Martin Luther by Eric Metaxas 5

Martin Luther

“Ideas have consequences, and Luther’s had more than most.”

Some people really do change the course of history. One such man was Martin Luther, a man who set out to help the Catholic Church change for the better, but ended up being pushed aside. His message was heard and the Protestant Reformation was born, changing the government, church and people from then on. A few people before him had the same message, but the timing of the Gutenberg press helped Luther’s message spread far and wide quickly. With words in their own hands, people could start deciding things for themselves.

I put Martin Luther on my to-read list as soon as I heard it was being written by Eric Metaxas months and months ago. I pre-ordered the book because I already knew I would want to have a copy in my home library. I have read almost all of Eric Metaxas’ books and have learned and enjoyed each of them. I hope to include all of them in our home library at some point. (Other Metaxas books I have read are Bohnhoeffer, Miracles, Everything You Wanted to Know About God, Amazing Grace, Seven Women, Seven Men and If You Can Keep It.)

The biography of Martin Luther is more than 400 pages, but it reads almost like a novel. Metaxas does a good job of bringing Luther’s life to light, but sources his facts well, including a little humor in some of the footnotes. Luther studied law until he was almost struck by lightning and then vowed to become a monk. As a monk, he was a teacher and as he studied the Bible, he came to realize that the church’s teachings on indulgences were wrong. His 95 theses were a way to ask the church to review its teachings, but instead of responding to him with theology or debate, he was told to just follow the teachings or be excommunicated. He went with being excommunicated.

Interestingly, if you look at the Catholic Church today, the changes Martin Luther wanted have taken place. The only thing that hasn’t happened is the church removing his excommunication. I would recommend this book to any adult, whether a Christian or not, to help know the true story of Martin Luther and how he influenced the world. His ideas can be traced to the founding of American and freedom of religion. It’s a commitment to read, but it’s well worth your time.

What do you know about Martin Luther and his ideas? Comment below and I’ll tell you if it’s discussed in the book or not.

Buy the book here (affiliate link).

This post was shared with AnOpenBook!

About Sarah Anne Carter

Sarah Anne Carter is a writer and reader. She grew up all over the world as a military brat and is now putting down roots with her family in Ohio. Family life keeps her busy, but any spare moment is spent reading, writing or thinking about plots for novels.

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5 thoughts on “Martin Luther by Eric Metaxas

  • Lisa Diller

    Sarah, I just took a minute to read this reflection as I am cleaning out my emails. I haven’t studied Martin Luther thoroughly, but an interesting observation I heard from Taylor Marshall and others (that PhD I have followed on and off) is that Martin Luther struggled terribly with scrupulosity. Is that reflected in the book? Also, Taylor Marshall calls him FATHER Martin Luther and compares his stubborn lack of humility with the humility of Padre Pio who was even jailed I think for his ideas by Catholic clergy and humbly accepted the authority only to have GOD come to his aid and his name is known in a positive light as saint for all time. Food for thought anyway…. I, too, have struggled with the idea of indulgences altogether and have finally come to see them as great guideposts for life. They are just things we really ought to be doing anyway. Prayers, bible reading for 30 minutes, giving money to the church, etc… I believe surely there were incredible abuses by clergy during this time period, but this all happens today too.

    Anyway, we’ll have to talk more about it some day. An interesting discussion for sure…

    • Sarah Anne Carter Post author

      We will have to talk about this book one day! It does talk a lot about his scrupulosity early on. That went away a lot after he started studying the Bible for himself. After finishing the book, I think he should almost be considered a saint for all he did to try and fix a corrupt system. The Catholic Church today looks more like what Martin Luther wanted to see.
      I think you’d really like this book! Eric Metaxas is a good author to follow. He has a podcast, too.
      Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  • Carolyn Astfalk

    Thanks for linking up with An Open Book! I wonder what Luther would have thought of the thousands and thousands of denominations that eventually came to be. No way for Eric Metaxas to know that though. It’s interesting though – and I guess you can say this about most any historical event – that it doesn’t take place in a vacuum. Because of the advent of the printing press, the effects of Luther’s actions were drastically different than they might have been 50 years earlier.