Last year I was introduced to Stephen McCaskell and I knew immediately that he was a gifted man. McCaskell uses his gifts to tell an important story from church history—one that all of us need to know. The official trailer of his new film documentary of Martin Luther was unveiled at the 2017 G3 Conference back in January. Just a couple of weeks ago, the film was released and I had the privilege to view it with my wife this past weekend. If you’re looking for a simple summary to describe it, I would say it’s historically accurate and brilliantly presented through the interviews and the motion graphics.
Why should you consider watching a documentary on the life and legacy of a man who lived 500 years ago in church history? Not only is history important, but the study of church history should be something that all Christians give themselves to at some level or another. It’s important to know where we stand in a long line of gospel people. This film on the life of Luther gives us a unique look into his life and reminds us of the importance of the Reformation.
This year marks the 500th anniversary of what’s known as the Protestant Reformation. A simple document, intended to spark a debate among the scholarly world and Roman Catholic community in Wittenberg, Germany, was nailed to the castle church door and turned into a spark that set the world ablaze. Martin Luther wanted to talk about the theology behind the selling of indulgences, and it turned into a massive world-changing controversy. This eventually led to a movement which eventually morphed into a protest.
This is a wonderful year to learn more about Martin Luther, the central figure in the Reformation. If you don’t know much about church history, this documentary will aid you in building your knowledge about the Reformation and key figures of the protest known to us as the Reformation. Often with documentaries and historical biographies, men can become giants—exaggerated to the level of super human where we often fail to remember that they too have feet of clay.
Stephen McCaskell does a great job of reminding us that Martin Luther was a unique and gifted man that God raised up for a unique purpose in church history. However, like all of us, he had both flowers and flaws. In a balanced way, McCaskell tells the story of Luther’s life and provides us a balanced view of his flaws. This is perhaps best explained by Carl Trueman in one of the sections of the documentary as he called Luther a “bull-headed man.”
As you can expect with any documentary, the film contains footage of interviews with authors, scholars, and preachers on the subject of Luther’s life and legacy. In a masterful way, these segments are woven together along with the motion graphic sections to make for a stunning presentation. McCaskell interviews some of today’s leading voices and personalities on the life and ministry of Martin Luther including R.C. Sproul, Carl Trueman, Steven Lawson, and more.
In a way that does more than attempt to memorialize Luther, the authors, theologians, and preachers who are interviewed do an excellent job of providing details pertaining to the man known as Luther. As Dr. R.C. Sproul stated, “Luther blazed the rediscovery of justification by faith alone, and he restored the church’s focus to Christ alone.”
The Motion Graphics
Not many historic documentaries use animated graphics to tell the story of a person from history, but McCaskell employs animation in his film in a natural and non-distracting manner that ads great value and appeal to the story.
No matter what your knowledge base of Martin Luther’s life and place in church history is, you will find this documentary to be a great resource for your library. Luther accurately covers the life and ministry of the central figure of the Reformation. This documentary is powerfully presented with key interviews and stunning motion graphics. This is a great time to learn about Martin Luther and the Reformation that not only rocked the false church of Rome—but impacted the entire world. This resource would be good for both a home and church library.
How to watch Luther: You can rent it online or purchase your own copy in Blu-ray or DVD.