Reforming Tradition: Back to the Fundamentals

Categories: Tea & Truth

October 30, 2017


I like tradition. I find comfort in the routine and joy in the celebration. I like singing “Take Me out to the Ballgame” during the seventh inning stretch, baking gingerbread cookies at Christmas, and indulging in a Ben & Jerry’s mint chocolate chip milkshake before taking off from Chicago’s Midway Airport. Not to mention, just the word “tradition” itself brings to mind a merry melody from one of my favorite musicals.

Tradition holds that on October 31, 1517, Martin Luther hammered his 95 Theses onto the door of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg, Germany. Scholars regularly communicated this way, placing their ideas in a public place for all to see and giving the opportunity for disputation. This time was different, though. Luther’s concerns over selling indulgences – money paid for the forgiveness of sin – sparked what has become known as the Reformation.

During the Reformation, some pretty unbiblical traditions were debated and ultimately uprooted in favor of returning to Bible basics. But those of us who like tradition…well, we tend to not like change. To put it lightly, it became a time of great upheaval and division in the Church. Frankly, it wasn’t pretty. But, it was necessary.

Out of the Reformation emerged five ideas that I find pretty essential to our faith.

1. Sola Scriptura – Scripture Alone
2. Sola Gratia – Grace Alone
3. Sola Fide – Faith Alone
4. Solus Christus – Christ Alone
5. Soli Deo Gloria –Glory to God Alone

When we take our eyes off these five biblical fundamentals, a reformation of our hearts and minds becomes needed. Am I adding to the absolute truth of the Bible? Scripture alone. Am I trying to earn God’s favor? Grace alone. Can my works save me? Faith alone. Can those who believe other religions be saved? Christ alone. Am I living for my own glory? Glory belongs to God alone.

This year, we celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. Praise God for the men and women who have gone before us in the faith, giving their lives so that we could have the Bible in our own language and freeing us to return to the fundamentals of our faith. Soli Deo Gloria!

What traditions do you enjoy? Share in the comments below!

Jessie Chamberlain
Family Radio Staff

4 Responses to "Reforming Tradition: Back to the Fundamentals"

  1. Philip Hauck Posted on November 3, 2017 at 7:30 am

    I do not think any of us knows how much we owe to a man who heard God’s voice through the Scriptures, especially Romans 1.17, and initiated what we take for granted today! I enjoyed your coverage of Martin Luther on Reformation Day, and the re-discovery of the 5 Solas of the Reformation.

    My Traditions are Christmas Trees ( with themes of Christ) and Good Friday-Resurrection Sunday when I meditate on the Death and Resurrection of Christ as my Lord and Saviour!

    God Bless you for your ministry <

    • Jessie Chamberlain Posted on November 3, 2017 at 9:26 am

      I whole-heartedly agree with you! Our world today would look so different without the influence of Martin Luther and the Reformers who followed his lead. One more thing to be grateful for this season!

      What wonderful traditions – both fun and meaningful! May God bless you and yours!

  2. Colin Burgan Posted on November 5, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    Hello Jessie,
    This article is very interesting. It led me to research a name I have known most of my adult Christian life but never really knew. A basic internet search found information about a man who in the early sixteenth century challenged questionable religious practices of the time. And during that time church and state were one; going against the church could have lead to execution. Very interesting, he appears to be another fearless Man of God.
    Thank you,

    • Jessie Chamberlain Posted on November 6, 2017 at 10:40 am

      Thank you very much, Colin! I’m glad this blog opened the door for you to learn more about a great example of someone who wanted to share the Gospel with the world to the glory of God!

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