In the list that follows resources for the Reformation 500th are listed first and then information about the completed conferences is at the end. Some of the links may return a “site not found” message, but give it a try if you are interested in determinig the availability of audio, video, or transcripts. Posts by this site’s author relative to the Reformation in general and its quincentennial in particular are available via the page, “Reformation 500th Anniversary.” My decision not to use “Rev.” or “Dr.” with each person named below intends no disrespect. All teachers mentioned, as far as I know, are either reverends, doctors, or both.
The Confessional Presbyterian, A Journal for Discussion of Presbyterian & Reformed Doctrine has its thirteenth annual issue available for shipping. The primary emphasis is the five hundredth anniversary of the Reformation with a corresponding stress on the extensive work by Hughes Oliphant Old (1933-2016) in the area of historic and regulated worship. Included is a brief biography by his widow, Mary McCaw Old, and an article by him titled, “Daily Prayer in the Reformed Church Of Strasbourg, 1525–1530.” Other subjects include several pieces regarding John Calvin along with others about Martin Bucer, Johannes Oecolampadius, the Sabbath, and the doctrine of adoption as interpreted during the Reformation. An item I am looking forward to in particular is the translation of John Calvin’s letters to the ministers of Montbéliard (1543–1544) regarding his understanding of the liturgical calendar. The table of contents for this issue with its introductory editorial is available on this page; ordering information is on the store page for The Confessional Presbyterian 13. Back issues can be purchased from The Confessional Presbyterian except for the first issue which is out of print but available via on demand from Lulu.
October 2 through December 21, The Reformation at 500: A Reflection in Rare Books presents a display of books in the Lecture Hall of Hill Memorial Library, Louisiana State University (LSU), Baton Rouge. Included in the collection are Bibles and books beginning with examples from the sixteenth century and continuing into later years. The theme uniting the assorted publications from LSU Special Collections is the importance of printing for propagation of the Reformation. The Event Information page supplies further details; use your browser page search feature with the word “reformation” to facilitate finding the event in the list. For an introduction to printing and the Reformation read on the Presbyterians of the Past site, “Martin Luther and 500 Years of Protestant Printing.”
Fall 2017, The Protestant Reformation Series for the Men’s Leadership Breakfast of Covenant Theological Seminary, PCA, had its first lecture of seven addressing “the history and key themes of the Protestant Reformation, focusing on the ‘5 solas’.” The inaugural forty-minute lecture by Dan Doriani is titled “Sola Scriptura” and is available in audio online. The subject was less as titled and more a biography of Luther with an emphasis on indulgences and the Ninety-Five Theses. Other speakers include Robbie Griggs and Mark Dalbey.
Luther’s Works, American Edition, is continuing to have volumes added by Concordia Publishing House in St. Louis, Missouri. A release schedule through 2025 is provided listing the remaining volumes and there is a way to subscribe and receive copies as they are released. There is also a PDF listing of the series which shows the total number of volumes will be 82 and there will be an additional unnumbered companion biography. The Concordia site has a Reformation 500 page with several links to other Lutheran resources relevant to the quincentennial. Both John Calvin and Martin Luther were prolific, but the active quill of Luther is more clearly visible to English speakers because of the voluminous American Edition. If Calvin’s many works were available in English in a continuous set like the Luther series, the two could be compared more readily with regard to the number of words written and would likely be found running neck and neck.
According to the Barna Group’s Transforming Scotland: The State of Christianity, Faith and the Churches in Scotland, 2015, as noted in Barna’s The Bible in America, despite Scotland’s general trend toward secularization its college age adult population has a growing interest in learning from the Word as they are compared with the whole adult population. Further, the churches that are growing in Scotland are those that take an expository approach to the Bible. What is especially revealing is that the patterns of Bible interest according to age groups for the Scots as compared to those of Americans are reversed. In the States, generally, the older generations show greater interest in the Bible, however in Scotland, the younger generations are showing more interest in what the Lord has to say from Scripture. Hopefully, sola Scriptura will enjoy an even greater influence in Scotland and beyond as we pass the five-hundredth anniversary of the Reformation. Both published statistical studies, Transforming Scotland, and The Bible in America: The Changing Landscape of Bible Perceptions and Engagement, are available from the Barna Group.
Lutheran Influences in the United Kingdom may be thought nonexistent but in the early years of the Reformation the monk of Saxony made his mark. James E. McGoldrick of Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary has published two books that zoom in on the influence of Martin Luther in Great Britain. The first, Luther’s English Connection, 1979, emphasizes his influence in England through Robert Barnes and William Tyndale. Dr. McGoldrick has also written Luther’s Scottish Connection, reviewed on this site, which dedicates a considerable portion of its text to the brave and tragic reformer, Patrick Hamilton, who died at the young age of twenty-eight and became a martyr of the Scottish Reformation.
“What was Luther Doing When He Nailed His 95 Theses to the Wittenberg Door?” is the text of an interview of Carl Trueman by Justin Taylor. The purpose is to provide brief answers to the questions one is likely to have regarding Luther and his theses event. Carl Trueman is the Paul Woolley Professor of Church History in Westminster Theological Seminary. He wrote his dissertation on Luther and the recent book, Luther on the Christian Life: Cross and Freedom.
The Castle Church in Wittenberg is currently known as the Internationale Schlosskirchen-gemeinschaft (International Castle Church Community) in Lutherstadt, Wittenberg. The Welcome page of the website provides some information regarding the church. Scheduled organ recitals are held in the sanctuary during the week, which would likely provide listeners a worthwhile and aesthetically memorable experience. The Lutherstadt Wittenberg Tourist Information Department website has a PDF map of the historical area, and this second page on the same site claims the Reformation museum in Luther’s house in Wittenberg is the largest museum in the world. The photograh of the church door is from Wikicommons.
“The Reformation at Five Hundred,” by Albert Howard and Mark A. Noll, First Things, November 2014, is a brief article sketching the ways remembering the Reformation has changed. Surprisingly, the centennial in 1617 was proposed by Calvinists, not Lutherans, and it was celebrated as a thanksgiving for recovering “the bright light of the Gospel,” but there was division between Lutherans and Reformed to which was added a special jubilee ordered by Pope Paul V in response to the Protestants. The article goes on to the years 1717 (only a sentence), 1817, then Luther’s birthday was brought into the story in 1883, the 1917 anniversary was during The Great War, and the article concludes looking forward to 2017. “The Reformation at Five Hundred” is available in PDF.
Martin Luther’s Theses, 1517, are available from the Berlin State Library Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation. A very nice digital image of a 1517 Latin edition of Disputatio pro declaratione virtutis indulgentiarum, which is thankfully known in English simply as the Ninety-Five Theses is available for download. This digital document is likely to be as close as you can get to the text of the actual sheet of paper Luther nailed to the Wittenberg Castle Church door. If you would like to view this printed copy of Luther’s theses as they would have been read by the theologians and clerics of the day, then follow the link http://www.wdl.org/en/item/7497/. In conjunction with viewing the Latin theses you may want to read the posts on this site, “Reformation Day 2015, B. B. Warfield on Luther’s Theses,” and “A Copy of Martin Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses” which includes an internal site link for an English PDF of the theses.
Reformation Art (reformationart.com) says that its purpose is to “acquire and make available art that is of interest to the Presbyterian and Reformed community.” The website sells reprints of various portraits, scenes, buildings, and documents in formats including bookmarks, prints in multiple sizes, and posters. In the case of Martin Luther, there are several portraits and what appears to be a series on Luther’s life reproduced from woodcuts or engravings. The materials available are categorized according to political boundaries including America, England, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Scotland, Bohemia/Czech, France, and Italy. Free wallpaper images for computer screens are also available. For those interested in the Westminster Standards and their history, Reformation Art sells a lovely 24 x 36 enhanced print of the John Rogers Herbert (1810-1890) painting of the Westminster Assembly.
October 29, Tenth Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania remembered the quincentennial of the Reformation during its evening service. The sermon text was Jude 24-25 and is titled, “To the Glory of God Alone.” The message was delivered by Carl Trueman. In Luther’s preface to the epistles of James and Jude in his German New Testament of 1522 he said of Jude, “although I value this book, it is an epistle that need not be counted among the chief books which are supposed to lay the foundations of faith.” Congregational hymns included selections by Martin Luther and the Westminster Brass provided special music. The pastor of Tenth Church is Liam Goligher.
October 27-29, The Holy Spirit and the Reformation of the Church conference was held in the Springs Reformed Church of Colorado Springs, Colorado. The speakers were Lane Tipton and Richard Gaffin of Westminster Theological Seminary. The church has a page dedicated to conference information. The congregation’s pastors are David Reese and Jason Ryce.
October 27-28, The Power of the Gospel, Deploying the Ordinary Means of Grace in the 21st Century Church was held in Greer, South Carolina. The speaker was Pastor Terry L. Johnson of Independent Presbyterian Church, Savannah, Georgia. One of the key areas addressed by the Reformation is the way God brings grace to his people. In Catholicism, the priest administers grace by extraordinary means (sacerdotalism) through the seven sacraments, which can be seen, for example, in the Mass. When the priest consecrates the bread and wine they become the body and blood of Christ. But the Reformation contended that grace comes through ordinary means as the Holy Spirit works through Scripture, the two sacraments, and prayer. The church where the conference was held is Fellowship Presbyterian Church. The senior minister of Fellowship Presbyterian Church is Pastor Marty Martin and visitors are always welcome.
October 20-22, Reformation Heritage Conference, Martin Luther & the Legacy of the Reformation met in Wayside Presbyterian Church, Signal Mountain, Tennessee. The speakers included Derek Thomas, Harry Reeder, Joe Novenson, and two ministers of the Wayside Church, Brian Crosby and Charles Barrett.
October 13-15, Here We Stand: Justification by Faith Alone was a conference held in Second Presbyterian Church, Greenville, South Carolina. The schedule extended from Friday evening through the Sunday evening worship service with speakers that included the pastor of Second Church, Richard D. Phillips, along with Ligon Duncan and Harry Reeder. This year is the 125th anniversary of the founding of the church, so Mel Duncan presented a Sunday School lesson about the history of the congregation.
October 14, Martin Luther: Beyond Faith Alone was held by Grace Presbyterian Church, Middletown, Delaware. The speaker, Bill Dennison, delivered two lectures titled, “Life Through the Lens of Scripture,” and “Seek First God’s Kingdom.” Bill Dennison is Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies in Covenant College, Lookout Mountain, Tennessee. The pastor of the church is Bob Harting.
October 12-15, Reformation Worship Conference was held by Midway Presbyterian Church, Powder Springs, Georgia. The speakers were W. Robert Godfrey, Steve Lawson, Scott Manetsch (see the review of his recent book on John Calvin), Carl Trueman, Terry Johnson, Mark Ross, T. David Gordon, Chad Van Dixhoorn, and others, which may have included the senior pastor of Midway, David Hall. The conference has its own website Reformation Worship Association.
October 10,The 500th Reformation Anniversary Meeting of the Scottish Reformation Society was held in the Crutherland House Hotel, Glasgow. The speaker, Joel Beeke, delivered two lectures, “Ten Reasons Why the Reformation is Still Important,” and “Reformed Piety: Covenantal and Experiential.” The office of the Scottish Reformation Society occupies Magadalene Chapel in Edinburgh where the first gathering of presbyters of the Scottish Church met in August 1560.
October 6-8, The Reformation of Apologetics Conference was held by Reformed Forum in Hope Presbyterian Church, Grayslake, Illinois. Reformed Forum’s ministry is primarily producing audio discussions for online but annual conferences were added a few years ago. The speakers this year included K. Scott Oliphint, Lane G. Tipton, and two of Reformed Forum’s pastor-teacher personnel, Camden Bucey and Jeffrey Waddington. The gathering celebrated dual anniversaries—the 500th of the Reformation and the 30th of apologist Cornelius Van Til’s death. The conference lectures are available on the Reformed Forum site.
September 22-23, Reformation Preaching Conference, 500th Anniversary of the Reformation was held in Calvary Bible Church in Joelton, Tennessee, which is about 20 miles northwest of the lovely Tennessee capitol in Nashville. The speakers included–Gregory K. Beale, Joseph Pipa, George Grant, Theodore Zacharias, H. B. Charles, Sonny Hernandez, David Harrell, and Edward Dalcour. The link to the website for the conference is HERE.
March 23-26, The Reformation’s Reforms Conference was held in the Independent Presbyterian Church of Savannah, Georgia. The speakers included W. Robert Godfrey, Carl R Trueman, David Gobel, David W. Hall, and Independent’s pastor, Terry L. Johnson. Subjects covered included Art & Architecture, Reform on the Continent and in Great Britain, worship in Calvin’s Geneva, and more. On May 14, Douglas F. Kelly lectured under the same conference title on the subject of the Scottish Reformation. Audio recordings are available via the “Sermons” button on the homepge “Resources” button.
March 14-16, Trumpet Call: 500 Years of Gospel Freedom was held by Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in South Carolina. The speakers included Robert Kolb, Michael Whiting, James McGoldrick, Michael Morales, Cliff Bair, Joseph Pipa, Joel Beeke, and Carl Robbins. A one-hour video of Joel Beeke’s lecture titled, “Sola Scriptura,” is available on youtube. Also, audios of the ten lectures and two question & answer sessions are available on the Greenville Seminary & Mt. Olive page of sermonaudio.com.
March 9-11, The Next 500 Years: 2017 National Conference was held by Ligonier Ministries. The speakers included–Alistair Begg, Tim Challies, Leonardo De Chirico, Sinclair Ferguson, W. Robert Godfrey, Michael Horton, Steven Lawson, Augustus Lopes, John MacArthur, Albert Mohler, Stephen Nichols, Michael Reeves, Derek Thomas, Stephen Tong, and R. C. Sproul. Categories presented include, “After Darkness, Light,” “Semper Reformanda,” “The Priority of Worship,” and “Questions and Answers.” Ligonier has video of the sessions available for on site viewing along with transcripts of the lectures. Included in the lectures was “Roman Catholicism Today“ presented by Leonardo De Chirico. It is available online in video along with a transcript. Very often for Protestants, Roman Catholicism is summarized as justification by works, the Mass, celibacy, and papal authority, but the speaker updates listeners with an excellent condensation of post-Vatican II Catholicism and its encompassing philosophy of ministry. In less than 30 minutes listeners are provided with a clear outline of the basic perspectives of the Vatican under the leadership of Pope Francis. The speaker has two publications which are listed in his online biography. Also, on the eve of Reformation Day, October 30, a one day Reformation 500 Celebration was held in Sanford, Florida.