Dear fellow servants of the Word,
Wise King Solomon observed, “Of making many books there is no end” (Ecclesiastes 12:12). That certainly is true of books in general, and we can also safely say that it’s true of books about Martin Luther and the Reformation. In fact, it has been said that more books have been written about Martin Luther than any other person in history, except for Jesus Christ. I have never seen actual statistical evidence to back up that assertion, but it does seem reasonable. And over the years Northwestern Publishing House has contributed more than a few titles to that ever-growing list of books on Luther. This Reformation 500 anniversary year, NPH has published four new Luther titles and brought back into print or reissued new editions of several older Luther books. Some are aimed at younger readers and people with little knowledge of Luther. Other books are aimed at pastors and teachers, as well as laypeople who already have some knowledge of Luther and the Reformation.
In my letter today, I’d like to talk about one of our new Luther books that falls into that second category: Luther’s Protest: From 95 Theses to Reformation by John Braun. While it is not a long book (197 pages), it does an amazing job of telling the story of Luther and the Reformation in a succinct way without excluding anything important. In fact, Pastor Braun weaves into his book not only the story of Luther–his life, work, and theology–but also many interesting details of people and events from all over Europe that intersected (directly or indirectly) with Luther and the reform movement.
Pastor Braun accomplished this by arranging his book in a somewhat unique way. He divided his book into 21 short chapters, with each chapter being place and event specific. To help aid the reader visually with keeping track of the details, each chapter begins with a full-page map of Europe superimposed with a time line that includes the key people, places, and dates mentioned in the chapter. The time lines also include full-color period portraits of all the key people mentioned in each chapter.
I have to say, of all the “many books” I have read over the years about Luther and the Reformation, Luther’s Protest is unique in its arrangement of the material, along with the generous visual treatment of the subject matter. Most important, the book is faithful in retelling the story of how God was active in history through the Reformation to restore to his church the teaching of the gospel in all its truth and glory.
If you are considering reading a book about Luther and the Reformation this year, I’d encourage you to consider Luther’s Protest: From 95 Theses to Reformation, by John Braun. This would also be a good book to place in your church library and to recommend to laypeople who have some knowledge of the Reformation and would like to learn more.
Your fellow servant in Christ,
Curtis A. Jahn
Professional Products Editor
Northwestern Publishing House