Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Reformation


Martin Luther_Cranach


Martin Luther (b. November 10, 1483, in Eisleben, Germany, d. February 18, 1546 in Eisleben) is known as the Father of Protestantism. He had studied to become a lawyer before becoming an Augustinian monk in 1505, and was ordained a priest in 1507. While continuing his studies in pursuit of a Doctor of Theology degree, he discovered significant differences between what he read in the Bible and the theology and practices of the church. On October 31, 1517, he posted a challenge on the church door at Wittenberg University to debate 95 theological issues. Luther's hope was that the church would reform its practice and preaching to be more consistent with the Word of God as contained in the Bible.
What started as an academic debate escalated to a religious war, fueled by fiery temperaments and violent language on both sides. As a result, there was not a reformation of the church but a separation. "Lutheran" was a name applied to Luther and his followers as an insult but adopted as a badge of honor by them instead.
Lutherans still celebrate the Reformation on October 31 and still hold to the basic principles of theology and practice espoused by Luther, such as Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Sola Scriptura:
o We are saved by the grace of God alone -- not by anything we do;
o Our salvation is through faith alone -- we only need to believe that our sins are forgiven for Christ's sake, who died to redeem us;
o The Bible is the only norm of doctrine and life -- the only true standard by which teachings and doctrines are to be judged.
Another of Luther's principles was that Scriptures and worship need to be in the language of the people.
Many Lutherans still consider themselves as a reforming movement within the Church catholic, rather than a separatist movement, and Lutherans have engaged in ecumenical dialogue with other church bodies for decades. In fact, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has entered into cooperative "full communion" agreements with several other Protestant denominations.

Luther's Small Catechism, which contains teachings on the Ten Commandments, the Apostles' Creed, the Lord's Prayer, Holy Baptism, Confession and Absolution, Holy Communion and Morning and Evening Prayers, is still used to introduce people to the Lutheran faith, as is the Augsburg Confession.

From the teachings of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...


Hey J_G. Very sorry about your blog loss. I don't know how it happened...I guess I was lucky when I switched to beta. My other friends are having problems though.

I'm Mormon, myself. But I have an incredible amount of respect for Luther.

J_G said...

B-hip, I was brought up Presbyterian and learned about Calvin more than Martin Luther. I'm now a Lutheran and I belong to a very good church filled with very caring and down to earth people. We discuss Martin Luther quite often. The man is just like any other man though. Martin Luther did some great things and he had some serious flaws too. The bottom line though was Martin Luther did the things he did because of his faith in Christ and not for his own aggrandizement.

I know the history of the Mormon Church B-Hip. Mitt Romney, Governor of Massachusetts is Mormon. Although I don't belong to that faith I have the utmost respect for their perseverance and survival from the attacks that were made on them, even from the US Army.

shoprat said...

I think Luther was one of the greatest men ever. When I was studying for the ministry, we spent weeks going over him. He had guts and faith; he wasn't perfect but he was a truly great one. Too many today would have given up after two or three days but he persevered real persecution.

Helder Herik - said...

muito bom, parabens. um abraço

LJG aka Pennsylvania Independent said...

I have been reading quite a bit on the Maccabees. I enjoy reading about the ancient Hebrew tribes.
The only thing I know about Martin Luther is he began the Protestant movement in Europe.

J_G said...

Pennsy, Martin Luther was the one that started protestantism. He changed the world and turned it in a completely new direction in the early 16th century.

Every age has someone so revolutionary they change the direction of whole civilations and Martin Luther was the revolutionary for his age.

J_G said...

Helder Herik, I believe the language you have posted in is portugese. I think I understand the meaning of your comment but correct me if I am wrong.
muito bom, parabens. um abraço =
"very good, parabens. one I hug".

Meaning, I have respect for Martin Luther or the post about him. ????

L>T said...

I have alot of respect for Martin Luther. His revolutionary ideas sparked the imagination & helped usher in the birth of the modern mind.