Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thomas Aquinas on Islam - From Tough Questions Answered

I've currently been writing on Islam, its history, belief, statistics, and practices.  I've also given some suggested conversation starters, questions, and responses that Christians can share with Muslims based on the Islamic information I'm posting.  

Looking online to see what has already been listed online for Christians to read and know concerning sharing the Christ with Muslims I found the blog, "Tough Questions Answered".

On this site I found a blog that contained quotes from Thomas Aquinas, when he addressed Islam during his day and age.  I think it's a good and interesting read, so please check out the blog post, "What Did Thomas Aquinas Have to Say About Islam?".  

I encourage Christians to read this article, because I think it’s easy for us to forget that the challenges against Christ in the modern day world are not that far different from what has been around for centuries and that we can learn from fellow believers that have gone before us. 

We can learn from the teachings of earlier Christians and build upon their work.  Of course, we must remember that  "No one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ" (1 Cor. 3:11). 

Friday, November 26, 2010

What are the Five Pillars of Islam?

Christianity speaks of a foundation for our beliefs - Jesus Christ!  
                                                                                                   Islam has pillars.  

Pillars, of course, hold up the roof of a building.  The pillars of Islam are then viewed as holding up the Islamic faith.  Following these pillars are essential to all Muslims.  Salvation comes through observing these pillars, yet, there is no guarantee to any Muslim that he or she has followed these well enough, as well as having other good works in their lives, enough to warrant salvation from Allah!  

The Five Pillars of Islam

  1. Creed - The creed of Islam is "There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger."  When this single sentence is spoken in faith it makes a person a Muslim.
  2. Prayer - Muslims must pray five times a day facing Mecca.
  3. Charity to the Poor - Muslims must give a percentage of their income to the poor.  Generally, this is 2.5%. 
  4. Fasting during Ramadan - Muslims must fast from food and water every day of the ninth month of the Muslim calendar.  This fast is known as Ramadan.   When the sun goes down, they can eat and drink. 
  5. Pilgrimage to Mecca - This pilgrimage is called Hajj.  Muslims must travel to Mecca once in their lifetime if they have the financial means to do so.  Once in Mecca, there is is a series of numerous acts that must be performed, but the central task involves worship in the Kabbah. 
I'll follow this blog post with some ideas for connecting these pillars to the Gospel of Christ!  I'll share how Christians can begin with these pillars and present the Christian faith to a Muslim.  

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Thanksliving - not just Thanksgiving. 

The Scriptures According to Islam

Contrary to what you may have heard, Muslims claim that more than the Qur'an is the Word of God.

The Scriptures according to Islam

The following are all scriptures which Muslims hold to be from Allah.

  • Torah
  • Pslams
  • Gospel of Jesus
  • Qu’ran
They believe that all of these, besides the Qur'an, have become corrupted or changed.

Response: Dead Sea Scroll.  These prove that the handwritten copies of Scripture have been accurately preserved throughout history. We could then ask Muslims, "How do you know that the Qur'an hasn’t been corrupted?"

Theological Argument:

Who is stronger? God or man?  If they were God’s words when they were written down, how could man have the power to change them?  If man can corrupt God’s word, how do you know if the Qu’ran can’t be corrupted.  God will save and protect his word, and when we read the whole of Scriptures, we see that the Qur'an contradicts God's words that came before. 

Logical Argument:

When did the Bible become corrupted?  How did it become corrupted? Who corrupted it?  Did Muhammad tell Muslims to read the Bible in the Qu’ran?  The answer is, yes!  This means hen the Bible must have been corrupted after Muhammad.  However, we clearly can see that the Bible's text has not been altered after Muhammad.  In fact, if we read the Bible as the Qur'an dictates, then we'll see that the Qur'an contradicts the previous Word of God.  

It's truly amazing, the Qur'an actually says that the Bible is the Word of God.  What an awesome bridge to use to present the Gospel of Christ and to share a copy of the Bible with someone who is Muslim. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Who are the Muslims in the World?

To best reach out to and interact with another religion to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it can be very helpful to know the audience you are aiming to mingle with and serve, and unless you know who you're reaching out to in the name of God, you likely miss the people all together.  

So here's some info about who are the Muslims in society, which I gleaned from a worker from Crescent Project:

The two most populous Islamic nations are Indonesia and India.  This is important to know because it tells us that Islam is not just a Middle-East thing.  

Someone from Indonesia won’t have the same Islamic experience as someone from Iran.  There will be similarities, but there will be differences.  So you can ask the same questions to different Muslims to learn about their individual understandings and traditions.   

There are 7 Million Muslims in North America – mostly in America and Canada.  

CA has 222 mosques.  They're evenly divided in the North and South.  

I think everyone has heard that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world, but how is this happening.  96% of Islam's growth is biological, and only 4% of the growth comes from conversion. 

Over 60% of the conversions are among African-Americans.  More of the conversions are in the cities.  Islam flourishes in the urban area and not in agricultural areas.  A lot of the conversions happens in prison.  There’s the idea that Islam is the black person’s religion.  

A lot of the conversions also come from Muslim men marrying non-Muslim women. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Theology Over Turkey

I received the following as a prayer request/letter from the founder of Crescent Project. It's part of their "newsletter/prayer update". I thought I'd share it since, I'm currently writing about connecting Muslims to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

  Theology Over Turkey
Dear Partner in Prayer,

As Thanksgiving draws near, I'm reminded of a story I was recently told. Last year, a small group pastor felt led to lead a Bridges DVD study. One couple walked in, claiming the reason they had joined was because "a couple of rag-heads moved in next door."

From the first session, God softened their hearts and they repented for their attitude of hatred towards Muslims. As they continued the class, they felt conviction to meet their new neighbors and start a relationship with them. Their friendship with the Iranian couple has grown to the point where they shared Thanksgiving dinner with the couple, and the Muslim father has begun to read the New Testament.

It is a joy for us at Crescent Project to see God use Bridges to rally and equip the church to show love to Muslims. The holidays are a busy time for us all, and it can be easy to lose focus on being intentional with our outreach. But I believe that sharing the holidays with our Muslim friends is a simple, but practical way to show the love of Christ.

Let me encourage you to invite your friends to partake in the holidays with you. Invite them to share Thanksgiving dinner with you and your family. Share with them how grateful you are to God for sharing with us the ultimate gift of salvation through Jesus.

Who knows what kind of spiritual conversations can be had over turkey? God will open the doors for you to share your faith with your Muslim friends, you just have to be ready to be bold in giving a reason for the Hope that you have.
Reaching Muslims for Christ,

Fouad Masri

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Growing Islamic Population - Call to Action

This video I've embedded is not meant to be a scare tactic, at least not to my way of thinking as I post it.  I have no idea exactly how I would go about confirming the truth of the numbers in this video.  However, I find the numbers and the assertions in the video believable.  Watch the video, and then I'll type a brief response.  

Again, like I said previously, I'm not sure if I can verify these numbers or know how to go about doing so, but I do think they sound realistic.  I have spent some time with some British and they confirm the growing number of Muslims in the country.  I forget which city it was, maybe Birmingham, but they said one of the cities is now predominantly Muslim, all from immigration.  I also spoke with someone from Iran, who shared that he does not truly believe in Islam, but in Iran, he must be Muslim.  He must appear to observe the five pillars of Islam and put on a big Islamic front, because it is illegal to not be Muslim.  Clearly, the culture in Iran is set to be Islamic. 

I think this video might have sense of trying to scare its audience into action.  I however, don't see a need to be afraid about the growing Islamic culture and population in the world.  As Christians, we have no need to be afraid.  Besides Jesus promised that things will get worse and worse before the end. (Matthew 24) 

What I like about this video is the call to action.  What action is needed?  Meeting Muslims.  Becoming friends with Muslims.  Witnessing to Muslims.  Sharing Christ with them.  I've only shared Christ with Muslims a couple of times, and I've never truly befriended a Muslim.  I'll try to have posts over the next several weeks which share more about what Muslims believe and how we can reach out to them with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

What's the Hajj and are there good reasons for why people worship at the Kabah?

Muslims are required to take a pilgrimage to Mecca in their lifetime, if they have the means to do so.  This pilgrimage is called, Hajj.  It's one of the five pillars of Islam. This is now occurring in Saudi Arabia. 

One of the requirements on this pilgrimage is to visit the Kabah.  It's a squarish black shrine constructed to contain a black stone.  Once at the Kabah, they are required to circle it a set number of times.  The black stone contained in the Kabah is considered by Muslims to be a meteorite, which is unlike other meteorites, because it is viewed to be a gift from Allah.  Its history, according to Muslims, is that it has been connected to Abraham, as well as Adam, and that both of these men venerated the black stone.  Abraham according to Muslims  built the Kabah to house the black stone. 

Question: Where is any of this in recorded history outside of the Qu'ran?  Are there any outside Muslim sources that verify this information?

Muhammad lived from 570-632 AD (CE).  This is far removed from Jesus and his teachings recorded by his selected apostles.   It's far removed from the recorded history of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible, same as the Old Testament).  There is no mention of the black stone in these earlier writings!  The Qu'ran actually contradicts what was written in the Tanakh and the New Testament, even though the Qu'ran claims that these books are from Allah.  Clearly there is a problem.  The Qu'ran which came after the books of the Christian Bible contradicts those books, yet claims they are from Allah.

How do Muslims get away with this obvious problem?

They say that the Bible was changed, which is why Allah sent his last prophet Muhammad.  The problem is that the Bible hasn't been changed.  It's actually very reliable in its bibliography that we have an accurate depiction of the original manuscripts of the Bible.

Click on OC Apologist's "Why Believe the Bible?" and explore the questions concerning the Bible's accuracy and Jesus' claims to be God, as well as the questions concerning the resurrection.

Since the Qu'ran says that the New Testament is the Word of God, they should read it and take it to heart.  Also, if the New Testament is the Word of God as they claim to be, and I believe it is too, then it can't be changed by men to the point that it no longer remains in its original message and teachings.  That would men that men are more powerful than God if they are capable of erasing his Word to the point that it no longer exists in the way it was given to us by God.  This just cannot happen.  Any Muslim who is honest with his or her faith, must agree that man is not capable of corrupting or destroying the Word of God from existing!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Crescent Project Video #1

Crescent Project is a Christian orginzation dedicated to sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with Muslims.  I'd like to share some of their short video clips, which they have uploaded to youtube.

For the video you are about to watch, Injeel is the name Muslims give to what Christians call the New Testament.

It's pricey, but Crescent Project has a DVD series with a paperback, workbook to accompany the series. The goal of the series to teach Christians about the Islamic faith, as well as show "bridges" to connect the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Muslims.  It might be worth checking out if you'd like to lead a group class on witnessing Christ to Muslims. 

This is a very, good apologetics site.  They have a gigantic wealth of material.  There are also links to many MP3 recordings.  Check it out, if you haven't already done so.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Roman Catholic Catechism Quotes #2

Quotes from the Roman Catholic Catechism, taken from the Vatican's website. 

The Gravity of Sin: Mortal and Venial Sin

874 To choose deliberately - that is, both knowing it and willing it - something gravely contrary to the divine law and to the ultimate end of man is to commit a mortal sin. This destroys in us the charity without which eternal beatitude is impossible. Unrepented, it brings eternal death.

1875 Venial sin constitutes a moral disorder that is reparable by charity, which it allows to subsist in us.

Justification includes the remission of sins, sanctification, and the renewal of the inner man.

Justification is being seen "right" or "just" in the sight of God.  Lutherans understand that justification occurs the moment a person has faith in Christ.  This is instantaneous - we are declared just on account of Christ.  An acrostic for "grace" is "God's riches at Christ's expense."  We are declared just in God's sight on account of Christ's holiness.  His holiness is creditted to us and our sinfulness is creditted to him.  This is sometimes called, "The Great Exchange".  

Lutherans then see that sanctification is distinct and separate from justification.  Sanctification begins the moment a person is justified, but unlike justification, sanctification is a process!  Instead of being "declared" holy, in sanctification we are "being made" holy.  This will never complete this side of heaven.  Because sanctification is a process, Christians should be viewed as being both sinful, because we still sin, and saints, because we are declared holy for the sake of Christ's work, death, and resurrection.  

Justification remains as long as a Christian has faith in Christ for salvation.  Faith, of course, involves repentance.  Repentance means to "change one's mind".  This is two-fold.  First, repentance involves contrition of sin.  Secondly, repentance includes, not only turning from sin, but turning to Christ for forgiveness.  Many people can have contrition, but not have repentance that leads to salvation! 

Roman Catholics, as you see from the catechism quote, believe that sanctification is a part of justification.  There isn't a distinction.  The process of being made holy is mingled with being seen "just" in God's eyes.  This also lends to a system of categorizing sin.  Scripture is very clear - sin, any sin, original or actual, brings eternal death.  There's no escaping this fact - for anyone!  That's a heavy dose of God's law.  It shows us our sins, and shows us that we can't live up to his standard.  Thus, all sins are mortal sins!  All sins warrant and deserve eternal punishment.  There should be no distinction between mortal sins and venial sins.  This only comes when the gravity of sin is lessoned and our works and our process of becoming holy is inserted into salvation. 

Question:  Does this mean that a Roman Catholic will ever have certainty of salvation?  

Who is the judge that we've progressed enough in the realm of sanctification to be justified before God?  Only God.  So is there any certainty? 


It certainly may seem that I am trying to bash on or bag on Roman Catholic doctrine.  I don't do this out of hate. I do this out of extreme concern.  Our works should not be mingled into our salvation.  I should cite verses to support these statements, instead, I'd like to simply cite two books of the Bible, Romans and Galatians.  Read them and see what conclusion a clear reading of Scripture brings, concerning justification, by faith in Christ alone. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Did Jesus Claim to be God?

Many people claim that Jesus never said he was God.  Christianity centers on the belief that Jesus is God and that his resurrection is proof of it.  Without the resurrection, there is no Christianity.  If Jesus is not God, there is no Christianity.

So where in the Bible can one go to see that Jesus claimed to be God?  Watch the following video and found out.

Monday, November 8, 2010

External Quotes #4

How can you trust that the Bible is the inspired word of God concerning Jesus Christ?  The New Testament is a collection of books and letters from people who all profess the same faith concerning who Jesus was.

The good news for us is that the accounts of the New Testament authors are verified by external sources from non-believers. 

An event that is recorded in Luke is that as Jesus hung on the cross dying, darkness covered the earth!  If this is true, then there must be others besides Luke who recorded this in history... and there are!

Thallus, a first-century historian, recorded this event and gave an explanation for the unexpected darkness.  His explanation is no longer preserved in copies of his own writings, but his writings are preserved through the citations of others.  Julius Africanus, around 221 AD wrote the following statement citing Thallus:

Thallus, in the third book of his histories, explains this darkness as an eclipse of the sun - unreasonably as it seems to me (unreasonably, of course, because a solar eclipse could not have taken place at the time of the full moon, and it was the season of the Paschal full moon that Christ died). 
Julius Africanus also cites another non-believer, Phlegon, who records the exact same time of darkness mentioned in the Bible, however, he doesn't mention Jesus' crucifixion, and Phlegon also tries to dismiss the darkness by claiming it to be a full eclipse of the sun.  Julius quotes Phlegon as such:

Phlegon records that, in the time of Tiberius Caesar, at full moon, there was a full eclipse of the sun from the sixth hour to the ninth - manifestly that one of which we speak.
This darkness was even recorded as far away as China!!!

Recorded in the Record of Latter Han Dynasty, referring to the same eclipse, we have the following:

Summer, fourth month, on the day of Ren Wu, the imperial edict reads, "Yin and Yang have mistakenly switched, and the sun and moon were eclipsed.  The sins of all the people are now on one man.  The emperor proclaims pardon to all under heaven.
 From other quotes from this imperial record, we learn that the emperor was convicted of his sin, took responsibility for it proclaiming himself to be sinful [unheard of for a Chinese emperor to do this], and then even knew that the sins of the world had been laid on one man.  From the same record the following commentary is given, "Eclipse on the day of Gui Hai, Man from heaven died."

Clearly, an eclipse occurred on the same day that Jesus died.  The Bible's account has been verified from external sources.

Information for this blog was found in the following two books:

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Contradict Bumpersticker

Alright, so one of the guys I setup shop at UCI with suggested this idea, making a "Contradict" label with religious symbols.  I think a better label can be made than this one, because the symbol for Buddhism and Hinduism are missing.  But this design is still good and it still gets the point across that these different religions and ideologies contradict.  

If the "Tolerance" and "Co-exists" stickers are actually being used by people to say that the religions and ideologies of the world do not contradict and that they are all equally valid and true, then those people obviously have not been tolerant enough to study what each religion actually teaches and proclaims, and the "Co-existers" are in fact being intolerant by reducing the diverse religions to something they are not.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Roman Catholic Catechism Quotes #1

I've pulled some quotes from the Catholic Church's Catechism found on the Vatican's site,

I've made some of the sections bold. 

The Relationship between Scripture and Sacred Tradition

80 "Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture, then, are bound closely together, and communicate one with the other. For both of them, flowing out from the same divine well-spring, come together in some fashion to form one thing, and move towards the same goal."

82 As a result the Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted, "does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honoured with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence."

83 Tradition is to be distinguished from the various theological, disciplinary, liturgical or devotional traditions, born in the local churches over time. These are the particular forms, adapted to different places and times, in which the great Tradition is expressed. In the light of Tradition, these traditions can be retained, modified or even abandoned under the guidance of the Church's Magisterium.

85 "The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ." This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome.

87 Mindful of Christ's words to his apostles: "He who hears you, hears me", The faithful receive with docility the teachings and directives that their pastors give them in different forms.

97 "Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture make up a single sacred deposit of the Word of God" (DV 10) in which, as in a mirror, the pilgrim Church contemplates God, the source of all her riches.

100 The task of interpreting the Word of God authentically has been entrusted solely to the Magisterium of the Church, that is, to the Pope and to the bishops in communion with him.


In short, the Bible is not the Word of God according to Roman Catholic teachings.  The Word of God is the Bible and Sacred Tradition combined.  Tradition of course arises from sinful humanity and is therefore not infallible or inerrant.  Tradition also according to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church can be changed, modified, retained, or removed.  This would then mean that the Word of God is always in a state of movement - it is never fixed or unchangeable.  In fact, when one looks at the history of the Roman Catholic Church, there has been contradictions in the teachings from various popes in history.  

Finally, only the Pope and his Magisterium can properly interpret the Word of God according to Roman Catholic teachings.  This means that the faithful laity in the Church should always accept blindly, without any use of reason, what the Church teaches.  

Questions:  How does this make you feel?  What do you think when you hear these teachings from the Roman Catholic Church?  

Scripture alone should be the guiding principle of our theology and that the interpretation of the Bible is not limited to one, sinful man in the world.  We need to be like the Breans, who even though they were receiving instructions from Paul the apostle, would still check the Scriptures to verify that what Paul was teaching was in accord with the Word of God (that's Scripture alone, not Scripture + Tradition).

Friday, November 5, 2010

UCI Set-up #2

We went to UCI and setup a table again with coffee.  This time we didn't have the "Need Prayer?" and "Got Prayer?" signs.  We just asked people if they wanted some free coffee.  This was to experiment to see if more people would stop and talk or drink without the obvious intention of our table.  We also hoped that this would spark more conversation - not having any signs would spark the question,  "Why are you giving out free coffee?" or "So who are you with?"

Both of these questions are perfect lead-ins to share that we are Christians and that we are simply here to share God's love with the students at UCI through the simple act of providing some coffee to drink.  If you have questions about what we believe or why we believe you can ask away, or feel free to just get some coffee and go.  We still had the prayer box out and we received one prayer request slip.  

It seemed to work well.  I'll share more about some of the conversations we had.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A little late for Halloween

I can honestly say, I haven't seen any of these slasher movies.  I've missed most every scary, horror movie out there.  I did see The Blair Witch project at a dollar theater in high school, however.  I also saw The Fourth Kind, and I am a fan of the X-Files.  

I'm curious why horror movies are so popular?  What's the mass appeal?  It seems that many of them are being made in Hollywood, still, and that they're quite popular.  

I'm posing these questions to anyone who wants to comment on them, and I'm adding this questions too: "Are there any redeeming reasons for why a Christian might watch slasher films?" or "Should Christians not watch these movies at all?"  

Please, feel free to comment or email me your answers to these questions.  

Monday, November 1, 2010

Reformation Day - Oct. 31st

I am not sure who exactly wrote this, but I received it from our school's retired congregational pastor.  He might have wrote it.  I thought it'd be good to share at this time.  Knowing church history is of course part of apologetics. 
Reformation Day – October 31
Who are the Lutherans  -- FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE?

1)  Because we are Christians with a Lutheran heritage, it is important for us to understand the history, HIS-story, God's-story, behind the Reformation and the development of Lutheranism.

        a)Lutheranism is NOT a religion -- it is a brand of Christianity.  Even Christianity is NOT a religion if by "religion" we mean a set of rules or rituals we follow to get to Heaven.  Christianity is a relationship -- a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.  Lutheranism, therefore, is simply a description of this relationship with God we are offered through Jesus Christ.
        b)Why is our denomination called "Lutheran"?  Do we worship Martin Luther?  Absolutely not!  We worship Jesus Christ.  We are called "Lutherans" because a fellow named Martin Luther, back in the 1500s, made it very clear that, in every age and era of human history, we who love and worship Jesus Christ need to strip away empty traditions, human made rules, and false interpretations of Scripture in order to faithfully meet and walk with our Lord in a living day-to-day relationship which saves us and leads us into eternal life.
2)  Let me begin by giving a brief historical sketch of what led to the Reformation in the 1500s.  It all began with a person, named Martin Luther, who was born in 1483 to poor parents in Germany.  Martin Luther was raised in a very Christian home.  Martin Luther did well in school, completed college, went on to earn a Master's degree, and then began studying to be a lawyer.  One day, Martin Luther was caught in a terrible thunder storm.  A lightning bolt knocked him from his horse, and, from the ground, Martin Luther prayed that if the Lord would save him he would become a priest.  Martin Luther did survive the storm, and he kept his commitment; he enrolled in the seminary and became a priest.
        a)Luther was ordained into the priesthood in 1507.  Having grown up in a very Christian home, Martin was shocked at the moral and spiritual waywardness of the Church he served.  Martin had always been an over-achiever, so perhaps his expectations and efforts were much greater than other priests of his day.  Nevertheless, Luther was profoundly disappointed at the neglect of Scriptural truths known by and taught to the church.  Luther determined not to neglect the Holy Word, so he gave himself entirely to its study.  He also determined to live a holy life -- to do all he could to merit or earn or deserve forgiveness and favor from the Church.  The more Martin read, studied, and did penance, the more unworthy he felt, the more aware of his sins he became, and the more he realized that he could NEVER deserve the salvation he so desperately was trying to earn.
        b)Finally, his study of Scripture led him to a discovery!  And, it turned out to be no new discovery, just an uncovering of the plain simple truth that had been there all along, just covered over by the addition of human traditions and teachings of the centuries -- like coats and coats of paint over fine furniture. The plain simple truth of Scripture was made profoundly clear to him as God spoke to him through the book of Romans.  Luther read, "The righteous will live by faith" -- not by works, not by merit, not by doing what the church tells one to do -- but the "righteous will live by faith."  Luther read on in Romans 4:25, "Jesus was delivered over to death for our sins, and He was raised to life for our justification."
        c)Like a light finally being switched on, Luther's life was filled with joy and peace at this simple truth.  No longer did Luther pursue salvation, forgiveness and worth through his own efforts. Luther simply fell humbly in faith before the awesome love and mercy of God.  Martin Luther commented about this discovery, "At this realization, I felt myself to have been born again and to have entered paradise itself."
        d)Naturally, this affected Luther's life from that very moment.  He became even more ardent in his study of Scripture.  He saw to it that the Scriptures became available, no longer just to the priests in Latin, but to all people in their common languages.  Luther began questioning layer upon layer of the tradition which the Church had laid over the simple and glorious Word of God.  Traditions which were not contrary to Scripture he didn't touch, but traditions which were contrary to God's Word or traditions which placed unnecessary burdens upon people or acted as walls between them and the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, Martin publicly denounced. 
        e)On Oct. 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed a list of 95 of such teachings or traditions on the front door of a church in Wittenberg.  This public stand taken by Martin Luther precipitated events which eventually led to reforms in the Church, a stripping away of many teachings and traditions which had been suffocating or hiding the simple story of God's love and way of salvation through Jesus Christ, and the birth of many denominations.  All the Protestant denominations (or brands) of Christianity owe Martin Luther thanks for being the one who first "protested" against the layer-upon-layer of misinterpretation, empty tradition, or human white-washing over the glorious Gospel -- the Gospel which simply needed telling in order for it to work its miracles and wonders.
3)  The rest is history.  Luther was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church.  Luther married, finding no Scriptural warrant for not marrying.  Luther taught, preached, proclaimed, and wrote boldly and prolifically for the rest of his life. 
        a)Luther really didn't discover anything new; he simply UNCOVERED the truth of Scripture which unBiblical traditions, regulations, and rituals and restrictions covered like coats of paint over an old piece of furniture.  In the long run, all of Christianity has benefited from Martin Luther.  Even the Catholic Church today appreciates the gift of Luther's emphasis on the centrality of Christ alone for salvation.
        b)Is the Reformation over?  No, it continues today and will continue until Christ comes again.  Every age, every human institution of the church, including your own church and our Crean Lutheran South High School, will struggle every day against the temptation to cover over, to complicate, and to add our own rules and regulations to the simple story of salvation offered to us through faith in Jesus Christ, Who died and rose for our forgiveness and salvation and Who comes to us today through the Holy Bible, Baptism and Holy Communion.

If you haven't seen this movie, you should! Roman Catholic, Lutheran, protestant, or not even a Christian; it still is good to see to witness a special time in history.  This movie was not cheaply made like many Christian movies tend to be.  It would serve great for a video to watch for a history class or bible class if you are a teacher looking for a video to share with your students.