This will be one of at least two posts happily inspired by CPH’s soon-to-be-released A Flame in the Dark: A Novel about Luther’s Reformation by LCMS author Sarah Baughman. Today I’ll talk a little about Lutheran settings (and point out the GoodRead giveaway for her book!!).
I haven’t written up a review yet, but I really thoroughly enjoyed and appreciate this book. Highly recommend it.
I’d call it realistic historical fiction (since another historical fic piece I’m reading is pretty fantastical!). In short, a Wittenberg student who enjoys dropping in for Luther’s lecture suddenly faces life and complications that are still around today. He needs the Gospel. Others need the Gospel, and, thanks be to God, there IS Gospel, even in the messiness and complexity of life.
One of my favorite quotes is this one:
“Sometimes,” Luther said slowly, knowing his words would be difficult ones for him to hear,” we cannot mitigate difficulty in life.” Heinrich stared at him, saying nothing. “Sometimes, we must simply plunge with both feet into the difficulty, knowing that our Lord goes with us” (p. 152).
One might be hard pressed to imagine more Lutheran settings than featured in this book: Wittenberg, the doors where the Theses were posted, neat sounding German pubs, etc. But you know what? The real Lutheran setting of this book—and God-willing many others—is the tension of real life.
Whether those tensions are tender, between family or friends, or fraught with the dangers of an angry, superstitious mob, this book handled it well. Not only with strong men and at times correct instincts, but also with weakness, trembling, and prayer.
This is both a heartwarming story and an engrossing tale with universal themes and situations.
You can pre-order now. Release date is June 12th. And, it’s good enough you should order yourself a copy now and enter the GoodReads Giveaway in hopes of giving it to a friend or your church library. Honestly.