Protestantism Quotes

Quotes tagged as "protestantism" Showing 1-30 of 58
Martin Luther
“I cannot choose but adhere to the word of God, which has possession of my conscience; nor can I possibly, nor will I even make any recantation, since it is neither safe nor honest to act contrary to conscience! Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise, so help me God! Amen.”
Martin Luther

Martin Luther
“Although it is very easy to marry a wife, it is very difficult to support her along with the children and the household. Accordingly, no one notices this faith of Jacob. Indeed, many hate fertility in a wife for the sole reason that the offspring must be supported and brought up. For this is what they commonly say: ‘Why should I marry a wife when I am a pauper and a beggar? I would rather bear the burden of poverty alone and not load myself with misery and want.’ But this blame is unjustly fastened on marriage and fruitfulness. Indeed, you are indicting your unbelief by distrusting God’s goodness, and you are bringing greater misery upon yourself by disparaging God’s blessing. For if you had trust in God’s grace and promises, you would undoubtedly be supported. But because you do not hope in the Lord, you will never prosper.”
Martin Luther, The Sermons of Martin Luther: 7 Volumes

G.K. Chesterton
“The Reformer is always right about what's wrong. However, he's often wrong about what is right.”
G.K. Chesterton

Peter Kreeft
“Protestants believe that the sacraments are like ladders that God gave to us by which we can climb up to Him. Catholics believe that they are like ladders that God gave to Himself by which He climbs down to us.”
Peter Kreeft, Jesus-Shock

Karl Barth
“Theology is not a private subject for theologians only. Nor is it a private subject for professors. Fortunately, there have always been pastors who have understood more about theology than most professors. Nor is theology a private subject of study for pastors. Fortunately, there have repeatedly been congregation members, and often whole congregations, who have pursued theology energetically while their pastors were theological infants or barbarians. Theology is a matter for the Church.”
Karl Barth

Elizabeth Kostova
“[I]t seemed to me now that a Catholic church was the right companion for all these horrors. Didn't Catholicism deal with blood and resurrected flesh on a daily basis? Wasn't it expert in superstition? I somehow doubted that the hospitable plain Protestant chapels that dotted the university could be much help; they didn't look qualified to wrestle with the undead. I felt sure those big square Puritan churches on the town green would be helpless in the face of a European vampire. A little witch burning was more in their line--something limited to the neighbors.”
Elizabeth Kostova, The Historian

Joyce Cary
“Plantie is a very strong Protestant, that is to say, he's against all churches, especially the Protestant: and he thinks a lot of Buddha, Karma and Confucius. He is also a bit of an anarchist and three or four years ago he took up Einstein and vitamins.”
Joyce Cary, The Horse's Mouth

Hans Küng
“The Pope would have an easier job than the President of the United States in adopting a change of course. He has no Congress alongside him as a legislative body nor a Supreme Court as a judiciary. He is absolute head of government, legislator and supreme judge in the church. If he wanted to, he could authorize contraception over night, permit the marriage of priests, make possible the ordination of women and allow eucharistic fellowship with this Protestant churches. What would a Pope do who acted in the spirit of Obama?”
Hans Küng

“What made Luther’s stance so outrageous was not that he valorized the Bible. That is hardly unusual for Christians. What was shocking was that he set it above everything else. He treated the views of the early church fathers, of more recent scholars, even of church councils, with great respect, but he would not be constrained by them. In the end, anything outside the Bible, including anyone else’s interpretation of the Bible, was a mere opinion. This was the true and enduring radicalism of Protestantism: its readiness to question every human authority and tradition.”
Alec Ryrie, Protestants: The Faith That Made the Modern World

“Protestantism developed its sense of identity primarily in response to external threats and criticisms rather than as a result of shared beliefs. In one sense, the idea of "Protestantism" can be seen as the creation of its opponents rather than of its supporters.”
Alister E. McGrath, Christianity's Dangerous Idea: The Protestant Revolution: A History from the Sixteenth Century to the Twenty-First

Alexis de Tocqueville
“In running over the pages of our history for seven hundred years, we shall scarcely find a single great event which has not promoted equality of condition. The Crusades and the English wars decimated the nobles and divided their possessions: the municipal corporations introduced democratic liberty into the bosom of feudal monarchy; the invention of fire-arms equalized the vassal and the noble on the field of battle; the art of printing opened the same resources to the minds of all classes; the post-office brought knowledge alike to the door of the cottage and to the gate of the palace; and Protestantism proclaimed that all men are alike able to find the road to heaven. The discovery of America opened a thousand new paths to fortune, and led obscure adventurers to wealth and power.”
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

“I think both Protestants and Catholics have killed the woman for the sake of the mother. (Rubem Alves, p. 201)”
Mev Puleo, The Struggle Is One: Voices and Visions of Liberation

“Other translations may engage the mind, but the King James Version is the Bible of the heart.”
David Norton, The King James Bible

“That we should all have a say in choosing our own rulers and that those rulers ‘powers over us should be limited—these principles are in obvious tension, as every society that has tried to combine liberty and democracy has discovered. Without Protestantism and its peculiar preoccupations, that strange and marvelous synthesis could never have come into being as it has.”
Alec Ryrie, Protestants: The Faith That Made the Modern World

“The kind of sociopolitical structure that Protestantism engenders—based on free inquiry, participatory politics, and limited government—tends to favor market economics.”
Alec Ryrie, Protestants: The Faith That Made the Modern World

“Protestants are Christians whose religion derives ultimately from Martin Luther’s rebellion against the Catholic Church. They are a tree with many tangled branches but a single trunk.”
Alec Ryrie, Protestants: The Faith That Made the Modern World

Luther Blissett
“Yesterday I asked a five-year-old child who Jesus was. You know what he replied? A
statue.”
Luther Blissett, Q

Sarah Vowell
“Protestantism's evolution away from hierarchy and authority has enormous consequences for America and the world. On the one hand, the democratization of religion runs parallel to political democratization. The king of England, questioning the pope, inspires English subjects to question the king and his Anglican bishops. Such dissent is backed up by a Bible full of handy Scripture arguing for arguing with one's kIng. This is the root of self-government in the English-speaking world.

On the other hand, Protestantism's shedding away of authority, as evidenced by my [Pentecostal] mother's proclamation that I needn't go to church or listen to a preacher to achieve salvation, inspires self-reliance—along with a dangerous disregard for expertise. So the impulse that leads to democracy can also be the downside of democracy—namely, a suspicion of people who know what they are talking about. It's why in U.S. presidential elections the American people will elect a wisecracking good ol' boy who's fun in a malt shop instead of a serious thinker who actually knows some of the pompous, brainy stuff that might actually get fewer people laid off or killed.”
Sarah Vowell, The Wordy Shipmates

“Some Protestants insist that Protestantism is “Bible Christianity,” a religion that takes the whole, inspired Bible as the only and final authoritative source of truth.”
Alec Ryrie, Protestants: The Faith That Made the Modern World

“John Calvin, brought characteristic rigor to the question. Luther dreamed of good princes, disliked law on principle, and had little interest in institutions. As a result, Lutheran churches ended up with a mishmash of governing structures. Calvin, by contrast, had trained as a lawyer, knew that structures matter, and favored more participatory government.”
Alec Ryrie, Protestants: The Faith That Made the Modern World

“America was not a nation at all, but a league of thirteen separate nations—all of which had already standing Christian governments. For example the Constitution of Massachusetts required the Governor to “declare himself to be of the Christian religion” and gave the government the power to levy money “for the institution of the public worship of God and for the support and maintenance of public Protestant teachers of piety, religion, and morality”—and the Federal Government would not impede upon the existing State-level Religious Laws and Institutions.
Schools used to be both public and Protestant and filled with peace, but without Protestantism, schools have become public and filled with violent protesters. It is true that public Protestant schools were a little harsh and a lot successful, but the public secular schools today are extremely soft and not successful at all. These harsh and hard religious schools produced very tender men, whereas the soft public schools seem to produce more hardened criminals.”
Rob Primeau, The Law of Liberty: A Practical Look at the Judeo-Christian Tradition

Adam Weishaupt
“The Lutheran formula for a good life: commit as many as sins as possible then absolve yourself of all accountability by saying, “But I believe!” No wonder Lutheranism became so popular.”
Adam Weishaupt, Evangelical Protestants: Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know

Reinhold Niebuhr
“Passing one of our big churches today I ran across this significant slogan, calculated to impress the passing wayfarer: 'We Will Go Out of Business. When? When Every Man in Detroit Has Been Won to Christ.' Of course it is just a slogan and not to be taken too seriously, but the whole weakness of Protestantism is in it. Here we are living in a complex world in which thousands who have been 'won to Christ' haven't the slightest notion how to live a happy life or how to live together with other people without making each other miserable [1928].”
Reinhold Niebuhr, Leaves from the Notebook of a Tamed Cynic

John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton
“If the Catholic Church was naturally inclined to persecute, she would persecute in all cases alike, when there was no interest to serve but her own. Instead of adapting her conduct to circumstances, and accepting theories according to the character of the time, she would have developed a consistent theory out of her own system, and would have been most severe when she was most free from external influences, from political objects, or from temporary or national prejudices. She would have imposed acommon rule of conduct in different countries in different ages, instead of submitting to the exigencies of each time and place. Her own rule of conduct never changed. She treats it as a crime to abandon her, not to be outside her. An apostate who returns to her has a penance for his apostasy; a heretic who is converted has no penance for his heresy. Severity against those who are outside her fold is against her principles. Persecution is contrary to the nature of a universal Church; it is peculiar to the national Churches.

While the Catholic Church by her progress in freedom naturally tends to push the development of States beyond the sphere where they are still obliged to preserve the unity of religion, and whilst she extends over States in all degrees of advancement, Protestantism, which belongs to a particular age and state of society, which makes no claim to universality, and which is dependent on political connection, regards persecution, not as an accident, but as a duty.

Wherever Protestantism prevailed, intolerance became a principle of State, and was proclaimed in theory even where the Protestants were in a minority, and where the theory supplied a weapon against themselves. The Reformation made it a general law, not only against Catholics by way of self-defence or retaliation, but against all who dissented from the reformed doctrines, whom it treated, not as enemies, but as criminals,—against the Protestant sects, against Socinians, and against atheists. It was not a right, but a duty; its object was to avenge God, not to preserve order. There is no analogy between the persecution which preserves and the persecution which attacks; or between intolerance as a religious duty, and intolerance as a necessity of State. The Reformers unanimously declared persecution to be incumbent on the civil power; and the Protestant Governments universally acted upon their injunctions, until scepticism escaped the infliction of penal laws and condemned their spirit.”
John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton, The History of Freedom and Other Essays

John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton
“But Protestant establishments, according to our author’s definition, which applies to them, and to them alone, rest on the opposite theory, that the will of the State is independent of the condition of the community; and that it may, or indeed must, impose on the nation a faith which may be that of a minority, and which in some cases has been that of the sovereign alone. According to the Catholic view, government may preserve in its laws, and by its authority, the religion of the community; according to the Protestant view it may be bound to change it. A government which has power to change the faith of its subjects must be absolute in other things; so that one theory is as favourable to tyranny as the other is opposed to it. The safeguard of the Catholic system of Church and State, as contrasted with the Protestant, was that very authority which the Holy See used to prevent the sovereign from changing the religion of the people, by deposing him if he departed from it himself. In most Catholic countries the Church preceded the State; some she assisted to form; all she contributed to sustain. Throughout Western Europe Catholicism was the religion of the inhabitants before the new monarchies were founded. The invaders, who became the dominant race and the architects of a new system of States, were sooner or later compelled, in order to preserve their dominion, to abandon their pagan or their Arian religion, and to adopt the common faith of the immense majority of the people. The connection between Church and State was therefore a natural, not an arbitrary, institution; the result of the submission of the Government to popular influence, and the means by which that influence was perpetuated. No Catholic Government ever imposed a Catholic establishment on a Protestant community, or destroyed a Protestant establishment. Even the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, the greatest wrong ever inflicted on the Protestant subjects of a Catholic State, will bear no comparison with the establishment of the religion of a minority. It is a far greater wrong than the most severe persecution, because persecution may be necessary for the preservation of an existing society, as in the case of the early Christians and of the Albigenses; but a State Church can only be justified by the acquiescence of the nation. In every other case it is a great social danger, and is inseparable from political oppression.”
John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton, The History of Freedom and Other Essays

Jacques Maritain
“If we interpret St. Augustine in material terms, by the pure light of a reason which is not truly theological but geometric, his teaching seems to annihilate the creature. As a result of original sin man is taken to be essentially corrupt; that is the doctrine of Luther, of Calvin, of Jansenius.
Is not this the purest pessimism? Nature is corrupted in its essence by original sin; and under grace it remains corrupt, grace being here not life, but a covering cloak. Yes, it is the purest pessimism: but there is a singular result. Human nature before sin possessed as its due all the privileges of Adam. Now this corrupt man, who can merit nothing for Heaven, and whom faith covers with Christs grace as with a cloak, has nevertheless a value here on earth, even as he is and according to what he is, in the very corruption of his nature. Make way there for this sullied creature, since man must live in the hell which is this world!
Such is the dialectic, the tragedy of the protestant conscience, with its admirably vivid and aching sense, but too purely human, too darkly human sense of mortal misery and sin. The creature declares its nothingness. But this declaration is its own. Man is a walking corruption; but this irremediably corrupt nature cries out to God, and the initiative, do what one will, is thus man’s battle cry.”
Jacques Maritain, True Humanism

C. Andrew Doyle
“Paradoxically, the reformed churches embraced the criminalization of sin and shifted towards individualism as a means of freeing people from the onerous demands of the Church. The Church unwittingly propelled Western society into secularism and inaugurated the immanent frame, which remains our primary mindset in the West. Jesus endeavored to free people from a centralized, hierarchical, religious system of laws that benefited the few. As the Church became a principality, it created just such a system.”
C. Andrew Doyle, Vocatio: Imaging a Visible Church

T.F. Hodge
“Oppressive violence and hatred may, ultimately, turn [the] sheep into wolves.”
T.F. Hodge

“It is an irony still to be appreciated by many scholars that by so maximizing sinfulness (before God every man is guilty of every conceivable sin) Protestants tried to minimize its psychological burden (no man is required to ponder and recite his every actual sin)”
Steven E. Ozment, The Reformation in the Cities: The Appeal of Protestantism to Sixteenth-Century Germany and Switzerland

Robert Kurz
“Lorsque le marxisme traditionnel, idéologie immanente à la modernisation, cherche à restreindre les concepts de travail abstrait et d'abstraction réelle à la sphère de la circulation, il ne trahit pas seulement par là sa contamination par l'éthique protestante, le productivisme capitaliste et une fausse ontologie transhistorique du travail, mais surtout sa limitation à l'espace interne au système producteur de marchandises moderne et à son temps abstrait.”
Robert Kurz, The Substance of Capital

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