Van Til Tool

Using the Van Til Perspective as the tool to discover what life means and how it ought to be lived.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

5OOTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE 95 THESES CELEBRATED: GRAPHIC NOVEL DEPICTS THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERHERO MARTIN LUTHER

   5OOTH  ANNIVERSARY  OF  THE  95  THESES  CELEBRATED:

GRAPHIC  NOVEL  DEPICTS  THE  ADVENTURES  OF  SUPERHERO  MARTIN  LUTHER

Andrea Grosso Ciponte & Dacia Palmerino Renegade -- Martin Luther: The Graphic Biography (Plough Publishing, 2017)
                                                                           155 pp   $19.95   ISBN: 978-0874862072

Translator:  Michael G. Parker

Reviewer:  Forrest W. Schultz

    When I was a boy Superman was my favorite comic book super-hero.   Since then the greatness of Superman has been recognized in  Superman:  The Movie starring Christopher Reeve and in today's "graphic novels" of Superman.  Martin Luther has long been regarded as one of the greatest of history's "movers and shakers" (as we used to say back in the 1980s) and now, with the publication of the book under review he is rightly regarded as one of its super-heroes.  Now, if super-heroes are appropriate as characters in graphic novels, and if Luther is a super-hero, then it logically follows that it is permissible and reasonable to tell us his biography by means of the graphic novel format.  Q.E.D.  Having said that, it must be admitted that it certainly seems very far-out to use the graphic novel for talking about Luther, but that very seeming strangeness is what makes this book so interesting and attractive AND lots of fun to read and look at!!  It is its very unexpectedness that makes it so funny and yet also a striking way of communicating what Luther and his time was like.  AND, because October 31, 2017 is the 500th anniversary of Luther's posting of the famous (or is it infamous?) 95 Theses, this year there are (and will be) lots of books about Luther, the book under review here has a great advantage because, unlike the others, this one presents such a strange and interesting format!!  If you are tired of reading same-old-same-old theology and history books about Luther, I recommend reading Renegade !!   The book's very format is a renegade type! 

    But what about historical accuracy??  Aha!  Glad you asked.  Listen, this innovative graphic novel format is very appropriate because Luther himself was very innovative in HIS time in using the then newly invented printing press to publicize his teachings.  And some of his writings included what we now call cartoons!  AND, Luther not only was up to date but he also was a pace-SETTER in that his excellent German translation of the Bible greatly influenced the very future of the German language just as a century later the excellence of the King James translation of the Bible greatly influenced the future of the English language.  Luther was not only "with it", he also established what later became regarded as "with it"!!  As a famous verse in the Bible puts it, he was "the head" not "the tail" -- an innovator not a copycat. 

     Back in the 60s there was a lot of discussion about "medium" and "message" due to the provocative ideas of a man named Marshall  McLuhan.  My conclusion on that matter is that the medium influences or becomes part of the message.  As I hope I have established above, the graphic novel medium is appropriately used in communicating the message we need to know about Luther.

     I wish to thank Maureen Swinger from Plough Publishing for sending me a copy of this very interesting book.  It will be published next week.  

October 3, 2017

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