Directions: you must choose ONE of the following and write a thorough, well-developed essay that draws upon specific examples from your readings and class notes. Be sure you have a specific thesis and that your essay is organized around that thesis. Essay should be double-spaced and typed (12 pt font) and will be due at the beginning of class on Tuesday, October 17th.
I picked this one:
According to the text, Luther did not ask new questions but offered new answers to old questions. What were these questions, and what were Luther’s answers? How were they new?
Ok what you guys have to do is read it and help me with the flow of the essay,etc. or just critique it. (It doesn't matter if you don't know anything about Luther.
The most influential man of all-time in Religion: Martin Luther was the original founder of Protestantism. The word derives from the protest draw up by a group of reforming German princes at the Diet of Speyer in 1529. Once again, at first the term “Protestant” referred to the Lutheran religion but after new ideas and beliefs were discovered it was applied to all non-Catholic Christians. The Confession of Augsburg, in 1530, was summoned to “officially” formulate Lutheran ideas. Martin Luther’s ideas of justification by faith, authority of the Bible, and idea of the equality of every individual were the basis for his teachings and writings; he believed that faith in God and knowledge of his Words was the most worthy thing a man could posses.
Of the four basic questions that Luther answered, the most important and prolific one was the idea of “justification by faith.” The traditional Catholic belief was that salvation is achieved by both faith and good works. The “good works” led to many interpretations by corrupted clergy men or the papacy. They used this to earn profit for themselves such as the sale of indulgences. His argument of salvation by faith and faith alone can be found in his treatise On Christian Liberty. In it he wrote: “What can it profit to the soul that the body should be in good condition, free, and full of life, that it should eat, drink, and act according to its pleasure, when even the most impious slaves of every kind of vice are prosperous in these matters?” He felt that no good works would please the soul or God. These answers greatly opposed centuries of church policies and teachings. There were few popes, cardinals, or bishops who believed that good works did not achieve salvation. Of all the church teachings and oppositions, the most important and debatable issue was the question of salvation. Even in his earlier years Martin Luther only received temporary relief from sins and “God’s demands” from confessions and fasts. Luther believed in only God and faith in God, nothing else compensates for faith in Christ.
The issue that was discussed and written about the most was the issue of the superiority of the Bible and Scriptures. A question that aroused ever since the peasants and middle-class began to revolt was where the religious authority resided. The traditional Christian doctrine believed it belonged both to the Bible and the teaching of the church. Martin Luther believed in the concept of sola scriputura or “scripture alone.” It meant that the authority of the church was only valid if the doctrine or issue was in the scriptures. The sale of indulgences once again opposed this belief of Luther. He believed the word of God was the greatest thing on earth. In the treatise On Christian Liberty, he wrote, “Having the Word, it is rich and wants for nothing, since that is the Word of life, of truth, of light, of peace, of justification, of salvation, of joy, of liberty, of wisdom, of virtue, of grace, of glory, and of every good thing…” This new concept was very radical for his time, because during the period the church had as equal if not more power than kings. The pope was the most powerful and “respected” man in the known world, and this peasant miner’s son disagreed with his authority! Luther believed that people should read the scriptures for themselves, so he was implying not to trust words of the church. Luther believed in not doing what the church teaches to you but just trust the word of God and Christ.
Martin Luther’s next questions that he answered were the meaning of the church and the highest form of church life. Medieval churchmen and mostly everyone else had defined the church as only the clergy. Luther believed that the church was composed of the entire community of Christian believers. In the Middle Ages it was almost common sense the church included only the clergymen and nobles; peasants and the middle class were separate from this distinguished class. Luther’s belief of the church being universal undermined the respected church clergy as just being workers for the church and not the church itself. His answer of the age-old question of what the highest form of church life is was very popular to the middle-class and peasants; this belief of all vocations being equal allowed Luther to gain tremendous support from the lower classes. Catholic teaching stated that religious and monastic life was superior to secular. He stated, “It will be no profit that the body should be adorned with sacred vestment, or dwell in holy places, or be occupied in sacred offices.” Luther cared not of any good works or occupations if the people didn’t truly have faith in god. Martin Luther stated in his treatise On Christian Liberty: “And since faith alone justifies, it is evident that by no outward work or labor can the inward man be at all justified, made free, and saved and that no works whatever have any relation to him… Therefore the first care of every Christian ought to be to lay aside all reliance on works, and strength his faith alone more and more, and by if grow in knowledge, not of works, but of Christ Jesus, who has suffered and risen again for him.” In summary, Martin Luther believed that faith not a certain occupation allows man to achieve salvation; and any man can be saved by living a simple life of faith.
Martin Luther was a man who taught himself well in religion throughout his life. Any fasting or works didn’t help him achieve bliss. His ideas of salvation through faith, belief of scriptures alone, and the idea of each individual being equal to God’s eyes demonstrated his hatred of contemporary church beliefs. What first sparked his revolt was the sale of indulgences; in fact everything he spoke about disagreed with the whole idea. Luther’s works were very popular to many Christians, regardless of class. The founding father of Protestantism paved the way for other reformers to try and change the church and the corruptions in it.
The bolded thing is the thesis, I need something that summarizes everything that i talked about.
Any help is fine