Uploaded by masone4718 on Nov 28, 2004
The Protestant Reformation, which lasted from the early-1500s to the mid-1600s, was caused by society noticing weaknesses in the Catholic Church. Such people as Martin Luther and John Calvin exposed these weaknesses to society and started a widespread reform of the Catholic Church. Although the Reformation originally aimed to “renew” the Church, it evolved into a great revolt against it, and thus The Protestant Reformation should be viewed as a theological revolutionary movement.
One of the major problems of the Church that people had was the sale of indulgences. In a letter to the Archbishop of Mainz, Martin Luther stated that works of “piety and love are infinitely better than indulgences, and yet these are not preached with such ceremony or such zeal.” Luther feels that if it is the “first and sole duty” of bishops to preach the Gospel, and yet if Christ never taught that indulgences should be preached, then why do the bishops permit the teachings of the Gospel to be unheard, and indulgences to still be sold. Martin Luther asserted in his first 2, of 95, theses that Jesus Christ willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance, and yet if an entire life be “one of repentance”, then why do the clergy administer the sacrament of penance, and confession and satisfaction. In “Against Catholicism” by Martin Luther, Luther shows his position on the pope. Luther says that the reason he abolished his reverence of the pope was because the pope obtained authority over every aspect of the Christian Church. Luther agrees with the idea of having the pope as head of the Church on earth, if he only taught the gospel “pure and clear”, and not introduced “human inventions and lies in its stead.” Luther believes that the pope took upon him “power, rule, and authority” over the Church, and over the Holy Scriptures and the Word of God, and Luther feels that no man should try to expound the Scriptures, and the pope doing this was not to be endured.
Another leader of the Reformation was John Calvin. In the Doctrine of Predestination, Calvin stated that God has already determined whom he would admit to salvation, and whom he would condemn to the torments of hell. Calvin feels that nothing the human beings may do can alter their fate, and that their...