Searching for the real Martin Luther

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Photo courtesy of Rolf van der Heydt

Photo courtesy of Rolf van der Heydt

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(RNS) Finding and portraying the "real" Martin Luther on film has not been a task for the faint of heart. Yet wherever Protestants (and Catholics) gather and wherever the political history of Europe is told, the ghost of Martin Luther is present and cannot be avoided. By David Steinmetz.

  • Zack in Denver

    To anyone looking for an exposition of Luther’s thought I highly recommend “Let God be God,” by Philip S. Watson. Watson was a Methodist scholar who has an insightful view of Luther for anyone, but perhaps especially for non-Lutherans, and writes in an engaging and personal style.

  • solongdinesh

    Yeah, Luther had a great sense of humor. Check on some of these gems:
    “But what will happen even if we do burn down the Jews’ synagogues and forbid them publicly to praise God, to pray, to teach, to utter God’s name? They will still keep doing it in secret … They must be driven from our country … Indeed, if they had the power to do to us what we are able to do to them, not one of us would live for an hour. But since they lack the power to do this publicly, they remain our daily murderers and bloodthirsty foes in their hearts. Their prayers and curses furnish evidence of that, as do the many stories which relate their torturing of children and all sorts of crimes for which they have often been burned at the stake or banished … everyone would gladly be rid of them … For Christ does not lie or deceive us when he adjudges them to be serpents and children of the devil …”

    That is comedy gold! #sarcasm.
    Let’s just say this article glosses over some of the “other” parts of Luther’s life. And there’s lots more where this came from.

  • Amsdorf

    Actually, it was Luther who was the conservative, calling the church back to it apostolic faith, as opposed to innovations such as indulgences. Luther, who wanted his followers to be called Christians, not Lutherans, would be appalled by the other denominations that are called Protestant today but deny Christ’s presence in the sacrament, the authority of God’s Word, etc. A true portrayal of Luther would never be box office gold because he was neither superhero nor brooding anti-hero, rather he was only the eptiome of man between God and the devil.