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Faith and Freedom: An Invitation to the Writings of Martin Luther Paperback – May 7, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; 1 edition (May 7, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 037571376X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375713767
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,136,264 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Despite his genius, Luther is more respected than read by most Christians; he is famous for his single gesture of defiance far more than for his many accomplishments. Thornton and Varenne, general editors of the "Vintage Spiritual Classics" series, hope to change that situation through the careful selection and presentation of his writings. Collected here for the general reader are substantial excerpts from Luther's prefaces to and exegesis of the Bible, his sermons, table talk, and hymns. He is, as ever, a stern taskmaster in faith, but his thought is indispensable and challenging. For most collections.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From the Inside Flap

Faith and Freedom: An Invitation to the Writings of Martin Luther is the first selection in decades for the general reader from the many dozens of volumes that constitute Martin Luther?s collected works. The selections included here, chosen for their pastoral tone, speak across the centuries and inform the spiritual concerns of today.Drawing on Luther?s Bible prefaces and commentaries, his treatises and sermons, his letters, his ?table talk,? and his enduring hymnbook, Faith and Freedom will provide a spiritual resource for anyone seeking the heritage of modern Christian spirituality. Moreover, it requires no specialized knowledge of Reformation theology or Church history. Rich in language, direct, powerful, fresh in ideas, and often disquieting in their effect, the writings of Luther provide compelling reading.

More About the Author

Martin Luther (1483-1546) initiated the Protestant Reformation. As a priest and theology professor, he confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel with his The Ninety-Five Theses in 1517. Luther strongly disputed their claim that freedom from God's punishment of sin could be purchased with money. His refusal to retract all of his writings at the demand of Pope Leo X in 1520 and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at the Edict of Worms meeting in 1521 resulted in his excommunication by the pope and condemnation as an outlaw by the emperor. Martin Luther taught that salvation is not from good works, but a free gift of God, received only by grace through faith in Jesus as redeemer from sin. His theology challenged the authority of the pope of the Roman Catholic Church by teaching that the Bible is the only source of divinely revealed knowledge and opposed sacerdotalism by considering all baptised Christians to be a holy priesthood. Those who identify with Luther's teachings are called Lutherans. His translation of the Bible into the language of the people (instead of Latin) made it more accessible, causing a tremendous impact on the church and on German culture. It fostered the development of a standard version of the German language, added several principles to the art of translation, and influenced the translation into English of the King James Bible. His hymns inspired the development of singing in churches. His marriage to Katharina von Bora set a model for the practice of clerical marriage, allowing Protestant priests to marry.

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Hugo Fries on September 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
a colorful rendering of some of the inner thoughts of this reformer. The earthier quotes mirror his grotesque actions against other Reformers who had the courage to act on their beliefs even if it meant their very lives (which Luther was eager to extinguish).

Of course, the Lutheran church has made an apology to these faith groups on behalf of their namesake for atrocitites committed some 500 year ago. Good on you, Lutherans!
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By Zella Stone on March 22, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have not completed reading this book, but have found it spell-binding. There is new insight into the life of Martin Luther. There was purpose in his actions and reason within his writings. Many of his actions and reasonings were based on the frustrations of
mankind bowing to mandated church order
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10 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 30, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is a very poor selection of Martin Luther's writings for spiritual reading. Find a copy of "Faith Alone" if you are looking for something from the great reformer for your spiritual reading. One selection has to do with Luther expelling gas to ward off the devil (this selection has absolutely no point. Luther was from peasant stock and retained his earthiness. Relating such an incident has no purpose in a book meant for spiritual reading). Another has to do with a letter he wrote to a woman who suffered a miscarriage and which has little application to anyone else. I have read a good deal of Luther and I am convinced that the authors don't even like him (they call him an "old, hateful man" because of a handful of anti-semetic statements that are an anomaly in an otherwise profoundly pastoral life) or understand what his message was. Luther's writings fill over thirty volumes and are a goldmine of inspiration and insight to anyone who takes the trouble to sift through them. It looks as if the editors here couldn't be bothered to sift much. You will turn over page after page and be bewildered as to why they chose the selections that they did. I know that I am.
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