A World Ablaze: The Rise of Martin Luther and the Birth of the Reformation by Craig Harline

A World Ablaze: The Rise of Martin Luther and the Birth of the Reformation

October 2017 marks five hundred years since Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg and launched the Protestant Reformation. At least, that's what the legend says. But with a figure like Martin Luther, who looms so large in the historical imagination, it's hard to separate the legend from the life, or even sometimes to separate assorted legends...

Title:A World Ablaze: The Rise of Martin Luther and the Birth of the Reformation
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Edition Language:English

A World Ablaze: The Rise of Martin Luther and the Birth of the Reformation Reviews

  • BHodges

    Craig Harline is more than a great historian. He's a fantastic storyteller. His new book about Martin Luther is a real page-turner. I didn't expect to be using adjectives like gripping, heart-pounding, and funny, but here I am. It's a perfect introduction to "Brother Martin" for beginners, but I imagine even longtime specialists on the Reformation will genuinely enjoy and benefit from this freshly-told narrative. That's hard to do, and Harline seems to pull it off with ease. Highly recommended!

    Craig Harline is more than a great historian. He's a fantastic storyteller. His new book about Martin Luther is a real page-turner. I didn't expect to be using adjectives like gripping, heart-pounding, and funny, but here I am. It's a perfect introduction to "Brother Martin" for beginners, but I imagine even longtime specialists on the Reformation will genuinely enjoy and benefit from this freshly-told narrative. That's hard to do, and Harline seems to pull it off with ease. Highly recommended!

  • Debbie

    "A World Ablaze" focused on Martin Luther's life between Oct. 31, 1517 (when his 95 theses were posted on the church door in Wittenberg) to the Diet of Worms, his "exile" at Wartburg, and his return to Wittenberg in the spring of 1522. There was also a chapter summarizing Luther's life before this time and a chapter summarizing what happened afterward (until his death).

    The author summarized the gist of what Luther wrote and believed during this period, but the focus was equally on the political

    "A World Ablaze" focused on Martin Luther's life between Oct. 31, 1517 (when his 95 theses were posted on the church door in Wittenberg) to the Diet of Worms, his "exile" at Wartburg, and his return to Wittenberg in the spring of 1522. There was also a chapter summarizing Luther's life before this time and a chapter summarizing what happened afterward (until his death).

    The author summarized the gist of what Luther wrote and believed during this period, but the focus was equally on the political situation surrounding Luther. We got details about the various meetings that Luther went to and short biographies about the major players, like Frederick the Wise and the Pope. The book wasn't really about the theological issues (why Luther believed what he believed) but rather the impact those ideas had. The author wrote for the average person, and he tried to inject humor into the subject. Unfortunately, that humor usually had me rolling my eyes rather than laughing, but it may appeal to other people. Overall, I enjoyed this book.

    I received an ARC review copy of this book from the publisher through Amazon Vine.

  • Rick Mitchell

    This is an incredibly detailed and sometimes too detailed account of the rise of Martin Luther. There were times I thought that I did not need to know who was there, the roads taken or the clothing worn. However, that aside, this is a very readable history of one of the great peaceful revolutions of western history. I was not aware that Luther wrote so much. So much, in fact, that a historian like Mr. Harline could write in such detail about the events, characters and theology.

    Mr. Harline's writ

    This is an incredibly detailed and sometimes too detailed account of the rise of Martin Luther. There were times I thought that I did not need to know who was there, the roads taken or the clothing worn. However, that aside, this is a very readable history of one of the great peaceful revolutions of western history. I was not aware that Luther wrote so much. So much, in fact, that a historian like Mr. Harline could write in such detail about the events, characters and theology.

    Mr. Harline's writing had a certain light touch. This allowed the theological to be as readable and comprehensible as the historical account. One learns that there was far more to Luther's "heresy: than just the 95 theses tacked on a church door. He was the root of "Lutheranism" and the "Protestant" religions. He was also very human although a part of him may have wanted to have his blood shed as a saintly martyr. Equally captivating as his life is the incredible corruption of the ruling class in and out of the church during the "Dark Ages".

    This is a fine history recommended for anyone with an interest in church history and the Middle Ages.

  • SALLY WHITE

    Thank you Goodreads for sending me this book. I enjoyed this book. It was an interesting read, well written and you get a feel of Luther and those around him as real characters rather than just as people from history. I found the discussion between Luther and the Pope’s representatives vivid and concise. There are also some wonderful illustrations throughout the book.

  • Steve Bender

    I got this book through a Goodreads Giveaway in exchange for an honest review. It was an (trhe year he put up his excellent history of Martin Luther from . I felt that I had a much better understanding of the world of Germany and the politics involved in Luther surviving from the time he published his 95 Theses through his trials with the Pope and Holy Roman Empire. Very e and fascinating. Highly recommended.

  • Caroline Grove

    Interesting introduction to Luther for those who know little or nothing about him. Gives a good idea of how his ideas fitted with what else was happening at the time. The slightly chatty style of writing did make me feel that the author really wants to be writing fiction.

  • Leah

    Wittenberg, Worms, Wartburg – and Martin Luther

    Craig Harline teaches history at Brigham Young University; If I had the opportunity, I'd register for every single one of his classes! If he speaks the way he writes...

    There has been a deluge of Luther/Reformation-related books over the past year; even if you belong to the Flat Earth Society, you likely realize church and world very recently celebrated the 500 year anniversary of the event that kick-started the Protestant Reformation and put Wittenb

    Wittenberg, Worms, Wartburg – and Martin Luther

    Craig Harline teaches history at Brigham Young University; If I had the opportunity, I'd register for every single one of his classes! If he speaks the way he writes...

    There has been a deluge of Luther/Reformation-related books over the past year; even if you belong to the Flat Earth Society, you likely realize church and world very recently celebrated the 500 year anniversary of the event that kick-started the Protestant Reformation and put Wittenberg on the map. A World Ablaze – ablaze in the freedom and fire of the Spirit of Pentecost – chronicles some of magisterial reformer Martin Luther's academic history, his years as a professed religious friar and priest in the Roman Catholic Church, and the early years of the Wittenberg Reform, but not quite as concisely wrapped up as that brief description conveys.

    During the months leading up to 31 October 2017, my church judicatory {oversight and accountability structure} sponsored a series of six Saturday-long Reformation Road Trip events. I attended five of them, and learned a lot about Luther's personality and assumptions, along with some of his rationale behind reforming worship and sacramental practices. Particularly as he details Luther's relationships with Frederick and Charles, Craig Harline fills in more of the blanks in my understanding.

    I'd had some awareness of Brother / Doctor / Pastor Martin's political involvement, but I'd chalked it up to the fact if you stay in castles you need to stay friends with the people who own the castles. The idea of "The Presentation of The Augsburg Confession" to whom....? always seemed highly irregular to me in light of scripture, but Luther was more a late medieval guy than an early Renaissance one, so he depended upon and became involved with royals and government types in ways a late medieval worldview implies, and thus developed his doctrine of separate Spiritual and Temporal Kingdoms. It's far more nuanced than that, yet the concept isn't biblical. Would I want a theocracy like John Calvin's Geneva or colonial New England's? Not that, either. Not. Scriptural. In his Small Catechism explanation to the Lord's Prayer, Pastor Martin himself lists "good government" as part of the daily bread we need and pray for. In any case, my confidence in the {almost realized but not quite yet} eschatology of the Reign {Kingdom} of Heaven on earth is far more robustly Reformed than it is Lutheran.

    {page 273} "He turned a very old 60 in 1543, and even began to dislike Wittenberg." Our Reformation Roadtrip presenter also mentioned Luther's very "premature aging"—despite 60 way back then being much older than even 70 years old is now in 2017. He told us Luther didn't travel much, probably a factor in his attitude being more insular than most educated people of his time. Lack of exposure to different styles of being and living may have contributed to his ultra-embarrassing diatribes again Jews and Judaism. Enough to get him banned from today's twitter? Probably. The late Timothy Lull referred to Luther's "polemical overkill."

    Beyond the history that's never bare, I've taken away more than what's on the surface of A World Ablaze. I believe Martin Luther was Holy Ghosted Roasted, as were countless others who reformed / revitalized / restored the church. Like Luther, every one of the Spirit-filled and Spirit-led renewers of the church had a share of human frailties and less than admirable traits. Jan Hus, John Wycliffe, Ulrich Zwingli, Bros Charles and John along with Mom Susanna Wesley. In the New World? Awakenings through the agency of George Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards; Restoration movements from Barton Stone, Thomas and Alexander Campbell, Joseph Smith. Back across the Atlantic, renewal or aggiornamento in the Roman branch of the church via John XXIII—even protestants commemorate and celebrate him as a Renewer of the Church; his liturgical reforms still continue to ripple through mainline protestantism! I'm taking away and claiming the validity of doctrinally and liturgically diverse expressions of the church, partly acknowledging Luther and cohorts' insisting we find the church and "it is enough" {satis est in the Latin version of Article VII of the Augsburg Confession} for the unity of the church that the gospel be preached and the sacraments rightly administered. Everything else is indifferent or adiaphora, a term famously ascribed to Lutherans but also used elsewhere.

    A World Ablaze opens and concludes with Brother Martin in his Knight George persona making a quick incognito visit to Wittenberg from Wartburg Castle—nice way to capture reader interest. The back includes a useful collection of Sources and Further Reading. I plan to keep this book in my permanent collection and expect to read it again, though I may loan it to my church library before I do.

  • Samantha

    Never received this book I won through the Goodreads giveaway program. Will read and rate fairly if I ever do receive it.

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