Kolb, Robert & Charles P. Arand. The Genius of Luther’s Theology: A Wittenberg Way of Thinking for the Contemporary Church. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2008.
Chapter 7 “The Enfleshed and Written Forms of God’s Word” pp. 161-173.
Kolb and Arand recognize the diversity of ways the Bible uses the idea of God’s Word, as a written revelation as well as the person of Jesus, called God’s Word. They affirm that the idea found in the Bible is God communicating with people, creating a message. The biblical picture is of communication initiated by God, not by humans (Kolb & Arand 2008, 162). Luther, particularly in comments on John chapter 1, noted Jesus as God’s Word being equated with reasoned thought, a very common use of the word λόγος (Kolb & Arand 2008, 162). With the historic creeds, Luther affirms a full human nature and a full divine nature dwelling in Christ (Kolb & Arand 2008, 163). The miracle of being one person with two natures is infused in Reformational thought (Kolb & Arand, 164). The two natures work together in the one person. This unity of will gives assurance of God’s care for his people. The death of Christ is not a matter of man versus God, but of the true God-man caring for his people (Kolb & Arand 2008, 165).
Although he affirmed Jesus as God’s Word, Luther consistently considered the Scripture as the authoritative account of God’s will. The account of the Bible is the definitive standard for belief (Kolb & Arand 2008, 167). Most Christians have accepted some statement of faith, a creed or confession which helps in formulation of biblical ideas. Luther did as well, with the recognition that the Bible was the standard (Kolb & Arand 2008, 169).
The authority of Scripture remains a challenge. Because it is a simple and relatively short document it may appear insufficient (Kolb & Arand 2008, 170). Kolb and Arand, along with the Reformers, observe that Christians through the ages have reached remarkably similar doctrinal stances and have proven some form of sufficiency (Kolb & Arand 2008, 171).