The Bondage of the Will

The Bondage of the Will by Martin Luther book cover

The Bondage of the Will

by Martin Luther

ISBN-10: 0800753429

ISBN-13: 9780800753429


One of the curses of the modern day is what C.S. Lewis called “chronological snobbery.” That is, we live in a society in which “newer” is always viewed as “better.” While that may be true, more or less, in the arena of technology, it is certainly not true in the arena of ideas! Though the Christian in once sense already knows this, he often finds himself forgetting this important truth. One of the ways that we demonstrate this forgetfulness is in our choice of reading material. When was the last time we read a truly old book?

If you would like to pick up an extremely helpful, old book, let me recommend, The bondage of the Will, by the great German reformer, Martin Luther. This book addresses one of the great mysteries of Scripture, the antinomy between God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility—God is absolutely sovereign and man is absolutely responsible.

How can we hold these two seemingly contradictory truths together?

That is the issue that this book masterfully addresses. Considered by many to be “the greatest piece of writing that came from Luther’s pen,” this book chronicles the debate between Martin Luther and Desiderius Erasmus concerning the nature of man’s “free will.” Erasmus articulates a man-centered approach to the question, while Luther continually and powerfully brings the word of God to bear on the issue. For him the ultimate issue is “what does the Scripture say?”

Though this book will require some earnest concentration as one works through it, the resulting fruit is more than worth it. This book enlarges the mind as it expands our view of the glory of God. It also provides a wonderful glimpse of the brilliance of the man God used to bring about the most glorious revival in church history.

Review by:
Pastor Ty Blackburn