Thursday, October 28, 2021

Lessons From Other Holidays

We can learn some lessons from other holidays about how to make the most of Reformation Day. Holidays like Memorial Day and the Fourth of July are as influential as they are partly for reasons that are applicable to Reformation Day as well. Themes like risking and sacrificing and individuals laying down their lives for a good cause resonate with people, earn their respect, and often move their emotions, form lasting memories, and motivate them to do good things they wouldn't do otherwise. The principles, events, and movements of the Reformation should be discussed, but also the stories of the individuals involved.

A good resource to use in homes, churches, and other contexts is Ken Connolly's documentary The Indestructible Book. It's about the history of the Bible, especially how it got to America in the English language. It starts at the time of Moses and concludes with Plymouth Rock. It doesn't go into much depth, but it's good for introductory and motivational purposes. It often touches on themes like the ones I mentioned in the opening of this post, and there are many segments of the documentary that would be good to use in that context. It's good at conveying the work that went into giving us the Bible, the significance of scripture, and the cost many people paid to bring it to us. Some parts of it, like the segments on John Wycliffe and the ones on Thomas Bilney and other martyrs around the time of the Reformation, are especially moving. You can watch the whole thing here. It gets especially good starting here, with the material on Wycliffe. And here's a section on the martyrdom of Wycliffe's followers. Here's an account of Bilney's conversion, and here's the segment on his martyrdom. Those are just a few examples. The whole thing is worth watching, though the quality varies from one portion to another.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Forerunners Of The Reformation

Gavin Ortlund just put out a good video on reform groups in the centuries leading up to the Reformation, especially the Waldensians. You can find some material on medieval agreements with Protestantism in our archives, such as some discussions of medieval sources in my article on the history of sola fide. I'm more familiar with the patristic era than the medieval era, but I've occasionally addressed medieval issues, in the article just linked and elsewhere. Go here for an example of a Catholic scholar acknowledging belief in some of the Protestant solas prior to the Reformation. A different, but related issue is how well some Protestant beliefs were initially received at the time of the Reformation. See here. If Protestantism is as much of a departure from earlier history as its critics often claim, why do we see groups like the ones Gavin Ortlund discusses and beliefs and circumstances like the ones discussed in my articles linked above?

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Luke Against Roman Catholic Mariology

I've written a lot of material over the years about inconsistencies between Luke's writings and a Roman Catholic view of Mary. I thought I'd post a collection of some of that material and add some further comments. Since the posts I'll be linking address other subjects as well, you'll have to look for the relevant content, such as by doing a Ctrl F search. And these are just posts with relevant material, not exhaustive treatments of each subject.