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The Measure of a Man

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Two brief yet powerful meditations from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. defining humanity's worth and completion relate to strides toward social justice. Eloquent and passionate, reasoned and sensitive, this pair of meditations by the revered civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. contains the theological roots of his political and social philosophy of nonviolent activ Two brief yet powerful meditations from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. defining humanity's worth and completion relate to strides toward social justice. Eloquent and passionate, reasoned and sensitive, this pair of meditations by the revered civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. contains the theological roots of his political and social philosophy of nonviolent activism. In supporting reconciliation, Dr. King outlines human worth based on Scripture, encouraging the reader to know each person has worth, rational ability, and an invitation to fellowship with the Creator. In addition, Dr. King explains the three dimensions of life: length, breadth, and height; they must all be present and working harmoniously in order for life to be complete as an individual and as a community. Black and white photos from Dr. King's life along with simple prayers from the reverend round out this short but poignant offering.


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Two brief yet powerful meditations from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. defining humanity's worth and completion relate to strides toward social justice. Eloquent and passionate, reasoned and sensitive, this pair of meditations by the revered civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. contains the theological roots of his political and social philosophy of nonviolent activ Two brief yet powerful meditations from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. defining humanity's worth and completion relate to strides toward social justice. Eloquent and passionate, reasoned and sensitive, this pair of meditations by the revered civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. contains the theological roots of his political and social philosophy of nonviolent activism. In supporting reconciliation, Dr. King outlines human worth based on Scripture, encouraging the reader to know each person has worth, rational ability, and an invitation to fellowship with the Creator. In addition, Dr. King explains the three dimensions of life: length, breadth, and height; they must all be present and working harmoniously in order for life to be complete as an individual and as a community. Black and white photos from Dr. King's life along with simple prayers from the reverend round out this short but poignant offering.

58 review for The Measure of a Man

  1. 5 out of 5

    Carey

    I l-o-v-e Dr. King, don't get me wrong. This booklet was just kind of preachy. The irony. ^_^ I expected it to be more about civil liberties and human rights. It's more about religion. I l-o-v-e Dr. King, don't get me wrong. This booklet was just kind of preachy. The irony. ^_^ I expected it to be more about civil liberties and human rights. It's more about religion.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nikita T. Mitchell

    This was a short read, taking me only an hour in the park one day. It is a spiritual essay discussing man’s place here on earth. I enjoyed it. One of my favorite parts of the book is when he talks about doing your best at all times: “He should seek to do his job so well that the living, the dead, or the unborn could not do it better. No matter how small one thinks his life’s work is in terms of the norms of the world and the so-called big jobs, he must realize that it has cosmic significance if This was a short read, taking me only an hour in the park one day. It is a spiritual essay discussing man’s place here on earth. I enjoyed it. One of my favorite parts of the book is when he talks about doing your best at all times: “He should seek to do his job so well that the living, the dead, or the unborn could not do it better. No matter how small one thinks his life’s work is in terms of the norms of the world and the so-called big jobs, he must realize that it has cosmic significance if he is serving humanity and doing the will of God.” He then inserted a poem by Douglas Mallock that I am loving: “If you can’t be a highway, just be a trial; If you can’t be the sun, be a star; For it isn’t by size that you win or you fail- Be the best of whatever you are.” Sometimes we get so caught up in where we see ourselves, where we want to be, that we forget to be our best where we presently are. Just because every situation may not reflect our ambitious dreams, it is important to remember that the climb gives purpose to reaching the top.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ethan

    A collection of the written manuscripts of two of MLK's sermons/exhortations on the measure and nature of a man. In the first King explores what makes humanity human. It is profoundly shaped by Niebhur, but is not wrong. He explores man's animal nature, but also his impulse toward something higher, and grounds the discussion in Psalm 8. He effectively communicates that man ought to strive for a life with meaning. In the second King explores what makes for a well lived life. He speaks of three axes A collection of the written manuscripts of two of MLK's sermons/exhortations on the measure and nature of a man. In the first King explores what makes humanity human. It is profoundly shaped by Niebhur, but is not wrong. He explores man's animal nature, but also his impulse toward something higher, and grounds the discussion in Psalm 8. He effectively communicates that man ought to strive for a life with meaning. In the second King explores what makes for a well lived life. He speaks of three axes - the internal life, the life lived among others, and life before God. All three are necessary. One must learn to love oneself; but to only love oneself is selfishness and greed. One must learn to live with others and share in community as well. But to love only oneself and one's fellow man is humanism, and insufficient. One must also learn to love God and be devoted to His cause. Such is the well lived life: to love oneself, to love one's neighbor as oneself, and to love the LORD our God with all our strength, soul, and might. A short work, but compelling, and well demonstrates MLK's mastery of the craft of preaching, and the solid depth of his theology and anthropology.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Guillermo Galvan

    It's not often a book of such compact size has the ability to deliver a tremendous impact. Martin Luther King writes in a potent and eloquent style infused with divine wisdom. The Measure of a Man focuses on two points: 1)What is the worth of a person? 2)The dimensions of a complete life. His views are humbling, inspiring, empowering, and enlightening. The passing decades have strengthened the relevancy of his wisdom. This book is a shinning beacon offering guidance in a storm of materialism, spi It's not often a book of such compact size has the ability to deliver a tremendous impact. Martin Luther King writes in a potent and eloquent style infused with divine wisdom. The Measure of a Man focuses on two points: 1)What is the worth of a person? 2)The dimensions of a complete life. His views are humbling, inspiring, empowering, and enlightening. The passing decades have strengthened the relevancy of his wisdom. This book is a shinning beacon offering guidance in a storm of materialism, spiritual depravity, global violence, and intolerance. There is a strong Christian overtone (King was a reverend). Yet, non-Christian readers have much to profit from his deeply philosophical message of peace and human worth.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Aurélien Thomas

    Two very short essays and a little text. In 'What is a Man?', the first essay, the pastor tries and answer the question of what it is to be human. Religious, he obviously adopts the expected answer: a little less than divine, a little less than God, but crowned with glory and honour that is, a biological being yet endowed with reason. From then on he warns: let's not reduce him to a mere animal like any others (an error made, according to him, by materialists) or, on the contrary, elevate him to Two very short essays and a little text. In 'What is a Man?', the first essay, the pastor tries and answer the question of what it is to be human. Religious, he obviously adopts the expected answer: a little less than divine, a little less than God, but crowned with glory and honour that is, a biological being yet endowed with reason. From then on he warns: let's not reduce him to a mere animal like any others (an error made, according to him, by materialists) or, on the contrary, elevate him to a state of demi-God (an error made by, according to him, Humanists). It then all turns into preaching, a call to find again the link unifying us with God so as to be fully human.... Mmmh? Well: yawn. It's not convincing. His views of materialism are simplistic to the point of being annoying, and the worse remains his reject of Humanism, which, if expected from a pastor, contradicts all his speeches about being human! Indeed, if our ability to reason is what makes us such 'wonderful creations', then shouldn't we submit to reason instead of blindly to a given faith? His thinking is not very clear. 'The Dimension of a Complete Life' is the second essay, where he carries on with his view. What is a fulfilling life? To him, it can be narrowed down to three conditions: to love oneself, to love each others, and to love God. He sees it all like a triangle: stability through three angles, with God being the top one. Well... Again: yawn. I am too much of an atheist to be taken in by such simplicity! I mean, are people fulfilling the two first conditions really less happy than whose adding a third one (faith)? I don't think so. He sounds here very prejudiced, if not a tat holier-than-thou. 'Parting', the last text, is ten lines long but very powerful. Showing a man having faith as sole motor, there's not much in here either; but this is the text that became famous since he always ended his speeches by it, until that fateful day in 1968 when he was assassinated. 'So I'm happy tonight. I am not worried about anything. Im not fearing any man. "Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord".' Isn't that a beautiful optimism tossed to the future? It is, in any case, a very appropriate way to end this very little book. So what about it all? Religious readers will keep it at hand; it's simple and straightforward enough. Others... Well, personally, his misunderstanding of materialism annoyed me; as a humanist he completely missed his target; and as a strong atheist his preach about God fell into 'mine' deaf hears!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Gavin

    With all my current Reconstruction and Civil Rights reading you cannot help dipping into Dr. King for further perspective. This was part of a recent speech that I listened to from 1962 that MLK would dust off now and again. Well worth your time to get a sense of what was important to him, his race, and America. Meditation, action, non-violence, justice, and brotherhood. What more can be asked of us? Amazing that so many have ignored and turned away from their fellow man regardless of skin color, bu With all my current Reconstruction and Civil Rights reading you cannot help dipping into Dr. King for further perspective. This was part of a recent speech that I listened to from 1962 that MLK would dust off now and again. Well worth your time to get a sense of what was important to him, his race, and America. Meditation, action, non-violence, justice, and brotherhood. What more can be asked of us? Amazing that so many have ignored and turned away from their fellow man regardless of skin color, but based solely on that is such a tragedy.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Emkoshka

    I gave this to my best friend a year ago, because he's the best man I know in terms of his commitment to doing good in the world. The blurb states that these two brief essays show 'the theological roots of his political and social philosophy of nonviolent activism', but I found it a bit hard to tease that out. However, I did find more to grasp onto in the second essay, 'The dimensions of a complete life': our life is incomplete unless we embody love of self, love of others and love of God. Good I gave this to my best friend a year ago, because he's the best man I know in terms of his commitment to doing good in the world. The blurb states that these two brief essays show 'the theological roots of his political and social philosophy of nonviolent activism', but I found it a bit hard to tease that out. However, I did find more to grasp onto in the second essay, 'The dimensions of a complete life': our life is incomplete unless we embody love of self, love of others and love of God. Good stuff.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jocelyn

    Absolutely essential reading.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Cameron

    This story really Make me think how can I better myself as a man and i recommend this book to anyone that trust MLK words on how to be a better man.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    I enjoyed picking this VERY short book up on the day we remember this brave man. It is divided into three sections: What is Man?, The Dimensions of Man, and Parting. The last section is a few paragraphs- it is the touching and ironic speech he gave the night before he was murdered. The middle section was my favorite. To have a complete life we need length, breadth, and height. Length is defined by us, specifically, our dreams, our journey. But hopefully, we have breadth: the ability to reach out I enjoyed picking this VERY short book up on the day we remember this brave man. It is divided into three sections: What is Man?, The Dimensions of Man, and Parting. The last section is a few paragraphs- it is the touching and ironic speech he gave the night before he was murdered. The middle section was my favorite. To have a complete life we need length, breadth, and height. Length is defined by us, specifically, our dreams, our journey. But hopefully, we have breadth: the ability to reach out to others that surround us in life. It's not just about us, after all. And most importantly, hopefully we have height: a relationship with the Almighty. Thank you Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for continuing to teach others, including myself, after you have passed.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jeridel Banks

    This book is so short, but it questions the physical and spiritual worth of a person.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dan Gobble

    A great leader whose life was cut short, but whose wisdom and love and spectacular dream still lives on today in the hearts and minds of so many people. At this critical time of frustration at lingering racism, his voice still calls to us to find our way forward through the path of non-violence. Other persons in high places of authority will call upon the forces of military power, guns, and weapons to squash any resistance to their grip on the reigns of wealth and power. But MLK and Gandhi point A great leader whose life was cut short, but whose wisdom and love and spectacular dream still lives on today in the hearts and minds of so many people. At this critical time of frustration at lingering racism, his voice still calls to us to find our way forward through the path of non-violence. Other persons in high places of authority will call upon the forces of military power, guns, and weapons to squash any resistance to their grip on the reigns of wealth and power. But MLK and Gandhi point us to the path of non-violent resistance in response to injustice, racism, sexism, hatred and all forms of evil. Nonviolent resistance is not inaction. On the contrary, it's getting into "good trouble" (rest in peace John Lewis) by actively refusing to cooperate with unjust laws and governance.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lamine

    When Poitier is ten years old, his family relocates to Nassau, where he finally experiences a number of modern conveniences and pleasures, including electricity, indoor plumbing, refrigeration, and movies. He attends a Roman Catholic Church, though he would later give up discreet ties to any one religion, later identifying himself as agnostic. Even as life becomes easier, Poitier ‘s parents continue to teach him valuable lessons about right and wrong, commitment, and self-worth that would stay w When Poitier is ten years old, his family relocates to Nassau, where he finally experiences a number of modern conveniences and pleasures, including electricity, indoor plumbing, refrigeration, and movies. He attends a Roman Catholic Church, though he would later give up discreet ties to any one religion, later identifying himself as agnostic. Even as life becomes easier, Poitier ‘s parents continue to teach him valuable lessons about right and wrong, commitment, and self-worth that would stay with him throughout his entire life.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Geoff Hansell

    there is a list somewhere, of books that people have read that they say changed their lives; I'm placing this book on my list, Dr. King managed to put in 56 pages the essence of a full life- love of self, God, and others; what it takes volumes for some to convey, it is concise yet as full as the life he wants all of us to live. In the turbulence and violence he endured during the 1960's he still preached love and non-violence to his followers and all of mankind, he truly practiced what he preache there is a list somewhere, of books that people have read that they say changed their lives; I'm placing this book on my list, Dr. King managed to put in 56 pages the essence of a full life- love of self, God, and others; what it takes volumes for some to convey, it is concise yet as full as the life he wants all of us to live. In the turbulence and violence he endured during the 1960's he still preached love and non-violence to his followers and all of mankind, he truly practiced what he preached. I wish I could tell him in person how valuable the knowledge contained in his book and mind.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Gregory

    Excellent Book about Ourselves and Humanity I have finished reading this book from Dr. King that is a follow-up to his first book Strength To Love. Dr. King's words are timeless and still relevant today 60 years later when this book was originally published. Dr. King says a lot about not just about Racism, mentions how we as human beings should treat each other and ourselves in a positive manner as opposed to being caught up in Tribalism, Materialism, and Selfishness. This book is definitely a mu Excellent Book about Ourselves and Humanity I have finished reading this book from Dr. King that is a follow-up to his first book Strength To Love. Dr. King's words are timeless and still relevant today 60 years later when this book was originally published. Dr. King says a lot about not just about Racism, mentions how we as human beings should treat each other and ourselves in a positive manner as opposed to being caught up in Tribalism, Materialism, and Selfishness. This book is definitely a must read for men and women to learn how to be better human beings.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Barry G. Simmons

    He Could Preach! I set a goal last year to observe Black History Month each February by reading books by or about African Americans , to get out of my more limited life experience to see through others' eyes. After reading these two short lectures by Dr. King, I must say the man could preach! Made me think. His observation on the City of God in Revelation will stick with me forever. He Could Preach! I set a goal last year to observe Black History Month each February by reading books by or about African Americans , to get out of my more limited life experience to see through others' eyes. After reading these two short lectures by Dr. King, I must say the man could preach! Made me think. His observation on the City of God in Revelation will stick with me forever.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sasha Dofflemeyer

    Great book, eloquently written! Example of one of the great quotes is, "any religion that professes to be concerned about the souls of men and is not concerned about the economic conditions that damn the soul, the social conditions that corrupt men, and the city governments that cripple them, is a dry, dead, do-nothing religion in need of new blood." King Jr., Martin Luther. The Measure of a Man (Kindle Locations 49-51). Pathfinder Books. Kindle Edition. Great book, eloquently written! Example of one of the great quotes is, "any religion that professes to be concerned about the souls of men and is not concerned about the economic conditions that damn the soul, the social conditions that corrupt men, and the city governments that cripple them, is a dry, dead, do-nothing religion in need of new blood." King Jr., Martin Luther. The Measure of a Man (Kindle Locations 49-51). Pathfinder Books. Kindle Edition.

  18. 5 out of 5

    larraina

    Dr. Parker Deep and astounding. What a beautiful mind. I never knew Dr. King thought or spoke like this. This is the type of mind that transforms souls and nations. It would have been amazing to spend time in this man's presence, have a conversation or hear his thoughts and opinions expressed in an intimate setting. I have deeply moved. Dr. Parker Deep and astounding. What a beautiful mind. I never knew Dr. King thought or spoke like this. This is the type of mind that transforms souls and nations. It would have been amazing to spend time in this man's presence, have a conversation or hear his thoughts and opinions expressed in an intimate setting. I have deeply moved.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jack Heller

    A very quick read These two short sermons lay out Martin Luther King's understanding of spiritual anthropology, what a person is as such. Because too often evangelicals are dismissive of King's theology, I will note that it is orthodox. Conservatives don't often more the implications of their own theology. A very quick read These two short sermons lay out Martin Luther King's understanding of spiritual anthropology, what a person is as such. Because too often evangelicals are dismissive of King's theology, I will note that it is orthodox. Conservatives don't often more the implications of their own theology.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Keyona

    Everything I expected These read like sermons, but are informative, enlightening, and inspiring. It's also another perspective of Dr. King, showing his commitment and the depth of his knowledge. You f all pastors devoted this amount of study to their sermons, the churches wouldn't be able to hold the people. Everything I expected These read like sermons, but are informative, enlightening, and inspiring. It's also another perspective of Dr. King, showing his commitment and the depth of his knowledge. You f all pastors devoted this amount of study to their sermons, the churches wouldn't be able to hold the people.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Anthony L Washington Sr

    Good Read! Excellent book! Touches on the importance of having a spiritual connection with God. Remember that God wants us to not be selfish but selfless. Take care of yourself so you can help others. I would recommend this book to our youth the most as they are in need of guidance and the of helping people.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Wayne Reid

    Excellent read! I found Martin Luther King’s words compelling, I read twice. Understanding and applying what he said to our lives could lead to greater connections with others, God, and oneself!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ken Randall

    An excellent summary of his core values Readable, approachable, worth of a good starting point that can be used as a springboard into much more reading by MLK and other religious and philosopher authors.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas Brock

    King speaks truth This book was assigned as part of a doctoral class and I'm forever grateful for it. King speaks the truth here, even for us nonreligious types. His words inspire and transcend all beliefs of mankind. King speaks truth This book was assigned as part of a doctoral class and I'm forever grateful for it. King speaks the truth here, even for us nonreligious types. His words inspire and transcend all beliefs of mankind.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    Two short philosophical essays: "What is Man?" and "The Dimensions of a Complete Life." What is Man? answers that exact question. The Dimensions of a Complete Life reflects on how man's life is completed when he loves God, loves himself, and loves his neighbor as himself. Two short philosophical essays: "What is Man?" and "The Dimensions of a Complete Life." What is Man? answers that exact question. The Dimensions of a Complete Life reflects on how man's life is completed when he loves God, loves himself, and loves his neighbor as himself.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Arthur Jones

    Learn these lessons Martin Luther King Jr. Left us wisdom and nuggets that we can use to improve our own personal lives and he!p others add value to theirs. A great book to help you get grounded in the things that are really important.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Pete Davis

    Two amazing, accessible speeches on human dignity and our calling in life.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Huma Rashid

    V preachy, all about religion.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Brice Karickhoff

    Really really short. MLK was the goat. Behind Letters from a Birmingham Jail its my fav thing he's written. Really really short. MLK was the goat. Behind Letters from a Birmingham Jail its my fav thing he's written.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Susan Oh

  31. 5 out of 5

    Dennis

  32. 4 out of 5

    Nefret

  33. 4 out of 5

    Marisa

  34. 4 out of 5

    Kiralyne

  35. 4 out of 5

    Bryan

  36. 5 out of 5

    Mike

  37. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Allen

  38. 5 out of 5

    Amir Aghdam

  39. 4 out of 5

    James

  40. 5 out of 5

    Larry Taylor

  41. 4 out of 5

    Elvi

  42. 4 out of 5

    Lauren F

  43. 5 out of 5

    Shane

  44. 5 out of 5

    Ricardo

  45. 4 out of 5

    Chris

  46. 5 out of 5

    Tyler

  47. 5 out of 5

    Glenda

  48. 5 out of 5

    Joshua

  49. 5 out of 5

    Kim Felton

  50. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

  51. 5 out of 5

    Kyle

  52. 4 out of 5

    Lily Bond

  53. 4 out of 5

    Jimmaron

  54. 5 out of 5

    vinnie

  55. 5 out of 5

    William

  56. 5 out of 5

    Brad

  57. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

  58. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey Allen

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