Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the theology of Martin Luther, a German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the Roman Catholic Church launched the Protestant Reformation. Beginning with the 95 Theses, Luther's writings were disseminated internationally, spreading the ideas of the Reformation beyond the ability of governmental and churchly authorities to control it.
The split between the Lutherans and the Roman Catholics began with the Edict of Worms in 1521, which officially excommunicated Luther and all of his followers. The divide centered over the doctrine of Justification. Lutheranism advocates a doctrine of justification "by grace alone through faith alone because of Christ alone," which went against the Roman view of "faith formed by love", or "faith and works". Unlike the Reformed Churches, Lutherans retain many of the liturgical practices and sacramental teachings of the pre-Reformation Church, with a particular emphasis on the Eucharist, or Lord's Supper. Lutheran theology significantly differs from Reformed theology in Christology, the purpose of God's Law, the divine grace, the concept of perseverance of the saints, and predestination.
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... Lutherans teach that the means of grace are the ways that God the Holy Spirit creates faith in the hearts of Christians, forgives their sins, gives them eternal salvation and causes them to grow spiritually ... For Lutherans, the means of grace include the Gospel (both written and proclaimed), as well as the sacrament of Holy Baptism, and the Sacrament of the Eucharist ... Some Lutherans also include Confession and Absolution as sacraments and as such a means of grace, although they are not counted as such by others because no physical element is attached to Absolution ...
... List of Lutheran denominations Lutheran church bodies in North America List of Lutheran clergy List of Lutheran colleges and universities List of Lutheran dioceses and archdioceses List ...
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“... the generation of the 20s was truly secular in that it still knew its theology and its varieties of religious experience. We are post-secular, inventing new faiths, without any sense of organizing truths. The truths we accept are so multiple that honesty becomes little more than a strategy by which you manage your tendencies toward duplicity.”
—Ann Douglas (b. 1942)