There is yet another 480-page book about Martin Luther just released. As the article from the quote below states, he is the most written about a person in the Christian realm with the exception of Jesus. For the most part, Luther is presented as a savior of 16th century Christianity. This book, from what I can tell from the reviews, follows that guideline with a few exceptions. As usual, I have come to see it from a different view.
Those who oppose him are always ill-willed, unreasonable, “oddly stubborn” or burdened by “painfully cloudy theology.” Moreover, according to Metaxas [the book author], the dissolution of Christendom into different competing churches could have been “eminently avoidable” if everyone had been good-hearted and smart enough to agree with Luther. Little is said about Luther’s noxious tirades against Jews, save to dismiss them as “one of the most bizarre episodes of Luther’s life,”
I will again admit here that I was a lazy Luthern for 25 years and got a full dose of Luther’s history, at least as Lutheran chose to proclaim it. For the most part, very little was mentioned about his tirades and viciousness for others who disagreed with him. I had to learn about that from personal studies.
I take a pretty different view of the results of Luther’s actions than many I suppose. As I see it now, he is primarily responsible for the fracture of Christianity into it 35,000+ parts it is today. He was simply a very insecure Catholic monk who had little self-esteem, so when he discovered that one sentence from Paul about faith and works he latched onto it as being the core of the Christian message. Fast forward five hundred years and the same logic has been used thousands of times to totally fracture the Christian brand. I know Luther didn’t start out wanting to fracture the church but that is what resulted like it or not.
Luther’s tirades and short temper along with a stubborn and arrogant Pope caused a split that never healed. I, as a former Catholic, sat through many Lutheran Bible study classes where the participants were dissing Catholics in almost all areas. And now we have the Evangelicals who seem to be intent on a complete fracture of Jesus’ church! They are turning it into a political organization with hate for most who are different from them.
So, I am just not one to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Luther. After years of study, I have finally come to realize that he was more the cause of the coming destruction than he was a cure. I know these are radical words to many Protestants and particularly Evangelicals but when has that kept me from saying what’s on my mind.