HOW DID THE
WHO IS MARTIN LUTHER?
He was the leader of the Protestant
Reformation. His teachings became the
Cornerstone of the church that bears his name.
Throughout his career, Luther was torn by inner
turmoil. If man was ruled by sin, how
could he hope to gain redemption in the eyes of God? On
The 3 basic ideas of the 95 Theses were:
1) PROTEST against the abuse of papal authority;
2) CHALLENGE to the Pope – if he controls Purgatory, why not empty it for free?
3) DENIAL – of the “extra merit” theory behind indulgences. The “True treasury” of the church is the GOSPEL – the proclamation of God’s mercy.
The Church ordered Luther to appear in hearing to answer charges of heresy. Luther refused to recant his views. Luther argued that the papacy was of human, not Divine origin and quickly became a national figure.
As reform ideas spread, the Pope’s answer was to
threaten Luther with excommunication unless he recanted and subsequently was in
January 1521 at the age of 38. In June
of 1525 Martin married Katharina von Bora, a former nun whom he had sheltered
While Luther remained in protective hiding, he pursued reforms in Christian doctrine and practice. These included recognizing the Bible as God’s Word, the true source of doctrine; popularizing Holy Baptism and the Lord’s Supper as the chief sacraments; producing a vernacular liturgy and translating the Bible into German.
Martin Luther published almost 400 works, including Biblical commentaries, catechisms, sermons and tracts. He wrote many hymns and continued to teach and preach. Luther died from a stroke in 1546 at the age of 63.
WHAT DOES ELCA MEAN?