Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Martin Luther Biography, Part 16: The Augsburg Confession

In 1526, Emperor Charles V called an imperial diet at Speyer-- presided over by the emperor's brother, Archduke Ferdinand I of Austria, since the emperor was unable to personally attend due to commitments to other territories-- for the purpose of trying to trying to establish unity between the Roman Catholics and the Lutherans. At this first Diet of Speyer, the German princes decided to suspend the Edict of Worms, and they "drew up a declaration stating that each was to live and rule his principality in such a way that he would not be afraid to answer to God for his actions" (Vaughn, 77).

In 1529, a second Diet of Speyer took a different tack. At that point there was a renewed threat of imperial intervention within Germany, for the purpose of restoring order, and princes who until then had been fairly moderate joined the ranks of the staunch Catholics. The result was that the Edict of Worms against Luther and his writings was reaffirmed. "This prompted the Lutheran princes to present a formal protest, thus receiving the name of 'Protestants'" (Gonzales, 43).

In 1530 Emperor Charles V summoned an imperial diet to meet in Augsburg to restore religious unity to the empire. (Janz, 150) At Worms, the emperor had refused to listen to Luther's arguments. But now, in view of the continued resistance of some German princes, and the emperors' urgent need to present a unified front against the Turkish Empire, he requested an orderly exposition of the points at issue (Gonzales, 43) "The Lutheran side was asked for a summary statement of its position and this was prepared by Luther's most prominent follower, Philip Melanchthon (1497-1560)" (Janz, 150). This document is now known as the "Augsburg Confession." "When first drawn, it spoke only for the Protestants of Saxony. But other princes and leaders also signed it, and thus it was the instrument whereby most Protestants presented a united front before the emperor (there were two other minority statements that disagreed on several points with Melanchthon's document). (Gonzales, 43-44)

Bainton notes:
One might take the date June 25, 1530, the day when the Augsburg Confession was publicly read, as the death day of the Holy Roman Empire. From this day forward the two confessions stood over against each other, poised for conflict. (Bainton, 254)

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