Bondage of the Will by Martin Luther

Bondage of the Will by Martin Luther The Garrett Ashley Mullet Show

In Martin Luther’s 1525 work, ‘The Bondage of the Will,’ I am struck by the utter lack of concern that father of Protestantism showed for what we would consider good manners in contending for what he held to be good doctrine.

Today we play more pattycake than contending, it seems. But Luther was operating in a very different context, and it is important to mark his bravery in taking his life in his hands disagreeing not a little but a lot and at-length with the Roman Catholic status quo.

There is no doubting his erudition and eloquence, nor his boldness. Yet I wonder if he got a little carried away sometimes, and whether his legacy would have been more helpful had he moderated his tone a little.

Nevertheless, tedious questions of tone aside, it is hard to disagree with the force of ferocity of Luther’s arguments from the Scriptures and from reason regarding God’s Sovereign choice versus what so often is called “free will.”

Does man have this thing? Can he, even?

Or must God get all the credit for man having any ability to choose whatsoever, and is that how we must make sense of what the Word says about predestination, election, foreknowledge, and forechoosing on God’s part?

More because of the strength of Luther’s reputation and reasoning than despite them, I am still trying to decide what to make of these things in their particular mechanics and detail. Nevertheless, reading Luther is rich food for thought which I would recommend to any serious scholar of church history or this question of man’s ability to choose.

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