Luther and Erasmus

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Van, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. Van

    Van
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Messages:
    9,516
    Likes Received:
    49
    Erasmus was a Catholic priest and agreed with Luther on many of the reforms needed by the Catholic Church. But on other points, he disagreed. In 1524 he published “Diatribe concerning Free Will.” In the book, Erasmus offers views that differ from Luther. Luther responded with “The Bondage of the Will” in 1525. The debate centers on whether an unsaved, unconverted, unregenerated fallen natural person can make any contribution whatsoever to his or her salvation.

    If Erasmus was correct, one person is saved and another is lost because there is a difference in the receptivity to the gospel among men, whereas if Luther was correct the receptivity among natural people is the same - zero effectual receptivity.

    The first point in the debate is whether God would give instructions and commands if natural men were not able to try to follow or comply with them. Erasmus said no, the commands demonstrate that God gave natural men some capacity to seek God’s favor. Luther said just because God gives us the command to love God with all our heart does not mean we are able to love God with all our heart, thus the commands do not require acceptance of the idea that natural men are able to contribute to their salvation.

    Luther correctly pointed out that the purpose of the Law was to lead us to Christ by driving us to despair and causing us to cast ourselves upon the mercy of God. But Luther did not see this act of turning from our own works of righteousness and trusting solely in the gracious gift of Christ’s sacrifice as “contributing to our salvation.”

    Luther appeals to the “secret will of God” which is something not found in scripture but said to be implied in scripture. His revealed will is His desire that all men be saved, but His secret will is to save only those He selects since the non-selected are unable to turn and to trust.

    Looking at their views from this distance of time, and with the aid of computer search engines, neither man seems to offer a view that is consistent with all scripture. Erasmus seems to have altered the Greek text in his translation to support his “broader than scripture” view of the grounds of divorce. Luther used made up doctrine, the secret will of God, to overwrite God’s revealed will.

    The bottom line is that once a “guiding light” publishes a view, the guiding light usually defends it pridefully, such as Luther suggesting Erasmus was not really a Christian. And rather than quote or depend on the arguments of men, we should go back to the scriptures themselves and see if these long espoused views actually represent scripture rather than the inventions of men.
     
  2. Skandelon

    Skandelon
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Messages:
    9,638
    Likes Received:
    0
    I also remember reading that Luther believed flatulence was the expelling of demons, so really it is a toss up for me. :)
     
  3. Ron Wood

    Ron Wood
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2011
    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    0
    While both men were wrong on many points I believe Luther was much more Biblical than Erasmus. Erasmus held to a philosophical world view and Luther a more Biblical world view. Erasmus was much more a philosopher and Luther much more a theologian.

    As to the concept of free will as defined by Scripture you will be hard pressed to show it in the Scriptures without a presupposed interpretation of the Scriptures. The only time the Scriptures even mention free will it is in connection to offerings given that were not required. It has nothing to do with man's ability.

    As to the commandments implying ability it is a fallacious argument. We are responsible to obey God because He has every right to command obedience not because we are able to obey. Our responsibility isn't in any way derived from our ability. I am responsible to pay my debts even though I have no way of paying them. I am held accountable for not paying them though I have no ability to pay them. Responsibility isn't derived from ability but from the authority of the one who commands.
     
  4. drfuss

    drfuss
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2005
    Messages:
    1,692
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have read that Luther was an Augustine Monk and agreed with Augustine on unconditional election as the Lutherans do today. Luther also agreed with Augustine on resistible grace after salvation.

    So Luther (and Lutherans today) was a Calvinist concerning a person coming to Christ and a Classic Arminian (not a Wesleyan Arminian) concerning the person's salvation security after coming to Christ, i.e. a Christian can forfeit their salvation by apostacy.
     
  5. Skandelon

    Skandelon
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Messages:
    9,638
    Likes Received:
    0
    What is the purpose of the law in your opinion Ron?
     
  6. Ron Wood

    Ron Wood
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2011
    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    0
    Paul tells us that a proper use of the law is for the lawless. It isn't for the righteous man. All believers are righteous in Christ Therefore the law isn't for believers. 1Tim. 1:6-11 He also tells us that the law is our schoolmaster to shut us up to Christ. Once it has driven us to Christ it has served it's purpose to us. Gal. 3:21-25. In Rom. 10:4 we read that Christ is the end of the law for righteousness of any kind, justifying and sanctifying. He uses the word end in all of it's connotations: as in the object, the purpose, the fullfillment and the termination.


    So the purpose of the law is to condemn us and shut us up to Christ. It serves that purpose by showing us what true righteousness is and points us to Christ in it's types and pictures. It never can give life and is the ministration of death because of it's strictness. It can never give us holiness nor can it change us. Contray to what the Reformed confessions clearly say it isn't a rule of life for the believer. I have an extremely high view of the law and love it because it always makes me totally dependant on Christ by constantly exposing the blackness of my sin against the perfection that is Christ.

    Does that answer your question?
     
  7. Skandelon

    Skandelon
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Messages:
    9,638
    Likes Received:
    0
    But is is for them prior to becoming believers... as you go on to say...

    So, the purpose of the law isn't for it to be fully obeyed and bring us salvation, it's purpose is to teach us our need for Christ...or "drive us to Christ"...yet your position believes that it doesn't have this ability for most of humanity, but only for the elect who are first regenerated. So, the law, like envy, signs and wonders have no real purpose because they accomplish nothing. Only the work of regeneration has the power to provoke man's will to change and look toward Christ. In Calvinism, the means scripture presents serve no purpose in the redemption process, because the work of regeneration accomplishes everything needed effectually. You don't need to law to tutor, you don't need envy to provoke, you don't need signs and wonders to convince men, Thomas didn't need to see Jesus, Paul didn't need the damascus Road, these are all just powerless means used for show in a system where the ONLY means with any power is regeneration.

    You insist that a command, rebuke or expectation presented in scripture doesn't imply ability (i.e. Believe and be saved) and you sight our inability to keep the law as proof for such a position, yet you acknowledge that is not even the purpose of the law. But even further, your system removes the need for the purpose of the law because all men are born totally depraved and thus unable to be tutored to Christ apart from first being effectually regenerated. This is completely inconsistent.


    But it can't accomplish any of those purposes apart from your first being regenerated, right? So, appealing to our inability to obey the law as a proof for the claim that the command doesn't imply ability is non-sensical because (1) that is not even the laws purpose and (2) the laws purpose can't be fulfilled in the lives of most humanity because they are born "Totally Depraved" and must first be regenerated in order to be "driven to Christ."
     
  8. glfredrick

    glfredrick
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Messages:
    4,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Non sequitur, much?
     
  9. Skandelon

    Skandelon
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Messages:
    9,638
    Likes Received:
    0
    Laugh, much? :saint:
     
  10. glfredrick

    glfredrick
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Messages:
    4,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think that we have to bear in mind that these two men were in the midst of a Holy Spirit-driven hashing out and recovery of biblical theology (over and apart from the man-centered philosophical view that the RC had taken).

    They did not have the huge shoulders to stand on that we do now, with 500 years of Reformation study under our belts. Each had some good and flawed points, and we read with care all the early Reformers, as well as those today, Rob Bell, for instance.
     
  11. glfredrick

    glfredrick
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Messages:
    4,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yup... :applause:
     
  12. Ron Wood

    Ron Wood
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2011
    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    0
    I just spent about an hour answering each of your points and it didn't post. I am out of time now so if I can I will redo it later.
     
  13. Skandelon

    Skandelon
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Messages:
    9,638
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have had that happen to me too, sorry. I know it is VERY frustrating!
     
  14. Gabriel Elijah

    Gabriel Elijah
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2010
    Messages:
    407
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey guys—I’ve had that happen too—so now I always write my posts/replies in a word doc, save them, then cut & paste them---it only takes a couple of more minutes & prevents the loose of time consuming hard work---plus for me—it helps with my lack of spelling ability—keep up the good debates guys—God Bless!
     
  15. Rippon

    Rippon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    17,410
    Likes Received:
    328
    You are going to put Rob Bell in the same category as the early Reformers?!
     
  16. Aaron

    Aaron
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2000
    Messages:
    15,693
    Likes Received:
    242
    I also remember reading that Christ was a glutton and winebibber. Gotta consider the source.

    There is a vast body of Catholic superstition to which Luther subscribed prior to his conversion. Free will being one.
     
  17. Ron Wood

    Ron Wood
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2011
    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    0
    It can be. But since I rest in the absolute sovereignty of God and His providence I don't get upset for more than a moment. He had a purpose in it and who am I to question His good and merciful rule. There are 2 things that give me a great deal of comfort and keep me calm most of the time: God is absolutely sovereign and He is absolutely good. It isn't a matter of theology for me it is a matter of putting shoe leather on what I am convinced is true.

    I will try to redo the post now.
     
  18. Skandelon

    Skandelon
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Messages:
    9,638
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yeah, I guess He didn't want you to go with that first response. :) Get it right this time and maybe He'll let it post. ;)
     
  19. Ron Wood

    Ron Wood
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2011
    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    0
    It is for all who are in rebellion against God. To the one it is condemnation, to the elect it becomes, when applied by the Spirit, a schoolmaster to drive us to Christ.


    Exactly. It was never intended to give life and cannot. But the problem isn't with the law it is with humanity. Rom. 7:13. The law is holy just and good but it can only condemn.That is why Christ came as the Surety and Representative of His people. He lived in absolute perfect obedience to all the law and all the will of God. By His obedience He brought in an everlasting righteousness that God not only accepts but delights in. Isa. 40:21 If you could obey the law and live there was no need for Christ. The law could never give ability nor does it imply ability.
    The law has no ability in itself at all. The power of the law comes from the lawgiver. The law sets a standard but it cannot do anything else. Only the Lawgiver who is able to enforce the law can apply the law to anyone. The power isn't in the law but in the Lawgiver. He has the authority to apply it to some as a condemning rule and to others as a schoolmaster. We can go preach the law to dead people from now until Christ returns but it will do them no good because they have no ability either hear it or us. The mass of humanity lives as though there is no law and drinks iniquity like water. Many live upright moral lives but they don't do it because it is right or because of the law but because it serves them in some way. The law is only a schoolmaster when it is applied by the Spirit in the heart of the chosen sinner and convinces him of sin because he believes not on Christ, of righteousness because it is accomplished in Christ and of judgement finished and Satan crushed by the death of Christ. John 16:8-11
    Nonsense. You mistakenly assume that the power is in the the things themselves and not in the one who gives them. All the power that the law or signs or even the preaching of the Gospel has comes only from the one who applies it. They accomplish exactly what they are intended to accomplish because He who applies them has all power and authority. To some He applies it as a schoolmaster and to others as a standard of judgement.
    A red herring argument and you know it. The power is in the one who regenerates not in the act itself.
    Once more you are using a dishonest tactic. You are painting with a broad brush in order to make it seem as though all are Hyper. Once more you ignore the fact that the power isn't in the means but in the One who ordained and purposed the means. You seem to want to sidestep God in the salvation of sinners.

    It is a most consistent argument. Yours is the inconsistent one. You have not shown in any of your fallacious arguments where the inconsistency lies but only made claims. You repeatedly use what is known as special pleading, which is a logical fallacy, that not only ignores but omits much in order to frame your argument so that it sounds reasonable but has no true basis in fact. The more I debate with you the more I question your honesty.


    More nonsense. I wil lonce more point out to you that the poawer to accomplish is in God not in the act or thing itself. Keep sidestepping God in your arguments it makes them easy to refute.
     
  20. Cypress

    Cypress
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2010
    Messages:
    376
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ron, think this through with me. If I am the commander and also the one who withholds ability to obey my commands, have I really commanded anything. It seems like I have commanded nothing but only uttered nonsense. Kind of like telling the valet to park my car but not giving him keys. Am I wrong here?
     

Share This Page

Loading...