Wednesday, October 4, 2017
"A Mighty Fortress is Our God" by Martin Luther and Jason Jaspersen
I had grand plans to do posts all year long to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses to the door of the Wittenburg church on October 31, 1517. So far I've managed to do one over on my other blog.
Well, it's October. And if I get myself in gear, I can STILL do a pretty cool series of posts about this. I've got quite a few books about the Reformation and Martin Luther I can review, plus some other thoughts to share, so I'll be doing that throughout October both here and on Hamlette's Soliloquy, Lord willing and my life doesn't get even busier. And I'll begin with this review of a brand-new picture book!
This book is seriously cool. The text is all four verses of Martin Luther's great and glorious hymn "A Mighty Fortress is Our God," and it's illustrated by Jason Jaspersen, a guy who attended the same college I did. If you want to see what it looks like inside, the publisher's Facebook page has a video showing the interior pages. The book also includes the tune at the back in case you don't know it or want to play the melody, and it includes the first verse of "God's Word is Our Great Heritage" at the back too, which can be sung to the same tune.
Jaspersen's illustrations are really striking and unique. You know how in the Lord of the Rings movies, whenever Bilbo or Frodo put on the ring, they enter this sort of shadow world with unseen foes? This feels a lot like that -- shadowy forms of angels, demons, and people all blurring together into one realm. The "old evil foe" and his minions are depicted as a vast army in pointy armor trying to overtake the church and believers, and Satan is in one place depicted as a dragon-like creature being slain by Jesus as a knight in armor. In fact, some of the pictures might be a little scary for very little kids -- my five-year-old (who just renamed herself Mad Dog yesterday) was fine with them, but I could see my three-year-old nephew finding them a little too freaky. Just so you know.
In case you didn't know from my "Who Am I?" page or guess it from the fact that I want to highlight stuff about the Protestant Reformation and Martin Luther, I am a Lutheran. I'm working on a post about what that means to me for my other blog, and hope to have it up before the week is out. I'm putting that "500" icon with the Luther's Seal in it on the sidebars of both my blogs, and if you click on that, you'll go to all the posts in this series for that blog.