Martin Luther's influence on Christianity

What was Martin Luther's influence on Christianity?

Answer: 

The answer to this question will depend on your perspective. If you are responding in a secular way, there will be one answer. If you are looking at a purely religious answer, there will be slightly different response. Allow me to do both.

Secular historians view the Reformation as a revolution against the Roman Catholic Church as it had developed during the Middle Ages. In this connection Martin Luther is viewed as the leader of the opposition against a church controlled by a bureaucracy located in Rome. The secular viewpoint suggests that German nationalism fought against the influence of non-German influences. As a result Luther felt compelled to break with the Roman Church and establish a German church.

Historical theologians view the Reformation as the result of a return to Scripture. Martin Luther was searching for peace with a God, whom he viewed as an angry judge. In studying Scripture the Lord led Luther to rediscover the truth of justification by faith alone. Our salvation is not based on our earning God's favor; rather it is entirely the result of God's having forgiven our sins for the sake of our Savior Jesus Christ. Luther, by the grace of God, moved the focus away from what people do for God to what God has done for all people.


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