In effect, the Lutheran claim is a claim of the right to rebel against the teaching authority of the Church, on the grounds that the Church is apostate. Unfortunately, the sole witness for the apostasy of the Church is an alleged disagreement between Church teachings and the scriptures on which the Church relies for those teachings.
But the sole witness for the validity, canonicity, historicity, and divinity those selfsame scriptures is the authority of the Church whose members wrote them, gathered, sanctified, protected, promulgated and canonized them.
This is false. It is an opinion woefully uninformed about the history of The Church of Rome, the Orthodox Church, and the Reformation which came out of the Church of Rome. It’s also very common among all those who call themselves Christian. Here is a very truncated version; particularly concerning Martin Luther and those who heard him.
~30-33AD: Pentecost happens in Jerusalem. You can read about it in Acts. Then you can continue reading Acts, and then Romans, and then the rest of the NT. It contains (some of) the history of the spread of Christianity by the Apostles and their helpers; which occurred in a generally westward direction. The Gospel is established in Asia Minor and Greece prior to Rome; though it is all under the Roman Empire. Among the important churches are Jerusalem and Antioch. However; in Revelation we get addresses to seven churches none of which have I mentioned yet: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. These are all in Asia Minor; what is now called Turkey.
330AD: Constantine, emperor of Rome moves the Roman Empire’s capitol to Byzantium, and renames it after himself: Constantinople. This is the seat of power.
1053AD: The Great Schism happens. The Church in Rome and the Church in Constantinople separate. From then until 1543, there is dispute between the two churches/empires and a good deal of bloodshed back-n-forth. You can read about the Massacre of the Latins and the Siege of Constantinople on your own.
1299AD: The Ottoman Empire is founded in Anatolia; a province of Asia Minor. Muslim in religion, they proceed to move westward, and conquer for the next 200 years. During this time, theologians, historians, and other academics in the Constantine Empire flee westward to escape the Ottomans. They bring with them texts and documents which had been either forgot, or ignored, in the west. As these documents are translated and disseminated in the sphere of the Church of Rome, many theologians began to study them. It was a reunion of scholarship. The teachings of the Early Church fathers (so many of whom were in Asia Minor) reveal a gulf between the teachings of that Early Church, and the teachings of the Roman Church. Among other things: The official translation of the Bible of the Church of Rome is found to have many discrepancies and errors when compared to the treasure-trove of documents the eastern scholars brought west.
They also brought with them Greek ideas about art and architecture and all sorts of things. Western buildings from the Middle Ages fell out of fashion, and deemed Gothic; which meant Germanic as in the Visigothic and Ostrogothic kings who had crushed the Western Roman Empire and divied it up amongst themselves. In other words: They called them barbarians. Well, western Europeans got bad feelings about this and so they started a Renaissance to be cooler than the Greeks. In this milieu is born a movement among the Roman academics called Humanism. They are seeing the discrepancies between what the actual Early Church Fathers said in these exiled documents, and what the Roman Church does. Questions are asked. New translations of the Bible are written; this time cross-referenced with the thousands of translations brought out of the Eastern Roman Empire to check for accuracy in word and meaning.
1440: The printing press is invented by Gutenberg. Literature becomes cheap, literacy becomes easy, and the Roman clergy’s stranglehold over theological education is broken. Even some priests learned to read! That’s right, a good number of them could not. It was too expensive. This is the world and maelstrom into which Martin Luther is born.
1453AD: The Fall of Constantinople occurs at the hands of Mehmad the Conqueror and his Ottoman Empire. The second Roman Empire never rises again. Christian scholasticism is shifted permanently west.
1517AD: Roman Catholic theologian, monk, and priest Martin Luther writes his 95 Theses and posts it for debate; as was the habit of Roman Catholic academics. He had been influenced by the writings of Erasmus and others of the Humanist movement, and was incensed by the practice of the sale of Indulgences; particularly as done by Johann Tetzel. The printing press spreads Luther’s ideas.
Obviously this is far from complete. What I want to demonstrate is that the criticism of the Church in Rome came from explicitly Christian sources–as recognized by the Church of Rome itself.
John C. Wright cannot say “Unfortunately, the sole witness for the apostasy of the Church is an alleged disagreement between Church teachings and the scriptures on which the Church relies for those teachings.
But the sole witness for the validity, canonicity, historicity, and divinity those selfsame scriptures is the authority of the Church whose members wrote them, gathered, sanctified, protected, promulgated and canonized them.”
That’s a gross falsehood which darkens the mind of any who believe it. You cannot say–with integrity and knowledge–that the Church in the Eastern Roman Empire was not a legitimate Church. The Orthodox Church bore witness before the Romans. It was there first.
Nor did Martin Luther begin his criticism of the Roman Church from the outside, but from within. They trained him! In modern speech we would call him a whistleblower, and he sought out justice from the hierarchic structure of the Roman Church. But the Church in Rome was threatened because ignorance, corruption, and abuse were rampant in that structure.
Wright might as well say that he can’t be sure his Bible contains the same words on one side of the church door as it does the other.
 (The story of Henry VIII is the story of a Roman Catholic and superstitious opportunist; which church Reformers under him both used, and from whom they suffered.)