Today I have a book review to share with you.
Their revolutionary marriage was arguably one of the most scandalous and intriguing in history. Yet five centuries later we still know little about Martin and Katharina Luther's life as husband and wife. Until now. Against all odds, the unlikely union of a runaway nun and a renegade monk worked, over time blossoming into the most tender of love stories. This unique biography tells the riveting story of two remarkable people and their extraordinary relationship, offering refreshing insights into Christian history and illuminating the Luthers' profound impact on the institution of marriage, the effects of which still reverberate today. Together, this legendary couple experienced joy and grief, triumph and travail. This book brings their private lives and their love story into the spotlight and offers powerful insights into our own twenty-first century understanding of marriage.
When I first started reading this book, I thought it might be a little uninteresting and hard to get through. In fact, it was the complete opposite! It was fascinating to read and it kept me spellbound the whole way through. It was hard to put it down! I also learned a wealth of new information about Martin Luther's views on different issues.
Before Martin nailed his Ninety-five Theses to the doors of the Castle Church in Wittenburg, he had earned his doctorate along with the official title "Doctor of Biblia" (which is translated as "teacher of the Bible.") Because his mentor made him the official preacher to the Augustinian monks, Martin was required to preach several times a week. He began to dig into Scripture, beginning with the Psalms, and soon realized that salvation is through grace alone. During this time, Luther's views on marriage changed drastically. His nailing the Ninety-five These to the doors was the single act that set everything else in motion.
Martin Luther left his life as a monk, married a runaway nun, and reformed marriage in the process. The Christian weddings of today, as you know them, generally follow a standard protocol. A man and woman become engaged, spend a few months wedding planning, then the couple is marred in a church by a minister or priest. A reception follows the church ceremony. We have Martin Luther to thank for this tradition. Before his alterations came about, we would say that marriage back then was a little unusual or weird.
I really enjoyed how the author depicted the backgrounds of Martin and Katharina. She not only showed what life was like for nuns, and in Katharina's case runaway nuns, and monks, but also what married life was like for them. I appreciate that the author paid great attention to detail, and obviously she did much research to write this book. I think there could have been a little more said about the Ninety-five These, but other than that it was well written. Katharina and Martin Luther was the first book I've read by Michelle DeRusha and hopefully it won't be my last. I give this book 4.5 stars.
*Because of some of the content discussed, I wouldn't recommend this book to those under age 15.*
About the Author:
Michelle DeRusha is the author of 50 Women Every Christian Should Know. She publishes a monthly column on religion and spirituality for the Lincoln Journal Star and writes about faith in the everyday on her blog, www.michellederusha.com. She lives with her husband and their two boys in Lincoln, Nebraska.
**I was given a free copy of this book from BakerBooks and all thoughts are my own.**