Next Sunday we begin a brief sermon series to mark the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. We are known as ‘protestants’ because we are part of the church which identifies with those who protested against the excesses and doctrines of the Roman Catholic church in the early 1500s. Let me quote from the preface of book I hope you may bring money to buy next week.

“There are millions of people alive today who believe what they believe because of what happened in Europe 500 years ago. The fights of the Reformation have shaped Protestant churches ever since. Christians who have been taught within those traditions are inheriting ideas that were formulated in the sixteenth century.

However, most Protestants today know very little about the earth-shattering events and debates of the Reformation. We casually recite words that cost people their lives when they were first uttered. And we take many ideas for granted that were once fiercely contested.

Why did the Reformers think their doctrinal ideas were worth dying for? And do they still matter today?

Certainly, the truths of doctrine rediscovered in the Reformation are still true. We are still saved by God’s generous grace alone, by faith alone, trusting in Christ’s death alone, not our religious works or even our best efforts. The glory goes to God alone, and we cannot boast except in Christ. Scripture is still our sole authority for knowledge of this saving grace.

Excerpt From: Kirsten Birkett. “The Essence of the Reformation.”

My prayer is that this series will help us understand a little more about what we stand for as a church.

Mark.

The Rev’d Mark Calder, Minster

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