Are you looking for a Martin Luther biography for your teens that is engaging and teaches history in a fun way?
I wrote the story of Martin Luther in historical fiction so that your students will enjoy learning about the life of the German Reformer. You don’t have to take my word for it, though. Check out these When Lightning Struck! book reviews by authors you know and trust.
Learn more about When Lightning Struck!: The Story of Martin Luther over at the book page, and grab your free book discussion guide as well.
When Lightning Struck! – What Authors are Saying
From the electrifying tension of the opening scene, When Lightning Struck will instantly captivate readers. Meticulously researched, this historical novel on Martin Luther will immerse the reader in the dust and grit of 16th century Germany. You will not only feel that Luther’s struggles are your own struggles, you will enter the gates of paradise with Luther into the freedom of justification by faith alone in Christ alone. Not only is Danika Cooley an engaging writer of children’s literature, she is a careful and winsome theologian. As in her Bible Road Trip, you will be in highly capable hands on the road trip of Luther’s life from works to grace. Highly recommended! ~ Douglas Bond ~ Author of many books of historical fiction, including the Crown & Covenant
When Lightning Struck brings the reader into an era of intense theological controversy – the Great Reformation – and tells of it in a highly readable “living history” that will grip the minds of youth! Nothing less than fiery story-telling would be fitting, to convey to us the life of a fervent heart like Martin Luther, and author Danika Cooley has achieved just that. Capturing Luther’s impassioned spirit in nearly everything he touched, I found myself becoming indignant all over again (even though I knew the history) at the abuses of the church he exposed, and pressing onward in the book, to see what he was going to do about it! ~ Dennis Gundersen ~ President, Grace & Truth Books ~ www.GraceAndTruthBooks.com
This is not just a story book. It is real life. It is accurately researched and meticulously footnoted. And it’s not just history either. When Lightning Struck! introduces us to the truth of God by bringing us alongside a young man and his personal search for eternal life and peace. Danika Cooley introduces Martin Luther as an inquisitive and somewhat outspoken little boy. He had many questions for which his family and the church had answers, but throughout his life these answers never really seemed to satisfy. He searched and sought for the peace he longed for but over time doubted that it even existed. Not even the monks, the monasteries, or even the Holy City of Rome could give Martin the answers he sought. Eventually his questions started to change: ‘Can it truly be that the words of Christ rank above those of counsels and popes?’ When Martin searched for the truth of God in the word of God, he found the answer he had been looking for: ‘It is by grace I am saved through the faith that God gives!’ ~ Catherine MacKenzie ~ Author of John Calvin—After Darkness Light & the Little Lights series
Today’s youth are growing up almost completely ignorant of Church History. We impoverish ourselves when we fail to learn from the tragedies and triumphs of those who have gone before us. Danika Cooley has done a great service by introducing a new generation to perhaps the most influential Christian leader of the past 600 years, Martin Luther. I commend this book to you and your children as a great family read-aloud. ~ Israel Wayne ~ Founder, Family Renewal
Although even the best historical fiction is still fiction, Danika Cooley makes masterful use of the form to bring to life a great historical character—Martin Luther. She consults a wide array of source material to provide her readers with an accurate account—celebrating Luther’s courage and conviction without minimizing the destructive impact of his most profound failures. If you’re looking for a good story on the reformation to share with your students, When Lightning Struck!: The Story of Martin Luther is both informative and engaging! ~ Stacy Farrell ~ HomeSchoolAdventure.com
“As Christian parents we want our kids to get excited about the faith. Danika’s use of historical fiction to target the hearts of kids is an excellent way to not only build intrigue about their faith but also to teach them about the history of Christianity. Danika uses fiction just like Jesus did to capture the hearts of those who are willing to listen.”~ Dr. Scott Turansky ~ National Center for Biblical Parenting
“Danika Cooley’s When Lightning Struck!: The Story of Martin Luther is a well-researched, and well-told biography that will grip young adult readers in a generation starved for worthy inspiration. It is just the sort of book the church needs to inspire a new generation of believers to help recover the evangelical church’s birthright.” ~ William Boekestein, Author
“Cooley gives young adult readers a thoughtful picture of how God used a flawed man to change the course of history.” – Mary Jackson, WORLD Magazine
Martin Luther and the Reformation
Teach your teens about Martin Luther and the Reformation in an exciting, new way with When Lightning Struck!: The Story of Martin Luther!
Martin Luther (1483-1546) is often referred to as “The Father of the Reformation”. Born during a time of superstition, tradition, and spiritual corruption, Luther gave up a lucrative career as a lawyer to become a monk in the Roman Catholic Church–a path he felt would certainly lead to salvation.
As Luther’s understanding of the spiritual corruption within the Church grew, and he despaired of true salvation, Luther (now a scholar and priest) sought the Bible for answers. Following his discovery of the true gospel in Scripture, Luther began to preach spiritual freedom to his congregation, and to teach biblical (rather than philosophical) theology at the University of Wittenberg.
It was on October 31, 1517 that Martin Luther penned his Ninety-Five Theses in Latin in response to the abusive indulgence sales practices of the monk Johann Tetzel in a nearby town. Luther nailed the Theses to the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church, the scholarly bulletin board of his day, and mailed a copy to the Archbishop of Mainz. Luther hoped to start a scholarly debate about the practice of selling salvation through plenary indulgences. The response he received was greater–and more dangerous–than he imagined it would be.
Luther’s story is exciting. There are death defying moments, epic spiritual battles, narrow escapes, a kidnapping, revolution, and war. As the “Father of the Reformation”, Luther is a vital figure in Church history. His sacrifice and willingness to wage battle against the spiritual, religious, and political powers of his medieval world allowed Christians throughout time to embrace the truth of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone as explained by Scripture alone once again. May all glory be to God alone!
Read portions of the first eight chapters of When Lightning Struck!:
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