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Summary

How did one man - a humble monk and Bible professor - spark a religious rebellion that changed the course of history? What made Martin Luther's theology so explosive in 16th-century Europe? How did this late-medieval man launch the Protestant Reformation and help create the modern world? And how should we think of him: hero or heretic, rebel or tormented soul? Find out the answer to these questions and more in this series of 24 engaging lectures.

You'll approach Martin Luther as someone who is so interesting to study precisely because he is so controversial. This is an opportunity to understand why Luther's thinking had such a volatile impact on his and our times and why his life continues to be a subject of vigorous religious and historical debate.

Professor Cary explores in depth Luther's subtle, challenging, and sometimes disturbing theology. After examining the genesis of Luther's great theological breakthrough - the doctrine of justification by faith alone - Professor Cary traces the full evolution of Luther's thought, from his early and frightening concept of justification through self-hatred to his later and equally unsettling notion of unfree will and predestination.

You will gain insight into this inspiring religious thinker who presented the Christian gospel as a message of comfort, joy, and freedom; an exceptional writer who did for German what Dante did for Italian; and a prominent theological and intellectual leader who appealed to ordinary Christians by sharing their most cherished values: marriage and everyday family values.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2004 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2004 The Great Courses

What listeners say about Luther: Gospel, Law, and Reformation

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Top stuff - believe it and you'll have it

This is absolutely first rate, the best of the' great courses' that I have listened to.
Prof Carey has first rate knowledge and delivers it the way that only someone with personal commitment can, yet he manages to remain unbiased and objective.
Lively informative and entertaining I can't reccomend it too highly.
I found it spiritually nourishing as well, for those who are interested in such things.

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Great detailed overview

It's a great detailed overview of Martin Luther's life, his contribution to the Reformation and his views.

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  • Chris
  • 21-08-13

Loved it!

What did you love best about Luther: Gospel, Law, and Reformation?

I really loved this audible. Learned so much about christanity and feel like I sat down and learned alot about Martin Luther from someone who knows him well. Never bored and I get bored easy.

What about Professor Phillip Cary’s performance did you like?

Perfomance was great! Very informative and Phillip Cary has alot of emotion involved in the story of Martin Luther. Very good

Any additional comments?

Recommend to all - Christians, Lutherans and non believers.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Art
  • 06-01-15

Great lecture! Excellent overview and review.

if you studying or just surveying the Reformation there's a wealth of information for any level of understanding presented in clear concise easy to follow lecture.

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  • David P. Young
  • 18-01-18

good sketch of Luther but don't stop here

the narration was good and energetic. he presents a fair portrait of Luther's good and bad qualities. He contrasts Luther against other reformers in doctrine, time, and place. The professor's allergy to the doctrine of election and predestination inhibited his ability to represent it fairly. instead he presents a straw man. nevertheless it's still a very helpful listen in setting up the thumbnail sketch of Luther and the reformation, particularly in preparation for later reading.

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  • George R. Murray
  • 25-10-13

Painful but necessary; like eating your brocolli.

Would you try another book from The Great Courses and/or Professor Phillip Cary?

After listening to two of Prof. Cary's courses, I respect and appreciate his style, enthusiasm and knowledge of the material, though I cringe at his frequent usage of seemingly unconscious prompts of, "Right?" after making a point. Most speakers will let slip an occasional 'um,' 'uh,' or in this case, "Right?" but Cary uses the third early and often, which for me at least, proved detrimental to the course as a whole. For this reason alone, I don't think I could endure another of his courses.

What other book might you compare Luther: Gospel, Law, and Reformation to and why?

Not surprisingly, this course reminded me of the type of things I heard in Cary's "Augustine," course, which was often difficult to listen to as well because of all the, "we're unworthy...predestination...sin...heretic...Satan...hellfire and damnation types of messages from both Augustine and Luther. I feel both courses were similar to those classic books which so many find excruciating to read, yet will (at least one day) admit he or she is better for having done so. Cary's 'right?' usage aside, my primary lack of enthusiasm for each course is more "the message" than the messenger.

What three words best describe Professor Phillip Cary’s voice?

Passionate, occasionally playful

What else would you have wanted to know about The Great Courses’s life?

I don't understand this question. Whose life? Luther's or The Great Courses? If Luther, I would want to know how he could approach his life's mission with the idea of rooting out corruption in a corrupted institution (which was a good thing) but then end up spewing so much self-loathing and castigation of others to the extent that the 3rd Reich enthusiastically embraced his opinions and suggestions on how the Jews and their synagogues should be treated. What went wrong, Martin? What part of Jesus' teachings were you following here?

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  • Daniel
  • 06-09-20

Excellent Review of Martin Luther & Reformation

If you are looking for a in depth review of the history of Martin Luther's role in the reformation and his theology - look no further. I highly recommend this lecture series, it has greatly enhanced my understanding of the Reformation. In fact, it was one of my first Great Courses series and I've hooked ever since.

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  • James Grohs
  • 26-08-20

Thoughtful

You can't really learn about a subject from someone who disrespects it. This is particularly true about religion. Phillip Cary respects his subject without drawing over it or being uncritical. He has put a lot of thought into it and respectively presents it in a way I can understand. Compare to the course "How Jesus became God" This disrespects Christianity by the assumption that he was made God by his followers. Conclusion: Christianity is a fake religion. All Christian history classes have been very good because they are not presented by people that disrespect it. This course is the best of the bunch so far. More to go.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 13-02-20

Absolutely amazing!

As a Lutheran this was very educational. Its well delivered and explained. A very thought provoking set of lectures. Thank you!

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  • Karen R Moore
  • 22-10-17

Excellent

This course explains a lot of what were confusing theological issues. The professor's enthusiasm for his subject is obvious. Great job!

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  • MS02
  • 01-07-17

<br />Want to know about Martin Luther?

Very through, enthusiastic presenter who makes complex subjects understandable! This series generated much discussion and thought!

We really enjoyed it.

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  • Greg F
  • 27-04-17

Should be required

I was born a raised Lutheran, take classes at a Lutheran Seminary and I am extremely involved in the church. This lecture was phenomenal. I think this should be the next step after finishing he book of concord for laity. Professor Cary has an amazing ability like Luther to break down complex issues into simple to understand analogies! He has contagious enthusiasm and tell each point from all the angles to encourage the listener to make their own conclusions. He highlights the good and the bad of Luther. The last thing he does is he interjects his own views but explicitly tells you before he does that is his personal view.