Luther vs. Erasmus on Free Will

The Manifesto of the Reformation: Luther vs. Erasmus on Free Will

This article in Churchman examines “one of the most famous exchanges in western intellectual history”, the clash between Martin Luther and Desiderius Erasmus over the issue of free will.  The debate between these two titans reveals not only the reasons behind humanism’s repudiation of the Reformation, but also exposes the heartbeat of the Reformation itself, since Luther’s contribution is the nearest to a systematic statement of his principles that he ever made. But did he do so in a godly way…?

I also include some contemporary application, concluding that “We must be alert to the danger that we may be losing our grip on the gospel if the name ‘orthodox’ becomes the label we use merely for those who happen to agree with us on, say, issues of human sexuality, while issues of human salvation are sidelined or neglected.”

Published in Churchman 123/3 (2009). Now online at

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