Martin Luther and His Impact on the Modern Church

Topics: Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther, Pope Pages: 11 (3815 words) Published: June 25, 2013
MARTIN LUTHER AND HIS IMPACT ON THE MODERN CHURCH

NAME OF STUDENT: SHONDA M. CURB
L23934605
CHHI 525-B09 LUO
DR. JEFF BRAWNER
MARCH 07, 2012

TABLE OF CONTENTS
COVER PAGE............................................................................................................1 TABLE OF CONTENTS............................................................................................2 INTRODUCTION.......................................................................................................3 THE STATE OF THE CHURCH..............................................................................3 MARTIN LUTHER.....................................................................................................4 JUSTIFICATION........................................................................................................5 SCRIPTURAL AUTHORITY....................................................................................6 LUTHER’S THESES...................................................................................................7 THE REFORMATION................................................................................................8 THE PROTESTANT REFORMATION....................................................................8 THE SWISS REFORMATION...................................................................................8 CONCLUSION………………………….....................................................................8

INTRODUCTION
Western Europe was in desperate need of change during the sixteenth century. The popular cry among the Europeans was a call for “reform”. The political atmosphere was unstable as a result of violent leadership changes during the dismantling of the feudal system. This disunity of the people created a general atmosphere among the Europeans of discontent, unrest, and frustration. Economically, the inhabitants experienced increased poverty and financial troubles. The church was severely plagued by greed and corruption among the clergy, even in the upper echelons. The spiritual quality of the clergy was being degraded through the appointment of familial or political candidates. The theological minds, like Martin Luther’s, sought a reformation of church doctrine and a return to the basics of Christianity. The emphasis placed on Luther’s doctrine of justification and scriptural authority helped to reform church traditions and break the binding hold of corrupt leaders over the church. THE STATE OF THE CHURCH

The sixteenth century was a tumultuous time for Western Europe and the Church. Many Europeans were fraught with worry concerning the economical, religious, and social disorder. As the printing press became popular, the middle and lower classes were being flooded with information that had previously been unavailable; several competing doctrines were being given a voice through printed media. Previously, people would turn to religious institutions for hope and guidance amidst this type of chaos. However, the state of the church in the sixteenth century was fragile. This is due in part to the effects of the Great Schism in the fourteenth century. “[The Great Schism] divided the political, as well as the ecclesiastical world, and breaks up the Christian Europe into several hostile camps”.

The Great Schism was a result of a gradual decline along political and theological lines. Prior to the Great Schism, the Papacy had risen to a level of prominence in the hearts and minds of Western European Christians. The Church controlled virtually every aspect of human life within Western Europe and the Pope was looked to as the authority on all matters; spiritual and secular. The Church possessed a large percentage of the region and had established one of the most efficient systems of government in history. At this time, theological justification for the supremacy of the papacy had been established under the principle of “the subordination of the state to...

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