Tag Archives: Roland Bainton

Here I Stand – Review

Here I StandWith the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation, I felt compelled to do some reading on Martin Luther. I had a book on my shelf that had been there for a while and so I grabbed Roland Bainton’s Here I Stand.

This is not a new book. Bainton died in 1984 and Here I Stand was published in 1950. Anyone looking to do some serious study on Luther will want to consult some newer books.

Still, I quite enjoyed Here I Stand. Bainton was a talented writer and I truly felt like I was getting to know Luther. The book was filled with illustrations that were created at the time of Luther and it only made the story more real.

Bainton focuses on the adult life of Luther and perhaps bypasses some of the negative aspects of Luther more than people would like. That is not to say that he ignores all of Luther’s faults. I found particularly interesting the discussion of Luther’s interactions with Zwingli and with the Anabaptists.

If you would a good and solid introduction to Martin Luther, I would recommend Roland Bainton’s Here I Stand. It is a good start to more recent and intensive studies on Luther.


Did Martin Luther Reject Reason?

Martin LutherMartin Luther is quoted as saying, “Reason is the enemy of faith.” That is a difficult statement for those who believe that Christianity is a reasonable faith.

Like any historical inquiry, statements need to be examined in context. Roland Bainton puts Luther’s statement in perspective with this explanation:

Luther often railed at reason, and he has been portrayed in consequence as a complete irrationalist in religion. This is quite to mistake his meaning. Reason in the sense of logic he employed to the uttermost limits. At Worms and often elsewhere he asked to be instructed from Scripture and reason. In this sense reason meant logical deduction from known premises; and when Luther railed against the harlot reason, he meant something else. Common sense is perhaps a better translation. He had in mind the way in which man ordinarily behaves, feels, and thinks. It is not what God says that is a foreign tongue, but what God does that is utterly incomprehensible. (Here I Stand, pp. 172-73)