Now I would say that although Lutheran Orthodoxy was not able to preserve this great prophetic tradition of Luther one thing was done by his freedom – namely it was possible for Protestantism to do something which no other religion in the whole world was able to do: it could receive the historical treatment of the biblical literature – we call it often with very misleading words “higher” or biblical criticism. It is simply the historical method applied to the holy books of a religion.
Now this is something which is impossible in Catholicism – or at least in a very limited way only possible there. It is impossible in Islam – Prof. Jeffery once told the faculty that every Islamic scholar who would try to do what he did with the text of the Koran, would be in danger; research into the original text of the Koran would imply historical criticism of the present text, and this is impossible in a legalistic religion. So if we are legalists with respect to the Bible, in terms of dictation, we fall back to the stage of religion which we find in Islam, and we have felt nothing of the Protestant freedom which we find in Luther.