There are few books which written over 400 years ago are still applicable today; Martin Luther's masterpiece, The Bondage 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. 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.
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