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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and illuminating, 21 Nov. 2006
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This review is from: Bondage of the Will (Paperback)
This is not an easy book to read, its style is alien to a modern reader in that it is not so much a study or examination as it is a lengthy whinge against Erasmus's Diatribe on Free Will. It is one sided and without reading the Diatribe it is hard to judge the relative arguments in relation to each other.

That being said the book is fascinating as it shows that what is usually thought of as Calvinism is not really any different to Luthers teachings with relation to free will and election. The reformation was squarely based on total depravity and election, there was no disagreement between Luther and Calvin on this issue.

A real strength of this particular volume is the lengthy historical notes as more than any other book an understanding the context of this book is vital if it is to be understood.

My own feeling is that the debate between Erasmus and Luther was a bit of a mismatch, they were arguing different things. Erasmus was making a philisophical arguement, Luther a theological one. Luther's belief was based on what the Bible said, Erasmus believed a combination of what he wanted to be right and what the church said was right.

The points put forward by each party are still classic arguments, but it is the context of the argument that is so fascinating.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 13 Apr 2010 18:01:49 BDT
C. Butler says:
Interesting review, thanks. I'd disagree, though, with what you say about Erasmus. He argued based on what the Bible said (he was a major Biblical scholar and translator, after all), and so he pointed out where Luther had interpreted the Bible to suit his own position.
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