There are few figures more central to the history of the West than Martin Luther (1486–1546). Without him there would have been no Reformation, or at least it would have looked very differently. The confessional Protestant churches, i.e., Lutherans and the Reformed are his children. Contrary to identity that developed in 19th-century among some American Reformed and Presbyterians, we there were not two parallel Protestant tracks, one emanating from Zürich independently of Luther and one emanating from Wittenberg. There are not two competing Protestant principles, justification by faith alone and divine sovereignty. As often as they disagreed with each other, the 16th and 17th century Lutherans and Reformed did not describe their differences that way. The original Reformed theologians and churches in Europe and the British Isles were unashamed of their profound debt to Luther.
Carl Trueman did his doctoral work on Luther and has taught Reformation history for two decades. So it was appropriate that he was on campus last summer teaching a course on Martin Luther. He is Visiting Professor of Historical Theology at Westminster Seminary California and Professor of Biblical and Religious Studies at Grove City College. He’s the author of many excellent books, among which is Luther on the Christian Life: Cross and Freedom.
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