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95 Theses: Thesis 90

by PastorWilliams on September 17th, 2017

“To repress these arguments and scruples of the laity by force alone, and not to resolve them by giving reasons, is to expose the Church and the pope to the ridicule of their enemies, and to make Christians unhappy.”

Luther didn’t want a forceful removal of indulgences or any other abuses later in the Reformation. He believed that knowledge is power. Therefore he wrote these theses for debate. He wanted “to resolve them by giving reasons.”

It isn’t important just to remove or change things. People need to understand why the things need to be removed or changed. Of course, Luther couldn’t just say that the Pope was wrong. Consciences would be badly bruised through those words. The reasons had to be proven from the Scriptures.

These reasons would expose the Pope and the Church to ridicule, but it could also bring both Pope and Church to repentance for previous false teachings. And Luther sought this reaction, if he were defeated in the debate over these theses. As an academic, he wanted to see the Scriptural evidences for what the Church was doing with the indulgences. If he were satisfied with his opposition’s reasons, he would be willing to change his beliefs. If he were not satisfied, he would seek the changes that would occur in the Reformation.

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