Martin Luther: Anti-Hero?

Did you know I write exclusive content for my email subscribers?

I just sent this month's article, and it's all about Martin Luther and Christian "heroes."

Thierry Ehrmann (CC)

Here's how the email begins:

Tomorrow is an important day. 
Millions of youngsters will commemorate the occasion by dressing up and knocking on neighbors’ doors in search of confections by which they might sate their brains’ never-ending quests for endorphins. 
I am writing, of course, about Reformation Day, the day five centuries ago when Martin Luther started a movement that would result in a new branch of Christianity. 
Oh, you thought I was talking about Halloween? 
Tomorrow is the 501st anniversary of the day Martin Luther, a Catholic priest and professor, sent a letter to the Archbishop of Mainz in protest of some practices and doctrines within the Catholic church that he saw as contradictory to Scripture. This document is known as the 95 Theses. The most notable of Luther’s complaints was against the selling of indulgences, by which a purchaser could shave off some time spent in purgatory. 
No doubt the following email will be a full-blown blog post some day because of the volume of words I could write on the subject. In brainstorming for this email, I wrote over one thousand words, while only barely scratching the surface! 
I’ll spare you the specifics for want of cutting to the proverbial chase: for all of the good Martin Luther accomplished, he had some serious defects too. 
Before I proceed though, I want to say that as a protestant, I am grateful for what Luther accomplished. I know it must have required courage and conviction to square off against the Catholic Church—the most powerful entity in the world at that time. 
So Luther's plaudits are well-deserved, and yet we should not be so quick to overlook his warts. 
Since I promised to be brief, here are two you should know about:

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Five Counterintuitive Lessons Jesus Taught about Entering the Kingdom of God

When I read through the gospels, I can't help but notice how often Jesus shatters the expectations of those around him. On page after page, he upends the disciples' notions of living for God. He crushes first century assumptions about the Jewish Messiah. He defies common knowledge regarding healing.

Ben White

Of all these mind-bending episodes, Jesus's most common lessons centered on the Kingdom of God. First century folk erroneously assumed God's kingdom would be just like earthly kingdoms: focused on power, might, force, wealth, and vengeance.

Kevin Halloran was gracious enough to host me on his blog this week, and that's exactly what I wrote about. Jesus taught many lessons about his Father's kingdom that went against the common beliefs of the day. (And may I dare say that even with the Scriptures in front of us, we still sometimes suppose the kingdom of Heaven to be just like those on earth?)

Here's how the post begins. I hope you'll click over and read the rest:

We don’t use the word kingdom much these days. Over the past three hundred years kings have faded out of style via revolutions, wars, and constitutions. Sure, kings and emperors still exist, but these are rare birds in the flock of governments around the globe. 
As a result, the force of the terms kingdom of God and kingdom of heaven that we see in scripture might lose some of its steam before they reach the ears of Westerners. 
But why should we care about kings and kingdoms?