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Luther and the False Brethren Hardcover – June, 1975


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 254 pages
  • Publisher: Stanford Univ Pr; 1St Edition edition (June 1975)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804708835
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804708838
  • Product Dimensions: 3.9 x 0.8 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,255,610 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kathy F. Cannata on July 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
If, as John Frame famously asserted, modern orthodox Reformed people too often see themselves as "Machen's Warrior Children," (thus hopelessly sectarian, perpetually at war), I wonder if we Protestants are not also Luther's Warrior Grandchildren.

I bought Mark Edwards' Luther and the False Brethren in 1991 and finally started to give it a serious read last week. SO SO interesting, and chilling. If we are looking for heros, we can't find many here.

Mark Edwards wrote this in 1975. I can't believe there are zero Amazon reviews. This is an important work. by Standford Univ Press, by one of America's great mainline Reformation historians.

Edwards notes that when Luther began his struggle for Reform, he was fighting the Roman Catholics. But soon he opened up a second front -- against other Protestants ("evangelicals"). He saw the Baptists (just about all of them, I think) as explicitly non-Christian, Satanic, unsaved. His concerns (if not the absolute value he assigns them) were very legitimate-- for starters the Baptistic were by definition invalidating the sacraments, and thus the most basic Christian identity, of everyone else. And yet (unlike the other moderate reformers like Calvin, Bucer, etc.) he was doing the same thing the Baptists were doing (invalidating their Xian identity) toward the Baptists! And further, Luther also used virtually the same language against Zwingli, Bullinger, and even Bucer (not Calvin, though).

The Roman Catholics at the time returned Luther's bile with interest -- depicting him as the greatest heretic in church history. (I remember years ago reading in the huge Catholic Encyclopedia the same sort of unqualified language -- they were likely more charitable to Pelagius and Arians than toward Luther).
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