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Brief Outline of Martin Luther’s Bondage of the Will (1525)

© R. S. Clark, 2000

I Luther’s Critique of Erasmus (2/3)

II Luther’s Positive Development of the Doctrine of Predestination from SS (1/3)

Major propositions:

1 A fallen sinner is totally unable to cooperate with divine grace.

2 Salvation is exclusively the result of divine monergism

3 God foreknows what he does and does what he foreknows

4 To say that a fallen sinner has the power to cooperate with divine grace is a denial of the necessity of Christ’s work.

5 The human will is in bondage to sin because of our union with Adam in his fall

6 Everything happens according to the divine foreknowledge and will and therefore whatever occurs is, in this sense, ‘necessary’ but not ‘compulsory’.

7 The regenerate and unregenerate act according to their respective wills

8 Necessity does not destroy moral responsibility.

9 God’s will is immutable

10 Human free will is a denial of divine freedom

11 ‘Free will’ an ‘empty term’ which should be discarded

12 Predestination is the sine qua non of assurance .

13 God has predestined some to eternal life and others to eternal damnation.

14 Predestination is fundamentally paradoxical.

15 Ought does not imply can (Nominalism over realism).

16 ‘God preached’ must be distinguished from ‘God hidden’.

17 Sola gratia, Sola fide denies free will

18 Human inability disproves free will