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Did Martin Luther believe in an eternal hell?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by RunAway, Feb 1, 2009.

  1. RunAway

    RunAway New Member

    Aug 10, 2008
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    I read somewhere that he believed in the unconscious state of the lost.... Like a Seventh-Day Adventist...Got this from Wikipedia...

    * "Salomon judgeth that the dead are a sleepe, and feele nothing at all. For the dead lye there accompting neyther dayes nor yeares, but when they are awoken, they shall seeme to haue slept scarce one minute." - Martin Luther, An Exposition of Salomon's Booke, called Ecclesiastes or the Preacher (translation 1573)

    Martin Luther (1493-1546), German reformer and Bible translator
    #1 RunAway, Feb 1, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 1, 2009
  2. JustChristian

    JustChristian New Member

    Jun 12, 2007
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    Isn't he saying here that everyone who dies, saved and lost, will be asleep waiting for the final Judgment?
  3. RustySword

    RustySword Member

    Feb 12, 2008
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    Non Baptist Christian
    Hmmm...I've never heard of Martin Luther believing such a thing.

    And that one little sound-bite is not enough to come to such a conclusion, IMHO.

    Perhaps a Lutheran will chime in, or someone who has read more of Luther's works.
  4. Marcia

    Marcia Active Member

    May 12, 2004
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    You will wait a long time for a Lutheran to chime in, because this is Baptist only forum! :wavey:
  5. BigBossman

    BigBossman New Member

    Jan 8, 2009
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    If it wasn't for Martin Luther, there wouldn't have been the Protestant Reformation. This established a difference between Catholic & Protestant. I probably would have been Catholic if it didn't take place.

    I would have to believe that Martin Luther believed in a Hell. Otherwise, why would he have broken away from the Catholic Church? I don't think he believed in Purgatory, which is what Catholics believe in.
    #5 BigBossman, Feb 3, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 3, 2009
  6. Jim1999

    Jim1999 <img src =/Jim1999.jpg>

    Aug 10, 2002
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    According to church history texts, including the Lutheran, A History of the Christian Church, Lars P. Qualben (St. Olaf College), Luther remained Catholic in theology to his dying day, with a few exceptions. He did not want to leave the Catholic Church. He wanted to reform it. Get rid of the extra biblical concepts and ideas, including indulgences. His doctrinal views were all over the board as he continued to develop his thinking.

    After he was excommunicated, he had more political and state influence in Germany than theological. Germany reformed in political posture and churches did spring up with more freedom of religion and some reformed state-oriented doctrines.

    It is an interesting read, but you might find it a little confusing theologically.

    He absolutely feared hell more than anything in the beginning. It was the fear of hell that drove him to the priesthood. If one reads of Luther in the early days, one will find a literal hell of fire, a purgatory of relief from Hell's fire and eventually a system of soul sleep.

    In general history it is difficult to sort out truth from fiction regarding Luther. Some books call hi a filthy-mouthed individual who had nothing but disdane for the pope and the sh*t that came from his mouth. Other texts will praise him to the hilt for his political and moral leadership.

    As I said, it is hard to follow the history because it is all over the board, but still, a must read and a lot of reading between the lines to develop a theology from him.