The German Reformer Martin Luther

930 WordsMay 4, 20174 Pages
The German reformer Martin Luther was the first and greatest figure in the sixteenth-century Reformation. An author of commentaries on Scripture , theology, and priestly abuses, a hymnologist (writer of hymns [sacred songs]), and a preacher, from his own time to the present he has been a symbol of Protestantism (group of Christian faiths that do not believe in the supremacy of the pope, but in the absolute authority of the Bible). Luther had an intriguing childhood with his father, a major contribution to the historical side of the Catholic Church, and without him who knows where our religious beliefs would be today. Martin Luther (November 10, 1483 - February 18, 1546) was a Christian, theologian, and Augustinian monk. His…show more content…
A lightening bolt struck near to him as he was returning to school. Terrified, he cried out, "Help, St. Anne! I 'll become a monk!". Spared of his life, but regretting his words, Luther kept his bargain, dropped out of law school and entered the monastery there. Committed to the idea that salvation could be reached through faith and by divine grace only, Luther vigorously objected to the corrupt practice of selling indulgences. Acting on this belief, he wrote the “Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences,” also known as “The 95 Theses,” a list of questions and propositions for debate. Popular legend has it that on October 31, 1517 Luther defiantly nailed a copy of his 95 Theses to the door of the Wittenberg Castle church. The reality was probably not so dramatic; Luther more likely hung the document on the door of the church matter-of-factly to announce the ensuing academic discussion around it that he was organizing. The 95 Theses, which would later become the foundation of the Protestant Reformation, were written in a remarkably humble and academic tone, questioning rather than accusing. The overall thrust of the document was nonetheless quite provocative. The first two of the theses contained Luther’s central idea, that God intended believers to seek repentance and that faith alone, and not deeds, would lead to salvation. The other 93 theses, a number of them directly criticizing the practice of indulgences, supported

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