Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Quick Review of Life of Luther by Barnas Sears

Attic Books, which I believe is a division of New Leaf books is doing the church a great service by republishing these old books.  I was fortunate enough to receive a free copy of Barans Sears’ Life of Luther in exchange for a review. 

As bibliophile (that’s book lover) I have to say that the look of these books is amazing.  I love the “old” feel to them, with their somewhat dilapidated looking edges and rustic covers.  There is something that makes reading history feel more significant when the book feels older. 

But we all know that it is never wise to judge a book by its cover, nor its serrated edges.  So, what is on the inside of this Life of Luther?  How does it stack up to the others? 

For one thing this is a book written in 1850.  Therefore, there are certain issues in modern works on Luther that are not dealt with.  Certain things are assumed (justification by faith as the center of the Reformation) and some things are ignored (Luther and the Jews).  You will not find some of the contemporary discussions on Luther. 

But that is partly what makes this read so fun.  It feels like you are reading something more akin to the literature in Luther’s time period.  It is raw.  It doesn’t hold punches; nor does Sears seem to find the need to defend the bombastic Luther. 

How does this work on Luther stack up to the others?  Of the Luther books that I have read this one was one of the most fun.  Probably because Sears actually includes many quotes from Luther.  This is a pretty comprehensive look at Luther and a pretty typical look at Luther from an 1850’s perspective.  If you like church history, the Reformation period, and/or Luther then Sears’ Life of Luther is certainly  worthy of your consideration.

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