It was October 31, 1517. Despite popular characterizations, it was merely a standard procedure for the young monk to post his debate proposal on the church door. By no means did he intend to start wars and create a permanent rift in the Body of Christ. It was simply the matter he took seriously the words he was being taught in his seminary classes about what really mattered in this world. Business as usual grated on his conscience. Nor was he alone in his complaints, so he hardly expected to become the lightening rod for institutional efforts to crush every dissenting voice.
It sounds like some kind of New York Times Best Seller’s list political thriller – perhaps a massive conspiracy by former Soviet KGB officers backed by financiers and powerbrokers on the Trilateral Commission to create a new world government. But “A regime unknown to us,” in the language of John Polkinghorne, is not talking about a political intrigue, but something even more intriguing: the idea of an unknown (and, maybe, unknowable) realm of science: the science of God.