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Posts tagged "Reformation"

We Are All Henry VIII, or, Why the Reformation Is More Than Rome

We Are All Henry VIII, or, Why the Reformation Is More Than Rome

The following comes to us from Cal Parks and is based upon material found in John Schofield’s Philip Melanchthon and the English Reformation (75-77).

This year is the 500th anniversary of the so-called beginning of the Reformation, when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church. While a rather common and innocuous act (this was a way of inviting scholarly debate), it hit at a truly critical moment in European affairs, both spiritual and temporal. This event has become immortalized as a myth, and as a historian by trade, I tend to scoff at such reductions and over-simplifications…

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The Reformation Today: A Conference Breakout Preview

This preview comes to us from the host of this coming weekend’s festivities in NYC, The Rev. Jacob Smith himself.

This breakout is entitled “The Reformation Today” because “Is the Reformation Over?” has already been taken by everyone writing at First Things or The Gospel Coalition. Also, because at Mockingbird we believe the answer to that question is a resounding “NO.”

In order to make my pitch, I believe the shake up at the burger chain Carl’s Jr and Hardee’s has a lot to to say. For seventeen years, Carl’s Jr and Hardee’s defined their business not by amazing fast food burgers (when it comes to fast-food burgers they are the best) but instead by sexy models eating the burgers. Interestingly enough, this actually led to a drop in sales over time. A new ad campaign is throwing all that to the wind, with Carl Sr. coming back to office and taking Carl’s Jr and Hardee’s back to its roots: really, really good burgers and amazing customer service. Is the Reformation Over? It is–if the Reformation has to do with smoke machines or sermons on sex and community development.

As in life, the present is never understood by looking to the future (Carl Jr.).  We understand the present by looking to and understanding the past (Carl Sr.). In this breakout, we will take a trip back to our roots as Reformational Christians, and look briefly at some of the overlap between the English and German Reformations, which all came together in the person of Dr. Robert Barnes. Then using “The Reformation Essays of Dr. Robert Barnes,” we will define and answer the big question at the heart of the Reformation: “How is a person justified before God?” That is the question.  That question will help the church get out of the realm of trying to be cool and get back to the “Carl Sr. of Christianity.” With this question answered, we will examine some important pastoral implication in the midst of real pastoral ministry because when this question of justification is not answered correctly the real power and strength of Christianity is lost. This breakout is for anyone, especially those who are interested in pastoral care and practicing it from a perspective of “by grace alone!”

A Reformational History of the English Reformation, Part 1

A Reformational History of the English Reformation, Part 1

In eager anticipation of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation (not to happen, incidentally, for another five years), we’re doing a short, slightly speculative series on a Reformational history of the English Reformation. It also doubles as a book review of Hilary Mantel’s fantastic, Booker-winning Wolf Hall, the source for a fair amount of the detail here:

King Henry the VIII had earned the title “Defender of the Faith” for his jeremiads against the burgeoning Lutheran movement in central Europe. God-fearing in a quite literal way, it seems he valued theology highly, was constantly nervous about the threat of divine…

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Another Year Ends: Xmas Wars, Twitter Blues, Reznor's Recovery, Hume's Legacy, Bad Seeds, Scrooge Syndrome, and Mbird Subscriptions

Another Year Ends: Xmas Wars, Twitter Blues, Reznor’s Recovery, Hume’s Legacy, Bad Seeds, Scrooge Syndrome, and Mbird Subscriptions

1. You can’t blame Matt Zencey for trying to put the “war on Christmas” in perspective over at The Huffington Post, recalling the 18th century Puritan campaign against the holiday. While contextually more than a little glib – apples and oranges and all that (our cultural conflict has two equally doctrinaire opponents, theirs had one, and arguments could be made for casting the pilgrims as the corollary to either). Still, the historical details are undeniably interesting:

The Puritans who landed at Plymouth Rock knew how to wage war on Christmas: They banned it. As historian Stephen Nissenbaum documents in his 1997…

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