Was Luther Too Mean? No More So Than John, Jesus, or Paul

My boast is that I have injured no one’s life or reputation, but only sharply reproached, as godless and sacrilegious, those assertions, inventions, and doctrines which are against the Word of God. I do not apologize for this, for I have good precedents.

John the Baptist [Luke 3:7] and Christ after him [Matt. 23:33] called the Pharisees the “offspring of vipers.” So excessive and outrageous was this abuse of such learned, holy, powerful, and honored men that they said in reply that He had a demon [John 7:20]. If in this instance Latomus had been judge, I wonder what the verdict would have been!

Elsewhere Christ calls them “blind” [Matt. 23:16], “crooked,” “liars,” “sons of the devil” [John 8:44, 55].

Good God, even Paul lacked “evangelical modesty” when he anathematized the teachers of the Galatians [Gal. 1:8] who were, I suppose, great men. Others he calls “dogs” [Phil. 3:2], “empty talkers” [Tit. 1:10], “deceivers” [Col. 2:4, 8]. Further, he accused to his face the magician Elymas with being a “son of the devil, full of all deceit and villainy” [Acts 13:10].*

The gentle flowers in academic towers perched on soft comfy chairs and surrounded by pillows of ease these days find Luther too harsh and unpleasant only because, like the Princess, anything so rough as a single pea buried under multiple mattresses is too much for them to endure.  To them I have the feeling Luther would say, “toughen up, Princess.  There’s a war against falsehood to be waged”.

*Luther, ‘Against Latomus‘, Preface.

About Jim

I am a Pastor, and Lecturer in Church History and Biblical Studies at Ming Hua Theological College.
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