Christian Living, Discipleship, and/or Spirituality

Church as Community of Moral Deliberation

Simpson situates the ELCA and its ethical discernments within the greater history of Lutheranism in 20th Century America, noting its goal of being a “community of moral deliberation.” ​​How is the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America really Lutheran when looking at its theology, and does that reflect such a community?

Congregational Moral Deliberation as Next Public Church

​The concept of a community of moral deliberation is a unique philosophy of the ELCA. Anderson locates how the ELCA at a denomination level lives out this ethic and explores the possibilities of congregations becoming the source of the ELCA’s energy regarding commununal moral deliberation. The need for local communities to explore theology and social issues is increasingly pressing as a new generation is coming of age with more individualistic attitudes.​

Christian Social Teachings: A Reader in Christian Social Ethics from the Bible to the Present (Fortress Press, 2013)

Christian Social Teachings: A Reader in Christian Social Ethics from the Bible to the Present. George W. Forell, Editor, Fortress Press, Minneapolis, 2013.

Review: Comparative Religious Ethics: Everyday Decisions for Our Everyday Lives

Christine Gudorf’s approach in Comparative Religious Ethics: Everyday Decisions for our Everyday Lives is to focus on the practical and the experiential in an attempt to “lift up values, meanings, and interpretations from religions and also from ‘secular’ thought (most of which has been influenced by the dominant religion of the culture) that are relevant to the most basic interests and activities of contemporary human beings in North America.”

Review: Theological Reflection for Human Flourishing: Pastoral Practice and Public Theology

In this short and readable text, authors Helen Cameron, John Reader, and Victoria Slater summarize the results of an action learning event held at Ripon College in Cuddesdon, United Kingdom, in April of 2010. Participants reflected on moments of decision, when a person’s faith was compromised; moments of cross-cultural confrontation, when a person’s identity was in question; or moments of crisis, when a particularly difficult decision created conflict.

Editor’s Introduction: Hope and Anxiety

How does the reality of hope address the deepest anxieties of human beings? This issue explores this question from a variety of perspectives. It seeks to illuminate the intergenerational and gender contours of anxiety as well as its intra-generational manifestations among Baby Boomers and Millennials. It also reflects on this question drawing upon rich biblical […]

Anxiety and Hope in the Lives of Baby Boomers: Beginning a Conversation

​The need for responding to fearful narratives of aging has never been greater. Very large numbers of baby boomers are beginning to retire. As those born between 1946 and 1964 move into their seniority, they are often impacted by negative scripts that can easily lead to heightened anxiety, feelings of meaninglessness, and despair. The task for Lutheran ethics in this (crisis) context is to provide a more complex, faith-filled narrative. To do so, it is important to begin a conversation around how we might best articulate the hope that is ours in Christ as it intersects with the context in which this cohort group is aging.

Let Me Google That: A Millennial Reflects on Her Generation

Scripture calls us to aid the poor. Why should that be limited to only the private sphere? Lanoue explores the secular and religious arguments regarding tax reform and how it can help those who truly need it.

An Inquiry into New Year’s Resolutions

The New Year engenders a flurry of soul-searching behavior, earnest plans resolving to change current behaviors, introduce new habits and cease old ones. The practice is so common that the U.S. government even has a web page listing the statistically most popular resolutions, including links to resources that will assist in achieving the new goals. However, as interesting as change is in and of itself, it is incumbent on an ethicist to ask an even more fundamental question about New Year’s resolutions than the rather pragmatic and pedestrian “How?” We are called here to consider the questions “Why?” and “What?” Why should we resolve anything at all? What does a resolution signify within the overall scope of our daily intending and resolving as human beings? And what is a resolution anyway? What does it mean to resolve?​

The Advent Wisdom Project

[1] It’s November, Target has been full of Christmas décor since September, and the malls have been playing holiday music for a month. Thus we are typically singing the anthems of the Advent and Christmas seasons well before it is liturgically appropriate. Of all the hymns I am happy to sing outside of Advent, to […]