Reformation Day Resources

October 31, 2017

Reformation Day Resources

A Round-up from Wheaton College Scholars

Today, October 31, 2017, marks 500 years since Martin Luther—then an obscure monk, pastor, and professor—posted his 95 theses inviting debate on indulgences and related practices and teachings, marking the symbolic beginning of the movements commonly referred to as the Protestant Reformation.

Wheaton College scholars—past and present—have had much to say about the history of the Reformation, and how it affects the culture and the church today. 

Resources on the Reformation from Wheaton Historians:

Jennifer Powell McNutt, associate professor of theology and history of Christianity

  • Should we wholeheartedly celebrate the Reformation when one of its main legacies seems to be so much division? Dr. McNutt addresses this question in Christianity Today in the article “Division Is Not Always a Scandal: What to think of the 45,000 denominations that rose from the Reformation.”
  • Southeastern Theological Review interviewed Dr. McNutt about her research and the relevance of the Reformation (interview starts on p. 99).
  • Dr. McNutt spoke to Dr. Lynn Cohick and Dr. Ed Stetzer of the Theology for Life podcast about “Luther, Calvin, and the Reformation.”
  • In “Reforming the Sacraments,” an interview with the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Studies at Brigham Young University, Dr. McNutt talks about how Christians have grappled with the Bible’s words about sacraments like baptism, marriage, and ordination.
  • Dr. McNutt discusses Mark 4:1-20 in this Chapel talk.
  • An online course taught by Dr. McNutt, “Milestones of the Protestant Reformation,” is available through FaithLife Mobile Ed here.

Matthew Milliner, professor of art history

  • In “Hearing the Law and Seeing the Gospel,” a lecture Dr. Milliner presented at a recent Mockingbird Conference, he discusses themes of law and gospel” in Reformation-era art, focusing on Andrea Mantegna’s Minerva Expelling the Vices from the Garden of Virtue, 1502 and Lucas Cranach’s Law and Gospel, 1529.
  • In this Chapel talk, “Reading John 17 in 2017,” Dr. Milliner explores the idea of unity in the church in light of Rembrandt van Rijn’s The Return of the Prodigal Son, 1669.
  • Dr. Milliner discusses “Art and Church Unity” in a presentation at the 2017 Wheaton Theology Conference. “We might call art an appetizer that we can enjoy in anticipation of when we—Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox—can actually eat together,” he says.

Matt Lundin, associate professor of history

  • In “Myth and History in Interpreting Protestantism,” a chapter in the recently published book Protestantism after 500 Years (edited by Thomas Albert Howard and Mark A. Noll), Dr. Lundin argues that “despite new attempts to contextualize the Reformation, many [scholars] still find its significance in the degree to which it anticipated modernity.”
  • Dr. Lundin considers historian Brad Gregory’s book The Unintended Reformation: How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society in this review essay in Christian Scholar’s Review.

 Additional Resources

  • In this October 30 event hosted by Concordia University of Chicago, President Philip Ryken joined Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison, President, Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod and Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of the Archdiocese of Chicago for “The Reformation at 500: An Interdenominational Conversation,” moderated by Chicago Tribune religion reporter Manya Brachear. Watch here.

  • Watch “The Most Perfect School of Christ: The Reformation & the Liberal Arts,” Dr. Ryken’s address at this year’s Academic Convocation.

  • Read “The Reforming Catholic Confession,” a Protestant statement of faith to mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. The statement was produced by dozens of leaders including Wheaton faculty Dr. Beth Felker Jones, professor of theology; Dr. Ed Stetzer, executive director of the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism; and Wheaton College Trustee Dr. Samuel Rodriguez, president, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. Its signatories include President Ryken; Dr. Daniel Treier, Gunther H. Knoedler professor of theology; Dr. Douglas Moo, professor of New Testament; Dr. Amy Peeler, associate professor of New Testament; Dr. Jennifer Powell McNutt, associate professor of theology and history of Christianity; Dr. Vincent Bacote, associate professor of theology; and Dr. George Kalantzis, professor of theology.
  • Watch videos from the 2017 Wheaton Theology Conference, “Come, Let Us Eat Together! Sacraments and the Unity of the Church,” which includes reflections on Christian unity at the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.
  • Read The People's Book: The Reformation and the Bible, a collection of essays from the 2016 Wheaton Theology Conference.
  • Listen to archived content from Lutherfest 1983, the College’s celebration of the quinquicentennial of Martin Luther’s birth. This academic conference featured addresses by internationally renowned Reformation historian Heiko Oberman on “The Formation of Martin Luther,” “Luther in the Reformation,” and “The influence of Martin Luther.”

For more information about campus events related to the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, visit our Calendar of Events.