Martin Luther's "On Christian Liberty"

Essay by LL94588University, Bachelor'sA+, September 2006

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Overview: Martin Luther, father of the Protestant Reformation (1483 - 1546). Luther's reforms not only brought about another religion but also a new era. At this time period, if one spoke out against the church, he/she was considered to be an outsider, which is what Luther eventually became. Trying to change the bad habits and rid the Church of its bad reputation, Luther's ideas were in conflict with the Church and mounting support made him a well-known revolutionary. On September 6, 1520, Luther persuaded to write On Christian Liberty to assure Pope Leo X that his efforts to split the church were not a personal attack. His legacy continues today in the Lutheran denominations around the world.

Interpretive Questions:

1) What motivated Luther to take on his plight? Did he consider himself to be a preacher, a teacher, or a mediator?

* "To make the way smoother for the unlearned - for only them do I serve - I shall set down the following two propositions concerning the freedom and bondage of the spirit: A Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none.

A Christian if a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all." (Luther, Page 2).

* "Let us then consider it certain and firmly established that the soul can do without anything except the Word of God and that where the Word of God is missing there is no help at all for the soul. If it has the Word of God it is rich and lacks nothing since it is the Word of life, truth, light, peace, righteousness, salvation, joy, liberty, wisdom, power, grace, glory, and of every incalculable blessing. This is why the prophet in the entire Psalm [119] and in many other places yearns and sighs for the Word of God...