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The Genius of Luther's Theology: A Wittenberg Way of Thinking for the Contemporary Church

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4.50  ·  Rating details ·  80 ratings  ·  14 reviews
This volume offers a unique approach to the study of the great German reformer, Martin Luther. Robert Kolb and Charles Arand offer an introduction to two significant themes that form the heart of Luther's theology.

The first theme concerns what it means to be truly human. For Luther, "passive righteousness" described the believer's response to God's grace. But there was
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Paperback, 240 pages
Published February 1st 2008 by Baker Academic
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Joel Wentz
Sep 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What a fantastic, enriching, and life-giving overview of a frequently-misunderstood theologian! As someone who grew up in an evangelical, "low-church" setting of worship, I found many chapters in this book to be simply breathtaking and wildly refreshing. The writers frame Luther's thought primarily around two questions: 1) What does it mean to be human? 2) How does God relate to humanity through His word? Stepping through the Gospel in this way brought new life and understanding to many of my ...more
Matt Crawford
I really enjoyed this book. Kolb is an excellent scholar on all things Reformation and specifically Luther. 2 things however, though the title would have otherwise, the book is not on Luther, the book is on Luther and Melanchthon, who Kolb continually refers to as the Wittenberg Reformers. It is not about Luther exclusively. Surely, the boisterous man that Luther was he influenced his comrade but anyone with an understanding of Lutheranism realizes that Martin and Philip had opposing viewpoints ...more
Todd Wilhelm
Oct 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Great read. Rich quotes from Luther with application to our day.

"Luther defined martyrdom as a gift from God, not a meritorious accomplishment of those who had cultivated a special strength through their own powers. His student Ludwig Rabus collected stories of Christian martyrs and witnesses to the faith; Rabus also described two ways in which the devil attacks God's church: through the violence of persecution and through the deception of false teaching. Luther, too, presumed that believers
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Ricky Beckett
Jun 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is separated into two parts: part one that examines Luther's theological anthropology (what it means to be human); and part two that examines Luther's thought on how God has chosen to relate to His human creatures, particularly through His Word in all its forms (oral, personal, and written). Written by two of our brightest minds on the Lutheran Confessions—Robert Kolb and Charles Arand—this book is an absolutely fascinating read for Lutherans and non-Lutherans alike.
Christian
Jan 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great insight into really understanding some key components of Lutheran theology. Particularly found the conversation about how the will is bound by sin and cannot choose God. Instead God chooses us.
Greg Dill
Sep 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Although somewhat dogmatic, I enjoyed the book for what it’s worth. It clearly expressed the genius of Luther’s theology in an articulate and simplistic way. I have always been intrigued by the Protestant reformers including: Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, and Tyndale. And this book affirmed what I already knew about Luther and his contemporaries, pure theological geniuses that God used to bring His Word closer to the hearts and minds of the common people in an age when it was isolated and withheld ...more
Jeremiah Gumm
Oct 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jeremiah by: The Shepherd's Study
A doctrinal study of Luther's theology with the goal of applying it to the 21st century Christian church. It has a good premise and provides a pretty solid exposition of the Scriptural basis of Luther's theology primarily in relation to his presuppositions regarding humanity and how God relates to humanity through his Word. The authors do an excellent job presenting the historical background for Luther's theological views in various areas. However, the book limps when it comes to application. ...more
Todd
Sep 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This analysis of the theology of Martin Luther is readable, profound, and pastoral. In this way it is much like the writings of the great reformer himself. The authors divide the book into two sections. The first deals with two key themes for Luther: the active and passive righteousness. Active righteousness is the righteousness of Christ which is credited to sinners by grace through faith. Passive righteousnss is the righteousness of the believer in Jesus. It is a passive righteousness in that ...more
Whitney Crowell
Jul 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You know the kind of book that's so profound that you're reading along and suddenly drop it on the floor with your mouth hanging open and think, "That. explains. everything."?

Yeah, this is that kind of book.

"Genius" does not even begin to describe Martin Luther's incredibly nuanced and yet amazingly simple understanding of God's Word. Kolb and Arand do a superb job of distilling Luther's way of seeing God and the world that makes it as relevant and insightful 500 years later as it was at the
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Joshua
Dec 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-christian
Fantastic primer of Luther's two-fold approach to Christian theology: 1) the Christian in relation to God and His creation (specifically one's neighbors and one's vocation); 2) God's relation to His creatures through His Word and Sacraments.
Brandon Hanson
Jan 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely essential if you want to really begin to understand how Luther and the other Reformers thought and what was really the significance of the Lutheran Reformation which most miss. Most people don't even know what they don't know about the Lutheran Reformation. This book would help them.
Philippe Deblois
Jun 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A very readable look at Luther's Theology taking into consideration contemporary research.
Eric
Aug 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian
Fine, I only read the first third of it, but what I read I liked.
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Robert Kolb (PhD, University of Wisconsin) is Mission Professor of Systematic Theology emeritus at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. He is the author of numerous books including The Genius of Luther’s Theology and is coeditor of The Book of Concord (2000 translation).