Martin Luther: Wrestler with God

By Chris Castaldo

lutherAlthough Martin Luther (1483-1546) entered the world during the Renaissance, his early years in Mansfeld, Germany showed little evidence of cultural rebirth. Plagues, thieves, and a folk culture rife with sinister spirits meant that many lived in a constant fear of death. European society of this era commonly blended paganism with Christian tradition, creating a fantastically dark Christianity mingled with superstition. In Germany the blowing wind, flowing streams, and tall trees of the forest were thought to be animated by malevolent beings such as elves, fairies, witches and mermaids. In such an unstable world, spiritual security was a far-fetched dream which eluded many pious Christians. The dream was sometimes artistically portrayed by the Lord Jesus seated on his throne with a lily protruding from one side of his head (symbolizing resurrection) and on the other a sword (representing judgment). Children wondered, “How do I obtain the lily instead of the sword?”

About Stan Guthrie

Stan Guthrie is an editor at large for Christianity Today magazine and for the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview. His latest book is God's Story in 66 Verses. He also is author of All that Jesus Asks: How His Questions Can Teach and Transform Us, Missions in the Third Millennium: 21 Key Trends for the 21st Century, and A Concise Guide to Bible Prophecy. He is co-author of The Sacrament of Evangelism. Besides authoring, writing, and editing books, Stan is a literary agent, bringing together good authors, good books, and good publishers. Stan writes the monthly Priorities colum for He has appeared on National Public Radio's €œTell Me More,€ WGN's Milt Rosenberg program, and many Christian shows, including The Eric Metaxas Show and Moody Radio'€™s €œNew Day Florida.€ A licensed minister and an inspirational speaker, he served as moderator for the Christian Book Expo panel discussion, Does the God of Christianity Exist, and What Difference Does It Make?
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