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An October 31 bang on the door started a reformation

Monday, October 15, 2007

While children in costumes wander the streets knocking on doors asking for candy October 31, few will commemorate a more significant action that happened in Wittenberg, Germany 490 years ago. On the eve of All Saints Day, Dr. Martin Luther, a professor and monk, nailed to the door of the university’s chapel a document containing 95 theses, inviting discussion. The subject? Complaints against the practices of the Roman Church that made God’s salvation and a place in heaven a commodity which someone could buy. Luther’s actions sparked a revolution in Christendom.

Throughout the western world lie traces of Luther's legacy. Among other things, the 16th century reformer was instrumental in reshaping the political face of Europe, popularizing the Bible, recognizing the importance of education, promoting mu­sical expression and calling the established church back to its scrip­tural roots. In 2000, Luther was named the third most influential man of the millennium, after Johannes Gutenberg, inventor of the printing press, and scientist Sir Isaac Newton.

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