Celebrating Reformation 500

Today is the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, recalling the day Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the Wittenberg Church door. Of course, other reformers came before him and many came after him. But this day in 1517 was certainly a watershed moment in history and the one we most remember.

In honor of that here is a series of messages I’ve been listening to on key theological tenets that the reformation recovered. These particular messages are from First Baptist Church of Manhattan, but there are many churches doing similar series to mark Reformation 500.

Soli Deo Gloria (only for God’s glory)

Sola Scriptura  (Scripture is our authority)

Solus Christus (Christ alone)

Sola Fide (Faith alone)

Sola Gratia (Grace alone)

When God Talks Back – Part 1: Introduction

I have quite a few irons in the fire these days (including homework for a journalism class I’ll be taking in late October) so rather than writing a typical review of T. M. Luhrmann’s book, When God Talks Back, I’ll be writing a series of posts about it. This is the first.

First a bit about the author and her book. Luhrmann is an anthropologist, and as such she set out to study a particular vein of modern Christianity from within. She attended, studied and interacted with many congregants of a Vineyard movement church in Chicago and another in California and shares very detailed observations from both, but focused primarily on how these Christians claim to have heard from God (audibly at times, in their heads, some say they have been shown images by God) and how they have experienced him. Although she specifically attended two Vineyard churches, others fit this “renewalist” or “new paradigm” Protestantism. She also noted that even many “conservative” churches read books promoting the same concepts (something I’ve personally found to be true). Continue reading