“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.
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:
- 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.
- I searched in the Luther Collections I made for a word “atonement” appearing together with another word “sin” within 10 words rage.
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.
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.