The Reformer : The Story Of The Man And His Career Essay

The Reformer : The Story Of The Man And His Career Essay

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Kittelson, James M. Luther the Reformer: The Story of the Man and His Career. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2003.


James Kittelson’s biography on the life of Luther is thought provoking and informative. Kittelson does not have a concise thesis, but as it is a biography the central theme of Luther the Reformer is an insightful narrative of Martin Luther’s life from his birth in Eisleben until his death on February 18, 1546 in Eisleben. Kittelson thoroughly and with great detail and sources explains Luther’s mission to reform the catholic church. Luther the Reformer seeks to condense Luther’s life in a manner which is more easily read for those who do not know the reformer’s story well. Luther is portrayed not only as a theologian throughout the book, but as a person with struggles and connections throughout the Germanic region in which he lived. Luther’s theology is portrayed throughout the entirety of the book, and Kittelson approaches Luther’s theology by explaining Luther’s past. The inclusion of Luther’s past and experiences explains why the reform was imperative to Luther, as he sought a God who loved him.

Primary and secondary sources were used throughout Luther the Reformer. The incorporation of primary sources validates Kittelson’s personification of Luther throughout his book. Kittelson includes photographs of artifacts of the era and Luther family belongings. Encompassing Luther’s life with primary sources, photographs, and artifacts enhances the understanding of Martin Luther’s daily life during the Reformation and the values he held. Kittelson uses primary sources so frequently throughout his biography that it is impossible to read a chapter without a photographical primary source to visually exempl...


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...e and engaging. Kittelson effectively composed the book and created the biography to be an interesting look into the life of Martin Luther. His successful usage of primary source documents and information compounded with his personal literary explanation of Luther’s journey toward reformation and peace with God. Kittelson’s book is not without humor either, he includes direct quotes and dialogue between Luther and Zwingli debating the Lord’s Supper. The insults and demonstrative behavior show Luther as he was, a reformer, who wished to convince others of the power of the gospel. This engaging study is both informative and engaging. Luther the Reformer is a good biography for anyone interested in Martin Luther’s life and interested in learning more about why his journey impacted not only the Roman church then, but the entirety of the Christian Church to this day.

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