Galvanized by Erasmus’ teaching on free will, Luther wrote De servo arbitrio, or The Bondage of the Will, insisting that the sinful human will could not turn itself to God. This groundbreaking study investigates the sixteenth-century reception of De servo. Robert Kolb unpacks Luther’s theology and recounts his followers’ ensuing disputes through their resolution in the Formula of Concord.
“He could not have realized in 1521, however, that he was giving Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam the instrument by which three years later the great humanist would be able to separate himself from the reformer without rejecting his own call for reform.” (Page 12)
“Thus, the believer’s election can be apprehended only a posteriori, that is, through the hearing of God’s Word that produces faith.” (Page 86)
“Those who persist in evil living have no faith and therefore are not among the elect” (Page 69)
“In the early writings of both colleagues the term rarely refers specifically and explicitly to predestination to salvation; its normal usage refers generally to God’s determination of the course of all things.” (Page 78)
“He believed that trust in God, revealed in Jesus Christ, constitutes the core and foundation of true human living” (Page 3)