Archive for January 15th, 2012

Martin Luther in The Bondage of the Will – Post #2

Martin Luther writes on the topic of human will in his response to Erasmus’, who here criticizes Luther for not attributing any weight to “learned men,” men “acquainted with the Sacred Writings,” “most holy martyrs,” many who were “renowned for miracles”:

“You assert the power of free will and the human cause; but no miracle was ever seen or heard of, as proceeding from God, in support of a doctrine of the human cause, only in support of the doctrines of the divine cause” (66).

Erasmus attempted to call out Luther for ignoring the teaching of free will by those whom Erasmus considered approved men down through the ages of the Church . . . that is, aside from Wycliffe, Laurentius Villa, and Augustine. Luther, of course, had no problem not being identified with certain men of the Church arguing that he would rather be identified with only a few and ultimately only with Christ. Further, he turned things back to the conversation at hand – the nature of the human will. He addressed the works employed by Erasmus to approve the aforementioned men, and Luther employed these to articulate a point in favor of the divine will and opposed to the idea of a free human will.

Interesting use of apologetic rhetoric – from both Martin Luther and Erasmus.

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