Tag Archive: Calvinism

Exactly 500 years ago – on October 31st, 1517, a monk named Martin Luther changed the world. Concerned about the serious errors he that he believed were being taught by the Roman Catholic Church, he wrote down a list of 95 problems that he believed needed change, and (depending on the historian you talked to) either nailed them to the door of the All Saints Church in Wittenberg, or else mailed them from Wittenberg to the archbishop of Mainz. Whichever way it happened, that event is how all the turmoil started.

I am studying at Brandenburg University of Technology, and my blog has been silent for a few months while I adjust to my studies. But I wanted to write something for this special time, the 500th year since Luther started the Protestant Reformation. But what is the Protestant Reformation? What happened 500 years ago that was so special? What is so important about this list that Martin Luther made? Today, as I travel out to Lutherstadt Wittenberg, the birthplace of this theological revolution, this post will upload and you can learn the basics of just what makes that day so remarkable.

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Did you know that sausages once changed history? It’s true – let me tell you the story:

The time: March 1522 A.D. The place: Zurich, Switzerland.

It is the time of the Lenten fast. All Catholic peoples are forbidden from eating meat (other than fish) during this somber time of fasting and abstinence. However, a few radical minded men plan to change that. They plan to eat some smoked sausages.

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Another old Facebook post…

Note: I am adding this update on 8/13/2011. Since I have written the below, my understanding of Biblical hermeneutics has grown. I have come to realize more fully that just the number of verses supporting a theological doctrine does not necessarily support that doctrine. While comparing number of verses with another can shed some light on interpretation, it is the plain text of the verse that holds more weight. Simply what the verse says is more important than how many verses there are. I already knew that when I wrote this essay/list, but my realization of that doctrine has increased. But I firmly believe that reading the plain text of the verse in context to the overall passage and comparing it with the rest of the Bible, will even more strongly support the conclusion I personally reached at the end of the following list. Here ends this update.

One of the most persistent and often divisive issues within Christianity is the debate between the doctrine of unconditional election (often called  the doctrine of predestination) and the doctrine of conditional election (often represented as the doctrine of free will). There are other, multiple points to these beliefs, but I will stick to only the free will and election aspects. The two positions are these:

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