Martin Luther Essay, Research Paper
Luther, Martin (1483-1546), was a German theologian and religious reformer, who initiated the Protestant Reformation, and whose vast influence, extending beyond religion to politics, economics, education, and language, has made him one of the crucial figures in modern European history. Luther was not the regular theologian; viewing things systematically, but rather enjoyed his work immensely, observing every aspect. I believe the New Testament law and 4th or 5th century theologians inspired him.
Luther was born in Eisleben, Germany, the son of Hans Luther, who worked in the copper mines, and his wife Margarethe. He went to school at Magdeburg and Eisenach, and entered the University of Erfurt in 1501, graduating with a BA in 1502 and an MA in 1505. His father wished him to be a lawyer, but Luther was drawn to the study of the Scriptures, and spent three years in the Augustinian monastery at Erfurt. This matter upset the town, including his friends and his appalled father. Brief brushes with death soon followed, giving Luther time to think. In 1508 Johann von Staupitz, vicar-general of the Augustinians and a friend and counselor, assigned him to be ordained a priest, and went to the University of Wittenberg, where he lectured on philosophy and the Scriptures, becoming a powerful and influential preacher. This was a key victory in Martin Luther?s history. In Wittenberg, he received a BA degree and studied more on the art of Monks, before returning to his primary base of operations Erfurt.
As Time passed, Martin grew heavily in the ministry and decided to outreach In Rome. Here, he began what historians refer to as the ?Protestant Reformation?. Arriving at Rome for a scheduled mission trip, he was disgusted by what he saw. Corruption lay everywhere. In Rome, Martin Luther brought together the prime ideas to his Christian faith. Money was needed immensely at the time for the rebuilding of St Peter’s, and papal emissaries sought everywhere to raise funds by the sale of indulgences. The system was grossly abused, and Luther’s indignation at the shameless traffic, carried on in particular by the Dominican Johann Tetzel, became irrepressible. Here, some of his death-brushes took place.
Sometime during his study of the New Testament in preparation for his lectures, he came to believe that Christians are saved not through their own efforts but by the gift of God’s grace, which they accept in faith. As professor of biblical exegesis at Wittenberg (1512–46), he began to preach the doctrine of salvation by faith rather than works; and on 31 October 1517 drew up a list of 95 theses on indulgences denying the pope any right to forgive sins, and nailed them on the church door at Wittenberg. These decisions turned him against major tenets of the Catholic Church. Tetzel retreated from Saxony to Frankfurt-an-der-Oder, where he published a set of counter-theses and burnt Luther’s. The Wittenberg students retaliated by burning Tetzel’s, and in 1518 Melanchthon joined Luther in his views. Distributing his theses in German, Luther’s spirited defense and further development of his position through public university debates in Wittenberg and other cities resulted in an investigation by the Roman Curia. As the Pope and his subservient evaluated Luther?s thesis, they became enraged at his imposing views, since Luther attacked the papal system. This hearing and some bold decision and audacious acts transpired by Martin soon led to a prolonged condemnation in the 1520?s, and a swift excommunication a year later.
Returning to Wittenberg, his main base of operations, he gathered a small congregation and taught his findings in their midst. Banned from many other countries because of his teachings and exploitations, Luther was a strong man. Not only did he challenge the system as a whole, he faced every theologian willing to debate with hem, and though never willing their hearts, he gained their respect. In the midst of his struggles, he married Katharina von Boraand led a dutiful life. After his basic theologies were written in some earlier books (To the Christian Nobility, 1520; The Babylonian Captivity of the Church, 1520; and more), he published his most popular book, the Small Catechism, in 1529. Roaming from city to city, he expanded his teachings. During these times, he created his group entitled Lutheranism, streaming straight from the Bible and into the hearts of many.
By 1537, Luther’s time was at an end. His health had slowly declined, and he had taken many strides to convert others? philosophy of Christ. Finally ending the good fight for faith, Luther died a restful and steadfast death in Eisleben on February 18, 1546, and was buried at Wittenberg. A creature gifted with incredible intelligence, energy, and loyalty, he was a spiritual giant. His philosophical intuitions helped others much like Jesus?.
I perceived Martin Luther as an incredible apostle. Martin Luther dealt the symbolic blow that began the Reformation when he nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of the Wittenberg Church. That document contained an attack on papal abuses and the sale of indulgences by church officials.
But, Luther himself saw the Reformation as something far more important than a revolt against ecclesiastical abuses. He believed it was a fight for the gospel. Luther even stated that he would have happily yielded every point of dispute to the Pope, if only the Pope had affirmed the gospel.
And at the heart of the gospel, in Luther’s estimation, was the doctrine of justification by faith–the teaching that Christ’s own righteousness is imputed to those who believe, and on that ground alone, God accepts them. Luther avowed that Christian theology with his full heart, something that I admire incredibly. Recognizing the theology of the cross rather than a theology of glory, he persuaded human beings to not apprehend God by means of philosophy or moral principles, but to go deeper. He wanted his followers to let God be God and see him only where he chooses to make himself known. Thus, Luther stressed that God reveals his wisdom through the foolishness of preaching, his power through suffering, and the secret of meaningful life through Christ’s death on the cross. This was his message, and what a glorious one indeed.