[quote="Martyr225, post:1, topic:389542"]
Hi, I have been trying to find out what Luther saw in his view of Catholicism that made him constantly fear for his salvation. Here's what I know so far:
]Luther was a Nominalist, as that appeared to be the *via moderna *of theology at that time.
*]Nominalism says that there are no universals. Universal are simply "names" we give to things
*]Nominalism holds that God can sovereignly call anything good or bad, solely because of whether He wills it. Nothing is *intrinsically good or bad, goodness or badness is determined by the will of God. Something could be "good" today and tomorrow it can be "bad".
If I am mistaken or simplistic on these assumptions, I welcome any corrections. I also believe that Nominalism was declared a heresy?
Here's my dilemma:
Why is Luther seemingly the only one who can't be sure he will go to heaven?
If Nominalism is the current theology of his time and Luther can't reconcile his nominalist theology to some measure of confidence in God, why are no other monks or theologians also fearing for their salvation? Did Luther make a connection that others didn't see, or did he make a logical error that lead him down a road of despairing for his salvation?
Thanks for your help,
He was on course to be a lawyer and in his studies he studied William Ockham -- who taugh nominalizm, but then in July of 1505 caught in a thunderstorm and afraid that he would die he vowed, “Save me, St. Anna, and I shall become a monk.”
St. Thomas Aquinas taught that man can know the true objective essence of things but Ockham denied it was possible.
Catholic Encyclopedia has:Concerning Nominalism, Conceptualism, and Exaggerated Realism, a few general considerations must suffice. Nominalism, which is irreconcilable with a spiritualistic philosophy and for that very reason with scholasticism as well, presupposes the ideological theory that the abstract concept does not differ essentially from sensation, of which it is only a transformation. The Nominalism of Hume, Stuart Mill, Spencer, Huxley, and Taine is of no greater value than their ideology. They confound essentially distinct logical operations--the simple decomposition of sensible or empirical representations with abstraction properly so called and sensible analogy with the process of universalization. The Aristotleans recognize both of these mental operations, but they distinguish carefully between them.
De Wulf, M. (1911). Nominalism, Realism, Conceptualism. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
Regarding Martin Luther's angst:
Dr. Richard P. Bucher (Pastor of **Our Redeemer Lutheran Church) writes:
*Luther's *anfechtungen were no mere intellectual questions or doubts, but religious crises that gripped his entire being. Usually it was thinking about Christ the Judge that brought them on. Often it was the mass (holy communion) that was the stage for this, because for Luther, there in the mass, the avenging, punishing Christ was present in his body and blood to judge. This was his experience at this first mass (Luther's Works 54:234) and also at the Corpus Christi festival in Eisleben in 1515 (LW 54:19-20) when he was gripped with horror over the closeness of Christ. Yet, at times even viewing the crucifix or hearing the name of Jesus would cause Luther to recoil with terror, for it was the Judge that He was seeing or hearing (LW 8:188).