Follow Christ, Lead the Way
Martin Luther - Reformation's 500th Anniversary

By Prof. Ben Williamson

One is tempted to ask what has Wittenberg to do with Circleville? The answer is Wittenberg’s impact on the spiritual ancestors of the American Holiness Movement cannot be overstated. Discoveries made by Luther that led to the moment on October 31, 1517, when he nailed his “95 Theses” to the Wittenberg Chapel door had a profound effect upon John Wesley.  All Wesleyans are children of the Reformation.

The three great hallmarks of Reformation theology are: Salvation by grace through faith alone, Sola Scriptura (scripture alone), and the priesthood of all believers. Today, these words might spark more of a sense of nostalgia than feelings of revolution, but as Tolkien warns us in The Lord of the Rings, “And some things that should not have been forgotten were lost. History became Legend. Legend became myth.” We should not forget the true revolutionary nature of what Luther did that day. To do so is to our detriment.

First, the doctrine of salvation by Grace through faith alone that Luther rediscovered has a direct connection to John Wesley’s “Aldersgate Experience” when his heart was “strangely warmed”.  The society he was attending was studying Luther’s preface to his commentary on the Book of Romans.  Wesley connected in a profound way with Luther’s words, and that moment changed the course of history.

The second hallmark of Protestantism is also a hallmark among those who stand in the spiritual lineage of Wesley. Wesley, with Luther, valued scripture above all other books.  That is not to suggest he devalued tradition.  In fact, he celebrated the Lord’s Supper so often he was accused of being a closet papist!  He read and actively defended the writings of the Church fathers.  However, for Wesley all “tradition” must be judged by scripture and not the other way around.  In the sixteenth-century, Luther’s assertion on this point sparked a revolution.

The Bible was placed in the hands of the common person.  The most important result was the direct experience with divine revelation that this afforded. However, it also put limits upon what Church authorities could command on the basis of “tradition”.  This accelerated the growth of Protestantism and, of course, defections from the Catholic Church.

Finally, the “priesthood of all believers” began to diminish the divide between clergy and laity. However, it also enabled lay Christians to approach God in search of grace without going through a priest.  This idea, initiated by Luther, enabled Wesley’s eventual, at first reluctant, use of lay preachers.  These lay preachers were primarily responsible for the explosive growth of Methodism in Britain and its colonies after 1750.

As we come to this landmark anniversary, all Protestants should share in celebration of God’s intervention in heart of Martin Luther and the ripple effects that continue to be felt by us all.

Articles of Interest

Reminder - file FASFA

File the FAFSA in just 22 minutes

Reminder - file FASFA

Published: February 3, 2021

Filing the FAFSA isn’t as complicated or time-consuming as it seems – you only need about 6 documents and 22 minutes! In the time it takes you to catch up on your social media feed, you can take the critical first step in getting the money you need to attend college. Here’s a checklist of everything you need: An FSA ID. Your FSA ID allows you to log in to your account, sign the FAFSA and make changes or add schools. You and your parent must create separate FSA IDs. Create this first! You and your parent’s Social Security or Alien Registration number. Here’s what to do if your
Filing the FAFSA isn’t as complicated or time-consuming as it seems – you only need about 6 documents and 22 minutes! In the time it takes you to catch up on your social media feed, you can take the critical first step in getting the money you need to attend college. Here’s a checklist of everything you need: An FSA ID. Your FSA ID allows you to log in to your account, sign the FAFSA and
Filing the FAFSA isn’t as complicated or time-consuming as it seems – you only need about 6 documents and 22 minutes! In the time it takes you to catch up on your social media feed, you can take

Archived Articles of Interest

Morrow Campus graduates gather for a photo-op.

Georgia Campus Celebrates First-Ever Graduation

Morrow Campus graduates gather for a photo-op.

Published: April 20, 2016

On Saturday, April 9, 2016, The Morrow Campus of Ohio Christian University held its Inaugural Commencement Service at Divine Faith Ministries International in Jonesboro, Georgia.  70 Associate, Bachelor, and Master level graduates, for onsite and online, participated in the historic ceremony. MBA graduate Charlotte Daniely said, “The graduation was excellent.  I am extremely proud to say I am a graduate from Ohio Christian. The Lord was in the house!” An honorary doctorate was awarded to Former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran. Dr. Shawn Thomas, Dean for the Morrow Campus said, “
On Saturday, April 9, 2016, The Morrow Campus of Ohio Christian University held its Inaugural Commencement Service at Divine Faith Ministries International in Jonesboro, Georgia.  70 Associate, Bachelor, and Master level graduates, for onsite and online, participated in the historic ceremony. MBA graduate Charlotte Daniely said, “The graduation was excellent.  I am extremely proud to say I
On Saturday, April 9, 2016, The Morrow Campus of Ohio Christian University held its Inaugural Commencement Service at Divine Faith Ministries International in Jonesboro, Georgia.  70 Associate,
Criminal Justice Dept. Hosts Distinguished Law Enforcement Officers image

Criminal Justice Dept. Hosts Distinguished Law Enforcement Officers

Criminal Justice Dept. Hosts Distinguished Law Enforcement Officers image

Published: March 23, 2016

The Criminal Justice program at Ohio Christian University held its inaugural Advisory Council with several distinguished criminal justice professionals from local, state, and federal agencies, including U.S. Secret Service, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation
The Criminal Justice program at Ohio Christian University held its inaugural Advisory Council with several distinguished criminal justice professionals from local, state, and federal agencies, including U.S. Secret Service, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation
The Criminal Justice program at Ohio Christian University held its inaugural Advisory Council with several distinguished criminal justice professionals from local, state, and federal agencies,
Students pose for a picture at the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy

Students visit Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy

Students pose for a picture at the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy

Published: March 22, 2016

On November 18, 2015, several Criminal Justice students and Criminal Law students traveled to Columbus OH, where they visited the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy.  Lieutenant Click was their tour guide for the visit.  The first part of the tour took the students to the classroom area where Lieutenant Click provided an overview of what a cadet would experience in the classroom and basic standards of conduct.  Second, the students visited the indoor firing range, were given an overview of the types of weapons used on the range, and informed on the course of fire the cadets and Troopers
On November 18, 2015, several Criminal Justice students and Criminal Law students traveled to Columbus OH, where they visited the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy.  Lieutenant Click was their tour guide for the visit.  The first part of the tour took the students to the classroom area where Lieutenant Click provided an overview of what a cadet would experience in the classroom and basic
On November 18, 2015, several Criminal Justice students and Criminal Law students traveled to Columbus OH, where they visited the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy.  Lieutenant Click was their tour
Criminal Justice students study prison operations image

Criminal Justice students study prison operations

Criminal Justice students study prison operations image

Published: March 22, 2016

On March 17, 2016, students from the CJ225-Corrections course traveled to Orient OH with their instructor, Professor Sean Lovell, to visit the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation
On March 17, 2016, students from the CJ225-Corrections course traveled to Orient OH with their instructor, Professor Sean Lovell, to visit the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation
On March 17, 2016, students from the CJ225-Corrections course traveled to Orient OH with their instructor, Professor Sean Lovell, to visit the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation
OCU Psychology Dept. Launches New Initiative  image

OCU Psychology Dept. Launches New Initiative

OCU Psychology Dept. Launches New Initiative  image

Published: March 21, 2016

Ohio Governor John Kasich has identified the battle with rampant heroin addiction as a priority of his administration. Ohio Christian University Psychology Department has successfully worked with the State government leaders in the past to bring Pastors together for a Drug Education Conference and now the Governor’s Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives has reached out to OCU for another effort. Kimberly Hettel, the Director of the Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives, met with OCU’s Psychology Department Chair, Dr. Larry Olson, and the Director of OCU’s Substance
Ohio Governor John Kasich has identified the battle with rampant heroin addiction as a priority of his administration. Ohio Christian University Psychology Department has successfully worked with the State government leaders in the past to bring Pastors together for a Drug Education Conference and now the Governor’s Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives has reached out to OCU for
Ohio Governor John Kasich has identified the battle with rampant heroin addiction as a priority of his administration. Ohio Christian University Psychology Department has successfully worked with