Logos Free Book – Luther in English


The Logos “Free Book of the Month” is Luther in English: The Influence of His Theology of Law and Gospel on Early English Evangelicals (1525-35)

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Not much better than free books, right?

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Martin Luther’s Oscar-winning Hymn: “Let It Go”


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I bet Luther and Olaf would get along splendidly.

Martin Luther stood before the Holy Roman Emperor. He had been asked the day before whether he recanted of his teachings that he had expressed in his published works. Trembling at the prospect of opposing not just the entire church but the empire as well, Luther asked for a day to consider his reply.

The following day he again appeared before the Imperial Diet at Worms. He was eventually asked the same question: Did he recant or not?

Summoning his courage, Luther is reported to have replied[1]:

Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me.

In a footnote in his newest book Preaching, Tim Keller contrasts this statement to the popular (and infectiously catchy…) song from Disney’s Frozen.

It is both interesting and ironic to compare the sung speech of the character Elsa in Frozen with that of Martin Luther before the Holy Roman Emperor. Both say, “Here I stand.” But Luther meant he was free from fear and from other authorities because he was bound by the Word of God and its norms. Elsa speaks for the contemporary culture by saying she can be free only if there are no boundaries at all.
(p. 283, emphasis mine)

Here then we find two completely different ideas of freedom—two opposing worldviews—represented by the same exact three words: Here I stand.

I have two thoughts to briefly share. The first is the importance of clarifying vocabulary in any discussion of importance with those who do not share your views. Do those we are communicating with really understand what we are saying? And is the same true when it’s our turn to listen?

The second thought is really just a few questions about the nature and meaning of freedom. What does freedom look like for you and I? Is our freedom found in and centered around Christ or is it found in and centered around ourselves? Where do we stand? These are crucial questions and deserve our time and attention, especially as we celebrate our nation’s beginnings this coming weekend.

Here we stand. God help us indeed!


[1] Though I am no expert in what Luther actually said, Justo Gonzalez includes this version of Luther’s response in The Story of Christianity Volume II: “My conscience is a prisoner of God’s Word. I cannot and will not recant, for to disobey one’s conscience is neither just nor safe. God help me. Amen” (p. 35).

To Delay to Pray is to Fail to Pray


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“Guard yourselves against those false, deluding ideas which tell you, ‘Wait a little while. I will pray in an hour; first I must attend to this or that.'”

-Martin Luther

I’ve been too guilty of this sort of thinking lately. “I’ll pray in a bit…just one more news article or funny video.” But the sad reality is that if I delay to pray, 99% of the time I fail to pray! May we guard ourselves vigilantly and dedicate ourselves to worthwhile endeavors instead of distractions that have little value in the grand scheme of things. Yes, it’s good to be informed or entertained…but consider praying first and then doing whatever else is on your plate. Will you regret watching fewer youtube videos today or failing to communicate with your Father?

FREEsources: 24 Free eBooks via Desiring God


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desiringGod.org has released a steady stream of free ebooks over the past few years and now they’ve put them all in the same space for our convenience! With volumes dealing with C.S. Lewis, John Bunyan, Luther, Edwards, abortion, disability, missions, and more, you’ll most likely find at least one resource worth your time and of interest to you! So go ahead and check out the list for yourself by clicking here: 24 Free ebooks!

Our Father (“Riffing” on the Lord’s Prayer)


A specific example Tim Keller passes on in Prayer of how to transition from reading and meditating on the Word to free-form praying comes from Martin Luther, who

…suggests that after meditating on the Scripture, you should pray through each petition of the Lord’s Prayer, paraphrasing and personalizing each one using your own needs and concerns.
-from Prayer p. 93

Keller uses the phrase “Spiritually ‘Riffing’ on the Lord’s Prayer” (which might be my favorite phrase of his ever, for various reasons haha) to describe the process. He suggests that this is a beneficial way to both provide structure to your initial prayers to help focus flighty minds like mine. To be very honest, distracting thoughts have often keep me from beginning or completing times I’ve set aside for prayer and have discouraged me in past pursuits of deeper prayer.

As such, I’ve found this to be an immensely helpful tool to add to my “spiritual tool belt” as it were-and it’s so simple! Who among us doesn’t already know at least most of some version (ESV, KJV, NIV, or a combination) of the Lord’s Prayer by heart? [Incidentally, this is an excellent example of the power memorization of the Word has to impact the other spiritual disciplines.] And who among us couldn’t benefit from implementing the model Jesus gave his disciples in answer to their request to teach them to pray?

Now neither Keller nor Luther (nor I!) are suggesting that this is something you must do every time you pray. To turn this into a law or requirement or “the” way to pray is to miss the point. Instead, it’s offered as a helpful tool. May we avail ourselves of it and other similar tools in our daily prayers.

Bonus Content:

Hillsong Worship’s latest cd has a song based on the Lord’s Prayer. There are plenty of other songs based on it, but I enjoyed listening to this one and thought I’d share it 🙂