Thursday, March 09, 2017

Erasmus vs. Luther on free will

[Erasmus, answering Luther on free will] If everything is the result of necessity, Erasmus asks, “what could be more useless than to publish this paradox to the world?” If God rewards and punishes us for actions beyond our control, for which He alone is responsible, the “what a window to impiety would the public avowal of such an opinion open to countless mortals!” People would not better their conduct, arguing instead that they were not responsible for their wrongdoings. They would stop loving a God who moves them to evil, only to punish them later. Most people, only too willing to sin, would use Luther’s views to justify their own evil inclinations.—Humanism and the Rhetoric of Toleration, page 69

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