Book Review: The Real Martin Luther by Josh Hamon and Brynn James

mb26cp3We all want to read a book that has something to do the occasion to make us more appreciative on the event. Come Reformation Day 2018 and a book came to me that is quite not the book I’m expecting read. Its bio book about a certain Reformer that has a concoction of history, humor and cartoons in it.

The Real Martin Luther is a bio book for the rest of us. The reasons are from being too lengthy or too boring to read.   Josh took Luther from the stained glass and introduces him as a human flaws and all. I think every biography book strives to present the person as ordinary as possible so we can easily relate on whom he was and what he has done.  The Real Martin Luther goes beyond that by injecting humor to the narrative. It’s getting the low down on Martin Luther without hitting below the belt. Luther wasnt drag to the mud here.  This book reminds me of Plato and a Platypus Walks into a Bar… adding comedy to a boring subject.

The artwork is awesome and also hilarious. Brynn James sets the tone on how we should visualize the book with just the right artwork style. She then puts some millennial and hipster references here and there to poke fun to Luther. Sometimes it complements the text and sometimes it’s a standalone humor. My only hopes for future volumes are that they go all out in artwork as in turn it into a comicbook.

This book is the first volume of the Holy Misfits series so we should expect there is more of this stuff. You’ll finish The Real Martin Luther not really laughing so hard to forget it all together, but with a fresh outlook on this reformation hero. A bit bold and a bit uncomfortable for readers who usually digest the usual biography book. But then again this is a totally different bio book. It’s history that is entertaining. This book is definitely a must read (re-read) for everyone.

My verdict:

5 out of 5

(The review copy of this book is provided by the author)

The Quotable Round-Up #69

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Hey people here’s your favorite post. Hot and fresh quotes from the book “Long Before Luther” by Nathan Busenitz . If you enjoyed these quotes, please buy the book at your nearest Christian bookstore or on Amazon. Feel free to share this post over your social media. God bless you and enjoy your week!

“The church fathers speak of the sinner’s need for a righteousness that cannot be found in either his own merits or the law. Speaking of the unattainable standard of God’s perfect righteousness, Origen explains that to be justified before people is different from being justified before God. “In comparison with other people,” he writes, “one person can be deemed just if he has lived relatively free from faults; but in comparison with God, not only is a person not justified, but even as Job says, ‘But the stars are not pure before him.’” Origen explains that while we may seem pure in comparison to other people, and vice versa, we can never be pure in comparison to God, who is perfectly pure.”

“The forensic nature of justification in the patristic literature can be seen in at least two ways: through the use of law court terminology and through the contrast drawn between justification and condemnation.”

“The Reformers recognized that Jesus did not actually become a sinner on the cross; yet God punished Him as if He were a sinner so that, in Christ, believers might be treated as if they were righteous. The sins of believers were imputed to Christ at the cross so that, because He bore the punishment for those sins, His righteousness might be imputed to those who believe in Him.”

“The Reformers taught that justification occurs at the moment of salvation, which means the believer is immediately declared righteous and restored to God’s favor. Sanctification, by contrast, takes place progressively over a believer’s entire life, and results in his or her growth in personal holiness through the power of the Holy Spirit. The regenerated heart, having received new life in Christ, is able to respond in obedience. to God and grow in godliness.”

“When justification and sanctification are confused, the inevitable conclusion is that the believer’s personal holiness contributes, at least in part, to his or her right standing before God. This legalistic notion was something the Reformers passionately sought to guard against.”

“Melanchthon and Calvin give us two clear examples of a Reformation understanding of the forensic nature of justification. In the court of heaven, sinners are guilty and worthy of condemnation. Even their self-righteous works are like filthy rags in the sight of a holy God (see Isa. 64:6). Yet by grace through faith in Christ, sinners are pardoned by the heavenly Judge and declared to be righteous. Being justified, therefore, means to be acquitted of sin and accepted by God as if we were righteous, because we are clothed in the perfect righteousness of Christ.”

“Most Roman Catholics viewed justification as a formative process that involved sinners being “made righteous” over the course of their entire lives. Consequently, in the Roman Catholic view, believers contributed to their justification through the acts of penance and good works they performed. The Reformers rejected that notion, arguing instead that justification is an immediate change in the sinner’s status before God, to which believers contribute nothing. It is entirely a work of God.”

The Quotable Round-Up #68

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Photo by Nonsap Visuals on Unsplash

On this edition of “The Quotable Round-Up”, we commemorate the 500th year of the Reformation. The following quotes are from the book “A Little Book on the Reformation” by Nathan Busenitz. What’s cool is that you can get the book for free just by following this link: https://www.tms.edu/reformation-ebook-giveaway/. But before you download the book, enjoy some snippets from the book:

“Fueled by their study of the Bible, the Reformers proclaimed the truth that salvation is not based on good works. Rather, it is the free gift of God, given to undeserving sinners by grace alone (sola gratia) through faith alone (sola de), on the basis of the nished work of Christ alone (solus Christus). Recognizing that believers can take no credit for their salvation, the Reformers responded to the wonder of redemption by giv ing God all of the glory. Soli Deo gloria summarizes the triumphant cry of sinners who recognize they are saved solely by grace.”

“The Reformers contended that, because Christ is the Head of the church, His Word is the final authority for the church. Papal decrees and church traditions must be subjected to the authority of Scripture alone (sola Scriptura), not the other way around. is commitment to biblical authority led the Reformers to boldly denounce the works-based sacra mental system of medieval Catholicism, recognizing that the true gospel ran contrary to the so-called gospel of the Roman church.”

“Why did Catholic authorities at the Council of Constance condemn John Huss as a heretic? Why did they deem him worthy of death? e answer to those questions revolves around the issue of authority. Based on his study of Scripture, Huss boldly proclaimed that Christ alone is the head of the church, not the pope.”

“It was ignorance of Scripture that made the Reformation necessary. It was the recovery of Scripture that made the Reformation possible. And it was the power of the Scripture that gave the Reformation its enduring impact, as the Holy Spirit brought the truth of His Word to bear on the hearts and minds of individual sinners, transforming them, regenerating them, and giving them eternal life.”

“Tyndale lived at a time when those who dared to translate the Word of God, and thereby unchain it from its Latin coffin, faced the possibility of being burned alive. But the seeds of Protestantism, im planted in English soil a century-and-a-half earlier by John Wycliffe, had come to sprout green shoots that gave fruit in the form of Tyndale’s Bible. For his efforts, the gifted linguist would suffer greatly for the sake of Christ, being thrown into a dungeon and put on trial for his life.”

“There is no part of our life, and no action so minute, that it ought not to be directed to the glory of God.” Those words, penned by John Calvin in his commentary on 1 Corinthians, aptly summarize the life and ministry of this notable Reformer. For Calvin, soli Deo gloria was more than a slogan. It was the primary goal of his life.”

Used Book Finds: Of the Imitation of Christ by Thomas A Kempis

   I read somewhere that this is one of Jose Rizal’s (Philippine national hero) favorite books.  Loved by Catholics and Protestants alike, this devotional, throughout the centuries brought guidance and inspiration to countless people. I used this devotional maybe 3 years ago and find Thomas A Kempis meditation something profound. As if this book carries you to a secluded place, all alone with your Bible. Some commented that it has a sort of Catholic mysticism that a reader should be cautious about. This edition, published by Pivot Paperbacks 1973. You can find devotional books at BookSale ((a second hand/used book store in the Philippines) for a very cheap price. Just be patient in flipping and digging.

Anyways, what’s your favorite devotional book and why? Love to read it on the comment.