churchhistorypaper_nigel - Name Nigel Chou Shijie"A...

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“A Conversation Between an evangelical Peasant and a Catholic Priest in the Summer of 1525.” Peas: Good day, Father, much has happened in recent times, hasn’t it? Priest: Indeed, so much has happened. First it was Luther and his heretical ideas, his refusal to recant and return to the Church, then the uprising by the peasants because of the ideas he and others have been spreading. I am grateful to God that this town didn’t take part in the revolt and was spared the bloodshed that ended it two months ago. Peas: I thank God that my village, too, was not involved, but I do not find that Luther is to blame for the uprising. Although he wrote about reforming society, I don’t think he wanted it in a violent way. In fact, I think he was too harsh in telling the princes to come down so hard on them. Priest: Of course he was responsible! Though I think that his theology had much to do with it, Luther spoke of social reform, and you cannot separate what he advocated and the action that springs from it. His ideas advocated social change and his theology gave them justification. The natural result is violent revolt . Peasant: I would have to insist that Luther is first and foremost a religious reformer. His pamphlets encourage Christian commitment; his idea was of a better society, and from copies of his sermons, I gather that his central thought is God’s grace and how we are saved and made right with Him by faith alone, without having to worry about outward works. And even if he did contribute to ‘revolutionary feelings’, I maintain that it was never his intention to inspire revolt. Priest: ‘Salvation by faith alone’, huh? I’ve heard of that. That just isn’t the right perspective. For sure, the Church has never denied that God’s grace is essential for our 1 Name: Nigel Chou Shijie
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salvation, but it is really the joining of God’s grace and human effort that makes a man righteous. It is like a child who is too short to reach the fruits on a tree, and his father carries him so that he is high enough. We are like that child, and God like that father. It is only through the Father’s grace that we can reach the fruits, but we still have to reach out and take hold of the ‘fruits’ of righteousness. Without God’s grace, it would be impossible for us to be justified, but our effort is required. Peas: Father, you place too much worth on our human efforts. I have to disagree with that. There is nothing that I, a sinner, can do by my own effort that can make me righteous in God’s sight. I am convinced of this as I examine my life, not just because Luther says so. Truly, it is only by accepting the righteousness of Christ, God’s gift given freely to us, that
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churchhistorypaper_nigel - Name Nigel Chou Shijie"A...

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