Luther: Our captivity

From Martin Luther’s The Bondage of the Will:

[T]he Scripture sets before us a man who is not only bound, wretched, captive, sick and dead, but who, through the operation of Satan his lord, adds to his other miseries that of blindness, so that he believes himself to be free, happy, possessed of liberty and ability, whole and alive. Satan knows that if men knew their own misery he could keep no man in his kingdom.

6 thoughts on “Luther: Our captivity

  1. Satan seems to find willing participants in his schemes in theologians, pastors and prophets who despise the doctrine of total depravity, saying “peace, peace” when there is no peace. No true freedom can be found so long as we think we are already free.

  2. It’s no coincidence that Luther and Wesley are my two favorite theologians. Luther, in my opinion, lays the foundation for Wesley’s “natural man,” and Wesley gives legs to Luther’s Imago Dei theology, as explicated in Luther’s commentary on Genesis 1. The result, when one reads them together, is a theology that truly gets at the depravity of humanity, while recognizing that we are given every good and necessary gift by our Heavenly Father to resist sin and embrace holiness.

      1. I agree, John, and I think Wesleyan folk would greatly benefit by learning from Lutheran theologians on this. It seems to me that Wesleyans do a better job of communicating the ontological nature of the law than most Lutherans, but most Lutherans are better at consistently taking advantage of the three uses of the law…most particularly the second use. This is interesting to me, as Wesley understood the three uses quite well. He wasn’t as clear in his divisions when he was preaching, but he knew how and when to use law and gospel. Some guy wrote a really good article about it here: 🙂

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