Author(s): Desiderius Erasmus
Desiderius Eramsus (1466/9-1536) was the most renowned scholar of his age, a celebrated humanist and Classicist, and the first teacher of Greek at Cambridge. An influential figure in the Protestant Reformation, though without ever breaking from the Church himself, he satirised both human folly and the corruption of the Church. Martin Luther (1483-1546) was the founder of the German Reformation. His 95 Theses became a manifesto for reform of the Catholic Church and led to his being tried for heresy. He remained in Germany, Professor of Biblical Exegesis at the University of Wittenburg, until his death, publishing a large number of works, including three major treatises and a translation of the New Testament into German. Comprising Erasmus's "The Free Will" and Luther's "The Bondage of the Will", Discourse on Free Will is a landmark text in the history of Protestantism. Encapsulating the perspective on free will of two of the most important figures in the history of Christianity, it remains to this day a powerful, thought-provoking and timely work.
Two of the most important figures of the Protestant Reformation wrestle with ideas of free will, God and the institution of the Church.
[Discourse on Free Will] provides an example of two approaches to interpreting a theological tension - Erasmus maintains it and Luther tries to resolve it by absorbing one of the poles into the other. Even if the latter course often seems simpler, how often does it do justice to all the biblical evidence?" -- Robby J. Kagarise Evangelical Journal
Part I: Erasmus: The Free Will \ I. Preface: Man and Truth \ II. Introduction: Objective Criterion for Truth \ III. Old Testament Proofs Supporting the Free Will \ IV. New Testament Proofs Supporting the Free Will \ V. Apparent Proofs Against the Free Will \ VI. Luther's Proofs Against the Free Will \ VII. Postscrip on Apparent Proofs Against the Free Will \ VIII. Summary and Conclusion \ Part II: Luther The Bondage of the Will \ I. Introduction \ II. Refutation of Erasmus' Preface \ III. Refutation of Erasmus' Introduction \ IV. Refutation of Erasmus' Old and New \ V. Comments on Erasmus' Treatment of Passages Denying Free Will \ VI. Summary on the Bondage of the Will \ Conclusion.