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Luther: Biography of a Reformer

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Author Frederick Nohl tells how Luther grew up to live the adventuresome, often dangerous life of a man of God. He became one of those great men whom to know is to gain something unusually worthwhile. Martin Luther still lives on today, for his thoughts and words and actions have helped to make our modern world what it is. The book's cover and interior features 4-color "st Author Frederick Nohl tells how Luther grew up to live the adventuresome, often dangerous life of a man of God. He became one of those great men whom to know is to gain something unusually worthwhile. Martin Luther still lives on today, for his thoughts and words and actions have helped to make our modern world what it is. The book's cover and interior features 4-color "stills" from the motion picture, "Luther." The movie releases in theaters on 9-26-03.


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Author Frederick Nohl tells how Luther grew up to live the adventuresome, often dangerous life of a man of God. He became one of those great men whom to know is to gain something unusually worthwhile. Martin Luther still lives on today, for his thoughts and words and actions have helped to make our modern world what it is. The book's cover and interior features 4-color "st Author Frederick Nohl tells how Luther grew up to live the adventuresome, often dangerous life of a man of God. He became one of those great men whom to know is to gain something unusually worthwhile. Martin Luther still lives on today, for his thoughts and words and actions have helped to make our modern world what it is. The book's cover and interior features 4-color "stills" from the motion picture, "Luther." The movie releases in theaters on 9-26-03.

30 review for Luther: Biography of a Reformer

  1. 4 out of 5

    Petra kissed a frog and he turned into a toad

    Rewritten Sept. 28th, 2011 This book is a highly selective biography of Martin Luther by an author who wishes to glorify the originator of a progressive branch of Christianity, whilst carefully omitting all criticism of a man who was anti-semitic, despised gypsies and thought that peasants should remain in their feudal place serving the nobility whose positions had been ordained if not by God, then at least by his paymasters by whose patronage he prospered. Many atrocities in the Peasants' War of Rewritten Sept. 28th, 2011 This book is a highly selective biography of Martin Luther by an author who wishes to glorify the originator of a progressive branch of Christianity, whilst carefully omitting all criticism of a man who was anti-semitic, despised gypsies and thought that peasants should remain in their feudal place serving the nobility whose positions had been ordained if not by God, then at least by his paymasters by whose patronage he prospered. Many atrocities in the Peasants' War of 1525 were committed in his name with his knowledge. The peasants sought to establish a classless society. Luther sympathised with their aims in print but when it came to backing them, he urged the nobility whose society he so enjoyed, to condemn them and put them down as the "mad dogs" they were. Luther made it plain that the peasants should limit their actions in their revolt to those allowed by the authorities. (Since it is authorities who repress people who feel the need to revolt, exactly what actions would be open to them he doesn't make clear). His sermons hammered home the primacy of core Christian values such as love, patience, charity, and freedom and reminded people that trust in God would bring about change, and that violence was to be abhorred. This he limited to interactions between Christians and did not extend to others. More, his hatred of Jews was so extreme he advocated extreme violence against them. The book entirely leaves out even a mention that Martin Luther was the inspiration of Hitler, of the Nazis, who used his statements on Jews and what should be done to them as their own propaganda. It is a whitewash job, it exists to praise Luther for reforming what he saw as the corrupt Catholic church, and doesn't address the entirely evil side of him at all. (As do all other anti-semites, Luther 'forgot' that Jesus was a Jew and practiced Judaism. Matthew 5:17 "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil." [KJV]. Jesus preached only to Jews and St. Paul, quite some time later, directed his interpretation of this fulfillment towards Romans. However, there is nothing in St. Paul's reformation that hints at or encourages violence towards Jews. Luther's great hatred gets its inspiration from nothing biblical.) I wonder if in five hundred years books will be written about Hitler, Milosevic even on down to Jesse Helms and Jerry Falwell and will laud them as reformers and dismiss in a line or two their essentially hateful, evil character because it doesn't suit the myths that people will have come to accept about them? Is this the destiny of all those so well-beloved by an influential group that their names remain alive centuries after their deaths, that their good points will be lauded and their sins, even when as extreme as Luther's, will be buried along with their bodies?

  2. 4 out of 5

    The other John

    Don't be fooled by the cover. This is a biography of Martin Luther, first published in 1962. When the movie came out, CPH republished the book, illustrating it with a number of stills from the film--including the front cover picture where Dr. Luther looks like he's going to hit you with a big honkin' Bible. (Maybe they were thinking that it was a good way to illustrate what the Reformation did to European Christianity.) I wonder if it was an attempt to capitalize on the film to sell more books o Don't be fooled by the cover. This is a biography of Martin Luther, first published in 1962. When the movie came out, CPH republished the book, illustrating it with a number of stills from the film--including the front cover picture where Dr. Luther looks like he's going to hit you with a big honkin' Bible. (Maybe they were thinking that it was a good way to illustrate what the Reformation did to European Christianity.) I wonder if it was an attempt to capitalize on the film to sell more books or if the book was meant to push the film. Anyway, I suppose it doesn't matter. This book is better than the movie, but not as good as Here I Stand which is a Luther biography for an older audience. This covers all the high points of Luther's life, but the writing seemed a bit flat. Many of the other biographies that we've had to read for school are much more enjoyable to read. I guess Sonlight curriculum just raises one's standards. Still, even if Luther is mere waiting room material, it does do its job and tell the story of this influential man.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Dad Bowers

    Nohl gives an excellent overview of Luther's passion, humanity, and greatness as he struggled to reform the Catholic church in medieval Germany. The gospel that Luther sought to clarify for Europe of long ago is clearly stated for readers today. Written for a youth audience, it is good also for adults who are ignorant of the times and places and issues yet who are seeking a quick study of the Reformer. Nohl gives an excellent overview of Luther's passion, humanity, and greatness as he struggled to reform the Catholic church in medieval Germany. The gospel that Luther sought to clarify for Europe of long ago is clearly stated for readers today. Written for a youth audience, it is good also for adults who are ignorant of the times and places and issues yet who are seeking a quick study of the Reformer.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jim B

    Excellent, readable, full of interesting anecdotes -- covered every area of Luther's life mentioned in the 2003 movie "Luther." The book fills in many areas previously not included in popular biographies of Luther. Excellent, readable, full of interesting anecdotes -- covered every area of Luther's life mentioned in the 2003 movie "Luther." The book fills in many areas previously not included in popular biographies of Luther.

  5. 5 out of 5

    The_J

    Decent, if not spectacular, stroll through the life of one of God's agents of change, bringing the Bible and the service to the people in the vernacular. Change is made by those willing to stand against the forces of the day. Luther: "I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen." Decent, if not spectacular, stroll through the life of one of God's agents of change, bringing the Bible and the service to the people in the vernacular. Change is made by those willing to stand against the forces of the day. Luther: "I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen."

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    Well written, concise biography of Martin Luther who started the Protestant reformation. Helpful history of the time regarding Holy Roman Empire, Germany and Europe is interspersed to aid understanding of the times and issues. Great read as we approach the 500th anniversary of the reformation.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Justin Wiebelhaus

    Luther is an eye-opening story about Martin Luther and the example he sets for Christians everywhere. I was raised in the Lutheran faith and did not know a lot of the back story of Luther. The book is an easy read and holds a lot of German and European history of the 14th century.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Catie Ewing

    A great book about Martin Luther!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sherry Isaac

    Clear, concise, historical, theological and non-preachy read.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Pam Ostdahl

    I enjoyed this book about Martin Luther. I learned how he started the Lutheran Church.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Richard Booth

    I particularly appreciated the analytic review by "Orthodox Lutheran Reader." Historically and psychologically, this particular biographical rendition of Luther is superficial and terribly incomplete. While I realize that a simple, straightforward work on Luther might assist the very young, I do not see how reasonable adults can rate this book with five stars unless their fund of historical and psychosocial information is deficient. I particularly appreciated the analytic review by "Orthodox Lutheran Reader." Historically and psychologically, this particular biographical rendition of Luther is superficial and terribly incomplete. While I realize that a simple, straightforward work on Luther might assist the very young, I do not see how reasonable adults can rate this book with five stars unless their fund of historical and psychosocial information is deficient.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    A bit dry at times, but interesting nonetheless. It definitely went into far more detail than I was given during my Lutheran school education felt board presentations. I learned more about the background history, what was going on in the world at the time and what kind of man Luther was. I received it as a gift a while ago and its been sitting on my bookshelf. I'm glad I finally read it and got a mini refresher course in the reformer. A bit dry at times, but interesting nonetheless. It definitely went into far more detail than I was given during my Lutheran school education felt board presentations. I learned more about the background history, what was going on in the world at the time and what kind of man Luther was. I received it as a gift a while ago and its been sitting on my bookshelf. I'm glad I finally read it and got a mini refresher course in the reformer.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kim Sullivan

    Easy to read biography of Martin Luther, author the the reform movement to change the Catholic church. Easy to understand while still including many rich details of his life. Focused mostly on his actions, not his teachings. Great to understand the 'why' and 'how' it all came about. Highly recommended for anyone interested in the reformation movement and how it began. Easy to read biography of Martin Luther, author the the reform movement to change the Catholic church. Easy to understand while still including many rich details of his life. Focused mostly on his actions, not his teachings. Great to understand the 'why' and 'how' it all came about. Highly recommended for anyone interested in the reformation movement and how it began.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Dawn Roberts

    I was raised Lutheran, but this is the first biography of Luther I've ever read. It was published by Concordia, so it's doesn't give a very even-handed treatment of Luther's opponents. However, it does paint a fascinating portrait of a mercurial and charismatic preacher and ardent follower of Christ. I was raised Lutheran, but this is the first biography of Luther I've ever read. It was published by Concordia, so it's doesn't give a very even-handed treatment of Luther's opponents. However, it does paint a fascinating portrait of a mercurial and charismatic preacher and ardent follower of Christ.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Laverne

    This is a great basic book to learn about Martin Luther's life, beliefs, and how he became the catalyst for the Protestant Reformation of the church. It is very very easy to read and a good place to start. This is a great basic book to learn about Martin Luther's life, beliefs, and how he became the catalyst for the Protestant Reformation of the church. It is very very easy to read and a good place to start.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Duffy

    This book must be about Luther's non-controversial brother, or complete fiction, but it's a severely inaccurate portrayal of the Luther of historical reality. But, it can feed the hunger to know more of Luther and the Reformation. This book must be about Luther's non-controversial brother, or complete fiction, but it's a severely inaccurate portrayal of the Luther of historical reality. But, it can feed the hunger to know more of Luther and the Reformation.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Weyer

    A monk, a priest, a reformer, eventually a husband and father with six kids. Who knew!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Thing Two

    This is like reading a poorly written account from my elementary school textbook.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kara

    A good, readable, introductory biography of Luther.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Skye

    The movie was better. This was all history, no fiction so sometimes dry. But, interesting to learn about Martin Luthur.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    A thorough, easy-to-read, but uninspired account of the life of Martin Luther for children.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nooilforpacifists

    There's much truth in Petra X's review--this is whitewashed history. But it's well-written. And, it was made into an equally one-sided, but excellent, bio-pic (financed by the Lutheran church). There's much truth in Petra X's review--this is whitewashed history. But it's well-written. And, it was made into an equally one-sided, but excellent, bio-pic (financed by the Lutheran church).

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Luther is a good book about Martin Luther. It's interesing and is kind of fun. Luther is a good book about Martin Luther. It's interesing and is kind of fun.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Andy Doyle

    Good introductory biography of Martin Luther. Very easy to read.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    Very easy read of historical events surrounding Luther and the Reformation.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Joan McKenzie

  27. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

  28. 5 out of 5

    Heather

  29. 5 out of 5

    Bria Thatcher

  30. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

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