All too frequently writers have been tempted to over-simplify the German Reformation. The literature in the field is enormous, contradictory, kaleidoscopic, and infinitely complex, requiring decades to master the more important sources and standard works. Such labels as “Reformation,” the “Protestant Revolt,” and the “Protestant Revolution” are, in a large measure, propaganda terms presupposing fundamental assumptions and lines of reasoning not entirely supported in fact. Often the casual reader in this field receives the impression that Reformers like Wyclif, Hus, Savonarola, Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin were merely out of step with the accepted, centuries-old teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. He is not aware of the fact that he is reading history in reverse.