In celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation (October 31, 1571 — October 31, 2017), I have found myself reading, watching, and listening various writers, presenters, and speakers on the German reformer Martin Luther and his theology.
Along the way, I encountered the young law student Luther; the young Augustinian monk Luther; the theology student Luther; the Wittenberg professor Luther; the debater Luther; the translator Luther; the hymn writer Luther; the family man Luther, etc. However a convincing argument can be made that what gave us Martin Luther the reformer and therefore the Protestant Reformation is Martin Luther and sola scriptura (the affirmation that Scripture–the Bible–is the sole written authority for the faith and life of God’s people).
When all is said and done, I believe that it was Luther’s love, study, and faithfulness to Scripture which gave birth to we know as the Protestant Reformation.
And at that now famous Imperial Diet of Worms in 1521, Luther would took his stand on the Scriptures–an act which both defied the religious and political authorities of his day:
“Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or clear reason, for I do not trust in the Pope or in the councils alone, sine it is well known that they often err and contradict themselves, I am bound to the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. I cannot do otherwise. Here I stand. God help me. Amen.”