Author: Aaron Klink

Aaron Klink is Chaplain at Pruitt Hospice in Durham, North Carolina.  He received his MAR is Systematic Theology from Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, his M.Div. from Yale and a ThM with a concentration in Ethics from Duke Divinity School.

Book Review: Trinitarian Grace in Martin Luther’s The Bondage of the Will by Miikka Roukanen

[1] Miikka Roukanen, professor at Nanjing Theological Seminary, argues that Luther’s account of God’s creation of faith in the believer, and subsequent justification and sanctification, is fully Trinitarian in nature.  I want to be clear from the outset that this review cannot do justice to the carefully grounded, and intricate arguments made in the book. […]

Review: Enemies of the Cross: Suffering, Truth and Mysticism in the Early Reformation by Vincent Evener

[1] Evener’s revised University of Chicago dissertation explores relationships between selfhood, suffering, and the knowledge of truth in the early Reformation writings of Martin Luther, Andreas Karlstadt, and Thomas Muntzer.  Through meticulous textual work, this account also carefully attends to ways that each author drew differently on earlier traditions of Christian mysticism.   Evener notes that […]

Review: The Work of Faith: Divine Grace and Human Agency in Martin Luther’s Preaching by Justin Nickel

[1] Followers of Luther began debating relationships between faith, ethics, and justification during Luther’s lifetime.  Heirs of Luther’s theological vision have never ceased to debate them.  Some Lutherans believe that ethical prescriptions beyond freely “serving one’s neighbor” out of a response to the Gospel, constitute works righteousness, leaving believers anxiously wondering if they have done […]

On What We Might Learn from Luther About Ministry in A Pandemic

  [1] COVID-19 disparately impacts our lives and families. My elderly parents fear contracting the virus, even though their rural Western North Carolina home makes social distancing a fact of life. In Los Angeles, my brother, a clinical psychologist, sees patients via Skype, while trying to home school my nephew. My best friend fears catching […]

Review: Religious and Secular Medical Ethics: Points of Conflict (Georgetown University Press 2012)

Veatch, Robert. Hippocratic, Religious and Secular Medical Ethics: Points of Conflict. Washington D.C.: Georgetown University Press 2012.

Review: Becoming a Christian In Christendom: Radical Discipleship and the Way of the Cross in America’s “Christian” Culture

Jason Mahn places Luther’s theology of the cross, and accounts of discipleship in writings of Lutheran theologians Soren Kierkegaard and Dietrich Bonhoeffer in dialogue with what he calls the “Anti-Constantinian” writers John Howard Yoder, and Stanley Hauerwas. In doing so he wants to help American Christians think carefully about what it means to intentionally be a Christian in what some (but not Mahn) would call a “post-Christendom” culture.

The Hidden God: Luther, Philosophy and Political Theology (Indiana University Press, 2015)

[1] Marius Timmann Mjaaland, professor of Philosophy and Religion at the University of Oslo, provides a dazzlingly, provocative exploration of the political implications of Luther’s theological method and scriptural exegesis. He argues that Luther’s own texts laid the groundwork for radical political interpretations of his thought, even as Luther would claim such applications were outside […]

Commending Life’s End to God: The ELCA Message on “End-of-Life Decisions” After Two Decades

Luther’s sermons and letters of pastoral counsel speak eloquently about the ability of faithful Christians to face death confidently trusting God’s promises in the Gospel. In that spirit, the ELCA adopted a social message on “End-of-Life Decisions” in 1992 that picks up this tradition of speaking honestly and faithfully to issues faced by the dying and their loved ones. As a hospital chaplain, Klink explores the gifts of the 1992 message and ponders​ what issues and questions might need further work from a Lutheran perspective given the changes in technological, medical and social climate over the last two decades.

Review: Joel D. Biermann. A Case for Character: Toward a Lutheran Virtue Ethics. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2014, 192 pages, $29.00.

[1] Joel Biermann, Professor of Systematic Theology at Concordia Seminary in Saint Louis, argues that a focus on justification by faith in contemporary Lutheranism has led Lutherans to a neglect the practices of moral formation of individuals and the development of authoritative teachings about the shape of the Christian life. He acknowledges that focusing on […]