Simonetta Carr has written some wonderful christian biographies for younger readers. The books capture the stories of faithful believers in their challenges and in their victories. Troy Howell, illustrator for the Redwall series by Brian Jacques has teamed up with Simonetta to provide some amazing artwork for this new book on Reformer Martin Luther.
One of the startling things about the book was Simonetta's writing on the sale of indulgences. I knew the story of Johann Tetzel from my prior study but she brings to life some of the details of this work. She writes, "Tetzel from town to town preaching about the benefits of indulgences. "Have mercy upon your dead parents, he said." "Whoever has an indulgence has salvation. Everything else is of no avai." (18). This practice of selling of indulgences really brought in a flurry of people from Germany and gave people a sense of hope that was not really that. Luther was concerned that these indulgences gave people a false hope and decreased punishments from God that were already decided.
My favorite part of the book was Simonetta's focus on Luther and raising his family. She writes, "Luther said he learned more about love and self-discipline in his family than he had ever learned in the monastery. He also appreciated the children's cheerful confidence in their parents as a good reminder of the trust all Christians should have in God." (47) We often get the picture of Luther as a rebellious reformer, sent to bring down the Catholic church for its aberrant practices, and yet we fail to see that Luther was a musician, a husband, and a father. The love and discipline he learned as a father never went away from him, and he learned the real needs of people in his midst by seeing these needs in his own home.
I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did.
Thanks to Cross Focused Reviews and RHB for the book in exchange for an honest review.