Two Books on Martin Luther – Apr 2021
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Accessible yet authoritative biography of the colorful character who instigated the Protestant Reformation
Martin Luther, the Augustinian friar who set the Protestant Reformation in motion with his famous Ninety-Five Theses, was a man of extremes on many fronts. He was both hated and honored, both reviled as a heretic and lauded as a kind of second Christ. He was both a quiet, solitary reader and interpreter of the Bible and the first media-star of history, using the printing press to reach many of his contemporaries and become the most-read theologian of the sixteenth century.
Thomas Kaufmann’s concise biography highlights the two conflicting “natures” of Martin Luther, depicting Luther’s earthiness as well as his soaring theological contributions, his flaws as well as his greatness. Exploring the close correlation between Luther’s Reformation theology and his historical context, A Short Life of Martin Luther serves as an ideal introduction to the life and thought of the most important figure in the Protestant Reformation.
For the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, a new translation of Martin Luther’s most famous works by leading Luther scholar and pastor William Russell
This volume contains selections from Martin Luther’s most evocative and provocative writings, freshly translated, for the 21st century. These documents, which span the Reformer’s literary career, point to the enduring and flexible character of his central ideas. As Luther’s reform proposals emerged, they coalesced around some basic priorities, which he delivered to wide-ranging audiences–writing for children, preaching in congregations, formulating academic treatises, penning letters to family and friends, counter-punching critics, summarizing Biblical books, crafting confessions of faith, and more. This book demonstrates that range and provides entry points, for non-specialists and specialists alike, into the thought and life of the epoch-defining, fascinating, and controversial Martin Luther. With attention to the breadth of his literary output, it draws from his letters, sermons, popular writings, and formal theological works. This breadth allows readers to encounter Luther the man: the sinner and the saint, the public activist and the private counselor, the theologian and the pastor. These writings possess a practical, accessible arc, as Luther does not write only for specialists and church officials, but he applies his chief insights to the “real-life” issues that faced his rather wide variety of audiences.