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History of the Reformation

[June 25, 2018 | No Comment | ]

Today, June 25th, is the anniversary of the Presentation of the Augsburg Confession. While Luther’s posting of the 95 Theses on October 31, 1517 was the spark that ignited the Reformation, it wasn’t until the presentation of the Augsburg Confession on June 25, 1530 that we see what we might term a distinct Evangelical Lutheran Church. For it is in this confession made at Augsburg where those Reformation principles of grace alone, faith alone, and Scripture alone are clearly articulated and set forth. It consists of twenty-one articles held by …


In: Headline, History of the Reformation, Reformation 500, Theological reflection

[April 25, 2018 | No Comment | ]

by Mathew Block
On April 25, 1518, about half a year following the publication of The 95 Theses, Martin Luther presented at a debate during a meeting of the Augustinian order in Heidelberg, Germany. Here Luther moved away from the question of indulgences into deeper subjects: the question of how we are saved. In The Heidelberg Disputation and its accompanying explanations, Luther made clear he no longer trusted in works righteousness as a road to salvation. Salvation must come instead through Christ alone.
The disputation is best remembered for articulating the difference …


In: Feature Stories, Headline, History of the Reformation

[February 8, 2018 | No Comment | ]

by John Stephenson
The closing words of President Teuscher’s acceptance speech at last October’s synodical convention caught my attention at the time and have retained it since: “And may the Lord have mercy on our poor little Lutheran Church–Canada!” In the world of public relations, positive “spin” is everything, the magic ingredient that causes people to be self-satisfied and feel good, the factor that can presumably be relied on to make the dollars flow in.
In the setting of divided worldwide Christendom we need to be careful not to get caught up …


In: Feature Stories, Headline, History of the Reformation

[January 3, 2018 | No Comment | ]

by Mathew Block
The publication of the Augsburg Confession in 1530 may have solidified the Lutheran tradition, but the troubles for the Reformation did not end there.
War seemed inevitable. Emperor Charles V had already tried diplomatic means at Augsburg to force the Lutheran princes to return to Roman faith and practice. The sword would undoubtedly be next.
For this reason, the Schmalkaldic League was formed in February 1531. The League was envisioned as a defensive alliance for the Lutheran princes, protecting each other if the Emperor should attack one of them
For several …


In: Feature Stories, Headline, History of the Reformation, Reformation 500

[October 31, 2017 | One Comment | ]

by Mathew Block
Reformation commemorations are often tied to October 31, the date when tradition states Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses to that church door in Wittenberg. But in many ways, a better case could be made for celebrating it on June 25, the presentation-date of the Augsburg Confession.
Emperor Charles V had invited the electors of Germany to Augsburg for an imperial Diet to begin April 1530. John the Steadfast, elector of Saxony since the death of his brother Frederick the Wise in 1525, saw this as an opportunity to …


In: Feature Stories, Headline, History of the Reformation, Reformation 500

[September 18, 2017 | No Comment | ]

by Mathew Block
As far as Martin Luther was concerned, the Wartburg castle was more a prison than anything else. He had been spirited away to this place in May 1521 following his appearance at the Diet of Worms. This was a subterfuge of Frederick the Wise, who knew it was dangerous for Luther to go home now that he was under the imperial ban.
But Luther’s safety came at a price. Isolated from his friends and coworkers, he suffered intense loneliness. What is more, he had to live with the knowledge …


In: Feature Stories, Headline, History of the Reformation, Reformation 500