Bin Laden & Co. and Jerry Falwell & Co.

[1] Osama bin Laden and his mentor Sayyid Qutb are fundamentalists. So are Jerry Falwell and, in a slightly more complicated (because also pentecostalist), Pat Robertson. [2] Bin Laden & Co. are Muslims, who would rather kill you than let you connect them in any way with Protestant fundamentalists. Jerry Falwell & Co. are Christians, […]

Lutheran Ethics and the Ambiguities of Power

Excerpted from: Piety, Politics, and Ethics: Reformation Studies in Honor of George Wolfgang Forell, Carter Lindberg, Editor (Copyright © 1984 by Sixteenth Century Journal Publishers, Inc., Kirksville, Missouri) Used with Permission. [1] Being asked to contribute to a Festschrift always presents one with the problem of relating one’s contribution to the opus of the individual […]

Getting Back to Normal

Preached in Christ Chapel, Gustavus Adolphus College on November 9, 2001 Exodus 3:13-20 [1] Well, the Federal Reserve has cut the prime rate by another half-percent. . . . Things are looking up for the New York Stock Exchange; a few days ago, I heard, it closed at its highest level since September 11. Inflation […]

The Christian Moral Life: Roman Catholic and Lutheran Perspectives

Copyright © LET’S TALK. Used with permission. From Let’s Talk, Volume 6, Issue 2 [1] Comparing our two moral traditions is probably a dangerous undertaking for a Roman Catholic (or for a Lutheran, for that matter). I shall therefore begin with words from a mentor, James Gustafson. In his important work, Protestant and Roman Catholic […]

Women and Vocation: Co-Creating with God

Copyright © 1995 WORD & WORLD, Luther Seminary. Used with permission. From Word & World, Volume XV, Number 3, pp. 272-278. [1] Luther’s teaching and practice of vocation has impacted women’s lives dramatically, but history’s jury is at odds over the results. Should we praise the doctor and his doctrine or vilify them? Is Lutheran […]

What is Human: Shifting the Paradigm

[1] Stem cell technologies represent a promising new area of medical research. The prospective benefits are astounding, with experiments demonstrating possibilities that just five years ago were science fiction. The current quest is for pluripotent1 stem cells that can generate any type of tissue needed by medical therapy. One exciting mouse experiment injected bone marrow […]

War and Peace: A Review of Relevant Statements by Church Bodies Which Preceded the Founding of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

[1] In the wake of the September 11, 2001 tragedies in New York City and Washington, D.C., and the subsequent “new kind of war” being waged by the United States and its coalition partners, it may be useful to review the statements relating to war and peace from the antecedent Lutheran church bodies of the […]

Vocation in a Post-Vocational Age

Copyright © 1984 WORD & WORLD, Luther Seminary. Used with permission. From Word & World, Volume IV, Number 2, pp. 131-140. I. THE PROBLEM: RELATING SUNDAY TO MONDAY It is no secret that church members find great difficulty in relating their faith to everyday life. Several research reports given wide circulation document that problem.[1] Luther’s […]

Peace-Making as One Response to Terrorist Violence

[1] The three Abrahamic religions all share hope for God’s peace on earth. For Jews, Muslims, and Middle Eastern Christians the word for peace is shared as well: the Hebrew shalom is, in Arabic, salaam. Arabic speakers often greet others with salaam aleik, “peace be with you,” followed by the typical reply, Allah i salmik, […]

Nonviolence after September 11?

[1] After the Gulf war, God dragged me kicking and screaming from an ambivalent absolute pacifism to an equally conflicted “realistic pacifism” something like that advocated by Martin Luther King, Jr. Even before September 11, my pacifism had become so “realistic” as to allow that military action in response to a terrorist assault might be […]