Theology of the Reformers - Lesson 4
Martin Luther: Road to Reformation
Martin Luther: Road to Reformation
TH230-04: Martin Luther - Road to Reformation
I. Background and Context of Martin Luther
B. Early Life and Education
C. Spiritual Crisis and Development
II. Key Events Leading to the Reformation
A. Ninety-five Theses
B. Papal Response and Excommunication
C. Diet of Worms
III. Theological Contributions
A. Justification by Faith Alone
B. Priesthood of All Believers
C. Sola Scriptura
IV. Impact and Legacy of Luther's Reformation
A. Creation of the Lutheran Church
B. Influence on Other Reformers
C. Lasting Effects on Christianity
- Through this lesson, you gain insights into church history as a theological discipline, the Reformation, key figures, theological contributions, and the lasting impact of the Reformation on theology and the church.0% Complete
- Through this lesson, you grasp Augustine's pivotal role in shaping Reformation theology, influencing key figures like Luther and Calvin, and leaving a lasting impact on the church.0% Complete
- 0% CompleteThrough this lesson, you gain insights into Scholasticism, Humanism, and Mysticism, understanding their roles in shaping the Reformation and the influences of key figures within each movement.0% Complete
- 0% CompleteIn this lesson, you explore Martin Luther's life and theological contributions, uncovering key events leading to the Reformation and examining the lasting impact of his work on Christianity.0% Complete
- 0% CompleteThrough this lesson, you gain a comprehensive understanding of the diversity in the Reformation in Saxony, its theological differences, and its impact on society and modern theology.0% Complete
- 0% CompleteIn this lesson, you gain insight into Huldrych Zwingli's life, theology, and contributions, exploring his views on the Lord's Supper, role in the Swiss Reformation and Anabaptist movement, and key writings, while also understanding his lasting impact on the Reformation.0% Complete
- 0% CompleteBy studying this lesson, you gain insights into John Calvin's central role in the Swiss Reformation, his theological contributions, and the lasting impact of his ideas on church organization, education, and social reforms.0% Complete
- 0% CompleteThrough this lesson, you gain insight into John Calvin's theology, its key components, and its lasting influence on the Reformed tradition and society.0% Complete
- 0% CompleteBy studying this lesson, you gain a deep understanding of John Calvin's theology in Book One of The Institutes, focusing on the knowledge of God, Christ, providence, and predestination, and its impact on Protestant theology.0% Complete
- 0% CompleteIn this lesson, you explore the key themes and insights from Book One of Calvin's "Institutes of the Christian Religion," gaining a deeper understanding of God's sovereignty, human humility, and the centrality of Scripture in Reformation thought.0% Complete
- 0% CompleteGain insights into Book Two of Calvin's "The Institutes," exploring the knowledge of God the Redeemer in Christ, sin's nature, law and gospel, and its lasting impact on Protestant theology.0% Complete
- By examining Calvin's Farewell Address and other Reformation issues, you gain insight into the key themes and controversies that shaped the theological landscape and learn about the enduring influence of the Reformers.0% Complete
The leaders of the Protestant reformation built on the thoughts and teachings of scholars who came before them and spent their lives seeking God and explaining his Word.
Dr. Timothy George
Theology of the Reformers
Martin Luther: Road to Reformation
[00:00:02] Theology of the Reformer Hate for Martin Luther Road to Reformation. Okay. Now, today we are doing Martin Luther. We did Erasmus last week. I was going to do on Erasmus was SA before that, he said. But we got to the floor in the 16th century and Martin Luther King Day. Any questions before we get started with the lecture last week on the third? You ended with that for a brief period of time on the album, directly from the thing. Now is the time different? No. Yes. I think you're quite right. Erasmus died in Bordeaux in 1536, and Albert published the first edition of the Institute's In Laws in 1536. Is that the things of human interaction with interaction? There's no record that they ever met. Erasmus The very old and very sick at that time. They did have some mutual friends because the people who published Calvin's Institute and also published some of the works of Erasmus. And so it's quite possible they could have met. And some said, we don't know about that. I think it's unlikely now that there were an initiative in any event. But we do know they were in the same town at the same time. When you visit Boswell today, you can see the place where Erasmus is very important and very good. So I think he was very, you know, in a Protestant city. He remained true to the Catholic Church, the commander's group. Well, let me begin by talking a little bit about Martin Luther and some of the ways that we communicated for freedom down through the centuries. There's no doubt that Luther is one of the most gigantic and perhaps controversial figures in the history of Christianity. If you were to ask me the name of the three greatest thinkers, theologians, formative analytic shapers of Christianity, Luther would certainly be one of the three.
[00:02:08] The other two? Augustine Yes, or sure. I guess whether Calvin should be in there, I would find I would have a debate going on in my own mind about that. A lot of Roman Catholics would want to put up Thomas Aquinas. Of course, you could say flying marker, but not very loud, because certainly his influence was enormous. Came out of modern theology for the argument that part of the 20th century you could go back and say, Origin. Another person I would put in that very rarefied company would be Athanasius. He struggled with areas over doctrine, referring to the willing number three alone. It's clear that Augustine and Luther belong in the top three now. At the same time, Luther was extremely controversial in his own age and in his own lifetime and in his own lifetime. Upolu, a Roman Catholic controversialist, wrote a great deal against whatever portrayed him as a mad monk driven by sexual compulsion. You know, he left the monastery in order that he could marry this nun and all of these kinds of stories that just proliferated about Luther and the very modern Catholic scholarship recognizes that this is this is pretty much a lot of bunk. We know that Martin Luther was not a saint by any means. He had a lot of work and a lot of fans. He needed forgiveness more. But at the same time, he was motivated by a passion for the truth and for a bright understanding of God and God's grace. On the other side of the ledger, you got the Protestants to make Luther into a great hero for the fact that the 13th Apostle he's been called or the fifth evangelist, you know, ranking him in that kind of a category as though he were a super human voice from God thundering into the 16th century.
[00:04:10] Well, I think you can appreciate the prophetic role Luther had without ascribing that kind of exalted position to him. He was, as he said, we all are at the same time, a sinner and a justified person by God's grace. And we shouldn't overlook his faults and which were many, and his stands, which were great in order to appreciate the wonderful way in which God was able to use them to reawaken the church. Back to it is my personal favorite. Luther was born in the year 1483. He was born in a little town of Isolated this summer in Saxony. I'm going to see if we work here on a map. All of this at all. Saxony Was that part of Germany that existed in what is today the history of the reunified country of Germany? It was a part of East Germany several years ago, and the town of isolation where it was born is located. Right, right about here. It was like an isolated incident, probably the most likely victim there is up here. So an airport where Luther went to school is right here. You can see how this was the area in which you grew up and Middle Eastern. That's where you did for a short time as a boarding school and also where the vast majority passed on retranslated. The New Testament in German was located right here where we were in the beginning here. Of course, they wanted to do report in the 16th century. Here's what the board in Berlin believed right here in the court of the Brandenburg. I'm really, really pleased they're speaking out publicly for me. This was the Weimar revival of the Weimar Republic, where Weimar Republic There are a number of times that the Weimar over the long fought council on 14 1532, stayed in the Council of Coburg.
[00:06:26] That's right here. And Montebourg is down here a little different. Okay, So let me give you some idea of how it is electoral and you both act. That's very important because in the 16th century, Saxony was divided into these two different parts. Politically, Electoral Saxony was ruled by a black poor, the electoral one. Well, he was the one of the people who elected the Emperor, a holy Roman emperor, and was elected both in Luther's day. Of course, the prince of the electorate was Frederick the wise. He was Luther's Prince. And. And therefore, Luther, in electoral taxes. Really important point. We need to understand the breadth of Rome. Ducal Saxony was ruled by the cousin of Frederick. His name was Duke George. And according to the Duke, that's what's called a people faction. He remained a Roman Catholic. The Luther Prince became a follower of the Protestant way. The leader of Ducal Saxony remained a Roman Catholic. And you see something of a conflict between these two, right in the same region of Germany, neighboring, if you like, in Alabama, Mississippi, one Protestant, the other Catholic, and great tension and sometimes warfare between these two over these kinds of issues. Well, our women who grew up as the son of Pons Luther, you can't believe there was a silver lining. And to this day, you can still see some of the remains of the old silver mines that used to be used in that part of Saxony. His father had had grown up in peasant circumstances, but he had risen through the ranks. He had become something of what we would call a manager, an administrator. You know, he was known very well, but like many middle class artisan types, they wanted his children to do far better than he did them.
[00:08:25] And so obviously young Martin Luther was extremely precocious and bright. And so it was the dream of his father to hear that he could be a lawyer. And therefore, he sent him off to the University of our NPR team, where Luther took up classical studies and preparing himself to become a lawyer. And you can do a lot of things if you were a lawyer in Luther's day, just like you can do a lot of things. If you're a lawyer today, you might get a job in the president's cabinet. You know, you might run this or that outfit. Well, in those days, you could become a counselor to the member. You could help the duke or whoever the prince was to run the administration of the country. And there was a lot of money to be made in being a lawyer. And so Hans Gruber was a shrewd, not businessman to figure out, well, if my son grows up and becomes this great lawyer, then he can shovel some of that money back home to me and to my wife. And we can live in luxury in our old age. That was his brain itself was born, but it was a dream that he had for his son. And Luther was a beautiful son. All he went to airport. He did well in his studies until that fateful encounter. As he was coming back during spring break from his home in Lawrenceville, then moved the microwave into the neighboring village of Moundsville, not far away. Suddenly, he was struck down by a thunderstorm. I don't know if you could ever be caught in a thunderstorm. I just read this story about Luther being caught in a thunderstorm. And I just, you know, I as garbage could have any kind of experience in the thunderstorm that became your life until I was caught in a thunderstorm.
[00:09:57] I mean, a real thunderstorm. And I have never been, I think, more fearful for my life than I was coming out in the middle of the valley in a thunderstorm several years ago. That's what happened to me. And, you know, we have this image of this. We knocked off the hawk some of the paintings going, we don't actually know he was on a horse. It's kind of like saying follow the road to Damascus. There are a lot of analogies converging on the thunderstorm and St Paul's encounter on the road to Damascus. But in any event, Luther was afraid he was going to die. And so he cried out saying, Adam, help me. I will become a monk. Well, what? Why did you cry to Saint Anna? Who was Saint Anna, anyway? Well, I think there's anybody who's an outlaw. That's true. But who else was the mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary? So she had a very high and exalted place in the hierarchy of sin. And she was quite rightly, the patron saint of the silver miners in Germany. And Luther had seen little statuettes of Saint Anna in his home from the time he was a small boy. So it was an impulsive gesture to cry out in a panic, saying, I'll help you, father, to come along, But nobody expected you to fulfill a vow made under duress. And in the medieval scholastic tradition, like, you know, you hold a sword in somebody's head and make them swear you do this or that. They're not obliged to to follow through on that promise that Val has made under duress. Same thing here. Luther was in a terrible state of stress when he made that vow. And therefore, there were lots of ways he could have gotten out of it.
[00:11:36] And indeed, his family urged him to do just exactly that. His father strongly protested his desire to follow through on the vow. And that actually become a monk. And you're wasting your life or your life. You go to the monastery. But Luther insisted on fulfilling that vow. We have one story that said Luther at that time was in love with a young lady sort of similar, engaged, as we would say today. And she was especially unhappy with the decision for him to become a wife because it meant no marriage, not for the vow of chastity, the vow of poverty in the valley. And several years ago, I took a group of my students to the monastery in Indiana as they married on their behalf. One of the female students said, Going to that monastery and thinking all those wonderful young, handsome, young monks as we were leaning, Oh, what a waste. And I said, Well, Luther's Luther's thing on the face of the state must have felt the same thing went away. Throw away your life in the monastery if you couldn't make something of yourself in his daily work. But you see, Luther was moved by something far different than that. He was moved by a desire to find a gracious God. How can I know that God is for me, not against me? What can I do to please God? To satisfy God, to lay some claim upon God? This was the question that kept people wanting to bother him all during the day. How can I find a God who is great? Well, in order to answer the question, he became a monk, not just a regular monk, but a scrupulous monk. The earliest pictures that we have a looper showing him in the monastery with his face all emaciated, his cheekbones protruding.
[00:13:25] This is the result of the suffering and the penitential discipline that he was imposing upon himself. There were five monasteries in Africa. And Luther joined the one that was the strictest of them all the Augustinian hermits. You could still go to that monastery and seek a cell there. It was late in the day, still exist. And he tells us how he would, in the winter time, sleep on the stone floor of that cell in the monastery without a blanket until he figured that the phone was calling him, worried about how he would go without food daily, not even near the rectory to get a meal. I really was quite humble of how he would take a whip and lacerate his back until it was bloody from the pain he was holding on to all of this in an effort to live a wholly timely and righteous life, to live in such a way as he could find a way to survive. But none of it seemed to work because he was always asking yourself, Am on a cold enough. Am I hungry enough? Have I suffered enough? Is there ever enough that can satisfy your incompetence playing? Well, Martin Luther had a very wise and patient confessor. His name was Johann. I felt. In fact, he was the general. You know what they call it? The head, the director of the Augustinian order, a very high position in the monastic life. And he became Luther's own personal confessor and his friend and really his father and God in many ways. Later on, much later, after the Reformation started to look back on self esteem. So stalwarts began the work in the Remember that prophet is the one who appointed him for Christ in the wounds of things.
[00:15:20] When he would go to stop and invest all of this in everything he had done wrong. Every thought you could have imagined that would be a good got caught it all out in the confession. Walk away. Think it was something he had forgotten. Come back and retrace your steps and start the whole process all the way. After what was done, this got tired of it. You said, Listen, if you're going to come here and the best of my friends go out and do some really work, in fact, accused of committing adultery, do some really things, then don't just come in here with these no dollars in the Eucharist. Probably not whether they were good sand or a little problem, whatever it was, obviously this was quite completely phony and what not how you read those verses in the forms about where the song was talked about presumptuous things and things that are not even known for the one who convinced them. Luther had a very profound insight into the make up of human beings. Long before Sigmund Freud and the invention of modern psychoanalysis, Martin Luther understood that human beings were a lot more complex than just the surface. Reading would allow you to think there is a dark, evil labyrinth within everybody, and the things we do in the motivations that move us to do them are sometimes not even known. You are conscious mind what an insight is distinctive, and yet does God hold us responsible for there? Is this a part of the total depravity, the importance of asking questions like that? And you did not find a good answer from complex. Now, there were actually four different parts of the sacrament of confession. First of all, there was one person. After the fact.
[00:17:24] I feel a, that they are going to continue with the sacrament of guilt. There was contrition. How if you can't find an idea then that you were genuinely sorry you had committed the opposite of grief and just have crucified and now have reason to be afraid because you're you're worried about the penalty that's going to be invoked. So you never know. Respecting all your friends will be caught. There'll be a penalty involved. That's accurate. It's not good enough. You need to be genuinely contrite and somehow in your heart. And that's the first step. Then there was going to a confessor like you understand things and you verbally, orally confess to a sin. And then there was some work of satisfaction. Now, I think that in the best theology of the day, this satisfaction was not done in order to earn forgiveness. It was done to show that you were genuinely sorry. That's kind of what they said. But in fact, the way most people interpret it is when I do this work and I'll be forgiven for this in a quid pro quo. And this is where all of the doing it our food and saying that our father is not oblivious to the going on pilgrimage and all that kind of thing was a part of the satisfaction. Now, if you are a very wealthy person, you know how to take back what you owe, you know, $10,000. Figure out what it might be. You know, go. And they have the river charity, the Psalms a hundred times a day, maybe something like that. But it was there was some work to be done, some satisfaction to be made. And then the fourth and final part of the sacrament was absolution. After going all the way through the 14, the Confessor would say, Absolved.
[00:19:19] Okay, I'm gonna give you the name of the Father. Resign in the Holy Spirit. All of this was a part of the sacrament of Him. And Luther was going through this routine. I mean, he had a vow. He had to protect you. But none of it was bringing him the solace and the of songs and the sense of being right with God. He was still bothered with this question. And then a more perplexing thought went over all along. Luther had assumed that God was good and he was bad. And that's the problem, right? How can a simple person like Luther satisfy a holy and righteous God? But now, for the first time in his life, Luther began to question the very goodness of God. I mean, what about predestination? What about all those verses in the Bible? The talk about God using some, not others? How can something God be good? His body? But what we can do is that people, if all the background goes all the way through, is going through this experience, immersing himself in William of the real deal in gun shows and that whole normal thing that we talked about last week. Absolutely right. So what kind of dog is it that we worship? I mean, that's really the fundamental question for Luther now. In a sense, the question had shifted from himself and his fans to golf cart. Is God. Who is God? Herbivorous or carnivorous? Who am I asking for? No. Well, back off. If you went to these these questions and, you know, this was a very loving and patiently, you know, he could only take so much. And so he said, listen, your brother Martin, you're coming in here with all these questions. But I mean, you're making it too hard on yourself.
[00:21:36] Don't you know, all you've got to do is just love God. Love God, said Luger, I. This was blasphemed the hatred of God. So down his throat, his arms in despair. Stay with me. I don't understand this fellow. And now, if there was passed through the very abyss of desperation and despair and thought, could it be that I'm the only person in the whole history of the world with something like this, so that even a very wise and impatient pastor like Father Johann Post-office, doesn't understand? I only know how we don't know exactly when all these things were happening. The chronology is a little fuzzy here. I think they're supposed to happen sometime around 15, 11, or 1512. Luther had already received his first theological degree. This is NPR News, which is qualified to lecture on the sentences of Peter Lombard and the standard textbook in theology in the Middle Ages. But then I started to take him aside and have a conversation out in the garden of the monastery one day, and he's going to put his arm around is going to say, Brother Martin, I've been thinking about you. And you know what I think you are, and I think you ought to go to the university and get to the head, start thinking, well, here's a young man on the verge of a nervous breakdown and he's being urged to become a theological professor. Although I could never do that, that would just kill me. Well said. It's okay because God has people like you and have a go ahead. You can't use the air here. You do there. But remember, you're talking about what do you want to do? Are you one of the three like we are kind of class? You're not going to play show up or not? You know, he was under a vow, obedience.
[00:23:28] He had to do what he told doing. So he did that and went through the words give in there. And he earned what we would call it was actually he didn't find the great imam is likely going to be the one at the end of Harvard. I feel guilty. I think others agree Luther is good enough. Olympic theology in Old Testament, that was his specialty. He was the Penn MATTHEWS of the University of Denver. And now he began to lecture at the police. He was a lecturer, all in bibliographies was entitled A Lecture on the Bible, what you call biblical studies, particularly on the Old Testament. And he was lecturing on the song. Now you have to remember he's a monk. It's been about now for about seven or eight years. And and the monk moved with someone else from heart. That's why they moved day after day, week after week, month after month. They can't perform over and over and over and over again. It's a part of their daily prayer life. And so Luther knew the Psalms very well. But now he came to Psalm 22 when he read in a different way than ever before. My God, my God, why has the forsaken why are down so far from helping? So far from the words of my warning. Oh my God, I find it in the daytime the power of that God is not here. And in the night he comes and I'm not silent. But I am a worm. And. MARTIN Well, you read that song to the whole Psalm and you realize these were very, very hard thought, what I found. He's also an uncle. I was wondering what Jesus stuff was and how could it be? He is the holy, righteous, innocent, sinless son of God.
[00:25:36] I am a kid. Ashes and dust. Why is Jesus dead? It could only be Lucas standing on the cross. Jesus Christ. So identify himself with our simple condition that he found himself on our side, estranged from the father, crying out in the darkness of hell. My God. I thought. Why? Later on. We are commenting on this tax cut. A very interesting way to go. I never read this anywhere else, but Limbaugh pointed out that that is the only time in the Bible where Jesus ever produced body calling God that every other time when Jesus prays, he always says Father or papa, the father own only on the cross, you find out, My God. Or in that moment, Gruber explains, he bore the brunt of God's judgment against sin. The experience of hell itself and alienation from God itself. And all of this gets it right back to the great. And so he could only find God. I've been paid to do that kind of pick and roll in 2017 for Paul is quoting the Old Testament from the back. And the righteousness of God is with the open faith of faith and freedom, the right to live by faith. Now the expression in the writings of God. Luther had read that many times before, of course, and he always understood the righteousness of God. That all refers to their I mean, the right is the bond with God punishes the unrighteous, the sinner. It was this God that Luther could not love, but rather heated and murmured against in his heart. But now, according to him, he says, if you ponder that text in Romans one again, that the righteousness of God, you did see a day that Paul is talking about is the righteousness by which God without compromising His holiness.
[00:28:11] The players were centered through the writers because, of course. Luther develops this into his doctrine of justification. By faith. I believe the word is not in the Greek text of the New Testament. Alone. Which means alone by faith. Alone. Both of them were. This one was inside of him. He felt as if I'm going to convert him. So he said, I felt as if I'd gone from the darkest midnight into the brilliance of the noonday sun. He said, I felt as if I were born again. What a new view of God has brought to. And what a view of Christ. Well, Luther had declared Christ as this medieval thing, so, you know. And the great cosmic giants sitting on a rainbow, standing on the headland surrounded by the story of hope, a sword proceeding out of his mouth. Then you've ever been to Rome in the Sistine Chapel and seen Christ before? That breakthrough to Michelangelo, sitting on a rainbow, a sword coming out of his mouth like this. And he's sending it to his right hand, go to his left hand in the hill, tries to judge you on the rainbow. But now the rise, the joy from the rainbow has become Christ, the derelict on the cross, crying out in the darkness. The very question I've asked about for a long time. Why? And it was this theology of the cross that motivated Luther and drove Luther in his reformation insight into the greatest character of God. There is a debate, and I refer to this in my theology of the reformers, a debate as to exactly when this happened in Luther's life. Some scholars say 15, 13, 15, 14 before his commentary on the Romans, that was 1516. Others believe that it happened after the indulgence controversy.
[00:30:54] Here's what I believe. This, of course, the right and appropriate. I think you have to make you separate three different experiences. There was the experience of this. A little insight into the gracious character of God is what we would call his conversion experience when he was born again. And this sentiment clearly did happen before he wrote the episode in time again on the Romans. I would say 1513, Somewhere in that period, he had begun his work as a professor of Bible, but before the commentary on the Roman. But that experience has to be distinguished from his mature insight into the doctrine of justification by faith alone. That was a process. You didn't come inside all at once. You had to struggle. And even when you read his commentary on Romans four 1516, it's not crystal clear that he's there yet. It seems to me the two sermons I ask you to read in the daily murder book and the two kinds of writers, this was one of the first but clear statements and Luther of the doctrine, justification of my faith alone. And basically, this was a group of three different ways of understanding God's activity, salvation and justification and heartache over three important words that we have in this course. The medieval Catholic way of understanding this was that God imparted grace you little by little over a period of time. If you took the sacrament, if you did good work, you were made more and more Christ like. This was even Augustine's view, even with this ideology of grace and let and all that in partnership, God imparts sanctifying, just divine grace to you through the sacrament, through your good work, through the Virgin Mary, through the birth of the Saints, all these different ways.
[00:32:54] What Luther understood now was that justification is not by implantation. It is by implication. This is actually the word Paul uses. And Roman God reckons. That's how the present version translates. He accounts. He declares a sinner to be righteous because of Jesus Christ and his finished work on the cross. And that declaration of justification is what I would have heard. Now, Paul's implication, justification by implication in Christ Mary on the cross imputed to us that do not deserve it and have not earned it, and are not even in the process of somehow making ourselves acceptable to receive it. But how did his here mercy and sovereign grace? God declares the sinner. You write about how had a gradual understanding of justification. Now, before we bring you a little bit more about this whole question of Luther's great, great work through his extended journey into the into the understanding of the great Spirit of God in 1958. A very famous book was published by Erick Erickson called Young Man. Luther, I read on the you. Okay. One or two. It's a great book. I recommend it's a good read. Erick Erickson was a professor of psychiatry psychology at Harvard University. He was one of the world's leading thinkers in the area of human development, the stages of human life and development. And he also pioneered what we sometimes call Psycho Whisper. This is where you go back into the past and you try to understand an historical figure through the means of contemporary psychology, psycho analysis. And he tried this with several people who probably were Gandhi, and he also probably read Luther and published this book called Young Man Luther. And he pointed out that, you know, Luther had a lot of problems with his earthly bottom on both.
[00:35:09] You know, he didn't want to become a monk. He rebelled against his dad. He went into the monastery, all this sort of thing. And so he said, look, Luther, simply put, those feelings of hostility against his earthly body on Twitter. And he projected them all through his Heavenly Father. And he interpreted Luther's struggle in terms of these kind of psycho social dynamics and the background of his family life. And he also had a very interesting insight into the breakthrough that Luther had with the greatest character of God. Now, Erickson was not a story. He was a brilliant man. All right. And a pioneer in his theory wasn't a very good historian. In fact, somebody coming out of the first movement of Alfred, somebody told me that you had to get a graduate student at Yale to read the original German, because the point is, at Yale, he was a very good man. But in any event, you know, he wasn't a great historian, but he came across this phrase in one. Now, these heard a lot of bloopers here. When we received this great insight into the greatest character of God. You might be Romans 117 and all that that he was out this circle was literally on the toilet in the men's room. And of course, here in this great locker room story, because he was in the room through that. And so he says that Luther's insight into the gracious character of God, his breakthrough to the gospel occurred along with the release of his bowels. So he called Luke Evans to say on a final exam, The last time I called his plan that the Ex-Lax had been invented, the Reformation, whenever I gave him an A-minus, originality in a three plus four interpretation.
[00:37:00] What do you make of Erikson? Well, again, if you're going to better the story, he would have been caught in this kind of trap. It is true. Luther made a statement, or at least as reported from his table, talking with an articulate somebody wrote down that Luther said this one at a time when you've had a few too many whatever to drink. But this was an expression we know is now very, very common in the literature of late medieval mysticism. Remember last week I talked about NPR in Kalamazoo. So when I went in the first Luther ever, published in 1516 before his coming here in the Romans was the Polonia Deutsch the German theology, least mystical sermons. And in this literature, this expression on the toilet is a frequent idiom for for the posture of growth, not of letting loose of yourself, of being open and vulnerable before God. And that was the point of the myth that you have to let go of all creatures of every attachment in the world and be utterly open and vulnerable before Almighty God. Well, you know, where in human experience are you more vulnerable than when you are out? These are. And so Luther did using this very graphically, admittedly. I mean, you know, they not do it every Sunday school class. But it's actually a very good point, an analogy that he's making that is only when you're there with your pants down, only when you are there where the demons are coming up from the from the dark to ensnare you and drag you down into the abyss of hell. Only when you have reached the end of your rope and you no longer have a leg to stand up when you are out. Easter hope that you are in any posture to hear the word of redemption and grace and salvation.
[00:38:57] As long as you're trying to make it on your own as he was in the monastery, you never know whether sometimes God has been up his form before you can get back. And this was the tremendous insight that we've had. It's very much related to his theology of the cross, not a theology of glory, theology of glory, where we have things we can boast in and brag about and bring before God and our mind is engaged and understanding all of these great mystery. That was the methodology of scholasticism a theology of glory. But what we have now, the theology of the cross, is a theology of vulnerability as a theology of the moment where all of us have committed in one way or another. Sooner or later, that point of divine intersection with the grace of God. We're going to take a right now and we're going to come back. And I'm going to take a short break here in the next half hour. We'll get. That is very important. Yeah, that was a good indication, but. Well, he didn't have any. He didn't. It was a question mark. You know, early on you did talk about convection in the 30 seconds. But if Luther's convection was not this low to the red planet. Right. His confession was the declaring of your sins and the receiving of the possible forgiveness. And he felt it was important for Christian to say that directly because of that. Yeah, but it was more it was more ritualized that he did have a strong view of the importance of the open verbal confession of this man to another Christian. I got to be a Christian in this way. No, I assure you on that. On the promise of God's word, it was interpreted that he did call it confession and did hold something for one.
[00:40:49] Let's go on and talk a little bit about the other things we think of. Well, what is all this story of Luther's struggle with the intelligence controversy and with Luther's ex-communicated from the Church of Rome and all of those. I think it's important to realize, again, the context in which some of this was happening. I remember being very pointed out on the map as just a little bitty backwater town in the Hindu parts of Saxony and still is today. And then you go there. I mean, there's nothing there. But, you know, Luther's house and apparently both of you know about these, you know, two or three rows of houses. This about it, little pigs, and at one point went to his house. And it certainly wasn't much of a town in the 16th century, but it did have a university. And Luther was a professor in this university. And that's extremely important to understand. All who Rose went ahead. One was as a theological professor, it was charged to complete holy scripture. The other was his role as a preacher. And also there are two churches in between. One of them is the Castle Church, which is the big, beautiful church that the Prince elector Frederick had built. And that's where Luther posted his nonpartisan but down in the center of town, right off the town square there is St Mary's Church, and that is the people's property is the town church. That's where Luther preached. And so we have these two concerns. His role as a teacher in the university, a guider of the students, a lecture on the Bible, and his role as a pastor and preacher to the people in the town. So at first Luther had only in mind of reform of theological education, all of his business about just trying to find a gracious guy in poring over the text of Roman led him to think that the curriculum needed to be revised at the University of Edinburgh.
[00:42:58] Now, this is something that theologians are always doing, reviewing it right now, whether you know it or not, you know, we're revising your curriculum because obviously their first year students, you may find it's time to get out. It was a whole lot different than it does now. You know, we always do this every two or three years. You got to go through revise the curriculum. Well, Luther thought the curriculum needed to be revised, and he thought one of the things that needed to be done was to throw out scholastic theology and stop all that stuff and bring in the Bible. Let's just teach the Bible and let this be the basis of our curriculum. And of course, this is a matter that, you know, referring to this committee and Matthew bouncing around and so forth and so on. And that's how theologians work. And if that's all Luther ever did, we may never heard of it, but it was because of his position as a parish priest, a pastor, that he was drawn into controversy in the public arena, which led eventually to his excommunication from the Church of Christ. Now, the immediate occasion was the building of indulgences in the nearby territory. Remember I showed you how Saxony was divided into Ducal and Electoral Saxony and Wittenberg is in the Electoral Saxony, but it's very close to the border, along with local Saxony and indulgences were being drawn right across the state line, so to speak. And all of Luther's parishioners were running over there and buying them and bringing them back, thinking they purchased forgiveness. It's created a pastoral problem for the Reformation began as a pastoral problem. Now what we're doing is in part because we were upset when these folks were binding with somebody.
[00:44:49] Well, the audiences went back to the Crusades. If a person during the Crusades could not go and fight, but could give a generous gift of money to support the enterprise, that person would be relieved of any penalties, any satisfaction in return for the money that they were given. That was called an indulgence. And in time this offer was extended to include lots of other things besides your to give the money instead of going to fight in the crusade that came to include, you know, giving to hospitals or cathedral for building bridges or all of these things were supported financially by the selling of indulgences and the like. And there was also an extension of the benefits promised to milk. It was claimed by some that indulgence could forgive sin as well as remit the penalty for saying this was not the best theology of the day, but it was being taught and believed. And of course, this was an encroachment on the sacrament of penance. You misunderstand, Luther, if you think that he simply wanted to make rice easy and cheap. Not true. Lucas problem with the Catholic Church was not that it was too hard. It was that it was too easy. And indulgences was a keep and it was cheap. Grace. That's why Luther from them doesn't take God seriously. Doesn't take sin serious. So this penalty, this remission of sin will have been later extended to include not only this life but also the next year and is worth. Now, the theory that lay behind this was that some people were better than they needed to be for their own salvation, and so they built up an extra presence. Some people died in the black, so to speak. They had all of this extra asset that they didn't really need for themselves.
[00:47:02] This was called the Treasury of the Merits of the Saints, and it's like a big bank account up in heaven. All these things that have died and they built up all these various. Well, are you going to do all these here? Well, the poet of the people, Christ was able to draw all of this celestial banking house and transfer credit from heaven to those here on Earth whose count for whose accounts were going to here. And that's how their traffic indulgences. Now in touch, Luther, through a man named Alberich. Al Capone's vault. 808 19 0ll are in one of the German gangsters in the late 1980s to hold down passports for another outbreak. Point guard was already the Archbishop of Halberstadt and Montoursville, but he also wanted to be the Archbishop of Nice. Here again, you have one of the abuses of the late Middle Ages, namely liberalism, pluralism. Back then, you don't need what we need in the day. You need the holding of all in one office in the and time. Here's a man he had who had great office and he won the third one. And why did you want this? Well, it had great political significance because it would make him a rival to the sport, the ruling family, the imperial family. But now he knew that he would have to pay a very high installation fee to the pope if he were to be granted this dispensation. He would also have to pay a further fee for the irregularity of holding three such positions at once, despite the fact that he was not old enough to own any of them at all. And so Alberich opens on entering into negotiations with His Holiness Pope Leo within their control with all these indulgences.
[00:49:07] They were negotiating the price that should be paid for the granting of this dispensation. Well, Leo then said, I think you ought to give me 12,000 ducats wandering to the global. Alberich said he was a pain for the apostles. He was paying for his own taxes. There were only seven deadly sins. Give him 7000. Well, the compromise is some 10,000, 12, 13 demands. And so the pope agreed outright to have a plenary indulgence declared within the spiritual. Half of the money would go to Alberich for the reimbursement for the 10,000 ducats he had already borrowed from the lugers. That would be the banking company of Germany. The other half would go to the Pope for the building of a syllable of Saint Peter's Cathedral in Rome. That's how they worked it out. And so Alberich put out an indulgence with extravagant claims, trying to raise all this money in order to get the dispensation, to get his preferment and so forth and so on. And he hired one of the best talkers of indulgences anywhere around to raise this money. It was a fundraising scheme. But what this man's name was, Johann. So easy to tell. He was a Dominican friar. And he would enter into a town with a solemn procession. Flags unfurled songs, candles. And before him, there would be on a velvet cushion a copy of the papal bull. Issuing this indulgence, a Red Cross from the silk banner bearing the arms of the Pope. And underneath that, a large iron kiss for the indulgence money to be put into it. And he would say or think because it's a little jingle, though. Ball They're living in Costa Rica and they'll ask them for your ring, which is best. I can translate that.
[00:51:08] As soon as the money clinks in the chest, the souls, they jump into heaven to this. This is partly a protest against. And how did he do it? He did it by posting on five things on the castle first door. And now there is a little debate between historians. Did he really post this or or not? And the story actually come from after his death. And some say, you know, he didn't literally take a hammer and nail and imposed that. He simply wrote it out and sent it by mail. So we say it was posted either by mail nail. But in any event, we did this 95 pieces. You know, I like my history literal. So I think he actually did it. Yeah, it's kind of like a bulletin board. It was a public announcement place. And in fact, that's what he was doing, was saying, you want to discuss these 95 things to make these 95 exams in a formal disputation, which in fact the. We have a different kind of people didn't expect this sort of thing to be done right. Well, what were these 95 theses? They're divided into different sections. Relate their statements. God read them. Writings. One of your books? Yeah. Some of them dealt with the financial abuses in the church. And the Pope knew the poverty of the German people. He would prefer this. I hear from them, actually, rather than it should be built out of the blood and hide of which all of the Germans would say, Oh, that's good enough, right? Because you see, they didn't like all their German money going down to support some Italian friends of the church and the nationalism has evaporated. The rise of the modern nation state. He also questioned whether the pope really had any jurisdiction over her, because if he does, what you said bothers me.
[00:53:12] Just empty the place. Free of charge, open the doors and let those poor souls out. And in addition to that, there was an attack on the whole theory of accumulated and transferable merit. The idea of the treasury, of the savings that people build up so much credit in this life and more than they need. And so there's all this credit that can be called on. Now, he says the treasury of the church is the gospel through program of the church is the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, with many great statements in the 95 pieces. Well, before long, these 90 body pieces had been distributed, printed in the printing press. This move is brand new. And so for the first time, really, in any kind of concrete controversy like this, you have the ability of a wide dissemination in a short span of time. And what if there's pieces we're sending distributed all over Europe? In 1516, somebody went around in a kind of a who's who in the universities of Germany who could indeed microwave you just a little nobody, a real professor of Old Testament of this backwater power of Wittenberg. But now this. Nobody had become a celebrity and everybody was talking about Martin Luther and the 95. And so you have this phenomenal controversy of this becoming a very famous issue very quickly. The pope even heard about it down in Rome. And at first, he thought it wasn't just a quarrel between the monastic orders. They're always fighting with one another. But if there's an Augustinian Petzold's, a Dominican, this is just a little fly between these two orders. Come up with that, this and this or that. But soon he realized that if you look more serious than that, people who sent Cardinal Kensington, who was a great expert, by the way, of Thomas Aquinas, he sent Cardinal Kensington, who interviewed Luther at the died of arms for.
[00:55:23] Tragedy. Hand told her to leave and not come back until he was really willing to say revocable. I refuse. The next great event. In some ways, one of the most important events in this whole drama occurred in the town of Leipzig in 1592 years after the posting of the name by places like. This was a public debate with John E seeking his name in German being Horner. And so it was said that it likely Luther had been it had been cornered by this great Catholic polemicist. Now, why was this such a big deal? Why do you remember where Leipzig Leipzig is located? Right next to Bohemia, just a few miles from the border. And who was from the media? John was his name. And so the good fight had become a rather revolutionary group, at least a certain band of them, who were known to resort even to violence in order to protest the abuses in the Catholic Church as they saw it. And so Leipzig is located right on the border of Saxony and and Bohemia. But all of these are radical whose sites are building up in the hills. Having known from time to time to come down and raiding parties. The ruler of this part of Saxony I mentioned before, dwindles back to the Duke George and is a staunch advocate of the Catholic position. Well, Luther and John went there to debate and they began to talk about a lot of different things. One was the age of the papacy or is I who cares how old the papacy is? But if the papacy went back the days of the apostles, that it was a divine origin in day. But on the other hand, if it had originated somewhere along the line, that perhaps it was a human heart.
[00:57:48] Lucas in the papacy is only 400 years old, only goes back to the time of Gregory, the seven who imposed clerical celibacy upon the people and produced the document from the 20th century saying all churches should be subservient to the Bishop of Rome. This document is curious about how they went back after them to you. We would only accept the authority of Scripture, Cooper says, because popes and councils could air and. That sounds like a heresy, John said again. And so did George, who was one of the participants, along with everybody else in that building, invited, you know, good feelings. Hordes of Muslims descended upon the now very tense moment. Oh, no, this a just the religious bible. Well, they took a break for lunch and then over Clinton went over to the library and looked up the records of the council. Constant were gone. This had been burned. They had been working. People came back in the afternoon in front of George and everybody else and stood up and said the propositions of God who's condemned by the council on the continent were indeed orthodox and right. And so it came right out of Saint John, if I could say yes, I am a present. John Kennedy said in 1961, Ein Berliner, Rufus, that Bishop, in hindsight, he said, Did you listen to me as if all these dislikes coming back to me? So he broke up the debate like that. But I have to say that was a watershed for Luther because it was the place where the principle of Sola Scriptura alone emerged into the full view of history all. Then we come to the year 1520 and to the three treatises of Martin Luther, the famous previously the Martin Luther that you're doing wrote the book.
[01:00:11] I'll say just a word about those. Luther's address to the Christian nobility of the German nation concerning the reform of the Christian estate, you call for the reduction of the papacy back to apostolic simplicity. Remember last week to the bank, we did the dialog we read between Erasmus and Opioids at the Gate of Heaven. But a lot of those same arguments are echoed now in Luther's treatise to the German nobility said Jesus came simply riding on a donkey, not like the Pope goes about on the stallion. So, again, he is is approved here. The German sensibilities enter the rising tide of national sentiment. And in his treatise on the Babylonian captivity of the church, we are given a different translation, often called pagan servitude or the third or Luther argues that the sacraments are we reduce the number of 7 to 2 with compassion kind of hanging in there a one but sacraments, most of them instituted by crime figures that. And we can't accept all of the medieval practices and sacramental theology that undergird what matters is the promise of God's word, the promise of grace and forgiveness. And this whole question of Luther's sacramental theology. I hope I'll have a chance to come back and talk about this later in the semester, because there's a lot to be said about that, particularly with retention of infant baptism. Luther kept, of course, infidelities, but he did so on a very different basis than Zwingli or the reform period. And also, Luther had this idea that the baby somehow had faith what he called slumbering. But. It was faith again that was imputed to them. And so Luther strange and convoluted way actually did teach believers often. They just thought, baby probably. Whereas Zwingli and Calvin both were concerned at all about the faith of the baby to make any sense to them.
[01:02:33] It's like they're making fun of people and they want to do what they want for them. Matter where the faith of the parents and the faith of the church, the community of faith. So the very different theologies of the Baptist emerging out of the Reformation. But in either case, they all deny the Roman Catholic doctrine that baptism removes the taint of. And Luther, one of his letters, asked the question what what should happen? You know, if a woman is pregnant and has a miscarriage and right before the baby dies, should she be baptized, your abdomen be baptized, Does this baby go to hell? In other words, remember, it was not that they had you know, God will take care of that. You know, we should go around baptizing emergency baptism fatherless. So he rejects the, you know, the cramps or form of the medieval doctrine of incrementalism. But he does nonetheless have a very strong view on the third treatise was on the freedom of the Christian, perhaps his most famous for looked at 1520. And they were taking the freedom of the Christian. Here, Luther sets forth the paradox of Christian life. The Christian begins at once a free person, Lord over all, and at the same time, subject to all. Down to the third wheel. This year. Luther had also reiterated his doctrine of justification by faith alone. And developed his understanding of how the creation is to live a life out of the love of God. There is a place for works in progress sometimes in terms of you having no doctrine or good works. He does. But he simply says good words are the fruit of the Christian life that God has worked in us by the Spirit. It's not something we do in order to obtain God's grace and mercy.
[01:05:14] And you have to understand, Luther did speak sometimes in exaggerated form. You just go back to the Baltimore result. For example, I once wrote in a letter to Philip, Nothing will separate us from the forgiving mercy of the LAMB of God. Even if we fornicate and murder a thousand times a day. We'll just leave that out of context and very little sounds like an infidel or worse, or in a statement, you know, sinned gravely of boldly, you know, only for a certain point carried away. But you saying he's reacting against the legalism and the words righteousness and the whole system of merits, that was so much a part of the medieval Catholic worldview that the liberty and the freedom that we have in Christ working him a note of joy and liberation every morning is now. The focus on the word of God. The word alone is legal. Well, I hope you read these three treatises just for your own benefit, quite apart from this class, because they're the three of the most important things, I think, in the whole history of the church, much like the Reformation. You can't really understand where Luther's understanding before he reaches a different point. But they didn't please everybody. Certainly not to the pope in Rome. And so in June 1520, he issued the papal bull in Title IX Thursday and dominated the bulls. But you are all named after the first words. You call it first and only. That's how it began. And of course, exactly that means rise up of quoting the thought. Rise up. Oh, Lord. Obama's award. A wild boar has invaded by bigot Arise. Oh Peter, arise of Paul. Arise. Oh, thank you. Give them all and cast out this wild boar from the eyes of what a wild world Martin Luther endured was the church.
[01:07:33] Although the bull was issued in 1520, they still had those days to cross the Alps or something like that, building up modern airplanes of brains and cars. And so the ball was not delivered to lift their balloon there until October the 10th. And he had, according to Canon law, 60 days in which to respond, to recant, to do what the girl asking him to do, what Cardinal A.A. did earlier, to say revoke of everything. And so on December 15th, 15.16 days worth of. Luther took the papal bull and all of the volumes of Canon law from the Library of the University of Pittsburgh. Understand there had been no faculty as well as ideology. So Luther had his teaching assistant over to the law library, and he backed up all of the many volumes of Canon law, and he took them out to a certain spot in town and he burned them publicly, burned all the books and canon law. And when the flames were really crackling, getting through in the bull in the conflict, kind of. Well after this. You know, there was not much hope, really, of reconciliation. So people kept trying to get the parties together. But the showdown was staged in April of 1521 at the diet of mourning. So we are in this one, which is a town located on the Rhine River. There were three or four parties gathered at the diamond. There were the it was the party of the pope and a late cardinal to represent him. There was none of Erasmus's friends, these dear, sweet moderates. There were some German nationals, like all Rick Von Goodman and some of his buddies who really liked the German sound, that lucid theology and like everything else he said. And of course, there was Luther and the Emperor with the choir back in the day one.
[01:09:58] And Luther was shown his writings. He was asked if he would repudiate them. Luther said, Well, you need to lock the door. I've often thought that night and Luther was held in custody in barns as he waited for fear of the next day before the day was born. Must have been one of the longest nights everyone struggled with. The general was always coming back. Are you alone? Who are you? You know, into 1500 years of first. You're not just representing yourself. You represent the whole people of Germany. Are you alone with that statement right here today in fourth place was crowded. Again, he was asked if he would repudiate the things that he had written. Oh, you know, I can't I can't repudiate everything I've written because, you know, it's much cleaner than what I've said. Look here, Mark Alexander. Of course there is some truth in what you say. There always is, but very few. That's what makes them conservative. And who are you to go against? The tradition of 1500 years given by Christ, formulated by the Apostles, delivered by council, declared by the Pope. That's for. By the faith. Give us an answer. Without forms and without pain. Do you or do you not? We have work. Very well then, said Luther. I would give you an answer without board and without Unless I am persuaded by reason and by country. I cannot accept the authority of Popes and Council unless I am so convinced. I cannot. And I will not repent. God help me. Amen. I said it in German, said it in Latin. And then he said that immediately he was placed under the imperial ban and, as you know, spirited away, under cover of dark by the forces of Frederick the Wise to the bath for a wonderful medieval castle on a high heel overlooking the town of Eisenach.
[01:12:18] Everybody thought Luther had been killed in his great despair and the didn't hear the screams until a few weeks later. They all began to get letters and they were signed mysteriously from parents or from the birds or from the backs. There are lots of facts that Luther was struggling with the devil there, and they were attacking the devil who kept asking him the same question and asking that. Forbes Are you alone? Why are you alone? Why? It would be that you alone are wrong. And they found assurance in the Word of God. In the Scriptures. There was a demand for that. He really began the work of translating the Bible and of all the things that we were. Did you mean wonderful things to bring about the Reformation? You never did anything that was so great and so important as his translation of the Scriptures and the government one. Well, I think we're going to have to stop there and we'll continue with this story and look at the reclamation and move on that very shortly, because Bingley and Kelvin, the other reform in creating an around we will get in line of.