Reflecting on the Reformation after 500 Years
Adult Education Topical Study: Sundays, beginning October 22, at 9:45 a.m.
Arguably the first post in history to go viral, the appearance of the 95 Theses on the church door at Wittenberg on October 31, 1517, did not garner the specific debate for which Martin Luther had hoped. It did, however, launch debates and discussions ever since that day.
As Thomas A. Howard and Mark A. Noll write in their introduction to Protestantism after 500 Years, “Protestantism, it should be remembered, has not only been credited with restoring essential Christian truth or blamed for disastrous church divisions, but has also been invoked as the cause of modern liberalism, capitalism, religious wars, tolerance, democracy, individualism, subjectivism, nationalism, pluralism, freedom of conscience, modern science, secularism, and so much else.”
History is of greatest value when it causes us to stop for a moment, to ask what happened at a particular place and time, to reflect on its significance, and, most importantly, to consider how events in the past can help us in the present and in going forward into the future.
We will have an opportunity this fall at Shadyside Presbyterian Church to observe the anniversary of the start of the Reformation, and to consider how we experience the legacy of 500 years of Protestantism.
On Sundays, October 22–November 19, during the Christian Education hour, 9:45 to 10:45 a.m., we will reflect on issues raised by Brother Martin, and slogans associated with the Reformation, such as Sola Fide, Sola Scriptura, Sola Gratia — by faith alone, by Scripture alone, by grace alone. We will consider what is reformed about our worship at Shadyside Presbyterian Church, and another rallying cry of the Reformation — the priesthood of all believers.
Please join us for discussions of these topics and a chance to step back for a moment and consider what we have learned in 500 years. After a time of fellowship and light refreshments in the Sharp Atrium at 9:30 a.m., join our discussion leaders, Gretchen Gockley and Peggy Heely, in the Craig Room at 9:45 a.m.
In addition to our discussion leaders, on November 12 and 19, we are blessed to be joined by the Reverend Kendra Buckwalter Smith and Father Michael Salvagna. We look forward to the insights and perspectives they will bring to our conversation. Learn more about our guest speakers by following the links above.