Out Of The Storm: The Life and Legacy of Martin Luther Paperback – 3 Apr 2008
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"A first-rate biography" (Scottish Sunday Mail)
"Scores highly in thoroughness, clarity and human sympathy. If you want a model of how to defy uncomprehending power - your equivalent of Luther's Pope, Emperor, Church - or a model of how to laugh at the Devil, Wilson has provided a reliable guide as to how Luther did it" (Sunday Telegraph)
"Wilson tells the story well and places it carefully in context, but what makes his book sprecial is the superb closing chapter, where he deals with what these days we would call Luther's legacy" (Herald)
"A vibrantly written book which focuses on personalities as well as the momentous events surrounding them - the impact of which will never be lost" (Belfast Telegraph)
A revelatory biography of a remarkable Renaissance man whose rationalist convictions changed not only the development of the church and Europe post-Reformation, but also exercised a profound influence on how the individual relates to society.See all Product Description
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Wilson's book is intended as a popular biography, and works well as such. There might be too much detail in the book for some readers, and too little for others, but overall it would be a reasonable choice for those who want a well-balanced consideration of Martin Luther's life and influence.
Yet, as the pages of Out of the Storm show us, Luther was also beset by pride and anger. He often argued with all who disagreed with him, believing himself to be the sole possessor of divine truth. This hindered much of the unity in the Reformation. During the last decade or so of Luther's life, he became increasingly bitter, even saying unspeakable things about the Jewish race in society. It is interesting to note how Derek Wilson speaks of Luther's last years in the second to last chapter, entitled, "A Death too Late?". It is in fact possible that Luther lived too long. If he had died before he had written his anti-Semitic diatribe, we would be free to simply admire him as a man of great faith who made effective challenges to medieval Catholic hegemony. However, this same man's life account becomes marred by a most troubling and angry temperament. Other books about Luther's life (see Roland Bainton's Here I Stand) tell how Luther did in fact apologize for his anger when upon his death bed. If only he had confessed his devilish rage and fury to God during his prime decades, he would not have discredited so many of his accomplishments in the eyes of those who may otherwise learn from him. But perhaps this all merely demonstrates that the real hero of the Reformation is not Luther, but God himself. And the real words that overcame the Catholic traditions and liberated the faith of Europe and then the entire world were not those of Luther, but those of God, preserved in the Scriptures alone.
Derek Wilson's book shows all these points of interest in a readable and accessible manner.
Added much to my knowledge of Martin Luther, and Europe, in his time.