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1. Martin Luther's Small Catechism,
2. Martin Luther: Exploring His Life
3. Graphic Art in the Age of Martin
4. Die Bibel : oder die ganze Heilige
6. Selections from the Table Talk
7. Martin Luther, 1483 bis 1546:
8. Concerning Christian Liberty
9. Martin Luther, 1483-1546: Ausstellung
10. MARTIN LUTHER, the Hero of the
11. Martin Luther,: The hero of the
12. Martin Luther The Hero of the
13. Martin Luther, the hero of the
14. Martin Luther: The Preservation
15. Martin Luther: A Life
16. The Table Talk of Martin Luther
17. Martin Luther: A Guided Tour of
18. Martin Luther's 95 Theses
19. Martin Luther: A Penguin Life
20. Martin Luther: A Brief Introduction

1. Martin Luther's Small Catechism, translated by R. Smith
by Martin, 1483-1546 Luther
Kindle Edition: Pages (1999-03-01)
list price: US$0.99 -- used & new: US$0.99
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Asin: B000JQU2AS
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Book Description
This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery. ... Read more

2. Martin Luther: Exploring His Life and Times, 1483-1546 (Martin Luther)
by Helmar Junghans
Audio CD: Pages (1999-06)
list price: US$39.00 -- used & new: US$25.74
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Asin: 0800631471
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Solid scholarship, animations a bit kooky
This CD Rom provides a graphic introduction to the life and times of the Reformer from birth to death with excellent graphics and lots of contemmporary pictures. The software loads quickly and is simple to use. The texts are brief and accurate, written at the level of a solid high school student or entry level college student. The CD Rom is arranged so you can break up the narrative in order to seek out sections of Luther's life or details on particular issues. Some of the animations are great (e.g., demonstrating what happens to souls after death according to medieval theological views), but the animated film that accompanies all of the sections is JUST PLAIN WEIRD. Scholars may be bothered that it is hard to figure out the sources of all the pictures or texts, but students unfamiliar with Luther will probably learn something. The material is not exciting, but it is very solid. ... Read more

3. Graphic Art in the Age of Martin Luther 1483-1546 An exhibition honoring the 500th anniversary of Luther's birth
 Paperback: Pages (1983)

Asin: B000GVX6AO
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4. Die Bibel : oder die ganze Heilige Schrift : nach der Ausgabe von 1545 bearbeit und mit dem Bilderschmuck des in der Preu~ / deutsch von Martin Luther. Band 1 (= alles Erschienene). [ Bible. German]
by Martin (1483-1546) Luther
 Hardcover: Pages (1927)

Asin: B0014NDE8C
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5. A SELECTION Of The MOST CELEBRATED SERMONS Of M. LUTHER And J. CALVIN, Eminent Ministers of the Gospel, and Principal Leaders in the Protestant Reformation.(Never Before Published in the United States).To Which is Prefixed, A Biographical History of Their Lives.
by Martin [1483 - 1546].Calvin, John [1509 - 1564].Bentley, R. - Compiler. [Theology].Luther
 Hardcover: Pages (1829)

Asin: B000NYHE3Y
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6. Selections from the Table Talk of Martin Luther
by Martin, 1483-1546 Luther
Kindle Edition: Pages (2006-02-01)
list price: US$0.99 -- used & new: US$0.99
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Asin: B000JQV6B2
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Book Description
This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.Download Description
Alas! said Luther, what is our wit and wisdom? for before we understand anything as we ought, we lie down and die; therefore the devil hath good striving with us. When one is thirty years old, so hath he as yet Stultitias carnales; yea, also Stultitias spirituales; yet it is much to be admired that, in such our imbecility and weakness, we achieve and accomplish so much and such great matters; but it is God that giveth it. ... Read more

7. Martin Luther, 1483 bis 1546: Katalog der Hauptausstellung in der Lutherhalle Wittenberg
 Paperback: 298 Pages (1993)

Isbn: 3923024584
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8. Concerning Christian Liberty
by Martin, 1483-1546 Luther
Kindle Edition: Pages (2006-02-26)
list price: US$0.99 -- used & new: US$0.99
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Asin: B000JQU6OK
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description
This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.Download Description
Among those monstrous evils of this age with which I have now for three years been waging war, I am sometimes compelled to look to you and to call you to mind, most blessed father Leo. In truth, since you alone are everywhere considered as being the cause of my engaging in war, I cannot at any time fail to remember you; and although I have been compelled by the causeless raging of your impious flatterers against me to appeal from your seat to a future council--fearless of the futile decrees of your predecessors Pius and Julius, who in their foolish tyranny prohibited such an action--yet I have never been so alienated in feeling from your Blessedness as not to have sought with all my might, in diligent prayer and crying to God, all the best gifts for you and for your see. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Fire and Hammer of the Word of God (Jeremiah 23:29)
Martin Luther's treatise "Christian Liberty" (or "The Freedom of a Christian") is perhaps the most powerful and concise presentation of the Christian life ever written. I cannot recommend this work highly enough. I rank this among the very best of Luther's works (and that is really saying something). If an inexpensive copy were still in publication I would buy every copy to give as gifts to friends and family. The power, discernment, brevity and readability of this work make a true gem among Reformation writings (and Christian writings in general). Here you will find the essence of the spirit of the Reformation distilled into a guide for practical, biblical living.

With the clarity and bold authority of a true prophet, Luther sets forth the whole of the Christian life in two theses: "A Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none. A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all." We are free from sin and the law (subject to none) but slaves to Christ in love (subject to all). As Paul writes in Romans 6:22, "But now...you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God."

Luther writes as a shepherd of the common people and the tone and content differ greatly from his better-known debate-oriented works (ie. Bondage of the Will, 95 Theses). The doctrine of justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone is the heart and soul of Luther's message, founded upon a firm conviction in the authority of scripture alone.

He writes, "One thing, and only one thing, is necessary for Christian life, righteousness, and freedom. That one thing is the most holy Word of God, the gospel of Christ."

And again, "It ought to be the first concern of every Christian to lay aside all confidence in works and increasingly to strengthen faith alone and through faith to grow in the knowledge, not of works, but of Christ Jesus, who suffered and rose for him.... No other work makes a Christian.... 'This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent' (John 6:29)."

And regarding our service to God, "...In this way the stronger member may serve the weaker, and we may be sons of God, each caring for and working for the other, bearing one another's burdens and so fulfilling the law of Christ. This is a truly Christian life. Here faith is truly active through love. That is, it finds expression in works of the freest service, cheerfully and lovingly done, with which a man willingly serves another without hope of reward; and for himself he is satisfied with the fullness and wealth of his faith."

I cannot personally vouch for the quality of this Adobe version, but if you prefer the feel of paper and ink, this treatise has been published in a number of other individual volumes and in at least one very worthy compilation entitled "Martin Luther's Basic Theological Writings" (ed. Timothy F. Lull, 1989) which also contains a number of other infinitely worthy works such as Luther's "Small Catechism," the stirring "Meditation of Christ's Passion," and the thesis chapters of the foundational "Bondage of the Will."Any volume of this monumental treatise is bound to bless you and this is an easily-accessible, inexpensive version for the technologically inclined. It is the fire and the hammer of the Word of God to consume the adversaries and break apart the stone hearts of impenitant men.
... Read more

9. Martin Luther, 1483-1546: Ausstellung der Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Preussischer Kulturbesitz, 29. Februar-13. April 1996 (Ausstellungskataloge / Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin--PK)
 Paperback: 110 Pages (1996)

Isbn: 388226862X
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10. MARTIN LUTHER, the Hero of the Reformation, 1483-1546
 Hardcover: Pages (1898)

Asin: B000J4U75K
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11. Martin Luther,: The hero of the reformation; 1483-1546; (Half-title: Heroes of the reformation, ed. by S. M. Jackson.[v.1])
by Henry Eyster Jacobs
Unknown Binding: 454 Pages (1909)

Asin: B00086LKIW
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12. Martin Luther The Hero of the Reformation 1483 to 1546
by Henry Eyster Jacobs
Paperback: 548 Pages (2005-04-01)
list price: US$42.95 -- used & new: US$27.99
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Asin: 1417902701
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Book Description
1898. A study of the life of Martin Luther, German religious reformer. Luther was an Augustinian monk and the professor of biblical exegesis at Wittenberg, where in 1517 he posted his critique of the Roman Catholic Church's practices, the Ninety-Five Theses, which are usually regarded as the original document of the Reformation. From that point on, he found himself at the center of a violent religious upheaval in Germany. His main assertion was that man is justified by faith alone, and not by works. This belief led him to propose the abolition of many church rituals and the Pope's authority. ... Read more

13. Martin Luther, the hero of the reformation: 1483-1546 (Heroes of the reformation)
by Henry Eyster Jacobs
 Unknown Binding: 454 Pages (1910)

Asin: B00086UA0G
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14. Martin Luther: The Preservation of the Church 1532-1546
by Martin Brecht
 Hardcover: 544 Pages (1993-01)
list price: US$48.00 -- used & new: US$39.99
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Asin: 0800627040
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description
The third volume of Brecht's magnificent biography describes the final fourteen years of Luther's life, beginning with the accession of Elector John Frederick in 1532. The period is often treated briefly because some Reformation developments continued without him, his Catholic opponents paid only partial attention to him, his personality displayed great tensions, and his judgment, errors. Yet the preservation of the church---those confessing the Reformation gospel being identical, according to Luther, with the true church---dominated Luther's concerns.

A work of immense and engaging scholarship, gracefully translated by James Schaaf, this volume offers comprehensive and original interpretations of Luther's private life, his congregation and the church in Saxony, his professorial lectures and theological controversies, Bible translations, Luther and the Council of Trent, and his later writings about the Jews and Turks. Includes thirty-four illustrations. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars A look at the post-reformation Luther
This is the third volume of a trilogy on the Life of Martin Luther.(The other volumes are:"Martin Luther:His Road to Reformation," and "Martin Luther: Shaping and Defining the Reformation.")This volume deals with Luther's life after the glory days of the 95 Theses, Diet of Worms, and gradual acceptance and establishment of the Reformation.Luther the Doctor of Theology is beset by health problems and grows old and cantankerous, having limited patience to respond to the errors of supporters and opponents alike.Enduring great physical illness and miseries, he longs for life to end.But he continues to guide Melancthon and other reformers as they develop the foundational documents of Lutheran theology.At the end of his life, he confidently affirms the gospel he has preached.

Many histories of Luther gloss over this period in his life.It was therefore interesting to see how the aged Luther continued to face ordinary problems of politics and church governance, and also ever-emerging errors in theology among those who accepted the reformation as well as its opponents.He continued to face his "Anfectungen" (feelings of despair and condemnation) and frequently needed to cling to Christ's mercy and be reminded of the Gospel.I found this comforting, to see that even such a giant of the faith was not immune to doubt all through his life.

This volume is shorter than the preceding two, and I feel that maybe the author rushed through it a little bit, as it does not seem as in-depth as his earlier volumes.However, I am glad that he pressed forward to complete the trilogy and allow us to see this part of Luther's life.This volume also includes interesting illustrations, including a drawing of Luther a year before his death, showing his physical decline, the house where Luther died, his gravestone, a cast of his hands, and a drawing of the dead Luther's face.

5-0 out of 5 stars Well Done Conclusion to this Series on Luther
As Brecht so correctly titles this final volume of three on the life of Luther, this was the theme of his final sixteen years: the preservation of the church.

He was obsessed with the proclamation of the pure gospel.His final years were devoted to this cause, and Brecht preserves this history in his continued easy to read style, but very scholarly and historically accurate.

While all around him toil and turmoil reigned against this pure gospel and its valued proclamation, the Reformer remainded steadfast in spite of failing health.His disputes with those who wanted to reform too much as well as political problems and disputes even within those of the Lutheran persuasion all troubled him.At times his patience wore thin, and there were signs of anger and rudeness were exhibited.But, my God, what this endured and his steadfastness to the Gospel and God's means of salvation are phenomenal and to followed.

As much historical biography of Luther is of his early period, this treatment of his latter is valuable and a reliable one. ... Read more

15. Martin Luther: A Life
by James Arne Nestingen
Paperback: 111 Pages (2003-09)
list price: US$10.99 -- used & new: US$2.97
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Asin: 0806645733
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description
Designed to coincide with the release of a major motion picture on Martin Luther's life, this book offers a compact, up-to-date, and accessible biography of the great reformer. Nestingen combines his knowledge of Luther and Reformation history with his considerable storytelling skills to present this concise and compelling story of Martin Luther's life and times. Information boxes, visual highlights, and excerpts from Luther's writings extend the story and provide helpful historical reference points and commentary.

Here is a Luther biography for a broad range of readers—accurate, concise, engaging—a biography that appeals as well as informs. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

4-0 out of 5 stars Well researched and written
James Nestingen graduated from of Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota in 1967, earned a master of divinity degree from Luther Seminary in 1971, and the master of theology degree in 1978.In 1984, He received his doctorate in theology from St. Michael's College, University of Toronto.

Following his ordination in 1971, he served as a parish pastor for two congregations.In 1980, Nestingen returned to Luther Seminary as a professor of church history.Today, he is part of a renewal movement with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, trying to return his church body to its confessional roots.

At first look, Nestingen's book appears as nothing special: the book is cheaply bound and the print is too small.However, do not let such dissatisfiers dissuade you from reading this book.Like some other recent Martin Luther biographies, Nestingen tries to get the reader to understand the man Luther and his theology.Nestingen mostly succeeds.If I can say anything negative about this book, it is this: it is too short to flesh out his thoughts and put Luther more in context within his medieval, historical surroundings.

Luther: a Life takes more dedication to read than, perhaps, what is considered (and rightly so) the current-day standard of Luther biographies: Kittleson's Luther the Reformer.Nestingen delves more deeply into Luther's mind and theology, yet skimps on covering some historical events that were simultaneously taking place.Although Nestingen's theological explanations are needed to understand Luther, they are never discussions merely to impress, or are they off-putting.However, Nestingen puts the reader in the precarious position of filling the depth, shadows, and color of much of what takes place in Luther's life.

Starting chronologically, Nestingen glosses over Luther's early life and does not slow down to delve deeper until Luther becomes a monk.But as he digs deeper, one begins to see the rich deposits stored in Luther's mind that Nestingen brings to light.Nestingen describes the Christian life as "a dance of dying to Christ in the crucifixions of everyday life to be raised with him to newness of life--life in faith" (pg. 23).The very next page, Nestingen proclaims the purpose of preaching within the Church: "[it is] not merely to communicate information or to appeal to people's wills, but actually to give the gifts and benefits of Christ Jesus."Oh, what joy to read from a man who truly understands Luther!

But Luther the man and theologian is not one so easily grasped.Nonetheless, Nestingen in short order opens a door to a way of thinking that we living in the 21st century do not naturally have: we contend for the "golden mean" or the ideal, middle ground.Yet, Luther worked within a dialectical world--a world of seeming opposites.Nestingen writes, "Truth comes out of the dialectic, that is, from the way in which two extremes butt up against one another to limit or to establish each other" (pg. 35).Luther "is paradoxical, so that it often seems as though he is contradicting himself, saying one thing in one situation, something completely different in another" (pg. 36).

On Luther's "Gospel discovery," his "tower experience," I agree with Nestingen (and Lohse) that it probably coincided with his name change from Luder the Luther, "a small change based on the Greek word for freedom, elutherius.I see the similarity as too exceptional simply to explain Luther's name change as merely a respelling from Low/Middle German to High German.

As Luther aged and chaos began to rule in much of Germany, Nestingen brings out more than other biographies the strain it took on Luther and Melanchthon's friendship.Nestingen also revisits that strain renewed in their theological differences well into 1530s and 40s (pgs 92-93).In addition, Nestingen uses enough pages to show clearly what was at stake in the debate between Erasmus and Luther on human free will.I found his treatment of the Peasants' War especially balanced; he shows Luther's efforts of trying to bring peace and order, but how poor timing and excessive blustering brought his efforts to nothing (pgs. 57-58).

Chapter 6, "Luther at Home: Refuge from Chaos," shows Luther the family man, focusing on the relationship between Luther and Katie.If it were not for Katie, Luther would probably have given everything away.Katie was a strong and astute household manager, and perhaps, at times, proud.But Luther and Katie loved each other dearly.Luther's letter to Katy on February 10, 1546 had me cackling with laughter at the banter they shared as husband and wife.

When Emperor Charles V commanded the Lutheran princes to explain their beliefs, Nestingen gets under the surface and shows what took place for the Augsburg Confession to become a reality."Consulting the Marburg Colloquy, [Melanchthon] edited the Schwabach Articles. . . .He then added three articles of his own . . . [and] finished the work on liturgical matters begun at Torgau" (pg. 85).Eventually, he even shows how the Emperor's reluctance to tolerate the Lutheran churches led to the eventual state-churches in Europe.

Martin Luther: a Life shows well the chaos that the Reformation had wrought by the late 1530s."Luther's old friend Agricola had turned on him and left town.The Swiss were blocking an agreement on the sacrament [of the Lord's Supper].He had given up on councils . . . the emperor was poised to make good on his threats" (pg 100).By 1545, Luther was so tired of his fellow Wittenbergers' moral laxity and abuse of the Gospel that he, in effect, went on strike.

Martin Luther: a Life is an admirable book, primarily weakened because its length is too short to do full justice to the sweep of Nestingen's look into Luther's life.If the book had more supplementary information to paint a fuller palette--and had a proper binding and text size!--this book could surely supplant Kittleson's as the biography of Luther to read.

1-0 out of 5 stars What a lame book
Slapped together, obviously. Hard to read the print is so small and crammed together. Some egg-head approach to Luther. Don't bother.

1-0 out of 5 stars Bummer of a Book
It is surprising how bad this book really is. I have to echo what others have said here. I thought, "Oh, come on, can't be as bad as they said." It's worse!

Pathetic to think a publishing company that is supposed to be Lutheran would put out something this poor. But, as I look at other things that Augsburg-Fortress offers, it is not surprising. They are so into politically correct left-wing theology it is not really a mystery why they would give a book on Luther such short schrift.

Bad layout, design, printing, formatting and writing.

A real bummer of a book.

1-0 out of 5 stars Poor Effort for a Great Subject
I have to agree with the negative reviews posted here. The book "Martin Luther: A Life" was obviously slapped together in a hurry and printed very poorly. You do have to just about break the book in half to read the text, it is printed in small hard to read type, on low quality paper, set very densely together. It almost looks to me like somebody printed this on their home printer! Pictures from the movie are slapped into the middle of the book with no rhyme or reason, and the credits are as large as the picture titles, making them irritating to view.

The text of the book is written with a "snippy" attitude of, "Oh, well, yes, Luther and all that, but today we know this that an another thing." I was expecting better when I ordered this book. I thought, "Oh, come now, the negative reviews can't be right, and I read the positive reviews and thought, this can't be too bad."

WRONG it is a very poor excuse for a book. Don't bother with this one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Riveting - a must-have for Christians
I grudgingly went to see the Martin Luther movie with some friends, but the film piqued my curiosity.This book not only answered all my questions, but I found it a fun and easy read.There are other books out there on Martin Luther, but this one is the best.Nestingen has written a book that manages to be not only informative, but amusing.Finally, considering Luther's revolutionary role in church history, this book is a must-have for anyone who identifies themselves as a Christian. ... Read more

16. The Table Talk of Martin Luther
by Martin Luther
Paperback: 224 Pages (2005-08-10)
list price: US$10.95 -- used & new: US$6.46
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Asin: 0486443590
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Book Description

The Protestant Reformation's most prominent leader was as evocative, articulate, and outspoken speaker — and some of his loyal followers took notes. This volume consists of excerpts from the great reformer's conversations with his students and colleagues, in which he comments on life, the church, and the Bible.
Download Description
Martin Luther's thoughts, beliefs and opinion on a variety of topics, collected by his followers. ... Read more

17. Martin Luther: A Guided Tour of His Life and Thought
by Stephen J. Nichols
Paperback: 240 Pages (2003-04)
list price: US$13.99 -- used & new: US$8.00
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Asin: 0875525563
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Book Description
Protestants of all stripes have long read at least a few of Martin Luther's works, but 21st-century readers need guidance and encouragement. Stephen Nichols's Martin Luther provides both.

After an exciting overview of Luther's life and theology, Nichols orients the reader to some of the Reformer's major works: The Bondage of the Will, The Three Treatises, The Small Catechism, and On the Councils and the Church. Luther's ethical writings, "table talk," hymns, and sermons also receive due attention. "A Select Guide to Books by and about Luther" concludes this volume, which displays more than 20 illustrations.

"I have chosen the texts and issues that seem to be both pivotal and prominent in Luther's thought," writes Nichols. "This encounter is intended to serve as the gateway for further exploration in his life and thought."

"How do you write a book that's easy to read and yet is theologically precise? How do you do a book on everything from training of children to hymns to preaching to political conflict—and have it always full and running over with the glorious gospel, which Luther found again for the whole Christian world? Well, Nichols has done it." —D. Clair Davis ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent read and scholarship
Nichols uses sound scholarship to make an easily accessible book that is an easy read in providing some of Luther's basics.

5-0 out of 5 stars 4 stars, but we need balance
First of all, please see my rebuttal to the awful one star reveiw in close proximity to mine.

And on to my reveiw...
Though this is certainly not the best work on Luther, I would venture to say that it is the best popular introduction. The book is layed out nicely. It reads quickly. Covers all of Luther's major epochs and works in a compact fashion. Having read the book, the average high schooler will have a reasonable amount of knowledge about Luther and a desire to learn more. My only complaint is that it would have been nice to have more than two chapters of biography at the front end. Nichol's is a good scholar and is doing a service to the church by writing history in a way that is easy for the layman to digest and enjoy. If you are mildly interested in understanding Luther, I would get this book, a good biography (Bainton or Kittelson), and Martin Luther's Basic Theological Writings edited by Lull. Nichol's also has great suggested reading sections and a good bibliography for further study.

1-0 out of 5 stars Disinformation on Martin Luther
This is the worst book I have ever read on the topic of Martin Luther by a person claiming to be Reformed.

The book is littered with historical and theological mistakes from start to finish.

Nichols asserts that Luther himself wrote "Table Talk" in one part of the book.Nichols writes, "Luther, in one of his table talk entries..." page 162.Any novice of church history knows that Luther did not author "Table Talk."This is poor scholarship.

Another mistake is seen when Nichols asserts that the 5-Solas are Protestant presuppositions.This is the type of mistake we expect someone from a completely different religion to make, not one who is supposed to be Calvinistic.Nichols writes, "Perhaps more than any other person, Luther shaped the presuppositions that define Protestantism.Theologians use a series of Latin expressions to capture these concepts.Known as the "Reformation Solas," they include:sola Scriptura, Scripture Alone; sola fide, faith alone;sola gratia, grace alone;solus Christus, Christ alone;and soli Deo gloria, to the glory of God alone.These ideas all take root in Martin Luther's thinking" page 16.

Sola Scriptura is the Axiom of Christianity.It is the belief that the Bible alone is the word of God.It is the only "Sola" that is presupposed.The other 4 are either explicitly stated or logically deduced from the Bible alone.Nichols is therefore wrong.For Nichols to make the absurd claim that all of the "Solas" are presupposed by Protestants is to completely misrepresent Protestant theology.Furthermore, the "Solas" do not take their root in Martin Luther's thinking.Luther merely rediscovered these principles and published them openly.He did not come up with them.John Wycliffe and John Huss, for example, each asserted the Protestant principle of Scripture Alone.Both were persecuted for their profession, and Huss even died the martyr's death for it.

These are two mistakes I came across in my reading of this book.There are many more. ... Read more

18. Martin Luther's 95 Theses
by Martin Luther, Stephen J. Nichols
Paperback: 48 Pages (2003-04)
list price: US$3.50 -- used & new: US$0.86
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Asin: 0875525571
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars First Time Reading 95 Theses
In this booklet, the second of Stephen Nichols' trio of booklets highlighting major Reformed figures (the other two booklets feature Jonathan Edwards and J. Gresham Machen respectively), Nichols' stated aim is to bring Luther's Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences - better known as the Ninety-Five Theses - to contemporary Christians who have heard of the theses, but never read them. This edition of the theses includes two helpful features: an introduction which sets the theses in historical context, and a minimal commentary on every facing page, while the main text appears on the right hand page. Not every thesis warrants a commentary, so Nichols has sensitively selected which theses bear specialized notes. Even then, the notes provide context or expansion only when necessary, and often in Luther's own words derived from his later work explaining the Ninety-Five Theses (suitably entitled The Explanations of the Ninety-Five Theses).

A few preconceptions of mine were dispelled by this booklet. Firstly, that Luther's main goal in 1517, as demonstrated by the document's official title, was `merely' to expose Johann Tetzel's abuse of papal indulgences (in effect a get-out-of-purgatory-free card) by generating a debate among churchmen. Secondly, Luther's reformational theology was far from being definitively worked out at this point; he was still very much a sympathetic Catholic intent on reforming the Church, not destroying it. Tellingly, the Ninety-Fifth Thesis itself portrays salvation by suffering rather than by faith. This emphasis would change in the years to come.

But the two preconceptions which were most jarringly dashed were a) Luther's consistent defense of the pope throughout the document, and b) the content of the sequence of theses derived from the questions of shrewd parishioners. Unless Luther was representing his own questions as those of his parishioners for rhetorical effect - which would have been dishonest - I would not have thought that the average working class 16th century German was thinking reformational thoughts. No wonder this spark on the tinder lit up the spiritual and ecclesiological landscape of Europe for generations to come.

Embedded in the midst of the theses is the one I consider Luther's gem, the Sixty-Second. It contains the reason why Luther was compelled to act on that October day in 1517, and why he persevered to bring true biblical teaching to the gospel-hungry masses throughout the rest of his life: "The true treasure of the church is the most holy gospel of the glory and grace of God." Luther staked his life on this gospel, which is why we remember him and commemorate him today - and more importantly, the God he served.

5-0 out of 5 stars Martin Luther's 95 Theses
I studied the 95 Theses over 50 years ago. Over the last 8 years, I have been with a teaching team in Lutherstadt Wittenberg, Germany, and the Reformation of the 16t Century is a major if not the major focus of the seminary course.
If one wants to "hear" the authentic Luther, inevitably one must read and think and discuss the Theses. There are other treatises of Luther but of seminal value, I give the 95 Theses a prime spot.
James A. Glasscock
B.D., B.D., Th.M., D.Min. Diploma in Jurisprudence and Human Rights [Strasboug]

5-0 out of 5 stars well done!
Of course the 95 theses haven't changed much in the last few years! But this booklet is really nice. Its very sturdy for a small booklet and has very helpful notes and a fine introduction. I highly recommend this if you want to get an idea of the context and message of Martin Luther's famous "Ninety-Five Thesis". ... Read more

19. Martin Luther: A Penguin Life (Penguin Lives)
by Martin E. Marty
Hardcover: 224 Pages (2004-02-02)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$11.23
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0670032727
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Book Description
Martin Marty—professor, author, pastor, historian, and journalist—is, in Bill Moyers’s words, “the most influential interpreter of American religion.” In Martin Luther this man of unswerving faith, rooted in his own Lutheran tradition yet deeply committed to helping enrich a pluralist society, brings to powerful life the devout Reformation figure whose despair for a perilous world, felt anew in our own times, drove him to a ceaseless search for assurance of God’s love. It was one that led him steadily to a fresh interpretation of human interaction with God—as born solely from God’s grace and not the Church’s mediation—and to the famous theses he posted at Wittenberg in 1517.

Luther’s persistence in this belief, and in his long battle with Church leaders—embellished by rich historical background—make Marty’s biography riveting reading. Luther’s obdurate yet receptive stance, so different from the travestied image of “fundamentalism” we currently face, restored the balance between religion and the individual. Martin Luther is at once a fascinating history, a story of immense spiritual passion and amazing grace, and a superb intellectual biography. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (19)

4-0 out of 5 stars Nice and short
Not as comprehensive as Roland H. Bointon's "Here I Stand". But it will do the job if your time for Martin Luther is very limited. Marty Martin concentrates on providing the reader with an insight into Martin Luther's inner experience.

4-0 out of 5 stars An Introduction To A Tremendously Important Life
For a reader looking for a concise, relatively short, introduction to the life of one of Christianity's most important figures, "Martin Luther" by Martin Marty is an excellent choice.This book does a good job of surveying the life and teachings of this founder of the Reformation.Marty presents a balanced picture, neither attacking its subject nor ignoring his faults and shortcomings.He generally presents the facts and lets the reader draw his own conclusions.While not ignoring Luther's sensual appetites, Marty explains how they conform to his theological teaching.Luther's attractiveness to princes but his hostility to the empowerment of peasants is an example of an historical fact which limits the vision of Luther as a champion of "democracy" against the establishment.

At times the book seems to focus on Luther's writings and preaching, but later gets into more personal details.I suspect that this reflects the scarcity of the historical record with respect to some parts of Luther's life.While not delving into an analysis of Luther's impact on the world, the mere recitation of his life's work enables the reader to appreciate the tremendous impact which Luther has had on history.The reader, whether Protestant, Catholic or non-religious, who is interested in either religious or secular history will find "Martin Luther" to an worthwhile read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent biography for the casual reader
I've got to give the book 5 stars simply because Marty, a Lutheran, had me disliking the guy at the end :-).It's a much more balanced biography, for example, than Here I Stand, which I read many years ago.Marty is an excellent writer.He uses words well, chooses good words, and doesn't waste them.Marty's writing is one of the highlights of the book.The book moves quickly, which is unusual for a biography.More than that, I think Marty provides a plausible, unifying theme to Luther's life.He was clearly not a fun guy.He was intense, fiercely competitive, short-tempered, "over the top".Unlike many religious biographies, this one portrays a man who was deeply flawed, who arguably never developed a satisfying relationship with God.To Luther, you either saw things exactly his way, or you were his enemy.If people had to die to get his gospel preached (himself or others), oh well.As with some Christians today, he felt perfect confidence that his way was THE way, the ONLY way, and that everyone else, for better or worse, was going to hell.

As an example of steadfastness and single-mindedness, he's awesome.You've got to admire someone who knew so thoroughly what he wanted to accomplish, and pursued it with a vengeance, come whatever may.But I can't help wondering if in his zeal, he missed the heart of God.Luther seems to have had a hatred for anyone who didn't "get it", anyone who stood in his (and therefore the gospel's) way, be they peasants or Jews.Luther was a positive for the world and Christianity, but clearly a very flawed human being.

5-0 out of 5 stars lutheran expert on luther
It is hard to believe that for one of the single most important figures in western history, whose collected works run to fifty-five volumes, there are only three or four biographies now in print in English. But so it is for Martin Luther, which makes this biography by Martin Marty a welcome addition. Marty's volume takes its place in the Penguin Lives series, a series which tries to match famous figures with well known authors for the general audience.

Marty takes as his guiding theme Luther's lifelong struggle with God: "God present and God absent, God too near and God too far, the God of wrath and the God of love, God weak and God almighty, God real and God as illusion, God hidden and God revealed." The German word upon which Marty fastens this theme is Anfechtungen, a word that is hard to translate but very easy indeed for people to appreciate: "the spiritual assaults that Luther said kept people from finding certainty in a loving God." Anfechtungen, said Luther, precipitated a "delicious despair" or crisis of certainty for which the believer could only cast himself upon the mercy of God. For the believer, in Luther's scheme, there is a sure security of faith, but no certainty free of struggle, doubt, anxiety, fears and spiritual warfare. At the end of the day, though, the believer rests in the knowledge that God in Christ says to us, "I am more certain to you than your own heart and conscience."

Marty takes us through the major passages of Luther's life: his time in the monastery, his home, the emerging Protestant church, his life as a university scholar and writer, and his civic life in politics. It used to be that Roland Bainton's biography Here I Stand (1950) was the standard life of Luther. Marty's wonderful volume is likely to take its place.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Introduction to Luther's Life
Martin Marty has written what I believe is a good introduction to the great reformer, Martin Luther.At less than 200 pages, the book is a good primer although I am sure there are other more detailed accounts of Luther's life out there.

The book's chapters are as follows:

1.The Hunger for Certainty, 1483-1519.
2.Defining the Life of Faith, 1520-1525.
3.Living the Faith, 1525-1530.
4.The Heart Grown Cold, the Faith More Certain, 1530-1546.

Marty touches on Martin's early life, married life, tensions with the Catholic Church, personal struggles, and his own faults.

All in all, a good introduction to Martin Luther's life.Recommended. ... Read more

20. Martin Luther: A Brief Introduction to His Life and Works
by Paul R. Waibel
Paperback: 139 Pages (2005-01-30)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$11.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0882952315
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Book Description
The fifteenth and sixteenth centuries witnessed a transition in the history of Western Civilization, during which the world of medieval Christendom began to give way to a new world order. Western medieval civilization—a synthesis of classical humanism and Judeo-Christianity—was overseen by the Holy Roman Empire and the Roman Catholic Church. People of the day believed in an orderly universe created by God and a great chain of being. This secure hierarchy was shattered when scientists, philosophers, and theologians began to explore the world around them with new eyes. Meanwhile, a number of national monarchs sought control of the church within their territories in order to secure a strong, unified nation-state apart from the influence of the Roman church. One avenue to control was provided for these monarchs by the Reformation, begun in 1517 by the obscure German monk Martin Luther. Because of his personal experience, reflection, and study of scripture, this religious scholar revised his Catholic faith to the alarm and contempt of Rome. Before long, Luther was accused of heresy, and the Reformation was underway. In this concise and thoughtfully prepared volume, Paul Waibel introduces readers to Luther with a brief biography followed by chapters that address why Luther chose to risk his life by challenging the authority of the papacy. Next, Luther's most important Reformation writings are considered in chronological order. Among the writings discussed are his The Ninety Five Theses, To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation, Concerning the Reform of the Christian Church, The Babylonian Captivity of the Church, The Freedom of the Christian, and The Bondage of the Will, as well as his two most controversial publications, Against the Robbing and Murdering Hordes of Peasants and On the Jews and Their Lies, which some books on Luther gloss over or ignore. This highly readable and thoughtfully prepared volume provides a brief and accessible introduction to one of the most influential persons in European and church history, making it an ideal supplement to wide variety of courses including World and Western Civilization, European History, Renaissance and Reformation, and, naturally, the History of Religion and Christianity. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Guiding readers through Luther's influence and timely contributions to the Christian church
Martin Luther: A Brief Introduction To His Life And Works by Paul R. Waibel (Professor of History, Belhaven College), is an impressive and succinct treatise on the courage and accomplishments of Martin Luther who defied Rome and sought to establish a reformed Christianity in both doctrine and practice. Guiding readers through Luther's influence and timely contributions to the Christian church, Biography and author Professor Waibel deftly delves into the remarkable persistence, substantial successes, ideas and idealism of Martin Luther's challenges to Roman Catholic excesses. Martin Luther is very strongly recommended for all students of Christian religion and history in general, and the Lutheran Church in particular, for its complete and thorough documentation of one man's relentless, tenacious, articulate passion for Protestant reforms.
... Read more

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