Author: Paul R. Hinlicky

Paul R. Hinlicky is the Tise Professor of Lutheran Studies at Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia.

A Review of Law and Protestantism: The Legal Teachings of the Lutheran Reformation

[1] John Witte, Jr. concludes this superb study with a prophecy: “Heaven will exalt due process, and each will always receive what’s due. Hell will exalt pure caprice, and no one will ever know what’s coming” (303). That is literally a prophecy, but a well-founded one drawn from the story Witte tells in this book. […]

Review Essay: Fritz Oehlschlaeger, Procreative Ethics: Philosophical and Christian Approaches to Questions at the Beginning of Life

Introduction [1] Fritz Oehlschlaeger will be a new voice to many who read the Journal of Lutheran Ethics. A friend and conversation partner of the present writer, Oehlschlaeger is a lay theologian who deserves to be known for reasons I hope to make clear in the course of this essay. In this recent book, he […]

Response to Bo Kristian Holm

See also Paul R. Hinlicky’s Luther and the Beloved Community:A Path for Christian Theology after Christendom by Bo Kristian Holm [1] I am grateful to Bo Holm for his careful and insightful elaboration of my recent book on Luther. Taking the book on its own terms, he grasps its leading intentions very well and in […]

Response to Hearing the Cries: Faith and Criminal Justice

[1] Years ago when I was a graduate student at Union Theological Seminary in New York, my wife Ellen appeared breathlessly in our apartment doorway at noon; she regularly would walk home from work at the “Godbox” (the National Council of Churches headquarters) to join me for lunch. She had just been robbed at knife […]

Daniel M. Bell, Jr.’s Liberation Theology after the End of History: The Refusal to Cease Suffering

[1] Almost 10 years have passed since the publication of this interesting and challenging book from the pen of a theological ethicist in the “Radical Orthodoxy” circle of John Milbank. Bell’s work is at once a validation of the fundamentally Christian concerns of Latin American Liberation Theology and a penetrating theological critique of the latter […]

Response to Mattes’ “Response” to Paths Not Taken

[1] I am grateful to Book Review Editor Michael Shahan for the invitation to respond to Mark Mattes [see Response to Hinlicky’s “Paths Not Taken”, May 2010, Vol. 10, No. 5.], even as I am honored by the elaborate attention Mattes has paid to my recent book, Paths Not Taken (hereafter PNT). Shahan rightly says […]

Luther’s Christocentric and Biblical Theology of Marriage

What follows is an excerpt from my forthcoming Luther and the Beloved Community: A Path for Christian Theology after Christendom (Eerdmans, Spring, 2010). Since I have elsewhere made my sharp and fundamental critique of the draft Social Statement and its accompanying Recommendations on Rostered Ministry. I am thankful to Kaari Reierson for the invitation to […]

Appreciation and Critique of the ELCA’s Draft Social Statement on Human Sexuality

[1] As a colleague put it, “It’s not the train wreck that we feared.” Indeed, there is much that is theologically laudable in the draft Social Statement on Human Sexuality: centrally, the long over-due attempt in the ELCA to “frame” (#27-28) deliberation of difficult moral issues in terms of normative Lutheran theology. The ELCA has […]

Niebuhr’s Realism and the Mess in Iraq

1] Published in the darkest days of the Great Depression, presciently warning about Hitler’s rise in Germany, insightfully urging that achievement of greater equality within America is a matter of its own survival, Reinhold Niebuhr’s Moral Man and Immoral Society is one of those books often referred to but infrequently studied. As we struggle to […]

A Lutheran Encyclical: Benedict’s Deus Caritas Est

[1] The first encyclical of Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est, offers a “timely and significant” statement of the “heart of the Christian faith” in “a world where the name of God is sometimes associated with vengeance or even a duty of hatred and violence.” Encyclical statements of Catholic teaching have these dogmatic and ethical […]

Iraq—Three Years Later

[1] As a prognosticator, I’d guess I have about a 50-50 track record in life. Looking back over what I published in JLE in December of 2002 as the Bush Administration beat the drums of war, though, I think I can claim to have nailed this one. I concluded my essay: “In this light the […]

Recognition, Not Blessing

[1] How far can confessional Lutherans bend to accommodate an urgently felt pastoral need and, if possible, to preserve the unity of the ELCA (such as it is)? Direction from the Confession of Faith [2] It is a sign of the theological weakness of this troubled denomination that it has yet to see the question […]

The Justice of War against Saddam’s Regime: Counting the Cost

A Dangerous Principle for a Dangerous World [1] In floating the notion of preemptive attack against states harboring terrorists or preparing weapons of mass destruction for use against the United States, the Bush administration is considering a dangerous new principle in a dangerous new world. It is a step in the right direction that the […]