Our local pastor theology reading group will meet next Wednesday at Panera to begin discussion of Robert Kolb's book, Bound Choice, Election, and Wittenberg Theological Method . On pages 31-32, he has the best summary of Luther's De servo arbitrio, which I copy here:
1) God is a person, the almighty creator of all that exists, the sovereign Lord and sole acting agent over his creation, totally responsible for all that takes place. 2) The Creator is by definition hidden from his creatures but has revealed himself in his incarnation as Jesus Christ and in Holy Scripture. 3) God has chosen from among fallen sinners people to be his own children and has restored them to their full humanity, that is, to trusting i him, through the work of Christ. 4) God acts in his Word, condemning sin through the law and conveying Christ's benefits to his chosen people through the gospel, in oral, written, and sacramental forms, called collectively the means of grace. 5) Human beings are creatures and thus totally dependent on God their Creator. 6) This dependence of the human creature on God can be explained and defended by a doctrine of absolute necessity, that is, that all things happen necessarily as God designs and decides. 7) Human beings are responsible for their own disposition and actions but are sinful, captive to Satan and their own desires, and thus totally dependent on God for liberation from their sinfulness. 8) Human beings are designed by God with active minds and wills that are to be dediceated to carrying out their callings in obediene to God. 9) Believers are engaged in a lifelong struggle against their own abiding sinfulness. Their lives are lives of repentance. 10) God is not responsible for evil. No explanation of the existence of evil and its continuation in the lives of believers in possible.