Out of the Storm: The Life and Legacy of Martin Luther

Written by Derek Wilson
Review by William Thornton


It is a testament to the enduring legacy of Martin Luther than biographies of this 500-year-old figure continue to debate strongly over what his life wrought. Derek Wilson brings lively prose and clever insight to Luther’s life, charting the mystic as well as the political implications of his stormy career. This is not a simple feat, because to do so is to transport the reader into the by-now alien world of European theology and monarchy.

Yet the author never loses sight of how it all began with simple questions about unquestioned doctrines. Over time, the Luther who emerges to lead the Reformation is by turns bombastic, contemplative, reckless, questing – a big figure, unwieldy enough for ten volumes, but Wilson succeeds in packing his life into this book. He also mixes in enough context to show why this German monk’s musings about the nature of God, scripture, and what Christ compels of His followers are still shaking Europe and the world.