Doctrines of
Tridentine Catholicism

Lutheran Doctrines

Basic Concept : Salvation by faith alone; two sacraments - baptism, holy communion. Obedience to state authority.

Fundamental Texts : include the APOSTOLIC CREED, the NICENE CREED (of 381), Luther's CATECHISMs, the AUGSBURG CONFESSION of 1530. In addition the German Lutheran church adopted texts during and after Nazi rule over Germany.

Among these, the only text exclusively Lutheran is Luther's SMALL CATECHISM. In this, Martin Luther lists the Ten Commandments, the Pater Noster as fundamental texts of Lutheranism and outlines why baptism and the holy communion were sacraments. Another chapter defined Luther's view of faith.

Luther did not accept the other Catholic sacraments - matrimony, penance, anointing of the sick, confirmation and holy orders - as God-given; therefore Luther accepted divorce (although neither Luther nor the Lutheran church encourages it). The Lutheran Church practices confirmation, which is not regarded a sacrament.
Luther similarly denied the sacramental character of penance. However, when he felt his death approaching, he made his confession to Johannes Bugenhagen.
Luther rejected monasticism in general; most monasteries and convents where abolished by the protestant reformation, but there were exceptions of (now Lutheran) convents which continued to exist for decades, for instance VADSTENA in Sweden.

Martin Luther rejected the Catholic practice of CELIBACY and advocated priest marriage; he jimself married Catharina von Bora. He rejected the worship of saints.

The Augsburg Confession of 1530 stresses the function of the priest and of confession, without dealing with the disputed question sacrament or not. It was a compromise paper set up by Melanchthon, which the Lutheran side could sign without giving up her identity.

Evangelische Kirche Deutschlands, German language homepage of Germany's Evangelical (Lutheran) Church
Pastor Tom Bernlohr, Lutheranism
DOCUMENTS Luther's Small Catechism, from Ascension Lutheran Church, in English Translation; dito, from Peace Lutheran Church
REFERENCE Philipp Melanchthon, Apology of the Augsburg Confession (1531), posted by Gutenberg Online Library
Philipp Melanchthon, The Augsburg Confession (1530), posted by Gutenberg Online Library

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on January 11th 2003, last revised on October 15th 2007

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