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The Bondage of the Will (Annotated) by [Luther, Martin]
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The Bondage of the Will (Annotated) Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Synopsis

"The Bondage of the Will" is a must for anyone who is interested in the fundamental doctrines of the Reformation with particular interest in justification by faith alone. "The Bondage of the Will" is a brilliant and captivating discourse to Erasmus of Rotterdam against his treaty on free-will called "The Diatribe on Free-will." In his writing, which has stood the test of time, Luther affirms mans total inability to save himself and the sovereignty divine grace in our salvation. Luther infallibly demonstrates why man's will is totally enslaved to sin and that the term and belief of free-will is completely meaningless. "Luther's works is the restored foundation of the Protestant church" "Luther is a masterful theologian." "There are few books written that have stood the test of time, but for The Bondage of the Will, by Martin Luther, here it stands."

About the Author

Martin Luther (10 November 1483 – 18 February 1546) initiated the Protestant Reformation. As a priest and theology professor, he confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel with his The Ninety-Five Theses in 1517. Luther strongly disputed their claim that freedom from God's punishment of sin could be purchased with money. His refusal to retract all of his writings at the demand of 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. Martin Luther taught that salvation is not from good works, but a free gift of God, received only by grace through faith in Jesus as redeemer from sin. His theology challenged the authority of the pope of the Roman Catholic Church by teaching that the Bible is the only source of divinely revealed knowledge and opposed sacerdotalism by considering all baptised Christians to be a holy priesthood. Those who identify with Luther's teachings are called Lutherans. His translation of the Bible into the language of the people (instead of Latin) made it more accessible, causing a tremendous impact on the church and on German culture. It fostered the development of a standard version of the German language, added several principles to the art of translation, and influenced the translation into English of the King James Bible. His hymns inspired the development of singing in churches. His marriage to Katharina von Bora set a model for the practice of clerical marriage, allowing Protestant priests to marry. In his later years, Luther became strongly anti-Judaic, writing that Jewish homes should be destroyed, their synagogues burned, money confiscated and liberty curtailed. These statements have made Luther a controversial figure among many historians and religious scholars.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 551 KB
  • Print Length: 324 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0053YHG6O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #723,363 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
At the outset, it should be said that this is not an easy read in terms of English. I can't judge if this is a translation problem for the original text is inaccessible to me! However, in the preface, the translator states clearly the principle he followed in translating the work: "to deliver FAITHFULLY the MIND of LUTHER; retaining LITERALLY, as much of his own WORDING, PHRASEOLOGY, and EXPRESSION, as could be admitted into the English version." (p.3) Having read this as the translator's intention, I made a lot of allowance for the odd English as staying true to Luther's original.

If you can overcome the language barrier, this is a book with many treasures in one. To see why, it is important to understand that this was Luther's direct rebuttal to Erasmus' Diatribe rather than a treatise on the subject of human will. Therefore what Luther included in the discussion of human will was prompted as a response to the arguments put forward or collected in Erasmus' work. Although what Erasmus said were quoted, before Luther launched his counterarguments, nonetheless, it does not alter the fact that we only see half of a dialogue. We almost have to deduce from what Luther said in the rebuttal what Erasmus might have said! This is the set up of this book, which brings with it pros and cons for us in understanding the topic.

If your focus is only on the subject of "free-will" and nothing else, this book may irritate you as Luther was not concerned about developing the concept in a systematic manner but to react and response to the specific points raised by Erasmus. However if your interest is broader than the subject matter itself, this book offers you so much more than meets the eyes.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
You read this and you realise that 99% of modern evangelicals and reformed churches don't do Luther but rather preach a theology of glory, which forces Christians to be exceedingly pious or artificially happy. It's like one is never free to act as a normal flawed human being, but has to constantly strive to be holy standing in their own power. Luther, on the other hand, draws our attention to the Cross as the complete work of Christ for everyone who believes in him. It's done. It's by grace that we have been saved, through faith -- and this is all about God's work, not from ourselves or any personal merit. God doesn't take into account merits or demerits in order to do his work through us. We are not God"s helpers in a sense that he needs us to accomplish anything, but we are to help our neighbours and to serve God in any capacity we are called to serve.

"You read this and you realise that 99% of modern evangelicals think like the great catholic scholar, Erasmus, and squirm when reading Luther."

This book is definitely a must read for anyone who wants to make sense and survive the chaos scenario in modern churches.
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Format: 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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i wouldnt recommend this version to those who havent a very good hold of english because its quite a hard read.

From what ive read, its a letter Martin sent to Erasmus (some heretic or something) but in old style language and has been translated into english only in the same old style which is hard to follow sometimes.

I would recommend an abridged version or a simplified version for those new-In-faith or those new to theology.
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