Christian Living, Discipleship, and/or Spirituality

Front Lines

[1] On the refrigerator of the Community of Christ in the City in Manhattan, where Richard John Neuhaus lived and worked for decades, amid all the photos and postcards and whatever else the various residents collected that magnets and tape could affix to an open space, there was a little scrap of paper, turning brown […]

Review: Sin Boldly: Justifying Faith for Fragile and Broken Souls (Fortress Press, 2015)

[Originally published in JLE September 2015] [1] Ted Peters opens up the doctrine of justification by grace for Christ’s sake through faith so that we can see and appreciate how truly radical it is as he unpacks its vitality for our lives and our life in engaging this complex world. The doctrine of justification though […]

1 Corinthians 13: A Text of Terror?

So many wedding ceremonies contain the familiar words, “Love is patient, love is kind,” that we may not hear them anymore. However, the effect of words absorbed into a culture can be more dangerous than words heard for the first time. Goitía ​Padilla ​explores 1 Corinthians 13 through a lens of law and gospel and gender analysis. How can we hear Christ in this text while avoiding reinscribing harmful gender roles in our communities?

Millennials and Lutheran Ethics: A Doorway Back Into Connection

Millennials are a hot topic in churches today–how do we stop churches from hemorrhaging them. Writing as a millennial herself, Dean examines why millennials are saying they’re leaving churches, what they are looking for in a faith community, and how Lutheran ethics can provide a space for millennials to re-engage. ​

So That You May Discern…

Reflecting on Romans 12:2, Willer explores how theological discernment is essential when working to love one’s neighbor as oneself. The Journal is a way for readers to morally discern a Lutheran response to the pressing issues of the day while exposing them to new perspectives and voices.

Journal of Lutheran Ethics: In Service to Witness

Childs brings a unique perspective having been with the Journal from the very beginning. In this article he explores the recent history of Lutheran ethics, why ethics are a key part of the Lutheran witness to the gospel, and how the Journal has been a gift to the ELCA as well as to students and teachers.

Review: Following Jesus: Biblical Reflections on Discipleship (Eerdmans, 2014)

[1] In N.T. ‘Tom’ Wright’s Following Jesus: Biblical Reflections on Discipleship, one finds the same compelling insights into the Bible that make Wright’s “The Bible for Everyone” series so popular. Rather than biblical commentary, in Following Jesus Wright describes Christian discipleship based on different images of Jesus Christ and a variety of religious themes. [2] […]

The Role of Church for Such a Time as This

We live in a society whose prosperity stems from an economy infused with money from the slave trade and the labor of enslaved peoples. The effects of that on people today have not disappeared, but have gone underground where they are harder to name. White eloquently lays out how racism is a sin that we need to name and work against today along with a strategy for people of faith to work together to create a world of healing and justice.

Dirty Ethics for Bold Sinning

​In a time of moral ambiguity surrounding discussions of drone warfare, Peters invokes Luther’s “Sin Boldly!” to urge people to adopt a “responsibility ethic” that puts the neighbor’s needs at the forefront of ethical deliberation. ​In our broken world, can we avoid sin? No. Therefore, Peters asks the question–“Should we try?” For him, the answer is no. In order to best serve our neighbors, we need to accept that doing our best is better than doing nothing at all.​

Editor’s Introduction: Doubt in the Pulpit: Resources for the Dark Night of the Soul

Martin Luther spoke of Anfechtung as an essential part of the life of faith. Trials of spiritual angst can serve to teach us to despair of our own merits (or lack of them) and to rely solely on God’s amazing grace. But what happens when religious leaders in public service have to undergo such tribulations […]