THe ReFORMATION PRogram 2017/2018


    PART TWO Begins February 11, 2018!

    Sundays, February 11 – March 25

    4:00 – 6:00 pm, Fellowship Hall

    Join us for an extraordinary series of lectures about the Reformation as it moves further into  Europe and across the globe. San Marino Community Church is fortunate to have access to some of the foremost experts in the field who will speak on the following topics:

    February 11th: The Reformation in Scotland

    Becky Cerling MDiv., Ph.D. Professor of European Medieval History, USC, returns to explore marriage negotiations, monarchy, martyrdom, and the “Monstrous Regiment of Women” . . . all these and more touch on the story of the Protestant Reformation in Scotland. She’ll look at the ideas and events that formed the Kirk in Scotland after Henry VIII of England converted to Protestantism. Along the way, we’ll meet many “Scots Worthies” – in addition to John Knox – who remained true to their understanding of the faith and actively engaged in a time that rocked Scotland and changed the character of the devoutly Roman Catholic nation to one that remains fiercely Protestant and Reformed.

    Link to Lectures


    February 18th: A City Upon a Hill, Puritans and the Wonders of the Invisible World

    Dr. Mark Eaton, Professor of American Literature, APU, and Dr. Phil Eaton, President Emeritus of

    Seattle Pacific University, are back to look at the Puritans in New England and the influence of the Reformation in the shaping of early American thought, culture, and character. They will reflect on the stories of the early settlers who felt called to be a “city upon a hill,” including the difficulties faced with the Anne Hutchinson affair and the Salem witch trials. William Bradford, John Winthrop, Anne Bradstreet, Jonathan Edwards, even Ben Franklin (a kind of secular Puritan) were all powerful voices who felt deeply the great challenges and profound joys of taking the Gospel to the far reaches of the globe.

    Link to Lectures


    February 25th: Semper Reformanda: Confessions and Reformation

    When Christians face times of political, social, or spiritual turmoil, they sometimes choose to write creeds or confessions: declarations of who they are, what they believe, and what they resolve to do. The Protestant Reformation serves as a prime example. Reformers across Europe understood that God is always at work reforming the church: semper reformandi, and they wrote strong statements of faith in dangerous times. We will consider the four Reformed confessions written during the 16th and 17th centuries, and the ways they bridged scripture and contemporary life and times. Led by Becky Cerling.

    Link to Lectures


    March 4th: Reformation Crosses the Atlantic to America

    Join Dr. Ronald C. White, New York Times best-selling author, Huntington fellow and UCLA Visiting Professor, as we listen to how the Reformation will take on different forms as it interacts with the diverse cultures of the new world. Thus, the Lutheranism that one experiences in the United States is not the Lutheranism one would encounter in Germany today. What happened? Dr. White explores the influence of: (1) The Separation of Church and State; (2) The American principle of Volunteerism; (3) Finally, why the Reformation churches took on different shapes from their eastern counterparts once they crossed the Rockies and took root in the western United States.

    Link to Lectures


    March 11th: World Communion of Reformed Churches

    The sixteenth-century Reformation modeled for us the ongoing need to critique church and society through a biblically informed theological perspective, and to act courageously when we see situations that demand fresh confession of faith. American Presbyterians are engaged with worldwide efforts of Reformed people through the WCRC to address situations that our predecessors could not foresee or did not understand. Dr. Jane Dempsey Douglass, former President of WCRC, will present examples of the way the global Reformed family today is confessing a reforming faith in our own context of history. Among these will be two twenty-first- century examples: The Confession of Accra of 2004 and the new 2017 Declaration of Faith on the Ordination of Women. We will reflect on ways in which American Presbyterians are challenged by our brothers and sisters in the global South, where nearly three-fourths of Presbyterian and Reformed churches live out their faith.

    Link to Lectures (3/11 lecture is currently unavailable)

    Handout #1

    Handout #2

    March 18: Global Christianity and the Reformation

    Contemporary religion scholars point to a fundamental shift in the geography of Christianity. In 1900, 83% of Christians lived in Europe and North America. In 2050, 72% of Christians will live in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. As Charlene and James traveled to parts of the world where Christianity is growing rapidly, they have seen firsthand the global impact and legacy of the Reformation. In this session, they will discuss the rise of the global church and the changing religious landscape around the world. Students from International Theological Seminary representing Majority World nations will attend to contribute their perspectives on the future of Global Christianity. Led by James S. Lee, Ph.D., President of International Theological Seminary, and his wife, Charlene Jin Lee, Ph.D, Professor of Theological Studies at Loyola Marymount University.

    Link to Lectures

    March 25: What We Believe in an Age of Unbelief

    Dr. Phil Eaton and Dr. Mark Eaton will present the final session regarding the current thinking of how we became an “age of unbelief,” a decidedly “secular age.” The Reformers of the sixteenth century faced the question of how we live and speak as Christians in an age when the Church was breaking apart and the rise of secular humanism threatened the notion of belief. In this session we will look at our own age in similar terms. Christians find themselves on the margins of secular culture, challenged on every front by the severe pressures of skepticism. How then do we believe? How then do we even talk about what we believe? At the end of our series, Dr. Phil Eaton will reflect on his new book Sing Us A Song Of Joy: Saying What We Believe In An Age Of Unbelief.

    Link to Lectures

    If you're not already on our email list, and you’d like to receive further resources and links pertinent to the above topics sessions, please contact Peggy Flynn at

  • REformation Part I: In case you missed a Lecture in 2017

    2017 marked the year Protestants around the world celebrated the 500th Anniversary of The Reformation: the catalyst for which Martin Luther’s 95 theses were nailed to the door of Wittenberg Castle Church in Germany on October 31, 1517. Luther wrote his theses as a way of establishing a framework for debate and reform within the Catholic Church. The debate resulted in the birth of Protestantism and set in place religious, political, intellectual and cultural beliefs that define our modern era.

    SMCC held a series of lectures from 9/17 - 11/12. SCROLL DOWN to hear previous lectures . . .

  • Dr. Mark Eaton & Dr. Phil Eaton (see below)

    Sunday, September 17

    4:00 - 6:00 pm, Fellowship Hall

    The Reformation When It Began, What Happened, How It Changed The World

    What mattered to the great leaders of the Reformation? What were the theological and spiritual issues that drove them relentlessly to take such risks? Join Dr. Mark Eaton, Professor of American Literature, APU, and Dr. Phil Eaton, President Emeritus of Seattle Pacific University, as they focus on the political, social, and cultural context of this extraordinary movement that changed Europe and the world.  

    Watch This Lecture  


  • Dr. Ron White

    SundayS, September 24 & OCTOBER 1

    4:00 - 6:00 pm, Fellowship Hall

    September 24: Martin Luther, From German Monk to Protestant Theologian

    “At last meditating day and night, by the mercy of God, I began to understand that the righteousness of God is that through which the righteous live by a gift of God, namely by faith.” Called the Father of the Reformation, in recent decades Luther has been both lionized and vilified; characterized and caricatured. Join Dr. Ronald C. White, New York Times best-selling author, Huntington fellow and UCLA Visiting Professor, as we listen to Luther’s own story and make our own assessments. 


    Watch This Lecture


    October 1: John Calvin “The world is the theatre of God’s glory.” It is important to understand that Calvin did not just start a second Reformation (Peter Marshall’s, The Reformation: A Very Short Introduction), he was a second-generation reformer. If Luther posited two uses of the law; Calvin believed there were three. If Luther looked for Christ’s return in his own lifetime, Calvin presented a Christ who transforms culture. Dr. Ronald C. White, continues to lead this class, as we discuss together why Luther and Calvin are important for 21st century Christians.

    Watch This Lecture


  • Dr. Becky Cerling

    Sunday, October 8 & October 15

    4:00-6:00 pm, Fellowship Hall

    Women, Children & Families of The Reformation

    A sculpture of Martin Luther’s wife, Katharina von Bora, stands in front of Luther’s home in Wittenberg, Germany.The sculpture strides purposefully through a threshold. Clearly, she is moving—but from what, to what? What threshold did the Reformation of the 16th century present for women, children, and families? What effects did Protestant ideas have on them? Katharina von Bora might be considered the first lady of the Reformation, but who were other leading women, and what contributions did they make? Meet these fascinating women and examine these questions with Dr. Rebecca King Cerling, M.Div., Ph.D. in Medieval European History from USC.

    Handout - 10/8

    Power Point of Lecture

    Handout - 10/15

    Watch this Lecture

  • October 29, Biergarten Photos

    October 29, we celebrated the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation with a Biergarten. We had a wonderful turnout enjoying the company of SMCC members and friends whose ages spanned over 8 decades. We savored a German-inspired menu and thanks to our festmeister, Andy Link, sampled a wide range of beer offerings and learned about the art of beer making and its important place in the history of the Reformation.  Meanwhile children enjoyed their own activities next door on the south green. (Note: there are extra tasting glasses available in the church office.) 


  • Dr. Phil Eaton & Dr. Mark Eaton

    Sundays, October 22, November 5 & 12

    4:00 - 6:00 Pm Fellowship Hall

    The Reformation 500 Years Later: What Difference Does It Make? These three sessions will give us a chance to sink in more deeply on the question of why the Reformation matters. How has it changed the church of Jesus Christ? How has it reshaped the way we look personally at what is good and true and beautiful? What do we learn that is important to our own spiritual lives? What difference does it make for our own church, for the broader church in our world? Has the core meaning of the Reformation died out or is it still vital as ever? Led by Dr. Mark Eaton and Dr. Phil Eaton.

    Watch 10/22 Lecture (Dr. Phil Eaton)

    Watch 11/5 Lecture (Dr. Phil Eaton)

    Watch 11/12 Lecture (Dr. Mark Eaton)

    Handouts for this Lecture

HELPFUL RESOURCES About the reformation

The following resources are provided to enable interested learners to deepen their experience of the Reformation. Please note that some of the references are historical fiction and, while based on the history of the period, tell a fictional story. Others are based on historical fact and reflect the expert opinion of the author. We hope that you enjoy them as additional resources intended to provide a greater context and understanding of the time. We appreciate your feedback and/or additional resource recommendations. Please contact with your feedback or additional resources.

Map of the Reformation

Film List

TV List

Book List


Reformation Timeline from Christian History Institute

Reformation Timeline #2

Women of the Reformation

Influential Women of the Reformation

Olympia Morata: Champion of the Reformation

You Wouldn’t Want to Argue with Argula  

Coursera: A Journey through Western Christianity (a free on-line course) 

The Protestant Reformation and Economic Hegemony

The Protestant Reformation and the English Amatory Sonnet Sequence

31 Daily Inspirations: Reformation Bios

Rick Steve's Travel Show: The Path of Martin Luther