Today, as some of you know, is not only Halloween, and All-Saints Eve, but it is Reformation Day. There was a time when this event was celebrated in many Protestant churches. I miss those celebrations. I do not miss the triumphal attitudes or the pride that often went with the celebration but I miss the powerful reminders that something very important did happen in the 16th century and it really does still matter.
Some argue that nothing that ever comes from Rome, or from a Roman Catholic writer, can ever understand the central point of the Reformation. (It intrigues me that such people are “sure” they do understand the central point but then their lives often deny it!) I strongly differ with this polemical perspective. In fact, I believe the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification has gone a long way to show us all how close the respective communions of Lutheranism and Catholicism have actually come in nearly 500 years. A myriad of conservative naysayers, found on both sides, are skeptical about all this talk about justification, believing we cannot agree no matter what