Famous for setting in motion the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther is often lifted high as a hero or condemned as a rebel. But underneath it all, he was a man of flesh and blood, with a deep longing to live for God.
This biography by respected Reformation scholar Herman Selderhuis captures Luther in his original context and follows him on his spiritual journey, from childhood through the Reformation to his influential later years. Combining Luther’s own words with engaging narrative designed to draw the reader into Luther’s world, this spiritual biography brings to life the complex and dynamic personality that forever changed the history of the church.
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Herman Selderhuis gives a well-organized, source-based short account of Luther’s life, putting him into his context. Written by one of the most respected international scholars in Reformation history, this book may be fruitfully used as an introduction to Luther’s life.
—Volker Leppin, theologian and professor of church history, Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen; president, Interdisciplinary Medieval Association
With a keen eye for the details that make Luther come alive for twenty-first-century readers, and with an ear for those often-false rumors spread by other scholars about the man, Selderhuis guides us through the life of the Wittenberg professor, depicting his genius and his temperament within the context of his time and its challenges. This well-balanced journey at the reformer’s side provides readers with insights into the development of his thought and his path toward prominence and influence that shaped the last quarter century of his life. The often-slighted later years, in which his writings and personality created a sphere of influence equaled by few in any age, are here given due attention, with helpful explanations of the setting in which Luther’s reform movement matured.
—Robert Kolb, international research emeritus professor, Institute for Mission Studies, Concordia Seminary; author, Martin Luther: Confessor of the Faith; coauthor, The Genius of Luther’s Theology
The complexity of Luther is staggering, but Herman Selderhuis has given us a detailed portrait of the reformer that captures both his blemishes and the beauty of his faith in Christ. This book is a fascinating read about one of the most significant figures of history. Both students of Christian history and admirers of Reformation theology will find it helpful.
—Joel R. Beeke, President, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary; Pastor, Heritage Reformed Church, Grand Rapids
Herman Selderhuis is professor of church history at the Theological University Apeldoorn in the Netherlands and director of Refo500, the international platform focused on raising awareness for projects related to the legacy of the Reformation. He also serves as the director of the Reformation Research Consortium, president of the International Calvin Congress, and curator of research at the John à Lasco Library in Emden, Germany. He is the author or editor of several books, including John Calvin: A Pilgrim’s Life.