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Martin Luther And John Calvin Essay Research

Martin Luther And John Calvin Essay, Research Paper Martin Luther and John Calvin were both very important leaders of the Protestant Reformation. Although they were both against the Roman Catholic Church, they

Martin Luther And John Calvin Essay, Research Paper

Martin Luther and John Calvin were both very important leaders of the Protestant

Reformation. Although they were both against the Roman Catholic Church, they

brought about very different ideas in religion. Martin Luther founded the group

that are today known as Lutherans. He was ordained a priest in 1507. He dealt

with questions dealing with the structure of the church and with its moral

values. These questions were important in Luther’s eyes, but the most important

was how to find favor with God. Luther tried to pray, fast, and repent, but he

never felt self-satisfaction. He eventually concluded that God’s love was not a

prize or a reward to be earned or won, but a gift to be accepted. Luther further

concluded that until man stops trying to achieve God’s favor through his own

achievements he cannot truly understand God’s grace. Luther also had the idea

that one did not need a priest to talk to God, he believed that one could pray

and repent without the help of anyone else. This was the idea for which Luther

became famous. In 1517, Luther was involved in a controversy which involved

indulgences. Indulgences were the idea that a person could donate money to a

worthy cause in exchange for forgiveness of their sins. Luther opposed this idea

and stated his beliefs in his Ninety-Five Thesis, which he posted on the castle

door in Wittenberg, Germany. In 1519, Luther had a debate in Leipzig with Johann

Eck, a Roman Catholic theologian. During this debate, Luther denied the

supremacy of the Pope and stated that church councils could make mistakes. In

1521, Luther was excommunicated by Pope Leo X. Luther was then ordered to appear

before a council which demanded that he retract his teachings. Luther intern

stated that unless he was inspired to do so by scripture he would not

"since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience."

Possible the most important contribution of Luther to society was his

translation of the Bible into German. This made it possible for those who were

not fluent in Greek to study the Word of God. Luther also wrote another

influential work, Small Catechism of 1529, which was also known as the layman’s

Bible. It summarized Christian beliefs into clear, simple language and told how

they should live. During the Reformation, Luther discovered that he had founded

a new church. He complained that his name should not be given to a group whose

name should only be taken from Christ; but Lutherans still believe in the

doctrines he originated. John Calvin teachings were especially influential in

Switzerland, England, Scotland, and colonial North America. Calvin’s followers

in France were known as the Huguenots, and in England they were know as the

Puritans. During the Reformation, the people were insisting that anyone, not

just the hierarchy, be involved in political and religious policy making. This

inspired Calvin’s teachings. The Calvinists developed political theories that

supported constitutional government, representative government, the right of

people to change their government, and the separation of civil and church

government. The Calvanists originally intended these ideas to apply to the

aristocracy, but democracy eventually arose in England and America. Calvin’s

basic religious beliefs were the superiority of faith over good works, universal

priesthood of all believers, and the Bible as the basis of all Christian

teachings. The concept of universal priesthood was that all believers were

considered priests. This was unlike the Roman Catholic Church which had various

ranks of priests. Calvin also believed that men could only be saved by the grace

of God. He believed that only the Elect would be saved and that no one knew who

the Elect were. He also believed in Predestination, which is the idea that your

entire life is already planned for you. Many of Calvin’s ideas were

controversial, but he improved the morals of the Church drastically. Calvin

developed the pattern of church government that is today known as Presbyterian.

Martin Luther and John Calvin achieved great results, but went about it in

different ways. Luther was more concerned with his own spirituality, and

therefore set an example by changing himself. Calvin on the other hand, was more

concerned with changing society and the government. They both believed in being

saved through God’s grace, but Calvin believed in Predestination and the Elect.

Martin Luther and John Calvin were both key assets Protestant Reformation.

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