Martin Luther may have been immortalised by the “Here I stand…” quote, but there is so much more to his life than that simple quote.
First, I must say, this is a full biography. Sometimes biographies can be so short that they merely fill you with the life of the person. These kind of biographies then do not give you to context of what everything is happening. This biography by Roland Bainton however does not have any of these weakness. At at whopping 400 pages, Bainton presents Luther in his context, society and culture.
Bainton allows the reader to go away with a deep understanding of the what was Luther was going through before, during and after the Reformation. At times, Bainton also injects his own evaluation on how Luther handled the various situations in Luther’s life. Within the book, there are also many picture of wood carvings displayed appropriately which really helps the readers to “go back in time”.
Bainton does not only fills the readers with the life of Luther, he fills the readers with knowledge of the cultural and religious context of Luther in his life. These were very well explain and even as a novice in such matters, I do not find myself confused about it. Bainton not only talks about why Luther called for the Reformation, he also talks about how the Reformation slowly happened, and what followed up from it.
What I gathered from reading the life of Luther is his focus on the importance of the Word. Which was a great reminder for myself as someone who lives after the Reformation, it is easy to take the Word of God for granted and then to neglect it. Next, I see how fearless Luther was to stand for what he thinks is right. That too was a timely reminder for me as a christian, that I should be firm to stand for what I know from the Word of God, is right.
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a substantial biography to Luther, but for readers who wants a lighter introduction, I think The Heroic Boldness of Martin Luther by Steven Lawson would be a better choice.
Rating: 4.5 / 5