Episode 17 – Babylonian Captivity Part 1

After being thrust into the spotlight with the publication of the 95 Theses in 1517, Martin Luther worked to engage in a conversation with the leadership of the Roman Catholic church, but without much success. By the summer of 1520, both Luther and the pope realized there was little chance of reaching an agreement.

The pope responded with the publication of the papal bull, Exsurge Domine, a hastily written document that formally outlined Luther’s perceived errors. Concurrently, and independently, Luther released the Open Letter to the German Christian Nobility, an attack on the church’s authority over the secular realm.

At the end of the Open Letter, Luther hinted that he had a second attack ready. Luther was hinting at today’s document, The Babylonian Captivity of the Church, an attack on the medieval sacramental system, the very core of 16th century Roman Catholic church power.

This book from Luther looks at how the sacraments had been used to keep people in exile away from the true promises of God. Listen to this podcast for the first part of the Babylonian Captivity. We discuss Luther’s desire that we come to the Lord’s Supper for the promise of God.

Beer Break

St. Basil’s – From Brewery Becker

St. Basil’s | A Belgian Dark strong. Carmel and malt balance out with the direct kick of alcohol. Quite dry for such a large beer. All proceeds go to educational opportunities. Brewed with goodness, discipline, and knowledge

500 W Main Street, once known as The Western House, has only been Brewery Becker since 2014. Much of the integrity and history remains in the building today, and was kept a priority by the owners when renovating and rebuilding. Visit the Brewery for a step back in time and a true experience.

Recognitions

  • Thanks to Josh
  • Thanks to St. Paul Lutheran in Hamburg MI

Source materials

  • James Kittelson – Luther the Reformer
  • David Whitford – Luther: A Guide for the Perplexed
  • Scott Hendrix – Martin Luther: Visionary Reformer
  • Luther’s Works – volumes 44
  • Wikipedia

Contact Us

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Episode 16 – Open Letter to the Christian Nobility Part 2

The opening section of Martin Luther’s Open Letter to the Christian Nobility was an effective broadside against the Roman Catholic power structure. It outlined a biblical argument that elevated both the nobility and the common man to stand equal to both priest and pope in the eyes of God.

But Luther wasn’t done. The Open Letter also outlined Luther’s calls to reform the church from how people should dress to ceremonial changes to help people understand that the pope was just a man like everyone else.

The Open Letter was very effective. Before the release of the Open Letter, the pressure was building on Frederick the Wise to turn Luther over to the Roman authorities. The success of the Open Letter allowed Frederick to continue to protect Luther through this critical period of the Reformation.

In this episode we conclude our discussion of this letter. The implications for church and state relationships are huge as Luther calls upon the people to identify their role in the church through their baptism instead of through self-righteousness.

This letter includes a description of three false walls that divide the clergy and laity in the church. After tearing down these walls, Luther goes on to list reforms for the church. Walls surrounding the self-righteous are torn down. Our only identity in the church is found in Christ.

Beer Break

Curmudgeon Ale from Founders Brewery. This beer was chosen based on a request from a listener in New York. This beer is brewed with molasses and an insane focus on the malt bill.

Thank You

Josh for the sound engineer work. These episode used a different post-production technique. We are interested in feedback on if any differences are noticed.

St. Paul Lutheran in Hamburg

Sources

    • David Whitford – Luther: A Guide for the Perplexed
    • James Kittelson – Luther the Reformer
    • Luther’s Works – volumes 44
    • Wikipedia
    • Elsie Singmaster, Martin Luther – the story of his life
    • Hannah S. Bowers – Coffeeshopthinking.wordpress.com

Contact us

We would appreciate any reviews you could post on iTunes. Help us get the word out.

Episode 15 – Open Letter to the Christian Nobility Part One

In 1520 Martin Luther addressed the Christian nobility in Germany to give them encouragement in their role as supporters of the gospel. Martin Luther attacked three walls the pope had erected around Scripture. These walls were designed to intimidate the secular people from speaking up. If these walls could be torn down, then the Word of God would be more clearly shared in Germany.

The first wall is the notion that the spiritual power of the pope is above the temporal power of magistrates. This would prevent the magistrates, or local leaders, from instituting reform. This wall also established that the moral authority of the church silences the temporal leaders from having a voice.

When Luther knocks down this wall, he places a voice in the church in the hands of people other than the professionals. Giving a moral voice to people other than the clergy is possible because we all have the same standing before God by virtue of our baptism. Luther wrote, “For whoever comes out of the water of baptism can boast that he is already consecrated priest, bishop, and pope, although of course it is not seems that just anybody should exercise such office.”

This episode largely deals with introducing this letter from Luther and discussing the implications of knocking down the first wall. In episode 16, we will discuss the other two walls of the letter. The second wall was that interpretation of Scripture belongs to the pope and the professionals. The third wall was that only the pope can call a council that would deal with possible reforms in the church.

Luther knocked down these walls as artificial barriers to the priesthood of believers participating in the promises of God.

Where does the Roman Catholic Church stand today? The catholic church is full of very fine distinctions. It is important here to note that Rome has moved very close to Luther on the equality of all Christians. The catholic catechism, starting at section 897, states that the laity are, “the faithful, who by Baptism are incorporated into Christ and integrated into the People of God, are made sharers in their particular way in the priestly, prophetic, and kingly office of Christ, and have their own part to play in the mission of the whole Christian people in the Church and in the World.”

Beer Break

Liberty Street Brewing Company, Plymouth, Michigan

Liberty Street Brewing began in 2006. They provide a large assortment of crafted, small batch ales and lagers through an exceptionally service oriented waitstaff.

Recognitions

Recognition of source materials

  •  Wikipedia
  •  Elsie Singmaster, Martin Luther – the story of his life
  •  Hannah S. Bowers – Coffeeshopthinking.wordpress.com
  •  Vatican website where they have the official Roman Catholic teaching on the role of the laity and the role of the priesthood.

Contact us

We would appreciate any reviews you could post on iTunes because these reviews help increase the visibility of our podcast.

Episode 11 – Election Capitulation

On January 12, 1519, Maximillian, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, died at Wels in Upper Austria. The election that took place on June 28 in Frankfurt was a hotly contested election. The two main contenders were Charles, grandson of Maximillian, and Francis I, the King of France. After a series of bribes and promises, the election swings towards Charles.

Charles V signed a document that was critical to the Reformation that is typically overlooked by Lutherans. The Election Capitulation was negotiated by Frederick the Wise who was supporting Martin Luther. So listen to this podcast to learn about some political processes that helped define the Reformation period.

Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor

Beer Break

Rochester Mills Brewing Co.

Milkshake Stout, a property of 7 malts, along with a low hop level that creates a dark beer featuring rich, sweet, roasted flavors.

Resources

  • Thanks to Josh Yagley for sound engineering
  • Thanks to St. Paul Lutheran in Hamburg MI

Recognition of source materials

  • David Whitford – Luther: A Guide for the Perplexed
  • Charles Beard – Martin Luther and the Reformation in Germany Until the Close of the Diet of Worms
  • Daniel J. Castellano – Repository of Arcane Knowledge
  • Erwin Iserloh, Joseph Glazik, and Hubert Jedin – History of the Church: Reformation and Counter Reformation
  • Henry Eyster Jacobs – Martin Luther: The Hero of the Reformation
  • Wikipedia articles

Episode 10 – Mr. Miltitz Goes to Germany

Karl von Miltitz was sent from Rome to Germany in the fall of 1518. He was a papal nuncio, which is the title for an ecclesiastical diplomat. His job was to improve the conflict with Luther. He expected to be a part of the negotiating team with Cardinal Cajetan. The timing of their arrivals in Germany meant they worked separate from each other. Maybe he expected this was going to be a good cop / bad cop sort of relationship. Cardinal Cajetan would be the bad cop and Miltitz would be the good cop. He was supposed to relieve the tensions in the international relationship between Rome and Frederick the Wise that had developed during the controversy over indulgences.

In this episode Mike Yagley and Evan Gaertner discuss the role of Miltitz to settle the dispute between Martin Luther and the sale of indulgences. Luther and Miltitz met in Altenburg in January, 1519.

Pope Leo gave Frederick the Wise the “Golden Rose,” a honorary gift and sign of favor from Rome.

Beer Break Information

This episode we feature the Keweenaw Brewing Company and their Red Jacket Amber Ale. KBC is a microbrewery with no food served at their taproom. This Amber Ale is a class Oktoberfest style ale that is brewed in tribute to the Red Jacket Mine and copper industry glory days of the Keweenaw Pennisula.

Luther’s View of the 10 Commandments

Mike and Evan have a discussion after the beer break about how Luther’s view of the law changes along with his changed view of Romans 1:17, “I am not ashamed of the gospel… for in it, the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, as it is written, ‘The righteous shall live by faith.'”

How do we look at how the righteous shall live by faith?

Heads up that this second half of the episode might require a few rewinds to capture. Some people may only listen to the history stuff of the first half and call it good enough (which is okay). We won’t track you down and make you listen to all the second half.

Recognition of Source Materials

    • David Whitford – Luther: A Guide for the Perplexed
    • James Kittelson – Luther the reformer
    • LW 34 and 48
    • Catholic Encyclopedia
    • Luther’s large catechism
    • encyclopedia.com
    • reformation500.csl.edu

Episode 7 – Proceedings at Augsburg 1518

In this episode of Grace on Tap, Mike and Evan discuss the “fatherly hearing” between Cardinal Cajetan and Martin Luther at Augsburg in 1518. Luther wrote about this informal hearing when he returned to Wittenberg.

In June 1518, Pope Leo X has empowered a court to begin proceedings against Martin Luther. This court based on their examination of Luther’s 95 Theses called Luther to come to Rome for a trial. Cardinal Cajetan received word of this while he attending the Diet of Augsburg. August 28 Cardinal Cajetan received orders from the pope to arrest Luther, absolve him if he recanted, and use the ban to deal with all that supported him. The pope also wrote to Frederick the Wise seeking help in arresting this “son of perdition.”

Instead of arresting Luther, the cardinal agrees to a “fatherly” hearing.

The meeting of Cajetan (left) and Martin Luther (right).

In this episode we discuss how the cardinal insisted Luther recant his statements on the basis of canon law. Luther refused to recant on the basis of anything besides the authority of Scripture. Luther’s explanation of this meeting shows his trust on the enduring Word of the Lord as his sole source and norm for doctrine.

The featured beer for this episode is the Great Lakes Brewing Edmund Fitzgerald Porter. This robust and complex porter is a bittersweet tribute to the legendary freighter’s fallen crew—taken too soon when the gales of November came early.

Episode 6 – Lead Up to Proceedings at Augsburg 1518 with Road Trip info

Martin Luther and Cardinal Cajetan will have an important meeting in Augsburg in 1518. In this episode we talk about the lead up to this meeting. First we discuss the perspective of the pope. Then we look at Luther’s expectations for this meeting. Finally we discuss Frederick the Wise’s approach to this meeting.

In the summer of 1518, Cardinal Cajetan was traveling to Augsburg to attend the Diet of the Holy Roman Empire. The Imperial Diet was the general assembly of the Imperial Estates of the Holy Roman Empire. Part of the cardinal’s mission attending this diet was to get Luther to recant of his statements. Frederick the Wise recognized that the pope was in a weak position concerning discipline of Luther since everyone knew that Emperor Maximillian was going to eventually die. The pope needed to maintain friendly relationships with the electors of the Holy Roman Emperor so that he could have influence on who would be elected to be the next emperor. Frederick the Wise used his position as an elector to make sure that Luther did not get taken to Rome for a heresy trial.

Frederick in a portrait by Lucas Cranach the Elder

Recognition of resources: Luther’s Works Volume 31, Catholic Encyclopedia, and Cambridge Modern History.

Grace on Tap Roadtrip

Where: Brewery Becker

When: March 30 at 7:30pm

More information: Check out the event page on Facebook.com.

Beer on Tap

Bell’s Oatsmobile Ale

Aromatic. Approachable. Unique. Intriguing. Happy-go-lucky. Full-bodied. And we’re not just talking about the horse.

This hop-forward session American Pale Ale uses a blend of classic and modern Pacific Northwest hops, including Mosaic, Ekuanot™ (formerly Equinox) and Glacier, for a pungent blend of peach, mango and tropical aromas. The signature ingredient – oats – are what makes Oatsmobile Ale stand apart, and gives it a body that you don’t see in most other sessionable pale ales.

Alcohol By Volume: 4.30%

Episode 4 – Grace on Tap – Background to the Heidelberg Disputation

This episode of Grace on Tap is the build-up to our discussion on the Heidelberg Disputation, where Martin Luther first defined his Theology of the Cross.

The Theology of the Cross captures Luther’s ideas on sin, God’s grace and human suffering. Sadly, Luther’s ideas on the meaning of suffering remain an overlooked component of Christian theology, even in Lutheran circles.

If you have an interest in theology, we think you’ll like these next couple episodes.

The Heidelberg Disputation was a debate that took placed at a regularly scheduled meeting of the Augustinian order in April 1518.

Johann von Staupitz, engraving from 1889

Johann von Staupitz had only one request for Martin Luther, don’t discuss anything controversial. Staupitz limited the debate to sin, free will, and grace. Don’t know why he didn’t think these topics would be controversial.

Staupitz and Luther first met in Erfurt in 1506 as Luther’s Augustinian Superior. They had a deep relationship rooted in shared experiences with sin and seeking the comfort of God’s grace.

Thanks to Josh Yagley for sound engineering. Thank you Maria for helping Mike with the research. Thank you to St. Paul in Hamburg for providing us the opportunity to meet and discuss the Reformation.

Resources helpful to us in this episode include Luther’s Works volume 31 in the American Edition available from cph.org. We also were aided by Kurt Aland’s book on the 95 Theses. Luther’s correspondence and other letters (Letter 57. Wikipedia had a helpful article eon Martin Bucer.

The featured beer in this episode is from Atwater Brewery in Detroit. The Hop-a-Peel. It is an American Double/Imperial IPA. This is a solid beer with a subtle orange peel flavor. The aroma is ready and sweet. The beer is bitter that helps the subtle flavor of the orange not overwhelm the whole beer.

Episode 3 – Grace on Tap – Sermon on Indulgence and Grace

This episode looks at a sermon from the spring of 1518 that Martin Luther wrote and shared with the German people to explain the controversy on indulgences and why the grace of God is our confidence.

Published copy of Luther’s “Sermon on Indulgence and Grace” from 1518. From the Taylor Institution Library, Oxford

The featured beer for this episode is Founders All Day IPA. This is a session beer, which means that its alcohol content is lower and so appropriate for drinking over an extended period.

Episode 1 – Grace on Tap – Background on 95 Theses

The first episode for Grace on Tap.

This podcast looks at the people, documents, and contexts for the Lutheran Reformation. This episode especially focuses on the situation in Germany leading up to the posting of the 95 Theses on October 31, 1517. We discuss the social structures that are changing in this time period, and how the situation is set for Martin Luther to rely on the Scriptures for His teaching.

Here are some of the resources we found helpful for this episode:

The featured beer for this episode: Shorts Brew Autumn Ale. Autumn Ale is an English-style Extra Special Bitter (ESB). It has a medium body, amber colour, and full flavor. This beer exhibits a wonderful balance of malty sweetness and earthy, herbal hop bitterness. Autumn Ale won a silver medal at the 2006 Great American Beer Festival.

We look forward to hearing from our listeners.

You can send us an email at graceontop.podcast@gmail.com.

You can find out more information about us.