The lines to get into your favorite haunted house were pretty long this weekend. If you are hunting for the trendy costume to wear to that party you probably will be disappointed. Dentists are waiting for the inevitable repercussions of too many sweets and not enough flossing.
Today is indeed a special day, but not for any of the silliness above. Today marks the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, which symbolically began when Martin Luther posted 95 Theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenburg, Germany. Luther’s simple act represented a challenge to the status quo and had profound impact in religious and political terms. Luther made his thinking accessible to common people, not just cloistered intellectuals, and sparked a new emphasis on education. His challenge to authority provided cover for political rulers who began to erode the domination of the Pope and local Bishops.
Luther was not alone. John Calvin, John Knox, Huldrych Zwingli, and many others challenged the theology and practice of the Catholic Church, emphasizing the primacy of God’s Word over the proclamations of an institution obsessed more with wealth and power than the spiritual vitality of its followers. The Biblical truths rediscovered by Reformation thinkers are sometimes summarized in the Five Solas:
- Sola Scriptura (“Scripture alone”): The Bible alone is our highest authority.
- Sola Fide (“faith alone”): We are saved through faith alone in Jesus Christ.
- Sola Gratia (“grace alone”): We are saved by the grace of God alone.
- Solus Christus (“Christ alone”): Jesus Christ alone is our Lord, Savior, and King.
- Soli Deo Gloria (“to the glory of God alone”): We live for the glory of God alone.
In an age when too few remember the lessons of history, it is worth a moment to pause today and thank God for raising up these heroes of faith whose influence is still reflected in the work we do at Bellevue Christian School every day.
Kevin M. Dunning