Imperfect Martin Luther
As we continue to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, along with the many achievements resulting from it, it can be easy for us to forget that these men and women were far from perfect. Writing on Luther’s view of the Jews, Bernard Howard gave this candid view:
Luther is to me both hero and anti-hero; both liberator and oppressor. Spiritually speaking, he has been my teacher, but in relation to my family he has acted as persecutor. Soon after Kristallnacht (when the Nazis destroyed Jewish synagogues and businesses), Bishop Martin Sasse published a tract titled Martin Luther on the Jews: Away with Them! Sasse quoted from Luther’s 1543 writings and argued Luther’s goal was finally being achieved. Through Sasse and others, Luther’s name and work were used to prepare the ground for the Holocaust, in which my own great-grandmother was murdered and my great-uncle and great-aunt were brutally incarcerated. The Holocaust was fully underway by 1943—exactly 400 years after Luther shut his ears to the Bible and unleashed his anti-Semitic furies. As we commemorate Reformation 500, we do well to remember that other anniversary.
Celebrating 500 Years of Reformation with 30 Reformers
Besides the likes of Martin Luther and John Calvin, there are many other men and women who played a significant role in the Protestant Reformation. Read more about these heroes of faith here.
3 Lessons from Martin Luther’s Marriage
The institution of marriage is under severe attack from the devil. Jeff Robinson does a fantastic job of outlining lessons we can glean from Martin Luther in this area. Read those lessons here.
Are Six and Seven the Ideal Ages to Start School?
A growing body of evidence appears to suggest that the ages of six and seven are ideal for starting school. According a recent article from the Cambridge University,
…a number of longitudinal studies have demonstrated superior academic, motivational and well-being outcomes for children who had attended child-initiated, play-based pre-school programmes. One particular study of 3,000 children across England, funded by the Department for Education themselves, showed that an extended period of high quality, play-based pre-school education was of particular advantage to children from disadvantaged households.
Studies have compared groups of children in New Zealand who started formal literacy lessons at ages 5 and 7. Their results show that the early introduction of formal learning approaches to literacy does not improve children’s reading development, and may in fact be damaging. By the age of 11, there was no difference in the level of reading ability between the two groups. However, the children who started at 5 developed less positive attitudes to reading, and showed poorer text comprehension than those children who had started later. In a separate study of reading achievement in 15-year-olds across 55 countries, researchers found that there was no significant correlation between reading achievement and school entry age.
These studies appears to confirm what Ellen G. White described more than a century ago:
During the first six or seven years of a child’s life special attention should be given to its physical training, rather than the intellect. After this period, if the physical constitution is good, the education of both should receive attention. Infancy extends to the age of six or seven years. Up to this period, children should be left like little lambs, to roam around the house, and in the yards, in the buoyancy of their spirits, skipping and jumping free from care and trouble… (Selected Messages, Book 2, pg. 437)