Free Will, Predestination and Lutheranism

Romans 8:29-30, 
"For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.  And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified."
In talking about the doctrine of predestination one ought to be very careful.  Luther said that in dealing with this doctrine that you, the reader, needs to "beware that you do not drink wine while you are still a suckling.  There is a limit, a time and an age for every doctrine."  So, today's posting on predestination is posted in the spirit of caution for you the blog reader.  In other words, the following is strong wine.

In Luther's commentary on Romans we get some further advice before one jumps into the doctrine of predestination, "...You better follow the order of this epistle (Romans).  Worry first about Christ and the gospel, that you may recognize your sin and his grace.  Then fight your sin, as the first eight chapters here have taught.  Then, when you have reached the eighth chapter, and are under the cross and suffering, this will teach you correctly of predestination in chapters 9, 10, 11, and how comforting it is.   For in th absence of suffering and the cross and the perils of death, one cannot deal with predestination without harm and without secret anger against God.  The old Adam must first die before he can tolerate this thing and drink the strong wine." (Luther's Works, Volume 35, page 378)

With all the above mentioned, I have two very good postings on this subject.  The first is a round-table discussion from Issues, Etc.  The second is a medium sized article from Don Matzat.  Don, does a nice job of fleshing out the Calvinistic and Arminian views and then comes to Luther's take on this subject... mystery.

Link: Predestination and The Formula of Concord (A Round-table Discussion)

Link: Martin Luther and The Doctrine of Predestination (Article by Matzat)