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Devotional Book Reviews - Tabletalk

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If you were a student of Martin Luther, and you sat around his dinner table, what do you think the conversations would be about? Tabletalk helps us to ponder some of the practical truths of the Christian walk stated by the magisterial Reformer.

Devotional Book Reviews – Tabletalk
by Dr. C. Matthew McMahon

by Martin Luther
Edited by Thomas L. Kepler, Translated by William Hazlitt
Baker Books, Grand Rapid, MI: 1995.
345 Pages, Paperback.

What would it be like to sit down at the dinner table and sip beer with Martin Luther? Through a series of sittings with his students comes his famous “table” talk: a series of various statements, quips and quotes concerning biblical topics like the resurrection, free will, justification, preachers and preaching, baptism, and much more. Centered around everyday conversations, this spiritual classic touches on a selection of helpful topics for the Christian.

You will not find everything that Luther says to your liking, for he was outspoken and crass at times. But there is much to be gleaned from this handy volume and is well worth your time to ponder some of the rich statements he made concerning these spiritual topics.

The book is divided up into 18 sections, or chapters, which touch diverse subjects. Some quotes are a page in length, others a line. It could be used as a devotional, or even a help for preaching illustrations.

Though some of the Reformer’s ideas are colored by 16th century Europe, much of what Luther says here is easily applicable to the contemporary Christian. The Bible never changes, and Luther’s comments concerning Holy Scripture stand true because of that very fact. All those who desire to deepen their understanding of the Christian faith will find that Luther’s insights speak especially to the needs of the modern world.

Some Quotes:
“God very wonderfully entrusts His highest office to preachers that are themselves poor sinners who, while teaching it, very weakly follow it. Thus goes it ever with God’s power in our weakness; for when He is weakest in us, then He is strongest.”

“The Lord’s prayer binds the people together, and knits them one to another, so that one prays for another; and it is so strong and powerful, that it even drives away the fear of death.”

“It is impossible for a human heart, without crosses and tribulations, to think upon God.”

“Experience has proved the toad to be endowed with valuable qualities. If you run a stick through three toads, and, after having dried them in the sun, apply them to any pestilent tumor, they draw out all the poison, and the malady will disappear.”

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