The Bondage of the Will

by Martin Luther

Hardcover, 1957

Status

Available

Call number

DEV 075 ENG

Publication

Fleming H. Revell (1957), Edition: 1st thus?, Hardcover

Description

A new translation of De Servo Arbitrio: Martin Luther's reply to Erasmus of Rotterdam (1525), by J. I. Packer and O. R. Johnston. The Bondage of the Will is one of the basic documents of the Reformation, and is perhaps Luther's best known work. Luther himself regarded it as his most important piece of theological writing, one that lay at the heart of the Gospel as he understood it. It was written as a reply to the Diatribe of Erasmus, and addresses a subject that is fundamental to an understanding of all Luther's teaching - the problem of the Freedom of the Will. Luther affirms man's total inability to save himself, and the sovereignty of Divine Grace in his salvation. In making this affirmation, he explains and upholds the doctrine of justification by faith, and defends predestination as determined by the foreknowledge of God. This translation features a new division of Luther's treatise into eight main parts, and then into further sections according to subject matter. Included is a fifty-page Historical Introduction and an index of biblical references. The translators have provided a text that not only accurately conveys the thought of the original Latin, but also something of the vigour and dialectical skill characteristic of Luther's style.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member GrinningDwarf
This book will help you understand the foundations of Reformed theology.
LibraryThing member Sansom48
I found this book very helpful in understanding the basics of Lutheran Theology on a much deeper level. I found that the overall layout of this book helped in the reading process over against some other versions of this book I have read.
LibraryThing member lougheryweb
Luther called this his magnum opus. I throughly enjoyed reading this book. Luther is no light weight, and he pulls no punches here. If you get a chance, read this book.
LibraryThing member CheshireLutheran
Martin Luther's classic response to Erasmus of Rotterdam's "Diatribe on Free Will"
LibraryThing member dk_phoenix
I had to read this for a class I'm taking on church history... and unfortunately, the translation I had was crap and impossible to read. I'm still not entirely sure what he's trying to say... fortunately, a few online summaries helped out a bit. Otherwise, stay away from the Henry Cole version... get the one by J.I. Packer, I hear it's in modernized English and, you know... actually readable.… (more)
LibraryThing member gottfried_leibniz
Luther is writing this as a response to Erasmus, who was a well known humanist scholar. Erasmus decided to stay within the Roman Catholic church. Erasmus wants Luther to see the ramifications of saying, "there is no free will." However, Luther forcefully counters all the polemics made by Erasmus.

He says, everything is by God and if he is omniscient, his immutable will shall prevail no matter what. I could really feel Luther's caustic words. He quotes a lot of scriptures and simply shows that it does not support free will. It only says, "What ought to be done, not what can be done."

Luther is forceful, persuasive and writes in an abrasive tone. He had struggled with sin, even though he knew Christ died for his sins, He kept confessing and confessing. He felt horrible inside as he knew that he was not good enough, he tried everything to get rid of sin. It simply did not work, it won't work. It can be fought by the Spirit of God ––Romans 8:13.
Finally, It was an epiphany when he found his answer in the book of Ephesians, "By Grace you have been saved and not by works, so that no one can boast."

On Sovereignty of God,
Luther says, "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. Those, therefore, who would assert Free will, must either deny this thunderbolt, or pretend not to see it, or push it from them."

In Bondage of the Will, Luther simply settles that Everything is by God and for his Glory.Nothing can be done by Man and if it is from Man, then it will be from the flesh. Whatever your position be in this topic, I would advise to be loving, gentle, warm and friendly. It seems that within the church, there's a lot of animosity, division as a result of this. A good book, I would recommend it to all Christians.

––Deus Vult––
Gottfried

… (more)
LibraryThing member gottfried_leibniz
Luther is writing this as a response to Erasmus, who was a well known humanist scholar. Erasmus decided to stay within the Roman Catholic church. Erasmus wants Luther to see the ramifications of saying, "there is no free will." However, Luther forcefully counters all the polemics made by Erasmus.

He says, everything is by God and if he is omniscient, his immutable will shall prevail no matter what. I could really feel Luther's caustic words. He quotes a lot of scriptures and simply shows that it does not support free will. It only says, "What ought to be done, not what can be done."

Luther is forceful, persuasive and writes in an abrasive tone. He had struggled with sin, even though he knew Christ died for his sins, He kept confessing and confessing. He felt horrible inside as he knew that he was not good enough, he tried everything to get rid of sin. It simply did not work, it won't work. It can be fought by the Spirit of God ––Romans 8:13.
Finally, It was an epiphany when he found his answer in the book of Ephesians, "By Grace you have been saved and not by works, so that no one can boast."

On Sovereignty of God,
Luther says, "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. Those, therefore, who would assert Free will, must either deny this thunderbolt, or pretend not to see it, or push it from them."

In Bondage of the Will, Luther simply settles that Everything is by God and for his Glory.Nothing can be done by Man and if it is from Man, then it will be from the flesh. Whatever your position be in this topic, I would advise to be loving, gentle, warm and friendly. It seems that within the church, there's a lot of animosity, division as a result of this. A good book, I would recommend it to all Christians.

––Deus Vult––
Gottfried

… (more)
LibraryThing member nesum
A wonderful exploration of the nature of our wills in relation with God. I finished this book more in awe than ever of God's wonderful grace, His patience, His sovereign plan, and His undying love.

It is through theology that learn to love God all the more. So many avoid theology, taking the idea of a personal relationship with God to mean that we shouldn't learn anything about Him. Of course, this statement never holds up in real life. I learn about my wife because I love her, and I love her more as I learn about her.

It is books like this that God will use to draw you closer to Him. If you begin to understand how helpless we truly are without Him, you will love Him all the more for saving you.

This is a Christian classic for a reason, and should be tackled by any true Christian.
… (more)

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