On pages 192-199 in our Luther text, from The Bondage of the Will, Luther explains the hardening of the heart, specifically with respect to Pharaoh (in Exodus). Pharaoh, Luther seems to argue, is wholly accountable for his own damnation, despite the fact that without Gods grace, he can will no other way. How is Pharaoh responsible for the hardening of his heart and resistance to divine will, when it happens according to Gods immutable will? That is the paradox.
Write an essay of about 900-1000 words (double-spaced) in which you critically lay out and evaluate Luthers argument about both Pharaoh and so-called free will. Use this issue to give an account of Luthers justification by faith alone and other key elements of his Reformation theology, such as divine omnipotence and omniscience, anxiety about salvation, Christian freedom, Gospel and Law, Faith and Love, the nature and role of sacraments, etc.
Given space limits, you probably have to be selective, but justification by faith alone is indispensable. How is Luthers view of the bondage of the will the flip side of his idea of justification by faith alone? And what does this say about human nature, the nature of the will? Those are the kinds of issues you want to concentrate on.
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