When an obscure German monk hammered his indictments to the door of All Saints’ Church at Wittenberg on Oct. 31, 1517, he did not intend to impugn the authority of the Catholic Church, or malign its leaders, or rupture the spiritual unity of medieval Europe. Martin Luther wanted reform, not a Reformation.
But that’s what he got. On Reformation Sunday, nearly 500 years after Luther published his 95 Theses, Protestants will celebrate his revolution to recapture the meaning of the gospel and the authority of the Bible against that of popes or princes.
Author Joseph Loconte goes on to draw a parallel between Luther's revolution and Islam, asking:
Given the failed revolutions of the Arab Spring, can Islam undergo a similar reformation? One hopeful sign is the outrage at the atrocities carried out under the banner of Islam. Another is Pakistan’s Malala Yousafzai, the teenager shot in the head by the Taliban for campaigning that women be allowed to attend school. She has launched an educational movement—call it a revolution for rationality—as egalitarian as anything the Muslim world has seen in centuries.