Tag Archives: the bondage of the will

This Is the Glorying…

“As to myself, I openly confess that I should not wish ‘Free-will’ to be granted me, even if it could be so, nor anything else to be left in my own hands, whereby I might endeavor something towards my own salvation. And that, not merely because in so many opposing dangers, and so many assaulting devils, I could not stand and hold it fast (in which state no man could be saved, seeing that one devil is stronger than all men), but because even though there were no dangers, no conflicts, no devils, I should be compelled to labour under a continual uncertainty, and to beat the air only. Nor would my conscience, even if I should live and work to all eternity, ever come to a settled certainty, how much it ought to do in order to satisfy God. For whatever work should be done, there would still remain a scrupling, whether or not it pleased God, or whether He required any thing more; as is proved in the experience of all justiciaries, and as I myself learned to my bitter cost through so many years of my own experience.

But now, since God has put my salvation out of the way of my will, and has taken it under His own, and has promised to save me, not according to my working or manner of life, but according to His own grace and mercy, I rest fully assured and persuaded that He is faithful, and will not lie, and moreover great and powerful, so that no devils, no adversities can destroy Him, or pluck me out of His hand. ‘No one (saith He) shall pluck them out of My hand, because My Father which gave them Me is greater than all.’ (John x. 27-28). Hence it is certain that in this way, if all are not saved, yet some, yea, many shall be saved; whereas by the power of ‘Free-will’ no one whatever could be saved, but all must perish together. And moreover, we are certain and persuaded that in this way we please God, not from the merit of our own works, but from the favor of His mercy promised unto us; and that if we work less, or work badly, He does not impute it unto us, but, as a Father, pardons us and makes us better. This is the glorying which all the saints have in their God!”

– Luther, The Bondage of the Will (p. 254)

On the Bookshelf XV

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Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss
Hilarious, insightful, and just plain fun to read. Quotable, too. Consider: “No matter that you have a PhD and have read all of Henry James twice. If you still persist in writing, ‘Good food at it’s best’, you deserve to be struck by lightning, hacked up on the spot and buried in an unmarked grave.” Can I hear an amen?
Sourcery (Discworld #5) by Terry Pratchett
Vacationing on the Disc is one of the craziest, funniest, most enjoyable experiences a reader can have. ‘Nuff said.
The Bondage of the Will by Martin Luther
Three cheers for that hearty German monk of Olde! I’m thumbing my nose at the school reading schedule, though: a chapter a week is the prescription and there’s no way I’m sticking to that. Restricting myself to one chapter is like [insert well-known and highly overused potato chip metaphor].
The Rhetoric and The Poetics by Aristotle
Very, very good so far. A friend told me it is “a must-read for the theologian who would write.” Nicely put. I’m using the translations by W. Rhys Roberts and Ingram Bywater.
Pump Six and Other Stories by Paolo Bacigalupi
Picked this up at the library to satisfy my sci-fi craving. I enjoyed it, though I wasn’t as impressed as many reviewers seem to be. “Pop Squad” and “The Calorie Man” were both excellent; the rest were good, but not great. If you’re a fan of dystopian or science fiction, you may find this one worth your time. Fair warning, though: it’s not for the faint of heart (or stomach).
The Brothers Karamazov by Fydor Dostoyevsky
“The awful thing is that beauty is mysterious as well as terrible. God and the devil are fighting there and the battlefield is the heart of man.” Halfway through now, and loving it. I’m already daunted at the prospect of writing a review. There is no way I can do sufficient justice to this massive tale, apart from writing a book about it. Sheesh.
Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey
As Francis Schaeffer put it, “Christianity is not a series of truths in the plural, but rather truth spelled with a capital ‘T.’ Truth about total reality, not just about religious things.” Early prediction: this book will be one of the best books I read all year. Easy.