From a Master’s thesis, The scientific revolution’s axiomatic rejection of magical thinking : the case of astrology in England (1600-1700):
“Over the course of the next three centuries the Church would actually fluctuate between policies of toleration and persecution of astrologers though, with some Church leaders even taking an avid interest in astrology.
For instance, despite the widespread assault on witchcraft and magic brought about by the Protestant Reformation, and the strong anti-astrology stance taken by Protestant leaders like Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli, we have the example of Phillip Melancthon, who, as dedicated as he was to Luther’s ideals for Church reform, never renounced his belief in a valid and divinely sanctioned science of astrology.
He was able not only to maintain his devout faith in Christianity, but could combine it with a decidedly judicial view of astrology:
“What is true discipline except the ruling of life, but this is impossible if the distant causes are unknown. This divining art is manifestly necessary to the conduct of life, for it shows what one’s natural inclinations are and allows one to exercise one’s good qualities and bridle one’s vicious instincts.”The scientific revolution’s axiomatic rejection of magical thinking : the case of astrology in England (1600-1700). Kemp, David (2003). Masters thesis, Concordia University. From <http://spectrum.library.concordia.ca/2327/>
Martin Luther (leader of the Protestant Reformation in Germany and contemporary of the real Faust) on Copernicus who unwisely showed how the Earth went around the sun and not the other way around as the Bible said:
“People gave ear to an upstart astrologer who strove to show that the earth revolves, not the heavens or the firmament, the sun and the moon….This fool wishes to reverse the entire science of astronomy; but sacred scripture tells us [Joshua 10:13]that Joshua commanded the sun to stand still, and not the earth.”
[Martin Luther in one of his “Table Talks” in 1539]Also:“People give ear to an upstart astrologer [Copernicus]who strove to show that the earth revolves, not the heavens or the firmament, the sun and the moon. Whoever wishes to appear clever must devise some new system, which of all systems is of course the very best. This fool wishes to reverse the entire science of astronomy.”[Martin Luther, Works, Volume 22, c. 1543]Pasted from <http://articles.exchristian.net/2002/04/martin-luther-quotes.php>
Although his work was known in circles, Copernicus wisely held off publication until near his death in 1543.
Luther’s friend and colleague, Philip Melanchthon (who also knew of Faust), said this in 1549:
“The eyes are witnesses that the heavens revolve in the space of twenty-four hours. But certain men, either from the love of novelty, or to make a display of ingenuity, have concluded that the earth moves; and they maintain that neither the eighth sphere [the celestial sphere] nor the sun revolves. … Now, it is a want of honesty and decency to assert such notions publicly, and the example is pernicious. It is the part of a good mind to accept the truth as revealed by God and to acquiesce in it.”