A Persuasive Argument From Martin Luther 's The Christian Nobility

772 Words Sep 12th, 2016 4 Pages
To the Christian Nobility – This literary work serves as a persuasive argument from Martin Luther to those who hold secular power in hopes of convincing them to take action in order to help reform the ways of the Roman Catholic Church. Luther lays out a foundation by saying that the Roman Catholic Church has built three walls in which to hide behind and protect the so-called authority that it possesses. The first of these “paper walls” is the declaration that temporal powers have no jurisdiction over the clergy, but Luther argues that every Christian is on the same playing field. The members of the clergy merely serve as the elected speakers of the body of Christ but are elevated no higher in status when it comes to the spiritual estate. The second wall is the affirmation that only the pope has the ability/authority to interpret Scripture. Luther reminds his readers that the pope is not without error and that their rule of the pope being the only one with the authority to properly interpret Scripture is not grounded in Scripture itself. The final wall is the Church’s proclamation that only the pope can call a council, but Luther counters this statement with the reminder that past councils, like that of Nicea, were called by powers other than the pope and they are not considered to be heretical council meetings. Luther ends this piece with several suggestions of reform that can be carried out by both those who hold positions in the clergy as well as the temporal…

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