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Remembering the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation   

Luther - martin
By Stephen McDowell

Five hundred years ago Martin Luther nailed his “95 Theses” on the church door in Wittenberg, marking a pivotal event in the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. The focal point of the Reformation was the Bible being made available to the common man. Luther and others sought to translate and distribute the Bible because they believed it was much more than just a religious or moral book. To them it was divine.
Following are a few articles on the work of Luther and the importance of the Bible in transforming men and nations.

Martin Luther and Reformation Day

The focal point of the Protestant Reformation was the Bible being translated and made available in the common languages of the people. People began to read the Bible, and when they did these things happened: 1) Individuals were transformed; 2) The Church began to be changed, putting off corruption; 3) The state was gradually reformed. The fruit of the Reformation was revival of individuals, restoration of the church, and reformation of all society.
God uses individuals to change nations and the course of history. Some of those people God used in the Protestant Reformation included Martin Luther, John Calvin, William Tyndale, and John Knox.

God used a flawed, rough, and at times harsh man to launch a gigantic revolution. Martin Luther stood up against the whole force of the religious establishment. “His profound experience of forgiveness in Christ gave him the courage to stand alone against the entire weight of established and entrenched religious deception and blow it to the winds.” 



Evidence of Biblical Inspiration

When we read the Bible we are confronted with a claim that requires a responseBible: that is, that this book is the Word of God, the Word of the Almighty One who created and sustains all things. In the Bible God reveals and declares Who He is and how we are to live. We can reject the claim or believe it, but to ignore it is foolish. If it is what it claims to be, the Word of God, then our adherence to its requirements is essential for life, here on the earth and in the eternal hereafter.

Can we know that the claims of the Bible are true? Is there any evidence of its divinity and infallibility? The answer is a resounding YES! One of the numerous arguments for Biblical inspiration is the Bible’s social influence.

The Bible has changed world history. No book has had such a positive impact on society. Wherever the Bible has gone and taken root and grown, it has changed cultures and nations. There are myriad examples, from the advance of Biblical Christianity in the first few centuries, to the transformation of Ireland and Western Europe via Patrick and his Biblical training schools, to the central role of the Bible in the birth and development of America.


The Importance of the Bible

By Robert C. Winthrop, Speaker of the House of Representatives

AN ADDRESS DELIVERED AT THE ANNUAL MEETING OF THE MASSACHUSETTS BIBLE SOCIETY IN BOSTON, MAY 28, 1849.

 

Editor’s Introduction

President Andrew Jackson said on June 8, 1845,

Winthrop Robert C (wiki)

 that “the Bible is the rock on which our Republic rests.” Early Americans would almost universally agree that the religious, social, educational, and political life of America was primarily shaped by the Bible.


Our states were colonized by people who desired to freely worship the God of the Bible; our schools were begun so that everyone would be able to read and understand the Bible for themselves; our universities were founded to train ministers who were knowledgeable of the Scriptures; our laws and constitutions were written based on Biblical ideas; and our founding fathers overwhelmingly had a Biblical worldview.


Most Americans today have not been taught this important truth, even though many still recognize it. Even Newsweek magazine, on December 26, 1982, acknowledged that: “Now historians are discovering that the Bible, perhaps even more than the Constitution is our Founding document.” It used to be common knowledge that America’s Biblical foundation produced America’s freedom, justice, and prosperity. In recent generations America has been shifting from a Biblical foundation to a humanistic foundation, where the God of the Bible is being replaced by man as god. The result has been the decay of society and loss of liberty. Noah Webster wrote:


The moral principles and precepts contained in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.


For the good of America we must once again restore the Bible to the central role it played in shaping this nation. To do this we must first understand that role. Our founding fathers believed America’s liberty and prosperity was a result of the fruit of our foundation upon Biblical principles. They started scores of Bible Societies because they saw the transmission of the Bible as the only way to maintain liberty. The following address was delivered to one of those Bible Societies by Robert C. Winthrop, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1847-1849. Our civil leaders today must understand what our past civil leaders knew, that there would be no America, the land of the free, without the Bible.

Read Winthrop’s Address

 

This address contains these excellent words of Speaker Winthrop:


Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled, either by a power within them, or by a power without them; either by the word of God, or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible, or by the bayonet.





Biblical Revival and the Transformation of Nations

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America, like Humpty Dumpty, has fallen off the wall and is broken. Government (the king’s horses and men) cannot put us together. Our only hope is for God to tear open the heavens and come down and do awesome things. We need God to revive us as a people, to bring His life to our society. Not only does America, but also all nations have a desperate need for Biblical revival and transformation.

The history of revivals as briefly presented in this book gives us great hope that the living God can revive us. Just as God did in Ireland through the influence of Patrick in the fifth century, in much of Europe through the Protestant Reformation, and in America during the First Great Awakening, He can do in America and any nation today. When Biblical revival comes, not only will individuals be supernaturally changed, but the entire culture (including families, churches, businesses, laws, governments, and the economy) will be transformed. In addition to examining many historical revivals and their good fruit, this book includes: how to bring revival and transformation to your nation, and what a transformed society would look like.
 



The Bible: Divine or Human?

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When we read the Bible we are confronted with a claim that requires a response: that is, that this book is the Word of God, the Word of the Almighty One who created and sustains all things. In the Bible God reveals and declares Who He is and how we are to live. We can reject the claim or believe it, but to ignore it is foolish. If it is what it claims to be, the Word of God, then our adherence to its requirements is essential for life, here on the earth and in the eternal hereafter.

Can we know that the claims of the Bible are true? Is there any evidence of its divinity and infallibility? The answer is a resounding YES! The implications of the Bible being the Word of the one and only God are immense.

The Bible: Divine or Human? presents a summary of various proofs for Biblical infallibility. It is an inspirational and easy to read, yet thoroughly supported, argument in favor of Biblical inerrancy with the goal of inspiring you to build your life upon the divine precepts in the Bible and also to seek to use them to transform men and nations.
 



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