Christian Living, Discipleship, and/or Spirituality

The Despair of the Called

When a layperson feels the absence of God in their life, they go to their pastor for guidance. However, what should a pastor do when they have the same experience? Lammi lifts up the examples of Mother Theresa, Martin Luther, and Augustine to demonstrate that this experience has happened to many faith leaders throughout history. Their experiences of living with and through doubt, as well as faith, provide a model for us all.

The Absence of God as Opportunity for Personal and Social Transformation

As Kurt Lammi demonstrates, feeling the absence of God in one’s life does not automatically make a person a bad pastor or a bad Christian. Showers goes one step further to explore what techniques a person can try to bring about a renewed awareness of God’s presence in their lives. He particularly focuses on Bernard of Clairvaux’s four stages of loving God, which Showers illustrates through an image of a “grace spiral.” For Showers, what may begin as a frightening experience can open a door to a deeper relationship with God.

Mediating Faith: Faith Formation in a Trans-Media Era (Fortress Press, 2014)

Clint Schnekloth, Mediating Faith: Faith Formation in a Trans-Media Era, Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2014, 126 pages, $29.00.

Editor’s Introduction: Millennials and Nones

In this issue of the Journal of Lutheran Ethics, three writers explore the Millennial generation (also known as Generation Y) and the “None” factor. “None” stands for “no religion” and points to the disinclination of young people to affiliate with or belong to a formal religious community. As the parent of two Millennials, I found […]

Before Nature: A Christian Spirituality (Fortress Press, 2014)

H. Paul Santmire. Before Nature: A Christian Spirituality. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2014, 253 pages, $39.00

Against Virtue Ethics

Jeff Biebighauser 09/01/2014 [1] Let’s get the cheap shot out of the way first. Aristotle – the “damned, conceited, rascally heathen” whom God has sent “as a plague upon us for our sins”[1] – has had surprising success infiltrating Lutheran ethics in the past two decades. In the wake of Vatican II, a strongly Aristotelian […]

Review: Joel D. Biermann. A Case for Character: Toward a Lutheran Virtue Ethics. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2014, 192 pages, $29.00.

[1] Joel Biermann, Professor of Systematic Theology at Concordia Seminary in Saint Louis, argues that a focus on justification by faith in contemporary Lutheranism has led Lutherans to a neglect the practices of moral formation of individuals and the development of authoritative teachings about the shape of the Christian life. He acknowledges that focusing on […]

Gun Violence and Christian Witness

The statistics about gun violence in the United States are staggering–especially when compared to other countries. Day examines the role of American culture in the gun control debate and how Christianity is often invoked to support gun ownership. She also notes the potential within Chrisitian theology and the Christian community to work to end violence.

Editor’s Introduction: Deliberation

The United States Senate has been called “the world’s most deliberative body.” It carefully considers proposals for public policy and is, therefore, engaged in “legislative deliberation.” By contrast, this issue of the Journal of Lutheran Ethics focuses on the current commitment to and emerging emphasis upon deliberation in the life and work of the Evangelical […]

Community of Moral Deliberation and an Emerging Responsibility Ethic

​There are many different philosophies of ethics. Which ones have informed the ELCA and how has that changed over its 25 year history? Dr. Roger Willer, Director for Theological Ethics in the Office of the Presiding Bishop, charts out the ELCA’s use of responsibility ethics, including what still has yet to be done.