Christian Living, Discipleship, and/or Spirituality

Identity within the Ethical Formulations of the African American Family

[1] We outlined and began writing this article in August 2002. In the ensuing weeks, a number of ethical and moral issues emerged in the United States in general and in the African American context in particular. These issues have implications for both church and society. These issues caused us to pause and reflect as […]

A Message for the City of New York: Interfaith Memorial Service

[1] “As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God? My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me continually, ‘where is your God?’ These […]

Perspective of African American Youth Leadership in the Lutheran Church

Introduction/Purpose [1] This paper addresses African American youth leadership and the role that the Lutheran church can play in their development. In giving our opinion, based on our experiences on this subject, we will define youth, citing some of their needs as it applies to leadership. We will 1) identify how the church responds to […]

“Nuggets of Wisdom and Grace”: A Review of Sermons: Biblical Wisdom for Daily Living by Peter Gomes

[1] Upon finishing Sermons: Biblical Wisdom for Daily Living, a collection of forty sermons preached by the Reverend Professor Peter J. Gomes, to the multicultural, cosmopolitan congregation of Harvard’s Memorial Church, my soul spoke to me saying, “Peter Gomes may be a twenty-first century Don Quixote, daring to ‘Dream the Impossible Dream,’ of the coming […]

Introduction of Theme

[1] The next three issues of the Journal of Lutheran Ethics will focus on various dimensions of the theme: “Ethics and Family: An African American Perspective.” The theme emerged in conversations with several members of the Conference of International Black Lutherans (an association of African and African American Lutheran teaching theologians and bishops in the […]

Beware of the Foreign Policy Opinions of Religious Professionals

[1] Whenever mainstream Protestant religious intellectuals and church leaders-let’s call them religious professionals-reach near unanimity on questions of political policy, especially foreign policy, it is time to be suspicious. They seem to have reached near unanimity in opposing American policy toward Iraq. [2] Now, it is axiomatic that on foreign policy questions those religious professionals […]

Reflections on U.S. foreign policy from a British conservative pacifist living in Columbus, Ohio

[1] Here in Columbus I often see flags for Ohio State, especially on game days. There are very few flags for other teams. Football unites Columbus. People who have never attended O.S.U. talk about the O.S.U. team as “us” and the opposing team as “them.” Refereeing decisions unfavorable to O.S.U. are often condemned. Supporters usually […]

The Twofold Rule of God

[1] Perhaps the most difficult element in Lutheran social ethics, yet one of the most important, is the doctrine of the twofold rule of God, sometimes called the “two kingdoms” doctrine. This doctrine has also been the most vulnerable to distortion. Karl Barth was the first to call this Lutheran teaching “the two kingdoms doctrine,” […]

The “We” is Greater than the “I”

[1] We are living in historic times. Two African Americans, Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice are serving in high profile political positions within the Bush administration. I’m glad their expertise is being called upon to resolve conflicts around the world. Powell and Rice, through their highly developed skills, pry […]

Excerpt from Critical Social Theory

Setting the Table: The Retrieval of Civil Society [1] It is no accident that Habermas revised his sociological theory in the early 1990s by attending more closely to civil society. Already before the 1989 collapse of the Soviet Union, Central and Eastern European dissidents were focusing on the renewal of civil society, even in the […]