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Baylor University

George W. Theological Seminary

Martin Luther THEO 7364
Elí Gutiérrez Briseño

“Disputation Against Scholastic Theology (1517)”, on Timothy F. Lull, Martin Luher’s Basic
Theological Writings, (Second edition), Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2005, pp. 34-39

Reading this document I was surprised that Luther held some convictions about grace, sin,
nature, will and works so early in his life. However, about many of his statements I was a little
confused, I think the fact that he wrote this document as brief theses makes it difficult to
understand his thought, sometimes it would be necessary more argumentation to make his
affirmation convincing. Nevertheless, there are some clear ideas of Luther’s thought that he
strongly maintains. The will is captive and is not able to do good in any sense. Without the grace
of God, the will is evil. The man is by nature evil and unable to want God. In fact, every act of
nature is against God. There is no such thing as preparation for grace, the only preparation is his
eternal election and predestination. What precedes grace is only rebellion. Man cannot do
righteous deed to become righteous, rather God make him righteous and then is able to do
righteous deeds for God’s grace. All these theses were against scholastic theology, Luther
strongly affirms that Aristotelian philosophy is enemy of the grace and Catholic theology, which
do not need logics. The grace of God, if present, is always active, loving and operating. Any action
without his grace is sin and the only to fulfill his law is through God’s grace.