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Word Count: 730
Martin Luther and John Calvin were both very important leaders of the Protestant Reformation Although they were both against the Roman Catholic Church they brought about very different ideas in religion Martin Luther founded the group that are today known as Lutherans He was ordained a priest in 1507 He dealt with questions dealing with the structure of the church and with its moral values These questions were important in Luthers eyes but the most important was how to find favor with God Luther tried to pray fast and repent but he never felt self-satisfaction He eventually concluded that Gods love was not a prize or a reward to be earned or won but a gift to be accepted Luther further concluded that until man stops trying to achieve Gods favor through his own achievements he cannot truly understand Gods grace Luther also had the idea that one did not need a priest to talk to God he believed that one could pray and repent without the help of anyone else This was the idea for which Luther became famous In 1517 Luther was involved in a controversy which involved indulgences Indulgences were the idea that a person could donate money to a worthy cause in exchange for forgiveness of their sins Luther opposed this idea and stated his beliefs in his Ninety-Five Thesis which he posted on the castle door in Wittenberg Germany In 1519 Luther had a debate in Leipzig with Johann Eck a Roman Catholic theologian During this debate Luther denied the supremacy of the Pope and stated that church councils could make mistakes In 1521 Luther was excommunicated by Pope Leo X Luther was then ordered to appear before a council which demanded that he retract his teachings Luther intern stated that unless he was inspired to do so by scripture he would not since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience
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