Dr. Martin Luther

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MichelleTherese

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I’ve been reading the book “The Facts About Luther” and holy cow is it a shock! Any protestant that praises the Protestant Reformation in any way, big or small, needs to read this book and get the facts straight. Here’s a good one for you: We all know the “reason” for Luther’s 95 Thesis was the “abuse of indulgences”, right? Guess what? *There were no abuses of indulgences taking place!!! *Just another lie perpetuated through history, so much so that even Catholics repeat it. It’s insane.

Anyone that wants to really know the reasons for Luther’s revolt and anyone that wants to understand the Protestant Reformation should read “Facts about Luther” and “Characters of the Reformation”, both available from Tan Books. There’s so much that we don’t truly know. And we Catholics often beileve the lies that have been spread about “abuses in the Church” and such that never existed. Ignorance leads many to abandon Mother Church.
 
Thanks for the book tip!

Our good host, Karl Keating, takes apart the Luther legend in his book Catholicism and Fundamentalism, including the fact that Luther intentionally mistranslated a key part of the NT to further his “justification” theology. HW Crocker also has a few things to say about the Mad Monk in Triumph - The Power and the Glory of the Catholic Church.
 
Luther was a character, that’s for sure. Sometimes pious, sometimes a womanizer, a drunk and often venemous. I’d be suspicious of any book, though Catholic or otherwise that says no indulgence abuses took place. They weren’t sold by Pope Pius X as many claim. Catholic historians have said there were abuses, though. They weren’t as bad as Luther claimed, though. I’m no expert on Church history, but I have several Catholic Church History books, and they say abuse occured. How much and by whom is another story, though. Did that book on Luther say no abuses took place?
 
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MichelleTherese:
I’ve been reading the book “The Facts About Luther” and holy cow is it a shock! Any protestant that praises the Protestant Reformation in any way, big or small, needs to read this book and get the facts straight. Here’s a good one for you: We all know the “reason” for Luther’s 95 Thesis was the “abuse of indulgences”, right? Guess what? *There were no abuses of indulgences taking place!!! *Just another lie perpetuated through history, so much so that even Catholics repeat it. It’s insane.

Anyone that wants to really know the reasons for Luther’s revolt and anyone that wants to understand the Protestant Reformation should read “Facts about Luther” and “Characters of the Reformation”, both available from Tan Books. There’s so much that we don’t truly know. And we Catholics often beileve the lies that have been spread about “abuses in the Church” and such that never existed. Ignorance leads many to abandon Mother Church.
I am sure it was written by someone objective, right? Get another book. Perhaps one of the classic biographies on Luther. Go to some primary sources and compare and contrast. That is what intellectual honestly requires. He was no peach but he was reaacting to decades of corruption. Please don’t read one biased book and say there were no abuses. That is a historical absurdity. Read about Johann Tetzel from a historian. Even an honest Catholic one. But please don’t form an opinion based on one book that is clearly biased.

Mel
 
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MichelleTherese:
We all know the “reason” for Luther’s 95 Thesis was the “abuse of indulgences”, right? Guess what? *There were no abuses of indulgences taking place!!! *Just another lie perpetuated through history, so much so that even Catholics repeat it. It’s insane.

.
I don’t know who wrote the book. But the abuses DID happen. The practices were wrong, but the teaching is right (altough some distorted the teaching at that time)
 
The Barrister:
Thanks for the book tip!

Our good host, Karl Keating, takes apart the Luther legend in his book Catholicism and Fundamentalism, including the fact that Luther intentionally mistranslated a key part of the NT to further his “justification” theology. HW Crocker also has a few things to say about the Mad Monk in Triumph - The Power and the Glory of the Catholic Church.
Luther added the word “alone” after the word “faith” to one verse because it was the only way to properly translate the phrase into German. The idea that he added a word for the sake of adding one to further his theology can be refuted by any one who knows basic German. There is nothing more to it.

In Romans 3:28 where Luther translated it into German as: “So halten wir nun dafuer, dass der Mensch gerecht werde ohne des Gesetzes Werke, ALLEIN durch den Glauben.” The in caps ALLEIN (eng. alone) is the alleged offense. But this fits with the German idiom as you will see below.

*An Open Letter of Translating * by Luther (in 1530). This translation is by Gary Mann on the Project Wittenberg site. Please excuse Luthers polemical tone.

“I also know that in Rom. 3, the word “solum” is not present in either Greek or Latin text - the papists did not have to teach me that - it is fact! The letters s-o-l-a are not there. And these knotheads stare at them like cows at a new gate, while at the same time they do not recognize that it conveys the sense of the text-if the translation is to be clear and accurate, it belongs there. I wanted to speak German since it was German I had spoken in translation - not Latin or Greek. But it is the nature of our language that in speaking about two things, one which is affirmed, the other denied, we use the word “solum” only along with the word “not” (nicht) or “no” (kein). For example, we say “the farmer brings only (allein) grain and no money”; or “No, I really have no money, but only (allein) grain”; I have only eaten and not yet drunk”; “Did you write it only and not read it over?”

So you see the whole issue is based on ignorance of German grammatical structure.

Mel
 
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Melchior:
Luther added the word “alone” after the word “faith” to one verse because it was the only way to properly translate the phrase into German. The idea that he added a word for the sake of adding one to further his theology can be refuted by any one who knows basic German. There is nothing more to it.
Luther’s polemic aside, salvation through “faith alone” is key to his theology. “Faith alone” is not in the source material. The context of the passage is salvation though faith, apart from “works of the law.” Not salvation through “faith alone.”

To say that his way was the only “proper” way to translate the phrase into German is wrong. I am familiar with basic German. Here’s an example of a translation that better captures the context of the source text:

“Denn wir urteilen, daß ein Mensch durch Glauben gerechtfertigt wird, ohne Gesetzeswerke.”

Luther did use the phrase “gesetzes werke,” which was meant by St. Paul to indicate adherence to the OT Jewish Law, not to a modern concept of “good works.”
 
(for an opposing view to what I am about to say see the following link: newadvent.org/cathen/14539a.htm )

This is my memory of the issue from my church history class at the local seminary;

A certain Dominican named Tetzel was working for the Bishop of the Dioceses near Wittenberg (where Luther was a pastor of a parish) Tetzel and the Bishop (the bishop was put into his position by the secular authorities…23 year old son of the local nobility type of thing) hit upon a scheme to sell indulgences…kinda of a get out of Purgatory free card for their relatives. Tetzel was quite the preacher. The crowds were large. The money was good. He and the bishop split the take with a banking house and someone in the Curia. The Bishop actually needed the money to pay for the third dioceses he wanted to be Bishop of. The money was supposed to go to St Peter’s but nothing went there at all, really.

In any case, Luther’s parishoners were all excited when they returned and wanted to share their excitement with their pastor. The abuses were real. Luther’s anger was justified.
 
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Melchior:
I am sure it was written by someone objective, right?
Actually yes it was objective! He used protestant sources and relied on facts. Something Luther had trouble with. Msgr. O’Hare LL.D. wrote it with the same zeal for truth Luther had for vile lies! If its good for the gander its good for the goose. Zeal that it is. Does not the RCC have the right to defend itself with the same passion Luther attacked it? I guess its only fair for Luther to show passion in his work?
Get another book. Perhaps one of the classic biographies on Luther.
Perhaps a book that hides the truth or candy coats so as to sell more copies?
Go to some primary sources and compare and contrast. That is what intellectual honestly requires.
This is what Msgr, O’hare did. Read the book, its great!
He was no peach but he was reaacting to decades of corruption. Please don’t read one biased book and say there were no abuses. That is a historical absurdity. Read about Johann Tetzel from a historian. Even an honest Catholic one. But please don’t form an opinion based on one book that is clearly biased.
Acctually I do agree with getting more than one book to get a balance. So many of them show how evil Luther was.

Check out some Luther quotes here:

vanallens.com/exchristian/2002_04_08_archive.php:bigyikes:

Make up your own mind. And do read books from both sides and keep an open mind. If all protestants were closed minded and failed to read books from Catholic sources they would never know to come Home?:yup:

Every church has some sinners in it and the RCC is no exception. Martin Luther proves my point. He was a monk who turned out bad. There were other bad RC’s too like John Calvin.😦

Malachi4U

PS, do check out ‘honest’ sources on Tetzel, his reputation deserves better then the lies spread about him.😉
*1 Tim 5:23 “23 Stop drinking only water, but have a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.”👍 *
 
The source I have used is Roots of the Reformation by Karl Adam, translated from German by Cecily Hastings. It is only about 100 pgs. I got it from the Coming Home Network. www.chnetwork.org.
 
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beng:
Suspect anything from NTRMin. 👍
Wow, how ironic. Dave Armstrong links to these papers from his website, and says it’s ok for Catholics to read them.
 
I’m not reading one book and then going around spouting about how great it is. I have read other books, even Lutheran books, papers, and articles about Martin Luther and they totally avoid his dark side. I do not appreciate the sugar-coating of someone like Luther who had a verrrrry dark side: just read his own writings. Take a look at the disgusting cartoons he commisioned against the Pope and the Papacy. Read his own egotistical prideful claims. Take a look at his spiritual life (or lack thereof). This man did not have any reason to rise up against Rome. He created a reason.

If one takes a good look at the facts surrounding the issuing of indulgences to those who made a donation to the building of Saint Peter’s then you’ll see that there were no abuses taking place. Luther’s 95 Thesis were an unscholarly, sloppy work that were answered quite well and carefully by the Priest assigned. Yet Luther kept going off about so-called abuses. He created a problem so he could revolt.

The words of a Godly reformer?

“God does not work salvation for ficticious sinners. Be a sinner and sin vigorously… Do not for a moment imagine that this life is the abiding place of justice; sin must be committed.”

“Sin cannot tear you away from him [Christ] even though you commit adultery a hundred times a day and commit as many murders.”
[Martin Luther, letter to Melanchton, Aug. 1, 1521]
 
If there were *no abuses at all, *why did the Reformation spread so quickly and to so many different countries and language groups?

To be sure some of the secular German princes (and one English monarch) were playing politics with the faith, but you couldn’t fill the Protestant chuches with princes alone. Something the Protestants were doing resonated with the masses. Something the Catholics were doing caused large numbers of people to leave the faith. Honest Christians of all stripes will want to know the answers to those questions.

A fair reading of any medieval history will give you all sorts of shockers about bishops fathering bastard children and popes selling appointments to the highest bidders. That doesn’t mean the Catholic Church was evil, it just means certain Catholics were. In the same way certain excesses on the part of Protestants doesn’t mean they weren’t reacting to something legitimate. This is a glorified ad hominem attack – Luther might be a “mad monk” but that doesn’t mean he was wrong.

With tears, I share the assessment of historian Jarislov Pelikan of Yale: “the Protestant Reformation was a tragic necessity.” The problem is that most Protestants don’t see it as tragic and most Catholics don’t see it as a necessity. Both sides need to learn to stop whitewashing history if we want to get serious about Christian unity.

-C
 
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MichelleTherese:
“Sin cannot tear you away from him [Christ] even though you commit adultery a hundred times a day and commit as many murders.”
[Martin Luther, letter to Melanchton, Aug. 1, 1521]
Get your facts straight before you get involved in this discussion.

I was reading Loraine Boettner’s book this afternoon (yes my fundamentalist father has a copy) and he made the same charge against Catholics. He cited the example of some gangster who a priest said “he was a good Catholic” because he went to mass everyday and confession regularly. Boettner pointed out that, despite his regular mass attendance and confession, he still led a life of crime and murdered dozens of people and used that to attack Catholic doctrine.

Bottom line: Boettner took Catholic teachings out of context and attacked out of ignorance and you are doing the same thing.

So if you get upsed when Fundies misrepresent Catholic doctrines to convert ignorant Catholics, then you know how I feel right now. A good debater will represent his opponent’s claims in the best possible light not tear a quote out of context.

I’m less than impressed.

-C
 
“If there were *no abuses at all, *why did the Reformation spread so quickly and to so many different countries and language groups?”

Simple: once there was an excuse to split from Rome and no longer be bound to submit to the authority of the Church folks jumped on the bandwagon in droves. Now they could do whatever they wanted to do and they could claim authority from scripture alone. Heck, they could create their own churches if they had an argument with someone in their new non-Catholic church. That’s why the reformation spread so quickly.

The Reformation allowed people to become their own personal authority. The Reformation allowed people to interpret scripture for themselves, independant of the Magesterium of the Church. The Reformation released everyone from the authority of the Pope. That’s mighty convenient if you ask me! No wonder it spread like wildfire.

"Something the Protestants were doing resonated with the masses."
Yeah, “Be your own Pope! Do whatever you want and justify it with your own personal interpretation of Scripture!” That resonated alright.

“Luther might be a “mad monk” but that doesn’t mean he was wrong.”
Uh…let’s not try to blame Luther’s dark side by claiming maddness. He knew exactly what he was doing: he was revolting against Rome. And he was not right in doing so.
 
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Calvin:
With tears, I share the assessment of historian Jarislov Pelikan of Yale: “the Protestant Reformation was a tragic necessity.” The problem is that most Protestants don’t see it as tragic and most Catholics don’t see it as a necessity. Both sides need to learn to stop whitewashing history if we want to get serious about Christian unity.-C
Jarislov Pelikan’s quote and your supportive understanding of it are only half right. While it is true that the Catholic Church has at various times needed reform, it doesn’t follow that the Protestant Reformation was a necessity. In point of fact, it is not only tragic but hugely flawed. Sin and corruption of certain practices in no way invalidates teachings. The Reformation introduced heresies that split the flock. Just because many people followed these heretical teachings does not make them right. Scripture even predicts that such things will happen. In 2Timothy 4:3 Paul says, “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings,”

Both Catherine of Sienna and Francis of Assisi did a great deal in their time to reform the church, but neither of them left the church or its teachings. Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli ditched the true teachings of the faith. The church may at times need cleaning, but its integrity stands and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.
 
MichelleTherese said:
“If there were *no abuses at all, *why did the Reformation spread so quickly and to so many different countries and language groups?”

Simple: once there was an excuse to split from Rome and no longer be bound to submit to the authority of the Pope and of the Church folks jumped on the bandwagon in droves.

I assume you have poll data to back this up…

… or is your ability to read the minds of millions of people who were alive five hundred years ago I should trust?

-C
 
“I’m less than impressed.”

Read Luther’s writings. You’ll be even less impressed by him.
 
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