Europe Before Luther

"In [Luther's] day, as Catholic historians all agree, the Popes of the Renaissance were secularized, flippant, frivolous, sensual, magnificent and unscrupulous... Politics were emancipated from any concern for the faith to such a degree that the Most Christian King of France and His Holiness the Pope did not disdain a military alliance with the Sultan against the Holy Roman Empire. Luther changed all this. Religion became again a dominant factor even in politics for another century and a half. Men cared enough for the faith to die for it and to kill for it. If there is any sense remaining of Christian civilization in the West, this man Luther in no small measure deserves the credit.”[1]


[1] Roland Bainton, Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther (New York: Meridian, 1977) 15.

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