Learning from Martin Luther

Thursday, February 8, 2018
Reformation book helps readers refocus and recommit to a faith they’re called to renew

Here We Stand: Luther, the Reformation and Seventh-day Adventism (Pacific Press, 2017)
Michael W Campbell and Nikolaus Satelmajer (editors)


Big round numbers seem to inordinately fascinate us, meaning we sometimes accord anniversaries more significance than they would otherwise merit. As such, the importance of the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s “95 Theses” nailed to the door of the Wittenberg Church on October 31, 1517, came more from the opportunity for re-examination and reflection than from the big number itself.

A stand-out example of this opportunity taken: Here We Stand’s focus on the Reformation’s continuing significance for Seventh-day Adventists, who “see themselves as heirs of the Protestant Reformation” (page 13). As the editors note in their introduction, church pioneer Ellen White devoted more space to Luther than any other post-biblical leader in her summary of the history of Christianity in The Great Controversy—this theme is expanded in the chapter exploring “Ellen White’s Portrait of Martin Luther.”

In this way, Here We Stand offers an exploration of how Luther and Adventism can help in the understanding of each other. The book highlights a dominant commonality between Luther and Adventism, that of sola scriptura—the Bible alone—and what this means for the centrality of the Bible to faith, as well as how we read the Bible, use the Bible and apply the Bible to life.

The 19 scholars contributing to the book rank among the Adventist Church’s leading theologians and historians. They bring depth and breadth to the tasks of reflecting on the significance of Luther and the Reformation for the church today.

A book suc h as Here We Stand demonstrates why historical anniversaries are important for the life of the church—they provide opportunities for us to learn and reflect and to refocus and recommit to the faith we’ve received and are called to continually renew. Of course, this is not only a task for a 500th anniversary, even when prompted by it. It’s equally worthwhile in the 501st year—thus, Here We Stand’s ongoing value and significance.

Here We Stand

Here We Stand is available from Seventh-day Adventist bookstores in Australia and New Zealand or from www.adventistbookcentre.com.au.

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Author

Nathan Brown

Nathan is Book Editor at Signs Publishing. He is a former magazine editor, a published writer and an author or editor of more than a dozen books. He is also a co-convener of Manifest, a community exploring, encouraging and celebrating faithful creativity.

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