In fact, as you can see from the pic, I am writing this from the cabin of our plane somewhere over the Continental United States.
It was 500 years ago on October 31, 1517, that Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses on the door of the All Saints Church in Wittenberg.
The first thesis had to do with a repentance. A year before, Erasmus had published his Greek New Testament. Luther realized in reading Matthew 4:17 (“Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand”) in the Greek that the Latin Vulgate had misinterpreted the word “repent” as “do penance,” leading to the Roman Catholic Church into gross theological error.
Luther intended his 95 theses to be only a starting point for discussion among the academics at the University in Wittenberg, but a couple of students—thank you Lord for college students—read what Luther posted, took it to the local publisher (the printing press had been created about 60 years prior), and began distributing the theses.
This was the spark that started fire of the Reformation that quickly spread across Europe. But there was important work done before Luther as well. There was John Wycliffe at Oxford in England in the 14th century, and more importantly for our tour, Jan Hus in Prague and Bohemia in the 15th century.
Our itenary begins in Prague, will continue on a river cruise on the Elbe where we are scheduled to stop in Wittenberg, and we will finish in Berlin, where we hope to see the family home of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, among other sights.
Joining GSB on the Reformation Tour is, of course, The Wife. We are also joined again by our good friend and travel buddy, Ann. The Wife has carefully planned to ensure she has a seat next to Ann on the flight over and back because, as The Wife knows, I do not like to talk on planes. Who does? The background noise is so loud you have to yell at the person next to you. It wears me out. Instead, I do what any reasonable person would do—I read medieval and Byzantine history.
We hope you will join us on this journey. We will explore the people and places important in the history of the kingdom of God on earth, have a few laughs, and be more inspired to become an active agent for King Jesus in shaping it in the future. GS