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The Bondage of the Will (Ambassador Classics) [Paperback]

By Martin Luther (Author), Henry Cole (Translator) & Edward Vaughan (Other)
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Item description for The Bondage of the Will (Ambassador Classics) by Martin Luther, Henry Cole & Edward Vaughan...

Overview
The Bondage of the Will, Luther's exposition on the doctrine of God's sovereignty, laid the groundwork for Reformation thought. It shows us a humbling view of ourselves while strengthening our faith in Christ. The Ambassador Classics series bring the greatest classic works of Christian history into a single set. It includes unabridged works by Martin Luther, John Bunyan, John Calvin, A. T. Pierson, John Owens, C. H. Spurgeon, Jonathan Edwards, J. C. Ryle, R. A. Torrey and many others. This series will continue to enrich and deepen your faith in Christ.

Publishers Description
This classic helps us understand the doctrines of the Reformation. Luther was burdened to write on the "sweet doctrine of God's sovereignty" in all aspects of our lives. This book shows a humbling view of ourselves while strengthening our faith and causes us to cry out in adoration to God for His goodness and grace.

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Item Specifications...


Studio: Ambassador International
Pages   400
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.45" Width: 5.35" Height: 0.84"
Weight:   0.89 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 1, 2007
Publisher   EMERALD HOUSE GROUP #694
Edition  Unabridged  
Series  Ambassador Classics  
ISBN  1932307435  
ISBN13  9781932307436  


Availability  0 units.


More About Martin Luther, Henry Cole & Edward Vaughan


Martin Luther Martin Luther (1483-1546) was the Father of the Reformation. Most famous possibly for his 95 theses, he wrote many works which sparked debate and helped shape thinking - not only in his own time, but ours as well.

Martin Luther was born in 1483 and died in 1546.

Martin Luther has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Luther's Works (Concordia)


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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Humanities > Religious Studies > Christianity
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( L ) > Luther, Martin
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Soteriology


Christian Product Categories
Books > Theology > Theology & Doctrine > General



Reviews - What do customers think about Bondage of the Will?

Charitable- no; funny and compelling- yes  Aug 4, 2008
It is safe to say that Martin Luther did not think that man's will is free. In some of the most funny, bitter, sarcastic, and theologically insightful pages found in any Christian work, Luther puts forth his position on "free-will" in The Bondage of the Will (also found in "Luther's Works," vol. 33, "Career of the Reformer pt. III). The title itself should show the reader which side of the Calvinist debate Luther finds himself on. This book is a response to Diatribe, by Erasmus, in which Erasmus critiqued Luther's view of election. Luther responds in theologically knee-deep sarcasm, and is very effective.

Luther shows that the main texts Erasmus uses are ripped out of context, twisted and contorted by a sinful mind, and are left violated. Luther begins the fourth section by telling the reader, "Here you will see what man-made smoke can do against the thunder and lightning of God" (161). "Man-made smoke" is Luther's most charitable description of Erasmus's work. Diatribe is personified, and throughout Luther's work referred to as a she. Specifically, Diatribe is referred to as a she without Divine reason, but only human conjecture. Luther than amplifies and says that Human Reason is "blind, deaf, stupid, impious, and sacrilegious with regard to all the words and works of God" (173). And this conjecture just described is considered too good of a label for Diatribe.

Luther's defense, which is actually more of an offense, has two main sections. First, Luther critiques the hermeneutics of Diatribe. Luther accuses her of copying Jerome and Origin, and then adds, "For hardly any of the ecclesiastic writers have handled the divine Scriptures more ineptly and absurdly than Origin and Jerome" (167). Luther then moves into the texts used by Diatribe. There are sections on the hardening of Pharaoh's heart, how Judas had no choice but to betray Christ, Jacob and Essau, and on the potter and clay analogy. Luther clearly shows that these passages do not need to be explained out of scripture, and should be interpreted literally. If done so, the reader will be left believing in a God that did indeed harden Pharaoh's heart, hate Essau before he was born, cause Judas to betray Christ, and crafts man's very soul with his hands.

All of these sections follow a familiar pattern. Luther shows us that the hermenutical principles used by Diatribe are not valid and compromise the integrity of scripture. Then he shows that if her argument is true, it is absurd. Luther then grants that her argument is true, and shows that even this does not justify freedom of the will.

But in between these sections are a couple of theological jewels. There is a section titled, "How God's Omnipotence Can be Said to Work Evil," and another titled, "How God's Foreknowledge Imposes Necessity." The former is the first work I have ever found persuasive on the subject. Luther uses an analogy of a horse with two lame legs. No matter the skill of the rider, the horse will always do poorly and will never be able to walk correctly. The only hope for the horse is to be healed. Similarly, Luther says, we are sinful. God, because of his sovereignty, must work through us. But whatever we do will be sinful. God is not causing us to sin; he is manipulating our sin for his good and for our salvation. This does not mean God works sin in our lives, only that he controls our lives. To ask Him to stop controlling us so that we would stop sinning is like asking Him to stop reigning over the universe on account of our deficiencies.

Luther seems to have a true understanding of the subjects about which he writes. While one could easily call him unloving and uncharitable for his treatment of his opposition, it is hard to critique someone writing with a death sentence over their head. Luther loved truth, and he loved it so much he tried to slay any arguments brought against it. Had he treated what he viewed as heresy with ambivalence, it is possible those whom he loved would do the same. When a person's life is at stake in his writings, he is likely to speak more bluntly than Max Lucado.

Luther also possesses "theological savvy." He has a way of focusing on one theological principle while weaving others in and out for support. He is persuasive because he presents his views forcefully, and he has a command of both his text and his opponents.
 
The Christian Robot?  Apr 14, 2008
God must open our spiritual eyes in order that we will truly desire Him.

Despite the confusing credit-debit, works-merit system deceitfully established by the RCC, Luther harshly spells it all out for all those who are unaware and unfamiliar with their own fallen human condition and the consequences of remaining ignorant of their dead, sin-laden standing before God!

Bondage of the Will - This is the wake up call!!! Grace is unmerited favor! Augustine came to know the truth about GRACE in his later works (that came about as a result of the Pelagian & Semi-Pelagian Controveries) - it leaves no room for boasting! Why is one a true Christian and another is not/or simply a pretender? What did we have that we did not receive?? Not only is a true hearing of the Word an aspect of grace but also is the true receiving of it!!!

No man can come to Jesus unless the Fathers draws Him and none that is given to Jesus will go lost becasue they are secure in Him!

Predestination & Election are not made up concepts and they are not merely a product of God's Foreknowledge.

God has enabled sin to enter the world for reasons that are unknown to us.

Nothing falls outside of God's providence and dominion.

The elect will hear this message loud and clear while the reprobate will mock God and exalt man

Amen to those who are willing to see the big picture and speak the truth!

TO GOD GOES THE GLORY!!!
 
Luther for the Modern Reader  Mar 30, 2008
The authors have done a commendable job of bringing the debate between two of the Reformation's prime leaders into the modern forum. I appreciate the easily-read type-setting and general formatting of this book.
 
How free is the man before God?  Aug 12, 2007
"De servo arbitrio" is the original title of this Martin Luther's masterpiece. In it, the Reformer explains his theology concerning the limits of man's will before God, differing it from those which preached the full free will or the absence of any possibility of free will. It is a key book for all those who are interested in studying the matters referred to free will and predestination.
 
The Ongoing Debate  Apr 23, 2007
I purchased Luther's book for my "Formation of Modern Christianity" class and am in the process of using it to write my term paper on the debate between Erasmus and Luther on the issue of free will. Luther does an excellent job in this book when presenting his case for the bondage of free will by demonstrating that humans are completely depraved and cannot choose salvation, therefore we do not have the free will to do both good and evil, but only evil. Buy this book if you want a clear picture on this ongoing debate, but make sure to also purchase "Discourse on Free Will" to gain a picture of Erasmus' point of view, as well.
 

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