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Three Treatises Paperback – November 1, 1990


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 290 pages
  • Publisher: Fortress Press; 2nd edition (November 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800616391
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800616397
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #322,757 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By David Adams on June 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
Since no one has mention them, here are the three essential Lutheran texts:

1. An Open Letter to the Christian Nobility

2. The Babylonian Captivity of the Church . . . Luther's reorganization of the sacramental system

3. The Freedom of a Christian

Luther takes on the Roman Catholic Church and none too kindly. Important to both the history of Christianity and the history of Germany -- and of course to all practicing Lutherans. It might even be eye-opening to many Lutherans today who only know of Luther from his catechism.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Robert Harrell on May 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
This little volume contains three of Luther's most (in)famous treatises. Whether or not you agree with his theology, it is interesting to read his work directly rather than to depend on secondary sources. This inexpensive volume will give readers a glimpse into Luther's thought and a taste for his polemical style. He's not always polite, but never fails to be entertaining!
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Will Benton on April 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is a fine exposition of the central issues of Lutheran doctrine, and reveals three of the major pivot points of the Protestant Reformation: freedom from enforced piety, rejection of hierarchical polity, and rejection of non-Biblical sacraments. In addition, the translation is clear and straightforward while retaining the delightful spirit of Luther's German, shifting effortlessly between the polemical and the comic.
This is a must-read for anyone who calls herself a Lutheran.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Wesley L. Janssen VINE VOICE on June 26, 2007
Format: Paperback
Yes, Luther had his faults; in all honesty they are well documented and cannot be denied. But if we proceed in this honest assessment, we must admit that if only a small fraction of his case against the Roman papacy were true, it would be a very damning case indeed, enough to forever impeach Rome's claim as the one "true" church and the pope's claim to be Christ's 'stand-in', the 'Vicar of Christ'. After those aspects of Luther's case that can be assailed as being inaccurate are whittled off, what remains is the lion's share of his expositions, a well-argued prosecution of the papal office and its corruption of the western church. The most important of Luther's essays stand with the greatest of Christian commentaries and expositions.

Yes, there are many other voices of Christian (Eastern, Protestant, and Roman) consequence, down to our present day, but in terms of historical impact, few stand with Luther. This volume from Fortress Press, includes English translations of three seminal essays produced in 1520: To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation, The Babylonian Captivity of the Church, and, The Freedom of a Christian. They represent the heart of Luther's case against the Roman papacy, and the heart of the Reformation. His case cites many specific points, is filled with both reverence for God and scripture, and contempt for the self-aggrandizement, politicking, callous money-grubbing, and arrogance of the papal office holders and papist "flatterers":

"If the pope in Rome can grant dispensations and scandalously sell them for money, then every priest may give the same dispensations without price and for the salvation of souls.
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By Matthew Frost on November 2, 2007
Format: Paperback
Every seminarian should own this - I say should not to make you rush out and buy this volume, but because your professors likely already have. While these are not perhaps the cream of Luther's Works, this little Fortress volume contains two treatises good for railing against Rome, and the Freedom of a Christian, which is a better catechism text than the catechism, despite the fact that everyone thinks they hate it. (But who likes the catechism, either?) It's the fact that these three come from 1520-1521 that makes them important - they are among the first of the writings of Luther's "new perspective". Read the Smalcald Articles in light of the first two treatises, it helps.

Intro text - go fetch yourself Galatians, Bondage of the Will, and keep reading.
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