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Friday, April 26, 2013

Book Review: Steven J Lawson - The Heroic Boldness of Martin Luther

http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1364773064l/17171594.jpgThe title of this book says it all. When we think of Luther, he is the personification of boldness. In his day, he stood up to the most powerful man in the known world, the Pope.

Luther loved the word of God. When we hear each of the "sola" slogans of the reformation, it is like reading a biography of Luther. Luther was a preacher at heart. Like Paul, he was “not ashamed of the Gospel”. He was far from perfect, but aren’t we all. He was a world changer.

Unlike most books about Luther, which are just about his life, this book is more about Luther's beliefs and teaching. I enjoyed it more than any book I have read concerning him. Lawson brings out the things Luther loved most, the Bible and preaching.

To Luther the Word of God is all sufficient and preaching brings that word alive. Without either, there is no salvation. Scripture, being the very word of God, is without error. He believed in the perspicuity of scripture; that it can be understood by anyone who takes the time to study it.

Luther was an expositor. He preached through complete books of the bible, explaining them verse by verse. He felt that study was important and was mentally harder than working with the hands.

When studying, we should go to the Bible first, before consulting commentaries. He was not against commentaries, but felt that they should not be used as a crutch. We should only consult them after we have spent time in meditation on the scriptures. He believed in a literal interpretation of scripture. The Bible means what it says. It can still contain allegories and metaphors, but we can understand from the text what the author means.

Luther studied in the original languages and believed all pastors should know Greek and Hebrew. With that said, because the congregation does not understand the original languages, they should not use in sermons. If they were used it would seem prideful. Above all the preacher should rely on the Holy Spirit to illuminate the scriptures. Without that it is just dry logic.

All through this book, we get glimpses of Luther's love for the Gospel. He was a man raised up by God for such a time.

I loved this book and highly recommend it and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

I received this book free of charge from Reformation Trust in exchange for an honest review.

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