Always Reforming

reforming2 1000

September 10 - October 29, 2017

October 31, 2017, marks 500 years from the day Martin Luther posted his 95 theses—the act that is widely recognized as the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. As we mark this milestone, we look at the ways that we have been shaped by this historic sea change in church and society, and we reflect on what it means not only to be a product of the Reformation, but also to be always reforming, ever becoming the church that God desires and that the world needs.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

ALWAYS REFORMING (Part 1)

Martin Luther set the Protestant Reformation in motion with his 95 Theses, and he ensured its progress when he said, "Here I stand," refusing to recant. While those words ring in our twenty-first-century ears as admirably defiant self-confidence, in reality they reflect a deep humility that is often overlooked and that we would do well today to recover.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

ALWAYS REFORMING (Part 2)

The first of the five “solas” of the Protestant Reformation is sola gratia, “grace alone.” Reformers adhered to the notion that we are saved by grace alone, opposing what they viewed to be a deep-seated reliance in the church upon works righteousness. Though the particulars of works righteousness have changed a great deal in the last 500 years, it remains a problem that we need to reckon with today.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

ALWAYS REFORMING (Part 3)

We are willing to acknowledge that grace comes to us as a gift, but we tend to insist on taking credit for our faith. This tendency was not lost on the reformers, who insisted that even our faith is a gift from God.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

ALWAYS REFORMING (Part 4)

Access to God was very carefully regulated at the time of the Reformation, but the reformers believed that Christ had done away with all of that, granted everyone direct access to the divine.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

ALWAYS REFORMING (Part 5)

The reformers asserted the authority of scripture alone at a time when the church presumed to have all authority. But what does the the authority of scripture mean for us in world in which authority is fragmented and suspect?

Sunday, October 15, 2017

ALWAYS REFORMING (Part 6)

The last of the five "solas" of the Reformation is "to the glory of God alone." The Reformers were opposed to the veneration of the saints and of Mary, but our bigger problem today—and the problem Paul addresses in Romans—is the tendency to give glory to ourselves, which has disastrous consequences for the church community.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

ALWAYS REFORMING (Part 7)

Part of what it means to be a Reformed Christian is to believe that we have been chosen by God. But if we think we were merely chosen to enjoy salvation, we have missed the more important part of our election.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

ALWAYS REFORMING (Part 8)

The church was not only reformed—that is, changed—once upon a time; the church is called always to be reformed. The world is constantly changing around us, and God no longer needs a 16th century church; God needs a church for the 21st century and beyond.