Lead: Without a doubt the Protestant Reformation had a profound impact on religion, but Martin Luther’s rebellion of faith also inspired a social revolution.
Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts
Content: Ernst Troeltsch, the German religious sociologist, wrote that Martin Luther and other early Protestants asked the same three basic theological questions as their Catholic contemporaries, they just supplied a different set of answers. For instance, how is one saved? Roman Catholicism said by faith and works. Protestants said by faith alone. Or what is the source of religious authority? Catholics said the Bible and church tradition. Luther said the Bible and the individual’s interpretive conscience are the only guides to faith and life. Or what is the Church? Roman Catholicism tended to identify the church with the clergy and elevated religious life and vocation over all others. Protestants said every believer was a priest and, that while clergy were important in church affairs, no man or organization was required to bridge the gap between a believer and God. Yet, in history’s view, perhaps the greatest impact of the Lutheran revolt was not in matters of belief, rather it was in the way it transformed the social and political face of Europe.