Reformation & Us
by James M. Kushiner
Touchstone is neither celebrating nor ignoring the 500th anniversary of the Reformation this fall; we are giving it our editorial attention.
Now, it should be obvious that some senior editors appreciate Luther's legacy more than others, and some may even prefer John Calvin or other reformers. Regardless of one's view, the Reformation has had consequences, including disunity.
There is general agreement today that there were issues that needed attention in the church at that time—in the Western church, that is, as many Eastern Orthodox would hasten to add, since, historically speaking, the Reformation was not a significant factor at that time for the Eastern churches.
In this issue of Touchstone, our main contribution to the 500th anniversary of the Reformation comes from the Catholic historian James Hitchcock. Called "The Age of Reformations," his feature article provides a broad context in which to see the Reformation as one part of a larger transitional period of reformation in Western Christianity.
Our two editorials also reference the Reformation. Allan Carlson makes the point that, as important as the Reformation is, our new situation may well eclipse its legacy today. S. M. Hutchens analyzes the Reformation divide within C. S. Lewis's house of Mere Christianity, explaining how writers committed to things that still divide us are also fraternally united in a larger
I've also included a letter on the Reformation and unity from one sort of reader that Touchstone appeals to in its ongoing mission, in which "Christians from contrasting traditions work harmoniously together without diluting the tenets of their faith." For Mr. Bohall, in Touchstone the unity of our Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox editors "is palpable." That, may I suggest, is because we also draw from the deeper history of the Church, prior to the Reformation, as we work together while looking forward to the coming of our Lord and Savior.