The Life And Work Of Martin Luther

1736 words - 7 pages

Arguably one of the most recognizable names in Church history, Martin Luther rattled the cages of the legalistic, heretical Roman Catholic authorities, and enabled the masses to encounter God in a more direct way from that point on. The New Westminster Dictionary of Spirituality describes him as, ““An Augustinian Eremite friar and theology professor at Wittenberg, who emerged as the principal guide and spokesman of the Protestant Reformation, giving his name to the strongest wing of that movement… predominantly regarded as church leader, reformer and innovator.” Martin Luther’s life and theology have forever changed and shaped the way Christian’s view and value faith and works through his writing and hand in the reformation.
On November 10, 1483, Hans Luder’s wife, Margarethe, gave birth to their second-born son, Martin, In Eisleben, Saxony, and on the next day, which happened to be the feast of St. Martin of Tours, Martin Luther was baptized. A year later, Martin’s family moved to Mansfield, near modern day Berlin, where his father worked in the copper mine. Hans wanted a better life for his eldest son (two of his brothers had been succumbed to the plague), and desired for Martin to become a lawyer, so Hans worked diligently to Martin an education to equip him to do well in Law school. Hans sent his son to Latin schools in Mansfeld that established I Martin Luther the fundamentals of rhetoric, logic, and grammar. These Lessons were further elaborated upon when Luther attended Madgeburg in 1497 and Eisenach in 1498. Luther entered the University of Erfurt in 1501, where he took part in a curriculum of rigorous spiritual exercises and rote memorization to graduate four years later with a master’s degree. Following his earthly father’s will, Martin Luther began to study Law at the University of Erfurt’ however, soon after beginning his studies Luther experienced something that could be compared to Paul’s Damascus road experience. While returning horseback to the university amidst a thunderstorm, lightning struck he ground very near Luther, and he was flung from his horse. In terror, he cried aloud making a promise to St. Anna that he would become a monk if he made it out of the storm alive.
True to his word and to his father’s dismay, Martin Luther begrudgingly joined one of the most devout Augustinian monasteries in Erfurt on July 17, 1505 where he fully gave himself to the Christian disciplines of fasting, confession, and making pilgrimage out of his struggle to find peace with God. Concerned with the eternal fate of his own soul, Luther literally, through penance, and figuratively beat himself up. It was not until Luther came under the mentorship of Johan von Staupitz, a superior to Luther in the Augustinian order, which Luther understood that true repentance did not take in the physical, self-harm of the outer body but rather a change of heart. Staupitz encouraged Luther to pursue an academic career and in 1507 was ordained as a...

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