Alright My People - Luther's Most Important Work?

Discussion in 'Church History' started by BFG33, Oct 9, 2017.

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  1. BFG33

    BFG33 Puritan Board Freshman

    I have to write a paper this semester on the most important work of Martin Luther. I am sorry to say I have only read one book by Luther (Bondage of the Will). I did not care for it much to be honest. He results to anger and name calling too much for me. So I was wondering what some of you guys think is the most important work of Luther's. Thank you for your time.
     
  2. Romans922

    Romans922 Puritan Board Professor

    The Bondage of the Will is IMO his most important work. But about the name calling, I believe that was just how people wrote at that time. There was no political correctness at the time. You said what you mean, mean what you say. So I would say that's not the big of a deal, thinking historically. Stick to the content.
     
  3. BFG33

    BFG33 Puritan Board Freshman

    Elder Barnes, I appreciate your input. I have read no other books from around that time, so I will have to take your word for it. I am not so sure it is a political correctness problem more than a sign of respect sort of thing. I guess if I reread it I will try to focus more on his arguments.
     
  4. Romans922

    Romans922 Puritan Board Professor

    Well, I'd admit, Luther had a sharp tongue. But also be somewhat understanding of who he is in his context. Here all these devilish papists, worms who have deceived millions of people of hundreds of years with their popery over the simple truth of the gospel and they've made it all about paying money to these guys going around to build St. Peters. So there's only one church at the time (excluding the wacky Eastern Orthodox for the moment), and the only church to belong to is the RCC. And God's people within her mostly all have been deceived by false teachers. Now, as a Pastor, I would be angry. Just as Christ was, and when the Jews were desecrating the Temple, and He went in and turned over tables and took a whip and was using the whip to get people out of the temple. I see a good deal of that in Luther. Maybe not all of it was righteous, but I think it at least stems from that and so he's attacking these false teachers (e.g. Erasmus). So that's why it is my view you should give him a little slack, and just focus on the arguments he makes.

    Besides if we criticize Luther (which is all well and good), that doesn't mean we dismiss what he's said. If we did that, then we would have to dismiss all the writings of sinners, which is all but what we find in Scripture.
     
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  5. SolaScriptura

    SolaScriptura Puritanboard Softy

    Luther himself considered Bondage of the Will to be one of his most important works. Babylonian Captivity and Christian Liberty are probably his two other most important works. But I'd suggest that Bondage of the Will is his most important in terms of framing the whole nature of religion. But if you don't like his sharp tongue, you won't like Luther. It's one of his most characteristic qualities!
     
  6. BFG33

    BFG33 Puritan Board Freshman

    Points well taken gents. Thank you for you all your help. I guess I failed to take into account how evil the RCC was being especially at that time.
     
  7. Joshua

    Joshua pilgrim

    And just as evil and dangerous today. Perhaps, even more so, by way of subtlety.
     
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  8. BFG33

    BFG33 Puritan Board Freshman

    I honestly can say I do not know much about it today. I have been taught at my church that it is a cult. Would you say the same Joshua?
     
  9. Joshua

    Joshua pilgrim

    Synagogue of Satan. Whore of Babylon. Antichrist's abode. That's not to say that all the folks under that fold are *aware* of that, or that they are not earnest in their endeavors to Christianity. Just deceived. A good popular level small book on the subject is Robert Reymond's The Reformation's Conflict with Rome: Why it Must Continue. Rome calls the Pope the head of the church, but the Scriptures say Christ is the Head of His church. Anti, meaning "in place of," is what classifies the Pope as the epitome of "antichrist," in that in the office thereof he would compete with the Lord of Glory. That church is apostate. Her doctrine is the doctrine of devils. She has subverted souls for too many hundreds of years, and she does so all in the pretense of being "Christian," which she is not.
     
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  10. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Junior

    Technically, the Roman Catholic Church is apostate, not a cult.

    As to the OP, yes, Luther's language was a product of the time. And no, he should have been more guarded. We should understand the context in which he spoke, learn from the truth he explained, and identify some of the poor use of the tongue. Who knows, perhaps Erasmus would have responded more favorably if Luther's tone was more appropriate.

    :2cents:
     
  11. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    With someone as prolific and influential as Luther, I am not sure how you would define "most important" work. Probably his hymns are more familiar than any other writing he produced.

    The Heidelberg Disputation of 1518 crackles with energy. The sermon "Two Kinds of Righteousness" is an electrifying presentation of a very fundamental insight. The sermons on John which were turned into commentaries were (at least at one point in his life) among his own favorite writings.
     
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  12. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    Respecting people and institutions that don't deserve respect IS political correctness.
     
  13. BFG33

    BFG33 Puritan Board Freshman

    Oh I guess I have always heard it defined wrong.
     
  14. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    Maybe you've heard the politically correct version of it.
     
  15. BFG33

    BFG33 Puritan Board Freshman

    Lol now that is a valid point and pretty funny way to say it.
     
  16. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    If you don't like Bondage of the Will, you could easily pick something else and defend your choice. In fact, I will suggest you'll get more out of a shorter work unless you love Luther, which it seems you don't. Bondage gets at some great issues, but you could easily argue that Luther's more concise writings on justification address the Reformation's core point more directly. The sermon on righteousness that Ruben mentions above, or Luther's preface to his commentary on Galatians (my personal favorite), would do the trick.
     
  17. JimmyH

    JimmyH Puritan Board Junior

    Regarding Luther's 'anger and name calling', it is worth noting that following The Diet of Worms, and Luther's refusal to recant, he would have been toast, literally, if he had not had help in eluding the RCC and making his escape.
     
  18. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Professor

    I'd be an angry and name-calling kind of guy if I had to live on a diet of worms, too.
     
  19. BFG33

    BFG33 Puritan Board Freshman

    Richard, for that I cannot blame you.
     
  20. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Junior

    :worms:
     
  21. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Senior

    The translation of the Bible into the common language of his nation.
     
  22. jwithnell

    jwithnell Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    It's hard to beat the importance of Herr Luther's Bible translation. Way up there would have to be his contribution to the Articles of Schwabach which fed into the Augsburg Confession. I'm not sure the political battle of the Reformation would gave been settled without it. Table Talk is enjoyable, but is a reflection of what his students were hearing. The work can't be ignored if you're trying to get a sense of him as an individual. Remember that Bondage was a response to one of the greatest theologians of the day, so it will be argumentative and also extremely important. If memory serves me correctly, he initially wanted to title it: Nicht!
     
  23. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Senior

    I picked the translation, as that work seemed to have the most enduring spiritual fruit come about from it.
     
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