"If Martin Luther was born today would he try to reform the Catholic or Lutheran faith?"
Here was my response which didnt immediately post on the site:
Luther would put on sackcloth and ashes, and crawl on his knees to St. Peter's in Rome to repent and submit to the magisterium of the Catholic Church if here were here today.
Both Luther and Calvin had a vision of a changed Church, but still their vision was of a SINGLE changed Church. They would be absolutlely horrified to see what has become of their reform. In no way would they stomach for a moment the thousands of sects that claim the authority of Scripture Alone. In the past few hundred years, Protestantism has largely ceased to even pretend that the Church needs to be one entity with one authoritative hierarchy. Luther would have had a fit at that idea! Seeing the reforms of the counter-reformation, the never ending division and discord of Protestantism, and the continuing unity and faithfulness of the Catholic Church, I truly believe Luther would not even hesitate to swim the Tiber. (Actually being a Catholic, he would just need to recant and go to confession to have his excommunication lifted). I also think he would be won over to Catholicism primarilly by the obvious and spectacular failure of his "pillar" Sola Scriptura. The division and heresy he may have seen in germ form (think anabaptists) which resulted from sola scriptura are now so blindingly clear after 500 years of ever increasing fragmentation that as for the first pillar, Luther would likely choose to read Sola Fide in a Catholic friendly way as Benedict XVI has suggested, but as for the other pillar, he would find no way of ignoring the evidence of history that Sola Scriptura has been anything but a spectacular implosion of failure.
I say all of this as someone who was a flaming Reformed Protestant 2 years ago. I have read Luther, and my heritage is LCMS. A year ago I discovered a site that took unity seriously and found my faith in Sola Scriptura had crumbled under the weight of the evidence and so I did the unthinkable.... I swam the Tiber. I felt Luther smiling down on me, and I feel he would have been crying right there with me as I submitted my heart and mind to Christ and His Church.
God bless any Christians who take the time to think about Christian unity in a serious way. I truly believe that the one option, Rome, will be the light at the end of that tunnel of questioning.