Monday, December 8, 2014

Martin Luther: A Life, by James Nestigen

Chapters Nine & Ten

1.  While long-time colleagues, Luther and Melanchthon often did not see eye-to-eye on theological and doctrinal issues, especially on the finer points.  What was the basic difference between Melanchthon’s Augsburg Confession and the unaltered Augsburg Confession?

2.  Who was Johann Agricola, and what was the nature of his relationship with Luther?
3.  As the Lutheran reform and the Schmalkald League expanded, the most significant obstacle, aside from the traditional Roman Catholic authorities, was still the southwest Germans and the Swiss. The difference of opinion between Luther and Ulrich Zwingli still blocked the way, even though early in the 1530s Zwingli was killed in a Swiss war. The issue was still the Eucharist.

On what was the disagreement focused?  How did it end?

4.  In 1536, Pope Paul III scheduled a council to review the role of Lutheranism in the life of the Church.  This did not go well.  Luther’s prodigious Schmalkald Articles were intended to clarify Luther’s position, but failed to receive acclaim by the Pope and company.  Luther’s health prevented him from participating fully.  What then came of this effort?

5.  Review Luther’s list of physical ailments in his latter years.  How did they contribute to his temperament and productivity?

6.  Review and discuss Luther’s anti-Semitic positions and comments.  Do they surprise or disappoint you?

7.  How was the Schmalkald League seriously wounded by Philip of Hesse and his “additional” wife?

8.  How did Luther die, and how did the Reformation live on?