Brecht here describes the years in which the distinctive aspects of the Reformation took shape. During this time four difficult conflicts—the Peasants’ War, the interchange between Luther and Erasmus, debates on the Lord’s Supper, and the rise of Anabaptist groups—strengthened the need to fashion new orders for governing the church and the need to develop new patterns for worship and the instruction of youth. Luther the theologian was occupied with problems of politics, economy, law, and education. In addition, his own life was altered by his marriage.
“Next to theology, music was second in importance, for only these two arts could create a calm and joyful disposition, and they were able to drive away the devil, the creator of sadness and confusion.” (Page 376)
“However, God also works in Satan and in the ungodly, accomplishing his will through them, just like a carpenter using a jagged ax. To this extent, God’s omnipotence also motivates an evil person to perform evil actions. God does not create evil, but only uses it. Even Pharaoh had to serve God’s plan with his evil. The creature may not reproach the Creator for allowing evil.” (Page 232)
“The real content of the Bible was the revelation of Christ and his work of salvation, and everything depended on clarity as far as that was concerned. Working from this principle, his unambiguous argument was that nothing less than the whole Bible must be interpreted on the basis of Christ, whom it contains as its center. The few Bible passages that were obscure could be interpreted on the basis of the clear ones. The gospel was preached in the public square as brightly as the sun shining at midday; it was not hidden in the darkness of a cave. Where it nevertheless was not understood, the fault lay with men. Consequently, Luther distinguished a dual clarity of the Bible, one in proclaiming it and one in understanding it, which comes only with the help of the Holy Spirit.” (Page 227)
“To settle the religious dissention, the emperor desired to ‘use diligence to listen to, understand, and weigh every expression, opinion, and view in love and graciousness … on both sides.’1 He was concerned about arriving at a uniform, Christian truth, doing away with everything incorrectly interpreted on either side, and restoring the unity of the church.” (Page 369)