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The Bondage of the Will Paperback – April 1, 1990
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- Publisher : Fleming H. Revell; 1st edition (April 1, 1990)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0800753429
- ISBN-13 : 978-0800753429
- Item Weight : 13.9 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 1 x 8.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #366,297 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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You can literally skip the first 30 or 40 pages of this book and not miss anything (you'll actually be doing yourself a favor). This is a great book to practice your speed reading skills, that's for sure. You can skim through paragraph after paragraph and not miss anything important. Luther is verbose, superfluous, tedious, and belabors the same point dozens of times. His long-windedness bores to the point of dismay.
If you have this book, try this. Open anywhere in the first part of the book and read a paragraph. Then, open anywhere in the back of the book and read a paragraph. You are literally reading the same tripe: Luther's assault on the Diatribe and his assault on the character of Erasmus. Hardly do you read anything substantive and of quality here. Rather, what you do read is an ungodly attack from an ungodly man who it seems had nothing better to do than pen this terrible character assassination.
If you are looking for a good defense and explanation of the doctrine of depravity, this book is not it. Rather, this is a redundant and ridiculous tirade against a man who came up with an erroneous idea called Free Will. I am a born again Christian who believes in the doctrine of election, but I do not recommend this book in any way whatsoever unless it is to obtain a flavor of Luther's disgusting personality.
The content will appeal to you depending on your take on, well, Calvinism and divine determinism. So my rating doesn't reflect my position on that. Rather, whatever your views, be careful: Luther often clearly misuses Scripture references in this book (no doubt inadvertently), so look up what he references. Additionally, he is sometimes not logically consistent, so pay attention. Some of the content is, frankly, concerning in that he makes his views on God determining events necessary for people to believe in order to be real Christians. Just because Luther got some important stuff right doesn't mean he got it all right.
There are also points when he talks about God's hidden will being opposed to his revealed will and where Luther admits the apparent unjustness and evil of God on his system and yet proclaims it as a mystery. It's shocking stuff.
At the same time, this is an important and insightful book for that reason. I understand some of the common Calvinist attitudes much better now. I appreciated hearing from Luther himself. And it's a pretty fiery read: This is not plodding theology. I am glad I read it.
Just take Luther's words and advice to heart: Place the teachings of Scripture far above the traditions and teachings of men. Including Luther himself.
In short, this is a must-read.
Top reviews from other countries
This book is definitely a must-read for believers -- especially teachers and preachers -- to rightly distinguish between Law and Gospel.
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.