We have a lot to gain from the current discussion that we’re having regarding ‘Shadow Mission,’ and I don’t want to gloss over or speed through this time by any means, but I do want to speak briefly about the discussions that we’ll be having in the coming weeks regarding the Protestant Reformation. I have to say, partially as a nerd but also (and more so) as someone interested in Church history, I am really looking forward to conversations that we’re going to be having surrounding the Reformation and the upcoming 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s nailing his 95 theses on the door of the church in Wittenberg, Germany in 1517. Obviously, the Reformation encompassed more than just that single event, but it is what most recognize as the firm step that set the Reformation into motion.
Why was the Reformation necessary? First, I would tell that it absolutely was, but we’ll get into the meat of it here in a few weeks. My main reason in writing to you guys on this topic and leaving you intentionally waiting for more is to encourage you to desire to learn more about where we’ve come from. There is zero doubt that the Church began with Christ and had its foundation laid through the apostles as we read in the pages of the book of Acts. We must know and grasp that and point to that foundation. However, I think for us to fully understand the full reach (or at times, lack thereof) that the Gospel message has had throughout the history of the world, we must be knowledgeable of and have an appreciation of understanding the things that have happened between the time of the early Church and today. As you seek to grow in your understanding of and connection with the Word of God (which I hope is happening for you and bearing fruit in your life), let me encourage you too that growing in knowledge and understanding of the things that have taken place with the Church, both internally and externally, will make you so much better a witness to the power of the Gospel message and its relevance and implications for today’s society.
Do others around you have a deep appreciation for what the Gospel has done in recent centuries? Do you?