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Martin Luther: His Life and Work Hardcover – January 1, 1950

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Hardcover, January 1, 1950
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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Newman Press; First American Edition edition (1950)
  • ASIN: B000O27JX0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,363,520 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By R. Don Wright on November 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I am an ELCA Lutheran pastor (16 years). I have read many biographies of Luther (Bainton, Brecht, Obermann, Haile, Bornkam, Kittelson, MacCullough). This one by Grisar, an Austrian Jesuit, was fascinating to me because of its non-Lutheran perspective. His scholarship is beyond reproach, though, I take issue with many of his conclusions. This single volume, translated from German, is condensed from his multi-volume biography of Luther.

Grisar faults Luther and his movement for failing to respect the authority of the Church (i.e., the Roman Hierarchy) which he judges as opening the floodgates of subjectivism in which everyone determines for him or herself the message and implications of the Gospel. Luther insisted that a higher authority, such as the Roman Magisterium, should not control the interpretation of the Bible. Everyone must interpret and understand scripture for themselves. This is not to say that Luther or any other Christians weren't going to take issue with those who interpreted scripture wrongly.

Grisar identifies Luther's desperate search for a gracious God as symptomatic of Luther's own spiritual angst. Grisar faults Luther's question, and his Pauline conclusion--sinners are justified by grace alone--as a false foundation for doctrine and faith. Grisar views this concern for the centrality of justification as peculiarly Lutheran and peculiar to Luther, not something universal for one and all. For Grisar Luther's breakthrough to a "new gospel" and what Grisar regards as the founding of a "new religion" should have remained Luther's private struggle and not the taking off point for a reformation of the whole Church.
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful By greenwarrior on September 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was interested in Luther and came upon this book.
Luther's life and times come alive in this 600 page book.
It was a real page turner and I just wished it was longer.
To my delight I have found the original 6 volumes from which this was
It was like reading about some exotic culture.
To think that whole countries were willing to go to war over whether or not
the Eucharist was transformed into the blood and body of Jesus!!!
I think the Catholic Church is the most corrupt institution on Earth.
So I enjoy any book where the storyline involves the humiliation of the Church by exposing its corruption.
The Founder of the Protestant Movement does not seem very appealing.
The whole idea of salvation by faith alone --and the denigration of
good works seems very strange to me as does the Catholic Church and its
hierarchy and rituals.
I highly recommend the book to all those interested in the history of the
Protestant Movement.
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