Lead: The rhetoric and opinions of Martin Luther helped bring an end to the comfortable religious and political unity of western Europe. His incendiary critique of Roman Catholicism tossed up champions of the Church. One of those was Johann Eck.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: When Luther advanced his 95 theses in fall 1517 his desire was to provoke a debate about the role and power of the Roman Catholic Pope, but even further how the believer secures salvation. He had come to believe that no Church ritual, no righteousness on the part of the believer, indeed, no human agent, including priests and popes, could facilitate or mediate that salvation. To Luther, only God by Grace through faith in Christ could save anyone.