500 years ago -- on October 31, 1517 -- Augustinian monk Martin Luther nailed his "Ninety-Five Theses" to the wall of a church in Wittenberg, Germany, criticizing the Catholic Church.
The Roman Catholic Church had become a money-making enterprise. Luther's Ninety-Five Theses were designed to start a dialog with the Roman Catholic Church about serious issues on salvation, grace and the Gospel.
That cataclysmic event heralded what would become over the next hundred years a historic movement that would reshape the world with a complex set of reforms throughout Western Europe. What the Reformation did was create a new branch of Christianity: Protestantism, from which sprouted Lutherans, Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Pentecostals and many more denominational churches.
The movement that became known as the Protestant Reformation set in motion a century of change that would transform Christianity, government, politics, banking, capitalism, literature, education, and work, making an impact on our lives even today.
To commemorate the quincentennial of this history-altering time in human history, LeTourneau University's School of Theology and Vocation will host "A Day of Common Learning: Reflections on the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation" on Tuesday, Oct. 31.
Classes will be canceled to enable maximum participation in a day-long scholarship event to provide 45-minute presentations, papers, panel discussions and book reviews that will enable the LETU community to better understand what the Reformation was and why it matters. Some proposed topics include: the Reformation and politics, statehood and government; Reformation and music; how the Reformation influenced scientific knowledge and exploration; the Reformation and the university; the doctrine of grace and the Reformation; vocation and work in Reformation thought; global perspectives on the Reformation; and the relationship between the Reformation and American Evangelism.
More details on the Day of Common Learning will be forthcoming.
Kudos to Dr. Kelly Liebengood, dean of the School of Theology and Vocation for organizing this event in the life of our university.
I hope you will all make plans to attend some of these events and learn about how the Reformation reformed Western culture and the lives we live today.