A time machine back to the 1500's to talk to Martin Luther...,

If a Catholic scholar, a skilled Catholic apologist and a Religious historian got into a time machine with a lap top computer and traveled back to the 1500’s to talk to Martin Luther, could they have prevented the Protestant splint from Catholicism?

May be so, if that scholar was able to convince that, catholics also believe in salvation by grace alone and not by regular church attendance or doing good works.
Martin Luther wouldn’t have compromised on Sola Scriptures. He wouldn’t have accepted any other writings equal to/comparable to scripture.

[FONT=Arial]Catechism of the Catholic Church


**169 Salvation **comes from God alone; but because we receive the life of faith through the Church, she is our mother: “We believe the Church as the mother of our new birth, and not in the Church as if she were the author of our salvation.” Because she is our mother, she is also our teacher in the faith.
**1741 **Liberation and salvation. By his glorious Cross Christ has won salvation for all men. He redeemed them from the sin that held them in bondage. “For freedom Christ has set us free.” In him we have communion with the “truth that makes us free.” The Holy Spirit has been given to us and, as the Apostle teaches, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” Already we glory in the “liberty of the children of God.”
**620 **Our salvation flows from God’s initiative of love for us, because “he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins” (1 Jn 4:10). “God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself” (*2 Cor *5:19).
**183 **Faith is necessary for salvation. The Lord himself affirms: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (*Mk *16:16).
**161 **Believing in Jesus Christ and in the One who sent him for our salvation is necessary for obtaining that salvation. “Since “without faith it is impossible to please [God]” and to attain to the fellowship of his sons, therefore without faith no one has ever attained justification, nor will anyone obtain eternal life ‘But he who endures to the end.’”


Good Works

**2447 **The works of mercy are charitable actions by which we come to the aid of our neighbor in his spiritual and bodily necessities. Instructing, advising, consoling, comforting are spiritual works of mercy, as are forgiving and bearing wrongs patiently. The corporal works of mercy consist especially in feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and imprisoned, and burying the dead. Among all these, giving alms to the poor is one of the chief witnesses to fraternal charity: it is also a work of justice pleasing to God:

*He who has two coats, let him share with him who has none and he who has food must do likewise. But give for alms those things which are within; and behold, everything is clean for you. If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit? *

**1815 **The gift of faith remains in one who has not sinned against it. But “faith apart from works is dead”: when it is deprived of hope and love, faith does not fully unite the believer to Christ and does not make him a living member of his Body.

**50 **By natural reason man can know God with certainty, on the basis of his works. But there is another order of knowledge, which man cannot possibly arrive at by his own powers: the order of divine Revelation. Through an utterly free decision, God has revealed himself and given himself to man. This he does by revealing the mystery, his plan of loving goodness, formed from all eternity in Christ, for the benefit of all men. God has fully revealed this plan by sending us his beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.

**2005 **Since it belongs to the supernatural order, grace escapes our experience and cannot be known except by faith. We cannot therefore rely on our feelings or our works to conclude that we are justified and saved. However, according to the Lord’s words “Thus you will know them by their fruits”- reflection on God’s blessings in our life and in the lives of the saints offers us a guarantee that grace is at work in us and spurs us on to an ever greater faith and an attitude of trustful poverty.

*A pleasing illustration of this attitude is found in the reply of St. Joan of Arc to a question posed as a trap by her ecclesiastical judges: “Asked if she knew that she was in God’s grace, she replied: ‘If I am not, may it please God to put me in it; if I am, may it please God to keep me there.’” *

Sacred Scripture

**111 **But since Sacred Scripture is inspired, there is another and no less important principle of correct interpretation, without which Scripture would remain a dead letter. “Sacred Scripture must be read and interpreted in the light of the same Spirit by whom it was written.”

**104 **In Sacred Scripture, the Church constantly finds her nourishment and her strength, for she welcomes it not as a human word, “but as what it really is, the word of God”. “In the sacred books, the Father who is in heaven comes lovingly to meet his children, and talks with them.”

**105 **God is the author of Sacred Scripture. “The divinely revealed realities, which are contained and presented in the text of Sacred Scripture, have been written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.”

**2064 **In fidelity to Scripture and in conformity with the example of Jesus, the tradition of the Church has acknowledged the primordial importance and significance of the Decalogue.

I believe there’s something in physics, called the Novikov principle, which says “no”. But you’ll have to ask an expert about that. :slight_smile:

I’d also say “no”, not because of physics, but for the simple reason that I believe that Divine Providence directs history. As huge a tragedy as the Reformation (and all the evils that still flow from it) was, I have to believe that God permitted it to happen because He had good reason to.

[size=2]Well then…What if God permitted [FONT=Arial]a Catholic scholar, a skilled Catholic apologist and a religious historian to get into a time machine with a lap top computer, defy physics and travel back to the 1500’s to talk to Martin Luther, could the Protestant split from Catholicism have been prevented? :D[/FONT][/size]

why dont those three go today and talk to obama and point out his path of failure that he is on today?
and reason a new course?
that alone answers your question…

nobody really understands that what martin wanted, and what came to be, are not the same.
he, like obama are more so used by those that feed them, pointing out, man has a free choice, its not just God controled, you can make choices.

most of what the federal government does today, is a bad choice, but your not going to reason a change.

Get these three people together and reason why the US sends 3 billion a year to Israel, and they will come up with no reason or answer, but to maintain a hostile enviroment and keep getting people killed.
then figure out why the US wont send money its promised to haiti, and no reason will be, but neither will they change it.

Change the question to what should these three wise people come to reason that the course is to unify the Church of Truth and the community christian churchs back together?

now your being realistic and a focus of logic, reasoning.

Are you saying that these people didn’t exist in the 1500’s and didn’t speak with Luther?

Martin was in defiance of the Church,
One of his issues was ,he wanted to be Married, and a Priest.
Marriage and Holy Orders are two different sacraments, and make a choice, be one and fail at the other is the fact of human nature. Human nature makes it impossible to be successfull at both at the same time, but Martin in his failed mind decided he was smarter than the Apoligists, Scholar, and Historians of that time that recognize that mere issue…

and people today, continue to defy the logic of you cant serve two masters, and God at the same time, as Priests “should” be able to be married.

He reasoned away sin by reasoning he knew better than God did, and walla, now everybody wants the same for themselves. Failure is, being in a position of leadership, to be gifted to lead, and to lead to failure, that is sin.

What everbody wanted to hear that he said is, sin all you want, all you have to do is say you know Jesus and your going to heaven, that was the sales pitch, and you dont have to heal sin, just reason it away . Yippie, what a great church to belong to…but the reality is, Catholics want to adopt this new failed freedom, false freedom all the time…

I know Jesus, Im going to heaven, yippie… be free to do what ever you want, is the tragidity.

Title shortened.
Lets be brief with thread titles.


I think he had what we call “Aspergers” today (autism), but in his case, it was combined with a strong, stubborn, and slightly cruel personality. He might have even had some OCD–remember those long long confessions?

Like many people who have Asperger’s, he could not reach outside of himself and have any empathy with others.

He also had the trait (typical Asperger’s) of taking things perfectly literally, and then getting upset (raging mad) when others did not fulfil his expectations. I think that people might have even been afraid of him, because later actions in his life proved that he had a cruel bent.

And like many people with Asperger’s, he was highly intelligent–I would say brilliant–and this made it even harder for people to deal with him! I agree with the poster who said that the scholars, apologists, and historians did exist back then, and were helpless and frustrated around someone with Martin Luther’s strong personality and various disabilities. Think about it–the Magisterium couldn’t deal with him! He ran circles around them. For him, it was like some tremendous video game before video games were invented! He stymied them. He won the game.

I think that the only person who might have been able to help him, other than the Holy Spirit, is a psychiatrist, and that branch of medicine didn’t exist back then.

But even then, the psychiatric intervention would have had to start back when he was a child, not a grown man. It was too late by the time he grew up.

It’ interesting you ask this question.

I was just pondering yesterday about the scripture passage where Jesus asked the apostles, after giving that all important information to the wider audience, if they would leave him as well.

I was just thinking about why Protestants don’t see Luther and other reformers as similar to the wider audience.

I think that if that laptop computer the historian and apologist brought had a fair sampling of today’s news and especially the state of not only the protestant churches in general but the Lutheran synods in particular, that Dr. Luther would have promoted his teachings differently. Hindsight is 20/20.

Edit to add: They should probably visit the Pope at that time, too.

I’d still say “probably no”, because:

  • even if God suspends the laws of physics for a miraculous purpose, Luther would still have the free will to reject God’s Church and its teaching
  • there were plenty of good Catholic theologians who could have done the job in Luther’s own day and age; the laptop wouldn’t make much of a difference.
  • Luther would certainly have choked on some of the Church’s later dogmas, particularly the Immaculate Conception, the Assumption, and Papal Infallibility.

But I wouldn’t be as sure as I was earlier. It’s an interesting storyline for a novel (I once had a similar idea, only I had Calvin converted instead of Luther, and it was his wife who somehow converted to the Catholic faith and led him home), and an interesting counterfactual (such as signs being performed in Sodom)…

Of course, what we really need is someone with a more historical bent of mind to answer this one. :slight_smile:

Fr. Martin Luther enjoyed the use of medieval parallels to the laptop computer and attendant social media–archives and the printing press; and had concourse with skilled Catholic scholars, apologists, and religious historians.

Those close to him, like his wife, former nun Katharina von Bora, and friend, Philipp Melancthon, and his theological peers found Martin Luther difficult to reason with, so what would some choice delegation be able to do that wasn’t tried?

The Augustinians were already running a university that was the first such a one not chartered by the Vatican.

What if…What if Fr. Martin Luther had stayed in the Church with his heresies sanitized and still had his crude teachings published, like urging sex with one’s neighbor’s wife if one’s wife was less than willing; or the NAZI blueprint for the Holocaust, “On the Jews & Their Lies”?

And where are those scholarly Catholic militants upending the pernicious rebellion in our midst today which includes economic issues of equal import to indulgence selling, like the witting or unwitting channeling of CRS funds to anti-Catholic groups, or seeking accountability for 3 billion in hush money to U.S. victims of clerical sexual abuse; or social issues like unprecedented taxpayer underwriting of racist-rooted Planned Parenthood under the aegis of a strong Catholic vote; or the active and passive anti-Jewish latitude seen in supplying arms to and emplacing the genocidal Muslim Brotherhood in power in the Middle East, and fiddling around while Iran cobbles up nukes in an avowed effort to blast Jerusalem; or the corrective formation of modern Katharina von Bora’s acting as nun-deathscorts to abortion clinics?
“This kind [of demon] goes not out except by prayer and fasting.” As in Luther’s time, each soul who withholds spiritual aid to the Church as a whole is part of the problem.

In all this I think that you have underestimated Luther’s arrogance. He was a “very popular person” long before he nailed the theses to the Wittenburg Church door.
The “Pat Robertson” of his time.

i often wonder what the first reformers would have done if they could have seen into the future at the very churches they created. (the weakened values on marriage and divorce, abortion, the sacraments, the increase in numbers of denominations, etc.) Would thay have done things differently?

We forget that rebellion can garner power and prosperity (and I respectfully suggest that is one reason SSPX is less than cooperative). Charles V tried to unite the Lutherans with his Holy Roman Empire and, failing, they formed the Schmalkaldic League in 1531 to combat Charles V. Lots of Church land and buildings were seized as in the English revolt under Henry VIII. Protestant Frances I of France even allied with Suleiman the Magnificent, the ruler of the Ottoman Empire assailing southern Europe. Luther urged non-intervention seeing Charles V versus Suleiman, Catholics versus the Turks, as God’s just scourge on Catholics. The Rosary Crusade called by the Pope and Our Lady’s intercession is credited with the turning of the wind and the tide of war at Lepanto to favor the Christians. Germany later repeated his ‘fatherland’] alliance with the remnant of the Ottoman Empire in World War I and World War II.

In the same year the Lutheran army was raised, 1531, the Virgin of Guadalupe was appearing to lowly Juan Diego in Mexico. Today we separate religion and politics (and religion and science) but truth is unitive. Today we reject, as did the French monarchy, divine intervention in politics. France was informed by St. Margaret Mary Alacoque that God wished the monarch to make the Sacred Heart the shield and banner under which she would be protected. Rejecting this, the monarch was deposed 100 years later to the day.

In Portugal in 1917, 400 years after Luther’s theses were posted publicly, and forwarded to the Pope in 1517, Our Lady of the Rosary appeared and said, “God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart.” Our Lady asked for the episcopal consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart for the conversion of that nation and as the “only” means to a period of peace. Our Lady returned in 1929 to ask for the consecration of Russia. (While many consecrations have been done, none have so far been universally, publicly, solemnly done at the same time in each cathedral with all bishops led by Peter and with explicit mention of Russia.) In 1929 Russia was spreading her errors, leading to the starvation of millions of Catholics in the Ukraine. The proposed U.N. world food authority and Agenda 21 may effect a repeat.

In 1931, 400 years after the formation of the anti-Catholic, pro-Islamic Lutheran army and 400 years after Our Lady countered and inaugurated the conversion of eight million Aztecs, Christ warned Sister Lucia, Fatima seer, “Make it known to My Ministers, given they follow the example of the King of France in delaying the execution of My command [episcopal consecration of Russia to Immaculate Heart as requested], they will likewise follow him into misfortune.” Where are the laptop-wielding theologians and historians now? Where the enlightened self-interest? Where the mundanely salvific heeding of history and exaltation of purity versus the historic constant of vulgar, violent, deadly rebellion? “Pray the daily Rosary for peace.” In this time of trial, Benedict XVI urges us to make it two decades a day. He gets it. Do we?

Immaculate Heart, Blessed Virgin Mary pierced with a sword of sorrow that the thoughts of all may be revealed, expose all thoughts and cleanse all hearts in the purifying love of the all-merciful Sacred Heart of your divine Son, our Brother, the King of Kings, our Savior, Jesus Christ. AMEN

Say “amen” somebody.

I voted yes, but I am less confident in saying this about Luther
than I would be about Henry VIII.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.