Martin Luther: a dubious role model


I fail to see that Martin Luther was really an improvement with respect to the Church of Rom and explained why:

To my mind, the Anabaptists were the true reformers.


My first Luther book I read was ‘On the Bondage of the Will’ (download pdf). I was quite surprised how rude and crude he was. He truly made me look like a saint. :laughing:

Fact is stranger than fiction. The same observations of Luther can be made about many of his ideological predecessors, such as Athanasius and Hilary of Poitiers. The church has many saints who are actually villains. Hitler is an example only of how anyone can use a church role model to justify evil. IMO, the history of the church really needs to be re-written with “fruits” as a central identifier for a worthy role model. At the moment our role models are based on political and ideological convenience rather than a true NT framework. Many of our saints are more like a list of FBI’s most wanted. :blush:


You can read Martin Luther’s entire book On the Jews and Their Lies here:

Or if you just want to read a few excerpts from the book, such as the following, you can also do that at the site:



Poor Luther really got suckered by the Jews. He was given feigned honor because the Jews were against the Catholic church, and they used Luther as a pawn for their own devious ends. Once Luther realized that he was played he became ropable. They were laughing at Luther, so he turned his hostility toward all of them. An interesting history lays behind the book.


I am certainly no fan of Luther any more than of Calvin – but I just wanted to point out that Dietrich Bonhoeffer said Luther wrote that book in his old age and that there was credible evidence that he’d progressed quite a way into senile dementia by that time. Just throwing that in there, and I don’t know whether or not it’s true.


Luther had quite bad health, but I don’t think it can be claimed his opinions were based on any form of dementia. He wrote several times after “the Jews”, and he gave several sermons as well. He wrote* The Jews *when he was about 58 or 59.

Paul Johnson writes that “Luther was not content with verbal abuse. Even before he wrote his anti-Semitic pamphlet, he got Jews expelled from Saxony in 1537, and in the 1540s he drove them from many German towns; he tried unsuccessfully to get the elector to expel them from Brandenburg in 1543.” (WIKI)

This struggle with the Jews went on for a 10 year period prior to his death. The Jews had previously given Luther the optimism that they would do a mass conversion once he distanced himself from Rome, etc. When he did as they asked, they reneged and laughed at Luther. They made a fool of Luther, basically. “His wife Katharina was overheard saying, “Dear husband, you are too rude,” and he responded, “They are teaching me to be rude.”” (WIKI) :slight_smile:


Somewhere I read that at an earlier stage, Luther had said that the Jews were to be pitied. But as time went on, he began to hate them. I don’t know whether or not this is correct.


Yep. He initially saw them as his personal mission to save. He abruptly changed his mind to having outright contempt for them.


Is it only a coincidence he was also a divine determinist believing that God (directly or indirectly) causes the eternal damnation of countless humans?


Yes! It is only a coincidence. Religion is too mixed to stereotype people with such characterizations. There are some very loving and caring people within the “eternal damnation” camp. Many of them would have problems with Luther’s approach too.


Luther had problems. R.C. Sproul has a chapter in “The Holiness Of God” called “The Insanity Of Luther”. Says Sproul:


Luther was also, at times, extremely enlightened and a very able academic. He lived in extraordinary times. His actions and “phobias” should not be viewed in a vacuum.


Correct Steven. One positive thing about Luther was that he was an excellent Greek scholar.

He said something rather significant, and quite succinct concerning John 1:1 according to Mounce’s Basics of Biblical Greek:


Yes, Luther had virtues as we all do.


I don’t know everything about Luther but I love him because he had the courage to fight the devil and tell the Catholic church not to try and sell God’s grace just like Jesus did with the money changers in the Temple.

It is confusing fighting the devil so I wouldn’t expect a perfectly clean fight but it is still the good fight of faith.

I read a comparison once of Luther’s views on faith versus Erasmus’’ views and Luther beat Erasmus on all or almost all doctrinal points as far as I can recall.

If you can find the summary of their debate online it is interesting to read.

I love Luther…pure courage…no fear of man there…He knew he answered to God and he didn’t bow to the peer pressure and he was right in the middle of the Church.

Too bad he didn’t spot the hell doctrine lie but I suppose that is the job of our generation.

For his generation he was amazing as was Wycliffe who had to fight to get the bible out of Latin into the vernacular.

The bible foretold that the Pentecostal Age would be leavened with sin and Luther did his very best to unleavened it. Much more than one man can ordinarily do al on his own. Lucky for him he found a political protector or the Church would most likely have burned him for heresy.

I have been accused of heresy myself by eternal tormentists but I am just answering to God like Luther did.

I don’t answer to other men…A lot of the men accusing me of heresy never put in the amount of study that I did…so why do they think they have the right to get on their high horse?

Zeal is higher than knowledge.

But zeal with knowledge is better and Peter says we are to add knowledge to our list of things to do.

So let them call me a heretic. The Pharisees called Jesus Christ one and he did miracles in their midst and fit the prophecies like a glove.

People believe what they want to believe based on the level of evil in their hearts but they will never admit it.


Luther and Erasmus debate summarized here.

Luther was so important.

He got that everything depends on God and very little upon us.

That is why Jesus Christ is magnified and glorified.

Because everything depends on God and on what Jesus Christ did on the Cross.

God is the parent…we aren’t. So why do so many Christians suffer from role confusion?

Luther’s the Bondage of the Will Versus Erasmus Free Will … U99h3A8KrU

Really when you think about it…our souls and wills are broken… so we need to be bonded with God through Jesus Christ in Spirit.

The soul is broken.

So God gave us the Spirit at the Cross to replace it.

Praise Jesus!