Luther became one of my great heroes since I read the hymn, 'A safe stronghold our God is still a trusty shield and weapon', when I was fifteen and newly converted to the Christian faith. It was a tremendous help to me at that time and forewarned me that the spiritual life is a battle! At eighteen at Sullivan Upper School in Holywood I remember reading in the library one of the great biographies of the man, 'Here I Stand' by Roland Baiton. I felt very like Luther at the time - I was spiritually depressed and thought I would never get out of it, despite knowing Luther would- fortunately I eventually got out of it as well!.
I would argue that there are many takes on Luther. I personally like him because I see him as a man of clay, but also much more than that, he was a man who had a great spiritual passion and was prepared to take on the role as leader of the great Reformation of the Christian Church -despite all his many enemies.
I hope you enjoy the following essay by Peter Sanford. Andrew K
In the English version of the Reformation, Martin Luther’s role amounts to little more than noises off. First, he attracted the hostility of Henry VIII, aided and abetted by Thomas More, as they flung barbs at “this venomous serpent” challenging the Catholic church’s stranglehold over Europe. Then, just over a decade later, the king exploited the breach in Rome’s defences that Luther had created to launch a national church.