Thursday, January 03, 2008

Excommunicate Luther!

"Here I stand, I can do no other, God help me, Amen..." (Martin Luther)

On this day in 1521, Pope Leo X issued the papal bull Decet Romanum Pontificem, excommunicating Martin Luther, the German priest whose questioning of certain Roman Catholic practices initiated the Protestant Reformation.

Luther fought the good fight of faith to the very end. Seized by a crippling heart attack, Luther eulogized before his death, "When I die, I want to be a ghost... So I can continue to pester the bishops, priests and godless monks until that they have more trouble with a dead Luther than they could have had before with a thousand living ones."

Here is a short biography with links:

1483 (November 10) Born in Eisleben
1505 Monk in Erfurt
1512 Doctor of Theology in Wittenberg
1517 Nailed the 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church
1521 Outlawed and exiled to the Wartburg
1522 Return to Wittenberg
1525 Married Katharina von Bora
1534 Published the complete Bible in German
1546 (February 18) Died in Eisleben

Through faith in Christ, therefore, Christ’s righteousness becomes our righteousness and all that he has becomes ours; rather, he himself becomes ours. Therefore the Apostle calls it 'the righteousness of God' in Rom. 1:17; For in the gospel 'the righteousness of God is revealed…; as it is written, 'The righteous shall live by his faith.' Finally, in the same epistle, chapter 3:28, such a faith is called 'the righteousness of God': 'We hold that a man is justified by faith.' This is an infinite righteousness, and one that swallows up all sins in a moment, for it is impossible that sin should exist in Christ. On the contrary, he who trusts in Christ exists in Christ; he is one with Christ, having the same righteousness as he. It is therefore impossible that sin should remain in him. This righteousness is primary; it is the basis, the cause, the source of all our own actual righteousness. For this is the righteousness given in place of the original righteousness lost in Adam. It accomplishes the same as that original righteousness would have accomplished; rather, it accomplishes more.” (Luther – Two Kinds of Righteousness)

Enjoy, ron

Note: A site devoted to interactive annotative study of the writing of Martin Luther can be searched here.

Note: On this PBS site there are a number of interesting offerings included with a documentary titled Martin Luther: The Reluctant Revolutionary.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How ironic- I think I was excommunicated from the Lutheran Church!