With the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing the 95 Theses on the Wittenberg door, I recently read Roland Bainton’s Here I Stand. I was struck by something as I read the story of the birth and success of the Reformation.
Aside from Martin Luther’s theological and leadership abilities, much of his success was related to his communication gifts. Luther was a prolific writer, able to produce both deep theological works and pamphlets aimed at a popular audience. Luther was able to take advantage of the printing press, that at the time of the Reformation was still less than a century old.
Why do I bring this up?
I believe that Martin Luther would have thrived in our present internet age. In fact, I think Luther would have been an incurable blogger. Even the 95 Theses almost sounds like a blog posts (95 Things Wrong With Indulgences?).
One of the key roles for Christian bloggers is to disseminate theological ideas out to the public, often translating ideas into language people can understand. That is what Luther did. Even Luther’s translation of the Bible into German was a part of this. Christian bloggers continue this tradition.
As I read through the life of Luther, I also noticed that his writings often included wood cuttings illustrating Luther’s ideas. As I looked at these drawings, somewhat similar to modern political cartoons, I was reminded of memes. Although I’m cautious of people who rely too much on memes, memorable images and phrases can be effective.
The invention of the internet has been compared to the invention of the printing press in terms of impact and I believe it. Martin Luther was a man of his time who took advantage of the available technology to proclaim his message.
Christian bloggers are living in a similar time and we need to be as open to using the technology that we have.
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