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Home » Church History » Chapter 17: A House Divided (1517 – 1660) – Part I – Martin Luther and Huldrych Zwingli

Chapter 17: A House Divided (1517 – 1660) – Part I – Martin Luther and Huldrych Zwingli


For next week we will cover the first two sections of Chapter 17A Door in Wittenberg and The Farmers’ War and Zwingli.


Lucas Cranach d.Ä., Martin Luther

Martin Luther (1483 – 1546), by Lucas Cranach, 1529


We will be going into the heart of the Protestant Reformation by focusing on Martin Luther in Germany (or the Holy Roman Empire I should say specifically because the state of Germany didn’t exist during this time) and Huldrych Zwingli of the Swiss Confederacy.

Please write a one page summary of one of the following topics:


  1. Name what you believe was Luther’s greatest achievement based on the chapter.  Why?
  2. Summarize Martin Luther’s main theological problems he had with the Catholic Church as described in this chapter by MacCulloch.  Discuss his use or view of holy Scripture, his soteriology, his views on Purgatory, indulgences, etc.
  3. Discuss the ways in which the Catholic Church tried to respond to Luther’s criticisms and attacks upon the Church.
  4. Summarize Luther’s three great treatises of 1520, the Address to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation, The Babylonian Captivity of the Church, and The Freedom of a Christian.  Which one do you think had the most impact overall and why?
  5. Discuss Luther’s debates with Erasmus.  What were the strategies both employed on each other over the issue of humanity’s free will?
  6. Discuss the main differences in agendas and priorities between Luther and Zwingli.  Focus on matters such as sacred art, the Eucharist, the numbering of the Ten Commandments, law, the sacraments and church music.


Clip from the 2003 movie Luther starring Joseph Fiennes.



Responses will be posted up next Wednesday, April 23.




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