Though the 95 Theses was the first salvo fired in the Reformation, it was not until the debate at Leipzig that the Reformation was set rolling forward with no chance of return. Luther was providentially protected through many attacks and brought to this place where he debated the great Dr. Eck.
During the debate, Luther was forced to examine his position on authority in the church. Was the Pope the ultimate authority? Was it the church councils? Ultimately Luther stood on the authority of Scripture alone, and attacked his opponent as one who skimmed across the Scriptures like a spider on the water.
During the debate Luther was accused by his opponent as being a defender of the doctrines of John Hus and of John Wycliffe, two men whom the Roman church had condemned as heretics. Luther, by the end of the debate, was required to admit that the logical conclusion of his beliefs led him to positions very close if not identical to these men’s, who, along with Luther, are now considered some of the greatest heroes of the faith.