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Paperback Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther Book

ISBN: 0452011469

ISBN13: 9780452011465

Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther

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Book Overview

A definitive life of the monk who cried out against the corruption of the medieval church and changed the history of the world, with a full background of the period and church affairs, quotations from... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

Food for thought

This is a philosophical biography of Martin Luther. Although it provides some details about Luther's personal life, early upbringing and later family life, the focus of the book is on Luther's struggle to reform the Catholic church. The book is dense with summaries of Luther's writings, and it appears in a relatively small font, so it is not a quick or light read. It assumes a familiarity with Christian ideals and scripture; nevertheless, you don't need to be a Bible scholar to appreciate its discussion. This book is filled with passages that made me stop, think and reflect, and then dog-ear the page for return visits. Bainton quotes Luther: "Faith is a living, restless thing. It cannot be inoperative. We are not saved by works; but if there be no works, there must be something amiss with faith." Later, "Music is to be praised as second only to the Word of God because by her all the emotions swayed...The Holy Spirit himself pays tribute to music when he records that the evil spirit of Saul was exorcised as David played upon his harp....This precious gift has been bestowed on men alone to remind them that they are created to praise and magnify the Lord." Through reading this book, I became much more aware of the tremendous influence that Luther had on shaping numerous aspects of modern Western society. Anyone with any interest in any form of Christianity should become acquainted with the ideas of Martin Luther, and reading this book would be a good start.

The Best Biography on Luther, Period.

This biography is the most accurate and unprejudiced ever written on Luther (and I have read dozens of them). Bainton provides very lucid and vivid historical settings, events, people, and such surrounding the life of Luther. What is more, Bainton is quite fair-minded with regard to Luther's personal traits; I get tired of reading other biographers who try to psychoanalyze Luther and draw conclusions about his thinking based on pure speculations. Bainton renders a fair assessment of perhaps why, based on historical settings and events which were occurring during Luther's day, as to why he perhaps did and said some of the things he did.Bainton really draws his reader into the life of Luther by carefully unfolding historical events which led up to the reformation and events that helped to shape Luther's thinking during and following the Reformation. The book is also nicely lavished with engravings and illustrations which helps the reader get a better understanding of what Bainton is trying to communicate. Moreover, the book contains a very exhaustive bibliography to help the reader branch out into further research and reading.This book is written in a chronological format from Luther's birth to his death, and every major event which occurred between. This text is certainly a must for anyone who wants a better understanding of Martin Luther. Moreover, it is also a crucial text for anyone wanting a better understanding of the Reformation. I cannot begin to describe the depth and breadth of this work. I highly recommend this text!!!!

A Classic

This book review is on the work, Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther, by Roland H. Bainton. The author covers Luther's life from the beginning, and the point is made that in Luther's early years, nothing set him apart from others his age. There was no indication from his early life that he would later rebel against much of medieval religion. Bainton begins the book with Luther's vow to become a monk during a thunderstorm in 1505. Luther became a monk in order to save his soul, but he soon concluded more was needed. Bainton stresses that Luther felt the need to become perfect in order to obtain justification with God, and this quest defined Luther for the better part of his life. This quest for salvation eventually led Luther against Christian Orthodoxy, thus beginning the Protestant Reformation. Detail is given from the time Luther posted the 95 theses in October 1517 through the Diet of Worms in 1522. During these years, Luther proved to the world that he was a man who stood up for his convictions. During these years, a strong significance is placed on the fact that Luther always believed he would die for his cause. The years from 1522-1530 are also well covered, particularly in covering Luther's theology. However, only one chapter deals with the final 16 years of Luther's life. The climax of the work occurs in chapter 10, entitled Here I Stand, and it is clear that Bainton's thesis is wrapped up neatly in the title of the book. The author stressed throughout the work that Luther was a man of principle who stood up courageously for what he believed in. Since this was the first biography on Martin Luther that I have read, there is minimal room for comparing this work with any of the other works done about this complicated figure. Here I Stand proves very interesting and enlightening. Although the work is a serious scholarly piece, it is written in a way that encourages further reading. The prose is very fluid and narrative in nature, and any reasonable person with an interest in Luther can comfortably read it. Even though it is a delight to read, close attention is given to the history and theology of the man. Having a general historical knowledge of 16th century Germany is important in better understanding the work; however, that aspect is not a pre-requisite for enjoying the book. This book definitely heightened my interest in Martin Luther, his times, and the Catholic Church. For the reasons mentioned above, my criticism for the book is favorable. Bainton's writing style is very appealing, and he succeeded in giving the reader something to take pleasure in. Often, space in the narrative is given to extended quotes made by Luther and his contemporaries, and these quotes are used in such a way to add positively to the quality of Bainton's writing. There is a strong emphasis early in the work showing the different ways in which Luther tried to earn his salvation. He clearly believed that he had achieved salvation by ente

Great Book!!!

Roland Bainton does a wonderful job. He vividly paints a portrait of Martin Luther; it's the best biography I've read about the "Great Reformer." Bainton colors the account of Luther's life with a unique historical perspective of the period that gives the reader a much fuller grasp of what the Reformation was all about. Definately a must for any reader interested in theology, Luther, or church history
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