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Luther for Armchair Theologians (Armchair Theologians)

By Steve Paulson (Author), Stephen Paulson (Author) & Simon Vance (Narrated by)
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Item description for Luther for Armchair Theologians (Armchair Theologians) by Steve Paulson, Stephen Paulson & Simon Vance...

Martin Luther started a reformation movement that revolutionized Europe in the sixteenth century. His far-reaching reforms of theological understanding and church practices radically modified both church and society in Europe and beyond. Paulson's introduction to Luther's thought, coupled with illustrations, provides an engaging introduction to Luther's multifaceted self and the ideas that catapulted him to fame.

Publishers Description
Martin Luther started a reformation movement that revolutionized Europe in the sixteenth century. His far-reaching reforms of theological understanding and church practices radically modified both church and society in Europe and beyond. Paulson's introduction to Luther's thought, coupled with the illustrations, provides an engaging introduction to Luther's multifaceted self and the ideas that catapulted him to fame. Written by experts but designed for the nonexpert, the Armchair series provides accurate, concise, and witty overviews of some of the most profound Christian theologians in history. This series is an essential supplement for first-time encounters with primary texts, a lucid refresher for scholars and clergy, and an enjoyable read for the theologically curious. STEVEN PAULSON is Associate Professor of Systematic Theology, Luther SEMInary, St. Paul, Minnesota.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Hovel Audio
Pages   1
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.4" Width: 5.3" Height: 0.6"
Weight:   0.3 lbs.
Binding  CD
Release Date   Nov 1, 2005
Publisher   Hovel Audio
Edition  Unabridged  
Series  Armchair Theologians  
ISBN  159644200X  
ISBN13  9781596442009  

Availability  0 units.

More About Steve Paulson, Stephen Paulson & Simon Vance

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Steve Paulson is Executive Producer of Wisconsin Public Radio's nationally syndicated radio program "To the Best of Our Knowledge." He is a recipient of the Templeton-Cambridge Journalism Fellowship in Science and Religion. He has written for Salon, Slate, and other publications, and has produced feature stories for NPR's "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered."

Steve Paulson was born in 1960.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Protestant

Christian Product Categories
Books > Inspiration > Motivation > Biography & Autobiography

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Reviews - What do customers think about Luther for Armchair Theologians?

A great introduction to Luther's theology  Sep 2, 2008
This is an excellent introduction to Luther's thought. It gives a brief introduction to his life in the begining, and then goes through his ideas systematically. The key ideas are presented such as law and gospel, justification, his view of scripture, and the Lord's Supper. Paulson also discusses Luther's view of free will, as defended in his excellent book, The Bondage of the Will. It is written in such a way that it is understandable to a layman, yet still profitable for the theologian. The drawings are humorous, yet some might seem offensive. I wish Paulson would have included a chapter devoted to Luther's view of baptism, because it is certainly central to his thought and to his view of justification. However, only so much can be accomplished in a short book. For an introduction to Luther, this is the best place to go. If you would like to read a more detailed book about Luther's thought, I would recommend The Theology of Martin Luther by Paul Althaus. And of course I would recommend reading Luther himself. Nothing compares to the real thing.
A grand exposition of the Gospel  Jul 29, 2008
If you need to hear God's unconditional yes, then this is the book for you. Paulson does an amazing job expositing Luther's main point in theology, Christ for sinners! This is one of my favorite books and outlines the radical truth of the Gospel.
Basic overview of Luther's theology  Jul 23, 2008
Steven Paulson attempts to discuss the main themes of Luther's theology and career in this book that also seems to attempt to find the middle way for readers that may range from initiates to theology to the more knowledgeable. He assumes readers will know the basics of the historical period and of the general prinicples of Christian theology. He mainly writes about the areas where Luther differed from the Roman Catholics and from other reformers such as Zwingli, Muntzer and the Anabaptists.

The main theme throughout the book is Luther's focus on justification by faith alone and the dynamic relationship between Law and Gospel. This discussion points to Luther's theology of the cross, but the author does not pursue the theology of the cross very in depthly. He does cover Luther's teaching that Christ takes all of a person's sins and gives all of his own righteousness to people. He provides reasons why this teaching suffers such animosity from many religous during Luther's time and today. Paulson also discusses the effectiveness of the proclamation of Christ's forgiveness of sins to people.

Overall, I think Paulson shows the importance of Luther and Luther's main ideas. Paulson faces a challenge in this book of covering Luther's theology comprehensively without going to deep into any of the particulars. The result is a general overview that probably will leave some readers confused by its terms and technicalities while other readers are unsatisfied by its lack of depth.

I think this works as a good introduction to Luther and can either whet the appetite for more study or provide a satisfactory overview for the curious "armchair theologian."

Craig Stephans, author of
Shakespeare On Spirituality: Life-Changing Wisdom from Shakespeare's Plays
Be patient.  Mar 5, 2008
This theology will change your faith life, but you must be patient and open to hearing about Christ's work in a way not normally spoken of in this "hyped on free will" American culture.
If the Premise is false, what does it say for the Conclusions?  Jul 21, 2007
The problem I had with this book is that rather than discussing the Theology of Luther, it also focussed on the Catholic Church he opposed and how he differed.

The problem is whether the error of the author himself or the error of Luther, the Roman Catholic Church does not in fact believe what this book asserts. Now if this theology is as Luther understood the Roman Catholic Church itself, then the area of debate is between theologians (armchair or otherwise).

However, if it is the understanding of Steven D. Paulson on the Roman Catholic Church that is being represented here, then the book is nothing more than a 224 page straw man argument set up to make the objections to Luther seem weaker then they actually are.

That sort of approach helps nobody in ecumenical discussions. If the arguments of Luther are set against beliefs not held by Catholics, it fails to give a true idea of the theological issues and can only bring about misunderstandings.

Moreover, Paulson fails to recognize the true nature of the era. Yes it is true that the Catholic Church was the major religious body. But what is unacknowledged was at this time, the state of the Holy Roman Empire was overrun with growing secular and humanistic ideas that the Catholic Church itself opposed, so many of the ideas Paulson attributes to the Catholic Church were in fact ideas held by leading secular thinkers.

So ultimately, the problem this book has is with false premises. When the premise is false, so is the argument, so it is not useful in demonstrating what Luther held to believe except as what he held in the face of a straw man argument

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