Wednesday, November 10, 2010

FW: Martin Luther Top Ten List: Happy Birthday Dear Martin!

To add to your reading list…


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Posted on: Wednesday, November 10, 2010 5:30 AM
Author: Paul T. McCain
Subject: Martin Luther Top Ten List: Happy Birthday Dear Martin!


Today is Blessed Martin Luther's birthday. Our father in the faith, Dr. Martin Luther, is described in the Lutheran Confessions as the "chief teacher of the churches of the Augsburg Confession" and as such he is honored, not for his person, but for the blessings that God gave to His church through this great Reformer and Confessor. Often people ask me, "What are the best things I can read that Martin Luther wrote?" Here's a great list, courtesy of the Lutheranism 101 blog site. I took the liberty of putting Bondage of the Will last, since it is such a heavily philosophical tome, strong medicine, I would recommend it be read last in this list, rather than at number six.

Top Ten List of Luther's Writings, beginning at #10:

* 10. Bondage of the Will (1525) Sinful human beings are not free to choose between God or the devil, good or evil, salvation or damnation. Luther shows that, instead, God chose us Christians.
* 9. Genesis (1535–45) Luther spent his last years lecturing to students on Genesis. This work shows God the Holy Trinity at work in the Old Testament to teach and save His people.
* 8. Confession concerning Christ's Supper (1528) Luther's disagreement with Ulrich Zwingli on the Lord's Supper was crucially important. Luther holds to the literal understanding of Jesus' words in the Supper and concludes with his own statement of faith.
* 7. Galatians (1535) "The Epistle to the Galatians," Luther said, "is my epistle, to which I am betrothed." Here is Luther's teaching of salvation in all its clarity and beauty.
* 6. On the Councils and the Church (1539) Did Luther start a "new" church? This work first explains the great ancient councils of the Christian Church and then shows ways in which we can recognize where the true Church of Christ can be found today.
* 5. Freedom of a Christian (1520) This early work helped clarify Luther's theology: a Christian is totally free from sin through faith in Christ but must also serve his or her neighbor in love.
* 4. Church Postil and House Postil. After Luther's catechisms, his sermons have been his most popular writings through the centuries. These sermons follow the life of Christ through the Church Year and provide a wealth of Christian teaching.
* 3. Smalcald Articles (1537) Luther prepared this statement of faith for a council announced by Pope Paul III in 1536, a council that did not actually take place until after Luther's death. With the two catechisms, this writing was included in the Book of Concord (see p. 186) and is a standard for Lutheran teaching and practice.
* 2. Large Catechism (1529) Based on sermons in 1529, this book explains the Ten Commandments, Creed, Lord's Prayer, Baptism, and the Sacrament of the Altar in a conversational style.
* 1. Small Catechism (1529) After visiting the churches in Saxony, Luther was convinced that people needed a short manual on the basics of Christianity. The Small Catechism has been Luther's most popular and important work ever since.

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