Martin Luther

Martin Luther (1483-1546) both reformed and revitalized the Christian tradition resulting in an immense impact upon the faith. Luther had an instrumental impact on the church through his contributions such as his writing of the 95 Theses. This was significant as it led to the forming of the third variant of Christianity at the time, Protestantism. Luther’s effort to try and expose the church led to several councils opposing him, one of the most significant being the ‘Council of Trent’ (1545–63). Luther’s huge impact during the 1500s had such a profound effect that it allowed further changes to be made to the Catholic faith up to the 20th century. An example of these changes being, ‘The Second Vatican Council’ or ‘Vatican II’ (1962-65), which was a large scale liberation and modernisation of practices within the church. Through these actions by Martin Luther, the Catholic Church was forever changed.

It was on the 31st of October 1517 when the Protestant Reformation truly began when Martin Luther posted his ‘95 Theses’ to the door of the castle church in Wittenberg. Luther observed that many people in Wittenberg were not coming to him for confession any more, but instead paying visit to a monk named Johann Tetzel, who sold indulgences to the locals. It was believed that Tetzel could redeem any sin, if the price was right. Tetzel believed that, ‘when the money clangs in the box, the souls spring up to heaven.’ This infuriated Luther, which caused him to write his 95 Theses. The Theses contained two central beliefs—that the Bible is the central religious authority, and that humans may reach salvation only by their faith alone, ‘sola fide’, and not by their deeds. Luther believed that, ‘indulgences were harmful to the recipient because they impeded salvation by diverting charity and inducing a false sense of security.’ This was the first step to the reforming of the church as it gave the believers the truth about the Catholic Church at the time.

The Protestant...