Martin Luther

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Assess the impact that Martin Luther's thought had for practical theology.

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I would think that Martin Luther's impact was quite powerful for practical theology.  Through his critique of the church as an institution, Luther was able to restore the ability for individuals to interact with the Biblical texts themselves.  Absolution and the hope of redemption did not involve an intermediary, such as with the sale of indulgences.  Rather, individuals could find salvation through the example of Jesus of Nazareth and the New Testament.  When Luther says about his own live and challenges that “Our enemies threaten us with death. They would do better to threaten us with life," it speaks to the idea that theology is more relevant when it focuses on the basis of life and what should drive this existence.  I think that this becomes a point in which practical theology is "rejuvenated" through the example of Martin Luther.  His focus on the how individuals should interact with the text is more practical for individuals were encouraged to use the sacred texts to relate to their own lives.  Power, as it were, did not rest entirely with the authority structure that dictated how life should be.  Rather, it existed more within the penitent and how their devotion to Jesus' example should be seen in the modern setting.

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