Ninety-five theses to be nailed to Emmanuel's door

On Tuesday, July 26 at 10 a.m., history will be made in Rockford. Ninety five theses will be nailed to the door of Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Sixth Street and Third Avenue, followed by a press conference calling for a new reformation.

This will be a re-enactment of the nailing of 95 theses that took place Wednesday, May 18 at the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, where Luther had nailed his 95 theses nearly 500 years ago.

“Luther 2005!” read the headline in German newspapers. Crowds gathered at the famous Wittenberg Cathedral to witness the nailing of “95 Theses for a New Reformation” by American Theologian Matthew Fox. Like his predecessor, Martin Luther in 1517, Fox believes that the church is in trouble and in need of drastic change. While Luther’s protest was against indulgences and corruption under Pope Leo X, Fox is challenging the whole church, Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox, in this millennium.

“I have great respect for what Luther achieved when he protested against corruption. I also believe the church needs a reformation more today than it did 500 years ago,” Fox said.

Members of the Forest City Center have accepted this challenge and will nail Fox’s 95 Theses on the doors of Emmanuel Lutheran Church. The general public as well as clergy and the media are invited to witness this challenge and join in a dialogue on the reformation of the church.

“The traditional purpose of a thesis is to open up constructive debate in the search for truth,” says Fox. “At this critical time in human and planetary history, when the earth is being ravaged by the violence of war, poverty, sexism, homophobia, and eco-destruction, we need to gather those who offer a future that is one of compassion, creativity, and justice to stand up and speak their conscience together as never before. Religion ought to be part of the solution, not the problem.”

Matthew Fox will speak at Emmanuel Lutheran Church Sunday, Sept. 25 at 10:15 a.m., and he will lead a seminar at 1 p.m. While Father Fox invites debate, the Forest City Center encourages dialogue in which everyone’s needs, beliefs and contributions will be heard.

Read the 95 Theses:

For more information, contact Emmanuel Lutheran Church, 815-963-4815.

From the July 20-26, 2005, issue

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