1517 to 2017

Nintendo Switch, Further enhanced Virtual Reality (VR), and Star Wars Episode VIII – these are just a few things to look forward to in 2017.

However, there is one more thing perhaps more exciting and important than all of the above (gasp, more exciting and important than Star Wars?!)…and that’s the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.

You’ve probably been hearing about this 500 year thing here and there online and offline, and you might have a pretty decent idea as to what happened in 1517 which sparked the Reformation. But maybe you don’t, or maybe all this talk about the anniversary has gotten you interested or curious. In fact, you don’t even need to be Christian or religious to be interested because the effects of the Reformation reach far and wide into the social, political, artistic, and intellectual spheres.

So if you’d like to brush up on your knowledge of the Reformation, here are two resources that I’d recommend.

  1. The Master’s Seminary has generously released an entire seminary course (19 lectures in total) on the Reformation for free. But that’s not all, because this entire course is delivered by Revd Dr Carl Trueman from Westminster Theological Seminary, who in my opinion, is one of the finest church history professors of our time. I trust that this rich resource will help deepen your knowledge and understanding of Martin Luther and the Reformation, and you can check this all out here.
  2. The Australian Presbyterian Magazine (AP) will feature a short piece on the Reformation in some of the issues leading up to the 500th anniversary. Two articles have already been published, the first of which goes back to 1516 to examine the background for the Reformation (you can find that on pages 9-10 here). The second of these briefly examines what actually happened in 1517, and I was asked to write the piece of that (which you can find on pages 9-10 here). My hope is to use that little column to introduce some key concepts and names surrounding the Reformation so that those eager for more can have leads to trace further. If you find these bite sized articles helpful, then subscribing to the magazine either online or by post will give you access to the latest articles when they are published (you can subscribe through the AP website).

Now of course, there are plenty of other books, conferences, and courses available. And given that there are in fact so many, I’ll pace my recommendations out over a period of time. So over the next few months, you’ll most likely find more posts and recommendations on church history (sometimes specifically on the Protestant Reformation) on my blog with hopes of not only providing more information, but also igniting an interest and passion for the study of church history. You should be able to find all these posts through the ‘Church History’ category of the blog – so stay tuned!

*the featured image is copied from the Master’s Seminary’s Instagram page


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