Lawrence Maximo – 31/10/2023 10h53
Martin Luther believed that the words of Czech reformer Jan Hus were a prediction that came true in him. He wrote about this when commenting on an Imperial Edict promulgated in 1531:
– I, Dr. Martinho, was called to this office and was compelled to become a doctor, without any initiative of my own, but out of pure obedience. So I had to accept the office of doctor and take an oath that I would faithfully preach and teach my beloved Holy Scripture. While I was engaged in teaching, the papacy crossed my path and wanted to stop me. But it won’t stop me. In the name and calling of God, I will walk on the lion and on the viper and with my feet I will trample the lion’s cub and the dragon. And what began during my life will be completed after my death. Saint Jan Hus prophesied of me… They will roast a goose now (because ‘Hus’ means ‘goose’), but in 100 years they will hear a Swan sing and they will have to bear it. And so it will be, God willing.”
In 1515, exactly 100 years after the death of Jan Hus, was the year that Luther began lecturing on the Epistle to the Romans. By his own account, he was convinced of justification by faith based on Romans 1:17, triggering the outbreak of the Protestant Reformation. Luther rekindled the fire that began just a century before:
– When I was a theology student in Erfurt, I happened to come into my hands one day in the monastery library, a volume of Jan Hus’s sermons. When I read the words, Sermons by Jan Hus, on the cover of that work, I immediately sparked the desire to find out, by reading that book that escaped the flames and was kept in a public library, what heresies he had disseminated. I was overcome with amazement as I read the book and was filled with a surprise that is difficult to describe as I searched for a reason why such a great man – a doctor, so worthy of veneration and so powerful in expounding the Scriptures – was burned to death. .
The German philosopher Rudolf Eucken (Nobel Prize for Literature in 1908) expressed that the renewal of the debased religion could only triumph if a sovereign personality appeared – Luther – in whom the spiritual currents that circulated through the Reformation became flesh and blood.
According to David S. Schaff, the origin of the meaning of the Protestant Reformation cannot be properly understood without knowing the facts of Luther’s life and the opposition made to his teaching. More than any other character in history, Luther shaped the assumptions that define Protestantism.
Martin Luther ushered in a sea of changes and reforms that would shake the world forever. Given this support, I like the interpretation of Lutheran theologian Paul Althaus, who referred to Luther as an “ocean”.
For orthodox Protestants, Luther was the divine knight, a Moses, a Samson (demolishing the temple of the Philistines), an Elijah, even the Fifth Evangelist and the Angel of the Lord. To the famous French reformer Calvin, my ever-honorable father. For the Swiss reformer Zwingli, the faithful David. For Pietists, he was the kindly apostle of conversion. German nationalists celebrated him as a people’s hero and father of their country. Significantly, Luther’s texts can be cited in defense of each of these caricatures. Hans Holbein, famous German painter, portrayed Luther as the “German Hercules”.
For Protestants, Luther was a herald of freedom of thought, a man sent by God, the restorer of the primitive teachings of Christianity, which had been tinkered with or perverted by human interpretations. Praised by contemporary German Catholic bishops, an evangelical testimony and teacher of the faith. For a renowned modern German historian, the “meteor” Martin Luther.
Luther did not seek any honor for himself. By his own testimony he owed everything to Christ. His life story confirms this testimony. And the more he faced opposition from Rome, the more his biblical convictions deepened. Luther did not become a reformer because he attacked indulgences; he attacked indulgences because the Word had already taken deep root in his heart.
He was a man of struggle, when times called for war; a man among men, integrating the most human personality. His mission was to accomplish through battles what, according to the conclusion he had reached, would be impossible to accomplish by other means.
His heroic courage, deep passion, firm integrity, his contagious zeal and all the other virtues he brings together are the fruits of his faith. This man single-handedly had such a profound impact on the Church and the world that he still influences all Bible-believing Christians today.
It is said that only two other theologians in the history of the Church, Augustine and Aquinas, approach Luther’s stature. If a man is to be judged by the influence he has exerted upon the permanent opinions and destinies of the Christian world, Luther is, after St. Paul, the most notable figure.
Five hundred years after Martin Luther preached the 95 Theses, the message of the Protestant Reformation is more necessary than ever, an emergency cry to reaffirm the message of Jesus Christ in the 21st century… in the face of a corrupt, immoral, apostate Church and a world globalized, little reconciled!
Among the countless giants in the history of the Church, Luther encouraged me in a lethal, titanic, volcanic, passionate, intriguing and challenging way…
Excerpts from the book, Martin Luther: The Swan of God that Ascended to Heaven (2021, p. 13-23) – Autor, Lawrence Maximo.
October 31st – We celebrate the Protestant Reformation!
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Lawrence Maximo is a political scientist, international analyst of Israel and the Middle East, professor and writer. Master’s student in Political Science: International Cooperation (ESP), Postgraduate in Political Science: Citizenship and Governance, Postgraduate in Anthropology of Religion and Theologian. Graduated from the StandWithUs Brasil Mastership Academic Complementation Program: history, society, culture and geopolitics of the Middle East, with an emphasis on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the geopolitical dynamics of Israel. He writes articles for the newspaper Gazeta do Povo.
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