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Color Wars:

The third quarter of the 16 th century Europe another color broke out and used religion as its guise – just like latter’s 100 year war. Germans are mixed Arab and Nordic or scando whites and Italians and Spain were also but lighter shades of brown. The Cabans of southern Europe, Carlos' brown or light skinned crews were similar to how Cubanos look today. Italians are a quarter Irish scot nordic, one quarter Black African and about 50% Arab DNA. They are similar to mixed breeds such as today's norther Shi'i of Iran who see themselves more as white Persians of the past. Spain got along with northern African sunnis of more darker skin tones of Arabs. While the ruling families of the Ottoman Empire → at this time → consisted of mixed Nordic and Arab and why the Spanish under Philip just started to attack white states like England, northern Europe or the Ottoman Empire, to which the state begun by mixed Christians and Moslems and acquired and captured  from the Romana lands or today´s very southern East European states or some of them.

Key argument: Luther intends with his predestination argument that God chooses certain people to go to heaven and others to go to Hell. I argued at Berkeley when notating this individual to the wider class subjects I chose to fight with semi orphan Erasmus – who did not have a military or ganster clan to protect him from aggressive argumentation. What is important to understand is that both Α Erasmus argues mainly for the Catholic Church's dotrinized view on theological points and Luther never makes it to that level, but his key observation he will later cite as the best writing of his life & was what I posted Italically and bodly and mirrors the concept of the Matrix a movie that came out in 1999 A.D. – at the head of this scribble. Luther quotes and citations below.

When Martin Luther wrote and all us other figures were happening in Europe’s sphere of influence around the world‚ Spain was dominating everyone with the number one superpower on Earth. They were brown ⟨ & and some had lighted skin ⟩, they were breeding and they took over the Catholic Church turning it basically pro-Arab DNA brown verses the northerner white race it was a color war.  The unity of the church broke off completely‚ and England as it did just like the EU‚ did not join the Protestant Reformation‚ it made its own church or remained classical to its roots of white ness.

Martin Luther &  Gang Warfare & Protestant Reformation(s), Humans interpret the Will of God

The Liberation of the Party Animal

Copyright © 2008 Michael Johnathan McDonald (Bookoflife.org)

Martin Luther and His World

 v. Dec 10.08 race part updated dec 26 2015. and coded for mobile

Undergraduate notes, and writings, U.C. Berkeley, Fall 2008.

  • Martin Luther

  • Erasmus & Luther Free-Will

  • John Calvin Free-Will & Liberalism

  • Council of Trent

  • Lutheran Protestant Reformation

  • Catholic Reformation


  • If you are of a younger age and need to communicate on a test what accomplishments Martin Luther was most famous for, you can say he was a “part” of a movement, and even possibly a leader of it,  that intended that all people are priests -- in that they can themselves interpret the Bible. All they need is the book in their language and the rest of the job of interpretation is up to them. Do not allow anyone else to tell you what the Bible says --- it is solely up to you to interpret it. You do not need an institution to tell you how to think or act.

  • For those in the more advance studies, I give you the following.  

Martin Luther Chronology: In Depth Life Following

1483: (November 10th) Martin Luther is born to Hans and Margaretha (Ziegler, Melancthon) Luder, family moved to Mansfield, where Hans is a petty bourgeois who owns a copper mine. Explains why Luther receives an education. (at this time, there are no public schools). Some accounts attribute him to what modern day would prescribe as an abusive household. Therefore, later historiography, psychologists take this as interpretive of his rebel character.

1492: Luther attends school in Mansfeild.

1497: Attends school in Magdenburg. (14 years-old)

1498: attends school in Eisenach.

1501: Enter University of Erfurt. (18 years-old)

1502: Receives B.A. at Erfurt in Philosophy.

1505: On Epiphany (6 January 1505) Luther advanced to a Masters degree, being second among sixteen students.

1505: 2 July a various account of conversion. Cochlaeus, Luther opponent relates, Luther is overtaken by fear of thunderstorm, jumps into a ditch, promises God to enter monastery if his life is saved. Other accounts relate to escape family that wants him to become a lawyer (or steady brutality at home); Melancthon, relates it was melancholy. Mathesius, his first biographer, attributes it to the fatal “stabbing of a friend and a terrible storm with a thunderbolt.” [Help St. Anna, I will be a monk!” [newadvent, source]. A more accurate account is the family pressure and that monasteries were safe houses for food, shelter, and at this time a fun place. The only stipulation was celibacy and inner mystical study of scriptures and philosophy. Both Luther and Erasmus will complain about the loose morals of the monasteries, a reflection on the Brethren of the Common Life, both who had attended this type of monastery.

1505: 17 July, enters cloister (or Order) of St. Augustine at Erfurt; a part of the wider program of The Brethren of the Common Life. It is here, Mathesius, says, Luther never saw a bible until he was twenty years of age, and that he accidently discovered on at the Monastery at Erfurt. [newadvent, source].

1507: 2 May, Ordained by Bishop John.

1509: November, Instructor at Wittenburg

1509: 9 March, Bachelor of Theology; returns to Erfurt.

1510: to 1520, begins Luther his main focus. He focused on a idea called faith by justification( mis-prescribed as doctrine of justification, there is no such doctrine, and Luther could not write doctrines, even according to his closest biographer or the German Princes he served under. If it was a theology, it intends, don’t do anything, God had already saved you, do whatever you like, and just believe that you will go to heaven – that is all. Philip Melancthon, Luther’s friend, and memoirist, wrote a Lutheran Doctrine. Martin Luther never wrote a doctrine on theology.

1511: October, Starts trip to Rome on Augustinian business, sees Roman Renaissance first hand under Julius II’s demolition and conversations for the new St. Peters Basilica.

1512: May, Sub-prior of Wittenburg cloister; Director of Studies.

1512: 4 October Licentiate.

1512: 19 October, Doctor of Theology.

1513: Spring, Lectures on the Psalms.

1515: Vicar, in charge of eleven monasteries.

1516: Publishes The German Theology (Not a theology at all!); lectures on Romans and Galatians.

1517: April, Notes on the Penitential Psalms

1517: 4 September, 97 Theses Against Scholastic Theology.

1517: 31 October or November 1, "Disputation of Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences (a.k.a. The 95 Theses). Tradition has it this is the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. According to Philipp Melanchthon, writing in 1546 ( short Biography on the memory of  Luther), Luther nailed a copy of the 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg that same day — church doors acting as the bulletin boards of his time — an event now seen as sparking the Protestant Reformation, On October 31, 1517, Luther wrote to Albrecht, Archbishop of Mainz and Magdeburg, protesting the sale of indulgences. He enclosed in his letter a copy of his "Disputation of Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences," which came to be known as The 95 Theses. Hans Hillerbrand writes that Luther had no intention of confronting the church, but saw his disputation as a scholarly objection to church practices, and the tone of the writing is accordingly "searching, rather than doctrinaire." [1] Significance: Luther in some theses directly attacks the Catholic Church intending the Salvation History is an historical fraud by the implication of indulgences being sold to weak minded people.

1518: 26 April, Heidelberg Conference, German Princes see a useful tool in Luther’s writings.

1518: 12 October, Before Cajetan at Augsburg instead of trial at Rome.

1519: January, 1st week, Conference with Miltitz at Altenburg.

1519: 27 June Leipzig Disputation begins.

1519: 4 July Beginning of Luther’s discussions with Eck.

1520: The Critical Year, three major writings occur.

1520: 23 June, Luther writes “An Appeal to the Ruling Class of German Nationality as to The Amelioration of the State of Christendom.” This outlines what is a Christian and who can be elected as one and who cannot. Some predestination arguments exist in implication of logical “pushes.”

1520: 6 October, Luther writes, “The Pagan Servitude of the Church” (a.k.a.  The Babylon Captivity of the Church). This was a direct attack on the Roman Church, theology and calls on reform. Popes are illegitimate.

1520: 4 November, The Execrable Bull of AntiChrist

1520: published November, “The Freedom of a Christian”, with an accompanied letter to Pope Leo X (letter titled, “Concerning Christian Liberty”). This was an attack on the Roman Curia, certain individuals, papal influence, and a call for Catholic Reform. Sometimes this writing is spoken of as the last attempt for Luther to have the Church reconcile with his views. Luther uses these phrases ‘the word of God, which teaches liberty in all other things.’ And that means emancipation form control, meaning the Catholic Church.

1520: 16 December, Luther burns the Bull to appear before the Roman court.

1521: 3 January, Luther is excommunicated.

1521: Diet of Worms (January 28 to May 25, 1521) (Reichstag zu Worms ( note the ‘w’ is pronounced like an English ‘v.’): King Charles (I) V called a meeting to fetter out the radical Luther – what should be done to him?

1521: 2 April, Diet of Worms begins. Luther is promised by Frederick III, elector and prince of Saxony for safe passage on Charles’ promises, and plans for escape in Luther loses his case.

1521: 16 April, Luther enters Worms.

1521: 17-18 April, Luther appears before the Emperor and council.

1521: 26 April, Departure from Worms.

1521: 4 May, “kidnapped plan” by Frederick III’s men, taken to Wittenburg castle.

1521: Secret journey to Wittenburg; acting incognito as a German soldier named Junker Jörg. Works on Greek Bible translation into the German tongue, this sets the example of German linguistics for centuries.

1522: 6 March, Returns to Wittenberg and comes out of hiding, helps establish a new order, and finishes translation of New Testament, first published in September ‘23.  There are also prefaces to the New Testament. It helps the common people understand what the Bible is all about from Luther’s interpretation.

1523: published, Secular Authority: To What Extent It Should Be Obeyed. This is the less polemical and well thought out heuristic example of Luther’s works of his who life, I intend. The nature of secular authority is defined clearly and this belief would condom Luther to hell two years later under political pressure for the German princes that supported him for they forced him to take sides in a secular and a very serious matter.

1523: September, publishes the German Bible, from a Greek Bible, first time in modern regional language of that time.

1524: August, Conflict with Carlstadt at Jena, Kahlu, and Orlamunde; Hymnal published.

1525: Luther gives permission for genocide of innocent people. 100,000 commoners are slaughtered (1525-26) for wanting some basic rights, like a priest from their own community (see 12 Articles, Thomas Münzter).  Luther gives a veiled permission to kill the black forest serfs in his writings. This act means according to Luther’s earlier writings he was never a Christian – according to his predestination argument.  Writes against the Heavenly Prophets, contending against  Andreas Karlstadt and Thomas Müntzer; marries Katherine von Bora in June; writes Against the Robbing and Murdering Hordes of Peasants, (c. May? 1525), criticizes the Peasants’ Revolt (16 April in Thuringia); writes Bondage of the Will against Erasmus.

1526: Beginning of the year, The German Mass and Order of Service; becomes father, born a son names Han; begins writings against Zwingli’s views on the Lord’s Supper.

1527: January to March: that the phrase, “This is my body” stands firm; “Ein Feste Burg,” “A Mighty Fortress is our God” is composed. Luther fights sickness and intense depression after understanding internally he was never or will be a Christian; daughter Elizabeth is born; continues to write against Zwingli.  

1528: March, writes the Great Confession Concerning Christ’s Supper; grieves over Elizabeth’s death;

1528: October, visits churches.

1529: April, publishes Large Catechism and Small Catechism;

1529: 1-3 October,  Attending Marburg Colloquy with Zwingli and Southern Germans, but no agreement is reached on the Lord’s Supper; daughter Magdalena born.

1530: 3 April (Diet at Augsburg): Luter starts on way to Augsburg. Luther as an outlaw cannot attend the TheAugsburd Confession of 1530” are a set of principles communicated as a doctrine, confessed by quorum of Protestant representatives (Not a theological Doctrine!): It was written by others on authority of Luther’s co-workers, because Luther could never write doctrines according to Philip Melancthon. This helps to explain why Luther had never wrote a theology on his views of Christianity. He would have implicated himself as a non-Christian.

1530: 5 June, hears of his father’s death.

1530: October, returns to Augsburg.

1531: begins lecturing on Galatians; son Martin born. Begins working steadily (1531-34) on a translation of the Old Testament.

1531: Writes “A Commentary on St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians.” (Part of his lectures of 1531 and 1523). This was an important writing for Luther, who believed it was worth his intellect. It took his “justification” argument further to associate it with power. Still polemical, this Martin Luther effort focuses more closely on a pre-theology on the Gospels and the Law. It almost reaches a sophistication worthy of a scholar’s logical consistency.

1532: writes On Infiltrating and Clandestine Preachers; is given the Augustinian Cloister for his home.

1533: Son Paul is born.

1534: August, The first edition of the complete German Bible; daughter Margaret is born.

1535: Lectures on Genesis begin; completed only shortly before his death.

1535: 6 November Cardinal Vergerius at Wittenberg.

1535: December The English commissioners Fox, Heath, and Barnes reach Wittenburg.

1536: May 22-29, Luther agrees to the “The Wittenberg Concord” with Bucer and Capito on the Lord’s Supper, in an attempt to resolve differences with other reformers, but Zwinglians do not accept it.

1536: December, Participation of the Schmalkald Articles.

1538: Luther writes against the Jews right to live, condemns them all to hell, and writes against the Sabbatarians.

1539: Wrights On the Councils of the Church.

1542: drafts his will; daughter Magdalena dies.

1545: Writes against the Papacy at Rome, an Institution of the Devil. First Session of the Council of Trent is aimed at what to do about Luther and the spread of his polemical ideas.

1546: February 18, Dies in Eisleben. Philip Melancthon gives eulogy.

1549: Philip Melancthon writes a short memoir which is often referred to for “some” Luther historiography.

1552: Katherine Von Bora dies. At Trent, a Second Council concludes a definitive condemnation against the Protestants. A new Militaristic Approach is approved to combat the conditions and future spread of ‘disunity.’ The Counter Reformation (Or Catholic Reformation)  already begun by the first council, is now in full swing and with new pro-active agendas to educate and eventually build new institutions, and ecclesiastical reforms. Many of Luther’s claims are textually refuted according to scriptural texts and traditions. The problem for the Catholic Church is that it takes considerable education and philosophy training to understand the sophistication.

1555:Diet of Augsburg called in 1555, Charles V, tied and getting old wants to come up to some solution to stop the warfare between Protestant and Catholics. At this time Charles was feuding with the Pope over promised funds.  So they decide in the German lands to allow autonomy in regards to each local ruler’s choice of religion. It relates what the German princes can do in their individual domains in regards to freedom of religious choice and governing structures. Diet of Augsburg; held in attempt by Charles’ fury over funding and delaying of Paul III’s promises, therefore, Charles V wants to reconcile the German Princes to choose their own religious affiliation to their locals. Charles is tired, crippled and getting old at this time.

Why Luther’s Success? Everyone could understand what Luther had claimed was truth –‘Party on dudes and dudettes, do whatever you like, it doesn’t matter if you help your fellow neighbor out or not, you will be saved, if you believe it.’

How to Understand Luther’s Successful Ideas: Protesting/Protestants – The New Paganism

“Freedom of a Christian” (pub. Nov., 1520) written to Pope Leo X.

  • Two Propositions: Subchapter “Treaties on Christian Liberties.”
  • Paradox: “A Christian is perfectly free lord of all, subject to none.” St. Paul.
  • Paradox: “A Christian is a perfectly free dutiful servant of all, subject to none.”[2]
  • Luther claims Jesus Christ was a free-man and a servant of God (in laws) at the same time. see note. (how can he be a servant to himself as not at the same time? Luther does not like philosophy and this explains some of his illogical conclusions. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit, was confirmed by Luther to be only one entity, yet they constantly fight with each other like split or multi-personalities. Then he states this contradiction, as an example of a plethoric revelation of Lutheran dichotomies). To help understand this, we seek to find a rational explanation to a possible adopted agenda after the princes latched on to his rejection of personal guilt. Luther wanted to free himself from guilt so badly he had spent his life researching the Biblical texts for confirmations of his agenda. In order that he had done this, he parse and threw-out philosophy. It was too difficult for him to understand.  This helped him reach his conclusions that no works of good faith were needed; no economies of salvation were needed and the kingdom of heaven, the only Christian law that existed was not of the earth. Therefore secular rulers actually had no authority over how Christians could enter heaven. Therefore, his criticism (not a theology) allowed others to latch on and break away from the economy of salvation of the Roman Catholic Church. To explain how this was done, Luther took biblical selective passages, parsed them, and took them out of context and formulated an elaborate description of the role of a Christian. The Roman Catholic Church claimed that semi-literates should not interpret the Bible. Luther was a linguistic, and to a lesser extent was possibly a less competent interpreter of the written word. Erasmus’ theology, in contrast, demonstrates little to none contradictions. Luther’s works from 1517 till the end of his life illustrate someone investigating, without a theology, and thoroughly contradicting his construction of the Christian past. Yet, Luther significance was he got others to now opening discusses the Biblical Texts rather than appointed authorities of the Roman clergy. This allowed Religious individualism to replace communalism. This helps to describe the factionalism that already had begun, but will increase after Luther came on to the scene.

Destroying the Consistency of Martin Luther’s Free-Will Argument Against Desiderius Erasmus Rotterdamus.

by Michael Johnathan McDonald, December 10th 2008.

Around the mid-1520s, Erasmus and Luther began an exchange in correspondence on the topics they promoted, and free-will being the number one topic in all religious history, predestination fell as the default of the battle of religious wills. Unfortunately, not having quite the courage, as if St. Teresa of Ávila would intend, Erasmus was too nice of a man to win the argument. Even in the context of the time both Erasmus and, by help of Erasmus translation of the Greek Bible into Classical Latin,  Luther were a part of the first serious interpreters of the Holy Bible after the Medieval Ages in which knowledge had been lost for centuries. They had become superstars in status not unlike world leaders today or Hollywood superstars. Obviously Luther had a military to protect him with his German princes that meddled in European politics who laid their life on the line to protect their German emancipationist preacher – while Erasmus, as skeptic and free-thinker did not. If Erasmus would have attacked Luther correctly, he may have become a martyr but would have ended all confirmation that Luther was consistent in argument.

Luther intends in his own mind that this is his most important work off all time because he beat a superior scholar by a consistent, narrow, and focused argument. Luther intends this was his only work worthy of publishing – meaning he was proud. Luther believed he had vanquished his main competitor and claimed triumphant over interpretation of Scriptures. Luther solidified the leading role in religious revolutionary emancipation – as reformationist history -- by entrapping Erasmus from his social position of having no protector status. Erasmus had to be careful of what he said, while Luther did not.

Reformation Free-Will Historiography

September 1524 Erasmus published De libero arbitrio diatribè sive collatio (A discussion of Free Will). This was written quickly and under pressure. The Catholic Church, losing their public relations campaign, pressured Erasmus to take sides between the new reformers and Catholic traditions of the Catholic Church.

Bondage of the Will of 1525 was Luther’s response to Desederius Erasmus’ diatribè. Luther would later intend this was the best work of his life, and the only one that was worth publishing. Why? It provides some of the best defenses for  Sola Fidei and Sola Scriptura. Luther was able to trap Erasmus with a few major argumental moves: (1) Erasmus argued social responsibility is connected to a Christians' salvation through the act of human free will (that is having choices (All of which are personally premeditated and such involving the individual) that can be described as acts of social relevance to conducting peace, harmony and human welfare and human capacity for a community love all within an ideological tradition of the Catholic Church and the Patristic traditions. (2) It was because Pelagius who had been convicted in the fifth century as a heretic and St. Augustine had down played free will that Luther used to his advantage. Therefore predestination had won out in tradition because it was supported by one of the  most major Church theological figures of all time. The Third General Council in Ephesus (431 A.D.) agreed with Augustine of Hippo and condemned Pelagius’ free-will of any individual argument as a heresy. Since Augustine had used and promoted Greek philosophers, intending they were the nearest to modern Christians, Erasmus promoted such an Augustinian view. (3) Erasmus uses Catholic tradition, pagan philosophers, and arguments containing mysteries of biblical topics and passages. Sacramentum (Latin: a sign of the sacred) was dismissed by Luther as not pertaining to Scriptures. (4) Luther intends that Scriptures is the only literary source that can tell anyone of any truth. Luther does not define truth, noting his objection to philosophy as logical arguments.  (5) Luther intends all non-Biblical texts can never lead to any truth. (6) Erasmus intends that pagans can tell truths', but may not be able to be saved by not being Christian. Yet, Erasmus was not sure and left the argument in limbo. (7) Luther intends that if one is not a Christian, they will never be saved by God, if God had already preordained them for salvation. This is explained in Luther’s argument on predestination that God is everything, past, present and future and  already knows what he will do in the future about human souls. (8) Since God mad man and only he has the power of redemption, then God knows all things concerning the future of humans. Therefore, God could not contradict himself and have humans be able to choose for themselves any action whatsoever to control their destiny. All actions by humans, Luther intends, are premeditated. Before a man acts, men think about their actions,  and therefore they know what they are going to do which is in and of itself a predestination (by the term premeditation).  (9) Luther argues that man after the Fall from grace cannot have grace because the sin is too great and therefore, this explains that God can only save humans by his grace and not by their actions. Since God already knows their actions, it is useless to allow man to have free-will. Calvin will adopt this position, as well as other reformers -- some with variations. What this position allows is an emancipation from communal good works and give allowance to individualistic free-will. Erasmus fully understood Luther's argument and position, yet Erasmus understands that Luther has the populous behind him and a military powerhouse.

Luther Wins The Argument (While calling Erasmus’ names to add political relations ramifications).

Luther’s arguments are consistent. Therefore, the only way for Erasmus to win the argument is to attack Luther’s character by citing his inconsistent actions to what he writes on telling the people how to believe.

On Secular Authority” (1523)  Luther had intended that God does not support men who carry swords. They will not get into heaven, he tells us,  because they are concerned with violence and secular power. Luther’s 'sword and sin' argument is one of Luther’s large personal Christian themes --  a person carrying a sword, Luther intends, cannot be a Christian. They are condemned to hell. Luther had carried thigh swords, obviously for protection; but none-the-less, he is acting in military defensive posture as opposed pacifist posture. In fact, he has no courage that the Lord will protect him. Luther intends during his critical years, and especially the year of 1520, that God is the only person to judge humans. Therefore, secular humans as in pertaining to authority positions who make judgments against human actions cannot be Christians.  Erasmus could have attacked him here stating his inconsistency for personal action in a predestination argument. Erasmus would say, if he had, “Luther you place yourself in the position of authority to judge the world on who can and cannot get into heaven, pertaining to the use of carrying swords. So since you carry swords on your thigh, you are condemned to hell, by your own actions and your own words,  meaning God had already known you are not a Christian  -- therefore you cannot teach Christianity to Christians or non-Christians because yourself is of the Devil, Satan and are preconditioned by the Lord Himself for eternal damnation.”  It has to be noted that Luther in “Bondage of the Will” explicitly states that Erasmus is weak on rhetoric skills. Erasmus could have continued with this thought as “Well what do you think about that Luther? We all knew you have mental problems; your actions defy your earthly judgments upon us, you who stands in the place of God Himself, who is the only one to judge us humans, while at the same time stating God is the only judge; then at the same time you are saying God knows everything so whatever we do is God’s will.  So in pertaining to Free-Will, you judge us humans as if God judges our actions and choices. So what you are saying is that you are God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit – all one being and that God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are not what they say they were, are or will be, but they are You. You are saying you are God. Yes, witches have been burnt at the stake for less offensive claims than you. It must be your protector princes that sequester your mental instabilities for good laughs and to jester at the fool that will lead them secular power. I had no idea I would actually be writing to God himself. Tell me God, if Adam defied Your orders than You knew he would have done that, eh?  It is only You that can judge Adam but You already knew Eve and Adam were to betray Your commandments. Tell me why then You, are You just bored and have nothing else to do? You obviously did not give them Free-Will, it was predestined to happen anyway, and since You are the Creator of all things, you must be bored. Was Your act of some type of Self entertainment? What about the people who starve today, eh,  while you shove large amounts of food into Your gluttonist belly? Surely Thomas Münster  noticed Your gluttyist ways and you know people are starving to death. Are you somewhat perverse becoming glorified in people’s pain, suffering and death? Surely this describes Your boredom. And God, why did You come back as Martin Luther and attack Yourself? Are You into self-hatred reincarnation now? Surely You are confused God, Luther, Jesus, whatever name you embody now? Most of us Christians had no idea You, God, Luther, were so confused. So predestination pertains to confusion now. You already know you are confused, and at the same time You tells us every action of ours is predestined in a confusing sort of way. I mean, as a Christian Humanist, how can I tell God that he should not be confused? He predestined Himself for confusion, meaning God is confused about Free-Will because He is the only one that can make Judgments and put into place predestination -- meaning he put into place his own confusion. I mean You, Luther. These are not my “assertions” Luther, but Yours! You gave orders in your writings to the Nobles and Princes of Germany, in your work Against the Robbing and Murdering Hordes of Peasants, (c. May? 1525) to cast judgement upon starving people. So the German princes slaughtered 100,000 peasants for some peasants wanting emancipation, or more specifically, there own preacher form their own ranks. But you knew it was Predestined that you would be born to the Luders and then come an advocate mass murder on suppressed peasants. Some people would intend, You, Luther, as God, who judges us, that You are an idiot. But You already knew that, eh? I was writing this for others to understand Your confused state or worth.  Either that or You get perverse pleasure in watching others die in pain fighting for basic 12 articles on basic human wants. If God is about Love, as You intend You, then God is about Loving death and destruction. You take the cake, so-to-speak. You intend in Your writings Luther, Christans can only be saved by God, and God is love, but then His actions calls to others to perform non-acts of Love.   Others see you as solely inconsistent God. But since You preordained this, it was not a surprise, eh? I did not know that God only liked the Germans princes too. I mean, I thought God like art and architecture of good quality. You did visit Rome God, you had preordained it.  You sure made Yourself known when three of your ninety-five theses advocated stopping the some of Indulgences to fund St. Peter’s Basilica? Then You Created the Catholic Church in 325, gave it excommunicative power and then on January 3d, 1521, You excommunicated Yourself. Trust Me God, I understand people see you as really confused. We all just “wonder” as if you are not just confused with confusion itself and within yourself, playing these life and death games for your own simple amusement.”

Desiderius Erasmus could have had plenty of ‘fun’ at Luther’s inconsistent expense. However, Erasmus did not take this rout. He was too kind of a person. By parsing the Bible as Luther did, intending there were no mysteries, and everything was as clear as the sun (“Bondage of the Will” 1525), Erasmus could have used Luther’s position against him. While the Catholic Church first would have been surprised and even taken aback by this argument position (as with Machiavelli's decisive methodology of solution solving pertained to forgetfulness of populations of people upon eventual success) – the Church would have eventually embraced Erasmus for his heroic duties of defending the Church. This is to say, Erasmus sides with the Church that morality and good works are necessary for salvation purposes. While Erasmus wanted Christians to unify (De Sarcienda Ecclesia Concordia (1533)), this was not the objective of Martin Luther who wanted it fractured.

This can be said that Erasmus argues a scripture more in context rather than Luther’s parsing of it. Luther’s inconsistency is well known now. However, in the Reformation these contexts were of what they were. They had the desired affect. Luther intended “justification of faith alone” which leads to salvation if one is of the Chosen ones – whoever those people are? The only truth for this claim is Scriptures (Mainly a few passages of St. Paul). Otherwise truth does not exist according to Luther. Many have called Luther a Psycho-pathological genius.

However, I intend that Luther was a courageous rhetorician, who had been constructed from his environment during the Golden Age to reach-out into a new realm of individualism, which is liberty, and nationalism, as he used these words in titles and arguments of his writings.  Luther represented the pluralism around him, the new ideas of learning and literature, the emancipation,  in which he attacked others with his own passion and perspective. Erasmus was an investigator into the mysteries, and in Bondage of the Will, Luther uses the word folly – aimed at Erasmus's uses of this theme in Stultitae Laus (Praise of Folley, 1507. pub. 1511) – yet without understanding what Erasmus had written of his highly complex and philosophical essay -- on people believing that they know what they know and others are ignorant as a result of their triumphal knowledge. The arrogance of Luther spoke to the common patriotic Germans was needed for a new fashioning of the individual's ethnical identification. As liberty, choice, pluralism, nationalism, freedom appears as an ideology, people begin to identify what we call "the other" -- rather not like them.  Erasmus spoke to a continuance of collective moral and ethical responsibility. However, during the renaissance a new positivism had arisen defining individuality based upon their revelation that they controlled the world through new knowledges being revealed from the past. If it was not for Erasmus’ efforts on translating the an early Greek (not original) version of the Bible, Luther could not had claimed a prime source as he did. Erasmus was vital in legitimizing Luther’s knowledge of Scriptures – ironic yes, predestined, maybe.

Conclusion: Erasmus could have played with Luther easily.  (ref.)

  • Martin Luther: 1523: published, Secular Authority: To What Extent It Should Be Obeyed. Luther intends, Christians cannot carry the sword or they cannot be Christians or were Christians according to Bondage of the Will(1525).

  • Against the Robbing and Murdering Hordes of Peasants, (c. May? 1525)

  • 1524 Erasmus published De libero arbitrio diatribè sive collatio.

John Calvin on Predestination

John Calvin (or Jean Calvin in French) (10 July 1509, Noyon, France, – 27 May 1564, Genève, Switzerland) created a systematic theology on Christianity and helped fashion western civilization by breaking Roman Catholicism’s collective responsibility agenda to formulate an individualistic decentralized individualist Christianity which many adopted as a alternative to modernity’s choices of reformations. The Reformation was a ritual revolution which is better described as overlapping competing reformations. The Protestant Reformation is now argued by the academic community as elite accomplishing a more pedagogical apparatus on how we understand multiple movements intersecting in a more complex northern renaissance experience. We now speak of multiple ‘Reformations’ coexisting, and operating in and of an individuality. This explains pluralism, so existent in United States of American toleration of multi-religious complexes.  Yet, reformations are intersecting locally and regionally all the while creating unification and division at the same time. Calvanism’s appeal took Martin Luther’s emancipation of the individual to the extreme arguing natural selection by talent intended God’s grace for reaching heaven on Earth through the acquisition of monetary achievement.

So in Basel, Erasmus’ town, Calvin begins to the write the theological guideline for the reform of Christianity, and in 1536, at 26 years-old,  he publishes the first version, called “Institutes for the Christian Religion.” Eventually completed in six large volumes this work will be the foundation work as what we think of as Calvinism. The Presbyterians are the direct heirs to John Calvin.  Calvin then goes to Geneva, Switzerland in search of forming a city based on his reform ideas.

Luther intends with his predestination argument that God chooses certain people to go to heaven and others to go to Hell (denounced purgatory as a construction of the Latin Church). Since Luther doesn’t write a theology or a doctrine on his ideas, John Calvin will take this idea and place it into a working formulization – a doctrine of belief and based upon some quasi-theology of what is later termed by Darwin in a secular sense – natural selection. The chosen people of Christianity, according to John Calvin are successful businessmen:  men/women whose talents mark them as ethnically or racially superior to other human beings. In Calvinism, God chooses the bread-winner of the family, the dominant species, and the successful crafter of worldly fame – in all reality the paganist performer of social dominance. Argued in a flowery Christian context, Calvin sets up a school system to facilitate his theology and spread his version on liberal Christianism throughout the world by Doctors of Calvinism.  

He performs this feat at Geneva, Switzerland, creating the University of Geneva, where modern liberalism began to take-off during the Renaissance periods of the Northern Renaissance period of sixteenth century – but continuing in earnest to the present day. Like previous reform movements in northern Europe, Calvin witnesses the merchants who want to throw-out the Catholic overseers (Bishops). This then becomes the business run government and the spread of capitalistic measures so imperative to understand the Liberal argument of Karl Marx -now begins with an ideology . Calvin claims one does not have to live in poverty to receive God’s forgiveness grace and get to heaven. This was a break with St. Augustine of Hippo and the medieval mentality of the Church. As with Luther’s everyone can be a priest, that is to say, all laymen can give each other graces and penance, the common could not become authorities on the Scriptures and replace the hierarchical structures of the medieval ages. While Anabaptists movements resulted in declaring communalism, a revision on Catholic collectivism, the common merchants now had their religion in Calvinism. In Luther’s predestination argument, the Chosen by God are already predestined to become what they are and Calvin intends therefore that if one makes money, surely it was of God’s will. Since it is of God’s will, he must have chosen you to be a part of his salvation history. Liberalism took on a new understanding. The individual was born out of positive expressions on making money and progressive ideas on comforts of living and partying like Rock-Stars. ( for a more indepth study of Calvinism see link about on Calvin's name.).

Martin Luther and His World continued.

Luther contrasts Erasmus, and claims only two parts of men: Soul/Spirit and Body.[3] Erasmus uses philosophy and sees a need in interpreting scriptures; Luther contends this view and does not use  philosophy but a method of parsing Scriptures. As a result, Erasmus’ interpretations on the Biblical texts are more mature, detailed, clear and sophisticated. Since Luther took out logical and reason from his interpretations on Scriptures, the emotionalism connected to his writings served a purpose as both political and revolutionary. The revelation that Luther emancipated Scriptural interpretations from in many historical respected views was a solution revealed by wealth of a population intent on Europe moving away from the ideology of community responsibility and into the ideology of the individual and of the nationalistic group. Luther believed it was the politics of fear, such as modern far-left academics in the U.S.A. believe that the United States of America ruled its own people through a doctrine of political fear. The Catholic Church argued that it was not political fear but social responsibility. Luther’s position and the political left’s position in the U.S.A. had championed individualism to the point of social disunification. This was communicated as liberalism.  Luther, like the modern far-left, uses their writings to condition class warfare into what they deem are of special interests to them: be it from a  personal fame of reference or a recognition of real or feigned compassion, and or personal interest to follow a certain political, certain governmental and certain social groups. What seems to happen in cyclical history is that people need attention, and adopting certain avenues such as is the case with a little known novelty that one could perceive as a dominate world view, will adopt such measures and positions while championing it, promoting it, and calling it their own preceived recognition – but more importantly attention charges the soul for earthly self expression, as a wanted physical desire. It is the human desire to crave personal attention that runs our historical world. This explanation helps to explain ‘some’ of Luther’s actions but not all.

Luther intends: “You may ask, “What then is the Word of God, and how shall it be used, since there are so many words of God?” I answer: The Apostle explains this in Romans 1. The Word is the gospel of God concerning his Son, who was made flesh, suffered, rose from the dead, and was glorified through the Spirit who sanctifies. To preach Christ means to feed the soul, make it righteous, set it free, and save it, provided it believes the preaching. Faith alone is the saving and efficacious use of the Word of God, according to Rom. 10 [:9]: “If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Furthermore, “Christ is the end of the law, that every one who has faith may be justified” [Rom. 10:4]. Again in Rom. 1 [:17]. “He who through faith is righteous shall live.” The Word of God cannot be received and cherished by any works whatever but only by faith. Therefore, it is clear that, as the soul needs only the Word of God for its life and righteousness, so it is justified in faith alone and not any works; for if it could be justified by anything else, it would not need the Word, and consequently it would not need faith.” [4] This faith cannot exist in connection with works—that is to say, if you at the same time claim to be justified by works, whatever their character – for that would be the same as “Limping with two different directions” [I Kings 18:21], as worshiping Baal and kissing one’s own hand [Job 31: 27-28], which as Job says, is very great iniquity.” [5] Luther continues to parse Biblical sentences or phrases from various contextual matters, insinuating broad conceptual schemata that the New Testament is monolithic in message. Luther explains that no works matter to God, and at the same time in order to be saved, one must preach the Word of God. This active motivation is a contradiction on his thesis – that faith alone on Jesus Christ and no works necessary will guarantee one’s soul a spot in heaven.  Jesus performed rituals, and sacraments, yet Luther claims these are unimportant at the behest of parsing biblical passages out of context. Unfortunate, Luther inadvertently claims Jesus was doing the wrong things. This type of argument helps to explain that Luther is fighting for autonomy of his German protector princes and of a Germanic community, and not for a concern for correcting Christianity. Luther’s transitions of the Bible into regional languages (helped by Erasmus' efforts), as was his wishes were purely for reasons to help crystallize his promotion of St. Paul contradictorily methodology to that some of the Apostles’ reflections on Jesus’ teachings.

So Fear and Death torments one was how the Church communicated its disciplinary action to the masses, Luther intends.  To Luther, this was the Catholic Church’s way of getting people in line, where it is as just convincing to say someone else pays for my sins (like Marxist’s) and I do not need to care for what crimes I had committed or will do against anyone, I will go to heaven. The Doctrine of Fear is how many radical leftists (as part of group of pacifism)  of the U.S.A. during the 1960s framed the methodology of the American government's population control. Yet, the U.S. government was not a religious institution.  The American government communicated that citizens should sacrifice their lives to the government, including their bodies and potentially their lives. This type of ideology spans most in not all civilizations. Yet, polemicists, calling themselves historians intend only that the United States of America ran this ideology. This is what is called parsing. Pacifists reacted violently to this ideology, intending if they were going to be sent to die, might as well die trying to stop this “evil” (the government). Yet, others saw it as an effort for an emancipation from obligation of the ideology of sacrifice to keep the state defended and economically prosperous. A civilization usually requires some sacrifice from a portion of its citizens. This explains the 1960s Vietnam draft that had been protested violently by youth who were of the age to be drafted. War, too many concerned, consumed the minds of pacifists in fear and torment of the cruel realities of the battlefield. Martin Luther, like the 1960s students, viewed an ideology of sacrifice to a higher purpose as unfair to human rights. It was better to die for the German cause than a Roman Italian cause.  Luther did not understand why God had demanded Human responsibilities to achieve a dispensation to reach heaven. Therefore, like the 1960s radicals, they searched for alternative means and ways into which they could rationalize this fear and torments of their minds to suppress the realities of this imperfect world in which God had loosed upon Adam and Eve as punishment for not obeying him and his word. St. Paul offered Luther this means and way out of this paradox and dilemma.   

Foolishness of God Clarifies Salvation History (Erasmus:  Praise of Folly)

“Paul ascribes certain foolishness to God Himself. ‘ If the foolishness of God,’ he says, ‘ is wiser than men.’ Yet, why should I be so anxious about this when Christ [ who is God] Himself in the mystical psalms gives evidence of this teaching” Addressing the Father, He says for all to hear: ‘Thou knowest my foolishness.’ I feel this is the reason why fools are so pleasing to God. We see a similar situation reflected in the actions of great princes. they tend to look with suspicion and hatred upon those who appear too clever. Julius Caesar suspected and hated Brutus and Cassius, whereas he had no fear of the drunken Antony. Nero was suspicious of Seneca, Dionysius of Plato. The great take delight in the more stupid and simple souls. Thus Christ detests and condemns those wise men who depend upon their own prudence. Paul offers evidence of this when he says ‘God has chosen the foolish things of the world,’ and ‘It has pleased God to save the world by foolishness,’ since it could not be restored by wisdom. God indicates this clearly when He speaks thought the mouth of the Prophet, ‘I will destroy wisdom of the wise and I will reject the prudence of the prudent.’ Again, he gives thanks that the mystery of salvation is concealed from the wise but revealed to the children, that is to say, the foolish.”[6] Also, in Revelations, New Testament, an affirmation intends that no ‘wise’ will enter heaven. Since Martin Luther clarifies that the Catholic Church are fools, and that the Salvation Economy and History are foolish, because according to him there are no grounds for them, save but three, Luther will not get into the Kingdom of heaven.

Understanding How Luther Received His Knowledge

John Wycliffe (14th Century Papal Era Dissension and Fragmentation)

John Wycliffe (variant spellings, b. mid 1320s- d. 31 December 1384) was an English theologian who set the foundation of Biblical scrutiny for Jan Hus in which later Martin Luther formed his foundation of criticisms of the Salvation History of the Catholic Church. Wycliffe is considered the founder of the Lollard Movement a vital early dissident movement against the Catholic Church during the two-Pope period and fragmentation of the Church. Wycliffe was one of the early opponents of the pontificate and advocated secular power. Wycliffe importance as well stems from his insistence of a new Translation of the Bible. Masses were conducted in Latin, and there was no teaching of the Bible during sermons. The Church was basically a ritual orientated religious program based upon collective responsibility. It is believed that Wycliffe (now called Wycliffe Bible) and his associated translated the Old Testament, while  Wycliffe translated the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John (it is even possibly he had tried or accomplished the translation of the entire New Testament.). The Wycliffe Bible appears to have been completed in 1384, with additional updates with assistants in the years 1388 and 1395.

Jan Hus

Jan Hus (alternative spellings, John Hus, Jan Huss, John Huss, b. c. 1372 Husinec, Bohemia – d.6 July 1415 Konstanz, HRE) was a Czech religious thinker, philosopher, reformer, and master at Charles University in Prague. Hus greatly influenced by Wycliffe after King of England, Richard II traveled back to Bohemia after he had  married Anne of Bohemia, brought Wycliffe’s ideas to the general attention of others. Once Hus had adopted Wycliffe’s ideas on reforms, he advocated reforming Bohemian Churches. Two groups grew out of this movement, the Hussites, less radical and the more radical Taborites. It was the Taborites that rejected the Roman Catholic Church’s doctrine of salvation, claiming all religious programs must be Biblically based. Out of this initial idea came reform with the Taborite off-shoot the Bohemian Brethren around 1450. This group furthered developed in Germany. The Moravians (So-called because they fled from Moravia in Czech lands) were on of the first Protestant charismatic communities, who sent missionaries to convert others, namely John Wesley who later became famous.

Pope Alexander V issued his papal bull of December 20, 1409, which empowered the archbishop to proceed against Wycliffism. All the books and doctrine of Wycliffe were to be give to authorities and burned. The bull was published in 1410. Hus appeared before Alexander, and all the books and manuscripts that had been gathered were burnt. Riots ensured in Bohemia.

These led to The Hussite Wars in Bohemia, and the Basel Compacts allowed the newly reformed Church a place in the kingdom of Bohemia – almost a century before Martin Luther comes on to the scene. The Hussite Wars convinced the Czech government to go along with the new reforms in exchange for social stability. The Catholic Church had split in the 14th century and had little authority to stop break away sects. Hus took up preaching at a Church building in Prague, called Bethlehem Chapel. But as Hus’ preaching became ever bolder, the Catholic Church placed an interdict banning the city and a pronouncement against Prague. Yet, the government paid not attention to the indictment. During the first half of the 1410s, The Catholic Church condemned Jan Hus’s findings and in 1411 excommunicated him, and by the Council of Constance, burned him at the stake in 1415. Hus’s persecution became European news and heavily influenced Martin Luther who saw the possibility of stardom. Hus was an extensive writer and his ideas were public knowledge.

The Protestant Revolution Before Martin Luther

The Protestant Revolution was well on its way before Martin Luther came onto the scene. His ideas are not his findings, but of his predecessors, steeped in bloodshed, legend, and passion for pagan emancipation. The claims argued against the Catholic Church do not hold scholastic high-scholarship. Basically a chasm between the 13 Pauline Letters and the four major Gospels are not unified conceptual Christian understandings. If one side is adopted, then the other can be said to be not relevant, or subsidiary. The reason of the Protestant Reformation was the introduction of knowledge back into society which allowed lay individuals to read for themselves the contractions and differing opinions in the Bible. In this way, they had tools to begin a revolution: a revolution from collectivism to individualism, decentralization, fragmentation and ultimately freedom from common brotherhood and loving one’s neighbor. When Justinian I banned the higher education of learning in 529, (Flavius Petrus Sabbatins Iustinianus closed down the last academia institution in 529 (The Neo-Platonic Academy of Athens, which a major part of the curriculum expounded upon Hellenism). He argued Greek Classical knowledge was dangerous.) the argument surrounding his decision was that knowledge leads to dissension, social instability and ultimately death and war. This is exactly what happened by the spread of learning (1203-5), Paris College was one such reintroduction of higher learning, albeit elementally established curriculum and small student collectives, which helps identify periods when knowledge comes back onto the scene for western Civilization. For over one hundred years, education begins to spread in Europe. By the time Luther comes on to the scene, he has all the tools into which to learn to read the prime sources. The first cause or first source is what the people desire, they desires it as closer to the truth. The only problem was trying to interpret it when there are two to multi views recorded by different individuals on Christ.

Martin Luther and His World

At the time of Martin Luther’s birth, small towns had become urban centers, and there were already emancipation movements against the Catholic Church. Some mystical and some nominal. The monetary structure that arouse from the Renaissance(s) played a significant hand in offering criteria to move away from the old structural and institutional systems of the late Medieval period. Humanism brought back historical paganism, and a new Christian Humanism, different from Petrarch’s’ version, assumed a great deal of literary investigation. While Italian Christian Humanism focused upon Roman classical and some Greek classical ideas, the need to look back to an authoritative translation of the Bible and the early church fathers seemed to be disregarded up till this point. In Spain, the auspicious Polyglot bible program was taking place, but in Northern Europe individuals such as Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus and Martin Luther, Thomas More, and other focused upon early Church writers and many of inquisitors rediscovered early bibles in which others like our figures here transcribed and translated them so that all could read about early Christianity. This exposed the myth, they claimed, of the Catholic Church’s founding’s, which gave fodder for the Anti-Christians to latch on too, to economically, emotionally and physically break away from the ideology that had secured their survival for much of the medieval age – or so they were taught in schools and from folk lore.  What people do not understand is that both Erasmus, More and Luther and others parsed larger Biblical concepts and framed them to fit their arguments. It exposed elements of deductively.  This way, all of them, could promote their own agendas. These individuals became like gang-leaders or the spokesmen for gangs. Even these Kings and Queens and generally the royal courts would ask newcomers or acquaintances “whose gang are you in?” Rightly, and so, many historiographies believe the elements of nationalism, or at least ethnical strengthening, formulated about this time. However, as I see it, it was a normal process, like a live human cell replicating its parts to grow a larger body of itself – the western civilization. Therefore, I see this as a natural process of civilization and can be repeated by any group in any region and at any time of the world.

“Martin Luther was born to Hans Luder (or Ludher, later Luther)[15] and his wife Margarethe (née Lindemann) on November 10, 1483 in Eisleben, Germany, then part of the Holy Roman Empire. He was baptized the next morning on the feast day of St. Martin of Tours. His family moved to Mansfeld in 1484, where his father was a leaseholder of copper mines and smelters,[16] and served as one of four citizen representatives on the local council.[15] Martin Marty describes Luther's mother as a hard-working woman of "trading-class stock and middling means," and notes that Luther's enemies would later wrongly describe her as a whore and bath attendant.[15] He had several brothers and sisters, and is known to have been close to one of them, Jacob.[17].”[7]

Martin Luther’s name, family and birth: Her [Martin’s mother from an interview by Philip Melancthon] reply to questions which I have occasionally put to her, respecting the time of her son's birth, was, that she clearly remembered the day and the hour, but that she was doubtful as to the year; she said, however, that he was born on the 10th of November, after eleven o'clock at night; and that the name of Martin was given to the infant, because the following day on which, by baptism, he was initiated into the church of God, was dedicated to Saint Martin.” [8]

At that time the grammar-schools of Saxony were not in a flourishing condition, and on this account, when Martin  had entered his fourteenth year, he was sent to Magdeburg, accompanied by John Reineeke, whose character was afterwards of a shining order, and the influence which he obtained in that neighbourhood consequently great. The affection which subsisted between Luther and Reinecke, whether arising from a natural  accordance of mind, or from their companionship in youthful studies, was both ardent and lasting.  Luther, however, did not remain at Magdeburg longer than twelve months. [9]

“During four succeeding years, passed in the school of Eisenach, he had an opportunity of hearing a preceptor who illustrated grammatical studies with greater accuracy and ability than he could have met with elsewhere; for I remember to have heard his talents commended by Luther, who was sent to this town from the circumstance of his mother's descent from an ancient and honorable family in those parts.. Here he completed his grammatical studies. The powers of his intellect being of a gigantic order and peculiarly adapted to the science of eloquence, he speedily surpassed his contemporaries, both in the copiousness of his language as a public speaker, and in prose composition; whilst in poetry, be with ease excelled his competitors in the course of learning.” [10]

1484-1546: Martin Luther (contemporary of Erasmus, a bit younger and lives a decade longer). Martin Luther Grew up in Saxony, Germany, and his father was what we could deem as part of a new middle class. He had owned a little mining company. He was by no means a peasant. This evidence is conditioned on a certain kind of wealth and autonomy; he had risen from poverty to take part in the new Golden Age. So he understood that he had to send his young son to the school. So he sends him to the Brethren of the Common Life, ( the imitation of Christ, the concept that Erasmus got the same idea from the Brethren of the Common life, that is the live like Jesus, it was a model).

Luther had a conversion. (what is this conversion? how did it happen.)

(Luther is 21 years-old) Entered the College of Augustine monks, at Erfurt; fasting, prayer and ecclesiastical studies. [11] This is the famous order of the Brothers of the Common Life. Augustine of Hippo claimed the only place to reach the kingdom of heaven on earth was in a monastery. So the initiates professed toward an interiorization on the path of Christ. Erasmus would contend this view, aiming toward exteriorization on the path of Christ. Erasmus believed that in public the kingdom of heaven could be achieved by all acting like Christ in the public sphere. However, practically, Latin was taught underneath the threat of a rod. This strict classroom etiquette helps not only Luther and Erasmus but others who would attain a solid Classical Latin program while attending to their vows in the Brothers of the Common Life.

Luther studied also Cicero, Virgil, Livy and other classical books to gather together a vocabulary. He eventually wanted to leave the brotherhood and seek other learning at a University.

(at college of Augustines at Erfurth (Erfurt)) The sober and interior Christianity was the style of learning that Martin and Erasmus were taught under. Martin ends up going to study with the breather for 4 - 5 years and he is sent there by his father to prepare to study law  -- that his father had wished (also, just like Petrarch’s father).  Fathers wanted their sons to become lawyers. So he gets his masters, and at Erfurt, he gets acquainted with Medieval schools on theology, nominal, Gnosticism, were thoughts, and he is exposed to a “wide-range” of theological milieus, but all emphasized the study of scripture – and one of the things that happens during this period is he ends up having a conversion experience, and it is rooted in medieval piety.

(The story of the conversion) It was not renaissance piety that made Martin Luther pretend a conversion. Salvation History was like a ledger, where a keeping of a record of your deeds, and a type of a justice balance system. So it was about accountability, it was a personal ledger society – this concept had a whole set of practices, like the culture of vows, and a culture of keeping certain promises. In pre-modern Europe, one would find parishes in villages that made collective vows.  For example, a mass said on a particular day for the praying against locus or plagues. Towns tried to get an intersession, and this was true of individuals, in their own private capacity – do some kind of act of penance: “Promises to god, please let me have this, and I will do this for you.”So Martin was riding his horse home on spring-break, and a huge storm came and he went into a ditch to take cover. So these lightening storms can be frightening, and so he makes a vow to St. Anne, that if he survives this thunderstorm he will be a good monk and go away from the lawyer field – something his father had wished for him as a career. So he survives and enters the Order of the St. Augustine ---- so we have parallel lives (Erasmus and Luther both attended the Order of Brethren of the Common Life)

(Martin Luther’s reflections on why he had converted?) How does Martin think about his life and his decision, as he reflects on his life? How does freedom and freedom of choice come into play for Luther?  Because of the fear of the doctrine of salvation, Luther had not freely or desired to make a promises while in the ditch.  Luther believed he would die so he made a deal with God. He would emote, ‘I was constrained by a necessary vow.’ It was real fear,  a terror and an agony of a sudden death that led him to a decision to change his life. (Sin, Fear and death). This was these religious sentiments that were so pervasion in this age, which led to Martin’s vows. (Voltaire will talk about this pervasive period). But other people have taken a psychological approach to Martin’s conversion, and looked to see before hand if his vows came about from a tendency toward a rebel attitude. The psychoanalysis approach tended to look at the father, and typical construction of the power and authority issues in society connected to the family environment. He had approached the monastic life, believing he had a debt to pay ( like Karma?) , he was feeling like he had to pay penance for something (maybe another life) that he did not do and regretted the foundations that formed these projections of guilt. Yet a closer look at his conversion while at Erfurth argues a more rational explanation.

(Luther had met a friend, according to Philip Melancthon, 1549.) “Luther said that this interpretation of his friend was confirmed by the testimony of Bernardus.” ( Luther’s Conversion Explained)  [12] “[...] testimony of Bernardus, and that a passage in the discourse on the Annunciation, has these words ; "but add, that then believe this also, that by Him thy sins are forgiven thee." Such is the testimony which the Holy Ghost speaketh in thine heart, saying,  "thy sins are remitted unto thee;" and this is in accordance with apostolic writ, being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." Luther was also established in these opinions, not only by the above conversations, but also by the whole tenor of the writings of the Apostle Paul, who uniformly inculcates the doctrine that we are justified by faith. And when afterwards, he placed the expositions of various authors on this subject, in comparison with the  preceding conversations, and with his own consoling experience of the work of the Spirit, he evidently perceived the fallacy of the tenets supported by these writers; and as he read and compared the precepts and examples recorded by the Prophets and Apostles, and prayed daily for the establishment of his faith, a clearer light by degrees, shone upon his way.  He now first directed his attention to the pages of Augustine, where both in "The Interpretation of the Psalms," and in "The Treatise on the Letter and the Spirit," he found many perspicuous sentiments which confirmed this doctrine of faith, and fanned the flame of hope that had been kindled in his breast; nor did he altogether relinquish the "Sententiaries.(") He could recite Gabrielis and Cameracensis, almost verbatim; for a long time also, he applied closely to the writings of Occam, the acumen of which author, he preferred to Thomas and Scotus.  He also read Gerson with diligence; but all the works of Augustine were frequently read by him, and well stored in his memory. This rigid course of application he commenced at Erfurt, in which town, at the Augustine College, he remained four years.” [13]

(Luther’s Conversion Explained)  Salvation History required penance, and public charity. This meant that if you sinned, according to Doctrinal laws (such as cheating on your wife, etc...) one had to commit time and sometimes money to satisfy the law code of Salvation History. When the new economies rose up in Europe, more chances to get rich and live a hedonist lifestyle struck the fancy of people dreaming of creating their own heaven on earth – through monetary means. One did not want laws spoiling one’s fun. If one could find a sentence or two, or even a major contributing writer to a historical ideology, and be able to avenge this upon the current authorities, then one could become the hero of the hedonists. Martin Luther fit that role well.

(Conversion, Lets Party Dude) Martin Luther in order to become a rock-star (no electric amplifiers then so this profession provided a worship status symbol-replacement), he had used Paul’s weakest New Testament arguments to formulate a doctrine of predestination based upon freedom and individualism. Yet, Luther could not just say, Paul claims all we need is faith and no-other programs to become saved and go to heaven. He had to learn to write at a competent level to overthrow the strict doctrines of the early Church fathers and Catholic Church -- using their own sources. In order to do this, he had to sacrifice his life to letters and scholarship. Luther’s messages almost reach anarchism, in that he derided laws as a structure which impediments faith. He gave sourceful[14] refutations for these arguments in parsing of biblical passages. If all we need is faith, then many other acts of Jesus Christ would be to frame Jesus as a fraud, in which inadvertently, Luther unbeknownst did do to the savior. In order for Luther to argue predestination, in that if we accept the savior into our hearts, and believe in faith of our savor’s promise of attaining heaven, then we “are predestined to get into heaven.” The Catholic Church had no doctrine on predestination. Salvation History was a reward and punish program created to establish structures for a moral and ethical society based upon semi-social arbitration of contending viewpoints. The Catholic Church was a set of laws to unify a wide-diverse body of practitioners. If it was abused, it could be deemed unfruitful, and could be deemed as impeding social stability. When the Roman Renaissance developed at the end of the fifteenth century, a need to ascertain funds to build a new state and capital buildings in Rome is how these new indulgences were formed from Rome. The whole of Europe would contribute. However, at the same time, money poured into all of Europe, as was communicated as a new Golden Age. The question was why make Rome the center of Christian civilization, and why not make our town or urban center a more prosperous and symbolic center of our community. The reaction  to the indulgent administrators who were sent by Rome into these towns and urban centers across Europe created the reaction now toward breaking away from the Church – as its binding-economic laws. Martin Luther was just a part of this movement, and he had to argue from a doctrinal point of view, and St. Paul provided that argument for Luther to commit to a thesis of emancipation from secular or earthly law. There is no law of the spirit of Jesus’ promise, so breaking ties with Rome was permissible now, according to emancipation Protestants.

(becoming like a Rock Star) Martin Luther, and like Francesco Petrarca’s father wanted him to become a lawyer. However, rock-star status was found in Petrarch’s case, and seeing some new avenue of hero worship, probably engaged Luther’s aspirations. Admiring attention by the public reveals sometimes a person’s drive for success of who seek to relive the euphoria of community while fully embraced in individualism.

(The University of Wittenburg created for Luther and the emancipationists) “At this time, in the year 1508 the Venerable Stupicius (sic) who had favored the opening of the University at Wittenburg, and who was desirous of promoting the study of Theology in that College, when he became acquainted with the talent and erudition of Luther, then in the twenty-sixth year of his age, invited him to that place, and there amid the daily literary exercises in the schools, his intellectual powers gained still increasing brilliancy. Luther was attentively listened to by men of high attainments, Doctor Martin Mellerstadius and others; and Doctor M. has often said, that so great were the energies of his mind, as to give clear evidence that he would one day, effect the overthrow of the theories of learning which were then taught in the schools.  He now first expounded the Physics and Dialectics of Aristotle; at the same time not forgetting his own favorite study, that of Theology.” [15]

(1511-12 Degree of Doctor & Short Trip To Rome) After three years he went to Rome, on account of a monkish controversy, and returning within a year, be was according to the custom of the schools, presented to the Elector, Frederic, Grand Duke of Saxony, and dignified with the degree of Doctor;” [16] He wanted to decline because of his passion to focus on religious texts, he was talked out of it by a friend.

( Luther Arguing to Party like a Rock Star) Luther next set out to write upon the New Testament’s Epistle to the Romans and the psalms. The contents of the message. “He here shewed the distinction between the law and the gospel; he refuted the error then reigning in the schools and councils, which taught that men deserve the remission of their sins on account of their own works, and the dogma of the Pharisees, that men are in themselves just before God.  In this manner Luther led the minds of men to the Saviour, and, like John the Baptist, he pointed out "the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world".; he allowed that sins are freely remitted through the Son of God, and that we must all receive this blessing by faith; these, with other points of Christian doctrine, be set forth to them in a clear light.” [17] Luther argues that laws and penance do not lead one to the kingdom of heaven. Just say I’m saved through Jesus Christ and believe it in faith and go directly to heaven. If you do something socially seen as bad, you do not build up a ledger of sins to work off in charity to understand that there are penalties for doing wrong to others. This philosophy allowed the excuse of manslaughter, genocide and robbery in a Christian sense. While Luther would deny this, it was the result of his actions. Protestants, now free from doctrinal restraint, went about the world conquering and to conquer. No guilt or fearful doctrine could now hold them back. One could do what they pleased and suffer no communal consequences. It was liberalism expressed before the articulation of “bottom up politics.” Yet, that is what it was in its essence – a system of overthrowing communal accountability to a social virtue where goodness was adopted in place of anarchy of the individual will.

(Wittenburg: New Testament’s Epistle to the Romans and the psalms): “Luther did not at this time make any alteration in the ceremonies of the church; on the contrary, he still maintained a severe course of discipline amongst his disciples, nor did he mingle therewith any of his own formidable sentiments, but he explained to them, with renewed earnestness, the universal and all-important doctrines of repentance, of the remission of sins, of faith, and of the true consolation of the cross.” [18]

(At Wittenburg, Luther and students study Erasmus, and Monkish traditions) “At this time, the attention of the pupils in the university was directed to the writings of Erasmus, as studies in the Latin and Greek languages; and thus a more genial philosophy being exhibited to them, many who possessed sound and liberal understandings, for the first time conceived a horror at the barbarous sophistry of the monks.” [19] Erasmus had already written Adagia (1500), Enchiridion Militis Christiani (1503), and a little later would begin a translation of the Greek edition of an early Bible into Latin of the New Testament (1516). After 1516 and the New Latin Testament edition by Erasmus, he would become famous to the public as well as the humanist movement and a competitor with Luther’s parsing of Biblical passages in which Erasmus disagreed – but held his hand from attack -- initially.  

 (Wittenburg: New Vision Program of Anti-Law) Faith over reason, part of his theological training, framed Wittenburg’s new scholastic program. A theologian named Occam held views much different from Aristotle. He sees the majesty of God, which put him in contrast to the scholastics like Thomas Aquinas; -- your faith had to be formed by reason. Aquinas’ foundation was the gold-standard of the Aristotelian reason and rationality. Yet, rationalization of unseen predestination by using some choice fanciful words, helped communicate a message of emancipation from communal responsibility, and led to liberalism. Aristotle’s Universe would begin to break down in a few decades, and its limitations on explaining the world exhumed a scholastic backlash to a new group who turned toward a religious explanation of history. Aristotle was strictly secular and religious issues were the heated arguments of this day. Naturally, Aristotle took a back seat to these religious novelties of uncovering early source material, the publishing on them, and the public disputes of rationality of unforeseen things. To go fully into religious studies, “Luther now began to devote himself more particularly to the acquirement of Greek and Hebrew, in order that having made himself acquainted with the properties and peculiarities of languages.” [20] Erasmus had published a translation of the Bible from Greek into Latin, and Luther had desired to have this type of authority as well. Erasmus at this time had become famous among the European humanists. This explains why Luther would take up other classical languages at this time. In order to compete with the best, he had to translate out of original sources or the closet to them into a modern language to become authoritative.

(1512-1516: Who Was The Christian Church?) 1512: Biblical theology Doctrine: Luther gets a chair in Whittenburg, teaches on psalms, St. Paul and Revelations, and Pauline Letters, and Hebrews. Paul was the real organizer of the Christian Church.  Paul from the book of Acts, originally had Greek mother and a Jewish father, and he was a practicing Jew and he had a conversion moment like Luther would have to begin a movement. Paul was a policeman against the Jews, and what happens to Saul, his original name, is he was on his way from Damascus to enforce the Rabbi orders to get rid of the Christian heresy. He gets thrown off his horse by a bright white light, and it was Jesus who had asked him why he is persecuting him (his people). After this sighting Paul goes to some Christians who heal his blindness caused by Jesus’ light appearance.  So becomes the apostle of the gentiles and travels to spread Christianity. Why is traveling to spread something important?  Paul goes around the Mediterranean areas, so he goes to Roman centers and writes letters too many groups and he is basically a mover and shaker, establishing contacts and getting the word out about all one needs to do is believe in Jesus and one goes to heaven. So it is Paul’s insights on his program on how to get the propaganda out that Luther understood and revealed to him a plan of action to start his own movement against the Catholic Church. Jesus’ movement was against Roman authority and economic predominance. So was Luther’s idea he could do the same. Luther write letters, travel, spread the faith an all people are saved in this world.  So Martin prepares letters in a tower, and in the cold tower, he is reflecting on Paul’s propaganda missions, and he ends up having a moment in the tower of a revelation. He is reflecting on Paul’s letter to the Romans. “Ch, 17, The Just will live by Faith alone, Ch 24: Man is Justified by faith without the death of the law, the just will live by faith.” This is the center principle: The justification by Faith. What he ends up saying is that by releasing of the burden, the burden on satisfaction; it was the burden of the economy of salvation, one had to make sure that your slate is clean -- one must make sure one has all the basic things, your spiritual financial security. By Luther’s doctrine on justification, we all can party like a rock-star without guilt of punishment, without guilt by fear or community that will subject you to guilt and repentance. Luther life’s thesis is: “The Just shall live by Faith.”

31 October 1517, the 95 Theses Against the Catholic Church’s Salvation History Program) “When he entered on this course, venal indulgences were promulgated by Tetzel, a friar of the Dominican order and a most audacious sycophant; at the same time, Luther, who was ardent in the pursuit of holiness, being irritated by  his impious and nefarious harangues, published his own propositions on the  subject of indulgences, which are to be found in the first volume of his  works; these he affixed to the church contiguous to the castle of Wittemburg,  on the day before the festival of Allsaints, (sic) in the year 1517.  Upon  this, Tetzel, acting by no means inconsistently with his character, and hoping  to ingratiate himself with the Roman Pontiff, called together, as his council, certain monks and theologians imbued more or less with his own sophistry; these men he directed to compose something against Luther, in the mean time, that he might not appear to be silenced, he hurled not only declamations as before, but thundering accusations against Luther, and vociferated on all sides that this heretic would be destroyed by fire.  His propositions also, and his protest, were publicly consigned to the flames.  These ravings of Tetzel and his satellites, imposed on Luther the necessity of a more ample discussion of these subjects, and a further vindication of the truth. ” [21]

(1517) How to get people to this revolution: First Luther had to clean house. His first big problem was indulgences. There was a preaching of an indulgence in Whittenburg, during Luther’s time there, and the selling and preaching of an indulgence. A man named by Tetzel was  selling indulgences. He had the right too, his title is “commissary of Indulgences.” The Commissary would have a papal edict, so these people had more authority than the local bishop or local rulers. It was an indulgence to Build the new St. Peters ( Julius II’s program to build the new Rome), it was to raise money not to subjugate the people economically.

95 Theses Revisited in History: In these theses the ideas contained fresh inspiration of St. Paul, and Luther believes he needs to provide his own critique of the Catholic Church. Some traditions say, the monk himself, he had taken these 95 theses and marched to the nail them to the Church door, but other say that he preached these 95 theses in class, to his students. Whatever the case may be, soon Martin Luther became famous; because they criticized the selling of the indulgences (everything about money creates passion!).  Luther had no understanding on  the economy of salvation, and his naïveté revealed a certain nationalism type of protest: Why send money down to Rome? From Germany, the Pope was not trying to fleece Germany. It was a tax type of revolt. There was a lot of resentment of the new founded wealth.  From 1492-1514, The Spanish Popes did a lot of damage to the Roman Catholic Church.  But from these renaissance princes, from their perspective, the papacy was not living up to Peter the Apostles example. So the Germans were saying why pay for the extravagance of some people in other place when we here have little. So lets revolt. It was economically based and had little to nothing to do with scripture.

95 Theses

( 95 Theses: Such was the origin of a controversy) We, as commentators or historians, or other enquirers, still do not fully understand why Luther did this. Philip Melanchthon, in 1549 writes that Luther did not intend to start a movement or overthrow a government. Pagan historiographies champion this date in history as the Halloween emancipation from Catholicism to the establishment of all sorts of pagan rituals and freedoms and individualities. While we do not know if Luther had any idea of the response, local princes and regional public indifferent and against the Catholic Church seized upon its message – that sole authority for doctrinal interpretation lay not with the Holy Orders but with each individual – there seemed no reason now to give money to the Catholic Church. Princes started dreaming of “Prince Emancipation Proclamations,” and started plotting wars against neighbors for regional control of the economic prosperities that had wreaked a foothold on the communal responsibility and spiritual/legal unification of this period. Luther’s propositions against the Indulgences sent the willing into public revolt against the Latin Church, sparking king against king, and prince against prince to form factions for the up-and-coming all out wars. Luther had gained his rock-star status. He was not very famous indeed.

  • (other historiography) In 1516-17, Johann Tetzel, a Dominican friar and papal commissioner for indulgences, was sent to Germany by the Roman Catholic Church to sell indulgences to raise money to rebuild St Peter's Basilica in Rome.[22] Roman Catholic theology stated that faith alone, whether fiduciary or dogmatic, cannot justify man;[23] and that only such faith as is active in charity and good works (fides caritate formata) can justify man.[24] These good works could be obtained by donating money to the church.

The 95 Theses on Pardon - Merchants

On October 31, 1517, Luther wrote to Albrecht, Archbishop of Mainz and Magdeburg, protesting the sale of indulgences. He enclosed in his letter a copy of his "Disputation of Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences," which came to be known as The 95 Theses. Hans Hillerbrand writes that Luther had no intention of confronting the church, but saw his disputation as a scholarly objection to church practices, and the tone of the writing is accordingly "searching, rather than doctrinaire."[25] Hillerbrand writes that there is nevertheless an undercurrent of challenge in several of the theses, particularly in Thesis 86, which asks: "Why does the pope, whose wealth today is greater than the wealth of the richest Crassus, build the basilica of St. Peter with the money of poor believers rather than with his own money?"[26] Luther had no idea the costs it took to build a new city and religious and government center and at the same time spend considerable amounts on monies on military defense and upkeep.

Thesis 32 (No Biblical Source)

Thesis 32: “All those who believe themselves certain of their own salvation by means of letters of indulgences will be eternally damned, together with their teachers.”[27] Here Luther makes this up because there is no source or textual documentation to claim such a condemnation. Luther has no power but only God can condemn or rise up an individual.

Thesis 42 (Contradicts Pagan Servitude (1520) and Secular Authority (1524)

Thesis 42: “Christians should be taught [...] works of mercy.” [28] (“Thesis 44: “ [...] works of love.” [29]) Luther claims often that Christians do not need to do any work at all, and that by faith alone and a belief in God, they are saved and justified. Luther needs to take this view to get the princes free from obligation to the Roman Catholic Church. Luther intends that Jesus had taught works of mercy only to the heathen and not the potential Christians during his ministry. This is one of the critical differences with the Catholic Church, and arguably was needed for Luther’s construction of his “faith is justification only” argument. In order to confirm and/or convince his audience to his persuasion, Luther used a non direct disciple and not Jesus, but St. Paul to construct his Christian history. St. Paul appears to insinuate much further than any of the twelve apostles of Jesus and of Jesus Christ himself. On the other hand, the Catholic Church used a direct apostle of Jesus to confirm and construct their Christian history. Erasmus of Rotterdam used the early church fathers or the Petrine doctrines, as well as Roman and Greek philosophy. Erasmus was convinced that public piousness and living the Christ model in public was attainable. This was ultimately contradictory to St. Augustine who intended that the only way to reach the kingdom of heaven on earth was to devote oneself to the monastery. Luther, on the other hand, intended this was impossible, as well so argued that the kingdom of heaven could never be achieved on earth and that two kingdoms must be recognized, one secular and heathen and one heavenly and Christian.

Thesis 45 A needy person

“Spending money on indulgences instead of a needy person incurs the wrath of God.” [30] Again, this implies doing work as a Christian which is a contradiction of Luther’s convictions. Luther had acknowledged that the ‘pardon-merchants’ were collecting money for the building of St. Peters in Rome, and this acknowledgement is in his 95 theses.

Issue of Building St. Peter's Basilica and its opposition to Luther

  • 3 of the 95 theses of Luther had St. Peter’s mentioned, and this is symbolic that St. Peter’s get finished. Until about 1560, when not too much progress is made of construction on St. Peters people could not see and speak about why they needed to pay for such a project.

  • Paul III, in  1545 actually appoints Michelangelo ( for 19 Years is under the guidance of the papacy of building Rome,  St. Peter's Basilica dome project as one such prject, only completed the drum and does get 1585-90) and later Pope Sixtus pontificate was a  symbol of the Catholic counterreformation, because he raises 100,000 ducats to finish the Dome, and it is a symbol of the new triumphant of Catholicism. The construction of the long nave and facade is of Paul V’s period, and the interior will take another 100 years, and Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini a major figure for St. Peter's interior designs (under Alexander VII) becomes a superstar high-renaissance sculptor and artist, eventualy wanted by Loius's French court and celebrated by the French citizenry. So people cannot understand the prominence or distance of such a wide and long project as a symbol of Christian unity. All they see at the time of 1510s is the Italian Wars in a secular sense and the fact that Alexander VI and his son had made military commitments their strongest concerns. These things are in the minds of the people of the Holy Roman Empire.

Catholic Counter Reformation

Responses to the Reformation:

Earlier Themes:

What are the Catholic Responses?

From 1517-1554 the Catholic Church response to the Reformation was mixed, hesitance, and in realistic terms confused; At the Curia, it was bogged down managing many war scenarios (The Italian Wars’) and searching for funds for its Roman infrastructure (Rome is becoming a modern city through building and planning at this time). No one at this time, throughout all of Europe could understand the impact upon the printing press and the books being turned out in bundles and as distributed by Protestant reformers, all with heretical literature against the Catholic traditions intended for revolution. In a sense, the proliferating of subjugated knowledges shocked Rome eventually and by 1557 the new Index begins as well as a new Roman Inquisition -- part of the second phase of the nineteenth ecumenical council at Trent and King Philip II's rise to power and agreement to align with Rome in Catholicism.  Popes had also been living a life not like their predecessors which kept them on the defensive constantly. They could not be concerned about a new idea of a printing press.  Luther of course became the superstar attack-person on irreligious lifestyles of the Roman Curia, many monastical orders, the Orders in general, and increasingly after 1520s the Pope himself. The Church had  understood they needed reform, but they were not sure on which reform to start.

Early Signs of Protestant Movements: 1517-1554: This period is also about Erasmusian debates.

  • During the 1510s there is a paralysis in the Papal States.  Rome tried to get Charles V to go after Protestant Princes, and popes try in vain and it is not until the 1530s  that things begin to get serious. Charles had a tutor who was an Erasmusian named Adrian Ulbricht (sp?)).Charles himself, well learned is also asking questions.  There are a variety of Popes: Leo XIII and Clemet VII are not good on Roman Theology. And in 1494, long stretches of the Italian Wars take precedence over religious matters. As well, de’ Medici popes are trying to chose the French or Spain -- and they choose the wrong side. The Protestants used this evidence to say God’s judgment was upon the Catholic Church; the Sack of Rome (1527) by a mismanaged Spanish military proved literally that God was on the Protestant side, according to Protestant polemic. A vacuum of papacy before Paul III arrives helps describe the apathetic response to the emerging Protestant movements.

  • During the mid-to-late 1520s and onward riots in various northern European Protestant leaning towns signified to the Church they must do something soon in the Holy Roman Empire.   

1530s: Press for War in Germany & Roman Financial Problems

Paul III  (1534-1549), a shrewd renaissance Pope, of the Farnese family, he starts to say to Charles, you are the new Constantine.  And by 1535, he gets himself fortified to move against the Protestants. Charles’ military will be sent to Germany, and standing militaries cost money.

"In 1547, Paul III (1534-1549) asked Michelangelo to supervise the construction of St. Peter’s that is the continuation and the accomplishment of the new basilica. Michelangelo resolved the problem of the dome, on which, after Bramante died (1514), many projects were being discussed. The annual costs of the work reached 30.000 ducats; it was estimated that between the 1st January 1547 and the 8th May 1551, 121,544 ducats had been spent.""Michelangelo’s letter to the Bishop of Cesena in January 1550, refers to the economic problems the artist had to face after the death of Paul III, on 10th November 1549. The addressee of the letter, Cristoforo Spiriti, was the Bishop of Cesena between 1510 and 1556 (in 1550 he obtained the title of Patriarch of Jerusalem); however, in 1554, the diocese was given to his young nephew Giovanni Battista Spiriti (24 years), as suffragan bishop with right of succession and who, at the moment of the appointment, was still studying in Perugia. The elderly Cristoforo belonged to that group of friends and patrons who spiritually and economically helped Michelangelo. The artist had great familiarity with him, because the bishop was homely and generous: [...]Io non ò il modo a dar loro l’usata provvisione, né vorrei che eseguissi anche tale scandolo; però io priego Vostra S(ignio)ria che per amor di Santo Pietro mi consigli quello che ò a fare e perdoni a mia troppa prosuntione. Servidore di Vostra S(ignio)ria Michelagniolo. (I don’t have any money for them and I don’t want this scandal to happen, so I’m begging your Lordship, for St. Peter’s sake, to advice me and to forgive me for my excessive presumptuousness. Your servant Michelangelo; “Michelangelo Buonarroti letter to Bishop of Cesena”,  Paper, mm 290x212. Overleaf, contemporary hand: † 1550, dì ... (sic) di gennaio. Di Michelagnolo Buonarruoti,  A monsignor di Cesena, In Vatican Archives Online,  Available from http://asv.vatican.va/en/doc/1550.htm; Internet, ASV, Segr. Stato, Principi, 16, f. 484r). Michelangelo, after a short disease, died in Rome on the 18th February 1564; his body was taken to Florence and buried at Santa Croce.

Charles Sitting In Germany (Holy Roman Empire)

Who is setting the Stage For Trent?  

When Charles asked Paul III for war funds, Paul says we have no funds because the Romans are in the urban Roman Renaissance. Michelangelo –also wrote to a friend complaining under Paul III’s administration he could not pay his construction crew.

Paul III sends no money. And by 1540-‘45, Charles becomes angry, and he finally writes to his friend, I think the pope is playing me, and he has me up in Germany.  So the path Charles takes will change how the Catholic Church begins to respond to the Protestant Reformation. As with Clement VII he did not know much theology or was concerned about Protestant movements. The Roman Renaissance is happening, and Michelangelo and others are decorating Rome and this takes money. Paul and Charles agree on a Church Council at Trent to address the Protestant issues (“First Session of the Council of Trent.”).

Trent is a city in the northeastern tip of Italy, and at the time was an imperial center populated bishops ( council called in 1545) and military men. And bishops that were called initially consisted of 12 ArchBishops, 5 Cardinals, 74 regular Bishops all who attend with  roughly 100 theologians.  Late arrivers and the many meetings suggest,  many other bishops, and others religiousoti comprise over 200 interested parties who come to sort out the Church.

What did they struggle with? Calvin is on the scene in 1541, but seen as passive at this time. Martin Luther was the concern at this first council, and a discussion on Erasmus’ finding takes the lead (1545-48). So the first sessions were all about responding to Luther’s claims on Scriptures. The council reaffirms the sacraments, and points to all the scriptural justifications in scriptures, and they go back and look at all the theologians and they rely on Ambrose and Aquinas, and they want to prove that their theologians are just as good in the patristic as the Protestant theologians and critiques.  

What is being discussed at the First Council of Trent (1545-'49)? So what comes after Jesus’ ministry? This is called tradition and this was also an important part of the Catholic Church. For The Catholic Church is was about justification of works and faith: and Luther said ‘We cannot do anything about our salvations, and works are irrelevant and not a part of salvation history.” Luther relies on Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.

Also Letters from Peter and James, said what good is faith without works? You need to back up with charitable works the Catholic Church cited. So they agree with Justification of Faith, and Erasmus also agreed that we are to accept the free gift of justification of faith: (BUT) to the Church, they intend we must show our faith through good works. Catholic: no works and just faith pertains to no salvation. You must do something or you are not getting in to Heaven and you are going to the other place. The understanding of the Liberation of the Party Animal commences because it was communicated to a wide-body of people at this council. Everyone knows now what the Protestant Reformation is all about.

The Role of the Catholic Church

Hierarchy: Doctrine of Apostolic Succession ( Magisterium ) The Church is led by the apostles, who are led by other people all who led to the foundation of the Church of Christianity. These are the Catholic Keys of the Kingdom and the popes are successors to these apostles and peoples and hold a “Devine authority” to operate the Christian Church; and as apostolic succession if do not believe, one is excommunicated.

The Catholic Church stresses scripture and tradition: The Catholic Church stress at Trent

Only Scripture: Martin Luther.

Yet, at these first eighteen sessions of the first phase of the Council of Trent there was a fleeting hope that perhaps this council and the authority from around Europe could reconcile Protestants.  So there was this hope of German Princes were seeing the error of their ways. This obviously did not happen and that fact that Henry VIII broke with the Church also, made the Roman Catholic Theologians very pessimistic.

1551-52: Again, up at treat. (Second Council)

A definitive condemnation of Protestantism takes place, and a final break with the Protestants: The Church considered the protestants excommunicated, and war against them is deemed good. This was a break, but there was already warfare. Ferdinand and Charles V’s had both come to power influences with Rome, but Rome does not have a military. So they decided to align with Spain and this changed the strategic plan to a militaristic approach that will be implimented by the third council under Charles' son Philip.

Second Phases: So military rules over the word. And Calvin was on the rise.

The Inquisition, what is happening?  

The Inquisition, what is happening?  It was a pretty effective religious police force. Founded in Spain in the 1480s, before The Protestants or Lutherans were on the scene, The Inquisition tried to throw out the people who had thought to exist within other religious affiliations other than Catholicism within the Spanish Realm. The original threat in which the Inquisition was formed were for conversos – thought to be of Jewish false converts to  who took on the role of a false Christianity.

Conversos were seen as trying to corrupt the faith. Ferdinand and Isabella wrote to the pope and said, ‘we need this police force to control our population.’ They did have trials for conversos, but after the year of 1492, The Inquisition was very much expelled. By the 1530s The Inquisition is changing its focuses from the converso problem to the Protestant problem. The Inquisition prosecutes some Lutheran cells in Spain, but the numbers were under 1000 people in the 16th century. This is far fewer in number than that a number of Catholic than were executed under England under the English Church wars against Catholics.

So the whole polemic was from England, which founded the Black Legend communicated into U.S.A. schools even today.

So the whole response after the council of Trent, if we call this the second phase of the Catholic response, was during the second phase is the adopted condition for a counter attack. Its message and performance committed Catholics to develop tools to go to battle against the Protestants.

Index of Books and the Roman Inquisition

1557: Rome starts a Roman inquisition, and this will be in Papal States, but extend into other parts of the Italy, not so much in the south. So there was this necessity of this religious court, and to stamp out heresy. And they start the Index of Books.

By 1557, the first Index includes Machiavelli, and all the Protestant Texts.  What this meant was it was illegal to produce them, or have them, yet a stipulation confirmed if the book contained crossed out sentences -- called the purge of the information -- people could own them. Everyone had forbidden books, the censorship was a disaster. It was the Catholic censors who were underlying the parts one was not supposed to read. So people could get their hands on these books and the first place they read were the crossed out sections still readable in these Indexed books. Yet, these books are not being published in Roman Catholic areas,  but these books are available to get.

1557 Philip II comes to power, and he imposed a foreign trade ban from books coming in to ports -- checking ships from German books coming from the waterfronts to influence people. This described threats from after as the Protestants were on a propaganda campaign.

The Holy League

Late 1550s another Catholic response contains the creation of The Holy League. This is a response for Catholic Powers, and Philip II and Pius IV (1559-64) found the League, because they have compatible ideas and they are friendly.  This is mainly an alliance between the papacy and the Spanish Monarchs, because in part of the Spanish money influencing Rome coincided with these conservative Popes that are being elected. The Spanish could control the papal elections, by gifts, by ambassadors, and by friendship for the counter agenda.  This is a counter reformation ( used to be called conciliatory  movement, like Cisneros, creating reform) but by the time of the 1550s, it is “explicitly” a counter militant Reformation. This is the very Holy League which will win the first Christian Victory against the Ottoman state at Lepanto.

The Catholic Church in the second half of the 16th century were militant and at war with the Ottomans and the Protestants. (Rhetoric: The hair of the unbelievers, the infidels).

So it is Spain and Rome against The Ottomans and Germany (it is the southern European group that is the spearhead of the counterrevolution). Sometimes we see south vs. north, in such cases in world histories – fighting over different principles, but none-the-less a demarcation of ideas and alliances with foreign and indigenous groups.

1562: Catholic Response Solidified, Championed, Successful and will guide the Christian Church for centuries to come.

Third Phase of the Catholic Reformation referring to the third set of meetings called the Third Council of Trent.  The third Council of Trent called in 1560, but it will open in 1562.   This is by far the most important of the Council of Trent(s). This council makes the proclamation, the pro-action, and it reshaping agendas for the Catholic life style. It answers definitively the Protestant complaints. It begins with 115 important representatives and ends with 135 people and conditions a  – Pan European council, and notable absence of English and Dutch participants.

No More Marriage For the Clergy

Bishops were not good church leaders, or governors, and they consisted of the old nobility having revenue from generations of landowners. So the Merchants had come not to like them, and in some cases the bishop would not live there in the diocese or town they were assigned too. So the council says the live a noble life so we will replace his office with priests. These dioceses were sources of revenue. And at the Third Trent this strict reform was about reforming the strict residency, doing what they are supposed to be doing in the first place, and make sure everything is running smoothly, and clergy not partying on their estate. The Authority is reconfirmed by the council of Trent, and the government of their diocese, and this is the name. On Morality, The council intended ‘we need guideline of Priests.’ Therefore the celibate rule came into a strict confidence and council communicated for no more concubines, and for no more girlfriends to clergy, and the council furthermore stated we want them all well educated to live up to the high moral standard’s we are supposed to have set. So, no marriage for clergy.

Keeping the Monasteries but Under Reform

  • Pledge money to build seminaries as instruction institutions for clergy.

Pledges and plans to restructure monasteries – this was a direct to Martin Luther who had complained it was comfortable life, and full of loose living. The council said, Monasteries had played a critical role in Church history, but they also noted that they needed reform.

To summarize the third council: reform of bishop, the clergy and the monastery: They wanted to clean up the formal ecclesiastical class. So the next 100 years it was all about cleaning up the Church and getting back to their game.  Now the Catholics were leading the Church, and not the secular aspirationists.

Further reforms, see: The order of the Jesuits came out of this Ignatius of Layola

Catholic Counter Reformation (#19 Success at Trent)

It is the Farnese Pope Paul III who calls the council of Trent ( December 13, 1545, and December 4, 1563 in twenty-five sessions for three periods)  and starts the first serious Counter Reformation. The Council of Trent was the 19th Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church and it is considered a widely successful council.  At a Church in Trent, in northern Italy, a series of meetings between Catholics and others including the Spanish military search for ways to combat the spread of Christian decentralization – or as it was communicated. Usually it is communicated in three phases, and the first phase consisted of eighteen sessions in Trent from the years of 1545 to 1547. The first debate is present on the First Trent; it was over the position of “Grace.” It was not successful in terms of the successful Counter Reformation. It tended more to the enquiry of theology and various debates of tradition. Much of these debates needed in secular issues of politics, economy and secularism issues. It is not until the end of the Italian Wars that things began to focuses in on reunifying the Catholic countries.

Three Phases: 1545 – 1549: slow start; 1551-'52, interruption under the convocation of Pope Julius III by the victory of Maurice, Elector of Saxony over the Emperor Charles V and his march into the surrounding area of Tyrol on 28 April of 1552; 1562 -1563 is considered the period of trying to compromise of basic reforms that the Protestants who represented their side had complained. Doctrinally, nothing changed for the Church and on the contrary, a more firm stance of previous traditions on charity, good works, sacraments and non-corruption orders were emphasized. Serious reforms took place at the phase of the council of Trent. But more importantly, the Catholic Church turned from defensive posture to offensive poster while at the same time appearing to compromise with the Protestant positions.

The big story of the Counter Reformation is that it is slow in the early part of the 16th century and picks up in the early part of the 17th century. It went from going on the defensive and then going toward the offense: Reform the Orders, the reform the Mass orders, but then again they want reemphasis works, charity, works of art (Iconoclasm, Catholics it served a pedagogical purposes, and well will continue it, it is central part of Catholic Piety)

Resurgence is the literal military leagues and accomplishments, the battle of Lepanto. This was a victory against the Ottoman Empire. As the Protestants communicated that God was no longer on the Catholic Church’s side when Spain sacked Rome in 1527, and for the fact that Protestants aligned with Islamic powers to harassment  the Catholics, the victory at the Battle at Lepanto was the reaction that Protestants now began to lose their edge.

It was a big moment; God is now on our side, while the Protestants were for the Ottomans. In the Veneto, patriots built a theater with a flooding application to put water in a theater, and this was to reenact the battle in theatrics so everyone can remember and take part of the memory of the battle at Lepanto (planning and victory 1571-2). While the Ottomans navy was only delayed for about a year – they rebuilt most of their fleet within the time span, the Ottomans from this victory onward did not dare to crossover to the western side of the Mediterranean. They instead began to supported by complicity the Barbary pirates in a European slave and ransom program

At the third phase of Trent, contemporary paintings show Spanish soldiers keeping guard, and persuasively they had the dominant power because of their sheer power. As a result, problems that were presented were addressed more succinctly the theologians address the problem with intentions of resolving serious issues. It was not an open discussion. The aim was (Aristotelian formula, and at the end proclamations on how it will end) to debate to such an extent on the language of a particular proclamation that it was absolutely clear on universal intentions.

The Third Phase of the Council of Trent (1562 -1563 ) many serious reforms voiced by the Protestants are now addressed and promoted (everything but theologically doctrinal). Clean up the monasteries, clean up the lethargic Bishops and force them back into the cities they represent.  For a time, a Bishop would not live in his diocese, but remained a monetary recipient of ecclesiastical taxes. This was no longer tolerated in Catholic lands.

Another reform came in a proactive stance of building and schooling the common. This episode in Catholic historiography comes from a Spanish military man who would later be presented by the pope with the sole authority over all Bishops the position and Order of the Jesuits. The Jesuits are not a cloistered order but a public proactive order that begins with big ideas: acts of charity of feeding the homeless in Rome, taking care of orphans and homeless lead to buildings and schools – and wide popularity.

Inigo Lopez de Loyola ( a.k.a Ignatius ) was the youngest son of a nobleman of the mountainous Basque region of northern Spain.  In 1521 he defended the Spanish boarder against the French artillery, Inigo's right leg was shattered by a cannon ball. He was taken by French captors and in the ensuing years he studied a Paris University. At age 33, he went to University of Alcalà to learnt Latin, and then moved on to University of Salamanca; then back to Paris University spending summers in Flanders. He decided to go to Rome and place his disciples at the disposal of the Pope. Yet, Inigo Lopez went to Rome to ask the pope if he and his disciples could go on a Crusade to Jerusalem. Pope Paul III instead asked them for the services in a pressing manner. Rome was in desperate need of individuals to work charities to take care of the homeless and dishearten,  still recovering from the period of the sack of Rome (1527). Inigo Lopez stayed in Rome and became very popular setting up soup kitchens, feeding and taking care of the poor and homeless and beginning to find financers for homeless shelters and food distribution. As a result of pro-active self fashioning, this group became widely popular and the Curia saw before their eyes such as part of the solution for Counter Reformation pro-active reforms. Inigo Lopez also began to gather students and people and became a force of good to recon with in a rather dismal time for the Catholic Church. The papacy actually gave Inigo Lopez a certain autonomous flexibility to operate around the Catholic Christian realm.

These  Jesuits were ordained to the Catholic priesthood in Venice and offered themselves in service to Pope Paul III. In 1540, Paul III approved the Institute of the Society of Jesus., or the Society. This new order grew in numbers and spread over the world. When developed, Jesuits concentrated on three activities. First, they founded schools throughout Europe. Jesuit teachers were rigorously trained in both classical studies and theology. The Jesuits' second mission was to convert non-Christians to Catholicism, so they developed outreach programs and sent out missionaries for this main purpose.  Their third goal was to stop Protestantism from spreading. So one of the single biggest moves was Charles III who moved against the Jesuits, and clearly from 17th century the Jesuits became Aristotelian dominate educators of all over the Catholic world teaching in their schools and building schools.  The Jesuits were favored as councilors and confessors to kings – so drawn into political intrigue described the power the order eventual achieved. 5000 Jesuits in the Catholic kingdoms formed a major revolution; this move was to take control over the Universities.

The militant Catholic Reformation response.

Serving in the Public Sphere the Life of Jesus Christ

How to become charitable in Public

The order of the Jesuits came out from the public ideas of Ignatius of Loyola. Born and lives in the Basque part of Spain, in the north. He was a courtier in the court of Ferdinand, and as well his job defined a cleric in the court. And he was a soldier who fought skirmishes between French and Spanish boarders. He was then injured by a cannonball, and during this period he had a spiritual transformation. So Ignatius decides to live his life better. So he goes on pilgrimage, and goes to the northern eastern part of Spain, and he said “I no longer want to be a soldier, and I want to spread the gospels.” (Ignatius: 1523-28?) He goes to Alcalà University, and then to Salamanca University, then off to Paris University, which were all centers of humanist reforms.  And s0 he goes to these places for about 10 years, and learnt old scholastic traditions which were a part of Paris’s curriculum at this time.

When he goes to Paris, he already had an idea of what he was doing. He had money from family, and so he could get supporters as a group, and they are in Paris as the same time as Rabelais, and Calvin in Paris, and after the Lutheran Placard event. And this band gathered around Ignatius. They say lets start our own club, they cared less for Martin Luther’s claims, they wanted to go to Jerusalem and convert the Infidels – it was like a field trip, half serious, and they wanted a new order. So they go to Pope to get a Charter: And it was called “The Company of Jesus.” and Pope said your Jerusalem will be the city of Rome, you need to do charitable work that needs to be done. So the Jesuits for the first 10 years, they end up doing a lot of charity at Rome.  Rome had been sacked, so it was needed. But eventually, they start soul kitchens and after a while they start schools to teach the children and the become popular with roman citizen fathers and then their fame grows, that this new role of religious order, and very active order –it was out in the open , it was out in a public space. This was not inside a in private monastery.  Ignatius of Loyola had the same ideas as Erasmus’ claim  -- that is to say, for the mystical life of living as Christ in the public domain, a move away from St. Augustine of Hippo’s views about reaching the Kingdom of Heaven. Also, Erasmus intended that we all get an education.

Works are US: Jesuits, and there was some appearance of the movement by 1554. At this time they had number about 1,000 (in fourteen years) Much of this was the appeal of Ignatius. He clearly had his hand on the spiritual pulse of the time.  Like Erasmus charity work was the Militant Christian for the wife of the wandering husband’s eye – this was that public service, and Erasmus was doing it too so why not Ignatius?

How to become charitable in Public? It was at a retreat Ignatius ran to have others reflect on your inner self: a “set of practices that sum up all the senses.” Trying to get people to imagine, hell, purgatory: it was sending people off to have reflections on the meaning of the mysteries of themselves and Christianity. This retreat was for 40 days, and it was a way to thinking about vocations, it was like what do you like? It was an exercise to find out what you could do for society. What was not planed by Ignatius was these nobles came to this retreat and asked Ignatius, ‘can you administer the exercises for us?’ And in 10-15-20 years, these nobles become advisors to the nobilities all over Europe. And they become popular for is their teaching of public pro-active service. The Jesuits start humbly with a small grammar schools in Rome, and they end up, building eventually the Roman College. This college becomes the central school in Rome, and becomes a noble learning center. Ignatius is the antedate to Calvin: both had created institutional ideas. Ignatius writes up the Ratio Studitiorum

Paul III Makes the Jesuits to stay in Rome, and he is smart, and the Pope sais, ‘where ever you are no one has ecclesiastical authority by you Ignatius alone, no one else.’ It gave them power. And they think big and think fast and start building universities all over Europe and very fast. This was the Catholic Response.

Another big symbol of the Church triumphant (counter reformation) was the finishing of St. Peter’s Basilica. It is a symbol of the reformation and the defeating of it.

3 of the 95 theses of Luther had St. Peter’s mentioned, and this is symbolic that St. Peter’s gets finished.

Defender of the Faith

Henry VIII will make these observations to break his marriage to his first wife in order to marry Ann Bolen. He will look to models of the German break away Christian movements as an excuse to break England away from Rome. So Luther is inadvertently tied to the break away Anglican Church – although very loosely. However, unlike Luther, at the age of twenty-one, and with help from Thomas More, Henry VIII will defend the seven sacraments, and he will eventually uphold them even after the break from Rome was completed. Henry’s writings were a a formal humanist condemnation of Luther. For this service, Rome gave Henry the unofficial title of “Defender of the Faith.” The problem came with the challenging intuition of marriage. At the age of nine years old, Henry was betrothed to Catherin of Aragon, and this was the aunt of Charles V, a Spaniard; and it was meant for a dynastic move, and they married and had six children but only one survives, and it was a girl -- only Mary survives. During this period Henry became involved with Ann Bolen, a maid to baby Mary. The problem with that was women were not allowed to succeed to the thrown of England. Henry falls in lust with Ann Bolan, one of the maids of Queen Mary, and at this time (between 1525-‘33) he seeks an annulment – the only legal course of action approved by the Catholic Church. In the Roman Catholic Church, one must not violate the sacrament of marriage and not divorce a wife. It is a violation and not an option -- and not for the defender of the faith. So the only thing was an annulment. It can be enacted by only the pope, who could do it at this period in history.  Today a bishop can do it.  This placed the Pope was in a hard spot. What is the best? If one does not consummate your marriage, you could file for an annulment. If a king caught his wife in adultery, he could cut off the head, and that was useful for Henry. To the Pope it was not a theological issue, because of males to succession; this was common for the popes. But these popes from de’ Medici, Spanish Pope, to the Farnese Pope, the queen were Charles V’s aunt they had argued. Charles doesn’t want this annulment because it messes up Charles’ plan. Henry sends lawyers and consultants to the Pope to negotiate, but the Pope said no. In 1533 a secret marriage was consummated and a daughter is born to Ann Bolan and Henry, named Elizabeth the future ruler of England for forty-two years who would crystallize the Anglican Church.

Critical Martin Luther Years

  • Sophists: The Scholastic Theologians

  • Martin Luther speaks out against Sophists. (In this case for Luther, he is speaking about a group of dogmatic Theologians at Universities, who mainly use Aristotle.)
  • The Devil takes possession of the sophists and of the universities, Luther intends.[31]
  • Sophists had said, according to Luther that the Old Testament had been abolished by Jesus Christ. They were right and Luther was incorrect. Luther believes the Old Testament is relevant, and not to abolish it. [32]

1517-1521 Critical Years ( The Catholic Church does not put up much resistance)

  • 1517-1521 Critical Years of Martin Luther’s Publishing’s: ( Critical criteria of publishing: and 95 theses on the Door of the castle of Wittenburg, and three critical works: Address to nobility, liberty of Christian man and Babylon are three critical texts which founded The Lutherans. This religious construction breaks radically from the Roman Catholic tradition. How does this one person’s theological movement force a break from the Christian Catholic Church to the Christian Confession movement? The Printing Press in Germany prints 10,000s of books of Luther, and in other regions the affect on the public is not well understood until a proliferation had been of Luther’s ideas on reform. Wycliffe did not have the apparatus of the printing press which explains his message’s limited scope on the public. About this time, there are sixty printing presses in Germany, and Luther is working for Frederick II of Saxony (Elector Frederick, as addressed by the Duke of Brunswick) who takes chances to break away from the auspices of the Holy Roman Empire electorate and the Catholic Church’s economic responsibilities.  Luther’s longevity can be explained in the Frederick, although in his middle ages, protected Luther and allowed him to use his castle to write emancipation works so that the German princes could achieve economic and political freedom from the Church once the commoners understood that no economy of Salvation was needed for the saving of their souls.
  • (Prior to 1518) This is the center principle: The justification by Faith . What Martin Luther ends up saying is that the beauty of the Gospels intends that the death of Christ solved everyone’s histories. Everything we need to know was just convincing ourselves that Jesus had been crucified for all of our sins, prior, present and future. Just confess that Jesus was your savoir and you will be saved. This solved Luther’s guilt, so he believed. To Luther, he argued that all we need is faith in this idea and we are absolved from all of our sins.  Passively, one must know the scriptures. You must accept that the act of penance was from Jesus and you could do nothing of yourselves - Jesus had saved you. In effect, this was deemed a predestination argument. Luther would defend this argument by preordaining souls fates prior to birth and humans were predestined to either go to heaven or hell based upon not their actions but the will of God, who had already made up his mind.  Luther coins a phrase: I will always be justified, The whole set of institutional practices, caused Luther to hate god. He was always going to be a sinner, he reconciled the Catholic doctrine of penance.  But this new revelation to him – a different perspective of life, allowed him to love God. God was like the parent and human was the child who could not be blamed because the child was too young to know anything of virtue.  Because he could do anything he wanted and not have to pay any price, this allowed humans to go about convincing themselves that it mattered not what they did to each other or their community, they will be always be forgiven as an ideology. (This conversion happens before 1518). Up in the cold climate tower, reflecting on Paul, Luther ends up beginning to realize that he is the messiah and that god had decided to give everyone mercy so you did not need to earn them through acts of charity or good works. So he starts to write the criticism which will then become his theses against the Catholic Church’s programs of salvation history. Luther’s ideas are framed in a reaction to punishment of doing wrong in the community: So Fear and Death torments one was how the Church communicated its disciplinary action to the masses, Luther intended. To Luther, this was the Catholic Church’s way of getting people in line, where it is as just convincing to say someone else pays for my sins (like Marxist’s) and I do not need to care for what crimes I do against anyone, I will go to heaven.  With my sacrificial death, I’m the sacrificial lamb, so Jesus kills the beast and not the individual through piety as Erasmus argued. Politically, the German princes loved this idea, it emancipated them from Church responsibilities – they now took Church land and its possessions. By Luther justifying himself with faith, the German princes justified themselves with loot. It was a party made in heaven during the prosperous Golden Age.
  • (1519) Two Kings of Righteousness:

1520s (Three Major Criticisms)

  • (1520s) In order of appearance: “An Appeal to the Ruling Class of German Nationality as to The Amelioration of the State of Christendom” (1520), “The Pagan Servitude of the Church” (a.k.a.  The Babylon Captivity of the Church) (1520), The Freedom of a Christian (1520)
  • 1520: “An Appeal to the Ruling Class of German Nationality as to The Amelioration of the State of Christendom” (1520). This work calls upon the ruling German class to reform the Church, and this document antedates the establishment of Reformation churches and is essentially a call to reform.”[33]
  • Three walls: (1) The Roman Catholic Church professed that secular forces had no jurisdiction over them, but “rather the opposite was the case, and the spiritual was superior to the secular.” [34] (2) The Roman Catholic Church intended that the Pope was the only person competent to interpret scripture. (3) Only the pope could summon a council. In these three problems, Luther intends, were “means of coercion,” and a way to avoid punishment. [35] To argue the first wall, Luther again uses St. Paul in I Corinthians 12 [:12f.], when he says: “We are all one body, yet each member hath his own work for serving others.” [36] Clergy were exempt from secular prosecution and had their own courts. The Catholic Church would eventually agree with Luther’s stance and relegate authority to the secular courts as jurisprudence of ecclesiastical members.
  • Critical Years of Martin Luther’s Publishing: (A) Address of the Nobility of the Christian ( called Freedom of the Christian 1520)—sent to German nobles, and circulated in the German lands, but had larger aspirations: “Three walls of the Papacy.” Luther’s attack upon the papacy: “I want to tear it down.” Theme: Spiritual primacy wants over temporal power. Pope had the full spiritual power, and ultimate pope had power over the secular authorities. Pope was always the supreme power. During the “plentitude of Power theory” in the 13th century, Luther is saying this is a false authority.  Luther said, I want power into the secular princes’ hands.  (2) Papacy to interpret scripture has not authority. Truth we have final dispute, Christ gave us the keys, and not the Church.  Luther said it should be conciliarism ( Councils ) (3) Third claim that German princes could call councils. Luther, princes should be the only ones to call councils. It was secular revolution. German temporal power trumps spiritual power in some instances, yet these were manifestos, and big claims, and they were these foundations of Lutheran ideologies.
  • (First edition of Exsurge Domine) On June 15, 1520, the Pope warned Luther with the papal bull (edict) Exsurge Domine that he risked excommunication unless he recanted 41 sentences drawn from his writings, including the 95 Theses, within 60 days. That autumn, Johann Eck proclaimed the bull in Meissen and other towns. Karl von Miltitz, a papal nuncio, attempted to broker a solution, but Luther, who had sent the Pope a copy of On the Freedom of a Christian in October, publicly set fire to the bull and decretals at Wittenberg on December 10, 1520,[51] [37]an act he defended in Why the Pope and his Recent Book are Burned and Assertions Concerning All Articles. As a consequence, Luther was excommunicated by Leo X on January 3, 1521, in the bull Decet Romanum Pontificem.
  • (Baptism, Absolution and the complete sacrament of the Last supper ( p. 259)
  • (1520 “The Pagan Servitude of the Church,” more commonly known as ‘The Babylonian Captivity of the Church’) This was a direct attack on the Roman Church, theology and calls on reform. Popes are illegitimate. “Christ is speaking to the laity and not to the priests,”[38] Luther intends. Luther attacks the papacy meaning of the Eucharist. Luther argues that Priests should not only get the Eucharist but the lay people as well – yet argues that only a select few received it, so therefore all cannot partake of its benefits. Luther argues from the last suppers’ perspective Jesus gave only to the apostles the benefits of the Bread and wine, and not mankind – so this was mean the Roman Catholic Church could not lead in any Eucharist ritual at all – or they would be in a contradiction to what the texts of the Bible he is referring too suggests to him in his own interpretation. When Christ says, Luther intends, “All ye drink of it,” He is not giving permission, but issuing a command. Everyone out to drink of it and that commandment [a commandment?] ought not to be understood as addressed only to the priests. Hence, it is undoubtedly impious to deny it to the laity who ask for it; yes, even if an angel from heaven were to do so.” [39]  
  • Luther uses claims from Wycliffe’s rhetory, popes are these anti-Christs.  It was from a Whycliffian perspective or in a rhetorical move. The sacramental theology of Rome is flawed, Luther is intending. He argues that out of all the sacraments only three are legitimate (or valid): The Eucharist, confirmation, and baptism;  all rest are garbage, and he attacks transubstantiation. One will notice that none of these sacraments he approves contain monetary applications. In addition, he reveals his anti- Aristotelian sentiments (Luther likes Irrationalism) of the transubstantiation, Luther attacks call for getting rid of Aristotelian logic, and says that bread and wine become real and unreal at the same time. Luther main argument is by using Aristotle ( or philosophy in general) one can make the Bible say anything they want. “They truly must grant the Leipzig professor of the Bible can prove anything he pleases from any passage of Scripture whatever. He is a theologian of the breed of Anaxagoras, if not Aristotle; nouns and verbs have the same meaning, even when replacing one another, and they signify anything you like [ really?].” [40] It must be said that Luther was never a scholar as Calvin or Erasmus. What makes Luther so disagreeable to scholarly application is that his changing of verbs and his comparative arguments are conjoined by rash refutation of the most vile arguments. If one doesn’t believe Luther then he states: “Therefore I regard this man as instigated by an angel of Satan, and I include those in collusion with me. They seek worldly fame of being able to enter into a dispensation with me.” [41] If anything at all, Luther believed in his own scholastic ability. Often the text is a rant, tiring for substance. Luther uses the first person which is a weakness in argument. It is more appropriate for an autobiography, a reflection or a memoir. Most people will understand it as filler, Luther has little to say. He only bases his arguments on two verses of Paul as his life’s thesis. Luther inserts phrasing into most of his arguments of his St. Paul propaganda, “But, in the end, Paul is impregnable [...],”[42] from The Pagan Servitude of the Church (1520). For someone that was not an apostle of Jesus, his immediate circle, his chosen twelve, St. Paul for Luther has more authority than they.
  • Tangled Web: Philip Melancthon tells us “I know, indeed, that Frederic often inquired the opinion of scholars concerning these matters, and, that in the convention held at Cologne, by the Emperor Charles the fifth, after his coronation, be asked Erasmus, of Rotterdam, in a friendly manner, whether he considered that Luther was in the  wrong, in those controversies which then engaged so much of his attention; to  this Erasmus candidly replied, that he was of opinion that Luther was in the  right, but that he was wanting in gentleness of spirit; respecting which the  Duke Frederic afterwards writing seriously to Luther, exhorted him to moderate  the asperity of his style.” [43]

Pope Leo X Threatens (Summer 1520) Emperor steps in to arbitrate

Concerning Christian Liberty (1520)

  • On June 15, 1520, the Pope warned Luther with the papal bull (edict) Exsurge Domine that he risked excommunication unless he recanted 41 sentences drawn from his writings, including the 95 Theses, within 60 days. Martin Luther countered by sending a letter to the Pope entitled, Concerning Christian Liberty ( 1520, sent c. autum, dated ‘Wittenberg, 6th September, 1520’). At this point Luther had claimed in the letter that he only called Pope Leo 'Daniel in Babylon.' Much of Luther consternation is directed at the Roman Curia and of the flatters. Luther stays careful at this time not to directly attack the office of the Pope. This accompanied letter to the work Concerning Christian Liberty steer clears of pontificate implication and mainly focuses on restrictions of councils and, the Roman Curia's objection to Luther's ideas and reform in Church general. Leo X at this time was more concerned with bring in and managing artists and architectures for Julius II artistic projects. The Challenge to Martin Luther in 1521 by the papacy was half hearted. Looking back now, the Church would have liked to have sent an army to stop Luther’s bitter tongue. It will not be until the second council of Trent that the Catholic Church forms a serious countermeasure plan to slow down Protestantism. Theme: of part two is Spiritual primacy wants over temporal power. Its arguents are titled in part two as Address of the Nobility of the Christian. This part was circulated to the German princes and the German nobility.
  • Luther elaborates to Leo: “The ears of our generation have been made so delicate by the senseless multitude of flatterers that, as soon as we perceive that anything of ours is not approved of, we cry out that we are being bitterly assailed; and when we can repel the truth by no other pretence, we escape by attributing bitterness, impatience, intemperance, to our adversaries.”[44] It appears that Luther is contending with radical liberalism in the German domains, such as predecessors speaking on the emancipation of the European community to the individualist mentality of me first. Luther intends that Chrsitianity is the ultimate “liberty,” that is to say the ultimate individual freedom, the liberalism of reality – the emancipation from all control. Luther speaks it best by saying: “Thus I come, most blessed Father, and in all abasement beseech you to put to your hand, if it is possible, and impose a curb to those flatterers who are enemies of peace, while they pretend peace. But there is no reason, most blessed Father, why any one should assume that I am to utter a recantation, unless he prefers to involve the case in still greater confusion. Moreover, I cannot bear with laws for the interpretation of the word of God, since the word of God, which teaches liberty in all other things, ought not to be bound. Saving these two things, there is nothing which I am not able, and most heartily willing, to do or to suffer. I hate contention; I will challenge no one; in return I wish not to be challenged; but, being challenged, I will not be dumb in the cause of Christ my Master. For your Blessedness will be able by one short and easy word to call these controversies before you and suppress them, and to impose silence and peace on both sides--a word which I have ever longed to hear.[45] Luther uses these phrases ‘the word of God, which teaches liberty in all other things.’ And that means emancipation form control. And this is exactly how King Charles V had understood it by Leo’s communications to him. These phrases Luther had used determined nothing of Christianity, but his own future interest in survival as a free man in consciousness. At this point, Luther has become famous and to back down from his polemic position, he would lose that fame. The need for an increase of attention, the thrill of attention, spurs Luther on to greater rhetorical attacks, as history had shown.
  • Luther intends that These Turks in comparison to the Catholic Church are more pious,  he writes to Pole Leo X. “Is it not true that there is nothing under the vast heavens more corrupt, more pestilential, more hateful, than the Court of Rome? She incomparably surpasses the impiety of the Turks, so that in very truth she, who was formally the gate of Heaven, is now a sort of open mouth of hell [...]” (Ibid., Luther, Martin, Concerning Christian Liberty, part I (1520).). During Luther's time, The Ottoman State ( ref. Turks) had completed three centuries of sustained conquest, and was continuing its subjugation of the North African coasts. It is difficult to tell if Luther had knowledge of this, yet we understand this to be his normative polemic, and if so he surely could not distinguish between Alexander's and Cesar Borgia's small papal state-wars and the mammoth undertaking of pan-continental conquest by the Ottomans. Luther also attacked church meetings that the Pope, by canacol law, only had the right to call as councils. Luther states, "she dreads to be reformed"((Ibid., Luther,  Concerning Christian Liberty, part I). Luther calls the Court of Rome, "more corrupt than any Babylon or Sodom [...], this I have verily abominated" (Ibid., Luther,  Concerning Christian Liberty, part I). Luther could not possibly know anything about Babylon or Sodom, as modern historians know little to nothing about it, even until today.  Luther also attacks specific individuals as according to his account: Cardinal Cajetan, a papal legate who tried to stirs up opposition to Luther’s claims on reforms to force him to recant them. John Eccius, who tried to entrap Luther in primacy rhetoric of the pope, and solely blames reformation rhetoric on Luther’s shoulders, and papal nuncio Charles Miltitz. These three papal representatives tried to get a ecclesiastic judgment and hearing against Luther, claiming he had denied the primacy of the Pope. As specific, this also may be the root theme of this letter in accordance to the corrupt of the Roman Curia. Luther makes it explicit that Pope Leo’s enemies are in the Curia as Luther polemically emotes: “At this day the name of the Court of Rome stinks in the nostrils of the world, the papal authority is growing weak, and its notorious ignorance is evil spoken of” (Ibid., Luther,  Concerning Christian Liberty, part I). The papal Orders often arrived in peace, and Luther explains they offer peace as flattery, but their intention is control, discored and suppression. Yet, Luther's Germancentricpoint remains clear that he advocates for Germany and his people rather than the Universality of the Church. (Ibid., Luther,  Concerning Christian Liberty, part I). The papal Orders often arrived in peace, and Luther explains they offer peace as flattery, but their intention is control, discord and suppression. Yet, Luther's German-centric-point remains clear that he advocates for Germany and his people rather than the Universality of the Church. As Luther witnessed a change in Rome – it was a outpost town prior to the sixteenth century – he witnessed a state on the rise, as if observing France, England or Spain. Julius II’s imperial desires were no less confident than De Regna Christi. The Holy Roman Empire or more specifically the German principalities were fragmented, and threatened if large monarchies arouse such as Rome’s alliance with Spain. Germans had started to become scared and Luther is part of this reaction. Luther found a way into which to break form the Church, as the Church was beginning its modern building and symbolic power structures. Luther seems to be saying that the papacy is controlled by Roman families (Curia) and they are attempting to expand in a secular sense during a troublesome period in Europe. If Luther is granted free speech, and the printing presses church out polemical critiques on Catholic tradition and scriptures, the German meddling princes of this time can win themselves freedom from the Holy Roman Empire. This came down to money, control and power.

1521 Reichstag zu Worms, Jan - May

Excommunicated by Leo X on January 3, 1521, in the bull Decet Romanum Pontificem. Luther did not worry.

1521: Diet of Worms (January 28 to May 25, 1521) (Reichstag zu Worms ( note the ‘w’ is pronounced like an English ‘v.’): King Charles (I) V called a meeting to fetter out the radical Luther – what should be done to him? By 1519, Luther’s’ writings had circulated in England, France, Italy and Spain. On April 18, 1521, Luther appeared as ordered before the Diet of Worms but held insurances from Frederick III of Saxony, elector, of his safe passage and deliverance. King Charles was present along with ecclesiastical hierarchy and initially agreed on safe passage, but the outcome would most possibly determine Luther’s fate. Charles was the King of the Holy Roman Empire, so this was under his jurisdiction.   Before this meeting which was a response to stop the onslaught of spurious indoctrination, Luther had been described by Leo X as a drunkard who would see things in a more positive light when sober. This meeting hope to accomplish this feat.

At the meeting, Luther was placed with his writings on the table by Johann Eck, speaking on behalf of the Empire as assistant of the Archbishop of Trier, and asked two questions: First if these were his works, and if he was the author; and second to communicate that he believed in what they books say (they contradicted the authority and posture of Catholic historiography). Luther answered the first question in the affirmative, but he had asked to delay his response to the second question. This was permitted. Finally he responded. Luther stood by what he had written and it was said that he could not retract what he had written due to his “consciousness.” Luther then prostrated himself to the council and declared God as his fate. He supposedly said, ‘Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me. Amen.’ There was no hurry because this was also a larger issue of what to do about the spread of reformation ideas that were started well before Luther.  “Over the next five days, private conferences were held to determine Luther's fate. The Emperor presented the final draft of the Edict of Worms on May 25, 1521, declaring Luther an outlaw, banning his literature, and requiring his arrest: "We want him to be apprehended and punished as a notorious heretic". [note 31, see explanation of note 54] It also made it a crime for anyone in Germany to give Luther food or shelter. It permitted anyone to kill Luther without legal consequence. The Edict was a divisive move that distressed more moderate men, in particular Desiderius Erasmus.[46]” However, to understand some of the theses, Luther clearly offered not God as a judge, but himself as sole arbitrar of God’s word. This contradicts his claim(s) that only God can judge humans. Luther placed himself in the position of God in some of his sentences of his 95 theses, and it read as if he had usurped the Pope’s and the Emperor’s position and authority while declaring at the same instant that he himself was God. Because they did not immediately arrest Luther relates that certain freedom of speech at this time was permissible. Certainly some sentences in these 95 theses careered weightily religious issues that could be debated rather than suppressed. However, in lieu of the edict, it was clear that some sentences went over the tolerance boundary. In one sentence, Luther condemned the entire history of the Catholic Church to hell. His supporting theses intended to teach others how to push the Church into Hell.

Junker Jörg, May 1521-March 1522: New Testament from Greek into German

  • “Luther's disappearance during his return trip was planned. Frederick III, Elector of Saxony, had him discreetly intercepted on his way home by masked horsemen and escorted to the security of the Wartburg Castle at Eisenach, where Luther grew a beard and lived incognito for nearly eleven months, pretending to be a knight called Junker Jörg.[55] During his stay at Wartburg (May 1521-March 1522), which he referred to as "my Patmos",[56] Luther translated the New Testament from Greek into German, and poured out doctrinal and polemical writings, including in October a renewed attack on Archbishop Albrecht of Mainz, whom he shamed into halting the sale of indulgences in his episcopates,[57] and a "Refutation of the argument of Latomus," in which he expounded the principle of justification to a philosopher from Louvain.[58].” [47]
  • Federick III of Saxony: Why run the risk of warfare and excommunication? Two reasons: (1) Frederick really did believe in the authentic attraction of Luther’s ideas, and he is convinced of them which is Philip Melancthon’s argument. And (2), on the other hand, there is a Machiavellian understanding that Frederick can gain a lot of land and wealth from the Churches by backing Luther’s ideas. Monasteries and these Convents had wealth to take, and Frederick could get rich by confiscating them. One-hundred years earlier, there had been discussions that monastic lands had become too wealthy and the Church had become too powerful. Luther is not attacking nuns and monks that are wealthy; he is attacking the “justification by Faith” argument. Philip Melancthon argues that Frederick is sensitive to keeping the peace, yet Melancthon is concerned about writing history of Luther in a positive life and Frederick is his patron and protector in Luther historiography.
  • Martin Luther was influenced by Desiderius Erasmus’ Greek translation of pieces of the Bible into Classical Latin. Therefore, Martin Luther could use Erasmus’ authoritative translation while claiming his German Bible came from a Greek Bible. Erasmus placed the Greek and Classical translations side by side, for easy referencing. Luther was indebted to Erasmus for the rest of his life because of this achievement. However, as with Luther’s attitude to others who disagreed with his views, he treated Erasmus as a non-human in his attacks upon Erasmus’ theological debates. Most of these attacks can be explained in that Luther could not understand higher concepts of philosophy and more superior forms of argument. Today, scholars having all the evidence which has come down to us, this is most evident as the case against Luther.


The sword can have no place among Christians

1523 Secular Authority: To What Extent It Should Be Obeyed, 1523

Luther here attacks the authority of Rome and lays out a guideline of how German Princes should act in regards to Christians in their domain.

The main purpose on Secular Authority, sometimes referred to as “On Earthly Authority,” is because Luther makes it clear that the materialism of life is separate from the spiritualism of Christ. If you are a Christian, than you do not go take your Christian friends lands, or livestock, or thieve or go to war for conquest – as a general statement. Secular Authority is regulated not for Christians but for governments pertaining to their own social desires and needs. The Gospels are not social gospels. The do not, according to careful reading of Scriptures intend class warfare. Luther, as well as Desiderius Erasmus is very clear on this issue.

  • “The [German Princes] actually think they have power to do and to command their subjects, whatever they please.”[48]
  • “Duty of the Sword” [49] “German Princes must like husbandry embrace the sword for the good of the Christians.” [50]
  • The State is God’s Servant and workman to punish the evil and protect the good.” [51] Proofs: (1) Christ did not reject any other office, secular or religious. (2) Christ promoted the spiritual kingdom of God. (3) Christ said embrace evil [of the secular power/state], but also taught people to do under these circumstances – this explains his teachings and doings. [52]
  • Knavery was before Adam and Christianity. Proof: “The natural world cannot receive or comprehend spiritual things.” [53]

Christ said embrace evil [54] What?

  • Matthew [5]:39 Christ had stated not to resist evil. Luther states that Christ means that Christians will be persecuted by secular offices, but that they should not rise against the state, they should accept it, understand it, and move-on and wait for the spiritual kingdom of God. Sophists relate this teaching to the “council of perfection. (Matt 5:39),” but Luther intends that this is actually a commandment from the New Testament. It denotes a pacifist ideology against the state or secular authority. This also explains why Luther wrote a permissible creed to have the Prince and nobility slaughter 100,000 uprising peasants from the black forest region promoted by Thomas Manzer, c. 1525-‘6. The peasants had taken up Manzer’s preaching that had used some of the teachings on Secular Authority and advocated the Bible was a social revolution manifesto. The peasants picked up their tools and revolted against the feudalistic nobility. Luther had claimed that all Christians are free from all secular laws, and at the same time secular rulers had earthly authority. The peasants took this as their permission to emancipate from feudalistic subjugation, but Manzer and the peasants issuing twelve articles that we would today regard as human rights.

Evil and two propositions by Luther: ( Secular Authority, 1523)

  • Christians: “ The sword can have no place among Christians.” [55]

  • Non-Christians: The sword can have a place among non-Christians.” [56]

  • Luther: Serve God’s kingdom inwardly and the kingdom of the world outwardly.

  • Erasmus: Serve God’s kingdom outwardly, and live pious and demonstrate to mankind the path of the Christ in public.

Sword and Pacifism (Secular Authority, 1523)

  • “For Christ did not wield the sword nor give it a place in his kingdom.” [57] Luther intends that Matthew teaches Christians have no need for Secular sword or law. ( Are Christian’s pacifists?). [58] 
  • The Church does not judge sacred things. [59]  
  • Roman Catholic Church argument: It needs correct interpretations.
  • Augustine: “No one can or ought be constrained to believe.” [60] Luther on Choice” “man as a choice to believe or not.” [61]
  • Luther and Reformers looked back to Patristic writings to understand the present (according to professor). Although this is true, Luther relies heavily on St. Paul.
  • Proverb: “Thoughts are free.”
  • Lutheran Contradiction: Only God can see, judge, condemn and change men’s hearts.” [62] This contradicts Luther’s 1517 affirmation that he could argue all “Disputation of Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences" with anyone to prove what he says is true and correct about scripture. Some of these theses contain judgments by Luther as threats with no textual basis. They appear to contradict this statement that God has a lone authority to judge man’s heavenly fate in Secular Authority (1523).

Prince Warfare (Secular Authority, 1523)

  • A Prince cannot, Luther argues, attack superiors like the Holy Roman Emperor, but a prince can attack equals or inferiors – yet, first offer peace and justice [ from one perspective] before attacking. [63] Luther exhibits a profound contradiction and/or paradox. Most princes considered themselves to be Christians in the first sense. Secular matters were of second importance. Yet, worldly reality tended to force them into choosing sides and committing to causes. Luther’s higher argument is that princes cannot or never can be Christians. Yet, this is Luther’s invention, and not something Christ had proclaimed. Paul speaks on Christ’s behalf, yet he is not the authority of Christ Himself.

Plans of Actions, as Propositions of Folly (Stultitiae Laus, (writ., 1509, pub. 1511) Desiderius Erasmus)

Desiderius Erasmus: Peace should be the ultimate goal of both regions and secular factions. Christians should not fight Christians.

  • Wars are commanded by captains who benefit, and are proposed and backed by rulers. Yet, those who are most likely to suffer are the peasants and countryside inhabitants. War, to Erasmus, affects the poorer more and solutions for abrogating the “misfortunes resulting from it [...]”[64]

  • “If war is unavoidable, then [S]ome kind of plan ought to be devised that will terminate this constant change of Empire. Any kind of innovation or renewal brings in its wake uprisings and wars. One suggestion in this regard would be to have royal families marry within their own realms or at least within adjoining territories. This would lessen the problem of royal succession. It should be illegal to sell or alienate territories, as if free cities were up for sale. “[65]

  • “A certain frankness must be observed in pointing to the causes and occasion of war. Yet there are certain incidents that must be overlooked, for forbearance generates forbearance. There are times when peace must be purchased. [Megadeath’s, song that ‘peace sells, but no one is (who is) buying’ became quite a famous song for the band, as a political statement upon the realities of 20th century global warfare]. If one considers the tremendous destruction of men and property that purchase avoids, it is cheap at any price. Meanwhile let bishops turn again to their obligations and let the clergy act in a priestly manner. Monks should be cognizant of their profession. Theologians should concern themselves with what is worthy of Christian study. In every area let there be a combined effort to establish peace. This should be the aim of preaching and teaching.” [66]

Teaching on Personal Interests (Stultitiae Laus)

“Personal interests should in no way determine the preferences of the ruler but rather the common good. He should especially avoid travelling about and should confine his peregrinations to his own kingdom. Let him bear in mind the age-old adage: ‘The forehead is more excellent than the backside.’” [67]

The Common Consent (Stultitiae Laus)

  • Let him consider himself enriched only when he amasses wealth of his own and not of his neighbors. When confronted with the decision to declare war, he should have as his consultants neither young men, whose inexperience finds war attractive, nor those who stand to profit by public disturbance, nor those who fatten their purses at the expense of civic disasters. Rather let him chose older men renowned by their mercy and benevolence. In no case should war, such as terrible thing once begun, be instigated because of the disagreement of one or two men. The common consent of all must be obtained.” [68]

1523 “Of Earthy Authority”

  • Luther: 1523: Luther writes “Of Earthy Authority: Secular rulers have a better stake in the Devine plan. The Church was a parallel to the secular state in different periods of the medieval age, and no Church could lose property to a secular ruler, on threat of excommunication. It was only the Church that could judge people in the ecclesiastical estates. Anyone committed a crime could not be tried by a secular court unless The Church handed them over the secular authority. The Church does not execute people unless the papacies (the Papacy claims secular authority, that will be discussed later on) approve this punishment. Luther sees this as privileged position of the church which could abuse its power.
  • German ecclesiastical Laws under the authority of a secular prince: So Luther said, lets bring all laws under Frederick and his successors. All laws under Frederick, Luther claims will mean that Germany does not give in to Church taxation and subsidies. Was this really a theology or a power move by the Luther and Frederick! Now this is a hot topic of debate all over Europe. It also inspires the rights of the peasant authority. Luther uses the phrase “The priesthood of all believers.” For Luther is phrasing ideas that the peasants see that they can use as an advantage to end serfdom in Germany. So these peasants do not want to pay Frederick, they are slaves to Frederick, and people are saying if people embrace these Luther’s teachings, it will threaten the very foundation of society. And Luther says “no-no,” and a few years after his treatises an unfortunate circumstance take place.

Thomas Munzer: 12 Articles & 1524-5 the Peasant Revolt

1524-5 the Peasant Revolt change the course of history.

These Plagues changed the middle ages slavery system. About one-third of the population had diminished during the plagues, which made the peasants more politically strong. They made the foodstuff for the aristocracy, the church and the nobles. They garnered extreme importance because of their position in controlling the destiny of Europe. In doing so, serfdom was limited or abolished in the southern European lands, and the peasantry received more rights and freedom, because they were needed, it was the key event in the break-down in the feudal peasant serfdom era --  and some historians see a rebirth of serfdom in 16th-17th centuries, and this was much truer in Germany.  Serfdom was more repressive in Germany, so it was a tinder box of class tension. German serfs wanted to eliminate feudal dues, and wanted to eliminate 10% tithe-dues toward the Church, and these peasants were starving to death, undernourished, sickly and materially deprived. They had claimed why should we support some clergy in monasteries so far away who live some lives so comfortably while we suffer? When Luther’s ideas made a public appetence, by way of these printing presses, these peasants used, also, his argument for their own emancipation project.

  • Initially the peasants wanted their own pastor, and not to allow some Bishop from far away who would send a priest. The peasants wanted a priest form their own group.  So a manifesto for the peasants was drawn up, something called the 12 Articles. It was the first document to break away from Luther. Why? Luther would side with the German princes’ crackdown and genocide of the peasants – while officially calling for peace. The peasants claimed that Luther was a gluttonous (portraits of this time show Luther living the high-life, as he is portrayed as overweight – as overfed) person.
  • How did the Serf/peasants get excited about emancipation? German Aristocracy had embraced Luther. Yet, and Dominican Monk also embraced Luther’s ideas, Thomas Munzer b. 1491- d. 1525 ( a Dominican, he had taken on the more radical social position than Luther). He began free-– preaching in southern Black forest region of Germany. Munzer said that the Bible is about social relations, not just of salvation history. It is a social Gospel.  The peasants are entitled to secular representation, he argued. Luther had previously come to reiterate, ‘I want to free you from the chains of the Salivation History.’ And so Munzer is also saying to the peasants, ‘don’t you think that should apply to your economic lives.’ So what do the peasants say” Preach it to us oh, Munzer, preach it to us.” The Princes and Popes want to control us, the peasants had claimed under ideas of Munzer. And his ideas are popular (First in 1524, the peasant revolt). What they wanted was the abolition of serfdom.
  • Rhetorical language takes a turn toward the abusive. Luther was called Dr Liar and Dr. Soft Life. In response, Luther calls Munzer even worse words. The language becomes intense, and worse, it becomes a low-life affair, and not kind to each other – “where did their Christian humility go?” Straussburg was under the authority of Charles V, and Munzer, and he says to Luther ‘leave the university and travel and preach the word.’ But Luther writes back you want me to go out into the world and spread the word, but I do that already with my writings. So it is hard to understand this process of propaganda. So it will take time before the courts could ban these books because at the onset of the printing press, the courts had no idea how the people would take to information (these ideas).

First document to go against Luther: 12 Articles

  • First document to go against Luther: 12 Articles: Was small, and could be easily published and sent out all over Germany. 12 articles: What did peasants want? The Gospel calls for respect of the poor, and this is the basis of all the articles of the peasants. (1) We want our own pastor. (2) A just tithed, a large revision on taxation and an adjusted grain tax, and we do not more of our taxes going to bishops living high on the hog. (3) Custom of the lords to own us as their property. The bible says we are free and we want to be free. (4) Until now, custom exclaims that no commoner can catch fish or hunt. We want to hunt. (5) Wood  cutting for only lords, we want our woods back for us to use when we see fit. (7) No burden of taxes from lords. (6), (8-12) &c. The demands are not met.
  • (1524-25) Peasant Revolts, genocide, murder, war and Breaking Away from the Church. These peasant revolters pick up their farm tools and go after their lords but in many cases these lords now have weaponry: Armored horses, cannon, fire arms.
  • Massive Slaughter OK’d by Luther: 1525: Luther pens Against the Robbing and Murdering Hordes of Peasants, (c. May? 1525) (a.k.a, Against the murdering rapacious peasants).  Luther gives the nobility the right to kill the peasants.  100,000 peasants lose their lives, and Munzer is killed. It was a real slaughter, and in fact their claims were not that particularly radical.
  • German Princes get Scared: Summery of demands wanted to live free lives from their master. In 1525 the peasants are crushed, and ushers in a new chapter. And the new lords are going to be cautious to what reformations they’re going to latch on too. The Lutheran movement is spreading in Germany and the Princes had decided to go Lutheran. And they said, we need to write a “confession” so that all of us understand each other and do not go the way of the peasants by larger armies.
  • “It appears also, that Luther made a promise to Cardinal Cajetan, that he would  maintain silence if his opponents would enter into a similar agreement; from  which we may clearly perceive, that at that time he had no intention of  stirring up further commotions, but that he was desirous of peace: by degrees,  however, his attention was drawn to other subjects, as he was attacked on every hand, by illiterate adversaries.  Then followed disputations on "The Distinction between Laws Human and Divine," and, on "the Disgraceful Profanation of the Lord's Supper, by making a common sale of it, and its perversion in other ways," herein the whole design of sacrifices was explained, and the use of sacraments set forth; and when, now, the pious in monasteries found that the worship of images was to be relinquished, they began to decline from such an unhallowed devotion, Luther added to his "Explications of' the Doctrine of Repentance," of the Remission of Sins," of "Faith" and "Indulgences," these additional subjects, "The Distinction between laws Human and Divine," "The Doctrine of the Lord's Supper," with other sacraments, and also that "of Vows;" these were the main points of the controversy.  Eccius at this time instituted an inquiry into the extent of power possessed by the Bishop of Rome, for no other purpose than to excite the hatred of the Pope and of crowned heads against Luther.” [69]

1528 Sermon on the Catechism

These ideas comes from Luther’s preaching from three series of sermons on the Catechism. “These sermons were part of a regular pattern of presenting the ‘elements and fundamentals of Christian knowledge and life four times each year’. Hence they are expository and typify the teaching role of preaching in the Reformation. The sermons [topics] here included are the last of five of the third series of ten, beginning just after the exposition of the Ten Commandments. The entire series of ten form the basis for the Large and Small Catechisms.” [70]

All Catholic sacraments are not described in the Bible, Luther intends. Luther writes this work on what he believes are the only sacraments of The New Testament: “You have three parts, which we call the catechism [Kinderlehre] or common Christian teaching, set forth simply and plainly as I can.” (1) The Creed  (Confirmation) (2) Baptism: [Mark 16;15-16] baptism must be accompanied by faith. (3) The Lord’s Supper, this is the sacrament of the Alter. “First, the sacrament is Christ’s body and blood in bread and wine comprehended in the Word. Secondly, the benefit is forgiveness of sins. This includes the need and the benefit. Thirdly, those who believe should come.”[71] This is not transubstantiation, but consubstantiation.  Besides the Lord’s Supper, Luther intends that the Ten Commandments are also relevant, and accuses the Church of not following them. Yet, Luther had just advocated for murdering the uprising peasants by German princes who further demonstrated he was not concerned with consistency or substance.

Luther understands of historical trends

Luther understands of historical trends. (don’t laugh, I think he is serious here). “What does my prayer matter?” This is just the same as if a son were to say to his father: What does it matter whether I am obedient or not? No indeed, you must pray. That is why you are so barbarous; it is because we do not pray.” [72] [...] So it is here, when these three parts are preached, we have only taught the catechism. Later, when they [German children] are grown up, we will preach to them on how to fight [war].”[73] The context is in military service of German children and what should be taught to them in accompanied religious indoctrination while young and what mothers and fathers should expect to teach their children about military service to the state. Transitionally, the Germans had recieved labels as Barbarians throughout some periods in history. Since Christianity is about civilizing people, Luther in fact, uses the correct terminology when stating that without prayer we are barbarous.

1530 The Lutheran Doctrine Written By Others

Philip Melanchthon writes this confession with other scholastic personnel. Luther does take part.  Luther is a passive player. For More see (Augsburd Confession of 1530, lists, NR 05, Pre-Reformations and Reformation(s).

Augsburd Confession of 1530: Sets foundation of principles for the The Lutheran Doctrine. Luther was not sufficient on writing doctrines – Luther was a preacher. So the German princes hire people to hash out a doctrine for their protection.

  • Principle, Primacy of faith.
  • Christian Bible is the authority, not the Catholic Church and traditions.
  • Two books of revelation, Bible and the Traditions are the revelation books of the Catholic Church, and they used these to control populations
  • Now, only two sacraments are accepted, and not the three sacraments of Luther. They are Baptism and the Lord’s Supper: Luther claims only three, so now only two.
  • Consubstantiation is a Scotus revision on transubstantiation of Thomas Aquinas’ interpretation of Aristotle’s rationalization which was argued by Duns Scotus of whom Luther had taken its criteria and had been given the credit. While Luther rarely uses philosophical constructs, and mainly argues against the philosophy as a means to interpret the Bible, consubstantiation intends the bread and wine are substitutes for Christ’s body and blood. Calvin rejected Luther’s adoption of Scotus’ medieval scholastic theology that any type of metaphysical relation could be assumed for the Lord’s Supper.  Luther could not understand what was going on so he used Scotus’ explanation. To Scotus, he assumed there was no spiritual transformation, but an actual substitution ( apparently running metaphysically parallel) which had taken place between the wine and bread which was donned from Jesus’ statements that these are his body and blood. The Catholic Priest consecrated the bread and wine and this allows the holy spirit, from the treasury of grace, to transform ( not substitute) the bread and wine into the body and blood of God ( i.e. Jesus Christ). The Christian Eucharist ritual was performed often in the Catholic Church, and was a centerpiece of the mass. Luther mixed up the concept and claimed that a substitution was a correct identifying application because the concept was symbolic of the Word of God. Therefore, the Holy Spirit existed alongside the substance.  In another interpretation, Luther intends, it was Jesus giving his disciples the orders to go out and preach the Word of God as the New Testament. Luther further confuses this idea in that he intends Jesus did not come to end the Old Testament covenant, as the sophists intend, but to add on the New Testament and have them both operating. This view by Luther, although not very critically thought out, intends that Mosaic laws run parallel and not in contention to Jesus’ justifications according to Paul, who made them up as he went along. Luther’s claim that Christians do not need rules, ignores that Moses confirms that they his followers did need rules. In order to correct this aberration, Luther intended a predestination argument that solves this dilemma. His thesis for this argument is that some people are born and are not given a chance at becoming Christians. Therefore, laws portend to them and not Christians. It is an elaborate argument, to say the least. But most of all it demonstrates that Luther did not form a theology (which is based upon a certain consistency and congruency) which helps explain why the German princes hired theologians to write their emancipation “Doctrine,” (Augsburd Confession, 1530) instead of Luther. They intended he could not fulfill this type of doctrinal work. Erasmus in The Praise of Folly, (pub. 1511) emotes that linguistics (bi-linguals) often promote themselves as scholars or theologians. Luther’s linguistics help us understand the finer points of translation and transcription, but his interpretation leaves much to be desired. Luther will spend much of his life grappling in linguistics – between German, Greek and the three main forms of Latin of this time. In a sense, Luther uses extremely liberal methods for insinuating what the Bible stated. For example, Luther intends a permissible sacrament is infant baptism. The Anabaptist would point out there is no precedence for this ritual in the Bible. Jesus was not an infant when John had baptized him, and therefore the model is formed. Luther takes the traditional medieval argument that babies need baptism to safeguard their future in the immediate.
  • No more substance maximums from theology of the Eucharist.
  • Aristotle is fully condemned by Luther, and Augustinian had a lot of Aristotle reasoning and he attacks all of that.

Lutheran Theology is not by Luther: Combination: Summa Theologica (?) of Thomas Aquinas was in companion of Aristotle’s reasoning. So now we need a companion to Lutheranism. What is interesting as Lutheranism advances, the need for an organized systematic understanding? So Lutheran theology emerges! Within the Lutheran movement some companion teachings to his ideas of faith exists: everything is accompanied by rationalization arguments. This man was Melanchton: He creates the Loci Communes: Melanchton creates the foundation of the theology of Lutherans.  Melanchton will go back after the systematic theology arguments, and argue for Aristotle’s reason to be reintroduced as a theological sound principle. The revival of Aristotle was a part of Renaissance thinking. Yet, Luther seems to be an anti-renaissance person who by attacking Aristotle led to a solely political position for his ideas. But once the Church of Lutherans matures, Melanchton argues a need for philosophy to get at some theological sound principles back into conceptual model. At a political level: Luther is important, yet at a Theological level, Melanchton is important. A theological cause for the success of Lutheran’s teachings, Melanchton competes with Aquinas. The Printing Press  helps to disseminate his teachings. 

  • 1530: Charles V called for an arbitration meeting between Protestants and Catholics. It was the ( OR DIET OF WORMS.  “Luther, however, retained unaltered the Apostles, the Nicene, and the  Athanesian Creeds; but he explained in many of his writings to what extent, and on what grounds, a change must needs be effected in human rites and traditions; what form of doctrine he wished to retain, and what administration of the sacraments he most approved, were obvious from a confession which the Elector-John, Duke of Saxony, and Prince Philip Landgrave of Hesse, &c. presented to the Emperor Charles the Fifth, at an imperial diet, in the year 1530, and are apparent both from the rites of the church in that city, and from the doctrine with which our church now resounds, the chief of which is clearly comprehended in the confession.” [74]
  • Another major tool was Lutheran Universities. And the estimate of those years hat Luther lectured at Wittenburg University, was estimated around 16,000 students. So he was turning out an army of Lutheran polemicists. Luther, as with Erasmus, and the Catholic Church did not “primarily” use the four Apostle authoritative books (Luke, Matthews, Mark and John) to construct their church theologies or foundational apparatuses. Luther basically used two quotes of St. Paul to reconstruct Christianity into a confessional ideology of liberalization and anarchic will. The German princes used both the liberalization and anarchic will (that is to be understood as the emancipation from the Latin Church). Melanchton then formulated a rational into the new construction of Christianity and formed a Lutheran theology.
  • 1546-1555 Charles V, old now, and suffering from gout wanted to end the religious wars as part of his legacy. (German on-and-off Catholic and Protestant wars) and no  one gives in, Germans have the church lands and drains Charles V’s coffers, and the king is getting older and sicker.
  • Charles V had Gout ( at this time) is from eating too much meat, and not enough vitamins and fruits. It cripples the joints. And 1555, Charles wanted to come to compromise, and he has a Diet of Augsburg called in 1555, to come up to some solution to stop the warfare between Protestant and Catholics. So they decide in the German lands to allow autonomy in regards to each local ruler’s choice of religion. The German princes agree upon this. These Princes will have their choice to become either Protestant or Catholic.  So whoever rules gets to decide what religion will reside in these regions, but this pertains to the peasants. Whomever reigns will decide the religion of the realm. All have to accept it. It was an enormous change in Religious public life and the religious landscape changes at this time. No more catholic dominance. “A new set of possibilities are on the scene.”
  • Philip Melancthons’ Superstitions of early Church Fathers ( attack upon Erasmus)  and Philosophy of Aristotle Reintroduced to Lutheranism: “I am by the clamours of Epicureans and hypocrites who either deride or condemn the plain truth, it is my decided opinion, that the catholic church accords in receiving the doctrine sounded forth in our temples, as the voice of God, and that it is incumbent on us, that a due recognition of it should pervade our devotions as well as our entire lives: in short, that this is the very doctrine, of which the Son of God says, "If a man love me he will keep my words, and my Father will love him and we will come unto him and make our abode with him." I here speak of that profound doctrine as it is understood and explained in our churches by pious and learned men, for although some may expound it more aptly than others, or one may sometimes speak with greater asperity than another, yet on the whole there is a general agreement among the wise and good, on subjects of this character. Whilst I have reflected much and frequently on the subject of doctrine, in times least, up to the days of the Apostles, I have plainly perceived that after the first reign of purity had passed away, four remarkable changes in doctrine, followed. During the age of Origen, although there were some who thought correctly, amongst whom I would place Methodius, for he discouraged the fantasies of Origen, yet in the minds of the people, he made the Gospel bend to Philosophy, that is to say, he encouraged the opinion that the just exercise of reason, merits the remission of sins, and, that this is the justice of which it is said, "The just shall live by faith." At this time the distinction between the law and the gospel, with the remembrance of apostolic  truths, was entirely lost sight of; nor did the words Letter, Spirit, Justice and Faith retain their original signification.  Thus the proper use of words which are the signs of ideas, being lost, it became necessary that something should be devised in their place.  From these germs arose the Pelagian error,  which was widely spread, so that although the Apostles had taught holy doctrine, drawn from the pure and salutary fountains of gospel truth, Origen mingled therewith much impurity. [ actually the same charge of impurity can be assessed to Luther’s Biblical projects]  That the errors of this age might be corrected, at least in some degree, God raised up Augustine; he partially cleansed the sources, nor do I doubt that if he could pass a judgment on the controversies of the present time, he would  cast in his vote with us: certainly on the subjects of the Free Remission of Sins, Justification by Faith, the Use of the Sacraments, and other points of less importance, he does think with us.  For although in some parts of his writings, he expresses himself more distinctly than in others, yet, if his  reader will exercise reason and candour in judging him, he will perceive that his sentiments agree with our own; and, although our adversaries sometimes quote passages taken from his writings, against us, and appeal loudly to the  Fathers, they do it not from any regard for truth or antiquity, but like sycophants, they invest images of the present day, with the authority of the ancients, to whom these images were unknown.”[75] [ This argument is not prefaced well. St. Paul was not of the inner circle of Jesus Christ’s apostles, yet Luther and Melancthon give St. Paul the authority over the other Apostles, because his argument fits their immediate deeds and interests.].

“Freedom of a Christian” (Written to Leo X, 1520)

Luther claims that Islam is more just than Christianity. Yet, this can be explained in that he is attempting a sophisticated attack which is yet still polemic and geared toward raising passions than understandings. “Is it not true that under the vast expanse of heaven there is nothing more corrupt, more pestilential, more offensive than the Roman Curia? It surpasses beyond all comparison the godlessness of the Turks so that, indeed, although it was once a gage of heaven, it is now an open mouth of hell, such a mouth cannot be shut of the Wrath of God.”[76] Since the Ottomans had not recorded their government activities in the sixteenth century this claim by Luther is false. Luther makes this insertion by hearsay.  “Freedom of a Christian,” written in 1520, and published in November, is marked by Luther’s final attempts (two other works during this period) to plea too the Catholic Church for ending financial privilege in German lands. Many historiographies will attempt to say that it was an attempt at conciliation with the Roman Curia or the papacy in general. Some had exaggerated the authority and privilege of the Pope as well. Luther seemed to have believed this or used this knowledge for his own and/or group’s interest.  Yet, Luther narrowly understandings these arguments by the Roman government and Church. Luther, did not need to write three treaties in order to say what was on his master’s mind. All he had to write was a short note to Rome Catholic Church: ‘We are not going to give you anymore money. We will fight and die if necessary.’ That is Luther’s entire argument of his life. His German masters, according to the various German peasants, fed him well and gave him a good lifestyle while they toiled and died poor. Luther even claims why his thesis is such as so. “ To enlarge upon this, I never intended to attack the Roman Curia or to raise any controversy concerning it. But when I saw all efforts to save it were hopeless [ is he actually being honest?], I despised it, gave it a bill of divorce [ Deut. 42:1], and said, “Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy” [ Rev. 22:11]. Then I turned to the quiet and peaceful study of the Holy Scriptures so that I might be helpful to my brothers around me.”[77] While Luther is speaking about others who wrote on champion the doctrine of Peter’s primacy, he is also replacing Peter’s primacy with Paul’s primacy. A Paul primacy would keep food in his mouth, vast protection and friendship, and keep his hero status as Christian factional writer. While Erasmus is trying desperately to unify both main factions, The Protestants and the Catholics, Luther is trying his best to divide them by claiming that the Church had passed beyond the point of repair – which is a surprising claims unless viewed under a polemic, who’s interests are in factionalism rather than unificationalism.

  • Laws are not prescribed for believers: (Luther: Preface to New Testament) “On the other hand, Moses, in his [law] books, urges, drives, threatens, lashes out, and severely punishes; for he is a maker and administrator of law [ yet so are kings and princes?]. That, moreover, is why laws are not prescribed for believers.”[78] This is part of the reaction of Luther on the politics of fear, an especially crucial interpretation to his psychological makeup.
  • Holy Roman Empire: Classic statements: it was not an empire, not holy or Roman – it was not a unified nation state, many political divisions existed, and it was mainly German. During the time of Martin Luther and his world, Politics were fragmented and political arrangements – it was a “loose” imperial system, depending if a prince was ruling. Like the Prince of Saxony had semi-autonomous power. The Holy Roman Empire was fragmented.  Political arrangements a sense were like Italian republican city states (without constitutions) that over time princes purchased certain rights of autonomy from the Holy Roman Empire.  They became their semi-autonomous principalities over time. They were also under jurisdiction of empire, but ruled by individual princes, with some autonomy– and some of these princes are electors of the Holy Roman Emperor. Charles gets the lands, but technically the princes are delegates and still need to vote him in to the office or another Holy Roman Emperor. Charles was elected over Francis because he spent more money as gifts to the German electorate princes than Francis could muster.

The Church is under stress, and Erasmus had already been talking about problems on the church, practices that did not adhere to the scriptures, theology and there were debates about these discrepancies.

 “Pagan Servitude of the Church” (1520)

Luther on Sacraments in a.k.a. Babylon Captivity (1520)  

Luther attacked the Sacraments in “Pagan Servitude of the Church” (1520). He denied four of the main Sacraments, and kept Baptism and the Eucharist, and revised version on penance. Confession was possible between laymen, and now not the authority as traditional under priests or men of the Holy Orders. Marriage was a civil affair and not a sacred affair of the Holy Spirit. However, the Church could give a marriage a blessing. Ordination and confirmation were rites of the Church, but held no Holy Spirit power of grace-forgiveness and now were not sacraments. Extreme unction, or blessing of the sick, were unscriptural and, therefore, renounced.

  • Transubstantiation: argued by the Roman Catholic Church. The Roman Cathloic Church as a permanent alter where the Priest persides and Holy Communion was served multiple times a day, then at other peiords many times a week to once a week. Reformationist changed it to once a month. Such as John Calvin who took the alter as the centerpiece and moved it off to the side to have it brought only once a month to serve communion. To Calvin, Consubstantiation and Transubstantiation were made up and Calvinists should treat it as nothing more than a ritual, and nothing less. Martin Luther argued “ the bread and the win have no need to be transubstantiated [...].”[79] To Luther, the sacrament is Christ’s testament that he had bequeathed to be distributed after his death. It was argued as consubstantiation. How so? Luther intends, “Though philosophy cannot grasp it, yet faith can. The Authority of the Word of God goes beyond the capacity of our mind.” [80] This was his thesis on the Lord’ Supper, one of the three sacraments Luther deemed related into the Bible. Like John Calvin, Luther had argued lets initiate what Christ had initiated.
  • What is Christ’s Testament? Luther intends these sophists were incorrect and that the Old Testament was not refuted or done away with by Jesus Christ. Here, in Pagan Servitude, Luther extrapolates on what is the testament of Jesus:He does not first accept our works, and then saves us. The Word of God is prior to all else; faith follows it; then loves succeeds faith, and gives rise to every good work [yet love is discerning and bias, being a part of the emotional system]. Love does not cause evil, for it is the fulfilling of the law [Luther was making this up]. There is no way by which man can commune with God, or treat with him, except by faith; that is to say, no man by his works, but God by his promises, it the author of our salvation.” [81]
  • This affirmation and Luther’s thesis in Pagan Servitude illustrates that for most part the seven sacraments controlled by ‘pardon-merchants’ of the Catholic Church needed to be done away with and that there was no evidence of this in the Bible. Yet, the Catholic Church does reveal evidence through Aristotelian philosophy. Luther distained engaging in philosophy, except in paces that served his purpose, and did not see abstract or difficult conceptual criteria in the Biblical mysteries. Luther, as with the Anabaptists, Calvin and others intend that Rome should not control what they deem as sole interpreters of the sacred scriptures. The Catholic Church’s claim was that a investigation and through education needed to be considered before interpreting the Bible. The evidence of the salivation history and the economy of salvation is argued as legitimate in the Roman Catholic Bible. To get around the Rome interpretation, Luther argues that there are two kingdoms in which Christ and his apostles and early Christians had argued. The kingdom of God is spiritual and can be only viewed as otherworldly, and that the kingdom of the flesh or earth describes the teachings and doings of Jesus Christ and his sermons and individual lessons. This meant to Luther Jesus was preaching to non Christians or potential Christians of his time with specific duties and responsibilities of the state structures and living within a world of secular power. Whereas, his other teachings were of a different sort and were communicated only to Christians, and these were solely of heaven and otherworldly. Christian should not use the sword against another Christian (Secular Authority, 1523). Christians are only about love, non-violence, and faith in salvation, and need not to be engaged in any duty other than believing they are saved.


Luther's Christian Construction: The Pauline Letters

The order of epistles

In the order they appear in the New Testament, the Pauline epistles are:









Προς Ρωμαίους

Epistula ad Romanos




First Corinthians

Προς Κορινθίους Α

Epistula I ad Corinthios

1 Cor



Second Corinthians

Προς Κορινθίους Β

Epistula II ad Corinthios

2 Cor




Προς Γαλάτας

Epistula ad Galatas





Προς Εφεσίους

Epistula ad Ephesios





Προς Φιλιππησίους

Epistula ad Philippenses





Προς Κολασσαείς

Epistula ad Colossenses




First Thessalonians

Προς Θεσσαλονικείς Α

Epistula I ad Thessalonicenses

1 Thess



Second Thessalonians

Προς Θεσσαλονικείς Β

Epistula II ad Thessalonicenses

2 Thess



First Timothy

Προς Τιμόθεον Α

Epistula I ad Timotheum

1 Tim



Second Timothy

Προς Τιμόθεον Β

Epistula II ad Timotheum

2 Tim




Προς Τίτον

Epistula ad Titum





Προς Φιλήμονα

Epistula ad Philemonem




[1] Hillerbrand, Hans J. "Martin Luther: Indulgences and salvation," Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2007.

[2] Luther, Martin, Martin Luther, Selections From His Writings, ed. and intro, John Dillenberger (New York: Random House, Inc., 1962), p. 53., “both are Paul’s own statements, who says in I Cor. 9 [:19], “ For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all,” and in Rom. 13 [:8], “Owe no one anything except to love one another.” Luther then adds his own interpretation: “Love by its very nature is ready to serve and be subject to him who is loved. So Christ, although he was Lord of all, was “born of woman, born under the law” [Gal. 4.4], and therefore was at the same time a free man and a servant, “ in the form of God” and “of a servant” [Phil. 2:6-7].

[3] Luther, Martin, Martin Luther, Selections From His Writings, ed. and intro, John Dillenberger (New York: Random House, Inc., 1962), p. 53. “According to the spiritual nature, which men refer to as the soul, he is called a spiritual inner, or new man. According to the bodily nature, which men refer to as flesh, he is called a carnal, outward, or old man, of whom the Apostle writes in II Cor. 4 [:16]...”

[4] Luther, Martin, Martin Luther, Selections From His Writings, ed. and intro, John Dillenberger (New York: Random House, Inc., 1962), p. 55.

[5] Luther, Martin, Martin Luther, Selections From His Writings, ed. and intro, John Dillenberger (New York: Random House, Inc., 1962), p. 55.

[6] Dolan, John P, The Essential Erasmus, trans., Dolan, 2nd.  ed.  (New York: Meridian, the Penguin Group, 1983), p. 167. ( The Praise of Folly)

[7] note 15, 17, Marty, Martin. Martin Luther. Viking Penguin, 2004, p. 1 & note 16, Brecht, Martin. Martin Luther. tr. James L. Schaaf, Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1985–93, 1:3–5. in Wikipedia Martin Luther, unsourced editing, accessed November 2008.

[8] A HISTORY OF THE LIFE AND ACTIONS OF THE VERY REVEREND DR. MARTIN LUTHER, FAITHFULLY WRITTEN BY PHILIP MELANCTHON ( WITTEMBURG: [Sic] 1549, reprint J. Unwin (London: Shelfmark, 1845),  VM33/L97h, pp.157-251, available from http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/wittenberg/wittenberg-luther.html#sw-bio; Internet, [ accessed October 2008]. "It was not therefore poverty, but religious zeal that led him to this kind of monastic life."

[9] A HISTORY OF THE LIFE AND ACTIONS OF THE VERY REVEREND DR. MARTIN LUTHER, FAITHFULLY WRITTEN BY PHILIP MELANCTHON ( WITTEMBURG: [Sic] 1549, reprint J. Unwin (London: Shelfmark, 1845),  VM33/L97h, pp.157-251, available from http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/wittenberg/wittenberg-luther.html#sw-bio; Internet, [ accessed October 2008]. "It was not therefore poverty, but religious zeal that led him to this kind of monastic life."

[10] A HISTORY OF THE LIFE AND ACTIONS OF THE VERY REVEREND DR. MARTIN LUTHER, FAITHFULLY WRITTEN BY PHILIP MELANCTHON ( WITTEMBURG: [Sic] 1549, reprint J. Unwin (London: Shelfmark, 1845),  VM33/L97h, pp.157-251, available from http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/wittenberg/wittenberg-luther.html#sw-bio; Internet, [ accessed October 2008]. "It was not therefore poverty, but religious zeal that led him to this kind of monastic life."

[11] Ibid., Melancthon.

[12] Ibid., Melancthon.

[13] Ibid., Melancthon.

[14] my word, full of sources impended toward a viewpoint.

[15] Ibid., Melancthon.

[16] Ibid., Melancthon.

[17] Ibid., Melancthon.

[18] Ibid., Melancthon.

[19] Ibid., Melancthon.

[20] Ibid., Melancthon.

[21] Ibid., Melancthon.

[22]  note 32, Wikipedia, Martin Luther, accessed November 2008, "Johann Tetzel," Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2007: "Tetzel's experiences as a preacher of indulgences, especially between 1503 and 1510, led to his appointment as general commissioner by Albrecht, archbishop of Mainz, who, deeply in debt to pay for a large accumulation of benefices, had to contribute a considerable sum toward the rebuilding of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Albrecht obtained permission from Pope Leo X to conduct the sale of a special plenary indulgence (i.e., remission of the temporal punishment of sin), half of the proceeds of which Albrecht was to claim to pay the fees of his benefices. In effect, Tetzel became a salesman whose product was to cause a scandal in Germany that evolved into the greatest crisis (the Reformation) in the history of the Western church."

[23] note 33, Wikipedia, Martin Luther, accessed November 2008, (Trent, l. c., can. xii: "Si quis dixerit, fidem justificantem nihil aliud esse quam fiduciam divinae misericordiae, peccata remittentis propter Christum, vel eam fiduciam solam esse, qua justificamur, a.s.").

[24] note 34, Wikipedia, Martin Luther, accessed November 2008, (cf. Trent, Sess. VI, cap. iv, xiv).

[25] note 35, Wikipedia, Martin Luther, accessed November 2008, Hillerbrand, Hans J. "Martin Luther: Indulgences and salvation," Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2007.

[26] Ibid., note 35, Wikipedia, Martin Luther, accessed November 2008.

[27] Luther, Martin, Martin Luther, Selections From His Writings, ed. and intro, John Dillenberger (New York: Random House, Inc., 1962), p. 495. from Disputation of Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences, 31st October 1517 or 1st November 1517. Some say he did not nail these theses to the Castle door, but taught these in lecture.

[28] Luther, Martin, Martin Luther, Selections From His Writings, ed. and intro, John Dillenberger (New York: Random House, Inc., 1962), p. 495. from Disputation of Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences.

[29] Luther, Martin, Martin Luther, Selections From His Writings, ed. and intro, John Dillenberger (New York: Random House, Inc., 1962), p. 495. from Disputation of Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences.

[30] Luther, Martin, Martin Luther, Selections From His Writings, ed. and intro, John Dillenberger (New York: Random House, Inc., 1962), p. 495. from Disputation of Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences.

[31] Luther, Martin, Martin Luther, Selections From His Writings, ed. and intro, John Dillenberger (New York: Random House, Inc., 1962), p. 364. in Secular Authority, 1523.

[32] Luther, Martin, Martin Luther, Selections From His Writings, ed. and intro, John Dillenberger (New York: Random House, Inc., 1962), p. 375., in Secular Authority.

[33] Luther, Martin, Martin Luther, Selections From His Writings, ed. and intro, John Dillenberger (New York: Random House, Inc., 1962), p. 403.

[34] Luther, Martin, Martin Luther, Selections From His Writings, ed. and intro, John Dillenberger (New York: Random House, Inc., 1962), p. 406.

[35] Luther, Martin, Martin Luther, Selections From His Writings, ed. and intro, John Dillenberger (New York: Random House, Inc., 1962), p. 406.

[36] Luther, Martin, Martin Luther, Selections From His Writings, ed. and intro, John Dillenberger (New York: Random House, Inc., 1962), p. 407.

[37] note 51, unsourced wikipedia entry Martin Luther, [ accessed November 2008].

[38] Luther, Martin, Martin Luther, Selections From His Writings, ed. and intro, John Dillenberger (New York: Random House, Inc., 1962), p. 253.

[39] Luther, Martin, Martin Luther, Selections From His Writings, ed. and intro, John Dillenberger (New York: Random House, Inc., 1962), p. 258.

[40] Luther, Martin, Martin Luther, Selections From His Writings, ed. and intro, John Dillenberger (New York: Random House, Inc., 1962), pp. 253-254.

[41] Luther, Martin, Martin Luther, Selections From His Writings, ed. and intro, John Dillenberger (New York: Random House, Inc., 1962), p. 254.

[42] Luther, Martin, Martin Luther, Selections From His Writings, ed. and intro, John Dillenberger (New York: Random House, Inc., 1962), p. 261.

[43] Ibid., Melancthon.

[44] Luther, Martin, Concerning Christian Liberty, A letter from Martin Luther to Pope Leo X (Wittenberg: 6th September, 1520), in “Project Wittenberg” (Ft. Wayne, IN, online), available from http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/wittenberg/luther/web/cclib-1.html; Internet [accessed Fall 2008].


[45] Ibid., Luther, Martin, Concerning Christian Liberty (1520).

[46] note 54 and Wikipedia unsourced entry for Martin Luther, section Diet of Worms, accessed November 2008.

[47] note 55- 57 and Wikipedia unsourced entry for Martin Luther, section Diet of Worms, accessed November 2008.

[48] Luther, Martin, Martin Luther, Selections From His Writings, ed. and intro, John Dillenberger (New York: Random House, Inc., 1962), p. 365., in Secular Authority.

[49] Luther, Martin, Martin Luther, Selections From His Writings, ed. and intro, John Dillenberger (New York: Random House, Inc., 1962), p. 364., in Secular Authority.

[50] Luther, Martin, Martin Luther, Selections From His Writings, ed. and intro, John Dillenberger (New York: Random House, Inc., 1962), p. 378., in Secular Authority.

[51] Luther, Martin, Martin Luther, Selections From His Writings, ed. and intro, John Dillenberger (New York: Random House, Inc., 1962), p. 378., in Secular Authority.

[52] Luther, Martin, Martin Luther, Selections From His Writings, ed. and intro, John Dillenberger (New York: Random House, Inc., 1962), p. 378., in Secular Authority.

[53] Luther, Martin, Martin Luther, Selections From His Writings, ed. and intro, John Dillenberger (New York: Random House, Inc., 1962), p. 372., in Secular Authority.

[54] Luther, Martin, Martin Luther, Selections From His Writings, ed. and intro, John Dillenberger (New York: Random House, Inc., 1962), p. 374., in Secular Authority.

[55] Luther, Martin, Martin Luther, Selections From His Writings, ed. and intro, John Dillenberger (New York: Random House, Inc., 1962), p. 374., in Secular Authority.

[56] Luther, Martin, Martin Luther, Selections From His Writings, ed. and intro, John Dillenberger (New York: Random House, Inc., 1962), p. 374., in Secular Authority.

[57] Luther, Martin, Martin Luther, Selections From His Writings, ed. and intro, John Dillenberger (New York: Random House, Inc., 1962), p. 372., in Secular Authority.

[58] Luther, Martin, Martin Luther, Selections From His Writings, ed. and intro, John Dillenberger (New York: Random House, Inc., 1962), p. 374., in Secular Authority.

[59] Luther, Martin, Martin Luther, Selections From His Writings, ed. and intro, John Dillenberger (New York: Random House, Inc., 1962), p. 385., in Secular Authority.

[60] Luther, Martin, Martin Luther, Selections From His Writings, ed. and intro, John Dillenberger (New York: Random House, Inc., 1962), p. 385., in Secular Authority.

[61] Luther, Martin, Martin Luther, Selections From His Writings, ed. and intro, John Dillenberger (New York: Random House, Inc., 1962), p. 385., in Secular Authority.

[62] Luther, Martin, Martin Luther, Selections From His Writings, ed. and intro, John Dillenberger (New York: Random House, Inc., 1962), p. 384., in Secular Authority.

[63] Luther, Martin, Martin Luther, Selections From His Writings, ed. and intro, John Dillenberger (New York: Random House, Inc., 1962), p. 398., in Secular Authority.

[64] Dolan, John P, The Essential Erasmus, trans., Dolan, 2nd.  ed.  (New York: Meridian, the Penguin Group, 1983), p. 194. ( The Praise of Folly)

[65] Dolan, John P, The Essential Erasmus, trans., Dolan, 2nd.  ed.  (New York: Meridian, the Penguin Group, 1983), p. 194. ( The Praise of Folly)

[66] Dolan, John P, The Essential Erasmus, trans., Dolan, 2nd.  ed.  (New York: Meridian, the Penguin Group, 1983), p. 195. ( The Praise of Folly)

[67] Dolan, John P, The Essential Erasmus, trans., Dolan, 2nd.  ed.  (New York: Meridian, the Penguin Group, 1983), p. 195. ( The Praise of Folly)

[68] Dolan, John P, The Essential Erasmus, trans., Dolan, 2nd.  ed.  (New York: Meridian, the Penguin Group, 1983), p. 195. ( The Praise of Folly)

[69] Ibid., Melancthon.

[70] Luther, Martin, Martin Luther, Selections From His Writings, ed. and intro, John Dillenberger (New York: Random House, Inc., 1962), p. 207.

[71] Luther, Martin, Martin Luther, Selections From His Writings, ed. and intro, John Dillenberger (New York: Random House, Inc., 1962), p. 239.

[72] Luther, Martin, Martin Luther, Selections From His Writings, ed. and intro, John Dillenberger (New York: Random House, Inc., 1962), p. 216.

[73] Luther, Martin, Martin Luther, Selections From His Writings, ed. and intro, John Dillenberger (New York: Random House, Inc., 1962), p. 228. “There are others in the state who educate children, others go off to war. Some have food and drink, other bear arms.”

[74] Ibid., Melancthon.

[75] Ibid., Melancthon.

[76] Luther, Martin, Martin Luther, Selections From His Writings, ed. and intro, John Dillenberger (New York: Random House, Inc., 1962), p. 47., Freedom of a Christian (November 1520).

[77] Ibid., Melancthon.

[78] Luther, Martin, Martin Luther, Selections From His Writings, ed. and intro, John Dillenberger (New York: Random House, Inc., 1962), p. 17.


[79] Luther, Martin, Martin Luther, Selections From His Writings, ed. and intro‚ John Dillenberger (New York: Random House, Inc., 1962), p. 270. In Pagan Servitude... ( 1520).

[80] Ibid. Pagan Servitude... ( 1520).

[81] Ibid., p. 274, Pagan Servitude... ( 1520).

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