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Attitudes of Luther and Calvin Toward Political Authority and Social Order

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During the 16th and 17th centuries, Lutheranism and Calvinism had begun to gain a lot of attention. The reformation was a period of time when rebels came about with the intension of changing the way people looked at the Church. Martin Luther and John Calvin were the leaders of the reformation and the Catholic religion was heavily influenced by them. Luther and Calvin had some similar attitudes between political authority and social order such as believing in Christian doctrine and reforming churches. Both seeking change, they offered different attitudes toward political authority and social order which influenced beliefs, views, and the development of government. Luther believed salvation and Calvin believed predestination. Luther held that salvation comes by faith alone. He emphasized that women and men are saved by the arbitrary decision of God. He also revealed that God could grant the gift of salvation. The idea that priests or the Church had special powers was rejected.

All Christians had equal access to God through faith and the Bible. Luther translated the Bible into the German vernacular. He defined consubstantiation which is the belief that after consecration the bread and wine undergo a spiritual change whereby Christ is really present. However, John Calvin believed that the body and blood of Christ are spiritually but not physically present in the bread and wine. He believed predestination which is that the belief of God or fate has decided what will happen to people and no one can change it. In opposite to Luther, he emphasized that men and women cannot actively work to achieve salvation. Predestination served as dynamic, forcing a person to undergo hardships in the constant struggle against evil. In common, both of them believed in supremacy of the bible and Holy Communion and baptism. Martin Luther and John Calvin’s views toward political authority and social order are different. While Martin Luther challenged the church’s authority, John Calvin believed that the church should be in charge. Luther believed that believers do nothing, and he challenged church to debate in Ninety-Five These.

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