Item description for Luther for Armchair TheologiansÂ (Armchair Theologians) by Steven D. Paulson...
Overview Written by experts but designed for the non-expert, the Armchair series provides accurate, concise, and witty overviews of some of the most profound Christian theologians in history. 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. 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.
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. Steven Paulson's discussion of Luther's thought, coupled with Ron Hill's 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 novice, 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.
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Studio: Westminster John Knox Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.08" Width: 5.06" Height: 0.59" Weight: 0.65 lbs.
Release Date Jul 1, 2004
Publisher PRESBYTERIAN PUBLISHING #86
Series Armchair Theologians
ISBN 0664223818 ISBN13 9780664223816
Availability 0 units.
More About Steven D. Paulson
The Revd. Dr Steven Paulson is Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN, USA.
Steven D. Paulson currently resides in St. Paul, in the state of Minnesota.
Reviews - What do customers think about Luther for Armchair TheologiansÂ?
Disappointed Dec 31, 2005
I had been looking forward to Dr. Paulson's book on Luther's theology as a supplement to Roland Bainton's biography on Luther ("Here I stand") so I could get a clearer fix on Luther's ideas. Paulson's crediential as a Systematics professor suggested he'd be able to explain Luther pretty well. I was disappointed.
What did Luther mean by Sola Scriptura? Is James (an epistle of straw, said Luther) scripture, or not? Or is scripture only what Luther says it is? Or?
If free will doesn't exist, why do people have to make choices? Or are those choices simply illusions - a camouflage for fate? Or a manifestation of our sins? Paulson doesn't say.
After plowing through most of the book, most of which came off like a commercial for Lutheranism, or worse, a polemic, I gave up.
This is an Outstanding Book! Jul 13, 2005
In 'Luther for Armchair Theologians," Dr. Stephen Paulson lays out the essentials of Martin Luther's thought in such a way that it is a joy to read! Paulson's words are expressive and concise, and his down to earth humor is perfectly complimented by the hilarious cartoons of Ron Hill, which are scattered throughout the book. "Luther for Armchair Theologians" is a must read for anyone who is curious about the life and message of Martin Luther, a man who stood firm, risking his life in order to proclaim what he believed. The radical Gospel message Luther preached is truly profound, and even today this Word continues to bring comfort to those who hear it.
If you want something worthy of Luther's work look elsewhere Jun 17, 2005
Hands down the worst book on Luther...or theology for that matter...I have ever read. I am not one to submit critical comments but after reading 3/4 of this book I couldn't take it any longer. This book seems less a serious study of Luther - his life and teaching - and more of a forum for the author to ponticifate his own beliefs.
Good Theology but Too Much Churchism Apr 13, 2005
Until the final chapters, I really enjoyed this book. The insights into Luther's uniique contributions to Christian thought, especially his reading of Paul that we are saved by faith and not by works was intellectually liberating.
Unfortunately, the last chapters were focused on ritualism, especially communion, which is an exercise in going through the motions of observance that I believe Jesus would find pathetic and empty of meaning if he visited a church.
And then there was the sort of academic concept that if one is at all serious about being a Christian, one must find a preacher who is certified by the powers that be or else the Good News will not take. All this seemed to be in service of church hierarchy and bureaucracy.
So if you feature yourself as an armchair theologian, I would recommend reading this book but stopping at the final three chapters, which seem designed simply as propaganda for the current Lutheran Church.
Great Overview with Emphasis on Theologian not Armchair Sep 6, 2004
It's been several years since I studied Luther's theology so I picked up this book as a primer. I thoroughly enjoyed the Aquinas book in the same series and was hoping for an equally light-hearted, accessible overview of Luther.
I am not at all disappointed with this book. I found it to be quite good at getting inside Luther's head. Paulson could have written this book one of two ways. He could have portrayed Luther as a theologian whose thought is everywhere , showing readers how many of their own assumptions (e.g., justification by faith alone) can be traced back to Luther's revolutionary take on the apostle Paul and the Bible.
Instead, Paulson takes a different approach. Paulson decides to show his readers what he belives is the heart of Luther's theology; a core that will surprise nearly everyone but the professional theologian. Paulson discusses the big Luther topics like Law & Gospel, but he does so while emphasizing what he believes are the the central, but forgotten themes of Luther...topics like people's lack of free will, the creative power of the Word, and that it is Scripture that interprets you (not the other way around).
I loved this book, but I am concerned that it may not be as accessible as other books in this series. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this to anyone who has a passion for theology, is planning to study theology, or wants to go back and refresh their understanding of Luther. The casual reader, I fear, may need to take this book slow...though the payoff is huge. I do not mean to say that to some this book is inaccessible...rather I want to warn people that the book may not be as easy to read as the fun pictures make it seem.
This is a wonderful, complete portrait of Luther, one that does not gloss over things, and invites the reader to experience the Word in a way that is truly revolutionary. This book challenges common theological assumptions and brings Luther's down-to-earth theology into everyday life. Whether you end up agree with Luther or not, most readers will appreciate Luther's desire to be faithful to the Bible.