Disputation of Doctor Martin Luther (Luthers 95 Theses at the Internet Christian Library) - Essay Example

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Luthers purpose of writing the “Disputation of Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgence” also known as 95 Theses was to reproach the materialism of the Church ("Martin Luther"). Hillerband said that Luther wrote his 95 Theses not to destroy the Catholic Church…
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Disputation of Doctor Martin Luther (Luthers 95 Theses at the Internet Christian Library)
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Illustrations of 95 Theses in the Context of Early Church Problems Luthers purpose of writing the “Disputation of Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgence” also known as 95 Theses was to reproach the materialism of the Church ("Martin Luther"). Hillerband said that Luther wrote his 95 Theses not to destroy the Catholic Church but to theoretically contend with Catholic practices and implicitly impose challenges to the church leaders (qtd. in Luther). Luthers writings sprung from his observations of the churchs malpractice of the Bible, which illustrated the selfish ruling of friars during the middle ages.
In most of his thesis statements, Luther compared the true Christian beliefs to the Church practices, especially ‘indulgences’ during his time. It can be observed that most practices contradicted the teachings of the Bible. During those times, the church appeared to be in an insurmountable difficulty as it was filled with leaders whose practices were revolving around low moral standards, profanity, and perversion of beliefs; the church exhausted every Germans money through taxes (Biesinger 20). When he went to Rome in 1510, he observed the unlikely personalities of friars and how they used indulgences for their personal consumption (Bratcher). Church leaders of Europe also lived a wealthy life while neglecting their duties. In addition, churches were designed with unnecessary work of arts and instruments called by Protestants an example of "pagan idolatry" ("Roman Catholic Church").
Another problem Luther pointed out in his 95 Theses was the concept of purgatory and indulgences. Luther highlighted in thesis 17 that purgatory should not be treated as a place of horror but of love (“Disputation of Doctor”). However, friars used the Catholic belief that dead individuals may ascend straight to heaven or may descend directly to hell while others had to repent in purgatory. Since people would be anxious of having to agonize in purgatory, the friars used ‘indulgences’ (Perry et al. 321). Indulgence was described as an absolution of the people’s confessed sins, which can either be bought for one’s self or the dead ("Martin Luther"). Luther indicated in thesis 21 that indulgence was a misconception of Christian belief. Further, he pointed in thesis 10 that there was no way for “canonical penances for purgatory” to be secured (“Disputation of Doctor”).
Likewise, Pope Leo X declared the "special jubilee indulgence" for the continuance of St. Peters Basilica construction (Spielvogel 381). A Dominican friar named Johann Tetzel went to Germany to market indulgences for the said construction, preaching that faith itself could not redeem a person – hence the need for charitable deeds like contributing money to the church (Luther). Tetzel further promoted indulgences by highlighting that the moment one’s money drop into the box, one can expect redemption from purgatory (Speilvogel 381). Luther criticized Tetzel by saying that only God can identify the outcomes of the prayers of the Church (“Disputation of Doctor”). In thesis 86, Luther presented this scenario through challenging the Pope to use his rich resources to build St. Peter’s Basilica (“Disputation of Doctor”).
Works Cited
Biesinger, Joseph. Germany: A Reference Guide from the Renaissance to the Present.
New York: Facts on File, Inc., 2006. Print.
Bratcher, Dennis. Ed. “The 95 Theses of Martin Luther (1517)”. The Voice. Christian
Resource Institute. 11 Nov. 2011. Web. 11 July 2012.
“Disputation of Doctor Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences.” Internet Christian Library. n.d. Web. 11 July 2012. .
Luther, Martin. The Ninety-Five Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences (95
Theses). Boston: MobileReference, 2010. Print.
"Martin Luther." Theopedia. Christian Web Foundation. 2010. Web. 11 July 2012.
Perry, Marvin, et. al. Western Civilization: Ideas, Politics, and Society. 10 ed. Boston:
Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2011. Print.
"Roman Catholic Church, Buildings and Religion." Invicta Media.
2000. Web. 11 July 2012.
Spielvogel, Jackson. Western Civilization. 8th Ed. Boston: Wadsworth Cengage
Learning, 2010. Print. Read More
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