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The Antidote to “Do More, Try Harder” Christianity

New release removes the intimidation from Luther’s commentary on Romans

Martin Luther said that “the Book of Romans is the heart of the Gospel.” Luther himself is the heart of the Christian Reformation. In Reading Romans with Luther, author RJ Grunewald brings Romans and Luther together in a book like no other, resulting in a journey through Luther’s theology free from intimidation and fully focused on the free gift of God’s grace.

“I pray that this book gives you rest,” writes Grunewald, “as Martin Luther’s theology in Romans is the antidote to ‘do more, try harder’ Christianity. And if your experience with theology has enabled you to appreciate the riches of the Gospel, I hope this book will use the work of Luther to further soak you in the truth that your faith is in Christ alone.”

Reading Romans with Luther is organized by significant themes in Romans. It offers highlights from Luther’s commentary with further explanation on how these themes are relevant to our lives today. Beautiful artwork featuring Luther’s powerful theology and writing is woven throughout the book, bringing Luther’s message to life for the reader.

Praise for Reading Romans with Luther

“Martin Luther didn’t just read Romans. He was changed by it. Romans left Luther undone by God’s message of a totally free righteousness. It’s the same message that lit a fire in Luther leading to the Reformation. What I love about this book is that it helps any and all join Luther in discovering and celebrating the message of God’s extravagant mercy as it’s uniquely presented in Paul’s Letter to the Romans. Luther’s world-changing insights are all there and easy to grasp, made even more accessible by RJ’s personal and pastoral observations. Don’t just read Romans; read it with Luther and let its message of a totally free righteousness change you too.”

Matt Popovits, pastor of Our Saviour New York

“The Epistle to the Romans contains some of the Bible’s richest explorations of the Gospel. Luther’s commentary on Romans shows how great a theologian—that is, an expositor of Scripture—he is. In this book, RJ Grunewald serves up extracts from both St. Paul and Luther and then explains and applies them in an utterly fresh, contemporary, and illuminating way. With its three voices—those of St. Paul, Luther, and Rev. Grunewald—this book is a highly original, extremely readable treatment of our justification by Christ. Laypeople will read it with pleasure and give it to their non-Christian friends.”

Gene E. Veith Jr., author of The Spirituality of the Cross

“‘The Gospel is,’ as Martin Luther said, ‘the very heart of the Bible. And the Book of Romans is the very heart of the Gospel.’ And though we love Romans itself and would like to read and understand what Luther had to say about it, many of us find it difficult to press through the antiquated language and unfamiliar phrasing that was common parlance five hundred years ago. And that’s where this wonderful book comes in. Helping the modern reader understand Luther’s thought as he processed Paul’s, this book makes deep theology simple and hopefully will open the door for new generations of believers to enjoy and cherish the truths that spawned the Reformation, particularly the shocking grace of God bestowed on shockingly sinful creatures.”

Elyse M. Fitzpatrick, author of Because He Loves Me

“RJ has done it again. He has taken the deep and sometimes hard-to-navigate writings of Martin Luther, and has not only given us a road map to understanding but has also taken our hand and gently led us along the path. This book is rich. This book is relatable. This book is beautiful. Buy it. You won’t regret it.”

Jessica Thompson, speaker and author of Give Them Grace

“Rightly understanding the Book of Romans is critical to rightly understanding the entire Bible. RJ Grunewald’s Reading Romans with Luther is a fantastic resource that will help you better understand the Book of Romans and give you the biblical understanding necessary to understand the depth of our sinful condition, the magnitude of God’s grace and mercy, how to properly appropriate Law and Gospel, and how to correctly understand how good works flow from faith into the lives of believers without slipping back into works-righteousness. This is a wonderful little book.”

Chris Rosebrough, pastor and captain of

For more information on Reading Romans with Luther or to order, please visit or call customer service at 800-325-3040. For more information on the author or to request a review copy, please contact Lindsey Martie, Public Relations, 314-268-1303, or email .

About the Author

RJ Grunewald is a pastor at Faith Lutheran Church. His writing has been featured in several online publications including Christ Hold Fast, Key Life, and Christianity Today. He writes so that theology will be accessible for the everyday person. RJ, his wife, and two children live near Detroit, Michigan.

About Concordia Publishing House

Concordia Publishing House (CPH) is the publishing arm of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. For 150 years, CPH has been providing individuals, churches, and schools with products that are faithful to the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions. From books and Bibles to church supplies, curriculum, and software, CPH offers over 10,000 products to support the proclamation of the Gospel worldwide. Visit CPH online at