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Martin Luther's Basic Theological Writings (w/ CD-ROM) Paperback – March 2, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Augsberg Fortress - eBooks Account; 2nd edition (March 2, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800636805
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800636807
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.9 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #268,040 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German, Latin --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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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.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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This book provides a great survey of Luther's major writings.
Robert Harrell
Whether you're a layperson, theology student, pastor or a professor this book is a must for your library.
Shaun Tabatt
Again (and despite this shortcoming), I have found this a very valuable book.
J. Barrett

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan A Blevins on February 7, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is an incredible volume and, in my opinion, a better introduction to Luther than "Selections From His Writings". It contains a number of his better-known works including the infinitely worthy "Smaller Catechism," the infamous "95 Theses," and the thesis chapters from his personal favorite, "The Bondage of the Will." Alongside these monumental works are set lesser-known, but equally powerful writings. "A Meditation on Christ's Passion" held me near tears for its whole length and "The Freedom of a Christian" is (in my humble opinion) one of the greatest pieces of Christian literature ever penned. It would be too great a task to examine the whole of the contents of the book, but I would like to look in more detail at my personal favorite of the works in this anthology, "The Freedom of a Christian."

Martin Luther's treatise "The Freedom of a Christian" is perhaps the most powerful and concise presentation of the Christian life ever written. I cannot recommend this work highly enough. I rank this among the very best of Luther's works (and that is really saying something). If an inexpensive copy were still in publication I would buy every copy to give as gifts to friends and family. The power, discernment, brevity and readability of this work make a true gem among Reformation writings (and Christian writings in general). Here you will find the essence of the spirit of the Reformation distilled into a guide for practical, biblical living.

With the clarity and bold authority of a true prophet, Luther sets forth the whole of the Christian life in two theses: "A Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none. A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all.
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By T. Stevenson on December 28, 2002
Format: Paperback
this book is an excellent encyclopedia of luther's most famous works. Luther was a theologian for the people and his paradoxes and ironies are easy to understand. Luther's intoxication with the proper understanding of the Law & Gospel thrilled his soul and he shows how it affects the sacraments, the church, the government, and of course, justification of sinful man before God. if you do not have 44 volumes of Luther's works in your library, this one is a good start.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Robert Harrell on May 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book provides a great survey of Luther's major writings. This book is best read in a class setting, as every piece has a very particular context. Many of the pieces are Luther's direct response to the occurences around him. The book makes the most sense when one has access to Luther's historical and social situation, which can be found in books like Luther: Man Between God and the Devil, written by Heiko Oberman.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Jason W. Howard on November 9, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is very informative. It has all of the major points of Luther's Works. However to the lay reader it may seem like a random compilation of writings. I liked the book and found it to be wonderful as a learning tool. I did find myself wishing for a little more explanation of the writings from the editor, but alas that was not his focus.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. Barrett on November 30, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book, but I did want to give readers a heads up: the included CD only works on a PC. Thus, it will not work on a Mac computer. Again (and despite this shortcoming), I have found this a very valuable book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Seth McBee on January 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
This work is a great compilation of the works of Luther. It is fair and and also a great start in understanding and reading Luther's works. The one thing that I really like about the editor is that he gives a small introduction to each writing, the when and why the particular writing was written.

The book starts off with Luther's major theologies in the 97 Theses, 95 Theses and the Heidelberg Disputation. This compilation of the 97 theses was nice to see since it is so unfamiliar to most people but was Luther's first cry against Aristotle's theology. Most people have heard of Luther's famous quote, "Reason is a whore!," well the 97 Theses: Disputation against Scholastic Theology, gives you the full reasoning for this cry.

The book then materializes Luther's thoughts on the Power of the Word of God, The righteousness in Christ (which includes excerpts of his famous work, The Bondage of the Will), The promise of the Sacraments, The Reform of the Church, and the living and dying as a Christian. These are all done as not only formal works but also in some of his sermons.

I would definitely recommend this book as it will start the reader off on the right foot of Luther's theology and then you can decide where you would like to find further insight.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Shaun Tabatt VINE VOICE on October 31, 2008
Format: Paperback
When I take a moment to consider the sheer volume of writings completed by Martin Luther during his lifetime, I can only imagine the difficulty I would face in trying to narrow down which writings to include in a volume of this length. Timothy F. Lull & William Russel faced this task head on and put together a great collection of Luther's basic theological writings. Lull had a two-fold focus in the first edition. He wanted to include Luther's most important shorter writings and demonstrate the range of Luther's theological interests. Russel expands the focus a bit in the second edition by adding some of Luther's personal writings, which give the reader further insight into Luther's religious life and personal commitments. The writings in this book are organized topically and are presented in seven parts:

Part I: Luther the Man
Part II: The Task of Theology
Part III: The Power of the Word of God
Part IV: The Righteousness of God
Part V: The Promise of the Sacraments
Part VI: The Reform of the Church
Part VII: Living and Dying As a Christian

For the benefit of those who may want to read these works in chronological order, the works in this volume are listed by order of composition year at the end of the table of contents.

As expected, this volume contains many of the familiar writings we associate with Luther, some in whole and others in part. (The Ninety-Five Theses, The Bondage of the Will, The Small Catechism, The Smalcald Articles, etc.) Most of these were familiar to me. I was most excited about the writings I was less familiar with in Part I: Luther The Man, especially Luther's will, selections from table talk and selected personal letters.
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