Author: Clint Schnekloth

Clint Schnekloth is a pastor and author of Mediating Faith: Faith Formation in a Trans-Media Era. He also blogs at

The Ethics of Missional Church

[1] I have two aims in this essay. First, I would like to respond to the self-confidence of the missional movement with a set of questions that raises the level of self-awareness and self-critique. [2] Second, I would like to bring to awareness in the professional ethicist community that there is a wide-open field of […]

The Advent Wisdom Project

[1] It’s November, Target has been full of Christmas décor since September, and the malls have been playing holiday music for a month. Thus we are typically singing the anthems of the Advent and Christmas seasons well before it is liturgically appropriate. Of all the hymns I am happy to sing outside of Advent, to […]

By the Rivers of Babylon: Blueprint for a Church in Exile (Fortress Press, 2013)

Hoch, Robert P. By the Rivers of Babylon: Blueprint for a Church in Exile. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2013. $18.00

Dialectical Theology and Jacques Ellul: An Introductory Exposition (Fortress Press, 2014)

Dialectical Theology and Jacques Ellul: An Introductory Exposition. Jacob E. Van Vleet. Fortress Press, 2014.

Review: The Sacredness of Human Life: Why an Ancient Biblical Vision Is Key to the World’s Future, by David P. Gushee.

Instead of focusing his project narrowly on the hot-button sacredness-of-life topics, Gushee comes at the topic more broadly: “If any human life is sacred, every human life is sacred” (3). The sacredness of human life, in this construal, is not simply a religious conviction held only by Christians or certain kinds of philosophers but an ancient conviction of most cultures, period.

An Inquiry into New Year’s Resolutions

The New Year engenders a flurry of soul-searching behavior, earnest plans resolving to change current behaviors, introduce new habits and cease old ones. The practice is so common that the U.S. government even has a web page listing the statistically most popular resolutions, including links to resources that will assist in achieving the new goals. However, as interesting as change is in and of itself, it is incumbent on an ethicist to ask an even more fundamental question about New Year’s resolutions than the rather pragmatic and pedestrian “How?” We are called here to consider the questions “Why?” and “What?” Why should we resolve anything at all? What does a resolution signify within the overall scope of our daily intending and resolving as human beings? And what is a resolution anyway? What does it mean to resolve?​

The Silence of Easter

Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein [1] During the Easter season, I wander the halls of church and mutter on the bike trail, “He is risen!” I’m perennially hoping someone will overhear and respond. Often someone does. Even if I speak into silence, in the absence of others, I […]

Getting Your Meta On

[1] It seems as though many systematic treatments of ethics take great pains to disabuse readers of their assumptions as to what constitutes ethics in the first place. Then they can move on to doing ethics “proper” in the mode set forth by their systematic meta-approach. One of the more remarkable examples of this is […]

Advent, Virtue Ethics, and the Telological Suspension of the Ethical

[1] Three years ago I had the unique pleasure of attending an evening lecture by N.T. Wright (then Anglican Bishop of Durham) titled: “Learning the Language of Life, New Creation, and Christian Virtue.” The full lecture is actually available on iTunes, or you can read a summary at the Fuller Theological Seminary website. Essentially, Wright […]

The Return of Eschatological Economics [1]

The Parable of the Unjust Steward (Luke 16:1–13) [1] Easy parables are all alike; every difficult parable is difficult in its own way. In the case of the unjust steward, much of the difficulty lies in trying to distinguish what precisely is praiseworthy in the unjust steward’s actions. The traditional interpretation has been that the […]

Welcoming the Stranger Can Revive Tired Denominations

A review of They Are Us: Lutherans and Immigration by Stephen Paul Bouman and Ralston Deffenbaugh, Augsburg Fortress, 2009. 144 pages. [1] A book this good is worth its weight in gold. Actually, the book weighs about nine ounces, which would make it worth over $9,000. However, although it’s worth its weight in gold, it […]

Thank You, but No Thank You

[1] Thank you to the Journal of Lutheran Ethics for this invitation to reflect on the proposed social statement. Thank you also to the ELCA Task Force on Human Sexuality for their work. I imagine it has been a long and difficult journey. It is my prayer that their journey together has built them up […]

Please Don’t Omit

[1] After spending the better part of two days reading and re-reading the new Draft Social Statement on Human Sexuality, I would like to first thank the Task Force for ELCA Studies on Sexuality for their careful and thoughtful consideration of the topic. Chapters 1 and 2 are rich theological texts that provide an excellent […]

Eating Theology

[1] All Christians think about eating. I’m contemplating the preparation of a mid-morning snack even as I write this. Many Christians say grace before they eat, in this way locating the act of eating doxologically. And some may practice certain vestigial forms of fasting, like eating fish (fry!) on Fridays, or foregoing chocolate during Lent. […]

A Review of Craig A. Carter’s The Politics of the Cross: The Theology and Social Ethics of John Howard Yoder

Brazos Press, 2001. Pp. 254. $18.99 (paper) [1] Like me, you might begin reading this review for the sake of balance, to listen at least for a little while to the voice of a pacifist sectarian whose theology, though interesting and admirable, is also eccentric and unrealistic. You, as a reader, therefore begin with the […]

Review of George Hunsinger’s Disruptive Grace: Studies in the Theology of Karl Barth

Grand Rapids: Eerdmanns, 2000. Pp. 375. $39.00 (cloth) [1] Hunsinger is a great teacher because he is the best of students. He does honor and justice to the theology of Karl Barth through lucid studies in political, doctrinal, and ecumenical theology. His writing is the output of a rapt and apt pupil; it beautifully re-presents […]