The Reformation all began in the fall of 1517. It was the eve of All Saints’ Day, 31 October 1517. On this day a professor of biblical studies Martin Luther at newly founded University of Wittenberg in Germany. He stated his arguments in the 95 Theses. They were heavily academic, and moderate in tone, the news of this spread like wildfire throughout Europe. Within a fortnight university’s and religious center were agog with excitement. Marvelled that a monk from an unknown university stirred the whole of Europe. The 95 Theses were not by any means intended to call the reformation.
They were simply a proposal from a earnest university professor, he discusses the theology of indulgences, in the light of the errors and abuses that have grown over the centuries. The dealing of the holy trade had grown into scandal. Luther wanted to oppose that all the additions and perversions of indulgences, that were harmful to human salvation and infected in everyday practice of the church. Medieval people were a very dread of the period of punishment in purgatory which was portrayed in detail by the church. Medieval people had no great fear of hell, they believed that, if they died forgiven and blessed by the priest, they were guaranteed aces through heaven’s gates, which they thought the key was held by the church. They feared purgatory’s pain.
The church thought that before you got to heaven you had to be cleansed of all your sins you have ever committed in your life time. Luther nailed his 95 theses on the door of the Castel Church, were reckoned to earn a remission for pilgrims of 1,902,202 years and 270 days! Luther saw that trade in indulgences was wholly unwarranted by scripture, reason or tradition. It encouraged people in their sin, and turned their mind away from Christ and from god’s forgiveness. At this point Luther’s theology was the same as the churches. The church and everyday practice of Christianity was feed up with Luther’s challenge to the pope. The Christian part of Europe will never be the same.
Luther was finally outlawed by the Emperor Charles V at worms in 1521. He found his sole support in God as he stood against the pope and the Emperor. Over the next twenty-five years he published book after book. He wrote powerful Christian books in German, and also translates the bible. The reason he translates the bible to enable people to see the truth of his arguments. He also wrote accounts of his disputes with Rome, so people could see the truth for themselves. He put ordinary people on theological feet.
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