Luther is complex! He’s superstitious due to his growing up a son of a miner and evidenced in his “storm-experience” where he promised St. Anne that he would become a monk (McDonough 83). He was a Catholic Friar, Early Catholic Reformer, and then a mature Protestant reformer and in these views there also lies the polemicist, the doctor and professor, poet and musician, and simple man with human failings (McDonough 63). He was always conscious of himself as a sinner, and not just a fallen one, but essentially a nihilist in his view of human ability. He seems impulsive, obstinate, rash and subjective—not because he was intentionally ego-centric, selfish, or biased, but because of his framework of Law-Gospel and God’s grace (McDonough 65).
Luther was the most reviled and hated person of his age yet at the same time, the most beloved and revered (Paulson 208). He was like a man who was reaching out in the dark and found a rope, and then was startled to hear a bell clanging (Cranz 83). Luther found out what a revolution it was to have Jesus Christ on your mind at all times and finding out that this causes all hell to break loose. Luther was not a mystic, he thought that the news came not from within but from outside, that this news was an announcement not a riddle about what God has done namely that Christ promise of forgiveness was the only way sinners were made right with God (Paulson 207).
Luther will be portrayed as a loud, yet humorous man; the first to speak yet surprised at others interpretations of his words. He will be larger-than-life yet be a sensitive soul. He will react first and reflect later. His modern equivalent would be Archie Bunker, gruff yet loveable.