Ironically, when I bought this book, I didn’t even realize October is Reformation Month. In fact, this October is the 500th year anniversarily of the start of this remarkable event.
The Reformation, or the restoring of Biblical truths, began when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses on the Wittenburg Gate. What these theses basically stated were the truths found in the Bible. Truths the Catholic church had buried under tradition, hypocrisy, and pride. Luther set in motion one of the greatest movements in church history. One that is still affecting us today.
But that’s another story.
Loving Luther tells a story that is often lost in the shadow of the Reformation. Allison Pittman does a wonderful job drawing the personality and testimony out of a woman whose life is somewhat overlooked.
In short, Loving Luther begins with Katharina Von Bora Luther’s life as a girl in the Benedictine Monastery, where she is tutored in the knowledge she will need to become a nun. Katharina, once grown up, takes the vows that “bind her as the bride of Christ.”
However, Katharina is not fully convinced of the faith she’s dedicated her life to. Her view of the church and “beliefs” are further shaken when she reads smuggled writings and a German Bible translation (both illegal by the Catholic church; the Bible was printed in Latin only, and the priests had sole possession of God’s word) of the excommunicated priest, Martin Luther.
This is the verse that changes her forever, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
Katharina, along with a number of other nuns, comes to the conclusion that faith alone is sufficient for salvation. With the help of Luther, these women leave the convent and walk into freedom – literally and spiritually.
From here on, the book tells of Katharina’s shift from nun to an ordinary woman. And her slow realization of her love for the man who helped bring her to faith.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this extremely well-researched book. Pittman’s writing, while not the most amazing, is engaging, descriptive, and kept me hungry for more. Ultimately, I was quite satisfied with the more I received.
That being said, I do wish Pittman would have spoken more of Katharina’s faith and motivation in leaving the only life she’d ever known. (Afterall, one can’t write a book about the Reformation and overuse the word faith.) Katharina, herself, must have had an amazing amount of courage and faith in God to leave behind everything she believed.
“For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 16:25)
I wished as well, that the author would have drawn the story further into the Luthers’ lives. I mean, as the wife of Martin Luther, Katharina, or Kate as he called her, must have had some wonderful stories to tell.
Looking at the book as a whole though, I highly recommend it if you want a little romance, faith, and history thrown together in one great read.
(All images in the collage are from Pinterest of Google Images, the cover image is my own.)