the 31st day of October,
noon, a relatively unknown Augustinian monk nailed upon
These theses, meant
stimulate debate and discus-sion concerning abuses
church practice, were not par-ticularly revolutionary. The issues
would later bediscussed, and concern the life of the church right down tothe present time, were not even on the table yetl But thisfirst move lit
candle that would not go out.
his theses,Luther later stated,
allowed them to stand, that by themit may appear howweakI was, and
what a fluctuating
of mind, when I began this business. I was then a monk anda mad papist, and
the dogmas of
I would have really murdered any person who deniedobedience
our day another great apostasy has taken place.
great departure from the gospel has plagued churchesacross almost every line. What is needed?The answer now, as then, is a great recovery of the truth,a vital reformation joined with a genuine outpouring ofGod's Spirit upon
Lord Jesus Christ, i.e.revival!
brings about reformation when
peoplereturn to the Word of
as their sole source of
Revival attends the prayer and cry of a church,pleading for showers from heaven to
is the sovereign work of God, given most often atthe darkest times
of the church and society atlarge. The result
a renewed and powerful church andmultitudes of converts born
a very real sense,one cannot separate these twin concerns.
like RichardBaxter, who is looked at
some detail in this issue, sawthese truths as virtually synonymous. Reformation undertaken without the power of
Spirit can lead
cold formalefforts at' recovery, while revival without reformation
new forms of doctrinal confusion