Out of the Storm
The Life and Legacy of Martin LutherUnknown - 2008
"Scores highly in thoroughness, clarity, and human sympathy. If you want a model of how to defy uncomprehending power . . . or a model of how to laugh at the Devil, Wilson has provided a reliable guide as to how Luther did it."
--- Sunday Telegraph (UK)
Martin Luther changed Europe and, through Europe, the world. It was he who originally exposed the myth of a unifed Latin Christendom, in fact only held together by crusades, heresy hunts, Inquisition, and priestly magic. Though not the first radical thinker to challenge papal pretensions and the doctrines they were founded on, by his defiance Luther created the biggest cause célèbre of the age. But this renegade monk did not just split Europe into rival Protestant and Catholic camps. By urging Christians to read and interpret the Bible for themselves, he gave a religious boost to that emancipation of the individual we associate with the Renaissance. By putting men and women in charge of their own destiny he made a cultural impact that is incalculable.
The first major biography in English for many years, by leading historian Derek Wilson, Out of the Storm responds to recent Reformation scholarship to assess Luther's impact on his own and later ages. This warts-and-all study gives a vivid picture of a complex and driven man---courageous, stubborn, rumbustious, vulgar, erudite, self-opinionated, but a man of tireless energy and, above all, total conviction. For his achievements we can admire him. In his failings we can identify with him. Luther remains perpetually fascinating.