Erasmus And Luther Free Will Analysis

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Free Will and its Relation to Grace: Erasmus versus Luther

In our reading on Discourse of Free Will, we develop a wholesome idea of the opinions both Erasmus and Luther had on the topic of free will and the how it correlates with God’s grace. Once we look beyond the back and forth debate of this text, we will begin to look at their theological opinions on free will separately to find a better understanding and formulate our own opinions on this commonly debated topic. As we look at the different points of view between Luther and Erasmus, we will begin looking at Discourse on Free Will. As Luther states, “You make the power of free will small and utterly ineffective apart from the grace of God. Acknowledged? Now then, I ask you: If God’s
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As one scholar speaks regarding the relationship between Erasmus and Luther, “Martin Luther, who had sought Erasmus’s approval… felt that ‘with him, human things were of greater value than divine’… he begged for Erasmus’s support in his struggle with the Curia. Erasmus replied, not very cordially, professing ignorance of Luther’s writings, but declaring that he had urged modernation in influential quarters” (Gilmore 315). Before researching in the text of the New Catholic Encyclopedia, I was unclear what exactly started this ‘feud’ between two brilliant theological men during the time period of the reformation. While Luther was seeking Erasmus’s approval, it looks as though he does not think of himself as highly as we realize what is portrayed in Discourse on Free Will. With the knowledge we now have regarding the early beginnings of this relationship, it is easy to conclude why Luther constantly seems to be more on the defensive side of the argument and much more aggressive as …show more content…
In my opinion, if we were to take a step back and combine the two arguments, minus the slashes at one another, we would perceive that they think more alike than one may realize. In researching this topic, it has truly opened my eyes into seeing both perspectives into thinking about free will. Not everything about the opinions posed make complete sense to me such a in the text Discourse of Free Will, “These words would be superfluous and powerless, if everything could be reduced to necessity” (Bloomsbury, Erasmus 47). When integrated the text in which they are referring to, this specific line with Erasmus regarding a passage in Matthew seems to be slightly misleading within the context of the statement. What especially appeared to be confusing was this evidence that as the gospel is filled with ‘exhortations’, and neither nature or necessity could earn God’s merit, I have yet to fully understand how to know how much free will God has given us and expects us to use. With unity considered, we must look at how much we are letting ourselves trust in God’s grace, whether we side with Erasmus or Luther’s’ opinion on free will and the simplicity of how much, if anything, He has given to us. Clearly there is more to learn from these scholars, as proven by continuous studies and

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