Cover

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Half Title, Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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p. v

Dedication

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p. vi

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-viii

This was an unexpected book in the sense that it was not part of the original series of Making Sense books I had planned to write. Given the 500th anniversary of the Reformation occurring this year, however, it made good sense to use the conversational style of writing that had been helpful in explaining topics like how to read scripture and the meaning of the cross ...

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Introduction: Luther as Monk, Myth, and Messenger

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pp. 1-4

Over the past five hundred years, Martin Luther has received numerous accolades and been credited with shaping some of the most important intellectual movements and societal views that endure to this day. In a lecture in 1835, Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Martin Luther the Reformer is one of the most extraordinary persons in history ...

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1. The Reluctant Reformer: Introducing “the Monk Who Changed the World”

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pp. 5-32

So, I’d like to ask you some questions about Martin Luther.
Sure. Go ahead.
Some of them might be dumb.
There is no dumb question.
Everyone says that. ...

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2. Freedom! Justification by Grace through Faith

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pp. 33-56

So, you said that while you like the sound of what Luther was saying, you have a lot of questions.
Tons. In some ways, more than when we started. But maybe question number one right now is simply this: Why does it take Luther so long to get it through his head that God loves him? ...

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3. The Present-Tense God: Law and Gospel

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pp. 57-80

Okay, I’m ready to be surprised.
Really?
Well, you said Luther has more to say about how we can take care of each other and that some of his thoughts on this might call into question some of our assumptions about what it means to be religious. So I’m ready to be surprised. ...

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4. The Ambidextrous God: The Two Kingdoms and God’s Ongoing Work in the World

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pp. 81-110

Okay, so I know we’re going to talk about how Luther’s sense that God is still working in the world can shape our whole lives, and I’m looking forward to getting to that. But can I start with another question?
Of course....

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5. Called for Good: Vocation, Sinning Boldly, and the Respiratory System of the Body of Christ

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pp. 111-134

Okay, we just spent a good deal of time talking about how God is at work in the world through institutions. This was the first part of what you said was a two-part answer to how God takes care of the world.
Right....

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6. God Hidden and Revealed: Luther ’s Theology of the Cross and the Sacraments

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pp. 135-164

So, you said you had another question that’s been nagging at you.
Yes, and to tell you the truth it seems a little odd, even to me, but here it is: the more we get into Luther’s theology, the more I find myself saying something like, “That surprises me,” or, “I didn’t see that coming.” ...

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7. Semper Simul: Sin, Forgiveness, and “Becoming Christian”

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pp. 165-194

So, it sounds like you have another question.
Yes.
A hard question.
Yes again.
It almost sounds like you’re not sure you want to ask it. ...

Notes

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pp. 195-196

For Further Reading

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pp. 197-198

Back Cover

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