In Martin Luther, Eric Metaxas busts some old myths and reveals how our world was shaped so profoundly by this humble 16th century German Monk. Read our review.
Meet Author Eric Metaxas
The son of a Greek immigrant father and a German immigrant mother, Eric was born in Astoria, NY. His parents met in an English class in New York City. The award-winning author spoke to me about his upbringing.
“You know when you are raised by a Greek father and a German mother, that means you are raised Greek”.
His father hails from Kefalonia, where Eric has been going every summer for the past few years. Eric was raised Greek Orthodox and has been invited to speak at the cathedrals in New York City and Washington D.C. While he has not left the church, he regularly attends an Evangelical church in New York where he lives. Eric is very proud of his Greek roots, which led to the naming of his NYC-based series, Socrates in the City: Conversations on the Examined Life. The author is also the host of the Eric Metaxas Show, a nationally-syndicated daily radio program that airs in 120 cities.
He started writing biographies almost by accident — someone suggested he write about William Wilberforce, so he did. It was published in 2007. He followed that with the #1 bestseller, Bonhoeffer, about the martyred German pastor. He’s published seven books to date, and Martin Luther is his latest. Currently, he’s working on a new book, inspired by his time in Kefalonia — some Mycenean ruins were found on the island that may be the tomb of Odysseus. His next work will be about Homer and the Odyssey.
About Martin Luther: The Man Who Rediscovered God and Changed the World
Eric said he was inspired to write it because of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, and in his research, he discovered many fascinating facts, some of which disprove common misconceptions. The book tells Martin Luther’s history from his beginnings as a bright young student to a humble priest who wanted to start a debate within the Western Christian church and ended up creating the Protestant Reformation which split the Western Christian churches into multiple factions and led to years of bloody religious wars in Europe. I asked Eric what most surprised him about Luther.
“The saint that Martin Luther was named for — Martin of Tours – achieved sainthood largely because he refused to fight for the Roman Army at the battle of Worms, 1,000 years before Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the church door at Worms. Both men became famous for taking a strong stand against the authority of their day in this one small German town. I don’t think it is mere coincidence. I see the hand of God in this.”
In the book, Eric also uncovered several interesting facts about Martin Luther that refute previous beliefs about Luther. For example, it was recently discovered that Martin Luther was not poor.
The book is full of fascinating facts about Martin Luther and how he influenced our modern world in sometimes surprising ways. For instance, in 1934, a pastor from Georgia stopped in Berlin for a Baptist conference on his way home from the Holy Land. While in Germany he became so impressed with the story of Martin Luther that he changed his name from Michael to Martin Luther – and that of his son. Thus, Michael King, Jr. became Martin Luther King, Jr.
The book shows that the way Christianity is practiced, how individuals perceive themselves in relation to the church and with God were all radically changed and unalterably by Martin Luther in ways we don’t always grasp and that we take for granted.
Much has been written about this towering figure of Christianity and Western Civilization, but this book brings to light new facts — some discovered as recently as 2008 from archaeological digs done at Martin Luther’s childhood home. The book covers his life and times and his work as well as his influence on our modern world.
Review of Martin Luther
As a history and biography enthusiast, I was excited to read Martin Luther: The Man Who Rediscovered God and Changed the World. Not everyone shares my keen interest in history, but this book is one that people who don’t consider themselves history buffs would also enjoy. Eric Metaxas writes in a very engaging and entertaining way, and deftly ties in other key figures in Martin Luther’s life and times.
Greek readers will also be interested to learn how important the study of the Greek language was to scholars of that era and that it was Martin Luther’s own knowledge of Greek that allowed him to write his famous translation of the Bible into German. Key figures of the day even Hellenized their names.
Martin Luther: The Man Who Rediscovered God and Changed the World is a fascinating history told with style and humor. I highly recommend this book to learn about how this humble monk helped create the world we live in and did so almost by accident.
By: Eric Metaxas
Publisher: VikingISBN-10: 110198001X
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