Christian students today face increasing hostility, the more so as they cling to the ever-offensive gospel. Luther faced the wrath of the Emperor, the Pope, burning at the stake and the prospect of hell ever after if he was wrong. To all this he managed to reply: ‘I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not retract anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. I cannot do otherwise, here I stand, may God help me, Amen.’
It was no mere bluster or passing bravado. Luther saw that it is precisely when the gospel is most under attack that God’s people must do theology – and thus bind themselves to the Scriptures – with all the more urgency.
Happy Reformation Day.