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Martin Luther: The Man Who Rediscovered God and Changed the World

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4.32  ·  Rating details ·  2,592 ratings  ·  461 reviews
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Eric Metaxas comes a brilliant and inspiring biography of the most influential man in modern history, Martin Luther, in time for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation

On All Hallow’s Eve in 1517, a young monk named Martin Luther posted a document he hoped would spark an academic debate, but that instead ignited a conflagration th
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Hardcover, + 16 pages of plates, 480 pages
Published October 3rd 2017 by Viking
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4.32  · 
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 ·  2,592 ratings  ·  461 reviews


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Lori
Nov 15, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I rather like Martin Luther. Admittedly, there is more than I don't know about him than do. I think of him as a brave, irascible and earnest believer. Not, someone, I would wish to go camping with for a week. Sailing would be worse. You can't get away from someone else on a small boat. He had many flaws—feet of clay is the usual euphemism. But, he translated the Bible into German for people to read for themselves. I respect reading a book for yourself. He can’t be all bad.

So, I am looking forwar
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Alex
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“If ever there was a moment where it can be said the modern world was born, and where the future itself was born, surely it was in that room on April 18 at Worms.”

The teachings and actions of Martin Luther are arguably some of the most important in all of history. Whether you agree with his teachings or not, what Martin Luther did shaped so much of history. And much like Martin Luther's life, this biography is so important. It's an important read for those wanting to better grasp the Protestant
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Becky
First sentence: There is no beginning to the story of Martin Luther.

I have read a good many biographies of Martin Luther in recent years. Some have been short. Some have been long. Some have focused on the historical. Some have focused solely on the theological. Some have been compelling. Some have been boring.

I'll be honest. Concise isn't always better. There is such a thing as keeping Luther's life story so basic, so simple, so compact that it becomes dull, dry, BORING. The problem isn't that
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Barry
This is one of my favorite books this year. Not only does Metaxis tell a lively and entertaining story of Luther's life, he explains how world-changing his stand for the truth really was. This is truly when the modern world began. For better and for worse. The ideas that we take for granted in our pluralistic society--freedom of conscience, separation of church and state, and the notion that might doesn't make right-- were birthed in Wittenberg exactly 500 years ago.
Judy B
Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was ok
One of the most difficult "seriously written" biographical books on a serious topic I've had the misfortune of plodding through. I read that some readers found the author's style engaging and witty. I only found his writing style simplistic, pompous, and cringe-worthy. In almost every other line, Metaxes writes with excessive superlatives and gross exaggerations. He butchers the beauty of simple writing by filling his sentences with needless hyperbole and "fillers," such as "truly," "very," "gre ...more
Socraticgadfly
Meh at best as a pop bio from a conservative evangelical POV; worse than that otherwise

Per the first half of my header, that's the only reason I rated this book with two stars rather than one. Even though Metaxas discusses Luther's differences with the Reformed on the Eucharist, and a lesser degree on other things, and even tries to take a look at both the philosophy and theology behind this (while failing as much as succeeding), Metaxas still tries to paint Luther as a modern American conservat
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Ccrino
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
This is not a good book. It is entertaining, but horribly biased (I can deal with that) and stupidly inaccurate. For example, "Salve Regina...." does NOT mean "Save us, Mary" in Latin. So, using that as moment to riff on how medieval Christians depended on saints to save them - wrong, wrong and wrong.

I could go on, but as I shared these little tidbits with a friend who is a respected Reformation historian at a Lutheran college, he said, "Why are you reading something that stupid" and suggested L
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Beata
Nov 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A definitely well-written and thoroughly researched book portraying life and vision of a man who did change the world of religion. I recommend it to anyone interested in Martin Luther. It takes some time to read the book but the effort is worthwhile.
Abigail
Oct 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Good read overall. Not to be controversial, but I thought the prologue and epilogue alone were enough to get a good feel for the impact of Luther’s life (If you don’t have time to read the whole book). Overall, this was a good picture of how God used a deeply flawed man who was willing to stand up to systematic oppression, and changed the course of history in the process.
Elsa K
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Maybe 4.25? Metaxas is excellent as a biographer. He makes the story come to life and turns it into a page-turner. His witty, joking style is enjoyable, but you can also see what an intelligent man he is. I have loved every biography he has written.

I grew up Lutheran and heard much about Martin Luther and his 95 theses. Reformation day was like a holiday in our school and I even remember having a cake made in the shape of the Luther's coat of arms one year. I was surprised to hear many of the th
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Shiloah
Eric Metaxes wrote quite a beautiful book on Luther. I’ve read other biographies on him and I’m very grateful for the respectful and yet open, honest view on his life and teachings. It feels as if Metaxes got to know Luther personally.
Ellen Trautner
Jun 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
This took me awhile to read because it was my bedtime reading book, and I can only read a chapter at most before my eyelids get heavy. But that's not a reflection of this book, because it's actually quite interesting and action-packed. However, because I read it over a long period of time, I started losing track of who was who. There are a lot of names. Some people start as Luther's friends and then becomes enemies (and some frenemies) and vice versa. The author's main thesis, about Luther basic ...more
Marks54
Dec 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have always found it interesting that you can profitably read a lot about some people in context without reading a biography while for others it seems important to read through their life story. The trouble, of course, is knowing which is which. I was hesitant to start the new Metaxas biography of Luther. How does one go about writing a one volume biography of one of the most commented upon lives ever? I feared it would prove grossly oversimplified and not do justice to Luther.

How silly of me
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Nick
Eric Metaxas' biography is an immersive account of the great church reformer Martin Luther accessible to all readers. Written as a story vice an academic biography Metaxas brings Luther to life from childhood and formative years through the apex of his career until his later years of life. This full scope story includes the historical background and events that shaped Luther's struggle with the Roman Catholic Church and the secular leaders of the day. In reality this book is much more than just ...more
Amanda
Nov 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Like his other biographies, Metaxas does a great job of bringing the character to life and teasing out all the relevant history to give context and richness. Again like other biographies, Metaxas translates the implications of his subjects life to ours today. But this book was heavier on theology and history and less narrative. Clearly he did an incredible amount of research on the times, given how much specificity provided despite how much further we are removed from Luther than many biographie ...more
Janie
Excellent! The mammoth amount of reading and research that Metaxas did for this book is evident.

I read the audio version which is why I finished it, I'm sure. Metaxas text held my interest. He was also the narrator and was enjoyable to listen to.

The book contained way more material than I expected. As most things are, the Reformation resulted from many more convergences than Luther simply posting some points he wished to discuss (which were never debated). All the chapters were interesting, bu
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Matt
Dec 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carolina Casas
Martin Luther has become a firebrand icon but like so many firebrands, a lot of his story is steeped in myth. It has become another case of fiction replacing history, with novelists and (some) historians choosing that over reality. Eric Metaxas does a good job by deconstructing Luther and presenting us with the real man behind the leader of the Protestant reformation.
My full review: https://tudorsandotherhistories.wordp...
Brit
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a fascinating biography. It exposes a few myths, and gives us the real events and details. Also, the book does a good job of taking us into the world at the time of Luther, giving us a better understanding of history and the man Martin Luther.
David Schultz
Feb 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Metaxas writes the inherently interesting story of Martin Luther in an interesting way. You can tell he’s a big fan of Luther but he fairly touches on his flaws as well.

I learned a lot.
Kyle
May 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The great biography on Luther, such a fascinating and rich period & life.
B.J. Richardson
I had high hopes for this biography, but the further I read, the more those hopes were dashed. In one sense, this is a very thorough biography. Metaxes includes a lot of detail but in a readable way. That was what I was expecting. However, none of this is actually new material. There isn't anything enlightening or revealing but rather a rehash of what hundreds of other writers have included seasoned with Metaxas' own special form of hagiography.

While Martin Luther was a great man who definitely
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Andrew
Aug 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good, with some pertinent analysis of Luther's ubiquitous influence on not only ecclesiology, but also politics, economics, et al. As with his biography of Bonhoeffer, Metaxas fills in a lot of gaps in popular history, and also debunks some popular mythology. The biggest shortcoming to this reviewer is that he makes no mention of Luther's most powerful work, the commentary on Paul's Epistle to the Galatians.
Christine
Jun 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Erix Metaxas has done a great service to students of history and religion with this masterful biography of Martin Luther, whose campaign against the abuses of the medieval Roman Catholic Church sparked the Protestant Reformation. I came away with a new appreciation for this complex man and his role in creating western democracy.
Danette
I came away from this book in awe of the sovereignty of God in Luther's life and in the lives of popes, kings, & nations. So much of what we take for granted in Western culture comes from the work of Martin Luther. He was an imperfect man that God used (among others) to reform His church.
I listened to the audio version.

2019 - A book about church history
Dkovlak
Feb 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is in excellent book. It is very thorough and comprehensive. I learned a lot about Martin Luther from this book. I find it amazing how conversations can be reconstructed from over 500 years ago.

The only suggestion I have for this book is that the vocabulary was well above the vocabulary that I’m used to. This is good because it is challenging.
Hunter Satterfield
Dec 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Less a biography of Luther and more a biography of the Reformation. Definitely not a page turner, but very insightful and thought provoking throughout. Discusses the political climate at the time as well which was very helpful in understanding how the Reformation was able to take hold. The entire book though may be worth the last chapter - it focuses on how the Reformation ultimately created Western Civilization as we know it.
Hapzydeco
Listening to the Penguin audio narrated by the author, was a rewarding experience.
George P.
Oct 26, 2017 rated it liked it
On the occasion of the Protestant Reformation’s five hundredth anniversary, books about Martin Luther have been pouring off the presses. Eric Metaxas’ Martin Luther will probably sell the most copies, perhaps more than all the other combined. It debuted at number seven on the October 22, 2017 New York Times’s bestseller list. It is still a bestseller on Amazon.com.

I had high hopes for this biography. Luther lived a big life, one of world-historical importance. His actions laid the foundations of
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Kit
Oct 09, 2017 marked it as to-read-per
Author was on the GB radio show himself 10/9/17 for this book. Also wrote a highly recommended book on Bonhoeffer.
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In a decidedly eclectic career, Eric Metaxas has written for VeggieTales, Chuck Colson, Rabbit Ears Productions and the New York Times, four things not ordinarily in the same sentence. He is a best-selling author whose biographies, children’s books, and works of popular apologetics have been translated into more than 25 languages.
“fussy, over-formalized way” 0 likes
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