Martin Luther

The life and impact of Martin Luther on the Reformation and beyond.

About this Class

This course is an introduction to the life and writings of the great German reformer, Martin Luther. There are 20 lectures totaling approximately 18 hours. These lectures were given at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts.

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  • Skill Level:
  • Length:
    19 hours
  • Price:
  • Institution:
    Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
  • Subject:
    Church History
  • Language:



Introduction to the life and theology of Martin Luther.


Luther expressed his views in a way that was shaped by his theology and the culture.


Martin Luther was born in Germany in the late 15th century, just after Guttenberg developed his printing press.


When Martin Luther posted the 95 theses, his intention was to discuss and debate the misuse of indulgences, but it was interpreted by the church heirarchy as an attack on the power of the papacy.


Luther's writings demonstrate his ability to understand and articulate issues that are at the core of the nature of God and man. His theology is distinct from philosophy and consists of many comments on passages in Psalms and Romans.


Faith alone justifies. By faith the Christian is made to love God, therefore a person does good works because they cannot remain idle.


The work of Christ when he allowed himself to be crucified on the cross, teaches us about God's nature, our nature and our relationship to God.


Luther's fourfold sense of scripture focused on historical (literal), allegorical (figurative), tropological (moral), and anagogic (future).


Luther's view of the atonement differs from classical views taught during his time and view held by the scholastic tradition.


Luther's teaching on justification by faith is central to his theology.


Theology of the cross assumes bondage and moves to freedom.


Four positions on predestination include the Calvinist, neo-Protestant, intuitu fidei, and Gnesio-Lutherans.


Luther's commentary on Galatians is an attempt to set "Law" in its proper setting.


The sacraments are an external expression of an internal reality.


Luther's teachings on the importance of baptism and arguments for infant baptism.


Luther's view of the theological and personal significance of the Lord's Supper.


The kingdom of God and secular government have areas of unity and areas of differences.


Luther gives a definition of the church and describes characteristics of the church.


Luther developed a catechism to help people focus on the foundational beliefs of the Christian faith.


Martin Luther's writings can encourage people to pursue their relationship with God on a deeper level.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who are the programs intended for?

The Foundations program is intended for everyone, regardless of biblical knowledge. The Academy program is intended for those who would like more advanced studies. And the Institute program is intended for those who want to study seminary-level classes.

Do I need to take the classes in a specific order?

In the Foundations and Academy programs, we recommend taking the classes in the order presented, as each subsequent class will build on material from previous classes. In the Institute program, the first 11 classes are foundational. Beginning with Psalms, the classes are on specific books of the Bible or various topics.

Do you offer transfer credit for completing a certificate program?

At this time, we offer certificates only for the classes on the Certificates page. While we do not offer transfer credit for completing a certificate program, you will be better equipped to study the Bible and apply its teachings to your life.