top of page

Review: 500: The Impact of the Reformation Today

If you are reading this review on the Sabbath, then I would like to wish you a Sabbath filled with the desire to know God, through His Word.

This week’s review is for the documentary, 500: The Impact of the Reformation Today (2017).


A lone monk’s actions 500 years ago continue to have a great impact. In “500: The Impact of the Reformation Today,” renowned Luther scholars from around the world reveal how the Reformation surrounds us more than we realize through religion, politics, and our society. This thought-provoking documentary was four years in the making, with portions shot on location throughout Germany where the actual Reformation events occurred.

This documentary was a nice follow-up to our previous documentary review about the life of Martin Luther. It covers a lot of ground, including penance, I may have thought about it before, but it struck me when watching this program, that my high school used a form of penance, involving the repetition of the prayer, Hail Mary. The number of repetitions depended on the severity of what the student had done. This was from 1983 - 1987. So over 460 years after the reformation, this form of penance was still going on in Roman Catholic schools.

As I mentioned, the documentary covered a lot of ground like:

  • How the everyday life of a Christian is their vocation

  • The sanctity of marriage and how its roles was misinterpreted by the Roman Catholic church

  • How the roles of monks and nuns were misinterpreted

  • Idols in the church

  • Christians and the governing and military service. Romans 13 was referenced during these segments. Romans 13 addresses how a Christian should relate to the governing system. It was interesting to hear Luther’s take on when force should be used - in the context of “avenging God’s honour,” if the government does not uphold God’s law. I am reminded of when Daniel was taken into captivity by the Babylonians, who did not uphold God’s law. Yet Daniel did not avenge God by force, yet he did avenge God’s honour, through refusing to eat the diet the Babylonians wanted to give him and refusing to not pray to God, in the custom he was used to (Daniel chapter 1 and 6).

  • Singing in the church, worship songs and the debate over what is deemed suitable

  • Religious freedom from any state. I really liked how it was affirmed that our allegiance is to God.

  • Charging interest. I found is really interesting how Luther and John Calvin had a hard time with this subject and seemed to change their minds later on, favouring some sort of an interest payment, which goes under the umbrella of capitalism.

In addition to these subjects, Luther’s ideology of two kingdoms relating to creation and restoration was explained.

Luther’s views on how a Christian should relate to the governing system, when a Christian should engage in war, interest rates and the Jewish nation made me wonder how much Luther was influenced by God in his later years.

That question pretty much goes for everyone. In the future, when we look back on our lives, together with Jesus, how much of our lives will show the influence of God, as opposed to our own wisdom?

I watched, 500: The Impact of the Reformation Today, on Vision Video’s YouTube channel.

Thank you for reading this review. Until next time - peace be with you.

Thumbnail source:

1 view

Recent Posts

See All




There is Christian media out there that honours the Word of God - you just have to make a determined effort to pick and choose. RFM reviews are based on the films that have focus on the Bible and the Christian values we are supposed to live by, by God's grace.

Suggestions for film reviews

General Questions



Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20


Sabbath Radio_Logo.jpg

Sabbath Radio airs Friday, sunset (Oslo time - CET)

and continues until

Sunday morning to include other time zones that are still celebrating the Sabbath.

bottom of page