I have always known who Martin Luther was. I have always known that he played a major role in the Reformation of the 1500’s. However, I have never known much of the details of the Reformation or much else about Martin Luther’s life. Until now!
When Lightening Struck! The Story Of Martin Luther by Danika Cooley is a 265-page hardcover historical fiction based off of the writings of Martin Luther and the historical account of Martin Luther’s life. It contains 23 chapters, an author’s note, works consulted, and additional notes at the back. It can be enjoyed by upper elementary children to adult ages.
While Danika creatively adds emotion and suspense throughout the story, it is packed full of research-based information of Martin Luther’s life and the time era. Martin lived during The Middle Ages in Germany and the story goes from 1483 to 1546. I personally love to study Germany and that time period! It may be because of my German ancestry.
The castles, the knights, the mysterious and devastating plagues, and the amazing events that took place during the Reformation that was unfolding in the Church will be enough to keep you reading this book. The spunk of his wife, Katie, (and the somewhat odd relationship they had) will make you chuckle. However, the quotes and writings from Martin Luther, which are heavily used throughout the book, will make you feel like you are gaining an in depth look into the mind of Luther, the man who changed Church history.
From the spiritually confused young adult studying law, to the spiritually confused monk working his way to Heaven, to the man who finally realized the truth of “Scripture alone, faith alone, and grace alone through Christ alone to the glory of God alone”! Martin Luther was an interesting man who struggled with his flesh like any other man and was far from perfect, but (once convicted and born again through the Holy Spirit) did fight for God’s truth to reign!
It is very interesting to see the changes that took place in his heart throughout his life. He was a teacher and a writer for many years before being convicted by the truth of God’s Word. When reading his work, you must be careful to know whether it was written before or after that pivotal moment in his life.
Having been raised as a Lutheran, I was surprised by the fact that I really knew so little about the man who we call ourselves after. I think it is quite scary that we call ourselves a name, when we do not even take the time to learn what the name means! As an adult, since becoming married, and because my husband and I knew very little about the man we were stating our faith by, we simply want to be followers of Jesus Christ, but that does not mean we disregard or disagree with Martin Luther. The fact that we do not follow a man, but rather that we follow Jesus Christ and God’s Holy Word, is what Luther was teaching and preaching! It is that truth that we must continue living, breathing, and fighting for now! Luther should be an inspiration to us all!
Overall, this is a beautifully written, historically accurate, adventure packed, hilarious at times, and interesting book. It is a history piece, regardless of your faith. This book should be in the library of, not only every Christian Lutheran in the world, but also every school library (home or public) for its rich lessons in history!