Thursday, November 4, 2010

Learning Luther, A Follow-Up

Luther's Rose

In way of recommending resources, I suggest the following concerning Reformer Martin Luther, Father of Protestantism, with a little help from his friends.

Martin Luther: A Guided Tour of His Life & Thought by Stephen Nichols. This is an introductory biography that is engaging, informative, and at times entertaining.

Reading the Psalms with Luther. Think with Luther through the Psalms, devotionally. This is not a commentary, but a reader. For each Psalm there is a brief word from Luther, the Psalm itself, and a prayer fueled by the content of the Psalm. Luther believed that each Psalm fit into a category with at least one of the 10 Commandments (Ex 20) and one line of The Model Prayer (Mt 6). Quite insightful. God has used this book in my life to draw me closer to Himself. Each read makes for a wonderful and reverent way to begin a day.

Tabletalk. Luther was full of Christian hospitality. The Luther dinner table was very often surrounded by not only family, but orphans, students, and colleagues. There was music (by the Luther family), beer, and Christ-like love. These evenings were not brief fellowships. During them Luther would discuss life, theology, government, parenting, marriage, and a hundred other things with his guests. His students, not wanting to miss any of it, took turns recording Luther's words. Therefore, this book is an inside look at Luther outside of the pulpit, the classroom, and the councils. His wife, Katharina, was known to say that her husband should have charged tuition for these discussions.

The Shorter Catechism of Martin Luther (Luther's Little Instruction Book). One of Luther's most enduring works written as an abbreviated form of his larger catechism as a means to train children and the "ignorant Christians" (Luther's words), in foundational aspects of Christian living. Still used widely today. Can be downloaded for free at

The Bondage of the Will. Luther's other most enduring work that records his thoughts on the nature of sin and salvation. Luther's ongoing debate with Erasmus sparked the writing of this work. 

My Reformation Day message called The Power of Gospel Light. It will give you an overview of what shaped Luther and how Luther has shaped Protestantism. It can be found at

Hope this helps.

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