Reason and Protestant Christianity in Their Own Words

I have long found William Lane Craig's proclamation of a "reasonable faith" to be deliciously ironic. Since The 95 Theses were first nailed on the door of Castle Church, Martin Luther made it abundantly clear what the role of reason was in the Protestant faith. Note that this was not some uneducated medieval wretch in the 12th century; this is the highly educated Augustinian monk, professor at a prestigious university, and probably the most important founder of the Protestant movement. Shall we take a look?

"Reason is the Devil’s greatest whore; by nature and manner of being she is a noxious whore; she is a prostitute, the Devil’s appointed whore; whore eaten by scab and leprosy who ought to be trodden under foot and destroyed, she and her wisdom… Throw dung in her face to make her ugly. She is and she ought to be drowned in baptism… She would deserve, the wretch, to be banished to the filthiest place in the house, to the closets."

― Martin Luther, Erlangen Edition v. 16, pp. 142‐148

"People gave ear to an upstart astrologer who strove to show that the earth revolves, not the heavens or the firmament, the sun and the moon…This fool wishes to reverse the entire science of astronomy; but sacred scripture tells us [Joshua 10:13] that Joshua commanded the sun to stand still, and not the earth."

― Table Talks in 1539

"Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has; it never comes to the aid of spiritual things, but—more frequently than not—struggles against the divine Word, treating with contempt all that emanates from God."

― Table Talks in 1569

"Reason should be destroyed in all Christians."

"Whoever wants to be a Christian should tear the eyes out of his Reason."

"There is on earth among all dangers no more dangerous thing than a richly endowed and adroit reason…Reason must be deluded, blinded, and destroyed."

― The Faith of a Heretic

"Heretics are not to be disputed with, but to be condemned unheard, and whilst they perish by fire, the faithful ought to pursue the evil to its source, and bathe their heads in the blood of the Catholic bishops, and of the Pope, who is the devil in disguise."

― Riffel, Kirchengeschichte

And the most delisciously ironic of all:

"Idiots, the lame, the blind, the dumb, are men in whom the devils have established themselves: and all the physicians who heal these infirmities, as though they proceeded from natural causes, are ignorant blockheads…"

In the interest of space, I have left out multitudes of quotes where Luther attributes many things known at the time to be naturalistic as being devils, demons, and witchery (not to mention his virulent anti-Semitism and misogyny).

Protestant Christianity was founded in direct opposition to reason. And now people claim to be able to reconcile the two? It would be funny were it not so sad.

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