Protestantism did not spring fully formed from the minds and mouths of the Reformers. When Martin Luther nailed his famed 95 theses to the door of Wittenberg's Schlosskirche in 1517, he was merely giving customary advance notice of the position he would defend at the weekly discussions of the city's theologians. He was at first dismayed at the chain reaction set off by his attack on the sale of indulgences; only later did he hammer out the fundamentals of what he and his followers held to be a rebirth of the true Christian church....

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