2009-01-14_ChurchHistory - Page 1 of 6 Church History David...

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Page 1 of 6 Church History David Steinmetz January 14, 2009 Always a sucker for a cup of coffee. The reformation in so far as Luther was an actor in it…. The reformation is more than just an item in Luther’s resume. And yet he is an important and dominating figure. Most Catholics who want to talk about the Reformation, mostly they just want to talk about Luther. In spite of Calvin. And it’s true that his influence is hard to deny. Remnants of Luther. Not just Lutherans, and not just an “intra-Christian” fight. He teaches from time to time at University of Notre Dame. He is trying to break down the idea that there are just Protestants and Catholics from the beginning of the reformation on. It starts out as an intra-Catholic fight. It was quite a long time before there was a clear line of what we call Protestant and what we call Catholic. Rather, best to think of Protestants as “Catholics with an attitude.” There are still lots of “Catholics with an attitude”. It begins with a fight between Catholic and Catholic over the same Bible. The direction it takes is that in the end there is a split between Christians so some are Roman Catholic, and others are Protestant. But the notion that there is a firm line at the beginning is just wrong. Luther was taking a stand, defending to the death Catholic truth. It’s not just about the Bible. Who understood Augustine correctly? Who understood the early Christian fathers accurately? Which is the more ancient form of Christianity? It is a fight that can only be understood as an insider’s fight. It’s not like when they landed at Jamestown and they were sort of Anglican… It’s just not the story. Striking changes that are instituted in the developing Protestant reformation. One of the changes has to do not so much with preaching itself, but with its importance and its relative importance in the parlance of the common people. In the period before the Reformation, a great many parish priests didn’t do much preaching. Say it’s 1450 and you want to hear a really good sermon. Father Wacker,
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Page 2 of 6 Father Heitzenreiter. Or Father Schmidt. Wonderful pastors, smile and smile with a wonderful flush on their face, but when it comes to preaching, it’s not so good. So you go into town. Einbeck has 1,000 breweries and 5,000 inhabitants. So you have 7 or 8 breweries…. You wouldn’t want to drink the water would you? Einbeck is surrounded by grain fields. You can make bread, post toasties, or a certain kind of soup that ferments. They sold the soup to the Swedes and the Danes. Shipped it out to Norway, Sweden, Denmark and other Germans. In the middle of Einbeck there is a little Franciscan church. An order that is devoted to living in utter simplicity. Devoted to prayer, to theological reflection and spiritual formation, teaching and preaching.
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This note was uploaded on 02/27/2012 for the course CHHIST 14 taught by Professor Davidsteinmetz during the Spring '09 term at Duke.

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2009-01-14_ChurchHistory - Page 1 of 6 Church History David...

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