Martin Luther: "not to delight in assertions is not the character of the Christian mind..."
Appropos to everything, this from the beginning of one of my brother David's favorites--Luther's Bondage of the Will. Here Luther is addressing the principal humanist of his generation, Erasmus of Rotterdam. As Luther makes clear throughout the course of this book, Erasmus was committed to tenuous debate and only a modicum of reform:
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First of all, I would just touch upon some of the heads of your Preface; in which, you somewhat disparage our cause and adorn your own. In the first place, I would notice your censuring in me, in all your former books, an obstinacy of assertion...and saying, in this book, "that you are so far from delighting in assertions, that you would rather at once go over to the sentiments of the skeptics, if the inviolable authority of the Holy Scriptures, and the decrees of the church, would permit you: to which authorities you willingly submit yourself in all things, whether you follow what they prescribe, or follow it not." These are the principles that please you.
I consider, (as in courtesy bound,) that these things are asserted by you from a benevolent mind, as being a lover of peace. But if any one else had asserted them, I should, perhaps, have attacked him in my accustomed manner. But, however, I must not even allow you, though so very good in your intentions, to err in this opinion. For not to delight in assertions is not the character of the Christian mind: nay, he must delight in assertions, or he is not a Christian. But, (that we may not be mistaken in terms) by "assertion," I mean a constant adhering, affirming, confessing, defending, and invincibly persevering. Nor do I believe the term signifies any thing else, either among the Latins, or as it is used by us at this day. And moreover, I speak concerning the asserting of those things, which are delivered to us from above in the Holy Scriptures. "
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(TB, w/thanks to Eric)