The Bondage: Essay for Oneself Hardcover – 11 Mar 2015
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Bondage of the Will is Luther's greatest work. Logic on fire. Filled with the Spirit. Only buy the Packer/Johnston version of this immensely important work. The introduction is invaluable and the translation is the best out there. Baker's the publisher. Avoid the rest, in my opinion. This translation and this introduction are worth any extra expense.
Every time I read this, I wonder what Erasmus felt on first reading it. Did he feel like he'd just walked into the 16-century version of a buzzsaw? That's what it seems like to me. Praise God for Luther's iron. His love for a sovereign God is bracing and thrilling.
1. MONERGISTIC / SYNERGISTIC = in 1524; Erasmus published his “Diatribe on Free Will”; which posited the notion of man’s “free-will” working together with God’s grace to reach salvation. "SYNERGISTIC: SYN = “together with” & ERGON = “work”. Luther responded in 1525 with “Bondage of the Will”; which posited the notion of “Monergistic doctrine”. MONO = “one-alone” ERGON = “work. God alone secures salvation for the elect.
2. SCRIPTURE-TESTIMONY-CONSCIENCE = Christian Doctrine; for Luther; was founded on Scripture; Apostolic Testimony (especially JOHN & PAUL) ; and sound “Conscience”
3. THE PROBLEM OF “VEILED-HEART” = in order to hear the gospel in a saving-way; man must first have his heart prepared; by bringing it back to life; because man is “dead-in-sin”. This means becoming “BORN AGAIN”. This step must precede “Justification”; then “Spiritual-Blindness” is removed and man can see and hear the Gospel
4. THE TRUE CHURCH: therefore; is the Body-of-the-Elect” & not the “Kingdom-of-the-Pope”. This True Church is “hidden”; yet preserved by Christ.
5. PELEGIAN HERESY = Luther considered Erasmus’ manuscript to be a remaining fragment of “Pelegian Heresy from 412 AD.
6. END OF ARGUMENT = actually the argument ends on page 95; the remaining pages are given to testimony by the Apostle Paul and John-the-Beloved
7. FREE WILL = Luther concluded that man has free-will “Downward-toward-Finitude” but not “Upward-toward-God”
THERE IS NO BETTER BOOK ON THE REFORMATION: ENJOY-STUDY-ENJOY