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What They Said About the Reformation*

“[Christ] is everywhere, but He does not wish that you grope for Him everywhere. Grope rather where the Word is, and there you will lay hold of Him in the right way.”
Martin Luther


“The true treasure of the church is the most holy gospel of the glory and grace of God.”
Martin Luther, thesis 62


“It is impossible to understand modern history apart from the Reformation. We cannot understand the history of Europe, England, or America without studying the Reformation. For example, in America there would never have been Pilgrim Fathers if there had not first been a Protestant Reformation.”
Jack Arnold, church history professor


“Luther knew what it felt like for the law to convict him, accuse him, leave him with nowhere to rest. And if you want to know what really sparked the Protestant Reformation, it is the fact that feeling this way, Luther . . . believed that God’s grace is a gift, [and] no longer accepted what the church had for so long taught: that we are really saved by the works of the law. The medieval church had pawned off law as gospel, and Luther dared to know the difference. Then he became a preacher of grace, and that changed everything.”
Nadia Bolz-Weber, pastor


“The Reformation as such, liberated from its early modern political constraints, remains alive and well in the United States. Anyone who doubts this need only open the yellow pages of a local phone book from anywhere in the United States and look under ‘Churches.’ ”
Brad S. Gregory, professor


“The mainstream Reformation was not concerned with establishing a new Christian tradition, but with the renewal and correction of an existing tradition. On the basis of their assertion that Christian theology was ultimately grounded in Scripture, Reformers such as Luther and Calvin argued for the need to return to Scripture as the primary and critical source of Christian theology.”
Robert Kennerson, author


“The recently published Atlas of World Christianity enumerates about 500 million adherents to churches and denominations that trace their descent directly or indirectly from sixteenth-century Protestant beginnings, and several hundred millions more in ‘independent’ churches with Protestant origins or strongly Protestant characteristics.”
Mark Noll, professor


“The Reformation is a much broader event than that singular day. To be sure, the Reformation began on that day. The Reformation, however, spanned two centuries and encompassed a cast of characters from a variety of nations. Luther may very well be at the center of the Reformation, but he does not stand alone.”
Stephen J. Nichols, author


“The now almost universally acknowledged principles of religious freedom, liberty of conscience, the rule of law, separation of powers and constitutionally limited republics were unthinkable before the Reformation.”
The Reformation Society, Cape Town, South Africa


“The Bible ceased to be a foreign book in a foreign tongue, and became naturalized, and hence far more clear and dear to the common people. Hereafter the Reformation depended no longer on the works of the Reformers, but on the book of God, which everybody could read for himself as his daily guide in spiritual life. This inestimable blessing of an open Bible for all . . . marks an immense advance in church history, and can never be lost.”
Philip Schaff, theologian and church historian (1819-1893)


“The Protestant Reformation had a lot to do with the printing press, where Martin Luther’s theses were reproduced about 250,000 times. So you had widespread dissemination of ideas that hadn’t circulated in the mainstream before.”
Nate Silver, author and statistician


“The Waldenses witnessed for God centuries before the birth of Luther. Scattered over many lands, they planted the seeds of the Reformation that began in the time of Wycliffe, grew broad and deep in the days of Luther, and is to be carried forward to the close of time.”
Ellen G. White, author (1827-1915)


“The Reformation did not, as many suppose, end with Luther. It is to be continued to the close of this world’s history. Luther . . . did not receive all the light which was to be given to the world. From that time to this, new light has been continually shining upon the Scriptures, and new truths have been constantly unfolding.”
Ellen G. White


*Except for the quotations by Ellen G. White, these were taken from TheLivingLutheran.org/2017/01reformation-500/.

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