Book Reviews

Book Reviews are listed beginning with the most recent issue.

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A Review by Karen L. Bloomquist

[1] From the initial planning for this book, the intent was not to set forth one normative Lutheran approach, against which other approaches could summarily be dismissed as “inferior.” Nor was it to suggest that there are no distinctive commonalities and emphases among those whose moral life has been shaped by Lutheran theology, centered in […]

A Review of Critical Social Theory: Prophetic Reason, Civil Society, and Christian Imagination by Gary Simpson

[1] Gary Simpson poses a question both timely and crucial, and responds to it by engaging seminal theorists of critical social theory as it emerged and developed in the Frankfurt School: In the face of disturbing, even enraging circumstances of suffering and injustice that appear as givens, how might Christians congregations in North America today […]

Daunting, Indeed! A Critical Conversation with The Promise of Lutheran Ethics

[1] “This daunting challenge”! Just so has John Stumme aptly christened The Promise of Lutheran Ethics1 (hereafter PLE). The Division for Church in Society of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America commissioned this volume “to examine in a fundamental way the nature of Lutheran ethics today” (4). Daunting, indeed! Seven major essays make up the […]

Forell on The Promise of Lutheran Ethics

[1] This collection of essays by eight different authors in addition to the editors, who are the director and associate director of studies in the division for Church in Society of the ELCA respectively, is an effort to establish “What is distinctive about Lutheran ethics?” The first chapter offers a short introductory statement by John […]

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 […]

Purdum on The Promise of Lutheran Ethics

[1] The ELCA Division for Church in Society has lost no time in getting copies of The Promise of Lutheran Ethics out to the desks of parish pastors. Now the question remains: Will pastors find promise in The Promise. . . ? Will these shiny two-tone volumes join the clutter of dust-covered books that already […]

Still, A “Lutheran Accent”: A Response to the Reviews

[1] I thank Editor Peters for this dialog symposium on The Promise of Lutheran Ethics (PLE). In our initial plan for the book, Karen Bloomquist and I envisioned a second part in which pastors, other ethicists, and an historian would comment on the original essays. For practical reasons we had to drop the idea. This […]

A Review of The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World by Bjørn Lomborg

[1] The Skeptical Environmentalist (by Bjørn Lomborg) is a copiously-referenced (2930 citations!) assessment of global environmental health by a professor at a Danish university trained as a political scientist and statistician. Lomborg’s principal thesis is that the vast majority of environmental problems are either overstated or non-existent. Lomborg refers to tendency to exaggerate as “The […]

Lazareth Reviewed: A Review of Christians in Society: Luther, the Bible and Social Ethics

[1] Over the past four decades, William Lazareth has shown himself to be one of the most able and articulate of the American Lutheran voices doing theological ethics. In print, lecture, sermon, and ecumenical discussion, he has sought to unpack the ethical implications of the gift of the gospel. In this volume, Lazareth draws upon […]

Reviewing Lazareth’s Christians in Society: Luther, the Bible, and Social Ethics

[1] Justification lies at the heart of Martin Luther’s theological contribution. But the radical freedom it entails leads to questions, questions Roman Catholics and Reformed Christians have asked Lutherans and Lutherans have asked themselves: Can Lutherans be ethical? How is Christian freedom related to love and the law? [2] William Lazareth attempts a response by […]