The Idolatry In Martin Luther's Catechism

1101 Words5 Pages

Fundamentally, idolatry is the worship of an image or object or the excessive devotion towards a person or item. From a religious perspective, idolatry is the worship of images and representations other than the true God. Idolatry is a practice whose scope is often misunderstood, prompting the efforts by different people to demystify the practice both in the past and in the world today. Martin Luther, for instance, explores his understanding of the practice in his Large Catechism, a text meant to guide Lutheran clergymen in their service. This essay discusses idolatry, with specific emphasis on Luther’s ideas and presentation of the same and its prevalence in the modern world.

Martin Luther was a German theology professor recognized as the …show more content…

Martin Luther lists the Ten Commandments, top among them the commandment against idolatry. Idolatry, according to the book, means having a wrong and false trust which translates to not serving the right God. I find Luther’s interpretation of idolatry insightful, particularly his analysis of the first commandment as demanding sole trust in God without ever seeking any other god. Luther further adds that idolatry goes beyond erecting and worshiping images to trusting, seeking, and pursuance of help and consolation from sources other than God. This interpretation widens the scope of idolatry beyond the common perspective of the practice, an interpretation I find enlightening and which introduces a new dimension to the understanding of the practice of idolatry. Further, the examples Luther gives of idols such as money and earthly possessions are considerably perceptive and remain relevant six centuries after his death going by their prevalence in the modern …show more content…

P., Kolb, R., & Wengert, T. J. (2000). The Book of Concord: The confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Minneapolis: Fortress Press.

Chandra, D. (2016). Hinduism: The Dawn of Civilization. New Delhi: Diamond Pocket Books Pvt Ltd.

Cook, D. D., Thomason, B. A., Whiting, M., Goodyear, J., Gronberg, E., Harley, J., Cook, M., ... Gandy, J. (2018). Luther on leadership: Leadership insights from the great reformer. Eugene, Oregon: Wipf & Stock Publishers

Gregoire, C. (2017, December 6). How Money Changes The Way We Think And Behave. Retrieved February 28, 2018, from Huffington Post:

Persaud, W. D. (2007). Luther's small and large catechisms: Defining and confessing Christian faith from the centre in a religiously plural world. Dialog, 46(4), 355-362.

Rosner, B. (2007). Greed as Idolatry: The Origin and Meaning of a Pauline Metaphor. Michigan: William B. Eardmans Publishing Company.

Tullock J. & McEntire, M. (2012). The Old Testament Story (9th Ed.). Indiana: Pearson Learning.

Ulrich, R. (2016). In Search of Our Achilles Heel. Behavior Analysis and Social Action, 6(2),

Open Document