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The Bondage of the Will

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Acknowledged by theologians as one of the great masterpieces of the Reformation, Martin Luther's Bondage of the Will was also Luther's favorite work. Luther responds to Desiderius Erasmus' Diatribe on Free Will with the bluntness, genius, sarcasm, and spirituality that were as much a part of his writing as they were of his colorful personality.

Luther writes lucidly on the themes of man's inability and God's ability, 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. Luther's doctrine of salvation pivoted on this key issue. Is man able to save himself, or is his salvation completely a work of divine grace? This work will long remain among the great theological classics of Christian history. Bondage of the Will was first published in 1525, eight years after Luther penned his Ninety-Five Theses.

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Top Highlights

“THIS, therefore, is also essentially necessary and wholesome for Christians to know: That God foreknows nothing by contingency, but that He foresees, purposes, and does all things according to His immutable, eternal, and infallible will. By this thunderbolt, "Free-will" is thrown prostrate, and utterly dashed to pieces.” (source)

“For, if I know not how much I can do myself, how far my ability extends, and what I can do God-wards; I shall be equally uncertain and ignorant how much God is to do, how far His ability is to extend, and what He is to do toward me: whereas it is "God that worketh all in all." (1 Cor. xii. 6.) But if I know not the distinction between our working and the power of God, I know not God Himself. And if I know not God, I cannot worship Him, praise Him, give Him thanks, nor serve Him; for I shall not know how much I ought to ascribe unto myself, and how much unto God. It is necessary, therefore, to hold the most certain distinction, between the power of God and our power, the working of God and our working, if we would live in His fear.” (source)

“You may, perhaps, rightly assign to man some kind of will, but to assign unto him "Free-will" in divine things, is going too far.” (source)

“Philip Melancthon "Concerning Theological Questions:" a book, in my judgment, worthy not only of being immortalized” (source)

“he has no "Free-will," but is a captive, slave, and servant, either to the will of God, or to the will of Satan.” (source)

Product Details

  • Title : The Bondage of the Will
  • Author: Luther, Martin
  • Publisher: Ambassador International
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • ISBN: 9781620206225
Martin Luther

Martin Luther (1483–1546), one of the most significant figures in Western history, was a key figure in the Protestant Reformation. Over the course of his life, Luther was a monk, a priest, a professor of biblical literature, a Reformer, a husband, and a father.

Luther is most noted for his Ninety-Five Theses (1517), in which he argued that indulgences were not acts of penance which could replace true repentance. His refusal to retract all his writings, demanded by Pope Leo X in 1520 and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Worms in 1521, resulted in his excommunication by the pope and condemnation as an outlaw by the emperor.

Luther has been both praised and vilified for what he preached and wrote. Luther’s translation of the Christian Bible into the vernacular greatly influenced the church. His works continue to impact all Christians and animate the movement that bears his name. Luther’s Works (55 vols.) contains many of Luther’s writings, including commentaries, sermons, and lectures.

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  1. Forrest Cole

    Forrest Cole

    11/9/2021

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$9.74

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