Oct 31, 2010

The Other October 31st Holiday

St. Patrick's Day isn't the only Church holiday that gets overshadowed by other festivities. Today is actually a church holiday. No, not Halloween (even Halloween was originally the eve of All Hallows or All Saints Day celebrated by the Church). Most people treat Halloween as a chance to dress up and scare people, but October 31st is actually celebrated by many Protestants around the world as Reformation Day. On this day in 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. This document, even though Luther may not have intended it to, sparked the Refomation of the church in the 16th century. For Protestant Christians, our heritage is traced back to Luther and his teachings.

If you, like me, are apart of the Restoration movement which was started by Barton Stone and Alexander Campbell. We are connected to Luther. Alexander Campbell was a came out of the Scottish Presbyterian church which owes its heritage to John Knox. Knox was trained in Geneva, Switzerland by Calvin and his teachings. Calvin was influenced by Martin Luther's teachings.

Martin Luther is one of the fathers of Protestant movement, so today when you are dressing up or handing out candy, remember what Martin Luther and others did so long ago to try to make the church a better place. Happy Reformation Day!

Oct 30, 2010

Review of Saint Francis by Robert West

From a wild youth to a beloved saint, Francis of Assisi had a very interesting life. Francis was the son of a cloth merchant in the 12th century. He lived a wild life and enjoy the wealth of his family. All of that changed after Francis spent a year as a prisoner of war and the illness that followed. Francis felt to call of God to rebuild his church. Francis began by literally rebuilding the church of San Damiano. From there he inspired thousands in his lifetime through his life of poverty and dedication to God's work. He fought for a simple life and peace in the world while preaching the gospel to anyone who would listen, including animals. Francis is one of the great men of the church, and his legacy has inspired generations of Christians to give all they have to serving God.

Robert West does a fantastic job of retelling the life of Saint Francis. I would recommend this book for anyone who wants to explore church history or even to someone who is seriously studying the life of Francis. West walks the fine line of writing to the everyday person and also writing for the student of Church history. While this is not an exhaustive biography, it is a great way to step into the history of the Church and the men and women who have made a great impact. This is a fantastic book and will inspire anyone who reads it to live more like Christ following the example of Saint Francis.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”