Sunday, December 18, 2016

Martin Luther: Christian biographies for young readers

A review of Martin Luther: Christian Biographies for young readers by Simonetta Carr

Five hundred years ago, a monk named Martin Luther wrote ninety-five questions, hoping to start a discussion about sin and repentance at the University of Wittenberg in Germany. In a few months those questions had stirred the nation; a few years later, the continent. Today we know that those questions changed the course of both the Western church and world history. In this volume for children, Simonetta Carr tells the compelling story of this father of the Protestant Reformation, tracing his quest for peace with God, his lifelong heroic stand for God’s truth, and his family life and numerous accomplishments. The Reformer’s greatest accomplishment, she writes, “has been his uncompromising emphasis on the free promise of the gospel.” 

This is the fourth book in this series that I have reviewed and it's always a pleasure to read and review one.  My other reviews in this series can be found here (John Knox), here (Jonathan Edwards), and here (Marie Durand).  Please feel free to check them out.

We are coming up on the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his 95 theses to the church door in Wittenburg, so the timing for the release of this book couldn't be better.  This book is an excellent way to introduce children to the great German Reformer in a way they can understand.  With the great artwork and a biography written at a level they can understand, I can't think of a better way to introduce Luther to my children, and I must say, they loved this book.  I read it out loud to them, a chapter at a time, and they didn't want me to stop!

Simonetta has done a great job bringing Luther to life and I was so appreciative that the great Reformation narrative at the center of Luther's life wasn't lost here.  To see this tormented monk transformed by the good news of the Gospel and to see him stand firm to reform the Church was exciting to read, and exciting to share with my children.  As we read this book, my children could clearly see the need for reformation, and could clearly appreciate that it was God who brought "darkness out of light."

It's important for all of us to understand that we stand on the shoulders of giants, and I'm thankful to Simonetta for helping me introduce my children to the mighty Martin Luther.  Thank you!

I'll close with some comments from my children.

What did my son Samuel (age 10) have to say about this book?

"I like how action filled this book was.  It was an awesome book!  Thank you for writing it!

What did my daughter Hannah (age 7) have to say?

"I really liked the book because of all the pictures.  The pictures helped me understand the story better."

What a great way to introduce children to the giants of our faith!  I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review.

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