Protestantism Quotes

Quotes tagged as "protestantism" (showing 1-30 of 45)
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

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

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

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

“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

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

Richard Hofstadter
“The American mind was shaped in the mold of early modern Protestantism. Religion was the first arena for American intellectual life, and thus the first arena for an anti-intellectual impulse. Anything that seriously diminished the role of rationality and learning in early American religion would later diminish its role in secular culture. The feeling that ideas should above all be made to work, the disdain for doctrine and for refinements in ideas, the subordination of men of ideas to men of emotional power or manipulative skill are hardly innovations of the twentieth century; they are inheritances from American Protestantism.”
Richard Hofstadter

“Other translations may engage the mind, but the King James Version is the Bible of the heart.”
David Norton, The King James Bible: A Short History from Tyndale to Today

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

Thomas Mann
“We are the bourgeoisie—the third estate, as they call us now—and what we want is a nobility of merit, nothing more. We don't recognize this lazy nobility we now have, we reject our present class hierarchy. We want all men to be free and equal, for no one to be someone else's subject, but for all to be subject to the law. There should be an end of privileges and arbitrary power. Everyone should be treated equally as a child of the state, and just as there are no longer any middlemen between the layman and his God, so each citizen should stand in direct relation to the state. We want freedom of the press, of employment, of commerce. We want all men to compete without any special privileges, and the only crown should be the crown of merit.”
Thomas Mann, Buddenbrooks: The Decline of a Family

“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

“Repentance is a 180 degree turn, whereas Reformation is only a 90 degree turn.”
Atom Tate

Katherine Anne Porter
“These beliefs were mainly Protestant but not yet petty middle-class puritanism: there remained still an element fairly high stepping and wide gestured in its personal conduct. The petty middle class of fundamentalists who saw no difference between wine-drinking, dancing, card-playing, and adultery, had not yet got altogether the upper hand in that part of the country - in fact, never did except in certain limited areas; but it was making a brave try.”
Katherine Anne Porter, Collected Stories and Other Writings

Philip Ball
“...a copy of his Ninty-five Theses, a formal declaration of his arguments against indulgences. This is the document that Luther is said to have nailed to the church door in Wittenberg on October 31, 1517. If it happened at all, it was not quite as dramatic as it sounds—this was not an uncommon way to distribute pamphlets and polemics, and the Theses, written in Latin, would not have been accessible to most of the lay townspeople. But the timing—on the eve of All Saints' Day—made the challenge auspicious, and the document was soon thereafter distributed in a German translation by a local printer.”
Philip Ball, The Devil's Doctor: Paracelsus and the World of Renaissance Magic and Science

Thomas Mann
“I bear within me the seed, the rudiments, the possibility of life's capacities and endeavors. Where might I be, if I were not here? Who, what, how could I be, if I were not me, if this outward appearance that is me did not encase me, separating my consciousness from that of others who are not me? An organism—a blind, rash, pitiful eruption of the insistent assertion of the will. Far better, really, if that will were to drift free in a night without time or space, than to languish in a prison cell lit only by the flickering, uncertain flame of the intellect.”
Thomas Mann, Buddenbrooks: The Decline of a Family

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Anonymous, NIV Study Bible

Antonin Sertillanges
“Is it not strange that it should be precisely our century—a century of social science and of solidarity if ever there was one, and consequently of authority, apart from wandering into the most inconsistent Utopias—which rejects the Church because she refuses to be individualist!
Thinking that they had destroyed the religious life by killing it in themselves, we saw its politicians attempt but yesterday to replace it by enunciating theories of moral unity, of monopoly and spiritual collectivism, theories which cannot express anything except on condition of inviting men to erect once more, and this time arbitrarily, the authority they claimed they had destroyed.”
Antonin Sertillanges, The Church

Erich Fromm
“The Reformation is one root of the idea of human freedom and autonomy as it is represented in modern democracy. However, while this aspect is always stressed, especially in non-Catholic countries, its other aspect—its emphasis on the wickedness of human nature, it insignificance and powerlessness of the individual, and the necessity for the individual to subordinate himself to a power outside himself—is neglected. This idea of the unworthiness of the individual, his fundamental inability to rely on himself and his need to submit, is also the main theme of Hitler's ideology, which, however, lacks the emphasis on freedom and moral principles which was inherent to Protestantism.”
Erich Fromm, Escape from Freedom

Karl Marx
“[Martin] Luther, we grant, overcame bondage out of devotion by replacing it by bondage out of conviction. He shattered faith in authority because he restored the authority of faith. He turned priests into laymen because he turned laymen into priests. He freed man from outer religiosity because he made religiosity the inner man. He freed the body from chains because he enchained the heart.”
Karl Marx, Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right

Erich Fromm
Luther's personality as well as his teachings shows ambivalence toward authority. On the one hand he is overawed by authority—that of a worldly authority and that of a tyrannical God—and on the other hand he rebels against authority—that of the Church. He shows the same ambivalence in his attitude toward the masses. As far as they rebel within the limits he has set he is with them. But when they attack the authorities he approves of, an intense hatred and contempt for the masses comes to the fore. […] we shall show that this simultaneous love for authority and the hatred against those who are powerless are typical traits of the "authoritarian character.”
Erich Fromm, Escape from Freedom

Erich Fromm
“…one main point in Luther's teachings was his emphasis on the evilness of human nature, the uselessness of his will and of his efforts. Calvin placed the same emphasis on the wickedness of man and put in the center of his whole system the idea that man must humiliate his self-pride to the utmost; and furthermore, that the purpose of man’s life is exclusively God's glory and nothing of his own. Thus Luther and Calvin psychologically prepared man for the role which he had to assume in modern society: of feeling his own self to be insignificant and of being ready to subordinate his life exclusively for purposes which were not his own. Once man was ready to become nothing but the means for the glory of a God who represented neither justice nor love, he was sufficiently prepared to accept the role of a servant to the economic machine—and eventually a “Führer.”
Erich Fromm, Escape from Freedom

Erich Fromm
“In capitalism economic activity, success, material gains, become ends in themselves. It becomes man’s fate to contribute to the growth of the economic system, to amass capital, not for purposes of his own happiness or salvation; but as an end in itself. Man became a cog in the vast economic machine—an important one if he had much capital, an insignificant one if he had none—but always a cog to serve a purpose outside of himself. This readiness for submission of one’s self to extra-human ends was actually prepared by Protestantism, although nothing was further from Luther's or Calvin’s mind than the approval of such supremacy of economic activities. But in their theological teaching they had laid the ground for this development by breaking man’s spiritual backbone, his feeling of dignity and pride, by teaching him that activity had no further aims outside himself.”
Erich Fromm, Escape from Freedom

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

“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

“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

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