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The Bondage of the Will, (De Servo Arbitrio, Martin Luther's Reply to Erasmus of Rotterdam Concerning Free Will) by Martin Luther

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Resource Details

Full Title:
The Bondage of the Will, (De Servo Arbitrio, Martin Luther's Reply to Erasmus of Rotterdam Concerning Free Will)
Author:
Martin Luther
Media:
Digital Download (Adobe PDF)
Searchable:
Yes
PDF Index:
Embedded, Appended
Pages:
416
File Size:
5.87 MB
Publisher:
Still Waters Revival Books

Resource Description

Martin Luther's The Bondage of the Will is fundamental to an understanding of the primary doctrines of the Reformation.

In these pages, Luther gives extensive treatment to what he saw as the heart of the gospel. Free will was no academic question to Luther; the whole gospel of the grace of God, he believed, was bound up with it and stood or fell according to the way one decided it...

This is the greatest piece of writing that came from Luther's pen. In its vigour of language, its profound theological grasp, and the grand sweep of its exposition, it stands unsurpassed among Luther's writings (front and back cover). Luther recognized this book as his most important work and even said that if all his other books perished, he would hope that this one, along with his Small Catechism, would be the only ones to remain.

As noted above, this is one of the most important books of the early Reformation, for it deals with what Luther saw to be the heart of the Gospel. Luther here refutes the Romish notion of "free will" in man and upholds the absolute sovereignty of God in the salvation of sinners -- as well as justification by faith alone.

Luther clearly saw the issue of free will as the primary cause of his separation from Rome. In this book he replied to the Roman Catholic scholar, Erasmus, and his diatribe The Freedom of the Will. Though disagreeing with just about everything else Erasmus wrote, Luther commended Erasmus for recognizing the crux of the matter at issue between Rome and the Bible believers, the debate over "free will." In this regard Luther wrote, "that unlike all the rest, you alone have attacked the real issue, the essence of the matter in dispute (i.e. man's so-called free-will--RB)... You and you alone saw, what was the grand hinge upon which the whole turned, and therefore you attacked the vital part at once; for which, from my heart, I thank you."

"This book is most needful at the present day," noted Atherton in 1931, for "the teachings of many so-called Protestants are more in accordance with the Dogmas of the Papists, or the ideas of Erasmus, than with the Principles of the Reformers; they are more in harmony with the Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent than with the Protestant or Reformed Confessions of Faith."

It is easy to see how a lack of doctrinal and historical study is leading many into serious compromise with the false ecumenical apostasy espoused by Rome and other idolatrous beliefs which cry up man's ability to save himself (as with Arminianism) and to devise his own methods of worship (as with those that oppose the Reformation's regulative principle of worship in favor of their own will worship). In this area, many "Protestants," even now, bow down to Rome's humanistic, anti-Christian idol of free will.

It is our hope that God will use Luther's classic to give you the strength to remain faithful to His Word; this being a great place to start a new Reformation, for as the translators write concerning this book, "Nowhere does Luther come closer, either in spirit or in substance to the Paul of Romans and Galatians."


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To obtain free Reformation books, Puritan MP3s and Calvinistic videos, SWRB discount coupons, etc., add yourself to SWRB's Puritan and Reformed email list by using the form above.



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