A Smattering of Notes on Free Will

by May 4, 2010Books, ChurchLife, Theology1 comment

  • 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.”

Read More 

Review: Comanche Empire

The Comanche Empire by Pekka Hämäläinen This excellent book does what modern history is supposed to do nowadays: it gives a voice to the voiceless and the marginalized; it gives agency to the victims. And yet you can’t always predict what will happen when you go...

Review: Means of Ascent

Means of Ascent by Robert A. CaroMy rating: 5 of 5 stars This book is positively monumental. How does Caro do it? Well, I know how he does it. I read his book on the topic. He does it with a lot of hard and humble work (and some excellent help from his wife). I was...

Review: Think Again by Stanley Fish

Think Again: Contrarian Reflections on Life, Culture, Politics, Religion, Law, and Education by Stanley FishMy rating: 5 of 5 stars I have read multiple Stanley Fish books; I read quite a number of these columns when they were originally published in the New York...

Review: Why I Preach from the Received Text

Review: Why I Preach from the Received Text

Why I Preach from the Received Text is an anthology of personal testimonies more than it is a collection of careful arguments. It is not intended to be academic, and I see nothing necessarily wrong with that. But it does make countless properly academic claims, and...

Leave a comment.

1 Comment
  1. Dustin Battles

    Erasmus. Just a guess.