Luther makes me smile

I finished reading Luther’s response to Erasmus last weekend. I had to smile and laugh a few times as the reformer painted vivid pictures in words. You might say Luther wrote with a scalpel or a hammer rather than a pen.

“I thought it outrageous to convey material of so low a quality in the trappings of such rare eloquence; it is like using gold or silver dishes to carry garden rubbish or dung.”

“Perhaps nobody will believe me when I say that Erasmus says these things. Let doubters read the Diatribe at this point; they will be surprised! Not that I am particularly surprised. A man who does not treat this question seriously and has no interest in the issue, whose mind is not on it and who finds it a boring and a chilling and distasteful business, cannot help uttering absurdities and follies and contradictions all along the line; he argues his case like a man drunk or asleep, blurting out between snores ‘Yes!’ ‘No!’ as different voices sound upon his ears!”

“Do you think the Diatribe was quite sober, or in its right mind, when it wrote this? For I will not put it down to wickedness and villainy – unless perhaps its intention is to bore me to death by its characteristic habit of always dealing with something other than its stated theme! But if the Diatribe has enjoyed itself by trifling on such a vital matter, then let me too enjoy myself by publicly exposing its willful stupidities.”