"Martin Luther"

1483 - 1546

Flakes Formula


"There is but one God, " says St Paul, "and one  mediator between God and man; namely, the man Jesus Christ, who gave himself a ransom for all" Therefore, let no man think to draw near unto God, or obtain grace of him, without this mediator, high-priest, and advocate.

It follows that we cannot through our good works, honestly of life, virtues, deserts, sanctity, or through the works of the law, appease God's wrath, or obtain forgiveness of sins; and that all deserts of saints are quite rejected and condemned, so that through them no human creature can be justified before God. Moreover, we see how fierce God's anger is against sins, seeing that by none other sacrifice or offering could they be appeased and stilled, but by the precious blood of the Son of God.

German priest who sparked the Reformation. The son of a miner, he studied philosophy and law before entering an Augustinian monastery in 1505. He was ordained two years later and continued his theological studies at the Univ. of Wittenberg, where he became a professor of biblical theology. He was shocked by the corruption of the clergy on a trip to Rome in 1510, and was later troubled by doubts centering on fear of divine retributive justice. His spiritual crisis was resolved when he hit on the idea of justification by faith, the doctrine that salvation is granted as a gift through God's grace. He urged reform of the Roman Catholic church, protesting the sale of indulgences and other abuses, and in 1517 he posted his Ninety-five Theses on the door of the castle church in Wittenberg. In 1521 he was excommunicated by Pope Leo X, the target of many of his reproaches, and under a storm of criticism he took refuge in the Wartburg. There he translated the Bible into German, in order that the common people would thenceforth be able to read it; his superbly vigorous translation has long been regarded as the greatest landmark in the history of the German language. He later returned to Wittenberg, and in 1525 he married a former nun, Katherina von Bora, with whom he raised six children. Though his preaching was the principal spark that set off the Peasants' War (1524-26), his vehement denunciation of the peasants contributed to their defeat. His break with the papacy led to the founding of the Lutheran Church (see Lutheranism); the Lutheran confession of faith, or Augsburg Confession, was produced with Luther's sanction by P. Melanchthon in 1530. Luther's writings included hymns and a liturgy as well as many theological works.