Anthony Burgess, one of the pastors at the Westminster Assembly, once compared the difference between the knowledge of biblical truth and true saving knowledge of biblical truth, as a man studying a map versus a man walking the streets, meeting a city’s people, and experiencing sites and sounds first hand. The difference between these two men is vast. It is an experiential difference.
Walking the cobblestone streets of Wittenburg, I approached the (remodeled) doors on which Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses. Climbing the stairs of Wartburg Castle, I entered a room that I had seen many times in books and in articles, the chamber in which Luther translated the New Testament into German. Luther’s burial place in University Church; the Augsburg Cathedral in which the Augsburg Confession was written; Luther’s home, including the table around which the famous—if not infamous—Table Talk was written. All of these important sites to reformation history have been studied by me for the last quarter century from various angles.