Here We Stand - February Book of the Month
As human beings, we have an inordinate fascination with big round numbers, meaning that anniversaries are sometimes accorded more significance that they would otherwise merit. As such, the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s “95 Theses” nailed to the door of the Wittenberg Church on October 31, 1517, was more important as an opportunity for re-examination and reflection than for the big number itself.
Here We Stand is a stand-out example of this opportunity taken, with a specific focus on the Reformation’s continuing significance for Seventh-day Adventists, who “see themselves as heirs of the Protestant Reformation” (page 13). As the editors point out in their introduction, Ellen White devoted more space to Martin Luther than any other post-biblical leader, in the history of Christianity summarised in The Great Controversy—this theme is expanded in the chapter exploring “Ellen White’s Portrait of Martin Luther.”
In this way, Here We Stand offers an exploration of how Luther and Adventism can assist in the understanding of each other. A dominant commonality between Luther and Adventism that Here We Stand highlights is that of sola scriptura—the Bible alone—and what this means for the centrality of the Bible to faith, as well as how the Bible is read, used and applied to life.
The 19 scholars contributing to this book rank among the Adventist Church’s leading theologians and historians. Together, they bring depth and breadth to the tasks of reflecting on the significance of Martin Luther and the Reformation for the Adventist Church today. A book such as Here We Stand demonstrates what historical anniversaries are for in the life of the church—opportunities to learn and re ect, as well as to refocus and recommit to the faith we have received and are called to continue to renew. Of course, this is not only a task for a 500th anniversary, even when prompted by it; it is equally worthwhile in the 501st year—thus, Here We Stand’s ongoing value and significance.