The 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation is coming up, and at D&T, we’re celebrating the contributions of important reformers such as Martin Luther, Thomas Cranmer, Benjamin Keach, and Isaac Watts in our biennial conference. The conference theme is Worship Reformed, and we’ll consider how the Reformation shaped our faith, returned singing to the church, and continues to reform our practices.
The Reformation Shaped Our Faith
When Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of a German church on October 31, 1517, the Protestant Reformation began in earnest and shook the world. The invention of the printing press decades earlier began to make Bibles more affordable and comprehensible, as Bibles could be printed in the languages of the people. Through the work of Martin Luther in Germany, John Calvin in Switzerland, Thomas Cranmer in England, among many others, everyday Christians started to obtain, read, and understand God’s word for the first time in centuries.
The Reformation removed the pomp and fluff of the Catholic Church of the Middle Ages and helped Christians narrow down what personal salvation meant: grace-given faith in Christ as found in the Scriptures, to the glory of God.
The Reformation Returned Singing to the Church
One of the most significant results of the Reformation was found in the songs of the church. For centuries, the Catholic Church sang in Latin rather than the common languages of the people. But leaders of the Reformation began writing new hymns for popular use in Protestant churches, including Luther’s “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” (written in German), and their hymn-writing inspired future generations of men and women who contributed to the hymnal of the church.
The Reformation Continues to Reform Our Practices
Since that fateful day in 1517, countless churches have worked to ensure their doctrine and their practices still agree with the rediscovered truths of the Reformation. For us today, we look for new ways that our practices can serve as a shadow of the gospel. We are always reforming as we seek to reach a changing world with the constant hope of the gospel.
Editor's Note: Registration is open for the 2016 D&T Conference: Worship Reformed, so don't miss your chance to sign up.