Book Report, Here I Stand: a Life of Martin Luther

Topics: Martin Luther / Pages: 14 (3406 words) / Published: May 12th, 2013
Daniel Lee
HIS-1101-XTIB 12/T1 (Williams)
10 October 2012

Book Report
Bainton, Roland H. Here I Stand: A life of Martin Luther. Third Printing Hardback March 2011. Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers Marketing, LLC, 1950.
Bainton’s Here I Stand is a chronologically arranged biography of Martin Luther’s life which seeks to show his philosophy and ideas for the reform of the Catholic Church without seeking to perform psychoanalysis of the Reformer.
The book has twenty two chapters separated in groups of various events in Luther’s life. These different episodes are then further divided by concentrations of ideas or events that happened during a given time period. I felt the books main portion is the run up to the Diet at Worms which I spend most of this report treating. The early portion of Martin’s life is skimmed over very rapidly in three chapters leading up to, perhaps the most familiar, event in Luther’s life the nailing of the Ninety-Five Theses to the door of the Castle Church. (pg 62) Martin Luther, much like the majority of German people of this period, had a mind full of superstition and reverence for the Catholic Church. So much so that when a sudden thunderstorm came upon him in 1505, thrown to the ground by a lightning bolt frightening him, ‘…he cried in terror, “St. Anne help me! I will become a monk.” The man who thus called upon a saint was later to repudiate the cult of the saints.’ (pg 1) The author seeks to establish an understanding of the man quickly pointing out that for all the things Luther may have done for the Reformation, he was constantly struggling internally with his walk with God. (pgs 2, 372-386) Before his spiritual awakening of the lighting strike Luther was well on his way to doing what was expected of him. Namely to study at university, become successful enough to support his parents in old age. (pgs 14-15) Luther entered into monastic life in one of the strictest orders the Augustinians. (pg 15) Luther went through

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