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The two religious leaders of the reformation were MartinLuther and John Calvin.

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Introduction

The two religious leaders of the reformation were Martin Luther and John Calvin. Martin Luther became an Augustinian Monk in 1505. He spent two years studying Scripture before being ordained as a priest. In 1510, Luther was sent to Rome and was shocked by the spiritual laxity. After finishing his theological doctorate, he became a professor at Wittenberg, in 1515, Luther became the district vicar. Luther began to develop his own theology and in 1516 he felt compelled to protest the dispensation of indulgences. Indulgences were sold to forgive sinners. Luther posted his 95 Theses on the door of the castle church. He was asked to recant by the Cardinal and refused. Many theologians also believe that the sale of indulgences was immoral but it had great financial success. ...read more.

Middle

There is today no uniform liturgy belonging to all branches of the Lutheran body; characteristically, however, an important place is given to preaching and congregation singing. Because of Luther's conservatism and the political conditions of 16th-century Germany, the Lutheran churches originated as territorial churches, subject to the local princes. The local organization still has the most important place in church polity, but there is a growing tendency toward a more organized church. Lutheranism has traditionally stressed education, and there are many Lutheran schools, colleges, and seminaries throughout the world. Since the mid-18th century, Lutherans have had a program of Christian service for women called the Deaconess movement. The world membership of Lutherans is about 61 million. John Calvin was a lawyer, but he became dedicated to reforming the church. ...read more.

Conclusion

Within the next ten years, Geneva became an important Protestant center for Europe. Protestants driven out of France, England, Scotland and the Netherlands came to Geneva to seek refuge. The core principles of Calvinism are based on literal reading of Scripture. Anything not contained in the Scripture was rejected and anything in the Scripture was to be followed unwaveringly. Calvin thought that not only religious belief be taken on literal readings, but also church organization, politics, and society. Calvin organized the church into four levels; Pastors were the five men who exercised authority over religious matters, Teachers were a larger group was taught doctrine to the people, Elders were twelve men who oversaw the city, and Deacons were appointed to care for the sick. The most important theological position of Calvinism is that of predestination. Calvin believed that salvation was not a choice, but that it was pre-decided by God at the beginning of time. ...read more.

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