My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I can see why this book is considered a classic. Bainton gives great insights into Luther’s times, ideas, and personality, and surveys the incredible amount of work that he accomplished: founding a church, translating the Bible into German (which had a similar effect on German language to the King James’ effect on English), writing catechisms, prayers, tracts, and lectures. He doesn’t shy away from Luther’s flaws, either. And he does all this while writing so that any adult (not just a history buff) could pick up the book and really enjoy it.
I would have liked more focus on Luther’s last years, and I disagreed with some of Bainton’s comments that were influenced by modern liberal theology, but this is definitely a five-star book.