Dear Members of St. Paul,
The Reformation that was started by Martin Luther did not begin as a strategic effort to start a new church body that would bear his name. He was ordained into the priesthood of the Church in 1507. In 1508 he began teaching theology at the University in Wittenberg, Germany. To prepare for his lectures on the Bible, Luther began studying the Bible in the original languages of Greek and Hebrew. This was when he started to realize that the teachings of the Church and what was written in the Bible were not the same.
In 1517, Luther posted his famous “95 Theses” on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg (this was a public bulletin board) in order to challenge the theologians of his day to debate 95 different points of doctrine being taught by the Church that he believed were not accurate or even false. He believed that, if the authorities would see where the teachings of the Church had strayed from the Bible, the Church would respond by making the appropriate changes. However, just the opposite happened. The authorities dug in their heels, Luther was eventually declared a heretic and an outlaw, and he was excommunicated from the church.
All of this set off a firestorm of conflict in both the Church and culture which led to widespread reformation in both arenas.
This year we are celebrating the 500 th Anniversary of the Reformation under the theme, “It’s Still All About Jesus”. Included in this packet are some fun and instructional resources to help you learn more about the Reformation and some of the changes it ushered into the Church and society. Additional resources can be found on our church’s website at www.fallsathome.com.
- Links to some videos by Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison, the President of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod that were filmed on site in Germany where Luther lived and worked.
- Download a Reformation screensaver that you can use on your computer. In addition to all of this, I want to invite you to obtain a copy of the book, Being Lutheran, which we will read together as a congregation during October for 5 weeks. Home-based Connecting Groups are being formed to provide the opportunity for you to gather with fellow members to discuss the readings each week. Each week the sermon in the weekend worship services will introduce the chapters from the book that we will read together.
May God bless our study of the Reformation and our meditation upon God’s Word because “It’s Still All About Jesus.”
Pr. Tom Gudmundson
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Martin Luther Resources
Martin Luther (PDF)
Katharina Von Bora (PDF)
Glossary of Terms (PDF)
Flat Marty (PDF)
1953 Martin Luther – Starring Niall MacGinnis: The ‘classic,’ an Academy Award nominated film. B/W
1983 Martin Luther Heretic
2003 Luther – Starring Joseph Fiennes
Books for Kids
The Story of Martin Luther Activity Book, Concordia Publishing House
Luther: Echoes of the Hammer, Susan Leigh
Books for Adults
Here I Stand, Roland Bainton
Luther Discovers the Gospel, Uuras Saarnivaara – A deeper look into Luther’s spiritual journey from seeing God as all law to Jesus as gospel.