I don't stop over at CARM as much as I used to, but I was struck by the detailed text JoeT posted about Martin Luther. Being an old CARM veteran, I'm very familiar with those who are able to post long replies with multiple issues all weaved together to make any sort of response a multi-hour endeavor. However, if you work carefully through such posts, you'll find such posts have thrown in a lot of personal opinion with an underlying bias. Let's take a look:

Quote Originally Posted by JoeT View Post
Luther was an apostate and a relativist to boot. What was born in 1500 was stillborn, maybe that's the reason you didn't hear when the protesters of the great apostasy die with a wimper.
Unsubstantiated opinion.

Quote Originally Posted by JoeT View Post
There is nothing alive in Luther's way of faith. Luther and his followers abandoned their baptism and creed of faith.
Unsubstantiated opinion.

Quote Originally Posted by JoeT View Post
Luther broke his vows.
Yes, but why? As the editors of Luther's Work explain in their introduction to De votis monasticis Martini Lutheri iudicium:

In a very brief introduction, which followed this letter, Luther invokes divine blessing and states his position. He does not deny that there is scriptural warrant for the making and keeping of vows. Indeed, making and keeping vows is not the issue at stake. The issue is what vows are truly vows, and how may we distinguish between true and false vows? Luther treats the problem under five major headings. First, monastic vows are not commanded by God’s word, but are contrary to it. To go beyond what Christ commands and enjoins is not faith, but sin. Those things a monk vows are not peculiar to the monastic life, but are required of all Christians. True Christian obedience is that which makes a man humble and unites him to his neighbor. True poverty is to seek not one’s own, but to employ what one has for the welfare of one’s neighbor. Monasticism’s understanding of these vows is superficial and external, and does not proceed from faith. In the second section Luther develops the thesis that monastic vows conflict with faith. The very taking of perpetual vows as a necessity of salvation is a denial of Christ and is the embracing of work-righteousness. On this basis Luther does not hesitate to declare that monastic vows are null and void. The third section stresses that the compulsory and perpetual nature of monastic vows is a violation of Christian freedom. He does not advocate the abolition of the monastic life, but says it must be a life led voluntarily and with a conscience freed from reliance upon and trust in works. The cloistered life and all that belongs to it must be chosen just as freely as other men choose to be farmers or mechanics, and it must be dearly recognized that the monastic life is in no way superior to a non-monastic way of life. Above all, the monastic life should be like other ways of life in that it is devoted to the welfare of neighbor and contemplation of the word of God. The only difference between the “religious” life and the “secular” life is the form, not the content. In section four Luther argues that monastic vows violate the first commandment in a number of ways. They displace faith with works; they elevate the founders of religious orders above Christ himself; and they not only deny the Christian’s responsibility and obligation to his neighbor, they actually impede it. They prevent the son from caring for his parents and exonerate those who have taken vows from all those works of mercy and love which Christ has enjoined upon all. Finally, Luther holds that monastic vows are contrary to common sense and reason. He demonstrates dearly and at length that where for some reason it is impossible to keep a vow (e.g., because of sickness, imprisonment, the lack of financial means), dispensations can be granted. But there is no dispensation in the matter of celibacy. This one monastic vow does more than anything else to torture body and soul. In the final passages Luther expounds the nature of poverty, chastity, and obedience as faith understands them. The Appendix is an exposition of I Timothy 5, which Luther says is the last weapon his opponents might use against him on the matter of monastic vows. Here he advocates that no one should be permitted to enter the monastic life before the age of sixty. Luther, M. (1999, c1966). Vol. 44: Luther's works, vol. 44 : The Christian in Society I (J. J. Pelikan, H. C. Oswald & H. T. Lehmann, Ed.). Luther's Works (44:248). Philadelphia: Fortress Press.
Quote Originally Posted by JoeT View Post
Relativism invents reality for itself where none exists, where infidelity is as easy as a secular devoice today. Martin Luther gave birth to 100 years of war, more important however, he gave birth to relativism and naturalism.
Ideas do indeed have consequences. Recall the words of Jesus Christ: "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword." On the other hand, blaming the entire tumult of the post-Reformation era on Luther shows a lack of understanding of the complexity of that time period. In regard to relativism being that which Luther created, this is simply historically inaccurate. Google search these name Herodotus, or do a study of ancient Greek philosophy. For that matter, look up Thales in regard to naturalism as well as studying pre-Socratic philosophy.

Quote Originally Posted by JoeT View Post
Luther was familiar with St. John Chrysostom’s second homily on Romans: “But he who has become just shall live, not for the present life only, but for that which is to come. And he hints not only this, but also another thing along with this, namely, the brightness and gloriousness of such a life.”
I'd be curious to see any citations from Luther quoting Homiliae II or him expounding on this text you cite. Luther was indeed familiar with Chrysostom, but I'm not aware of any direct statement from him in regard to the text you cite. I'd certainly be interested in any documentation you can provide. It may indeed exist, so I'd very much like to see it.

Quote Originally Posted by JoeT View Post
Distinctively less confused, less eaten with guilt of the conscience. Catholics then and now interpret James 2:17 as the prescribed and active justice. Not a justice of man but one where God punishes sinners AND rewords the faithful.
"Catholics then and now" are not infallible interpreters of sacred scripture.

Quote Originally Posted by JoeT View Post
Luther replaces God's will for man's salvation for Luther's will for once saved always saved.
Luther did not believe "once saved always saved." That is, Luther did believe that salvation could be lost.

Quote Originally Posted by JoeT View Post
The door hinges of Luther’s new revelation for mankind comes from inspiration discovered in a ‘secret place.’
How poetic. Let's see how this plays out:

Quote Originally Posted by JoeT View Post
The monastery where Luther lived in was old Roman castle. The architecture is late Roman stone structure surrounded by a moat. The moat would have been at least 30-yards wide with near vertical banks. The water in the moat would likely be a stagnant cesspool. Depending on the fortification, the ground f would be 2 to 4 feet above the water, and the ground floor as 6 feet to 8 feet above the ground. Likely the ground floor was used as living quarters. The intervening space between the ground and the first floor is a hypocaust chamber. This chamber was used for distributing heat throughout the castle, somewhat like a modern forced-air vent system. Vertical shafts or hollow spaces transmitted the heated air (and smoke) up the castle wall and out one or more chimneys. Towers were usually built on the corners; some had upper portions that projected out over the water for a strategic view. Under siege these towers had defensive uses, but during peace they were used as privies – the strategic view was down into the cesspool like moat. The “privy situated above the Hypocaustom” would have been a hollow space or system of channels in the floor providing the central heat distributed from a fires built under the castle The system is its terribly inefficient relying strictly on convection. But there is a more serious problem; the hypocaust system is dangerous when the heat is cranked up. The fumes created by the fire in the furnace seep up and waft out every nook and cranny; filling the entire castle with smoke and fumes, most notably carbon monoxide gases.
Carbon monoxide has about the same molecular weight as air therefore carbon monoxide would be found in most every room of the castle. Consequently, the privy would have been a warm place to study on a cold winter nights whether or not one had a gastro-intestinally challenge. And too, it would be a good place to, how should I say, discharge copious amounts of beer. You might say a great chair for a Pope want-a-be.
Large concentrations of carbon monoxide cause death. However, long exposure to moderate amounts of CO causes one or more of the following: lightheadedness, depression, paranoia, confusion, memory loss, delirium, emotional disturbances, and hallucinations. During meditations we read that Luther went to a ‘secret place’ (described such as a matter of modesty); a place we call a privy. In this case located above the hypocaust or, a place called the 'cloaca', sometimes translated as closet (water closet i.e., urinal). This place would have been one of the warmest in the monastery – a good place on a cold, cold, winter night of 1518 – 1519. And the most likely place where the concentrations of CO would be at their highest.
During one of the ‘Kitchen Table’ conversations Luther tells about the voices of his 'evangel' – voices of the hypocaust: “On one occasion on this tower (where the privy of the monks was situated) when I was speculating on the words, etc., the Holy Ghost” [Luther, Hartmann Grisar, c. Lauterbach’s ”Colloquia” (ed. by Bindseil) Ibid., p396] But this isn’t the only voice we hear of the Luther’s ‘Tower’. Actually this is what old ladies used to call ‘vapors’. “The Lutheran pastor Caspar Khummer, who, in 1554, made a collection of Table-Talk, relates both circumstances (in Lauter bach s edition) : “ *** semel in hac turri speculabar,” and further on : “ With this knowledge the Holy Ghost inspired me in this cloaca on the tower”; Ibid. p 396. The ‘cloaca’ was a place where one relieved himself from a night of heavy drinking. “The mention of the cloaca explains the entry of Johann Schlaginhaufen in his notes of Luther s own words in 1532 : “ This art the Spiritus sanctus infused into me in this Cl.” 6 Cloaca is abbreviated into CL, probably because Schlaginhaufen s copyist, was reluctant to write it out in full alongside of the account of the inspiration which Luther had received from the Holy Ghost ; the editor suggests we should read “ Capitel “; but the chapter-house is not to be thought of. “ Ibid., P 396[/INDENT]
The irony? Catholic Traditions and faith are built on Christ and His Apostles; the 'traditions' of Luther are built on ‘secret places’. Luther's ‘inspiration’ was no less than the crapper.
This sort of stuff reminds me of Denifle's evaluation that "The Reformation was the cloaca maxima, the large drainage canal, through which the debris, which had long been piling up, was conducted away, which would otherwise have ruined and poisoned everything if it had remained in the church." Denifle's evaluation of Luther and the Reformation has long been abandoned by Roman Catholic scholars.

All the stuff JoeT speculates is based on unreliable Table Talk statements, statements Luther didn't even write himself, but were rather the recollections of his friends and associates. Often these statements have no apparent context, but exist as simple statements open to multiple interpretations. In other words, basing history on them is like basing history on fortune cookies.

There certainly was a tower at Luther's Augustinian monastery in Wittenberg where Luther experienced his evangelical breakthrough. The date for this experience is unknown, and there is no primary source that explicitly documents it with a reliable fixed date.It isn't even all that certain as to exactly how the tower / bathroom was situated. Some scholars contend there was no bathroom sort of feature in the tower at all.

As to the cloaca story, in the twentieth century, many approached Luther by applying psychoanalysis to his writings. Psychologist Eric Erikson took a German phrase uttered by Luther and interpreted it literally to mean Luther was in the bathroom when he had his evangelical breakthrough. Erikson concluded, from a Freudian perspective, Luther's spiritual issues were tied up with biological functions. The phrase Erikson interpreted literally in German was simply conventional speech. Luther really was saying that his breakthrough came during a time when he was depressed, or in a state of melancholy. This can all be documented in numerous books, but you can find brief overviews by both Dr. Scott Hendrix and James M. Kittelson in Christian History, Issue 34 (Vol. XI, No. 2).

So, my CARM friends, don't give away the store and simply accept someone's historical overview as true. Luther studies are vast and detailed. Ask for references, ask for proof. Rarely have I found any original historical insights on an open discussion board. I know I haven't had any. Posts like the one JoeT put forth are the result of other historical studies. Ask for documentation and proof. Separate facts and opinions.