Martin Luther

L is for Luther

LUTHER WHO? In 2017, the average household may know more about Idris Elba than the sixteenth-century reformer: MARTIN LUTHER.

Born in 1483, Martin Luther has been popularised as the man who started “The Reformation”. He trained as a lawyer, until–caught in a terrible storm–he pledged his life to God if he could only get home safely. To keep his promise, he became a friar in the Order of St. Augustine.

Luther struggled with the idea that he was not worth God’s attention. During a trip to Rome, he noticed how some of the Church’s normal practices were focused on money. To Luther it seemed that even God’s love–or at least forgiveness–was on sale. This went against Luther’s growing understanding of the Bible. Persuaded by a letter St Paul had written to Christians in Rome, Luther became convinced that what mattered was faith. All that was necessary to receive God’s love and forgiveness was to believe in Jesus.

At this point, Luther had become a University professor in Wittenberg. And in 1517 he presented his list of criticisms to start a debate. What was that list? Find out in our article on the Ninety-Five Theses.

(And yes, Martin Luther King was named after Martin Luther.)

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