However, Luther phrased his criticism to suggest that the pope might be ignorant of the abuses and at any rate should be given the benefit of the doubt.Tags: Someone Write Me A Cover LetterComputer Science Thesis ProjectParkinson'S Essay ConclusionIndividual Problem Solving ActivitiesStrategy And Implementation Business PlanThesis On MusicBhopal Gas Disaster Case StudyCan A Question Be Used As A Thesis Statement
Luther was calling the pope and those in power to repent—on no authority but the convictions he’d gained from Scripture—and urged the leaders of the indulgences movement to direct their gaze to Christ, the only one able to pay the penalty due for sin.
Of all the portions of the document, Luther’s closing is perhaps the most memorable for its exhortation to look to Christ rather than to the church’s power: 93.
At the same time, the church became more and more uncomfortable with the radical Luther and, in the following decades, the spark that he made grew into a flame of reformation that spread across Europe.
Luther was ordered by the church to recant in 1520 and was eventually exiled in 1521.
Regarding justification, he taught we are saved solely through faith in Jesus Christ because of God’s grace and Christ’s merit.
We are neither saved by our merits nor declared righteous by our good works.Although the Ninety-five Theses doesn’t explicitly lay out a Protestant theology or agenda, it contains the seeds of the most important beliefs of the movement, especially the priority of grasping and applying the gospel.Luther developed his critique of the Roman Catholic Church out of his struggle with doubt and guilt as well as his pastoral concern for his parishioners.That fact combined with the intended audience and largely academic tone of the writing indicates Luther didn’t write the document for mass consumption. Regardless, it was translated into the common Germanic language of Saxony and was reportedly posted on the door of the Schlosskirche (the Castle Church of Wittenberg) on October 31, 1517.Luther’s Ninety-five Theses focuses on three main issues: selling forgiveness (via indulgences) to build a cathedral, the pope’s claimed power to distribute forgiveness, and the damage indulgences caused to grieving sinners.That his concern was pastoral (rather than trying to push a private agenda) is apparent from the document.He didn’t believe (at this point) that indulgences were altogether a bad idea; he just believed they were misleading Christians regarding their spiritual state: 41.Hail, hail to all those prophets who say to Christ’s people, “The cross, the cross,” where there is no cross. Christians should be exhorted to be zealous to follow Christ, their Head, through penalties, deaths, and hells. And let them thus be more confident of entering heaven through many tribulations rather than through a false assurance of peace.In the years following his initial posting of the theses, Luther became emboldened in his resolve and strengthened his arguments with Scripture.Papal indulgences must be preached with caution, lest people erroneously think that they are preferable to other good works of love. Christians are to be taught that he who gives to the poor or lends to the needy does a better deed than he who buys indulgences. Because love grows by works of love, man thereby becomes better.Man does not, however, become better by means of indulgences but is merely freed from penalties.