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Archive for the ‘Martin Luther’ Category

These Banner Board Books for children are awesome!  I plan to review the other two

Rebecca VanDoodewaard.  The Woman Who Loved To Give Books: Susannah Spurgeon. Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, November 10th 2017. 16 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Westminster Amazon

This is the first Banner Board Books for kids that I purchased to read to my young daughters who at that time were five years old and under.  I bought it to introduce godly historical figures from church history that would serve as an example to them.  This particular title was on Susannah Spurgeon the wife of the famous English Preacher Charles Spurgeon.

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Michael Massing.  Fatal Discord: Erasmus, Luther, and the Fight for the Western Mind. New York, NY: Harper, February 27th 2018. 1008 pp.

4 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

This is an incredible book on the biography of both Martin Luther and Erasmus.  Though I have read several different books on the Reformation it seems every time I pick up another title on Luther or the Reformation I continue to learn different aspects of the Reformation.  This work is no different.

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R.C. Sproul,. The Barber Who Wanted To Pray.  Wheaton, IL: Crossway, September 16th 2011.  30 pp.

4 out of 5

Purchase: Westminster Amazon

This is another of RC Sproul’s children book.  There has been a few of his books that I and my kids have enjoyed from him which led me to purchase this book as well.  In this work RC Sproul writes a book that touches on prayer.  I love how in this book as well as others RC Sproul writes on spiritual truths using a story within a story in which the first level of the story are kids hearing adults telling a story with a spiritual lesson that is relevant for them and their situation.  That helps the kids think more reflectively of how the main story applies to the children’s lives.

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This year is the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation when Martin Luther on October 31st 1517 nailed the 95 theses.

I found out that Amazon Videos has a video series by RC Sproul for free for those who have Amazon Prime titled “Luther and the Reformation.”

Here’s the video description from Amazon:

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Andrea Grosso Ciponte. Renegade: Martin Luther, the Graphic Biography.  Walden, NY: Plough Publishing House, October 9th, 2017. 160 pp.

3 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

This year marks the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation and this book is one that is published in light of that historic milestone with this being a graphic novel on the life of Martin Luther.  What follows is my thought on the book Renegade: Martin Luther, the Graphic Biography.

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In the past I have appreciated Dr. Carl Trueman’s teaching on Medieval theology and also the Reformation available through Itunes University.  He’s also written a more practical book on the Reformation for today for the general Christian readers titled Reformation: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow by Carl Trueman.

Every year The Master Seminary brings in a scholar to teach for the Winterim and for this year (2017) they have Dr. Trueman of Westminster Theological Seminary taught on the history of the Reformation.

The entire 19 lectures in video form have been made available online for free!

Enjoy!

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Nancy Guthrie. Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus: Experiencing the Peace and Promise of Christmas.  Wheaton, IL: Crossway, August 1st, 2008.  142 pp.

5 out of 5!

First let me say that I have a hard time with devotional books; I prefer heavier theology books since I find most devotionals to be rather shallow.  But I enjoyed this particular collection of devotional readings for the Advent.  So if I enjoyed this book in light of my bias against devotionals, I think that this work might be something worthwhile for others too.

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Carl Trueman. Reformation: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.  Ross-Shire, UK: Christian Focus Publications, May 20th, 2011. 127 pp.

Rating: 4 out of 5

The author Carl Trueman is the professor of historical theology at Westminster Theological Seminary although he authored this work originally back in 1999 before he was a professor at Westminister.  At that time Trueman was the Senior Lecturer in Church History at University of Aberdeen in which he confesses was written in haste so that it can be delivered at a conference in Wales for the Evangelical Theological College.  Trueman.  In the book’s forward Trueman tells us that he is delighted to find that he agrees with the book even though he originally wrote the book before his 40s and now he is older and mature.  This book is not a history book per se about the reformation as it is about the heritage of the Reformation having its impact and importance for today and the future.

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Heretics and Heroes How Renaissance Artists and Reformation Priests Created Our World

Thomas Cahill. Heretics and Heroes: How Renaissance Artists and Reformation Priests Created Our World.  New York: Doubleday, October 29th, 2013. 368 pp.

This is the sixth installment of a series on history books called Hinges of History by Thomas Cahill, a former editor of religious literature for Double Day.  The series is focused on different groups of people and historical period which have made their contributions felt today.  This particular work focused on the Protestant Reformation and the Italian Renaissance in which the author tries to argue that the Reformation and Renaissance has made its contribution towards the modern concept of self.  It is a fascinating thesis but in the end I felt the author wasn’t as concern about arguing his case as rigorously as possible as he was more excited to give us his biographical sketches of various individuals from the Renaissance and the Reformation.

I don’t think any serious reader would fault the book as a dry historical textbook since the author writes in a journalistic fashion with an upbeat tempo.  The author’s humor is evident through his writing.  There were times when the book reads like a gossip column.  The book was not only able to capture my attention but left me wanting to read up more concerning the Reformation and the Renaissance.

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Note: The following are rough notes from the conference.  Internet is slow at the conference.

CarlTruemanTrueman admits he is a historian and not a theologian

This is not a theological or biblical reflection but there is a role for historical contemplation because of how the nature of some of the objection against inerrancy

The Reformers spent comparatively little time on doctrines of Scripture
That’s because the Reformers inherited it from the church and had intentionally no problems with it.

Factors:
1.) The theologians in the middle ages was working through the issue of source of revelation
2.) The black plague which makes people see him as arbitrary

By the time near the reformation Luther saw scripture as only reliable source

We remember Luther’s bondage of the will was about the will but clarity of Scripture and the latter was more foundational

We must not have the battle for the bible without the battle for the God behind the bible

Aquinas made a good distinction between revelation and inspiration

Remember the key issue in reformation was not scripture yet we see their language about scripture match the same high view of Scripture of those before them

In this message three reformers are whom we look at: Luther, Calvin, Bullinger

For Luther how he uses Scripture is insightful:
Scripture is recommended against the devil
Luther believed the word did it all for the reformation

Calvin believe in inspiration
Did not hold to dictation theory

Bollinger was someone who was better known for earlier protestant circles than today

Letter 82 of Augustine to Jerome is important and a stunning statement of dealing with error: faulty manuscripts, own misunderstanding,

Is error a modernist concept?  Reformers did understand the word difficulties concerning interpretation
Luther on chronology prefer interpretation that does not presupposes error
His approach may not be adequate but he wishes to preserve the integrity of the bible

Secondly the Reformers believe in a trustworthy God that led to a trustworthy Bible
The connection is so close
Why should we do it? Because together it is very powerful

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CarlTrueman

Earlier this month Westminister Theological Seminary has made available for free online on ITunes University their historical theology lecture series on the Reformation.  It is taught by Dr. Carl Trueman.  I am half way through the series and it is pretty good!

Dr. Trueman is a capable scholar and also one who teaches history in a way that is not boring.  He’s conversant with the material at hand, insightful and funny.

One of the things I really got out of the series thus far is the further appreciation for the historical context in which the Reformation took place.  I thought Trueman was also insightful in his observation that Martin Luther was really a Medieval man even as the age of modernity and the Reformation was dawning with Luther as the leader.

You can access the lectures on Itunes by clicking here: The Reformation

Or if you want to access it as an RSS feed click here: RSS

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RTP_2701_DUSTJACKET_martin_luther_sept12a.indd

Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

NOTE: This book just came off the press (March 2013) and was on sale and promoted widely during Shepherd’s Conference!  I thought it would be timely to put up this review. This was a very edifying read; one ought to purchase it for their pastor! The book makes the case that Luther must be understood as a preacher before all other roles that he had, whether it’s a theologian, professor or writer. I learned that Luther zeal for preaching was done while he was doing everything else in ministry and on any given Sunday he preached three to four sermons with the first service beginning at at 5 AM! He would preach a sermon every two days. While I have enjoyed other biographies on Luther in the past (see for instance, this recent post), what makes this particular book unique is that this book on Martin Luther as a preacher is written by Steven Lawson who is himself a powerful and passionate preacher. There’s nothing like a good preacher having the insight on another famous preacher. Lawson is not only a preacher but he has proven himself in the past to be a capable writer especially in the area of the history of preaching and this work doesn’t disappoint. For a work in which the body comes in at 122 pages, Lawson’s historical leg work is amazing with 324 footnotes total. The sources he cites indicate his familiarity with both secondary sources and English translation of primary sources on Luther. And he’s able to do this without making the book feel boring.  On the contrary, reading the book made me felt passionate about preaching especially when I got to chapter five on Luther’s passionate delivery in the pulpit. I couldn’t go to sleep until after three in the morning because I wanted to preach God’s Word as a result of reading this book!  I am a firm believer that true Christ-centered preaching that’s Biblically driven can’t be delivered as a mono-tone lecture–one must internalize the Word of God and let the Word set you ablaze with a conviction of it’s truth and power. I highly recommend the book for all readers.

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Luther for Armchair

Purchase: Amazon

This is the third book in the Armchair Theologians series and thus far my favorite one out of the three. I originally considered to stop reading this series since the other two were not what I expected (specifically, the one on Augustine and Aquinas). However, this book was enjoyable. It went through the biography of Luther and also discussed his theology. Excellent exposition on Luther’s view of justification. I enjoyed the author’s explanation of what the Gospel is and is not. Though I don’t agree everything with Luther’s theology neverthess I’m grateful that this book is able to show Luther’s theology accurately without resorting to trying to make him relevant at the expense of being no longer an accurate portrayal of Luther’s life and theology as I felt the work on Aquinas has done. I thought this particular book was accessible for the general reading audience while remaining theological enough without resorting to silly humor compare to one other book in this series. The author even drove home Luther’s theology that theology is not just something done for arm-chair theologians but during life–an irony that the author even noted contrary to the book’s title. Good introduction to Luther and I would recommend it.

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Yesterday I reviewed Luther’s classic commentary on Galatians.  After a reader’s comment, I found several media format one can enjoy this classic!

Martin Luther Galatians

You can download it for free onto Kindle if you click HERE.

If you want to download it to your Apple IBook click HERE.

If you want an Adobe PDF copy click HERE.

If you want to read it online in Html Format, click here for the table of Content.

If you want to hear it courtesy of LibriVox, click here.

Enjoy!

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Martin Luther Galatians

After reading the Bible, every Christian should at least one time in their life read something by Martin Luther to understand the man who has been responsible for the Protestant Reformation and the issue of justification that was at stake. Luther’s commentary of Galatians was a delightful read. I was surprised that there was not a strong polemical taste to this work but instead one feels the pastoral heartbeat of Luther as he expounds the meaning of the text and often showing how a promise in Galatians should be applied to combating wrong thoughts and demonic discouragement. Again, a delightful read, but more than reading the words of Martin Luther this commentary made me read more carefully on my own the book of Galatians itself.

 

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