Martin Luther is often seen as being very colorful, confrontational, and quite frankly, “bombastic and harsh” (R.C. Sproul).
It is interesting then to note the reaction of one Martin Bucer, that time a young Dominican monk, to the presentation of Martin Luther’s presentation at the Heidleberg Disputation in 1518, shortly after Luther had nailed the 95 theses to the Wittenberg church door. Evidently Bucer had had lunch with Luther and John Staupitz that day:
“Their [those in opposition to Luther at the disputation] wiles were not able to move him an inch. His sweetness in answering is remarkable, his patience in listening is incomparable, in his explanations you would recognize the acumen of Paul, not Scotus: his answers, so brief, so wise and drawn from the Scriptures, easily made all hearers his admirers.”
From Gordon Rupp’s Luther’s Progress to the Diet of Worms, mentioned in a lecture on Luther by R.C. Sproul, entitled “The Indulgence Controversy”. Looking more closely, we see that in regard to “his sweetness in answering is remarkable”, Rupp editorializes: “Bucer was not always to find it so remarkable in respect of himself!” (p. 56)
Image from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Bucer