From #1 New York Times bestselling author Eric Metaxas comes a brilliant and inspiring biography of the most influential man in modern history, Martin Luther, in time for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation
On All Hallow’s Eve in 1517, a young monk named Martin Luther posted a document he hoped would spark an academic debate, but that instead ignited a conflagration that would forever destroy the world he knew. Five hundred years after Luther’s now famous 95 Theses appeared, Eric Metaxas, acclaimed biographer of the bestselling Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy and Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery, paints a startling portrait of the wild figure whose adamantine faith cracked the edifice of Western Christendom and dragged medieval Europe into the future. Written in riveting prose and impeccably researched, Martin Luther tells the searing tale of a humble man who, by bringing ugly truths to the highest seats of power, caused the explosion whose sound is still ringing in our ears. Luther’s monumental faith and courage gave birth to the ideals of faith, virtue, and freedom that today lie at the heart of all modern life.
|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.80(d)|
About the Author
Eric Metaxas is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of If You Can Keep It, Bonhoeffer, Amazing Grace, and Miracles. His books have been translated into more than twenty languages. His writing has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The New Yorker, and Metaxas has appeared as a cultural commentator on CNN, the Fox News Channel, and MSNBC. He is the host of The Eric Metaxas Show, a nationally syndicated daily radio show. Metaxas is also the founder and host of Socrates in the City, the acclaimed series of conversations on “life, God, and other small topics,” featuring Malcolm Gladwell, Dick Cavett, and Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, among many others. He is a senior fellow and lecturer at large at the King’s College in New York City, where he lives with his wife and daughter.
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Table of Contents
Introduction Pastor, Rebel, Prophet, Monk 1
Chapter 1 Beyond the Myths 7
Chapter 2 Lightning Strikes 31
Chapter 3 The Great Change 50
Chapter 4 A Monk at Wittenberg 67
Chapter 5 The "Cloaca" Experience 93
Chapter 6 The Theses Are Posted 107
Chapter 7 The Diet at Augsburg 140
Chapter 8 The Leipzig Debate 164
Chapter 9 The Bull Against Luther 193
Chapter 10 The Diet of Worms 202
Chapter 11 Enemy of the Empire 218
Chapter 12 The Wartburg 237
Chapter 13 The Revolution Is Near 261
Chapter 14 Luther Returns 276
Chapter 15 Monsters, Nuns, and Martyrs 297
Chapter 16 Fanaticism and Violence 311
Chapter 17 Love and Marriage 338
Chapter 18 Erasmus, Controversy, Music 356
Chapter 19 The Plague and Anfechtungen Return 378
Chapter 20 The Reformation Comes of Age 390
Chapter 21 Confronting Death 410
Chapter 22 "We Are Beggars. This Is True." 421
Epilogue The Man Who Created the Future 433
Appendix: Frederick's Dream 449
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Thanks to Eric for this wonderful book on the great reformer Martin Luther! With no previously well formed ideas about his life and the impact of his of his life I was amazed again and again at his commitment to Bible truth regardless of what could be a very negative outcome. Also, thanks for reminding us that even people used by God in great ways are still people who can at times fail to live out the truths they preach and teach.
There was a time when if you had asked me to name the turning point in history when western civilization really began, I probably would have named the signing of the Magna Carta. (Even though that ground-shaking document was only an agreement between a king and his nobles – not the people – and lasted all of about three months before the king reneged.) After reading Martin Luther by Eric Metaxas, I have changed my mind. Having grown up Catholic and then converting to Lutheranism (does one convert or just dial back in that situation?) after getting married, I was somewhat familiar with the story of Martin Luther. I didn’t necessarily have the same reverence for Luther as others who grew up in the Lutheran tradition, but I always found his story fascinating. Metaxas does a wonderful job of bringing to the life the saga of this angst-ridden monk (including his penchant for writing about his biological functions) and the intricacies of how he improbably managed to escape execution by the inquisition. But to the point with which I started this review, there was so much about Luther I didn’t know, including the numerous ways his work started a chain reaction that went far beyond matters of faith. While maybe not completely responsible, Luther started the revolution that turned Western civilization from the autocratic, largely theocratic society it had become during the Middle Ages into one where, if not the “measure of all things,” man certainly could think for himself. There were also a lot of interesting similarities between Luther and our founding fathers. (A comparison they might have appreciated.) For example, his repeated conciliatory letters to the pope reminded me a great deal of the Olive Branch Petitions. That he spent many years in semi-hiding was also something I think they could relate to. The only downside to Metaxas’ retelling of Luther’s story is his vocabulary choices. I consider myself to have a fairly advanced vocabulary, but I found myself looking up words every few pages. (I’m glad I had the ebook version!) Plus, he used a lot of Latin, sometimes translated, sometimes not. This took me by surprise as Metaxas doesn’t speak this way in his podcasts. IMO, it made this book less “accessible” to those who could really benefit from a deeper understanding of Luther. Vocabulary choices aside, this isn’t not some dry dusty tome – any more than Luther is a dry, dusty monk. It’s well worth taking the extra time to look up those words so you can savor the richness of his story.
I'd heard the term "Reformation" but honestly had no clue about how it came about or Martin Luther's role in it all. Now I know. This book thoroughly covers the man and the dramatic change that his actions and beliefs brought about. I was especially interested in reading this because I had read a previous work by Eric Metaxas "Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy" which is in the top 10 of my all-time favorite non-fiction books. For those with an interest in the subject of not only "The Reformation" but how our personal freedom and freedom of religion comes from it, I recommend this book.
I learned a lot about Martin Luther and a lot of new words which the nook dictionary didn’t know either. Very well done.