This short book is a good place to start if you want to learn about Martin Luther. I ordered it as a e-book and read it on my kindle in a few hours. It covers Luther’s entire life, beginning with his family background and birth. There are sections on Luther’s schooling, his experiences as a monk, his transforming experience in understanding the gospel, his challenge to the religious establishment, subsequent persecution and marriage. It also includes the spread of his teaching, the contribution of his teaching to society and more. There are quotes from Luther on different topics, interspersed throughout the text. Luther’s bluntness and wit makes him come alive to the reader.
The author suggests that Luther may have been bipolar — he certainly had depressive periods (although his situation at times would warrant this) and the prodigiousness of his writing and preaching, could indicate times of mania. We’ll never know, but it’s an interesting question of ponder.
I especially enjoyed the section of Luther’s marriage. Luther saw marriage as the best school for building character. His comments about family life humanize the great reformer. About his wife, Katherine, he says:
” … I am not infatuated though I cherish my wife and I would not exchange Katie for France or for Venice because God has given her to me and other women have worse faults.”
He describes his baby son, Hans, as “a joyful nuisance” and asks, “Child, what have you done that I should love you so? You have disturbed the whole household with your bawling.”
In this book, you will get a taste of both the mighty accomplishments of Luther and his daily life as a husband, father and preacher.
VERDICT: 4 STARS. I have read other biographies of Luther, and didn’t learn much that was new, but this is an well written and informative read.