07 April 2011
Pr. Petersen challenged us to read through *Bondage of the Will* (praised in our Symbols: "We also appeal to this book and refer others to it."), and I just finished up reading through it. It was shorter than I had thought, and it is absolutely devastating in its very sound Scriptural critique of the notion of "free will" when it comes to matters coram Deo. I can't even begin to reckon up the helpful insights along the way as I read, but I certainly did appreciate Luther's distinction between coercion (which he rejects) and immutability (which he accepts); that omnipotence is NOT about potential ability to do all things, but about in fact working all things - Pantocrator, anyone?; about the way he does not attempt to solve the problem of "why some and not others" and says only that just as that which is obscure in the light of nature, is made clear in the light of grace; so what is obscure to us in the light of grace, will be made clear in the light of glory. In the meantime, we believe against the false conclusions of reason that God is unjust in condemning those who cannot do otherwise than sin, that He is in fact just, good, and loving, and that the light of glory will reveal Him so. His expose of condign merit, his extolling of the complete joy and peace that come from realizing that salvation remains wholly His doing and giving and rests not on us in the least bit, his mastery of the Scriptures, allowing their light to dispel the darkness of our minds again and again - well, folks, words fail. I cannot recommend the work highly enough - it's worth persisting in it to reach the end. As my friend, Fr. Juhl, is wont to say: satis est.