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Strength to Love - Book Review

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Strength To Love

Copyright 1963

Published by: Fortress Press, Philadelphia

Written By: Martin Luther King Jr.

Presented By: Brad Becker

Strength to Love Book Review

Introduction & Preface

Martin Luther King jr. was a man who devoted his entire existence to the philosophies of nonviolence and the elimination of social and racial injustice. His influence was an astronomical step forward towards equality for all races and backgrounds. In the preface of this book, Luther explains his reasoning for his sermon selections and how they relate to problems of today. He feels reluctant to print his sermons due to the fact they have often been controversial to many extremists resulting in him being punished. He states his sermons are for "the listening ear rather than the reading eye." Martin's sermons are not essays but simply a discourse to be heard. These sermons along with his many others are still influential even in today's society (nearly 40 years later).


Luther begins his exposé perfectly with certain characteristics that a just man should attain. He speaks of needing a tough mind, a tender heart, openness towards a quest for freedom, and being nonconformist. It is these characteristics that allow one to treat others wholeheartedly without the injustice that no man or woman deserves. We as Christians have a mandate to be nonconformists. "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." These are the wise words of Jesus but once again portrayed through Martin Luther King Jr. during his lifetime. Nobody ever said it would be easy to venture away from the "norm" of society and conform, but we as Christians are held responsible to do so. We must display our own form of altruism towards those in need as the Good Samaritan did so many years before us. This altruism shall be displayed to our enemies as we work within ourselves for forgiveness. "He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love," as stated by Luther. Martin continues through the text with a few tales of his own relating to his overall messages of fairness and equality. He gives us the outlook of Christianity on Communism and the strong beliefs of that culture. Contrary to Communistic belief, Christianity believes strongly in a higher being, God. This God has the capacity to do exceedingly abundant and remarkable things in nature and society. King's remaining chapters are dedicated to the possible ways to fight fear in one's life (with



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