According to Dr. George Lindbeck’s essay, “Martin Luther and the Rabbinic Mind,” Luther’s ‘controversial-theological’ writings emphasize that Christians must be free from the law. The Law in its usus civilis (‘lack of moral freedom’ vis-a-vis demands) is socially necessary but individually corrupting. This is so because it makes the individual more sinful by making them hypocritical. In its usus theologicus the law reveals sins and God’s terrifying accusations, but also reveals to the exposed sinners their need for salvation. Christ frees the Christian from this coercive and accusatory law. In the Lutheran catechisms, however, the Mosaic law is not called Lex or Gestez but ‘teaching.’ Here Luther praises the law as a complete guide for human life. It inculcates ‘fear, love, and trust in God in all things’ and thus tells us how all the other commandments are to be obeyed. Luther’s negative assessment of the law in his ‘controversial-theological’ also marks dispensationalism. Both tend to pit law and works against gospel and grace. Calvinism, by contrast emphasizes the third use of the law. In Calvin’s view the law is God’s gracious gift to His people in both dispensations, mirrors God’s moral nature, and points to the way of life. In Calvin’s view the usus pedagogicus is due to human depravity, not to weakness in the law in contrast to the gospel (John Calvin, Commentaries on the Epistle of Paul to the Romans … see also Institutes of the Christian Religion 2.7.4; 2.7.7). In Reformed theology (WCF 19) the moral Law codifies the eternal moral law, already known to Adam in conscience in earlier revelations. In this system of theology the law still is of ‘great use’ to believers and unbelievers because it ‘directs them to and binds them to walk accordingly … It is likewise of use to the regenerate, to restrain their corruptions.’ Reformed theology also distinguishes between the eternal moral law, the historically conditioned, judicial law for Israel’s courts and the typical ceremonial law for the house of God.
An OT Theology — pg. 436 (Footnote #50)