Way back in 1517, the internet didn’t exist (imagine!).  The most prominent “network” in the western world was the Church.  It was at the center of life in the medieval world.

Thus, most thoughtful discussion and learning took place through its various venues.  The few universities that existed at that time were operated by the church.  Such a university existed in Wittenberg.  And especially in a university town like Wittenberg, people who wanted to engage the broader public posted theses, propositions maintained by argument (where we get the term thesis paper).

That’s why Martin Luther traveled there on October 31st to post his theses on the public posting place – the door of All Saints Church.  He had previously written a letter to Albrecht, the Archbishop of Mainz and Magdeburg enclosing a paper entitled “Disputation of Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences”, but he received no response. Luther could not keep his thoughts bottled up, and thus published them in the closest public discussion forum.

It was not his manner of posting, for people posted such theses regularly in Wittenberg, but the content of his theses and the boldness of his arguments that drew attention. Pretty soon Luther’s post went viral and prompted a great deal of discussion.  This rapid spread was aided by the newly-invented printing press on which the 95 Theses of Martin Luther were quickly printed and widely distributed.

Thus, the new technology of Martin Luther’s day was largely responsible for a resurgence of Christian thought and faith.  I’ll let you, dear reader, draw current comparisons.