Writing this piece on Luther's view of Judaism and Islam has given me new appreciation for Oswald Bayer's thesis that the basic structure of Luther's thought is not law/gospel or the theology of cross. All of these are true and important elements in his thinking, but they are not the deep structure. Rather, it is the orders of creation- the Church, the Family and the State as the contexts of God's interaction with the created order.
This is an important insight and I think that we would have avoided many problems in 20th century Lutheranism if this fact was recognized.
This also helps us make sense of the connection between the doctrine of creation and the gospel. The gospel basically defined the order of the Church from Genesis 3:15 onward. Attacking the gospel then (as Luther believed that the Papacy, Islam, Judaism, Anabaptism, Antitrinitarianism, the the Peasant who revolted were doing) was then also an attack on creation. It meant that the Devil was at work and God was holding him back until the final apocalyptic break wherein these orders would no longer function and Christ would finally return in glory.
I think that the last point is important to make because their has been something an abiguity in Lutheranism in the 19th and 20th century about the doctrine of creation. Part of the trend is to denigrate creation by identifying it with the old realm of law and therefore saying "well it's for the time being, we have to put up with it, but those who have the gospel have done away with partially." This is the attitude of people like Ed Schroeder and some of the Seminex people. It is also the attitude of much of the ELCA hierarchy who thinks that they are following Luther. Those who have the gospel, in this thinking, have transcended creation and law, thereby making the order that God has established irrelevant.
The point is though, that the gospel re-affirms creation. The gospel is part of God's establishment of creation, along with the law. An attack on creation by the forces of darkness is also an attack on the gospel, and vice versa. Any attempt to change God's order (as we have seen in the last few years) is an attack on God and is demonic. The old Luther's thinking, as hateful and bombastic as it unfortunately could become, actually has much to offer us on these points. When he worries about the overturnig of creation by demonic forces, we see the same thing today.