(This post contains affiliate links.)When Lightning Struck! The Story of Martin Luther, by Danika Cooley. This book was the best historical novel on Luther I have ever read.
Luther fascinates me. He was such a complex man with deeply held beliefs and some serious human weaknesses. Danika Cooley writes about his fascinating life and his transformation into a child of God - in story format. She doesn't sidestep any of his weaknesses, but deals with them head-on. I really appreciated that. I appreciated the whole book!
Years ago, I read Roland Bainton's, Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther, and was captivated by him. I am always fascinated by the Reformation heroes because they were very literally laying their lives on the line for the truth of the gospel. Some of them went up in smoke for their beliefs. It is astonishing, really, in this day of casual coffee-house faith. It is very easy to be whatever you wish to be in the 21st century. It is very easy to believe what you want to, or not. No one has the power to burn you at the stake these days--at least here in America.
But many many men and women did burn in Luther's day. Many people gave their lives so they could believe on Christ and live.
They lived 1 Corinthians 9:25 - Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.
Philippians 1:21 - For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
So very many who stood up to a corrupt church inherited an imperishable wreath and the gain of eternal life with Christ. These men are giants to me - yet they were imperfect and sinful. These men were men. They were fallible. Danika Cooley understands that lest we put men like Luther upon a man-made throne, rather than the God who brought about salvation through His Savior-Son.
I will forever be grateful that God used Luther, and that through him and others, we have the truth of Scripture for ourselves. We can pick up the Bible any time of day and read it in our own language. We can know the truths of scripture for ourselves--know the God of the Universe through His letters to us.