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January 21, 1521: Black Earth and First Mass

Luther: In Real Time

Ligonier Ministries

Religion & Spirituality, Christianity, History

4.92K Ratings

🗓️ 21 January 2021

⏱️ 11 minutes

🧾️ Download transcript


When Martin Luther had officiated his first Mass, he was seized with terror at the holiness of God, like a condemned man ascending the pyre for his own burning. Today, Luther relives that memory in a conversation with his colleague, Philip Melanchthon. All the while, another "pyre" is being prepared for Luther in Worms.

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It's January 21st, 1521.


In a break from lecturing their students at the University of Vittenberg,


Luther's friend and fellow professor, Philip Malanchtham,


invites Luther to walk with him to a local inn for something to eat.


I've walked enough, both to and from Rome. It will do you good, here Doctor.


The newly married Philip Malanchthon is 14 years Luther's junior.


He's self-effacing and slight of frame with red hair and sparkling inquisitive eyes.


Born Philip Schwarzert, meaning Black Earth,


Melanchin had followed the humanist tradition of changing his name to its Greek equivalent. He'd become professor of Greek at the University


of Vittenberg at the age of only 21. The friends duck into the low door and are welcomed


by the smell of baking bread.


As you know, Martin, until the third century there were no private masses in the church


and the cannons of the mass were not the same time. The subject of their conversation is transubstantiation.


The idea taught by the Roman Catholic Church


was that during the Eucharist, the bread and the wine are converted into the literal body and blood of Christ,


with only the appearances of bread and wine still remaining.


Giving thanks and so on. For more than 1,200 years, the remaining. a monstrous word for a monstrous idea until Aristotle became rampant in the church.


For 300 years since then, many other things have been wrongly defined.


We are not to believe this doctrine of transubstantiation, that Christ is being


re-sacrificed and is physically present, but we are to believe that Christ really is present at the supper.


But how exactly is he present?




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