This book (on Martin Luther) is another in Simonetta Carr’s carefully researched, well vetted / written / produced series “Christian Biographies for Young Readers”. It displays the same meticulous research, helpful photos and drawings, and excellent production values found in the other volumes of this series. Additionally, at the end it includes 5 pages of vignettes, a timeline of Martin Luther’s life, a three Q&As from Luther’s Small Catechism. A copy of this book was provided gratis by Reformation Heritage Press and Cross-Focused Reviews for a review – thank you!
INTERACTION: One of the helpful things about Ms. Carr’s books is the pertinent historical context and detail she gives, along with facts and events of the subject’s life, thinking, motives, actions, and emotions. I gleaned some valuable bits of historical information about Dr. Luther and the cultural, theological setting of ~ 16th century central Germany in which he found himself. At that time, the culture of Western Europe was being greatly impacted by a new technology (the printing press which revolutionized access to knowledge, much like the computers / internet revolution of our day), leading directly led to seminal artistic, scientific, philosophical, and theological inquiry and thinking. Those changes were to blow the doors off the well-advanced devolution / corruption of Christian thinking, worship, and living that had gradually accrued over the preceding millennium or so, most clearly embodied in the dominant Roman Catholic theology, dogma, practices, and ethics.
CONCLUSION: Considering the current, widespread historical ignorance of our Christian heritage and teaching (not to mention of history in general), this book is a small but needed antidote that will help children and adults form a more accurate understanding and appreciation of one important person God used in the New Testament church to effect a radical, much needed reformation of thinking and practice. Overall, it is hard to find any negatives in this book, although perhaps a Luther scholar might want to include, exclude, or change some things. But it serves its teaching purpose very well for its target audience. As with her other books, highly recommended.
QUOTES / RESOURCES: “More and more he realized that the ‘righteousness of God’ (in Romans 1:17) … is not a righteousness that God demands, but a righteousness God gives in Jesus Christ … Little did he realize … that the doctrine of justification by faith alone would become the foundation of what later would be called the Protestant faith” P. 24