Episode 25 – Off to the Wartburg

Martin Luther was cut to the core when he read the words of the young emperor Charles who wrote, “A single friar who goes counter to all Christianity for a thousand years must be wrong.” Luther couldn’t help but wonder, could the emperor be right?

Now that he was safely ensconced in the Wartburg castle, Luther was free from the day-to-day challenges that consumed his attention as the accidently spark of the Reformation. He could finally stop and deeply consider the words of the emperor. Was Luther the only person in a thousand years who could rightly read the Bible?

As he always did, Luther sought his answers in Scripture, eventually settling on an unexpected reading to evaluate his leadership and ambition, and the leadership and ambition of the pope – the song of Mary, the mother of Christ – the Magnificat. In this episode we discuss both the way that Martin Luther arrived at the Wartburg and how the Magnificat provided a lens through which he could understand his path forward, as a servant of Christ, during a time of discord.

When Luther left the city of Worms with Jerome Schurf and Nicolaus von Amsdorf on April 26, 1521, he only had 21 days of promised safe conduct from the emperor. Once the safe conduct expired, anybody could kill Luther as an outlaw.

As part of the safe conduct, the emperor provided a small troop to travel with Luther to make sure nobody hurt him. Luther released them after a couple days, so they returned to Worms with letters from Luther to the emperor and to Spalatin (supposedly also for Frederick) where he explained his actions at Worms.

Luther was told that the safe conduct was only in effect if he did “not stir up the people either by teaching or writing.” Luther tried to listen, but he was compelled by the people in Hersfeld, Eisenach, and Mohra to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Jerome Schurf left the group right after they left Eisenach to continue to Wittenberg, leaving Amsdorf and Luther with the driver of the wagon. Luther and Amsdorf decided to travel south, away from Wittenberg to visit Mohra, the city where Luther’s father had grown up. Shortly after they left Mohra, Luther was kidnapped in the Thuringen forest, not far from the Altenstein castle.

A group of armed men on horses came out of the forest and stopped the small traveling party. The driver was terrified. When the armed men asked if one of them was Luther, the driver pointed to Luther immediately. The armed men were two nobles, the castellan of the Wartburg, Hans von Berlepsch, and the resident lord of Altenstein. The armed men took Luther and rode off into the woods. They took Luther to the Wartburg castle, which was owned by Frederick the Wise.

Stop motion animation that uses Playmobil to tell the story of Martin Luther, and the Reformation. gochattervideos.com/martin-luther

The way the kidnapping was orchestrated in such a way that even Frederick could honestly say he had no idea where Luther was hiding. Luther’s stay in the Wartburg Castle began in May 1521. (Coincidentally, the Wartburg overlooked the city of Eisenach where Luther spent his teenage years.) Although he left the castle a few times, he mostly stayed in his room for the next 10 months.

Beer Break

Black Lotus Brewing Co., 1 East 14 Mile Road Clawson, MI 48017-2132.

Detroit Hip Hops X IPA – American 10% ABV

This is their 10 year anniversary edition of their double IPA. Its a high gravity IPA with notes of citrus and pine and compliments food and conversation extremely well. Put on some vinyl pour a glass and explore the flavor of sound.

Recognitions

  • 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 21
  • 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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