During our twenty-first-century time of tech and Twitter, does Martin Luther still have anything relevant to say? And why should the Church even celebrate a 500-year-old piece of history? These questions point us to a bigger theme: what makes the Reformation timeless?

At first glance, it’s easy to define the Reformation as a single event set into motion by one rebellious man who fought for pure Christian teachings and against papal authority.

But look closer. Now is the time to get to know Luther not as a symbol of freedom from the institution or of German patriotism, but as a pastor. Because at the end of the day, Luther cared deeply for the spiritual well-being of the people who filled small churches every week. That’s right—he faced persecution, excommunication, and death threats all for the sake of someone like you. Someone who needed to hear the pure Gospel message of Jesus’ grace for sinners.

Read on to see how the Reformation, and God’s promise-filled biblical narrative, still impacts us in a postmodern “it’s all about the story” world.

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Written by:
Erik H. Herrmann
Associate Professor of Historical Theology
Director of the Center for Reformation Research
Concordia Seminary, St. Louis