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Luther Begins a Reformation and Develops His Salvation Equation
Five Hundred Years Ago
In 1517 Martin Luther posted his 95 theses in Wittenberg, decrying some of the abuses within the Catholic church. But it took a few years for him to get to the point of calling the Pope, the “Anti-Christ,” and throwing away the need for the Catholic sacraments. During this time Luther was developing his idea about “justification through faith alone.” He said he based his new understanding on scripture alone, “sola scriptura.” But did he? Luther had concluded that because we were freely justified (made right with God) through grace, that all we needed was faith. This fit neatly with his background as an Augustinian friar, as it built on Augustine’s idea of predestination. So Luther’s salvation equation was Faith + 0 = Salvation. No “works” were needed. But was Luther right? More
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What is the most painful, unintended consequence of Martin Luther’s rebellion against Rome?
Tomorrow, Halloween, is the ironic date the world typically marks as the anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation that shattered the Roman Universalist Church’s 1,000-year-long spiritual monopoly over Western Christianity. The man who launched that spiritual revolution was the fascinating, but not always loveable Martin Luther. Luther was courageous, intellectually energetic, and sometimes even humorous. But he was also pig-headed, argumentative, egotistical, and an infamous anti-Semite.
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A distraught British Columbia father was pleading for the right and the power to force his drug addicted 15-year-old daughter into drug rehab so she doesn’t overdose another time and die. But the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, and it would seem the B.C. government, prefer less obtrusive ways, such as controlling the supply of addictive drugs and then handing them out to the addicts on a prescription basis.
The policy director of this civil liberties NGO, Michael Vonn said, “We are concerned about the notion that parents should be making health-care decisions for their mature minors.” He then suggested that forcing a minor into drug rehab is as much a non-starter as denying a “mature minor” (who they say might be just 12 years old) the right to access birth control without parental consent.
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Surprising, Conrad Black noted, even the most militant of atheists feel obliged to swaddle themselves in commendable precepts that are generally rip-offs of the Golden Rule about loving your neighbour as yourself—which is found in both Old and New Covenant scriptures!
It is ironic that while the unbelieving, hyperactive philistines vociferously denounce the Judeo-Christian values, they nonetheless seem perfectly content to enjoy the benefits of Judeo-Christian civilization even while hypocritically denying its basic tenets.
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A CBC radio program called The Current, recently lent itself as a megaphone to the provocative idea that a pill is the next best thing to improve the “human animal.”— That’s the label Neil Levy, deputy director of psycho-babble at the Oxford Centre for Neuroethics, in the U.K. applies to you and me. He wants to formulate and administer a “morality pill” to targeted segments of the population.
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500th Anniversary of Luther’s Reformation
This year marks the 500th anniversary of the beginning of Martin Luther’s debate with the Catholic Church. His objective was initially to make reforms within that Church. But over several years of accusation and counter-accusation, Luther refined his theology, ultimately, rejecting Papal authority. Facing a death penalty at the “Diet of Worms” trial in 1521, Luther remained staunchly committed to his own understanding of “sola scriptura.” Luther’s reformation began to sow the seeds that produced the Protestant Reformation. But there have been other reformers in the history of the people of God. More
As the “latter days” prophesied in scripture draw ever closer, we need to consider the relevance of the Feast of Tabernacles. On this first day of the festival we look forward to a new age ushered in by the coming of the Messiah. But what is the nature of our Messiah? Many religions teach the concept of a Messiah, a deliverer. But few understand the nature of the Messiah who is revealed in the Judeo-Christian scriptures.
When we study the future, as pictured by the Feast of Tabernacles, we come to understand more about God’s ways. The prophets, Isaiah and Micah, both were inspired to write about the coming of the Messianic age. Their messages were very similar, and they both focused on the importance of the law in establishing the millennial reign of the Messiah. So what are those ways of God that he will be teaching all nations?
In celebrating the Feast we often focus on Christ’s return and the establishment of his millennial rule. And rightly so. But is this our ultimate vision for the future, or is there something greater? Are we looking forward to Christ’s return or to the Father’s coming, or both? And how are these events connected? What must happen before the Father comes and the new heaven and earth are established?
Good parents teach the value of being “thankful” and expressing gratitude. As toddlers we are taught to say, “Please” and “Thank you.” But the biblical concept of thankfulness encompasses much more than initially seems apparent. We should be grateful for the wealth of physical things that we enjoy. Clean air, fresh water, good food… And while scripture admonishes us to be thankful for these things, there is more to the picture.