L4L: The Reformation

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In 1517, the great reformer Martin Luther produced his 95 theses, which articulated his objections to perceived corruptions in the Roman Catholic church.

This year Christians around the world celebrate the 500th anniversary of that seminal occasion that forever altered the next six centuries of church history.

Join us as we examine the celebrated, intriguing life of Martin Luther, and discuss the defining moments of the Reformation, including the political and social realities that allowed Luther to succeed when so many other would-be reformers paid with their lives.

Most importantly, perhaps, we will contemplate together the relevance–if any–of the Reformation to the contemporary Christian church (including First Baptist, Regina), and will ask ourselves the critical question: Is Christianity in need of another Reformation?

10 Sessions

Learning for Life: Reformation 500 – Course Outline.

  1. September 10: Introduction and Overview: What is Reformation 500? Why does it  matter?
  2. September 17: The Political Context preceding October, 1517.
  3. September 24: The Social and Cultural Context preceding October, 1517
  4. October 1: Selected Reformers preceding October, 1517
    • Class notes
    • Audio recording of presentation and discussion
    • Common Themes in Early Reformers
      • Primacy of scripture.
      • Prevalence of corruptions in the institutional arms of the church.
      • Ability for the faithful to develop a relationship with God without the mediation of a priest.
      • Repudiation of the requirement that church leaders be celibate and single.
      • Christ alone is the head of the church and God is sovereign.
    • Video on John Huss – The Goose Who Became a Swan (Reformation lecture 1), by Erwin Lutzer
  5. October 15: The Life of Martin Luther
  6. October 22: The life of Martin Luther — the — controversies
  7. October 29: Luther’s Impact:  The 95 Theses
  8. November 5: Luther’s Impact: Theology and the Church
  9. November 12: Relevance to the Contemporary Church, First Baptist
    • Class notes
    • Audio recording of presentation and discussion
    • Excerpt from: “The Reformation is Relevant — Really Relevant!
    • Additional Resources
      • The Contemporary Relevance Of The Reformation, featuring Dr. Scott Clark (audio interview). Helpful comments on Augustinian and Pelagian theologies and imputation.
      • Living by Grace, William Hordern. Review. The author focuses on the doctrine of justification by grace, especially on what scriptures teach about the doctrine and how the modern church should act as a result.
      • Protestants: The Faith That Made the Modern World, Alec Ryrie. The author “presents a dazzling global history charting five centuries of innovation and change to make the case that the world in which we live was indelibly shaped by a revolution set in motion by an obscure monk who challenged the authority of the pope with a radical new vision of what Christianity could be—the Protestant Reformation. This magisterial book by a brilliant scholar of the Reformation makes the case that whether or not you are yourself a Protestant, you live in a world—and are guided by principles and ideas—shaped by Protestants” (taken from a book review found at www.christianbook).
      • Rescuing the Gospel: The Story and the Relevance of the Reformation, featuring Dr. Erwin Lutzer (audio-visual lecture).
      • The Unintended Reformation: How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society, Brad Gregory. This book asks what propelled the West into a trajectory of pluralism and polarization, and finds answers deep in our medieval Christian past. Amazon, Harvard University Press Interview.
      • Resources about Church history from Christ’s death until the Reformation:
  10. November 19: Concluding Thoughts: Is the church in need of another reformation?

Resources