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Fronstone L. Dang-iw Introduction to Missiology: Reflection Paper on Movie “Luther” Guide questions: 1. Enumerate and explain at least 3 scenes, statements (ideas or concepts) or symbols that struck you while watching the movie. 2. What might be the most important contributions (at least two) of Martin Luther to renewal of the Church? Explain your answer. Director: Eric Till Writers: Camille Thomasson, Bart Gavigan Main Characters: Joseph Fiennes, Bruno Ganz, Peter Ustinov This movie had emphasized on its genre that is on “faith, drama and spirituality”. Martin Luther is a simple monk who had personal battles within himself which he describes his fear as a devil. He is a priest that became the leader on the 16th-century Christian reformation that led to Protestant movement. The Vatican branded him as an “ecclesiastical terrorist because of his opening up new possibilities in discovering ones faith”. The first scene that struck me most is his when he was not able to overcome his fear, wherein, he is trying to escape from the angry roaring thunderstorm and lightning. Because of his fear, he vowed to God that he will serve Him just to spare and let him live from the storm and lightning struck. His weakness, his fear, paves him a path to become a monk for he believes that God answered his prayer from the natural disaster. His decision in vowing to become a monk or priest, he continued his struggles what he discovered in the Church hierarchy in reconciling what he believes in faith that is righteous and have justice for the society, especially to the poor, oppressed, and the sinners. His fear becomes his foundation to reveal or bring to the surface what is the desired sanctity of the church because he personally experience the increasing abuse, corruption and hypocrisy that is implemented from the Church hierarchy. He feared that the ruling cardinals and princes will not adhere to his reason because he was charged already as heretic. Despite of his fear (a devil that is clouding his reason) and struggles he was able to win stand and defended his 95 theses and his justification by faith alone. The second scene was his boldness and bravery in writing 95 theses and posting it in front of the church and it was even printed by the bystanders and had it was circulated as a book. Luther becomes more knowledgeable when he went to Wittenberg to have his doctorate in theology. Martin Luther wanted liberation and reformation of the Church because he saw how corrupt Rome is. He was disgusted to the churchs’ materialism and selling of indulgences. Sex exploitations were everywhere near the heart of the Church landmark. He believes that buying indulgences does not save your faith and does not save souls from purgatory. He even urges the church leaders to make the ‘Scriptures available to the common believer and lead the Church toward faith through justice and righteousness”. The third scene that struck me most is his sympathy concern to those common believers and his passion on the work of good deeds. He translated the sacred acripture into german language so that more believers will understand the bible teachings. He extend and outreach to the small community to have bible stories with the children for them to understand who is Jesus. He had the passion in making the “society to perceive things differently, such as the burial of a suicidal child outside sacred grounds and he preaches in a church and tells everyone how his views toward God have changed”. He wanted to show the real face of Jesus and His ministry. He lectures in his theology class and makes fun of indulgences and the money that the Prince Frederick collects. After seeing the effects of the preaching of John Tetzel, Martin Luther comes up with the 95 Theses and nails them onto the door of the church. Bystanders take the theses and use a printing press to turn them into books. This allows everyone to have a copy and his ideas spread faster and easier. Pope Leo X thinks that Martin is a drunken German monk who will change his ideas when he becomes sober. Spalatin tells Luther that he is threatened with excommunication and is summoned to appear in Augsburg by Rome. Aleander prepares Martin and tells him that all he should say in front of Cardinal Cajetan is that he recants but Martin doesn't follow through. Pope Leo X orders Martin's books to be burned and Luther is excommunicated Then, Martin translates the New Testament into German because he believes that the common people need to be able to understand the scriptures. In Worms, Martin is given a hearing and when he is asked if he will recant, he asks for one day to ponder his answer. That night he goes to confession. The next day he refuses to recant. . The Cardinal demands that Martin be delivered to Rome, but Prince Frederick doesn't want that, so he kidnaps Luther and keeps him in Wartburg Castle. When Luther disappears, chaos occurs. The people start to break down the church, and set it on fire. Luther disguises himself as a knight, and goes and stops the people from ruining the church. He finishes translating the New Testament into German and dedicates it to Prince Frederick. He meets a nun named Katharina von Bora and marries her. Pope Leo X dies, 800,000 ducats in debt. The Emperor Charles calls upon all the princes to settle what began at Worms. Luther encourages the princes to speak. He says, "Silence will not save us." All the princes stand up against Charles. Martin was success The most important contributions of Martin Luther is the Bible translation from latin into German language and his remarkable reasons on erreneuous church practices and abusive power if the Rome. The life of Martin Luther (1483-1546) was filled with inner compulsions, outward battles with the Catholic Church, and the forging of a distinctive form of Christian faith and a reliance on the Bible as the Word of God. Director Eric Till and screenplay writers Camille Thomasson and Bart Gavigan opt to give us an ambitious and wide-ranging overview of the man who put the Protestant Reformation in motion, rather than just focusing on the crucial years of his crusade against Rome. For those who are unfamiliar with Luther and his personal strengths and weaknesses, this biodrama certainly will be extremely informative. It’s not very often that major figures of the Christian faith are portrayed in feature films, so we are thankful for this drama, especially because it tells the story of religious differences within the church on the larger canvas of a very volatile period of European history rife with political unrest and class divisions. Martin Luther (Joseph Fiennes) is planning on being a lawyer when he is caught in a terrible lightning storm and becomes convinced that he is supposed to be a monk. His stern father is disappointed with this choice, but Martin's spiritual mentor at the monastery, Father Johann von Staupitz (Bruno Ganz), is very pleased with his sharp mind and intense devotion. He sends the young monk to Rome for what will turn out to be another life-changing experience. Luther is appalled by what he sees in the Holy City, especially the Catholic Church’s practice of selling indulgences whereby people are told they can buy their salvation and free deceased relatives from purgatory. Back in Germany, Luther studies at the university in Wittenberg and becomes a professor of theology. In his classes and his writings, Luther emphasizes the importance of faith over good works. He wins the support of the local prince, Frederick the Wise (Peter Ustinov), and soon has a large following among the local peasants who listen to his sermons. Meanwhile in Rome, Pope Leo X (Uwe Ochsenknecht) needs to raise money to build St. Peter’s Basilica. He intends to do this by selling a special indulgence. Hearing the arguments of Brother John Tetzel (Alfred Molina) in Germany, some illiterate members of Luther’s congregation decide to spend their meager funds on indulgences. Luther is outraged when he discovers this and responds by posting 95 theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg delineating his reasons why he sees the practice of indulgences as erroneous theology and an abuse by Rome. This material is reproduced by the new Guttenberg printing press and reaches a much wider audience than anyone ever expected it to. Realizing that Luther is a rebel within the ranks, Cardinal Cajetan (Mathieu Carriere) demands that he recant his teachings. Then in 1521, the Pope excommunicates Luther. The reformer takes sanctuary with Prince Frederick and later is guaranteed a safe escort to the Imperial Diet of Worms for a meeting of the German princes, many of whom support him. There Luther stands before Emperor Charles V (Torben Liebrecht) and declares: "Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason — I do not accept the authority of the popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other — my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen." The rest of the film deals with Luther’s translation of the New Testament into German, making it available to non-priests for the first time; his vehement response against the Peasants Revolt in which many people, emboldened by reformers to confront the church and princely ruling class, are killed; and his marriage to Katharina von Bora (Claire Cox), a former nun. Joseph Fiennes conveys Luther's intensity and devotional zeal, though perhaps not enough of his legendary idiosyncracies. But the real scene stealers are Peter Ustinov and Bruno Ganz as his two guardian angels.