November 10, 2019

IF MEN CAN BE SAVED BY THEIR OWN ACTIONS...:

Before Martin Luther, there was Erasmus - a Dutch theologian who paved the way for the Protestant Reformation (Katherine Little, 10/29/19, The Conversation)

Although Erasmus was sympathetic to Luther's critique of church corruption, he wasn't ready for the kind of radical changes that Luther demanded.

Erasmus wanted a broad audience for his books, but he wrote in Latin, the official language of the church. Latin was a language that only a small number of educated people, typically priests and the nobility, could read.

Erasmus had criticized the church for many of the same problems that Luther later attacked. In one of his most famous books, The "Praise of Folly," he mocked priests who didn't read the Bible. He also attacked the church's use of indulgences - when the church took money from people, granting them relief from punishment for their sins in purgatory - as a sign of the church's greed.

When Luther started getting into trouble with church authorities, Erasmus defended him and wrote him letters of support. He thought Luther's voice should be heard.

But he did not defend all of Luther's teachings. Some, he felt, were too divisive. For example, Luther preached that people are saved only by faith in God and not by good deeds. Erasmus did not agree, and he did not want the church to split over these debates.

Throughout his life, Erasmus forged his own approach to Christianity: knowing Christ by reading the Bible. He called his approach the "Philosophia Christi," or the philosophy of Christ. He thought that learning about Jesus' life and teachings would strengthen people's Christian faith and teach them how to be good.


...then we are the gods.

Posted by at November 10, 2019 12:00 AM

  

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