CAPTIVE TO THE WORD, by A. Skevington Wood; Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1969; 192 pp., $4.50.
The title of this book was taken from Martin Luther’s words spoken before the Diet of Worms: “I am bound by the Scriptures . . . and my conscience is captive to the Word of God.” The book is not intended to be a history of the Lutheran Reformation. Nor is it a biography of Martin Luther. It is rather a detailed discussion of the influence of the Scriptures upon Martin Luther personally, upon the Reformation which God wrought through him, and a discussion of Luther’s own profound reliance upon the Scriptures and views of the Scriptures.
The book is divided into two main sections. The first section is mainly historical and deals with the importance of Scripture in the early years of Luther’s life. The second section is divided into two sub-parts: the first speaks of Luther as commentator; preacher, translator and reformer. The second deals with Luther’s views on the authority, the revelation, the inspiration, the unity, the interpretation and the Christ-centeredness of Scripture.
The book is very well written, is filled with extremely valuable information, is scholarly and comprehensive and is highly recommended to our readers as an especially worth-while addition to their libraries. One excellent accomplishment of the book (although it seems unintended> is the vivid portrayal of the magnitude of Luther’s break with Rome. This was refreshing in these days when evil ecumenicity seeks by every means to minimize the difference between Rome and Protestantism.