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.
Introduction, pp. 9-20.
Kolb and Arand introduce the idea of Luther as a person who still is engaged in dialog with others to this day (Kolb & Arand 2008, 9). In this book, they seek to interact with Luther in terms of his anthropology and in the way he sees God working in the world (Kolb & Arand 2008, 10). They consider these to be the particular points of genius shown by Luther. In his work, Luther sought to help the church recover from a crisis stemming from lack of proclamation of the gospel and from inadequate pastoral care (Kolb & Arand 2008, 12). He did this in conversation with others, developing presuppositions which would serve as an adequate framework for his theology. “This volume looks at two vital elements that constituted the matrix within which Luther developed other topics from biblical revelation and the genius that channeled their unfolding: the anthropological presupposition that God shaped human life according to two dimensions (two kinds of righteousness), and the theological presupposition that God works through his Word in its manifold forms” (Kolb & Arand 2008, 12). It is God’s grace that makes humans human. It is God’s Word which effectively delivers new life to us. Rightly perceiving God’s Word and how to live in light of his grace is the challenge facing every generation (Kolb & Arand 2008, 13). Luther and Melanchthon pictured teaching and preaching of different topics as various members contributing to a whole body of truth (Kolb & Arand 2008, 14). As a result, the writings of the Lutheran Reformation have a strong pastoral and practical focus, as opposed to a more abstract and theoretical focus (Kolb & Arand 2008, 16).