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Resilient Reformer: The Life and Thought of Martin Luther
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Resilient Reformer: The Life and Thought of Martin Luther

by ,

Fortress Press 2015

Runs on Windows, Mac and mobile.


Interest in Martin Luther’s life and thought remains high, and each generation brings its own set of questions to the task. This biography, begun by Timothy F. Lull and capably finished by Derek R. Nelson, is marked for its fresh, winsome, and invigorating style—one undoubtedly shaped by the years that each author spent in undergraduate and seminary classrooms.

In this telling, Luther is an energetic, resilient actor, driven by very human strengths and failings, always wishing to do right by his understanding of God and the witness of the Scriptures. Luther is portrayed here more as a loud tenor in a Reformation chorale than as a solo voice of dissent against church and empire—as he and his work are closely linked with his many collaborators. At times humorous, always realistic, and appropriately critical when necessary, Lull and Nelson tell the story of an amazing, unforgettable life, one that impacted our world in countless ways.

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Interested in more Martin Luther products? See The Precious and Sacred Writings of Martin Luther.

Key Features

  • Examines Luther in light of his interactions with fellow Reformers
  • Provides a glimpse of other Reformation voices
  • Contains a realistic view of Luther’s strengths and weaknesses


  • A Family’s Hopes, 1483–1505
  • From Brother Martin to Doctor Luther, 1505–1517
  • Critic of the Church, 1517–1519
  • Theologian for the Church, 1519–1520
  • The Trial of Martin Luther, 1520–1521
  • Luther the Prisoner, 1521–1522
  • The Reformation in Wittenberg, 1522–1524
  • Becoming Martin Luther, the Decisive Year 1525
  • The Birth of Lutheranism, 1526–1531
  • Being Martin Luther, 1532–1539
  • Darkness with Shafts of Light, 1540–1545
  • Death and Vindication, 1545–1555

Praise for the Print Edition

The work of establishing a credible ‘historical Luther’ is important, if only to assure that we encounter the real thing rather than someone’s hero or villain. Lull and Nelson do this hard work. Their book is rooted in scads of research, both in the primary sources (especially the letter correspondence) as well as the vast secondary literature. But they do not leave Luther in the sixteenth century. The point of their genuinely critical inquiry is to sift the historical Luther honestly in terms of acknowledged contemporary concerns. That produces an account that is genuinely significant, with an acute treatment of painful issues like Luther and the Jews but also endearing glimpses at Luther as a family man. In this way the book in a unique way blends the story of Luther’s traumatic life in with a fresh interpretation of his thought.

Paul R. Hinlicky, Tise Professor of Lutheran Studies, Roanoke College

Luther is alive on the pages of this intellectual biography that is both well researched and an engaging read. Dr. Derek Nelson has brought to a commendable conclusion the original work of the late Dr. Timothy Lull. A biography like this, focusing on the theological drama while presenting the very human Luther, and his associates, fills a vacuum. Students and teachers alike will be happy to use this labor of love!

Kirsi Stjerna, professor, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary

The writers of Resilient Reformer make a good case for seeing the reformer as both a powerful speaker to his own age and a pastor to ours. The book is well researched, free of ideology and polemics, and deeply sympathetic to those who knew Luther in his own time.

—Thomas A. Brady, Jr., associate professor, University of California, Berkeley

Product Details

About the Authors

Timothy F. Lull (1943–2003) was professor of systematic theology and president of Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley.

Derek Nelson is associate professor of religion at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana, and director of the Wabash Pastoral Leadership Program.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition