Episode 23 – Martin Luther’s Reformation of Hymnody and Liturgy

When Martin Luther first posted the 95 theses on the church door in Wittenberg, he was driven by a deep concern for his congregation. This continued to be the primary driver of everything he did for his entire career as a reformer.

Luther’s concern for his congregation was expressed in many ways. He wrote sermons for his own congregation; he wrote guidelines for sermons for other pastors; he wrote devotionals.  Even when he wrote a theological treatise, his mind wasn’t ever very far from the regular-folk and what this would mean for them.

In this episode we look at how Luther used music.  In churchy terms, we call this Luther’s hymnody, the body of music that was written by Luther to communicate proper theology to the congregation.

This episode is released on Oct 31, 2017, the 500th anniversary of the posting of the 95 theses. Happy Reformation Day, everyone!

Tower of the Castle Church in Wittenberg.

We’re taking a break from Luther’s story at the Diet of Worms. Instead, in honor of the 500th anniversary of the posting of the 95 theses, we’re going to focus this episode on the single subject that animated everything that Luther did in his struggles with the medieval Catholic Church – the congregation.

To tackle the entire issue of Luther’s concern for the congregation is too much for one episode, so we’re going to limit ourselves to Luther’s hymns, which were one of his favorite ways to communicate his theology to the common folk.

Neither of us really know much about music, so we’ve invited Chris Mowers, one of our congregation’s music experts at St. Paul Lutheran Church, to help us out.

Beer break!

Stan Bucrek, a member of St. Paul, provided the beer for our break. We asked Chris Mowers and Stan to help with this episode as a demonstration that Luther’s reforms of hymnody and liturgy were done with the congregation in mind.

The Pale Ale is
(Modified)  Cornerstone India Pale Ale:
ABV: 6.56%
Magnum, Amarillo,  Centennial and Cascade hops-
Was supposed to be an IPA, but the secondary hop addition was reduced to let malt not be overwhelmed by hops [I dislike it when the beer tastes like prairie grass]. Well balanced flavor and bite, with a well sustained head when poured.
Original Recipe from: AIH (Adventures in Home-Brewing) Ann Arbor, MI.

Fire Island Scotch Ale:
ABV: 5.51%
(Not related to New York’s Fire Island Brewing Co.)
Crystal and Chocolate malts, brown sugar &  Kent Golding hops –
Smooth, sweet and drinkable – A fall/winterish Ale with pleasant hints/notes resembling Scotch Whiskey sans actually barrel aging the beer.

Recipe from: James C. Whitely, Arbor Beer-making Supplies, East Islip, New York.

Both beers are brewed in 5 gallon batches and bottle aged.
The Pale Ale is from June of this year and the Scotch Ale was brewed in March.

Episode 22 – The Diet of Worms Part 2

Martin Luther, the professor of Biblical studies at the University of Wittenberg, had finally received the invitation with the promise of safe conduct from the emperor. Now Luther had decide if he would attend the Diet of Worms.

The invitation that Luther received said nothing about the structure of the meeting. Would it be the open debate he had wanted since the beginning? Would the Bible or canon law be used to evaluate the positions of the debaters? Luther had no way of knowing.

Ultimately, Luther decided he wouldn’t be called a coward. He loaded up a wagon and began the 300 mile journey to Worms to defend his teachings to the Diet of the Holy Roman Empire.

Martin Luther at the imperial Diet or Reichstag of Worms, Edict of Worms, 1521

Frederick the Wise requested a hearing for Luther. The emperor extended an invite, then rescinded it after hearing arguments from Aleander. But it didn’t matter, since Frederick the Wise declined the invitation since he was suspicious of the clergy over-riding the emperor’s promise of safe conduct, just like they did to Jan Hus. Eventually, everything got worked out and Luther was extended an invitation with a promise of safe conduct.

Luther at the Diet of Worms, by Anton von Werner, 1877

Beer Break

Wolverine State Brewing Company’s Barista Coffee Lager / 6.6% abv / 13 IBUs

A collaboration brew with Ann Arbor’s RoosRoast featuring locally roasted Colombian coffee. This brew took gold at the 2015 World Expo of Beer! Wolverine Brewer Karl Hinbern, once in the coffee roasting business himself, spearheaded the coffee side of this beer, finally selecting a Colombian Excelso bean roasted at Roos. Part beer, part coffee, what’s not to love?

From Wolverine State Brewing Co.’s website

At Wolverine State Brewing Co., we love lagers. A lot. We love them so much, we make literally nothing else — no ales pass through these draft lines. And in fact, we’re Michigan’s first and only all-lager microbrewery. But what makes lagers special? Why are we so obsessed with them? Read on:

Ales and lagers, for all their perceived differences, are NOT all that different. The chief differences lie in their fermentation temperatures and durations (lagers = colder and longer) and yeast strains. That’s it! You can do anything with a lager that you can do with an ale. Put it in a bourbon barrel. Hop the living hell out of it. Add guava and lime and the kitchen sink. Drink it on a hot day. Warm yourself up in the winter. Leave it unfiltered. The list goes on. Bottom line: they are both beers.

What is different, however, is the way lagers pass through your palate. Lagers are generally characterized by tight, crisp, clean finishes — these finishes are difficult to achieve, which is one reason lots of breweries do not brew lagers. They are hard to make. There is nothing to hide behind. And that crisp finish works as a natural palate cleanser — you’re left wanting more and more and more and more.

Recognitions

Thanks to Josh Yagley our sound engineer.

Source materials

James Kittelson – Luther the Reformer

Scott Hendrix – Martin Luther – Visionary Reformer

Roland Bainton – Here I Stand, A Life of Martin Luther

Luther’s Works – volumes 32

Wikipedia

 

Episode 21 – The Diet of Worms Part 1

Charles V of Spain was on a very steep learning curve. Even though he was only 20 years old, he had just been voted as the new Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. Including his governance of Spain, he now had the responsibilities for a vast domain that included modern day Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, Northern Italy and South America.

Charles had prepared for these responsibilities for his entire life, so he felt in 1521 as ready as he could have been as he approached his first major meeting with the leaders of the Empire, set for the city of Worms, in the Rhineland of Germany. Still, he knew the princes, electors, dukes and other leaders of the would be watching him closely for any missteps as he sought to guide the empire through the treacherous terrain of medieval European politics.

Treacherous barely describes the complexity of the situation Charles had inherited from his grandfather. The pope was no friend, having done everything in his power to deny Charles the position of Emperor. The German princes were fractious and squabbling, even while the Turks were threatening the eastern edges of the empire. And in his own Spain, the commoners were rising up in revolt against the nobility.

Finally, there was this matter regarding the German monk, Dr. Martin Luther. Although Luther’s teachings were popular with the people, Charles was confident everybody would fall in line behind the pope declaring Luther a heretic. Still, to calm the leadership of the German states, and to get them to finally work together against the Turks, Charles on November 28, 1520 agreed that Luther would be given a hearing at the Diet scheduled to be held in the city of Worms in early 1521.

The Diet of Worms will be dealt with through three parts. The word diet describes an assembly of the Holy Roman Empire. The first part looks at the lead up to the hearing in Worms. We especially focus on why a monk that has already been declared a heretic by the pope is being given a hearing in Germany. The second part will look at the hearing itself and Luther’s famous speech before the emperor. The final part will examine what happens after the hearing is over and how Luther is “kidnapped” and taken to the Wartburg.

Luther at the Diet of Worms, by Anton von Werner, 1877

Beer Break

Our featured beer in this episode is from Perrin Brewing in Comstock Park, Michigan. The No Problems Session IPA bursts open with aromatics of fresh citrus fruits, ripened melon and a distinctive floral bouquet.

Diet of Worms by Swashbookler

Recognitions

Thanks to Josh Yagley for the sound engineering

James Kittelson – Luther the Reformer

Scott Hendrix – Martin Luther – Visionary Reformer

Roland Bainton – Here I Stand, A Life of Martin Luther

Luther’s Works – volumes 32

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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 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

We would appreciate any reviews you could post on itunes. The reviews help us to get the word out.

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Episode 13 – Sermons from 1519

In the fall of 1519, Martin Luther was concerned. His concern was for the souls of those that the Lord had placed near to him. His protector, Frederick the Wise, became very ill. The people were curious and seeking promise, but still finding in the rituals of the church a focus on works instead of faith. Luther offered to them consolation. He wrote a devotional for those approaching death called the 14 Consolations. He also wrote three sermons on the sacraments. Each sermon describing the action, the inner significance, and the role of faith in receiving these gifts.

His three teaching sermons on the sacraments infuriated the supporters of the people. Duke George of Saxony called the treatise containing these sermons, “full of heresy and scandal.” Luther responded by calling these complaints, “the trumpeting of a sterile pig.”

The three sermons are titled:

  •  The sermon on the Sacrament of Penance, 
  •  The Holy and Blessed Sacrament of Baptism
  •  The Blessed Sacrament of the Holy and True Body of Christ, and the Brotherhoods

Before we discuss the sermons we add to our discussion of the pastoral heart of Martin Luther by talking about the devotional 14 Consolations.

Beer Break

Arcadia Brewery was founded in 1996 in Battle Creek, Michigan, by Tim Surprise and his wife, Mary. In 2016, Jim Lutz came on board as Arcadia’s president. The majority of production now happens at the Kalamazoo location, which still has lots of room for more capacity. You can visit arcadiaales.com to learn more about this brewery.

Loch Down Scotch Ale is their tribute to the Scottish Highlands. This beer is garnet in color. The color is joined with aroma of ripe plums and freshly-baked biscuits. The texture reveals notes of roasted chestnuts and caramel in the smooth single-malt style brew.

Recognition of source materials

  •  David Whitford – Luther: A Guide for the Perplexed
  •  James Kittelson – Luther the Reformer
  •  Luther’s Works – volumes 35 and 42

Visit us at Facebook.com/graceontap.podcast

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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 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.