Martin Luther

Martin Luther (1483, 1546) was a German monk, a theologian and church reformer, he is considered to be the founder of Protestantism. Luther was a professor of Bible at the University of Wittenberg when he posted his famous 95 Theses (1517). In addition to writing many books, Luther translated the Bible into German. Luther believed that salvation was only by faith in Jesus, unmediated by the church. He challenged papal authority by emphasing the Bible as the only source of religious authority and believed the church to be a priesthood of all believers.These ideas helped to inspire the Protestant Reformation and changed the course of Western civilization. He married Katharina von Bora thus initiating the practice of clerical marriage within Protestantism.
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This edition of the Bondage of the Will was translated by Henry Cole in 1823. "Free will was no academic question to Luther; the whole Gospel of the grace of God, he held, was bound up with it, and stood or fell according to the way one decided it . . . . It is not the part of a true theologian, Luther holds, to be unconcerned, or to pretend to be unconcerned, when the Gospel is in danger . . . . The doctrine of the Bondage of the Will in particular was the corner-stone of the Gospel and the foundation of faith'' (40-41, emphasis added). ''In particular, the denial of free will was to Luther the foundation of the Biblical doctrine of grace, and a hearty endorsement of that denial was the first step for anyone who would understand the Gospel and come to faith in God. The man who has not yet practically and experimentally learned the bondage of his will in sin has not yet comprehended any part of the Gospel" "Justification by faith only is a truth that needs interpretation. The principle of sola fide [by faith alone] is not rightly understood till it is seen as anchored in the broader principle of sola gratia [by grace alone]; . . . for to rely on one's self for faith is not different in principle from relying on one's self for works" The Bible teaches that faith itself is and has to be, a gift of God, by grace, and not of self (Ephesians 2:8). It is safe to deduce that for Luther, any evangelist who advocates free will has not only ''not yet comprehended any part of the Gospel, '' but also that he has not yet preached the Gospel at all; his is a counterfeit gospel.Luther was ordered to recant his teachings on threat of excommunication. Luther thundered, ''Unless I am convinced by Scriptures and plain reason [for Luther, this meant logic], my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything. Here I stand, I can do no other!" [From a review in The Trinity Review] Martin Luther (1483-1546) shattered the structure of the Medieval Church by demanding that the authority for doctrine and practice be the Scriptures rather than popes or councils, and ignited the famous Protestant Reformation. The Roman Catholic hierarchy could not refute his logic, so they attempted to have him killed. But he was protected by Frederic. It has been said that more books have been written about Luther than about any other person except Jesus Christ. 164 pages, hard cover
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