Today is Halloween. I hope that you all survive. But October 31st should be remembered for something far more significant, indeed, something that in God’s providence changed the course of human history. Continue reading . . .
[I wrote this article several years ago, but thought it might be good if we revisited the subject on October 31!]
Today is Halloween. I hope that you all survive. But October 31st should be remembered for something far more significant, indeed, something that in God’s providence changed the course of human history.
It was on October 31st in the year 1517 that Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the church door at Wittenberg and in doing so launched (without intending to) what we know as the Protestant Reformation.
Luther was born on November 10, 1483, at Eisleben in Prussian Saxony. He died in the same city while passing through it on February 18, 1546. He was a contemporary of Michelangelo who was born in 1475 and painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in 1512.
After the Reformation began, Luther was frequently slandered by his Roman Catholic opponents. In particular, it was said that Luther's mother had sex with the devil and that Martin was their offspring!
At the age of 18 he entered the University of Erfurt and received his Bachelor of Arts in 1502 and Master of Arts in 1505. Following his father's wishes, he prepared for a career in law. However, two events changed the course of his life. First, he was shocked by the sudden death of a close friend. Second, shortly after this, on July 2, 1505, he was caught in a violent thunderstorm near Erfurt and was so frightened that he fell to the ground and cried out: "Help, beloved Saint Anna! I will become a monk!" [Anna was the patron saint of miners and people in distress in thunderstorms.] He immediately joined the Augustinia