The Protestant Reformers

[/font]Martin Luther, [/font]Ulrich (or Huldreich) Zwingli, [/font]John Calvin and John Knox.

Where can I find on each of these individuals:

a) an overview on their original beliefs at the time of reformation on specific doctrines

b) what beliefs/doctrines did they specifically come to reject

c) what beliefs and views did they all have in common

d) On what doctrines did each come to recognize and change their beliefs on.

Thanks

You might want to also read about Huss and others before Luther.

Hi Leafs,

You may have already checked this, but The Catholic Encyclopedia has articles on each your subjects:

newadvent.org/cathen/l.htm

I don’t know if the articles will answer all your questions, might be a good place to begin. Peace.

One book I’ve read that I found interesting and helpful is “The Facts about Luther.” It explores his life, and writings. Along with writings of his contemporaries.

You’ll find they were very different in many respects (i.e. Luther hated Zwingli more than our Church from what I’ve read).

Today, most only regard Luther and Calvin (and Knox to some extent) as the Big Boys of the Reformation, so you may want to focus on what they had to say to gain some ground in apologetics in current dailogue.

[quote=Chaffa55]You may have already checked this, but The Catholic Encyclopedia has articles on each your subjects:
[/quote]

American Catholics in the first half of the twentieth century were guided in their understanding of Luther by the article in the Catholic Encyclopedia written by George Ganss (1855 – 1912). Now available on-line, a new generation of Catholics (and non-Catholics!) are similarly coming under the influence of Ganss’s work. Ganss was strongly influenced by Denifle, and he has been credited for bringing the “views of Denifle to the English speaking world.” James Atkinson gives an accurate summary of Ganss’s article:

“He declares that Luther inherited a wild temper from his father, who was an irascible man almost carried to murder by his fits of temper. Ganss denies that Luther ever had a true vocation to the monastic life; and suggests that in the monastery he became the victim of inward conflicts. He also claims that Luther was unfaithful both to the rules of his order and to the teaching of the Church, and that his infidelity brought on very deep depressions of a mental and spiritual kind. Ganss attributes Luther’s consequent despair to a false understanding of the Roman teaching on good works, and describes his break with the church as the product of reforming zeal that degenerated into political rebellion. The reformer is portrayed as a revolutionary who, in the enforced leisure of his sojourn at the Wartburg, broke down under sensuality; it is alleged that in his book On Monastic Vows, Luther pleads for an unbridled license.Ganss presents Luther’s irascibility in pathological terms, and describes him as disheartened and disillusioned in his old age, dejected and despairing, tortured in body and spirit, abandoned by friends and colleagues alike. He assembles his portrayal of Luther in terms of “The Accusers’: it is all a matter of revolt, apostasy, a fall- the unhappy end of a monk unfaithful to his vows. There is nothing of Luther’s searching biblical theology, of his glad-heartedness in Christ and joy in the gospel, of his deep prayer life, of his compelling power as a preacher, of his invincible faith. He speaks of Luther’s sojourn in the Wartburg as beset by sensual temptations, and yet makes no reference to the fine books he wrote there during his captivity of some nine months, books such as his Refutation of Latomus, not to mention his magnificent and influential literary masterpiece, the translation of the entire New Testament, which in itself would have been a life’s work for any other mortal.” (James Atkinson, Martin Luther: Prophet to the Church Catholic, 14-15).

Interestingly, the New Catholic Encyclopedia (1967) does not use Ganss’s article on Luther, but rather uses Catholic Reformation scholar John P. Dolan’s article. Dolan argues,

“no evidence existed for prior Catholic assertions that Luther’s family’s poverty “created an abnormal atmosphere” for his early development. It was absolutely absurd, moreover, to contend that Luther was a “crass ignoramus,” and it was no longer tenable to hold, as Denifle did, that Luther was an “ossified Ockhamite.” To question Luther’s religious motives for entering the monastery, furthermore, did Luther a Fundamental injustice. Dolan instead focused upon Luther’s religious and theological discoveries and admitted the scandalous and immoral simoniacal acts associated with the sale of indulgences. Dolan’s article recognizes precisely what religious and doctrinal issues were at stake in the Reformation, a view that was not evident in the earlier twentieth or nineteenth century views of Luther" (Patrick W. Carey, “Luther in an American Catholic Context,” 52-53).

This snippet was taken from my paper, found here:ntrmin.org/The%20Roman%20Catholic%20Understanding%20of%20Martin%20Luther%201.htm

[quote=Christy Beth]One book I’ve read that I found interesting and helpful is “The Facts about Luther.” It explores his life, and writings. Along with writings of his contemporaries.
[/quote]

“[The Facts About Luther] claimed to show by extensive quotation of the sources what kind of man Luther really was. O’Hare makes no effort to understand Luther. Instead he heaps up quotation upon quotation from Luther to prove that he was an absolutely immoral, mentally and spiritually deranged man. All of Luther s weaknesses and misjudgments (such as the case of the bigamy of Philip) are paraded in a spirit of angry outrage. “The cesspool,” he says, “seems to have been the garden that furnished his choicest flowers of rhetoric.” Martin and Katie are the Adam and Eve of a new gospel of concubinage. His purpose was to deify indecency, decry celibacy and virginity, dishonor the married state, sanction adultery, prostitution, and indecency. He was a drunkard who went for beer to the Black Eagle, theologized in taverns in the midst of alcoholic fumes surrounded by revolutionary comrades. He was “a blasphemer, a libertine, a revolutionist, a hater of religious vows … the father of divorce . . . and the propagator of immorality and open licentiousness.” His Gospel was directly opposed to the Gospel of Christ; he fabricated justification sola fide, perverted the Word of God, founded his own church out of hatred of authority and love of disorder. He was a deformer, not a reformer, an Antichrist, the enemy of God and man.” (Fred W. Meuser and Stanley D. Schneider (eds.) Interpreting Luther’s Legacy, 42).

This snippet is from my paper, found here: ntrmin.org/The%20Roman%20Catholic%20Understanding%20of%20Martin%20Luther%201.htm

Luther hated Calvin too. In fact, Luther pretty much hated anyone who disagreed with him, as did Calvin and Knox. All three persecuted anyone who dissented with their theology. If you think the Spanish Inquisition was bad, read about what Luther, Calvin, Knox and Oliver Cromwell did to anyone who stood against them in the Catholic position. These were not gentle, humble men. They were ruthless persecutors who all suffered from megalomania. Now, I will call a spade a spade and say that the Catholic hierarchy hasn’t posted excellent grades in the “positive role model” consistently, but the pebble in my shoe is when Protestants try to make saints out of the fathers of the reformation.

Also, you may want to look at John Wycliffe, but go back even further to the great-grand daddy of all of the people who dissented with the Catholic position, Lucian of Antioch. Most of the great heretics of yesteryear can attribute the fomulation of their heterodoxical beliefs to him.

go leafs go,
I think this is what you are looking for:

Characters of the Reformation

by Hilaire Belloc

Peace in Christ…Salmon

[quote=Apologia100]Luther hated Calvin too. In fact, Luther pretty much hated anyone who disagreed with him, as did Calvin and Knox. All three persecuted anyone who dissented with their theology. If you think the Spanish Inquisition was bad, read about what Luther, Calvin, Knox and Oliver Cromwell did to anyone who stood against them in the Catholic position. These were not gentle, humble men. They were ruthless persecutors who all suffered from megalomania. Now, I will call a spade a spade and say that the Catholic hierarchy hasn’t posted excellent grades in the “positive role model” consistently, but the pebble in my shoe is when Protestants try to make saints out of the fathers of the reformation.
[/quote]

I am very interested in finding out who Luther persecuted. Please list the people he actually put to death. It would be interesting also to find out who he “persecuted” (by the way, statements by Luther in writing really don’t qualify as physical persecution. I would like to know who Luther physically tortured, or who in Wittenberg was fingered out by Luther to be tortured).

Thanks, I love learning about the Reformers. Consider me your student.

PS. I am not familiar with any statements by Luther against Calvin, other than Luther at one time giving a very positive opinion about one of Calvin’s books, and then giving a negative highly rhetorical comment about another. Please enlighten me.

James Swan

[quote=TertiumQuid]PS. I am not familiar with any statements by Luther against Calvin, other than Luther at one time giving a very positive opinion about one of Calvin’s books, and then giving a negative highly rhetorical comment about another. Please enlighten me
[/quote]

hey TQ

ken

[quote=II Paradox II]hey TQ

ken
[/quote]

Hi ken.

Nice to see a friendly name.

[quote=TertiumQuid]I am very interested in finding out who Luther persecuted. Please list the people he actually put to death. It would be interesting also to find out who he “persecuted” (by the way, statements by Luther in writing really don’t qualify as physical persecution. I would like to know who Luther physically tortured, or who in Wittenberg was fingered out by Luther to be tortured).

Thanks, I love learning about the Reformers. Consider me your student.

PS. I am not familiar with any statements by Luther against Calvin, other than Luther at one time giving a very positive opinion about one of Calvin’s books, and then giving a negative highly rhetorical comment about another. Please enlighten me.

James Swan
[/quote]

This from Martin Luther “On the Papacy at Rome” dtd 25 June 1520 and To the Christian Nobility of Germany.

“Now farewell you unhappy, lost and blasphemous Rome; the wrath of God has come upon you at last, as you have merited, for in spite of all of the prayers that have been said for you, you have become worse each day. We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed. Let us foresake her then to become a dwelling place of dragons, evil spirits, goblins and witches, and her name an eternal confusion, filled to the brim as she is with the idols of greed, with traitors, apostates and beasts, lechers, thieves and simoners, and an infinity of other monsters, something new in the way of a pantheon of iniquity!..If we punish thieves with the gallows, robbers with the sword, and heretics with fire, why should we not all the more assail with arms these masters of perdition, these cardinals, theses Popes, the whole dregs of the Roman Sodom, who have been corrupting the Church of God without intermission, and wash our hands in their blood?”

How many a Lutheran was inspired to slaugter Catholics in the Thirty Years war or sack Rome and chase the Pope from the Vatican so that they could derfile St. Peters. I would say that Luther had a thing against anyone who did not follow his brand or christianity.

[quote=Duhawk83]How many a Lutheran was inspired to slaugter Catholics in the Thirty Years war or sack Rome and chase the Pope from the Vatican so that they could derfile St. Peters. I would say that Luther had a thing against anyone who did not follow his brand or christianity.
[/quote]

I am sure that you are aware that he spoke out quite loudly against the peasant revolts.

Third, they cloak their frightful and revolting sins with the gospel, call themselves Christian brethren, swear allegiance, and compel people to join them in such abominations. Thereby they become the greatest blasphemers and violators of God’s holy name, and serve and honor the devil under the semblance of the gospel, so that they have ten times deserved death of body and soul, for never have I heard of uglier sins.

Against the Murderous and Thieving Hordes of Peasants.

historyguide.org/earlymod/peasants1525.html

[quote=Shibboleth]I am sure that you are aware that he spoke out quite loudly against the peasant revolts.

Against the Murderous and Thieving Hordes of Peasants.

historyguide.org/earlymod/peasants1525.html
[/quote]

As Luther believed in the Supremacy of the state over religion or the church it would be in character for him to condemn peasant revolts. Like Pandora of myth Luther set forth a force of evil that today results in many of the evils in todays world. I think that the French Revolution, Communism and Nazism would not be possible in a world where Christendom existed. Sadly, Martin Luther through stubborn pride helped cleave Christendom all to satsify his personal beliefs.

[quote=Duhawk83]This from Martin Luther “On the Papacy at Rome” dtd 25 June 1520 and To the Christian Nobility of Germany.

“Now farewell you unhappy, lost and blasphemous Rome; the wrath of God has come upon you at last, as you have merited, for in spite of all of the prayers that have been said for you, you have become worse each day. We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed. Let us foresake her then to become a dwelling place of dragons, evil spirits, goblins and witches, and her name an eternal confusion, filled to the brim as she is with the idols of greed, with traitors, apostates and beasts, lechers, thieves and simoners, and an infinity of other monsters, something new in the way of a pantheon of iniquity!..If we punish thieves with the gallows, robbers with the sword, and heretics with fire, why should we not all the more assail with arms these masters of perdition, these cardinals, theses Popes, the whole dregs of the Roman Sodom, who have been corrupting the Church of God without intermission, and wash our hands in their blood?”

How many a Lutheran was inspired to slaugter Catholics in the Thirty Years war or sack Rome and chase the Pope from the Vatican so that they could derfile St. Peters. I would say that Luther had a thing against anyone who did not follow his brand or christianity.
[/quote]

Perhaps you misunderstood my post. I wasn’t asking about “inspiration” I was asking for some cold hard facts. If I asked for the same information about Calvin, someone would say, “Servetus.” That answer would show a correct understanding of the question. In the case of Luther, I would like to know who Luther actually persecuted (like how Calvin took part in the Servetus affair). I asked this once on CARM, and someone pointed out that Luther took part in the execution of some witches. Upon further research, I found no documentation for the person’s answer, either in Protestant or Catholic historical books about Luther.

Again, I love learning about Luther. Consider me your pupil.

Regards, James Swan

I am aware of no “hard” examples of Luther ordering executions.

I do wonder what your point is; Luther was a profound heretic who may not have lit the fire of violence, but, he did stack the wood and soak it with gasoline.

Here are some good quotes by Luther to refute some of what he is accused of in Protestantism…

To understand that he knew he could be wrong…

I shall never be a heretic; I may err in dispute, but I do not wish to decide anything finally; on the other hand, I am not bound by the opinions of men.

To Understand that he was not Scripture only…

God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.

But to clarify…

The Bible is the cradle wherein Christ is laid.

Going to Service or Mass is necessary…

To gather with God’s people in united adoration of the Father is as necessary to the Christian life as prayer.

God must be taught in School…

I am afraid that the schools will prove the very gates of hell, unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures and engraving them in the heart of the youth.

He is against the view that strong belief gives one good fortune

The Lord commonly gives riches to foolish people, to whom he gives nothing else.

[quote=Duhawk83]I am aware of no “hard” examples of Luther ordering executions.

I do wonder what your point is; Luther was a profound heretic who may not have lit the fire of violence, but, he did stack the wood and soak it with gasoline.
[/quote]

If you follow my comments backward in this thread, you will find that my question was provoked by a post from Apologia100, who has been very quiet in this thread since I showed up.

As to your point about Luther being “a profound heretic” I would suggest that you are somewhat out of date with Catholic scholarship’s opinion on Luther:

The old Catholic opinion on Luther
ntrmin.org/The%20Roman%20Catholic%20Understanding%20of%20Martin%20Luther%201.htm

The more recent Catholic opinion on Luther
ntrmin.org/Catholic%20Understanding%20of%20Luther%202.htm

James Swan

[quote=Shibboleth]Here are some good quotes by Luther to refute some of what he is accused of in Protestantism…
[/quote]

I enjoyed your quotes. Here is one of my favorite Luther quotes:

“I rather dislike having my books so widely spread, and should prefer to have them all fall into oblivion together, for they are desultory and unpolished, and yet I do not want the matters they treat known to all. But not all can seperate the gold from the dross in my works.”

Indeed, it has been my experience that many who read Luther have a difficult time seperating the gold and dross. I am amazed at the villification of Luther that still flows freely. I find very few within the Roman ranks that have a clue about Luther.

I agree with the great Catholic historian Joseph Lortz:

…Luther is an intellectual giant, or, to use a word from Paul Althaus, an "ocean. " The danger of drowning in him, of not being able to come to grips with him satisfactorily, arises from his tremendous output, but no less from his own original style, which we are going to take up. It sounds banal, but cannot be left unsaid: Luther belongs in the first rank of men with extraordinary intellectual creativity. He is in the full sense a genius, a man of massive power in things religious and a giant as well in theological interpretation. Because of this, he has in many respects shaped the history of the world–even of our world today.”- Catholic Scholars Dialogue with Luther(Jared Wicks, S.J, Editor. 1970, Loyola University Press) 4.

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