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The Bondage of the Will Paperback – November 26, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Watchmaker Publishing (November 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1603863931
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603863933
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #841,978 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Martin Luther (1483-1546) was a German monk, priest, professor, theologican, and church reformer, whose teachings inspired the Reformation and deeply influenced the doctrines and culture of the Lutheran and Protestant traditions. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

More About the Author

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.

Customer Reviews

This is one of the best and most important books ever written.
G. Walt Murray
He also considers the arguments that Erasmus makes from "human reason", and considers other texts of the Bible that clearly teach the bondage of the will.
B. C. Richards
To say that even a small part of the human will can prepare itself to receive God's grace is an utterly ludricous sentiment.
Seth Aaron Lowry

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

119 of 128 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 6, 1998
Format: Paperback
Some will see this book as nothing more than Martin Luther's combative apologetic against the doctrine of free will and works salvation. But this is precisely why this book ranks among the best ever written because it passionately, logically, and decisively deals with the error concerning free will and the error adding any human merit to salvation. The subject matter according to Luther is "the hinge on which the whole gospel turns". Luther himself said that this was perhaps his greatest work. I found my own logical attempts to resolve to free will controversy pinned to the mat by Luther's irrefutable logic and accurate use of the scriptures. This book should be a standard text in bible schools and seminaries. This book left me with the impression that the modern church as robbed God of His glory by insisting that a believer merits salvation because he/she was smart enough or had will enough to make a decision for Christ. In some ways it makes me realize that we have abandoned the true gospel in favor of a man-centered, warm-fuzzy, gospel. Read this book!!!!
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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful By D. Mohr on February 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
WARNING - Do not buy Sovereign Grace Publishers Henry Cole translation of Bondage of the Will.

After slogging through 95 pages of its barely understandable jargon, I asked my dad, Pastor Gerry Mohr (LCMS) if Luther's reputation for intellect was, perhaps, a bit unearned. He replied, "Cole whipped out his translation effort in three months or less. Luther's original is a direct reply to a work by Erasmus directly aimed against what Luther was teaching. Cole does not take the time to understand either Erasmus or Luther; he gets a quick job finished. Good translation is not generally done like that. And Cole does not convey well the arguments and language of Luther in English.

"Read the translation by Packer & Johnston. These translators say, "This edition was originally to have been a revision of Cole's. It became evident, however, that the tortuous style of this translation so obscured the meaning and force of the original that it was better to attempt a completely new translation, which might more adequately convey the impetuous flow and dialectical strength of Luther's powerful Latin."

"Packer & Johnston (who are Reformed, not Lutheran) say in their introduction, "This, then, is the Luther whom we meet in The Bondage of the Will: a great-hearted Christian warrior; a thorough exegete (he wins the battle of the texts hands down); a profound systematic theologian; and above all, an unflinching defender of the grace of a sovereign God.""
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115 of 129 people found the following review helpful By Seth Aaron Lowry on February 18, 2003
Format: Paperback
There are few books which written over 400 years ago are still applicable today; Martin Luther's masterpiece, The Boncage of the Will, is one of those books. Anyone desiring to know more about the root of dissent between Luther and the Catholic Church must read this book.
In his treatise Luther systematically demolishes Erasmus' arguments in favor of free-will. Luther brilliantly illustrates why the will is in total and complete bondage and enslavement to sin, and why free-will is a completely meaningless term. Luther argues that the only thing the will is free to do is to sin and rebel against God.
Luther shows that salvation is totally dependent on the grace of God and His sovereign Will. To say that even a small part of the human will can prepare itself to receive God's grace is an utterly ludricous sentiment. Erasmus believes that a human being by a very small effort can earn God's grace. Luther totally destroys this view and shows that to espouse such a view makes one worse than the Pelagians, who held that it took numerous great works to earn God's grace.
This book is as applicable today as it was when Luther first wrote this book. When so many Protestant Churches hold to a soteriological view more akin to that of Erasmus, it is absolutely vital that the truth of the Reformation be brought back into the spotlight. Read this book to gain a greater understanding of the major area of disagreement among the Reformers and the Catholic Church of the time, and also to understand that our salvation is not predicated on any meritorious work that we accomplish, but simply on the grace of God.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
I believe that anyone who considers themselves a Protestant or is a member of any Protestant church that developed from the Reformation should read this book. This book is known as "the Reformation Manifesto" because it addresses what Luther considered the main disagreement that people of his belief had with the Catholic Church. He called the papacy, indulgences, and other issues such as those, mere trifles. When you read this book, and understand how critical the debate on "free will" vs. total grace is, then you understand why Luther could then say that the other, more dramatic, better-known issues that Reformers took with the Catholic Church were merely "trifles". Those disputes simply stem from the difference in belief that true Protestants have with the Catholic Church when it comes to works and salvation. I only wish our society wasn't so scared to speak as openly and passionately as Luther does here about this issue (and many others) among Christian denominations. Every Protestant should read this book to know what they are truly protesting. And obviously I encourage any other believer or non-believer to read it as well.
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