What to read first on "The Will"... Luther or Edwards?

Discussion in 'Puritan Literature' started by JesusSavesJohn629, Jun 23, 2017.

What should I read first about the will?

Poll closed Jun 30, 2017.
  1. "Freedom of the Will" by Jonathan Edwards

  2. "Bondage of the Will" by Martin Luther

  3. Other

    0 vote(s)
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  1. JesusSavesJohn629

    JesusSavesJohn629 Puritan Board Freshman

    This morning I went to my bookshelf and picked up "Freedom of the Will" by Jonathan Edwards. I got to thinking, however, would it be beneficial to work through Martin Luther's "Bondage of the Will" first?

    Let me say first that I am a convinced monergist. I am not looking to be convinced of one view or the other. I just want to dive into the great minds of old looking into the topic, and worship and enjoy God through reading a discourse on His good plan in the bondage of the will and election of lost souls to everlasting life. When I read Edwards, I always seem to not so much read him academically, as if to try and comprehend/refute what he has to say. Rather, I end up working through his writings, experiencing God's goodness and praising Him for it.

    That being said, should I go ahead and dive in to the Edwards book, or would I benefit more if I stop and read Luther first?

    And I am sure you all will have many other books you would recommend on the topic... those suggestions are welcome too! (But please don't neglect my original question, ha...)

    Thanks in advance!
  2. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Luther is easier and more immediately relevant. Luther's view also doesn't depend on some unique aspects of Edwards's philosophy.
  3. ZackF

    ZackF Puritan Board Graduate

    What Jacob said. Edwards can be tough.
  4. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    I gave read the book by Luther, and that was one of the books the Lord used to really drive home the truth of God being dully in control of the salvation process, as once thought that we had to allow Him to save us first.
  5. reaganmarsh

    reaganmarsh Puritan Board Senior

    A prefatory note: I really, really enjoy Jonathan Edwards. He has been used of God tremendously in my soul and ministry.

    Now, to your question. Though insightful and very helpful, Edwards has a decidedly philosophical approach to the question. Friends on both sides of the FOW question have expressed desire that Edwards had been more exegetically-minded in that treatise.

    Edwards is still profitable to read, but I'd start with Luther. More accessible and more directly focused on Scripture.
  6. jwithnell

    jwithnell Moderator Staff Member

    It's interesting to see the unanimity so far. Herr Luther's work was absolutely foundational for me.
  7. Justified

    Justified Puritan Board Sophomore

    Edwards is very idiosyncratic when it comes to the freedom of the will. It's strange that many modern Reformed see him as the paradigm on this issue.
  8. reaganmarsh

    reaganmarsh Puritan Board Senior

  9. JesusSavesJohn629

    JesusSavesJohn629 Puritan Board Freshman

    Well, sounds pretty unanimous! I'm cracking open Luther's magnum opus now! Thanks for all your discussion! If I make our through this one and don't need something lighter to cool my brain off, I'll dig in to Edwards' discourse on the topic... thanks again!

    Soli Deo gloria!
  10. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    His book was one of the first that I read concerning this issue , and was the one used by God to move me towards a Calvinistic viewpoint in regards to salvation.
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