Luther For Everyone: Logos 5 Brings Luther Closer To You


“Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly, for he is victorious over sin, death, and the world. As long as we are here [in this world] we have to sin.”(LW 48.282) wrote Martin Luther in his letter to Philip Melanchthon in August 1, 1521.

I love Luther. I believe you would too when you get a chance to know more about him through his own works. Together with St. Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, and John Calvin, Luther is among my top four Christian theologians who keep me up awake throughout many nights studying their works.

The night Logos Bible Software unlocked 55-volume scholarly set of Luther’s Works for review, I could not sleep. For the very first time I could research with profound depth whatever topic in Luther’s works, wherever I am and whenever I want. What would have normally taken me weeks of research, is now cut down to few hours. Whether on my iPhone, iPad or MacBook Pro, I have Luther with me all the times. iPad Logos

If I undertake to review each of Luther’s work in this collection, I fear that I will overwhelm your minds. This article will, thus, spare you and only highlight how I am getting the most of the Luther’s Works through Logos 5.

Researching Luther Made Easier: Closer Than Ever

A month ago I wrote a paper on Luther’s understanding of the atoning work of Christ Jesus. Using Logos 5 I went through each passage Luther addressed this very topic. I wanted to know the nature and the extent of the atonement of Christ Jesus through the mind of the man who changed the course of Western civilization. 

This is but one example of the ways I did my research:

  1. I first created a Collections of Martin Luther’s works. Collections is tool that helps you gather the resources you have in your Logos Library that you wish to research. This smart tool will help you narrow your research to specific books. If I wanted to explore Luther’s view in his sermons alone, for example, I could simply and easily do so.Luther collection
  2. I searched in the Luther Collections I made for a word “atonement” appearing together with another word “sin” within 10 words rage.Luther search

That was all. Logos returned 196 results in 71 articles in 27 resources in 0.66 seconds. Logos did not only search for the word “atonement” but also intelligently search for terms related to my search, e.g. atone, atoning, and atoned. I repeated 2 with different inputs.

Since I am in love with Luther (do not tell my wife), I have also priorities his works in my Logos Library. This means that Luther’s Bible commentaries appear first in my Passage Guide tool. In this way I studied Luther’s commentaries in all passages that dealt with atonement. Passage Guide

Much could be said about the power of using Luther in Logos 5, but for now I will return to Luther’s letter cited above that I was reading this morning after my devotions. Here we find Luther commending his friends Melanchthon to preach a true grace that covers true sin. Since we still live in this fallen world, we are going to sin. As a matter of fact we cannot help but sin. This is why we are longing for the restored world. But “by the riches of God’s glory” we are found in the Lamb of God, who was sent to save real sinners. He was sent to take away the sin of the world.

I will, thus, end with Luther provocatively remark at the end this letter:

No sin will separate us from the Lamb, even though we commit fornication and murder a thousand times a day. Do you think that the purchase price that was paid for the redemption of our sins by so great a Lamb is too small? Pray boldly—you too are a mighty sinner. (LW 48.282.)

Luther, M. (1999). Luther’s works, vol. 48: Letters I. (J. J. Pelikan, H. C. Oswald, & H. T. Lehmann, Eds.). Philadelphia: Fortress Press.

Thousand thanks to Logos for the review copy of 55 volume-set of Luther’s Works.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are solely mine.

9 thoughts on “Luther For Everyone: Logos 5 Brings Luther Closer To You

  1. Prayson! Another excellent post. I’m dying to get Logos but my wife and I are on a tight budget at the moment. Thankfully I have you to tell me what I’m missing. Ha!

    • I know the feeling. My wife was not so happy with me when I expanded my Logos library. Our budget was not good but my love for researching primary sources, expository preaching and teaching grew each day and she permitted me expand it with monthly payments.

      I could connect you to someone at Logos who may help you both getting the right sources and reasonable price. 😉

  2. Prayson, I’m wondering how you might justify your love and adoration for Luther considering the conversation going on over at Violets blog? There are some tremendously pertinent questions being raised regarding the man’s character and hatred and violence which all seem to radically contradict your position here.

    This particular quote (identified by Howie) from Luther detailing his hatred of Jews (human beings) is frightfully troubling, wouldn’t you agree?

    “First to set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn, so that no man will ever again see a stone or cinder of them. This is to be done in honor of our Lord and of Christendom, so that God might see that we are Christians, and do not condone or knowingly tolerate such public lying, cursing, and blaspheming of his Son and of his Christians….I advise that their houses also be razed and destroyed…I advise that their rabbis be forbidden to teach henceforth on pain of loss of life and limb…I advise that safe-conduct on the highways be abolished completely for the Jews…I advise that usury be prohibited to them, and that all cash and treasure of silver and gold be taken from them and put aside for safekeeping…I commend putting a flail, an ax, a hoe, a spade, a distaff, or a spindle into the hands of young, strong Jews and Jewesses and letting them earn their bread in the sweat of their brow, as was imposed on the children of Adam.”

        • John Zande, I know Luther’s issue with Jews. John Tapsell, learn from John Zande. He offer the same critique but with civility and I would love to answer.

          The issue was not about the problem we disagree on Luther but the manner. I deleted Tapsell’s comments and my own because of lack of civility. Tapsell you are welcome to disagree with civility just as Zande did.

          Zande, I love Luther. Not as a person per se but his theology. Yes, he has a darkside. I do too. But rejecting his theology because same of what he said led to anti-Jews, is like rejecting Natural Selection of Darwin because it was used to create a superhuman.

          But alas. I am free to love whomever I chose to love. I do not always love because someone is lovable in every aspect. I love Jonathan Edward, yet he was a slave owner. Do you wish to walk in and tell me who to love and who not to?

          • Indeed, you are free to love whomever you like. It just seems here that calling for the total eradication of a people, of hunting down innocent men, women and children like animals and murdering them wherever they might be found are not the thoughts of a sane, rational individual. Sanity is not an either/or case. One is either insane, or they’re not. One cannot be sane in the morning, but insane at night, and evidently, Luther was mentally insane; a sick, perverted, violent man… and sick, perverted, violent men (and women) should never be held up for adoration.

          • Discrimination and hatred of people different than oneself is nothing new. It wasn’t new 2,000 years ago when the Messiah was rejected and killed, or soon thereafter when new Christians were tortured and killed, or 500 years ago when Martin Luther preached, or even today, when terrorist have no problem bombing innocent people in the name of their god.

            Luther’s attitude toward the Jews changed over the course of his life. In the early part of his life he expressed concern for their plight in Europe and was enthusiastic at the prospect of converting them to Christianity through his evangelical reforms. Later on, with failure to convert the Jews to Christianity, Luther denounced the Jewish people and urged for their harsh persecution.

            But isn’t a laser-focused emphasis on conversion a waste of time, money, and resources that could be better spent doing the true work of God. When everyone is fed, when everyone is healthy, when everyone is free from the rule of warlords and despots, when there is no genocide, no suicide bombing, no epidemics of preventable diseases…then you can go about evangelism. There’s too much work to be done to solely focus on converting people, and hating them when they reject the message. Jesus fed people, he healed them, he stood up for the weak and sick. He taught, loved and ministered and he NEVER threatened anyone with eternity in hell.

            Perhaps, the lesson to learn is that men are not infallible and they do not know everything. Sometimes mans perceived self-importance clouds their minds to the real nature of the Divine, the real nature of true love. It would behoove Christians to study Colossians 3.

            “You were raised from death with Christ. So live for what is in heaven, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God. Think only about what is up there, not what is here on earth. Your old self has died, and your new life is kept with Christ in God. Yes, Christ is now your life, and when he comes again, you will share in his glory.” vs. 3-4

            “…put these things out of your life: anger, losing your temper, doing or saying things to hurt others, and saying shameful things.” vs. 8

            “Now you are wearing a new life, a life that is new every day. You are growing in your understanding of the one who made you. You are becoming more and more like him. In this new life it doesn’t matter if you are a Greek or a Jew, circumcised or not. It doesn’t matter if you speak a different language or even if you are known as a wild and uncivilized person. It doesn’t matter if you are a slave or free. Christ is all that matters, and he is in all of you.” vs. 10-11

            “God has chosen you and made you his holy people. He loves you. So your new life should be like this: Show mercy to others. Be kind, humble, gentle, and patient. Don’t be angry with each other, but forgive each other. If you feel someone has wronged you, forgive them. Forgive others because the Lord forgave you. Together with these things, the most important part of your new life is to love each other. Love is what holds everything together in perfect unity. Let the peace that Christ gives control your thinking. It is for peace that you were chosen to be together in one church body. And always be thankful.

            Let the teaching of Christ live inside you richly. Use all wisdom to teach and counsel each other. Sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Everything you say and everything you do should be done for Jesus your Lord. And in all you do, give thanks to God the Father through Jesus.” vs. 12-17

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