26 June 2006

Patristic Quote for the Day

Therefore, when the will turns from the good and does evil, it does so by the freedom of its own choice, but when it turns from evil and does good, it does so only with the help of God. - St. Augustine, City of God, Book XV, Chapter 21

1 comment:

Wartburg said...

For although you think and write wrongly about free choice, yet I owe you no small thanks, for you have made me far more sure of my own position by letting me see the case for free choice put forward with all the energy of so distinguished and powerful a mind, but with no other effect than to make things worse than before. That is plain evidence that free choice is a pure fiction; for, like the woman in the Gospel [Mark 5:25 f.], the more it is treated by the doctors, the worse it gets. I shall therefore abundantly pay my debt of thanks to you, if through me you become better informed, as I through you have been more strongly confirmed. But both of these things are gifts of the Spirit, not our own achievement. Therefore, we must pray to God that he may open my mouth and your heart, and the hearts of all men, and that he may himself be present in our midst as the master who informs both our speaking and hearing.
But from you, my dear Erasmus, let me obtain this request, that just as I bear with your ignorance in these matters, so you in turn will bear with my lack of eloquence. God does not give all his gifts to one man, and “we cannot all do all things” Dr. Martin Luther
(The familiar rendering of the title of this work as The Bondage of the Will has been retained chiefly because of its familiarity, although De servo arbitrio would be more accurately represented by “Concerning Unfree (or: Enslaved) Choice”—in contrast to Erasmus’ “Concerning Free Choice.” )