Ecumenical and/or Inter-religious

When Parallel Lines Converge: Roman Catholic Integrism and Evangelical Fundamentalism–some reflections from Latin America

[1] Roman Catholicism (RC) is still the major religious force in most of Latin America. It is more than a denomination: it is a powerful social organization with an extraordinary cultural-formative power. Even though Protestants, Evangelicals and Pentecostals have experienced a steady growth during the last century, Catholicism has managed to continue to dominate the […]

Better than Cherry Pie!

[1] When I was in Seminary my wife and I lived in an apartment in downtown Gettysburg. Our landlady lived upstairs. Each month I would walk up a flight of stairs and deliver the rent check. One month, as I began that trek, I began to smell the aroma of fresh baking. As I entered […]

Diving Down: Vigilance and Discernment of Deus Caritas Est

[1] Benedict XVI’s first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est, having generated less commentary than hoped, is nonetheless a remarkable introduction to the moderate-conservative professor of Tuebingen and then Regensburg, who is the current pontiff.1 Benedict’s expected criticisms of Euro-American consumerism and socio-political ideologies are represented, but also refined, in the two parts of the text. The […]

Eros in Benedict and Luther

[1] Lutherans, insofar as they derive their theology from Luther, should welcome Pope Benedict’s Encyclical, Deus Caritas Est. Luther, I think, would find this latest word from the Vatican surprisingly congenial. [2] Benedict argues from Scripture and presents his ideas pastorally, making the encyclical accessible to those with no formal theological training-both points that should […]

Love Grows through Love: Exploring a Shared Catholic-Lutheran History

[1] Actual quotes from different persons: I can’t serve others without some kind of regular communal prayer. My primary call in ministry is to lead a community in worship. I left the (Baptist) seminary because I couldn’t see myself religiously legitimating suburban life cyle rituals. [2] What audacity measures love’s growth? In Deus Caritas Est, […]

Pastoral Implications of Deus Caritas Est

[1] The first encyclical letter of Pope Benedict XVI is a reflection on I John 4:16b, the first words of which comprise its title: God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. It is dated December 25, 2005 (although it was released a month later, apparently […]

Introduction to Lutherans on Deus Caritas Est

[1] Love, we know, stands at the heart of both Christian doctrine and ethics: The gospel tells of God’s love for the world in Jesus Christ, and faith in the gospel gives arise to a life active in love for neighbor. The message is clear and simple, yet it leads us into the most basic […]

A Lutheran Encyclical: Benedict’s Deus Caritas Est

[1] The first encyclical of Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est, offers a “timely and significant” statement of the “heart of the Christian faith” in “a world where the name of God is sometimes associated with vengeance or even a duty of hatred and violence.” Encyclical statements of Catholic teaching have these dogmatic and ethical […]

Delivering the Goods: A Radical Lutheran Response to Deus Caritas Est

[1] In his first encyclical letter, Deus Caritas Est, Pope Benedict XVI offers a vision of the Christian life with specific directives for the mission of the Roman Catholic Church. His argument is straightforward: God’s love given most concretely in Jesus Christ ought to be manifest in specific practices, such as charity, within the church. […]

Knowing What Cosmos You’re In

[1] . . . love between man and woman, where body and soul are inseparably joined and human beings glimpse an apparently irresistible promise of happiness . . . would seem to be the very epitome of love; all other kinds of love immediately seem to fade in comparison (Deus Caritas Est, Part I.2). [2] […]