The individual who first brought the Reformation into full focus was Martin Luther (1483-1546). There are few more controversial personalities in history and few about whom it is less possible to get an unbiased estimate. He has been portrayed as a genial conversationalist fond of good living, as a sensualist who condoned immorality, as a patriotic and courageous prophet, as a moody neurotic, and as a man for whom the encounter with God was overwhelming. The abundant literature from many camps makes clear that Luther was both a giant figure in history and a very complex personality. [excerpt]
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Bloom, Robert L. et al. "2. The Lutheran Affirmation. Pt. VII: The Protestant Movement." Ideas and Institutions of Western Man (Gettysburg College, 1958), 7-31.