Lecture 5, Indulgence Controversy:
Theological disputation occurs frequently within the confines of the church. At times, differences among brothers and sisters in Christ lead to divisive splits and even animosity, which generally burgeons on account of poor behavior and a less than gentle spirit. In today’s lesson, we witness the watershed moment from which the Protestant Reformation would flow. Nonetheless, we see Martin Luther expressing his contention with the marketing techniques of Johannes Tetzel in a humble manner. Contrary to popular belief, Luther did not rail bombastically against the Roman church upon hearing about the selling of indulgences, but he desired to address the issue in the proper forum with reasonable decorum. Although the Lord had other ideas for Luther, we can learn a valuable lesson both from Luther’s propriety and the historical events surrounding him.