A Smattering of Notes on Free Will

  • Augustine in 426 wrote On Grace and Free Will.
  • Erasumus wrote a book in 1524 called On the Freedom of the Will.
  • Luther, an Augustinian, replied in 1525 with his book, On the Bondage of the Will.
  • Edwards wrote a book in 1754 called Freedom of the Will, yes, but the full title was A Careful and Strict Enquiry into the Modern Prevailing Notions of that Freedom of the Will, Which Is Supposed to be Essential to Moral Agency, Vertue and Vice, Reward and Punishment, Praise and Blame. “Supposed” lets you know where he stood.
  • The wittiest comment on the matter has to come from that old lexicographer Samuel Johnson: “We know the will is free, and there’s an end on’t.”

Now I invite commenters to guess which theological tradition the following statement on the issue comes from. No Googling, no Binging.

“Sin is an abuse of the freedom that God gives to created persons so that they are capable of loving him and loving one another.”

Author: Mark Ward

PhD in NT; theological writer for Faithlife; former high school Bible textbook author for BJU Press; husband; father; ultimate frisbee player; member of the body of Christ.

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