The Bondage of the Will
 

The Bondage of the Will

by Martin Luther

Genres: Christian Living

ISBN: 9781932307436

400 pages

Price: $14.99

Acknowledged by theologians as one of the great masterpieces of the Reformation, Martin Luther’s Bondage of the Will was also Luther’s favorite work. Luther responds to Desiderius Erasmus’ Diatribe on Free Will with the bluntness, genius, sarcasm, and spirituality that were as much a part of his writing as they were of his colorful personality.
Luther writes lucidly on the themes of man’s inability and God’s ability, man’s depravity and God’s sovereignty. The crucial issue for Luther concerned what ability free will has, and to what degree it is subject to God’s sovereignty. Luther’s doctrine of salvation pivoted on this key issue. Is man able to save himself, or is his salvation completely a work of divine grace? This work will long remain among the great theological classics of Christian history. The Bondage of the Will was first published in 1525, eight years after Luther penned his Ninety-Five Theses.

About

Martin Luther (1483-1546) 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 Edict of Worms meeting 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.