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2017 marks a very big year, as it is symbolic of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Back in 1517, on the last day in the month of October, a virtually unknown young German priest posted 95 different theses about the church, some of which were in direct violation of what the Catholic church was teaching in their doctrine at that time. Luther knew that it was big gamble, posting these theses on the door, as it meant he could very well be put in grave danger for daring to go against the church. But he also knew that it was what needed to be done, and so he chose to stand up for what he believed in and post these theses on the door. And it changed everything.
This Changed Everything: 500 Years of the Reformation follows this incredible journey and displays how this one simple act by Martin Luther helped spark the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, something that would completely change the way many thought about religion, and it’s something that still has an impact on our culture today, half of a millennium later. This Changed Everything: 500 years of the Reformation is a 3-hour, 3-episode documentary designed to trace the roots of the Reformation and show how Martin Luther had an incredible impact and is still influencing the way we think today about religion and the church. While he may have had no idea at the time the impact he would have, Martin Luther helped spark a revolution that would forever change the way we look at the church. In order to anticipate this exciting anniversary of the church, The Christian History Institute has put together an amazing new documentary series, entitled This Changed Everything: 500 Years of the Reformation. You will follow along with a variety of expert commentary opinions like Dr. Frank James, Dr. Michael Horton, Bishop Robert Barron, and Shane Claiborne, along with over 20 more theologians, scholars, and professors who have studied history and know how the church came to be.
This series helps establish the history of how the church came to be, but it also looks ahead, talking about divisions in our culture and even in our own culture how this can be avoided. Follow along with this powerful documentary, spotlighting schisms, division, and the legacy of the Catholic and Christian churches over the last 500 years.
The Story of Martin Luther
When Martin Luther first came onto the scene with his 95 theses, he was a relatively unknown German monk. But that would all change when he posted his 95 theses on the door, which explained his views on theology, the church, and how the Catholic church was dealing with indulgences at the time. During this time, the Catholic church would allow you to buy indulgences which would essentially forgive you of your sins. So, basically, if you committed a sin, you didn’t simply ask for forgiveness or repent, you had to go to the church and pay real world money to receive an indulgence. And an indulgence would forgive you of your sins. Luther began to realize that this was a scheme by the Catholic church at the time to part their faithful followers from their money. This wasn’t a true, God-ordained system, this was a way that the church was able to bring in large amounts of money. Once Luther began to realize that this was a deception and wasn’t truly the way God had designed a church to function, he began to speak out against indulgences.
This Changed Everything: 500 Years of the Reformation begins to show Luther’s progression as he realized that there were major problems in the church that needed to be dealt with. But rather than simply going on with his life or allowing someone else to realize the problem, he stepped up to the challenge and began to speak out against these things that he found to be downright wrong. And Luther began to gather followers. People would come to hear him and they would begin to realize that he was exactly right. But what was the correct response? Luther continued to believe in God and he knew that the whole system wasn’t wrong, just that the way the church was teaching certain things was wrong. And so, he began the Protestant Reformation, which would forever change the way the church worked.
Schisms and Division
An interesting facet of this whole situation that This Changed Everything: 500 Years of the Reformation looks at is how Luther desperately wanted to prevent a schism. He didn’t want to see the church divided or to see schisms form between churches and people. More than anything, he wanted everyone to be one in Christ, as it was supposed to be. But when it began to become obvious that the church was not willing to change the way they thought, Luther new a schism was required and essentially inevitable. This film zooms out to show us where we’ve come today, with hundreds of different schisms and factions. As time goes on, it seems we’re being increasingly divided on almost every issue. More denominations and divisions seem to come about every day. So how do we examine this? How do we continue to follow God and worship him purely with the thousands of schisms around us? The film shows us how we can think about these divisions and how we can follow Jesus’ prayer for all of us to be one.
This Changed everything: 500 Years of the Reformation truly shows an incredible story of a man who stood up for what he believed in and was able to change a church and a culture. This excellent documentary features some stunning artwork and visuals accompanied by fantastic and detailed interviews with some of the leading experts on history and these issues. Narrated by David Suchet, the well-known and acclaimed British actor, this 3-hour documentary series will not disappoint with its incredible messages and profound take on church history.
This Changed everything: 500 Years of the Reformation truly shows an incredible story of a man who stood up for what he believed in and was able to change a church and a culture.