Martin King Paper

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Martin Luther was a man of solid belief and determination, inherited perhaps from his father, perhaps from his experiences as an Augustinian monk, but in either case, this determination drove his adamancy concerning certain doctrines of the faith that he held as especially important to legitimate Christianity. Luther was born on November 10th, 1483 to a very religious man, Hans Luther, who began his climb of the social ladder working in a mine and eventually obtaining ownership of several mines.1 Hans Luther purposed that his son should study to become a lawyer, but was disappointed when Martin joined a monastery of the Augustinian order.2 After many internal spiritual struggles over sin and redemption, disillusionments over the indulgences and relics of Rome, and searching for answers in Scripture, Luther found a passage in Romans that reformed his worldview.3 Luther embraced the Apostle Paul’s concept of “justification by faith,”4 which fueled Luther’s eventual rejection of Catholicism and fierce opposition to it and its practices. In Luther’s consideration of sin and salvation, as one biographer puts it, “There is… something much more drastically wrong with man than any particular list of offenses which can be enumerated, confessed, and forgiven. The very nature of man is corrupt.”5 Likewise, what Luther himself considered one of his greatest writings, “The Bondage of the Will,” dealt exactly with this issue, that man was not only exceptionally sinful, but also incapable of finding or obtaining salvation on his own.6 This belief drove Luther to oppose the Catholic Church in several important ways, the first being when Luther posted ninety-five theses on the church door in Wittenberg in 1517, which were direct challenges to Catholic doctrines.7 This escalated to an intellectual and sometimes violent war between Luther and his followers and the adherents to the Catholic Church.8 Martin Luther’s adamant position concerning the bondage of the human will to sin and...
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