Friday, October 31, 2008

Luther as Father

In the Van Neste household here today is celebrated as Reformation Day and the kids love it. We do well to remember our roots in the Reformation and the blessings in many areas which have come to us as a result of this historic renewal of the church.

There are many important things which grew out of the reformation, but one that is often missed is the raising of the value of the family. This can be seen in many ways, but one way (as with much in the Reformation) is simply to look at the life of Martin Luther. One standard book on the Reformation makes this comment about Luther:

“The Luther that survived in the memory of Germany was not Luther the friar but Luther the father of a family.”*

From the Reformation doctrines emerges the idea of the father shepherding the flock of his family, teaching the scriptures to his children and leading them in prayer and singing. The church today desperately needs renewal once again and reclaiming this role of fathers, mothers and families will be one key aspect in such a renewal.

* Owen Chadwick, The Reformation (Hist of the Church) (Penguin Books, 1972), p. 74.

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