The Many Faces of Martin Luther

91jtsEDR+TL“Brilliant, tormented, passionate, scatological, superstitious, devious, loyal, bitter—pick an adjective, good or bad, and it invariably applies to the German reformer Martin Luther at one time or another in his turbulent life. . . . The towering figure who changed the course of Western civilization also had feet of clay. That is one reason why, 500 years later, we continue to find Luther captivating. . . .

As a Reformation scholar, I too find myself returning again and again to Luther, both for amusement and insight. I am not sure my ego could have survived the scathing rebukes he dished out to some of his closest friends. The truth is many of his friends learned to bite their tongues, or else they became his enemies. It was indeed difficult to stand in the presence of what his closest ally, Philip Melanchthon, described as a ‘militant temperament’ and a ‘cocky self-righteousness.’ Luther was a raging fire.”                 —Frank A. James III

So begins my scholar husband’s review of Herman Selderhius’s excellent new biography, Martin Luther: A Spiritual Biography.

Frank’s review, titled “The Many Faces of Martin Luther,” alerts prospective readers that truly understanding Luther will undoubtedly require some readjustments (especially for those inclined toward hero worship of the reformers).

“Herman Selderhuis’s biography proves that just about every adjective, good or bad, can apply to the great reformer.”

While there are few reformation scholars to equal Dr. Selderhuis, and his work reflects superb scholarship and analysis, he wrote this book for a general audience. And for the record, he could hardly have chosen a more colorful and entertaining subject than Luther.

Read the whole review here.

Then take a look inside the book and order a copy here.


Herman Selderhuis


About carolyncustisjames
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1 Response to The Many Faces of Martin Luther

  1. Pete Ahlstrom says:

    Very thought provoking!


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