Author: Gilbert Meilaender

Gilbert Meilaender is Professor of Theological Ethics at Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana.

Facing Ambiguity in Warfare

This paper was first given as a talk at the Lutheran Ethicists’ Gathering in January, 2012. I have, therefore, left it in the somewhat more casual form of a talk, unencumbered also by footnotes. — GM [1] My assignment, as I understand it, is to try to say something helpful about the fact that soldiers […]

C.S. Lewis on the Christian Life

1] The Christian life hurts. God hurts. That theme is firmly embedded in Lewis’ writings, and it is, I think, the deepest reason for the power of his writing. “The Divine Nature wounds and perhaps destroys us merely by being what it is,” Orual reflects in Till We Have Faces. This theme — that God […]

What Lutheran Ethics Can Learn from Other Christian Ethical Traditions

[1] In 1972, as a freshly minted M.Div., I went off to begin graduate work in ethics in the Department of Religion of Princeton University. On a quiet summer Saturday, just days after my arrival, I went to explore 1879 Hall, where the department’s offices were located. It was silent and empty on that Saturday […]

Church, State, Bioethics

[1] Because Lutherans tend to emphasize that even the best of our achievements will be corrupted and tainted by what Helmut Thielicke called our “Babylonian heart,” they should, one might think, be modest in their expectation of any government’s ability to shape and foster a virtuous life among its citizens. [2] Moreover, politics is not […]

Civil Religion: Thinking With Robert Benne

[1] Robert Benne believes that we need “a more positive, yet critical, appropriation of the [American] civil religion” than has been offered us by most Lutherans in this country. Some Lutherans have drawn back because our country’s civil religion seems insufficiently religious, others because it seems too religious (and insufficiently secular). Neither of these strikes […]

Meilaender on The Promise of Lutheran Ethics

[1] One need only read the respective introductions by the editors of this volume to appreciate the instabilities of the task they have undertaken. John Stumme struggles manfully (as, perhaps, one may still be allowed to say) to suggest that, while the several authors whose essays appear in this volume have not “produce[d] a single […]