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13 - Forming the Protestant Confessions

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2012

Thomas A. Brady Jr.
Affiliation:
University of California, Berkeley
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Summary

And I saw an angel flying through the midst of heaven. He had an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who sit and dwell on earth, to all heathen and races and languages and nations. And he said with a loud voice: Fear God and give him honor, for the time of his judgment has come. Worship the one who has made heaven and earth, the seas and the springs of water. And another angel followed and said: “She has fallen, she has fallen, Babylon, the great city, for she has made drunk all the heathen with the wine of her harlotry.” This angel … was Dr. Martin Luther.

Johannes Bugenhagen

The Protestant reformation grew under the sign of the Last Day. “In these last days of this transitory world,” declares the preface to the Book of Concord (1580), “the Almighty God, out of immeasurable love, grace, and mercy for the human race, has allowed the light of his holy gospel and his Word that alone grants salvation to appear and shine forth purely, unalloyed and unadulterated out of the superstitious, papistical darkness for the German nation, our beloved fatherland.” These words define Luther's principal legacy to his heirs: our lives are lived in the struggle between God and the Devil for mastery of man and the world.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2009

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