Trueman's command of his subject shines through a bit more brightly than Nicholls on Bonhoeffer or Ortlund on Edwards. The title however is a little misleading as the book is not primarily about Luther on the Christian Life but more all of his life and theology. Within contemporary theological discussion, Luther serves all too often whether positively or negatively as the rallying banner for a mode of Christianity within which the doctrines of grace deliberately exclude any and all practical consideration for how Christians should actually live. When I saw that celebrity author and mega-seminary professor Karl Trueman was set to write it, I spent months wait If I had to choose someone to write a work on the life and thought of Martin Luther I am not sure who I would pick. Honestly, one of most challenging and awesome reads of the last few years.
For a confessional Presbyterian to write a biographical work on Martin Luther of such quality tgat it includes a foreword from Robert Kolb and an afterword from Martin Marty is quite a feat and should be enough of an endorsement to send you sprinting to your Crossway. But that sort of background shouldn't be necessary to enjoy the main parts of this book. It was more like a textbook: you plodded through it, knowing the content was good. The rest of the book dealt with what Luther thought, what was very important to him, and how he applied his theology to the Christian life. He was editor of Themelios for nine years, has authored or edited more than a dozen books, and has contributed to multiple publications including the Dictionary of Historical Theology and The Cambridge Companion to Reformation Theology. Abstract: Martin Luther's historical significance can hardly be overstated. His sacramental emphasis, though modified from that of the Middle Ages, was still much greater than the typical Protestant evangelicals today.
In Luther on the Christian Life, historian Carl Trueman introduces readers to the lively reformer, taking them on a tour of his historical context, theological system, and approach to the Christian life. This is a more complicated issue than is often thought by Protestants but essentially Luther opened the Bible for the people. This distinction between the theology of the cross and glory is what separates the man who wants to serve God as He commands and man who wants to serve God as he desires. Trueman is to be commended for presenting a Luther who is unlike us in so many ways, and yet a Luther from whom we can learn so much. About the Author: Carl R. For those who would like to get a close, first-hand acquaintance with Luther — after reading your book, of course! Personally, what resonated most deeply was the pastoral devotion Luther had for his congregants, sparing time for hospitality, developing catechisms for the maturation of their faith, and utilizing the cross as the means by which we grow to love God. Those interested in Trueman's take on the contested questions of Luther scholarship must venture elsewhere in his scholarly work.
What's more, he has to do all of this within 215 pages and on a popular reading level. All the greater reason to pick this book up and find out who Luther was, how he contributed to the history of the church in the early 1500s, and how that changed the course of history for the Christian church, which in turn, even echoes into the very church you are a part of today. Thankfully, the folks at Crossway did not consult me. First, authority: he argued for the clarity of scripture over against the notion that scripture was fundamentally obscure and therefore required the church as magisterium to interpret it. Disclosure: I received this book free from Crossway Books through the Beyond the Page book reviewer program.
But I love that ultimately what the life of Luther to offers me is a fresh call to look to our big God and His stunning work in saving for himself a people to know Him in Christ, together shaped and served by word and sacrament. As I was reading the chapter it is a big reminder to me of how often I see very little power in the power of Word, this is not the case for Luther. He does not look at sinful human beings and see among the mass of people some who are intrinsically more righteous or holy than others and thus find himself attracted to them. For the desperate and the contrite i. I certainly feel like I know a lot more about Luther now and will always be challenged to not be a theologian of glory! I highly recommend this as an introduction to Luther and his theology or, if already familiar with both, as a means of reflecting on how both can guide us in our living the Christian life today. A Grieving Father One aspect of family life in the sixteenth century that is less common today was infant mortality. Trueman: For fun, the Tabletalk.
He was editor of Themelios for nine years, has authored or edited more than a dozen books, and has contributed to multiple publications including the Dictionary of Historical Theology and The Cambridge Companion to Reformation Theology. From a distance of five hundred years, Luther tells us that the story is not about us; its about what God has done for us. Thus, maturation in the Christian life is not simply one of rote memorization and catechesis, but a profoundly moral exercise intended to grip our affections for God by the knowledge of scripture. It is a remarkably edifying and illuminating piece of work. Trueman's message about Luther is: accept no substitutes, they aren't worth it. Trueman paints Luther skilfully and fairly. His high view of the liturgy and sacraments stands alongside his more familiar views on the authority of Scripture and justification by faith alone.
I am also occupied with it. Known as the father of the Protestant Reformation, Luther has had an enormous impact on Western Christianity and culture. Trueman: I would say three areas are crucial matters of concern to him. Div through Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. For more extended comments, read on. Those familiar with the spectrum of options within Luther scholarship will inevitably wonder at various points in the book why Trueman makes some of the interpretive choices that he does. It was more like a textbook: you plodded through it, knowing the content was good.
That said, though, Trueman has delivered a solid presentation on what we can learn from Martin Luther on the Christian life. Trueman, recognizing the weaknesses of this approach, argues for a more sensible reading in moving beyond the modernly-evangelicalized Luther by studying the real Luther; the systematic thinking, often bombastic, Christian man, in his own historical context 22. This is where many evangelicals and I include myself to an extent cannot follow Luther. I enjoyed this book a lot. A Reformed reader reading a book on Luther is kind of like a basketball fan watching a documentary on Michael Jordan.
Carl Trueman did a really good job at least from what I could tell; I'm no Luther scholar of summarizing Luther's teachings on the Christian life and making it pretty accessible for the average reader. Known as the father of the Protestant Reformation, no single figure has had a greater impact on Western Christianity except perhaps Augustine. Such people mention his marquee work The Bondage of the Will, or his famed commentary in Galatians. All those interested in Luther or the Reformation need to read this excellent book. The highlights of their career are pretty well already cemented in history and well-remembered, and their coming to prominence is old news. Trueman is a tremendous historian. For more extended comments, read on.