In a lecture I recently listened to, Dr. Diemer taught about John Wesley. Specifically, he discussed a significant moment in Wesley's life. After a series of challenging events, Wesley, an Anglican, attended a Moravian church service. On that particular day, the group was reading and studying Martin Luther's preface to his commentary on the book of Romans. Something in this reading deeply struck Wesley, to the extent that it forever changed his life. Some argue this was the moment of his conversion, but later in Wesley's life he himself wasn't so sure. Either way, this reading jolted something significant deep within John Wesley.
Upon hearing Wesley's story, then student Diemer went to the library to read this moving preface. Romans was the book that changed Luther's life; he was lecturing on it when he was convicted by the statement, “The righteous shall live by faith” in Romans 1:17. The theology in the pages of Romans was so powerful that Luther was willing to die for his belief in the teaching found in Romans. So Diemer thought this preface would be amazing, powerful.
But after finding the book and reading the preface, he came to this conclusion: "That was the most boring thing I had ever read!"
But here's the thing. As Dr. Deimer went on to explain, the strength is not found in the tool. The preface, the commentary, and even Luther himself, are just God's tools. Like an ax they can be sharp and like a mallet they can be strong, but without God's hand they have no movement, no strength, no power.
* Photo by flicker user f1wbDClik, and is registered under a creative commons license.