Comments on De Servo Arbitrio “On the Enslaved Will” or The Bondage of Will

Who said "plain and clear" meant simple ???

First, I think it is important that we be sure we are using consistent terms. I referenced "plain and clear" not simple scriptures. I am not sure there is any justification to equate "plain and clear" with simple, or "less clear" with more complex. Clearly undertandable does not mean the passage is entirely understood. Beginning with the "plain and clear" places all of us post-apostolic era Christians in the same place in the sense no person or group can claim special gnosis. Doing so avoids the pitfall, as Luther might see it, of any person or collective of persons "arrogating" for themselves the authority and capacity to interpret scripture. Those who approach scripture as Luther suggests are equipped to judge what is said by that gifted person who speaks in the assembly, and those who dont do so may have to settle for what someone else says about a complex passage. That is, unless the person doing the teaching/preaching breaks down the concept so the language can be related to by the audience.

Second, I am rather reluctant to try to determine Luther's motive and he isnt here to defend himself so I wont presume a response. However I would maintain that language and grammar most certainly can make complex ideas understandable to the audience, and simple ideas sound more complicated than they are. By insisting one start with the complex scriptures one forces a person or collection of persons with special gnosis to then be the authoritative interpreter of scripture.

Third, Luther said that once the mystery is revealed of Christ's Person and Work (which sums up Luther's phrases), then there is no greater mystery than this to be revealed. Since Christ, the God/man is central to scripture, scripture cannot remain scripture without Him and this Gospel revelation is key to understanding scripture.

As I understand it, this it the basis for what Luther is saying about Christ being central to the Bible, and that is all he seems to be saying in the last part ML responds to.

    The two-fold nature of Scripture as the word of God and the words of human beings ... is based on the analogy between Scripture and the Incarnation of the Divine Word

    Just as Jesus is fully God and fully human, so Scripture is, at the same time, entirely God’s Word and entirely the words of the human authors. Just as the eternal Word took on the limitations of our human nature to reveal God to us, so God has chosen to communicate with the human race through the limitations of human writing and human language. Just as we come to know the Eternal Word through his human existence so we come to know the divine communication in Scripture through the written words of human authors

What is your view of this statement?

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