended college at Oklahoma State University and seminary at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is currently Minister of Theological Training at Desert Springs Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Asher met his wife Brooke while serving at a church in Oklahoma. They have been married since 2015 and together love hiking, reading, coffee, and being around people as much as possible.