October 31, 1517: Martin Luther and the Day that Changed the World

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9781612616568: October 31, 1517: Martin Luther and the Day that Changed the World
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“This volume is small but weighty and a solid addition for all modern Christianity collections.” — Ray Olson, Booklist

With a foreword by James Martin, this classic reader on the Reformation by Martin Marty answers the question: Why is the Reformation relevant today?

Most importantly, this book is about how the Reformation impacts us devotionally as Christians of any denomination.

As we move toward the commemoration on October 31, 2017, this is the book you need. Accessible for church groups or personal reading, this is not a historical narrative of Reformation events, but an explanation of the issues that led to Luther’s posting of the 95 Theses and their implications for the Church and the world.

As one of the world’s preeminent Luther scholars, Martin Marty also explores the concept of repentance as a central theme of the Theses. In a foreword, James Martin, SJ, offers context and a shared vision.

This year began with the joint ecumenical commemoration in Lund, Sweden, on October 31, 2016, attended by Pope Francis and members of the Lutheran World Federation and other Christian churches. Martin Marty explains how this event, and indeed all ecumenical dialogue that has happened over the past few hundred years and will happen in this coming year, represents a change of heart.


“Valuable insight.” – Kathleen Norris

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About the Author:

Martin E. Marty is the Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago, where he taught for 35 years. An ordained Lutheran minister since 1952 and an historian, he has written on Christian history, Reformation era topics - including a biography of Martin Luther, American religion, and world religions in recent times. The author of over sixty books, he is a National Book Award winner and was honored with the National Medal of Humanities. His passion is to stress how Christianity relates both to public life and to the classic personal themes of faith and hope and love. He has participated in Christian ecumenical programs and reported on the Second Vatican Council and other events involving Catholics and Protestants.

Review:

This book has a lot packed in it for such a short volume (90 pages and then an appendix of Luther's 95 Thesis), and I found it very informative and thought provoking, especially Marty's beautiful examination of what repentance really means. Rather than being for or against Luther, as the Reformation debate often dwells upon, Martin Marty traces Luther's influence on the church, as well as history at large, and shows where Catholics and Lutherans have sought unity in more recent times. He closes with thoughts on how this unity can be developed further. Both Catholics, Lutherans, and all the denominations in between will learn something from this little book and be convicted towards the kind of whole-life-encompassing, inside-out repentance that Luther advocated as it relates to being one bride of Christ. Well-researched and graceful, Marty has a great perspective on a potentially explosive topic. —Amanda Rogozinski
 

This book is a little book with a big message: a message of repentance as change of heart, the message of 1517 that Marty is able to show has manifold implications for church and world. It is worthy of careful attention in the commemorations to come. Because of its size and accessibility to a broad readership, this book is an excellent resource for use in congregations as well as classrooms.
James M. Childs, Jr. is Joseph A, Sittler Professor Emeritus of Theology and Ethics at Trinity Lutheran Seminary and Book Review Editor of the Journal of Lutheran Ethics.



Ordained Lutheran minister and historian Martin E. Marty presents October 31, 1517: Martin Luther and the Day that Changed the World, a book released especially to commemorate the fateful day when Martin Luther rebelled against the excesses of the Catholic church, proposed ninety-five theses to bring humans closer to God, and initiated the Protestant Reformation, which would create a new branch of Christianity. Martin Luther's 95 Theses are included in this erudite and thoughtful look back at a turbulent time, when Marin Luther's words about the need for "repentance" were a clarion call. Thoroughly accessible to readers of all backgrounds, October 31, 1517 is a welcome addition to church library collections. —Andrea Kay, Midwest Book Review

His [Martin E. Marty's] central point is that Luther’s bold act of protest was a call for repentance or a change of heart within the Catholic Church, which at the time was overrun with corruption due to the selling of indulgences. Instead, Luther emphasized justification by faith and an acceptance of the grace of God.

Other interesting topics covered in the book are the present day existence of some 40,000 Christian denominations (part of Luther’s legacy), the continuing dialogue between Lutherans and Roman Catholics, and their sincere efforts to come together in common prayer and joint action. —Living Lutheran, June 2016

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