Today I read Martin Luther's 1520 manifesto "The Freedom of a Christian." It is quite good. I will be quoting from the text in upcoming sermons as part of our Reformed series.
At the beginning, he sets down two propositions which are both true: "A Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none. A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject of all."
Here was a passages I enjoyed:
Since these promises of God are holy, true, righteous, free, and peaceful words, full of goodness, the soul which clings to them with a firm faith will be so closely united with them and altogether absorbed by them that it not only will share in all their power but will be saturated and intoxicated by them.
Since I'm also re-reading Kant ahead of teaching him again in ethics class in a few weeks, I felt the influence from Luther to Kant was clearly evident. Kant's notion of freedom is autonomy from our desires and from any law other than that chosen by us. We are freed to act morally. Luther also writes of freedom from the law and that once set free we can live a good life of love as we choose it as a response to God's grace rather than as a necessity to earn our salvation. Their ideas are not the same, but one can see how Kant's notion would emerge from a milieu governed by Luther's ideas.