2017- The reformation speaks today

Rev Canon Dr Mark Thompson (Principal, Moore Theological College, Sydney, Australia)

Tuesday 28th March, 2017 - 7.45pm
All Saints’ Church, University Street, Belfast, BT7 1LB

The events of 500 years ago shook not only the religious establishment but Europe and the rest of the world. Christendom was transformed and the Gospel of Christ rediscovered. Martin Luther, John Calvin, and other reformers (including Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury) led a movement whose effects are still felt - and rejoiced in - today.

Yet, was the Reformation a mistake, as some say; a power-grab by the disgruntled which tore apart the church? According to Karl Barth, Luther stumbled, like a blindman, in the bell tower of medieval Europe, reaching out and grabbing the bell rope, and both disturbing and alerting the religious establishment that change was necessary. Human religious tradition was displaced from its central role in the church’s doctrine and practice. The Bible was recovered and restored to its rightfully authoritative place. Moreover, it was understood afresh that individuals are made right with God by faith alone, through God's grace alone.

Does the Reformation have anything to say to the church today? Is there anything to learn from this tumultuous period, 500 years ago? Is the church in need of another reformation - a recovery of God’s truth and grace?

Dr Mark Thompson is Principal of Moore Theological College in Sydney, Australia, the world’s largest Anglican theological college. He is married to Kathryn and has four daughters. He holds an Oxford doctorate on Martin Luther and is well placed to address our topic and has written ‘A clear and present word’ on the doctrine of Scripture, alongside numerous articles and chapters.

There will be an opportunity to contribute to the work and ministry of the trust.