Taiwan Church News
October 24 – 30, 2016
Semper Reformanda ! Remember The Reformation
At the end of annual October, historic heroes in the Reformation, like Martin Luther, John Calvin, and many other prominent figures, are always retrieved by most churches during an examination of the history of the Reformation. In this historic reflection, except images of some heroic names, significant events, and even background details are starkly cast out by pastor and clergy, some believers deeply interested in this whirling period of the Reformation would even pay more attention to study those contemporary theological trends and philosophical differences among the reformers.
Indeed, in our Christian faith, there is a very important built-in dynamics of a historical reflection, enabling us to understand how the church today is originated and developed. As a result, such historic consciousness connect our faith to our Christian forebears all the way back to Jesus and above all we can witness the same God who reigns in the history. Sometime, in our historical review, not only the very event itself needs to be checked into, but also we have to look around that event to identify an implicit outline and avoid the past errors already happened.
Just because “past” needs to interact with “now” to raise critical warnings or preserve treasured values, we should not forget to check the church today with the same spirit when we engage in a critical reflection of the Reformation.
Since Martin Luther made his 95 theses known in the Europe, the protestant Christianity began her life from a fertilized egg, fighting against the established womb of Catholic Church, evolving into a blossomy union of ecumenical churches: complementary, versatile, and dynamic with new traditions. But we Christians, who inherit the spirit of “semper reformanda” and live a life founded on the Bible, should keep inspecting kinds of traditions, codes, and theologies, and carry on reforming those stumbling blocks set up due to the human weakness. Such reformation will never be done for sake of reformation only, except for walking closer to the truth in God.
In the meantime, we need to look beyond those heroic figures within the Reformation. Those innumerable events after the Reformation, especially various battles due to political stand-offs or doctrinal antagonisms between the churches, are our best history textbook. As a matter of fact, many important church confessions and catechisms were delivered within the Reformation. To inherit these spiritual assets is a very important vision for us to celebrate the Reformation 500 today!
Except publishing the 2017 monthly calendar for Reformation 500, Taiwan Church Press also promotes a limited version of weekly-calendar with notebook . This weekly-calendar/notebook, mainly consisted of a Bible reading schedule, is designed to make readers familiar with the reformers and events in the Reformation and critical about contemporary church issues from a biblical point of view.
To encourage the readers to study the Reformation further, the pamphlet – Semper Reformanda, A Glimmer From The Dark – includes Luther’s 95 theses, confessions and catechisms of the protestant churches. Faith stories of Taiwan Christians are also included to witness the spirits of the Reformation have rooted deep and blossomed in this island.
It can be expected that there will be still more events and activities celebrating Reformation 500 held next October in 2017. However, remembrance is only a reminder after all, more important is that, after our deep reflection of Reformation 500, how we can march forward with a common vision, insist a spirit of continuously reforming(Semper Reformanda), and be aware of the limit and weakness of the church today, in order to walk on the path that God delights!