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

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Episode 14 – A Wild Boar in the Vineyard

This episode focuses on Exsurge Domine, the official papal response to Martin Luther. With the printing presses of Europe hard at work in the fall of 1517, the 95 Theses spread throughout Europe in a couple of weeks. Attention was drawn to the leadership of the church in Rome. In 1518 Cardinal Cajetan visited Luther in Augsburg, and Cajetan attempted to get Luther to recant. In the summer of 1519, John Eck debated Luther in Leipzig. Eck succeeded in getting Luther to admit that the issue was about more than reforming abuses. Luther admitted that the pope and a council could be wrong if they conflicted with Scripture.

In June of 1520, the pope signed Exsurge Domine, the papal bull that formally outlined Martin Luther’s errors. Cardinal Cajetan wanted a scholarly response to Luther that specifically outlined the errors of Luther. Eck wanted a response that was released quickly to address the issue of Luther before things got worse in Germany. Eck won and the papal bull lacks specifics against Luther but clearly labels him as a heretic dangerous to the church.

Exsurge Domine is a papal bull promulgated on 15 June 1520 by Pope Leo X. It was written in response to the teachings of Martin Luther which opposed the views of the Church.

The name of this document comes from the first phrase in Latin, “Arise, O Lord!” It goes on to say that the wild board from the forest seeks to destroy the Lord’s vineyard and it is time to put down the boar.

Lucas Cranach included in the altar piece he painted for the Town Church in Wittenberg a picture of Martin Luther preaching from a pulpit that is decorated with a wild boar running through a vineyard.

Martin Luther’s Sermon, detail from a triptych, 1547 (oil on panel) by Cranach, Lucas, the Elder (1472-1553); Church of St. Marien, Wittenberg, Germany.

Beer Break

We set aside our walk through beers from the Great Lakes region because we have found we have a consistent set of listeners from Japan. So this beer break features a beer form the Kiuchi Brewery. The beginning of this brewery is found when it was established in 1823 by Kiuchi Gihei, the headman of Kounosu village. The beer side of the business started in 1996 and named the beer “Hitachino Next Beer.” It has a unique owl character logo. This beer is a German style Hefe Weizen with banana, clove, and vanilla like flavors with a touch of toasty wheat malt and hops.

Recognitions and Thanks

  •  Thanks to Josh
  •  Thanks to St. Paul Lutheran in Hamburg Michigan
  •  Wikipedia
  •  John M. Todd book Martin Luther, a biographical study
  •  Hans Hillerbrand – several documents
  •  Catholic.com: A Catholic website set up to defend the Roman Catholic faith against protestant attacks.
  • Good place for us to make sure we are not mischaracterizing Catholic teaching, although we would welcome anybody shooting us an email with any corrections on our understanding of Roman Catholic doctrine.
  •  Vatican for a copy of Exsurge Domine

Contact Us

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Episode 12 – The Leipzig Debate

Turning Point

John Eck and Martin Luther met for a debate in Leipzig in 1519. This debate was a major turning point for the Reformation. This debate pushed Luther beyond the question of reforming indulgences towards the question of authority in the church.

John Eck was a scholastic theologian teaching at Inglostadt. Martin Luther was a professor from Wittenberg. These two men meet for the rumble in Leipzig. Two men enter, one man leaves (actually both left alive, MMA was not in play at this time).

In the fall of 1518, Cardinal Cajetan had his fatherly talk with Luther. Luther refused to recant or return to Rome for trial. Then Karl von Miltitz visited Luther, and Miltitz made a deal with him. Luther would remain quiet as long as his adversaries remained quiet, which brings us to this podcast episode of Grace on Tap.

John Eck corresponded with Luther through a document titled, Obelisks. After Eck released the Obelisks, Luther replied with something called Asterisks. These two terms refer to different type of margin notes that people would put in their books to mark areas of interest. Andreas Karlstadt didn’t want to be left out of the party. He also responded with The 370 Theses.

So let’s get ready to rumble.

On June 24, 1519, the Wittenbergers arrived in Leipzig. There was a pause at the entrance to the city because there were questions about whether their passports would be received. The fact that the Wittenberg delegation arrived as a raucous group of students and professors might have given the city some worry about their ability to keep the peace.

The debate became a turning point in the Reformation because Eck was able to draw Martin Luther into a debate on the question of papal authority. This debate publicly pushed Luther beyond the indulgence controversy, which was seen by many as a suitable topic for reform.

The Leipzig Disputation – 1519 – Carl Lessing

Listen to this podcast and discover how the Leipzig debate helped focus the discussion on authority in the church, the Word of God or the pope.

Beer Break

Our featured beer in this episode is The Live Wire from the ROAK. This is an American IPA from a brewery in Royal Oak, Michigan. It is a juicy beer with classic hoppy bitterness and little malt sweetness.

Thanks

  • Thanks to Josh Yagley for his sound engineering
  • Thanks to the people at St. Paul Lutheran in Hamburg MI who provide us the encouragement and support to continue recording these podcast episodes

Recognition of source materials

  • James Kittelson – Luther the Reformer
  • David Whitford – Luther: A Guide for the Perplexed
  • WHT Dau – The Leipzig Debate in 1519
  • Sean Doherty – “Theology and Economic Ethics: Martin Luther and Arthur Rich in Dialogue”
  • Encyclopedia Britannica

Contact us

Come on out to our upcoming Road Trip in Clinton Twp on June 7. Details can be found on our Facebook page.

This post has been updated with an audio file that starts at the beginning.

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 8 – Power struggles between Church, Society, and Family

This episode is our attempt to lay the ground work for why Martin Luther could stand up to both the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire and the pope and not be immediately be struck down.

It is 1519, and Luther has written the 95 Theses, participated in the Heidelberg Disputation, and talked to Cardinal Cajetan in Augsburg.

Background

  • After things went so poorly in Augsburg, Luther snuck out of town early in the morning, leaving a note for Cardinal Cajetan bidding him farewell.
  • Frederick the Wise continued the negotiations on Luther’s behalf with Cajetan.
  • Luther returned to Wittenberg and wrote his account of the proceedings there.
  • Luther has completed the first stage of mapping out what it means for Catholic theology to have been saved by grace and not works. This work will continue as he is asked again later to answer to the Catholic leadership in Leipzig but, for now, he has a little break from that battle.

How did the investiture controversy lay the ground work for a small town friar in Germany to lead a revolution of power that is built on the truth of God’s Word?

The investiture controversy was an important conflict between the religious and secular powers in medieval Europe. The dispute developed in the 11th century  concerning who had the authority to appoint bishops.

Martin Luther pastorally cares about the vocation that all people have in their callings in the church, state, and the family. The balance he sought for these powers is built on his desire that we use our gifts to serve others instead of seeking people to serve us.

Gregory VII lays a ban of excommunication on the clergy loyal to King Henry IV; drawing from the …
Leonard von Matt/EB Inc.

Beer Break

Huma Lupa Licious from Short’s Brewing Company. This is an India Pale Ale that is brewed with five different kinds of hops.

Recognition

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.