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John Dekker (dekker) wrote,
@ 2006-10-31 16:57:00
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    Reformation Day = Hallowe'en
    Today is the 31st of October. That means it's Reformation Day, which commemorates Martin Luther nailing his 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg – an event which can conveniently be taken to signal the beginning of the Reformation. But today is also All Hallows Eve – the day before All Saints' Day – better known as "Hallowe'en".

    So, why did Luther choose this particular day? Was it just because they had a holiday and class was in recess? If we proceed on the assumption that Luther chose the day intentionally, what connection can we find between Reformation Day and All Saints' Day? I can think of three things.

    Firstly, Luther sought to return to apostolic doctrine. Just as on All Saints' Day we remember those who have gone before, so Luther saw his teaching as being in continuity with what the Church has always believed – the emphasis on indulgences was comparatively a recent thing.

    Secondly, Luther is concerned for the well-being of the church. Several of the theses being with the words "Christians are to be taught..." – though I'm not sure that Luther actually believed what he wrote in thesis #50:

    Christians are to be taught that if the pope knew the exactions of the pardon-preachers, he would rather that St. Peter's church should go to ashes, than that it should be built up with the skin, flesh and bones of his sheep.

    These were, of course, theses for disputation – an "emerging conversation" if you will. In any case, it demonstrates Luther's pastoral concern.

    Thirdly, we see here the beginnings of the Protestant idea of sainthood – Luther elevates the status of the "ordinary" Christian:

    Every true Christian, whether living or dead, has part in all the blessings of Christ and the Church (#37)

    In conclusion, a significant aspect of the Reformation was the recovery of the Biblical view of sainthood – as Paul indicates in Ephesians 1:1, every true Christian is a saint. And this is why every Christian should be able to read the Bible for himself. So it is very appropriate that Reformation Day falls on the Eve of All Saints Day. Reformation Day is, in fact, Hallowe'en.

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2006-10-31 12:48 (link)
Hmm. Interesting thoughts. Thanks for sharing :).


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2006-11-01 05:18 (link)
Mmmm, but isn't Hallowe'en the day of devils, evil and all things anti-Christ?

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