95 Theses (And Pope Francis Ain't One)

Sometimes I struggle to voice the things I want to say about needed changes in the Church, especially in America, especially in my own setting. Of course one always strives to be honest with oneself, but saying the hard things with a certain naked reserve can end up being more hurtful than intended. I have, you see, quite a ridiculous mouth.

Moreover, it's rare that I take a clear starting point before meditating on the need for change. I usually, well, sort of spout off. But I have found myself in increasing numbers of situations these days where I'm asked to make clear statements in front of lots of people about really intense stuff about church. And it takes its toll. And I feel inadequate.

You should also know that I've never really been one for New Year's resolutions. I feel like it's just inviting failure because of some arbitrary date that's supposed to make a difference in how I treat myself or others.

I'm going to try something this year that's been a slow-burning thought for a long time: I'm going to write a post, a meditation really, for each thesis in Martin Luther's "95 Theses."

So, let's get a couple of things straight first:

  1. I am no professional theologian, scholar, or church historian, nor do I pretend to be. My interest lies in opening the text up to what it might say to us in our contemporary context. Again, think of the post as a journey from a jumpoff point rather than an analysis. It's been almost 25 years since I took Latin, so I'll be using a couple of different English translations. Of course I'll try my best to understand what's being talked about, but that won't be the point. I will, however, be starting seminary next month. It'll be interesting to see how things progress once I'm knee-deep in homework.
  2. I believe our Christian religion, in all its myriad forms, is at a crossroads, just like in 1517. I am by no means the only person to feel this way. (Feel: key verb there.) I'll mention those other folks when appropriate, but know that just as during Luther's moment almost 500 years ago, we must do things differently. Now.
  3. I want you to share this widely. I mean it. I'll try my best to remember to cross-post to Twitter and Facebook, but please share the hell out of these posts. Disagree with me, strongly if you want to. As long as the conversation stays civil, I want to take this conversation as far, wide, and deep as we can.
So, anyone actually familiar with the document and have some good advice for reading it? Anyone feel like guest-posting here on one particular thesis or other? Is this the nerdiest damn thing you've ever heard of?


Popular Posts