Lexington Books / Fortress Academic
Trim: 6¼ x 9¼
978-1-9787-1065-8 • Hardback • November 2019 • $105.00 • (£81.00)
978-1-9787-1066-5 • eBook • November 2019 • $45.00 • (£35.00)
Robert Kolb is professor of systematic theology emeritus at Concordia Seminary, Saint Louis.
1. Luther: A Life Lived Freely
2. Martin Luther’s On the Freedom of a Christian or On Christian Freedom
3. Luther’s Most Beloved Writing? The Unfolding History of On Christian Freedom
Refreshingly abandoning the twentieth-century quest for the ‘moment’ of Luther’s ‘breakthrough,’ Robert Kolb explores the ‘evangelical maturation’ of an actual human being, rooted in history, searching for the favor of a holy God. As a result of the gospel: A lord of all and servant of all? Luther’s ‘On Christian Freedom’ has been rarely understood from within the Reformer’s own categories and experience. Anyone who thinks that Luther has nothing practical to say about the Christian life must read this informative and pleasurable work.
— Michael S. Horton, Westminster Seminary California
Robert Kolb offers an illuminating exploration of Luther’s 1520 treatise, On Christian Freedom. His account of Luther’s life as “A life lived freely” provides an almost lyrical account of the Reformer’s life. His discussion of the development of Luther’s understanding of freedom is insightful, not only presenting a careful reading of Luther in his context, but also shedding critical light on the individual focus of much modern rhetoric of freedom. The reception history of On Christian Freedom, after intense engagement during the sixteenth century, shows a long period of relative neglect, transformed in the twenty-first century by the rediscovery of On Christian Freedom as "Luther’s Most Beloved Writing.”
— Charlotte Methuen, University of Glasgow
For those wearied by the spate of Luther books produced for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, Kolb’s succinct description of Luther’s life and his trenchant analysis of the Reformer’s tract, Freedom of a Christian come as a welcomed relief. Sharpened through a lifetime of reading Reformation sources, Kolb outlines how Luther’s concept of freedom reveals an entirely other face of the gospel and Christian life. The third section of the book, tracing the later influence of the tract (or lack thereof), is a tour-de-force for sketching the influence of Luther’s thought. This is a “must read” for pastors, students, and interested lay persons—anyone who wishes to recapture the heart and soul of Luther’s reform of the church.
— Timothy J. Wengert, Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, emeritus