Terrell, David G.
terrified and agonized Luther to dive into the Scriptures in search of the doctrines he now had toexpostulate to others. Interestingly, Bainton points out that Luther, until now, was no Biblescholar, as until this point, the decretals and the scholastic authors were at the center of histheological education.
In this assertion, Bainton stays close to his previous assessments andwork regarding Luther.
Bainton details the next several years on Luther¶s life in a narrative, switching betweenLuther¶s biblical studies and the lectures whose writing forced him to crystallize his newscriptural mastery. His studies caused him to develop a scripturally-based view of the role of Christ in the salvation of man. His sermons and commentaries focused on the forgiveness of sinsthrough unmerited grace, made possible through the atonement of Christ.
In this, he broachedno issues with Catholicism²his doctrine was that of Paul the Apostle, although intensified andclarified. At his point, Luther envisioned no reform other than implementing a religiouseducation program based upon the Scriptures.
According to Bainton, the onset of Luther¶s disagreement with Catholicism truly beganaround 1516, when the sale of indulgences in the region reached extraordinary levels of cupidity.The overindulgence was instituted by Pope Leo X, of the Florentine Medici, to finance the building of the new St. Peter¶s in Rome and to redeem his less-than-sacred debts.
The situationdirectly led Luther to propose his ninety-five theses for debate, thus intending to raise the issuesamongst the clergy²and only amongst the clergy. The theses made these three main points.
Bainton, HIS, 45.
Roland H. Bainton, "Luther's Struggle for Faith,"
((Cambridge University Press on behalf of theAmerican Society of Church History) XVII, no. 3 (September 1948): 193-206), 193-206.
Bainton, HIS, 50-51.
Bainton, HIS, 51.
Bainton, HIS, 56-57.