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Ten Lasting Fruits of the Reformation (via Joel Beeke)

At Meet The Puritans Joel Beeke takes a stab at identifying ten enduring legacies which the Reformation reintroduced to the church:

From the post:

God sent forth the power of his Word in the Reformation of the sixteenth century. The Reformation served as a dynamic motivation and catalyst for change and progress wherever its influence reached. Many would credit Martin Luther as the driving engine that propelled the Reformation, but Luther said, “I did nothing; the Word did everything.” John Knox said, “God did so multiply our number that it appeared as if men had rained from the clouds.” How did the Reformation change the church and the world? Here are ten lasting fruits in which the Reformation made a significant difference.

And the ten fruits (go to the article to read Beeke’s explanations of each choice:

1. The Word of God
2. The Gospel of Grace
3. Experiential Piety
4. Old Paths
5. The Head of the Church
6. Christian Freedom
7. Vocations for the Common Good
8. Marriage and Child-rearing
9. Arts and Sciences
10. The True Worship of God

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Holiday Reading – Protestants The Radicals Who Made The Modern World by Alec Ryrie

Holiday reading is resuming after a hiatus.
Protestants – The Radicals Who Made The Modern World by Alec Ryrie is a sweeping 500 page historical survey that seeks to demonstrate that understanding the modern world is impossible without understanding the Protestant movement.
It also came highly recommended.

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The Reformation And Preaching (via Timothy George)

In this year of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, much will be written about the theological emphases of that era in church history.
Timothy George writes about the way in which reformation theology transformed worship and the place and function of the sermon.
From his article, two ways in which preaching was transformed by the reformers:

First, they made the sermon the centerpiece of the church’s regular worship. Prior to the Reformation, the sermon was mostly an ad hoc event reserved for special occasions or seasons of the liturgical cycle, especially Christmas and Eastertide. Most sermons were preached in town squares or open fields. The reformers brought the sermon back inside the church and gave it an honored place in the public worship of the gathered community. The central role of preaching in Protestant worship can be seen in the way pulpits were raised to a higher elevation as families gathered with their children to hear the Word proclaimed.
Second, the reformers introduced a new theology of preaching. They were concerned that the Bible take deep root in the lives of the people. The Word of God was meant not only to be read, studied, translated, memorized, and meditated on; it was also to be embodied in the life and worship of the church. What might be called the practicing of the Bible—its embodiment—was most clearly expressed in the ministry of preaching. Martin Luther believed that a call to the preaching office was a sacred trust and shouldn’t be used for selfish purposes. “Christ did not establish the ministry of proclamation to provide us with money, property, popularity, honor, or friendship,” he said.

George includes some quotes from the Reformers and more material on the subject in this article at the Gospel Coalition.

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A Personal Reason To Be Thankful For The Reformation

In contrast to justification by faith, this Reformation distinctive may seem rather small by comparison.
But as a pastor who is married I’m very thankful for it.

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We Don’t Attend Worship. We Worship. (via Christward Collective)

Jeff Medders reminds us that we can thank the Reformation for the fact that Christians in churches of the Protestant tradition gather to worship, not to observe worship.

You can see what was a common theme of pre-Reformation worship services. The priests worshiped and the people watched. The people attended the worship service. Spectator worship was the norm. Was. We no longer merely attend worship. We worship. We gather together on Sundays to sing, to pray, to serve, to hear, to remember—to worship our great God and Saviour.
We need to dust of Luther’s hammer to drive a nail through the noggin of spectator worship. We don’t gather for Christian pep rallies. During Lord’s Day services, we aren’t tagging along in worship with a worship band. We are all worshipping together. On Sunday mornings, we aren’t being served religious goods and services by trained professionals. We are worshipping. If you are a believer united to Jesus, you are a worshipper. Don’t ever merely attend worship. Worship!

Read the rest at Christward Collective.

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Taking God Seriously – The Presbyterian Church of Australia Marks 500 Years Since The Beginning Of The Reformation

Moderator-General David Cook and Moderator-General Designate John Wilson gave an address about plans by the Presbyterian Church of Australia to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the reformation in 2017.
This video gives a brief summary of what’s planned.

More here.

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Hoping To Sing This Song Tomorrow

Since I’m still on holidays I’m attending the final service led by a friend before he leaves town to pastor another church.
All the songs he’s chosen are great, but there is no more appropriate one than this for tomorrow.
He is a Lutheran, after all.
And it will be Reformation Sunday.
I’m sure he said we’ll be singing this.
Who said you can’t lead this song on guitar?