On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed a series of arguments on a door. It is understood to be the flash point of the Great Reformation.
These arguments, known as The Ninety-five Theses, concerned Luther’s rejection of the church’s use of indulgences on theological grounds. Of course, there’s more there than that. Just like the there was reforming going on before they were written.
This, of course, is the beauty of history. That a moment can be greater than the sum of its parts. It can also be over-filled with fascination.
Luther was no revolutionary. Nor was he seeking to spark a revolution. His was merely a stand against a church practice which expressed a weakness in theology and abuse of power. In some ways, such a thing is purely normal.
This series of brief writings will form a collection of theses around a common theme. Don’t worry, it isn’t indulgences.
But these theses, arguments, are ones I believe in strongly and express my own outrage at a weak theology and abuse of power.
Only, a few things have changed over the past five centuries.
While Luther’s criticism is leveled against the Roman Catholic Church, my own is against Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. In this way, it is a weakness found in most of what we call “Western” Christianity.
My hope is that we notice that in our previous reforming of the church, we have failed to deal with historic problems, and in some ways, have amplified them and made them worse.
Please consider these theses as an earnest homage with the humblest of ambitions to clarify and educate.
The Thirty-one Theses
In the desire and with the purpose of making the truth clear, a setting forth of theses will be held on the propositions shown below at this website, under the presidency of the Reverend Andrew Downs, priest of the Episcopal Church, Master of Divinity, and ordinary writer of the same in that place. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Some additional writings
The sermon I preached at the tail end, dealing with the exact same material: Love Against the Wind.
A further reflection on: The Greatest Commandment.
Want to keep reading about love?
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