“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.