A fascinating new documentary details a very significant event in Western Christianity.
The end of October, 2017 will mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, which changed Christianity forever. It was on this day that Martin Luther would nail his Ninety-Five Theses to various church doors in Germany – earning him the scorn of Roman Catholic authorities at the time.
Author and history professor Richard Weikart has partnered with award-winning filmmaker Jim Gromer to bring these chain of events to life. Filming actually took place in Germany, where the Reformation movement truly began.
The film, titled “Exploring the Reformation and Revivals in Germany,” was released for free on YouTube, and runs for about 30 minutes. Succinct and detailed, it is perfect for history classes and religious classrooms alike. According to Christian Newswire, the film is also “spiritually stimulating,” and touches on how exactly the actions of Martin Luther and other early Protestants had a lasting effect on Christian doctrine.
While the sectarian differences within Christendom are certainly less hostile now than they were in the past, the schism brought on by Protestantism can still be seen today. During Martin Luther’s time, many Christians broke away from the Roman Catholic church based on the idea that forgiveness and salvation should come from an individual’s faith in God alone, rather than their loyalty to decorated clergymen in Rome.
Of course, the film goes beyond the initial stages of Protestantism and explores additional schisms, detailing the Calvinist, Lutherans, Anglicans and Anabaptist movements. Virtually all Protestant churches today can trace their teachings back to one or more of these schools of thought.
The Reformation’s effects were just as political as they were spiritual. Martin Luther’s actions were followed by a series of wars fought throughout Europe based on sectarian differences, ending with the Peace of Westphalia. This treaty codified the modern understanding of state sovereignty and peaceful coexistence, and also served as a model for peacemaking between warring factions in the centuries that followed.
It’s safe to say that Christendom and the world at large would look and likely act very different today if the Reformation never took place.
Watch the trailer for the film below!
~ 1776 Christian