Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Martin Luther: A Man Who Changed the World


Martin Luther: A Man Who Changed the World, tells of Martin Luther, and how his actions started the Reformation. Written by Paul L. Maier and illustrated by Greg Copeland, the life of Luther is recounted in 32 pages.
The book begins by setting the stage for readers, describing just how spiritually dark a world Martin Luther was born into. There is little detail given about his childhood. When he was of age, Luther began studying law at the University of Erfurt. One day he was knocked to the ground by a bolt of lightning. Terrified, he promised to become a monk if St. Anne would only spare his life. He lived, and became a monk to the extreme disappointment of his father.
Maier goes on to describe how disillusioned Luther was by the hypocrisy of the pope and the cardinals. When he was sent to Wittenburg to be a professor in the university, he began to read the Bible, finding answers to his deepest questions. He came to believe that righteousness is a gift from God, not obtained by works.
Fully persuaded, Luther was ready to share his concerns with the teachings of the Catholic church. Most of us know the story of how, on October 31, 1517, Luther nailed his list of 95 thesis to the door of the Castle Church.
The book goes on to describe the aftermath of the posting of the thesis. The anger of the leaders of the church, the great debate at Leipzig, and Luther's famous speech to the emperor Charles V, made him a marked man. Luther was forced to go into hiding to preserve his life, and during that time of seclusion, translated the New Testament into German.
The book concludes by covering the rest of Luther's life: his preaching, hymn writing, marriage, and birth of children. He died after suffering multiple heart attacks, and confessed the name of Christ on his death bed.
What I Like: The full page paintings are beautiful! This would make a wonderful coffee table book. I think this book gives just enough information for children to understand the political and religious climate in Luther's day. Weighty topics are handled with care.
What I Dislike: I don't dislike anything about this book. Just remember that this is an overview of Luther's life. It is not an in depth study of the factors that influenced Luther's actions.
Overall Rating: Excellent
Age Appeal: The publisher states 4-8, but I'd have to disagree. I think that this book is too advanced for some 4-5-year-olds. I think even older school-aged children would enjoy this book.
Publisher Info: Concordia Publishing House, 2004; ISBN:0758606265 ; Hardback $10.49.
Buy it Now at Christianbook.com for $8.49.
OR Buy it at Amazon.com for $8.39.
Special Info: You may be interested in our other reviews of books by Paul L. Maier.


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1 comment:

Kristina Seleshanko said...

I just read this book to my children, ages 7 and 10. I think it's an excellent introduction to the Protestant Reformation and Martin Luther. Thanks for your review!