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The Bondage of the Will [Paperback]

By Martin Luther (Author)
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Item description for The Bondage of the Will by Martin Luther...

Overview
First published in 1525, Martin Luther's Bondage of the Will is acknowledged by theologians as one of the great masterpieces of the Reformation. It is Luther response to Desiderius Erasmus' Diatribe on Free Will, written in his direct and unique style, combining deep spirituality with humor. Luther writes powerfully about man's depravity and God's sovereignty. The crucial issue for Luther concerned what ability free will has, and to what degree it is subject to God's sovereignty. For Luther, this key issue of free will is directly connected to God's plan of salvation. Is man able to save himself, or is his salvation entirely a work of divine grace? This work is vital to understanding the primary doctrines of the Reformation and will long remain among the great theological classics of Christian history.

Publishers Description

First published in 1525, Martin Luther's "Bondage of the Will" is acknowledged by theologians as one of the great masterpieces of the Reformation. It is Luther response to Desiderius Erasmus' "Diatribe on Free Will, " written in his direct and unique style, combining deep spirituality with humor. Luther writes powerfully about man's depravity and God's sovereignty. The crucial issue for Luther concerned what ability free will has, and to what degree it is subject to God's sovereignty. For Luther, this key issue of free will is directly connected to God's plan of salvation. Is man able to save himself, or is his salvation entirely a work of divine grace? This work is vital to understanding the primary doctrines of the Reformation and will long remain among the great theological classics of Christian history.

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Item Specifications...


Studio: Hendrickson Publishers
Pages   297
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9" Width: 6.1" Height: 0.7"
Weight:   1.1 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 1, 2008
Publisher   Hendrickson Publishers
Age  21
ISBN  1598562800  
ISBN13  9781598562804  


Availability  1 units.
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More About Martin Luther


Martin Luther

Martin Luther (1483-1546) was professor of Bible at Wittenberg University, and many of his expositions came out of his classroom. Considered one of the most powerful discussions of justification by faith written by any of the Reformers, this commentary on Galatians has had a profound impact on many through the centuries.

Alister McGrath (PhD, University of Oxford) is the Andreas Idreos Professor of Science and Religion at the University of Oxford, president of the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics, and senior research fellow at Harris Manchester College in Oxford. He is also a noted author and coeditor of Crossway's Classic Commentaries series.

J. I. Packer (DPhil, Oxford University) serves as the Board of Governors' Professor of Theology at Regent College. He is the author of numerous books, including the classic best-seller Knowing God. Packer served as general editor for the English Standard Version Bible and as theological editor for the ESV Study Bible.

J. I. Packer (DPhil, Oxford University) serves as the Board of Governors' Professor of Theology at Regent College. He is the author of numerous books, including the classic best-seller Knowing God. Packer served as general editor for the English Standard Version Bible and as theological editor for the ESV Study Bible.



Martin Luther was born in 1483 and died in 1546.

Martin Luther has published or released items in the following series...
  1. 40-Day Journey
  2. Anchor Library of Religion
  3. Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought
  4. Facets
  5. Library of Christian Classics
  6. Luther Classic Commentaries Luther Classic Commentaries
  7. Luther's Works (Augsburg)
  8. Luther's Works (Concordia)


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6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Protestantism > General
7Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Soteriology


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Reviews - What do customers think about The 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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