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Martin Luther: A Biography for the People

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Martin Luther is a fresh retelling of one the most significant figures of the last millennium. Not written primarily for theologians, but rather for a general, twenty-fi rst-century audience, Martin Luther traces • Luther’s early development • Luther’s confl icts between civic and religious authorities • Luther’s leadership of reform in Germany • The subsequent impact of Luthe Martin Luther is a fresh retelling of one the most significant figures of the last millennium. Not written primarily for theologians, but rather for a general, twenty-fi rst-century audience, Martin Luther traces • Luther’s early development • Luther’s confl icts between civic and religious authorities • Luther’s leadership of reform in Germany • The subsequent impact of Luther’s writings and beliefs as they stretched around the world


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Martin Luther is a fresh retelling of one the most significant figures of the last millennium. Not written primarily for theologians, but rather for a general, twenty-fi rst-century audience, Martin Luther traces • Luther’s early development • Luther’s confl icts between civic and religious authorities • Luther’s leadership of reform in Germany • The subsequent impact of Luthe Martin Luther is a fresh retelling of one the most significant figures of the last millennium. Not written primarily for theologians, but rather for a general, twenty-fi rst-century audience, Martin Luther traces • Luther’s early development • Luther’s confl icts between civic and religious authorities • Luther’s leadership of reform in Germany • The subsequent impact of Luther’s writings and beliefs as they stretched around the world

42 review for Martin Luther: A Biography for the People

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Huether

    Martin Luther was one of the most significant figures of the last millennium. His father wanted Martin to be a lawyer. Sending him to a University. He left law to study religion. He felt drawn to God. He had a mentor that urged him to memorize the scriptures. In doing this he was inspired to write the 95 Theses, which led to the reformation. He believed the only way to God was through his son Jesus Christ. After he was kicked out of the Catholic Church. He became a University Professor. He was fr Martin Luther was one of the most significant figures of the last millennium. His father wanted Martin to be a lawyer. Sending him to a University. He left law to study religion. He felt drawn to God. He had a mentor that urged him to memorize the scriptures. In doing this he was inspired to write the 95 Theses, which led to the reformation. He believed the only way to God was through his son Jesus Christ. After he was kicked out of the Catholic Church. He became a University Professor. He was free to marry, which he did and had a large family. He loved music and wrote many hymns. “A mighty fortress is our God” is one of them I️ really enjoyed this book. I️ won this free book from Goodreads First Reads.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Guy Austin

    As a history buff and one who enjoys a good Biography. This is a very very good entry into the life of Martin Luther, the man who put the Protestant movement in motion. Yes there were some before him and others like minded in his time, but it was Luther who forced the hand and succeeded in creating a lasting movement in the reformation and a clean break from the Catholic power of Rome and the Pope. The title is well stated. Martin Luther: A Biography for The People. For the difference between Lu As a history buff and one who enjoys a good Biography. This is a very very good entry into the life of Martin Luther, the man who put the Protestant movement in motion. Yes there were some before him and others like minded in his time, but it was Luther who forced the hand and succeeded in creating a lasting movement in the reformation and a clean break from the Catholic power of Rome and the Pope. The title is well stated. Martin Luther: A Biography for The People. For the difference between Luther and the other reformers of the Church was his ability to speak to the people and his uncanny ability to do so in their language. He spoke clearly and concisely. He may have done exceptionally well here in modern times on Twitter it seems. This Biography casts its net wide and captures the man form birth to death and beyond without being over bearing and without fear of placing light on his achievements as well as his blemishes. It seems a fair treatment. We learn of his early life as he tried to craft it as one of a peasant as well as the reality of one with a bit more than that of the simple medieval citizens of his time. His family as connections. From his time at University studying to be come a lawyer to help with his fathers interest in mining to his abrupt change to entering the monastery we quickly see his stubbornness and his talented mind come out. We are taken through his moments of reflection and change to question the doctrine of the Catholic Church till it is cemented after a visit to the Roman center of the faith and he shifts again quickly and violently in his thinking culminating in his posting of the ninety-five theses to the door of the church. As he rails against the authorities in Rome and the Pope specifically, we see a man that is forceful in his ideals and theology so much so far he is down right vicious in his reaction to any who speak the least against those ideas that become the Lutheran reform movement. This is a very entertaining and enjoyable read. That teaches well without pretense. An unvarnished five into all areas of his life, writings, the social and political climates, the other reformers of his time. His missteps that caused him and his movement more harm than good. It questions decisions he made that delivered enemy’s of King Henry VIII, and his contemporaries in reforming the church due to his unwillingness and savage response to questioning of one item in his writing. I thoroughly enjoyed this discussion. If one is looking for a nice full, yet quick read of Martin Luther. This is a great place to start. It is well notated with wonderful references for further dives if you wish.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Greg

    I received this book as a Goodreads Giveaway. Written for a popular audience, Daughrity’s biography of Martin Luther is well-researched and well-organized. Speaking of the “95 Theses”, “How did these rather blasé words make such an impact? They set in motion the Protestant Reformation. They opened the floodgates to literacy. They marked the beginning of the end of the medieval world and the dawning of the modern age. They caused the biggest split in the history of Christianity. They set in motio I received this book as a Goodreads Giveaway. Written for a popular audience, Daughrity’s biography of Martin Luther is well-researched and well-organized. Speaking of the “95 Theses”, “How did these rather blasé words make such an impact? They set in motion the Protestant Reformation. They opened the floodgates to literacy. They marked the beginning of the end of the medieval world and the dawning of the modern age. They caused the biggest split in the history of Christianity. They set in motion a sequence of events that would lead to religious freedom. They blazed the trail for individualism. They set the stage for modern democracy. They spurred the rise of modern capitalism. They were a prelude to modern secularization—both of the state and of the individual.” Daughrity seeks to answer this question throughout the biography by emphasizing what was different about Luther from his contemporary reformers. Luther the man was devout, determined, and complicated. Daughrity emphasizes the relationship with his mentor Staupitz, and his scholarly aptitudes. Certain events in his life were quite transformational. During his trip to Rome, Luther’s faith took some significant turn. “Years later, in 1582, Luther’s son Paul reflected on his father’s experience on the Scala Santa stairs. He claimed it was a turning point in his father’s theology. As Luther was ascending the steps on his knees, he remembered the apostle Paul’s words, ‘The just shall live by faith.’ Those words reflected a change of the heart in the young German monk, and eventually they became a concise summary of Luther’s entire theological system.” (72) “To Luther’s great disappointment, ‘his mission…proved futile.’ He was informed that he needed a letter from the vicar general—Staupitz—in order to get an audience with the papal curia. Luther had no such letter. The Roman church was a titanic bureaucracy; signatures were required in order to move an issue up the food chain. Luther, a lowly monk from Germany, was low on the chain indeed. So he was unable to gain anything like a fair hearing. All doors were shut to him. Coming to Rome thinking he might resolve a major dispute in one of the great orders of the church was delusional He had violated church protocol by advocating a position different from his superior, Staupitz. Besides this, according to church law, ‘the Germans are forbidden to appeal.” (73) After stating his case, Luther had the good fortune of operating within the territory of Elector Frederick. Daughrity’s portrayal of Frederick the Wise is very interesting. Luther’s protector kept a critical distance from Luther, while simultaneously protecting him. He was the most powerful of the Electors, and thus wielded enormous influence. Luther had the good fortune of being used for political means by such a person. Also of great importance to Luther was the printing press. His primary target was against the practice of indulgences. “Indulgences are among the earliest printed documents; Gutenberg started printing them himself in 1454. Ironically, Gutenberg’s press, so closely associated with the printing of the Bible and the spread of Protestant ideas, was used much earlier, and more prolifically, by the Roman Catholic Church to print indulgences.” (115) That said, without the press, Luther’s message would not have had the opportunity to reach the popular audience. “Scholars have often overlooked that Luther was, most fundamentally, a priest and a pastor.” This is the particular area of emphasis for Daughrity and one that is incredibly important. His sermons, published in German, were written directly to a popular audience, and as such became much more popular and influential than his “95 Theses”. The Emperor Charles underestimated this at Worms. As Luther railed against Tetzel and indulgences, he advocated a principle of ad fonts – which is translated as meaning back to the sources. This was a large departure from the theological constructs of the day. Because he had translated the Bible into German, everyone had the opportunity to return to the sources with him. Luther did miss opportunities and had a darker side.Daughrity’s treatment of the Dutch priest and reformer Erasmus was wonderfully presented. Erasmus was an extraordinary scholar and a vocal critic of the abuses of the Catholic church. He also was interested in the unity of the Church, and diverged from Luther in charting a middle course. Daughrity also describes ably the theological differences between the two men. Daughrity rightly highlights the dark sides of Luther’s personalities. As rivals sprung up, such as Karlstadt, he was ruthless in his invectives against them, destroying them in the long run. “Those who ran afoul of him rarely rose from the ashes after he torched them.” His comments regarding Jews were reused by the Nazi party to justify the Holocaust. These are legacies of Luther that can’t be ignored. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and learned much. Very highly recommended. See my other reviews here!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Kidwell

    Martin Luther A Biography for the People by Dyron Daughrity Abilene Christian University Press Christian , History Pub Date 12 Sep 2017 I am reviewing a copy of Martin Luther: A Biography for the People through Abilene Christian University Press and Netgalley: Little Did Luther know the impact The Ninety-Five Theses or Disputation for Clarifying the Power Of Indulenges would have, and how it would help to birth Protestant Christianity when he pinned those words to a church door on October.31.1517. The Martin Luther A Biography for the People by Dyron Daughrity Abilene Christian University Press Christian , History Pub Date 12 Sep 2017 I am reviewing a copy of Martin Luther: A Biography for the People through Abilene Christian University Press and Netgalley: Little Did Luther know the impact The Ninety-Five Theses or Disputation for Clarifying the Power Of Indulenges would have, and how it would help to birth Protestant Christianity when he pinned those words to a church door on October.31.1517. The words as dull as they may seem would help to birth modern day Christianity. Martin Luther was born to Hans and Margaret on November 10, 1483, in what was already proving to be a pivotal age. Europe was coming on stage as a premier cultural and military as well as premier economic power in the world. It was also beginning to assert itself in matters pertaining to religion. Before and during Martin Luther’s lifetime, two critical developments were happening with the Church and State. The Roman Catholic Church was struggling to rebound its worst crisis since becoming a state church in the 300’s. The crisis had two phases the first being Avignon Papacy from 1309-1377 and the second phase was The Great Western Schism from 1378-1417. Luther was well educated, an education provided by his Father. Luther first went off to the town of Mansfield to attend school when he was seven t Luther lost two brothers to the plaque around 1507, and another sister died in 1520. Three other sisters married and having families of their own. Luther started out in law but he would change courses and on April.03.1507 Luther would be ordained into the priesthood, and in October 1512 Martin Luther is promoted to doctor of theology at the University Of Wittenberg. In 1510 Martin Luther was twenty seven years old. He was a conscientious monk, an Ordained Priest and a promising graduate student. Luther would become known as the man of the people. As lead minister of the Parish Church, he became popular for his ability to tell stories in the simple terms of the people. On October.31.1517 the eve of All Saints Day, Luther went public with the ninety five theses. The ninety five theses spread quickly. This surprising development was in large part due to the Gutenberg press that had been made in the sixth or seven decades before. By the end of 1517 the Theses had been printed in Nuremberg, Leipzig and Basel. Luther would never receive a penny from the yield. After the Leipzig debate in 1519 Luther became a household name. He lost the debates but it is said to have motivated him. On his way back from Worms, Luther was kidnapped it was May.04.1521. Much of Martin Luther’s success was brought through his writing. Martin Luther was forward thinking, radical for his time, but his willingness to stand up to centuries of rules and rituals would help create the Protestant Faith. I give Martin Luther: A Biography for the People five out of five stars! Happy Reading!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Zack

    Goodreads Giveaway - This biography is, as the title indicates, a biography written for everyone even though the author is an academic. Daughrity takes the opportunity to go over the major events of Luther's life as well as try to interpret why Luther did what he did. Much of the book is looking at why Luther made his idea of Sola Fide (faith alone) a point worthy of fighting the Catholic church on, and one he was willing to die for. If history in general, or religious history is an interest, th Goodreads Giveaway - This biography is, as the title indicates, a biography written for everyone even though the author is an academic. Daughrity takes the opportunity to go over the major events of Luther's life as well as try to interpret why Luther did what he did. Much of the book is looking at why Luther made his idea of Sola Fide (faith alone) a point worthy of fighting the Catholic church on, and one he was willing to die for. If history in general, or religious history is an interest, this a very well written book worth your time. With the 500 year anniversary of Luther posting his 95 Theses, this book is one of many to be published in 2017, so you'll have plenty to choose from.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Basil Chong

  7. 4 out of 5

    Karen E Carter

  8. 5 out of 5

    Guy Austin

    Non-Fiction titles often have awesome subtitles.  This title, Martin Luther: A Biography for the People, could not have been better stated. It is a perfect selection of words, straight forward and to the point, an excellent description of what lies within the cover of this book. I love History. I enjoy Biography’s. Especially one such as this, written by Dyron Daughrity. The breadth of information in so few pages speaks well of the man, Martin Luther, who was indeed a thrifty wordsmith himself. D Non-Fiction titles often have awesome subtitles.  This title, Martin Luther: A Biography for the People, could not have been better stated. It is a perfect selection of words, straight forward and to the point, an excellent description of what lies within the cover of this book. I love History. I enjoy Biography’s. Especially one such as this, written by Dyron Daughrity. The breadth of information in so few pages speaks well of the man, Martin Luther, who was indeed a thrifty wordsmith himself. Daughrity does well to tackle the life of this man many credit for the reformation starting with his well-known ‘Ninety-Five Theses’, nailed to the door of the church on October 31, 1517, meant as an invitation for debate that never occurred yet stirred the minds of many. Luther learned quickly to use the newly invented printing press to his advantage. Had it not been for his understand or the new power of the press and his abilty to speak to the comman man he may have been a forgotten footnote as many others just before him or after. He used this new technology to his full advantage, changing our relationship with the word and religion he felt had been hijacked by men who had lost their way. The book details both Martin Luther’s birth and childhood as he framed it and the more likely reality that helped develop and inspire this man of faith. We learn of his family history and a rich life full of inspiration and fallibility all men have. It takes us on a journey towards his enlightenment first as a University student studying law and his quick decision to become an Augustine monk followed by his disappointment and changing thoughts on the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church and his dissatisfaction with the men who were said to be chosen to lead it. “I, too, was so foolish as to carry onions to Rome and bring back Garlic.” Such was Luther’s thoughts after entering the holy city with awe and leaving with a fractured vision of it, as Daughrity explains: “Probably more than most, he was shocked and disturbed by what he had witnessed, and his ire was always directed precisely at the clergy, not at  the city itself. In his view, the city had ben hijacked by people who had forsaken the truth.” – Dyron Daughrity, Martin Luther: A Biography for the People From this point forward Luther became focused on trying to reform a faith he felt lost its way and did so with a vengeance towards anyone who dared speak against him. Luther was truly a brilliant man as well as a troubled and tortured soul who had a difficult relationship with his father and venom for many who dared speak against him. However, he was also a pastor to many and never ceased preaching or delivering sermons. He counseled and listened to many. Keeping his evolving thoughts on Scripture, specifically the Gospels, and Paul’s teachings, and the Psalms which spoke to his love of music. Overall I found this to be a thoroughly educational as much as I enjoyed it. It is well told. It is unpretentious. It is a fair and balanced look at a complicated man in a difficult time. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the history of the times, the man, the faith or any of the three individually. I would like to thank  the Abilene Christian University Press for the opportunity to read this through NetGalley. I will be purchasing a hard copy to rest on my library shelf.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Manny

  10. 4 out of 5

    Shaun Brown

  11. 5 out of 5

    Moss 慈映夢図

  12. 4 out of 5

    Chelle

  13. 5 out of 5

    Pat Webb

  14. 4 out of 5

    ACU Press

  15. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kim Friant

  17. 4 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  18. 5 out of 5

    Micielle

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kowanda

  21. 4 out of 5

    Melly Mel

  22. 4 out of 5

    Debee Sue

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kim Myers

  24. 5 out of 5

    Megan

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

  26. 4 out of 5

    Wanda C

  27. 4 out of 5

    Stacia Chappell

  28. 5 out of 5

    Cori

  29. 4 out of 5

    Brittany

  30. 4 out of 5

    Julia

  31. 5 out of 5

    Katharine Adams

  32. 5 out of 5

    Pam Mooney

  33. 5 out of 5

    Anne Marie

  34. 5 out of 5

    Vincent

  35. 4 out of 5

    Katy

  36. 5 out of 5

    Francie Grice

  37. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

  38. 4 out of 5

    Jackie Morris

  39. 4 out of 5

    Brooke

  40. 5 out of 5

    Melek

  41. 5 out of 5

    Ireon Williams

  42. 4 out of 5

    Amber

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