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Making Mud Pies in a Slum

Have you ever considered what the church world would look like today if Martin Luther had not been around to start the Protestant Reformation? What if this was the front page article of the Wittenberg Times in July 1505? Promising Student Found Dead “On Wednesday, July 2 a group of travelers making their way through […]

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Looking Back with Luther

“We are beggars, this is true.” The story passed down through history is that these words were scribbled down by Martin Luther on a piece of paper and stuffed into his pocket while he was lying on his deathbed. You can imagine what he was thinking. He was a weary pilgrim at the end of […]

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Martin Luther’s Tabletalk

Martin Luther, the man whom God used to bring reformation to the church in the 16th century, was a remarkable man. I do not think that such a man existed prior to Luther, or that such a man will ever again be seen in the church of Christ. Though he was a highly educated man, […]

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Martin Luther (7) Tetzel and His Sales

The truth of justification by faith alone became fixed in the heart of Martin Luther, and as he studied the books of Psalms, Romans, and Galatians, he was led to see more and more what this truth meant. This was no small doctrine. The whole understanding of Scripture is unlocked with this key. The Holy […]

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Martin Luther (6) The Just Shall Live by Faith

Now that one of Martin Luther’s duties was to lecture on the Bible at the University of Wittenberg, Luther was growing in his own understanding of Scripture. He began to lecture on Romans in 1515 and struggled especially with this book. How could anyone be saved if God was just in His dealings with all […]

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Martin Luther (5) A Despairing Monk

Martin Luther was on the verge of despair. The Catholic Church said, “Do this, do that, and that, and then you will be saved.” Luther did it all, and more, but still he was not sure he was saved. He was a sinner and God was holy. Despite the teachings of the church, he knew […]

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Martin Luther (4) A Good Monk

The Augustinian monks had a matter to settle in Rome. Some monks would have to go there. But who should they send? Martin Luther for one. He’s a good monk. So in 1510 from Erfurt, Germany, Martin and a fellow monk set out for Rome. This was a privilege. If you worried about your salvation—as […]

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Martin Luther (3): Another Strike

The monastery reverberated with the chants of the strictly ordered Augustinian monks. A special ceremony was on schedule for the day—a new monk would say his first mass. Becoming a monk was one sure way to be certain of going to heaven. This suited the new monk, Martin Luther, very well. Even though a lightning […]

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Martin Luther (2): Lightning Strike

Clouds gathered and darkened. A storm brewed in the air. A young, traveling university student bent his head and held his cap in place as raindrops started to pelt the ground and a gust of wind swept over his path. It was a warm day in July. Thunderstorms were not frequent in the land of […]

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Martin Luther (1): One Eve of All Saints Day

When Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg on October 31, 1517, the action sparked a reformation of the Church that has continued as a great triumph of truth over the lie even to this day. It’s an event we mark with much thanksgiving to God. It […]

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April 17, 1521

This is an important date in the history of the Reformation. Dr. Martin Luther had to attend to the German “Reichstag” (Diet of the realm) in the city of Worms. There was the emperor Charles V with all the electors, priests, bishops, solicitors, professors and other advisors (since the first of January the pope had […]

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Wittenberg:  Where the Reformation Came From

Dr. Martin Luther was born on November 10, 1483, in Eisleben (Germany) as the second son of a miner, Hans Luder. He attended school from 1488-1496 in Mansfield, in 1497 in Magdeburg, and went then to the Georgen school from 1498-1501 in Eisenach. From 1501-1506 he did his philosophical studies in the University of Erfurt, […]

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An Editorial Comment on “Erasmus of Rotterdam”

I am writing in response to the article which was printed in the August 1994 issue of the Beacon Lights titled “Erasmus of Rotterdam.” I do not agree with what the author of that article wrote concerning Erasmus. For that reason, I have several comments to make concerning this article and some questions for the […]

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Erasmus of Rotterdam

Erasmus of Rotterdam was one of the most brilliant thinkers of his time. Although in our day his books lie on bookshelves collecting dust, in his time he was internationally famous. It is questionable, says his biographer, Stefan Zweig, whether Erasmus was a man of first-class intelligence, but what we can be sure of is […]

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Reformation…1977

This month, we remember the Reform­ation. On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his ninety-five thesis on the church door at Wittenberg. You all know much of the history of that event and those events which followed. We all know right away that the sale of indulgences was one of the issues; that a monk […]

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Our Reformation

Reformation. What does it mean to you? Is it merely some historical fact that you learned in school? Is it just a day that you celebrate every year by going to a lecture? How much do we really know about the Reformation? How much do we really care? After all that was almost 460 years […]

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Remember Your Creator

Remember now thy creator in the days of thy youth. The wise man Solomon had this word for us from Holy Writ. I could not help but think of this scripture as I was pondering my editorial on the Reformation. Many times you as young people take the reformation for granted. You say you care […]

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Alone

A man sore troubled within, And looking for the way of light, Meditated unceasingly, To find peace amidst impiety. Diligently seeking peace, he Searched God’s Word, And did not fail, for God says, “Seek and ye shall find.” This man struggled all alone For his dear Lord, Bringing upon him great opposition From the church […]

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Small Numbers – Almighty God!

Young people, are you ashamed that our churches are small and seemingly insignificant? You need not be! Consider for a moment the men of the Reformation in whose footsteps we follow and upon whose spiritual shoulders we build our truth. Black was the age into which young John Wycliffe was born.  The centuries preceding his […]

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Some Thoughts on the Reformation

It is some four hundred and fifty years ago (447 to be exact) that Luther nailed his ninety-five theses to the door of the church at Wittenberg thus beginning what is known in history as the Protestant Reformation. Perhaps a brief review of the events which led to this memorable and earth shaking act is […]

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Philip Melanchthon (2)

The life-long, intimate friendship and mutual high regard which Luther and Melanchthon reciprocated foundered only once.  That, ironically, was the matter of the presence of Christ in the Eucharist.  Although Melanchthon differed from Luther on several important counts, Philip’s view of the Lord’s Supper was the one doctrine in which he more closely approximated the […]

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The Reformed Parsonage

The parsonage, an institution which has come to occupy a rather important place in the Christian Church and is part of our Reformed heritage, has its origins (as have many other practices in the church) in the earth-taking rejection by Martin Luther of the doctrine and the forms and rituals of the Roman Catholic Church. […]

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A Weak Flame in a Tinder Box

The popular concept of a reformer is usually of a person with sterling, dynamic personality who slashes right and left with the sword of truth in strong, accurate, purposeful stokes while astride the white charger of righteous indignation.  He thus brings absolute light to millions who had been existing in absolute darkness, and every innovation […]

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Northwest Iowa and Minnesota

The evening of Sunday, October 30, a Reformation Day program was held in the Hull Memorial Building. This program was sponsored by the Protestant Reformed Young People’s Societies of Hull and Doon. After the prelude by Harriet Hoksbergen, George Hoekstra, the chairman of the evening, read Scripture and opened with prayer. The program was continued […]

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