Martin Luther: The Man Who Rediscovered God and Changed the World
Written by Eric Metaxas, Martin Luther: The Man Who Rediscovered God and Changed the World is thoroughly researched and readable. Metaxas perfectly blends historical and Biblical facts into a seamless biography of a man who literally changed Christianity.
Martin Luther’s life was jam packed. He took on the most powerful force in Europe, the Pope, along with the Holy Roman Empire. In doing so, he upended and split Catholicism into what would become Lutheranism. He did not seek to trigger the Reformation. However, once it started, Luther felt God was leading him and he could not turn back. Even if he risked being burned at the stake.
Metaxas does a great job of correcting some of the myths that have surrounded Luther over time. Most notable of these involves whether he nailed the 99 theses to the church doors or not. But these misconceptions, overall, hardly matter. Luther’s actual accomplishments are unbelievable without misinformation.
Martin Luther: The Man Who Rediscovered God and Changed the World could be an impressive medieval novel. From staged kidnappings and hiding out in a noble’s castle, to pretending to be a knight, Martin Luther was a character larger than life. He also was a man of great timing.
As a prolific writer, Luther benefitted from the newly available printing press. He was able to use this invention to spread his written word at speeds his predecessors could not. Many of Luther’s ideas were not new. But his ability to produce pamphlets that laypeople could read and share meant his ideas were amplified and unstoppable. The Pope could hardly stop this, although attempts were made.
As a Lutheran myself, Martin Luther: The Man Who Rediscovered God and Changed the World helps solidify my own beliefs. Lutheranism varies from Catholicism in many ways. This book points out these differences and why Martin Luther opposed certain things the church was doing.
One of the other lasting accomplishments Martin Luther gave us was bringing the Bible to the people. Before him, only ordained priests would read scripture and thus interpret how they saw fit. Luther translated the Bible into German, allowing and encouraging the people to read the Word on their own.
Simple, yet extremely important, this ability for more people to read scripture ensured the Reformation would happen. And it also meant people could find their own salvation through Christ, as is the most basic tenant of Christianity.
Eric Metaxas did a superb job on this biography of one of the most interesting and important people in history.
Check out another biography of Martin Luther I reviewed, A World Ablaze The Rise of Martin Luther and the Birth of the Reformation.