Editor’s Intro

Introduction to “Stem Cell Research” Issue

[1] Stem cell research is not only an issue for academic ethical reflection. It is an issue that has played prominently in recent elections, and has become a topic of discussion for journalists and the general public. It is an issue about which people, inside and outside the church, have been seeking guidance and direction […]

Challenges and the Challenge

[1] Please indulge me with a few opening propositions that could be merely a statement of the obvious – unless, of course, you disagree with what follows. Lutheran ethics is neither legalistic nor so liberal in spirit as to verge on the antinomian. Lutheran ethics is grounded in Scripture but is neither biblicistic nor so […]

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 […]

JLE Portfolio: Sexuality: Law and Gospel

[1] I take some comfort in knowing that the ELCA is by no means unique in its struggle to hear God’s call and find its way when it comes to same-gender committed relationships and ordination, consecration, and commissioning of people in committed same-sex unions. We keep company with many other denominations, not to mention our […]

JLE Portfolio: Conscience and Community

[1] It’s all very fine and good when Luther says “My conscience is captive to the word of God,” and he’s the only one using that particular argument. But what to do when people claim to be conscience-bound to the Scriptures, but with entirely different results? Given that the Task Force for the ELCA Studies […]

JLE Portfolio: Reflections on End of Life Decisions

[1] The long tragic case of Terri Shiavo recently produced an outpouring of response throughout the United States. Her death was reported on April 1, 2005, nearly two weeks after life support was removed in accord with a court order. Terri Shiavo suffered severe brain damage in 1990 when she collapsed at home after suffering […]

JLE Portfolio: On the Release of the Report and Recommendations of the Task Force for ELCA Studies on Sexuality

[1] News reports of the report and recommendations of the task force for the ELCA Studies on Sexuality displayed various headlines. “No change” was followed by “Gays Win,” “Tolerate” and “Be Flexible” as news outlets tried to characterize the recommendations. Those unfamiliar with the history of the issue in the ELCA, the present regulations, Lutheran […]

Preface to the November 2004 Issue: The Political Election

[1] Last night I watched a television special in which the commentator compared the candidates in everything from the pathos of their siblings to the way they parted their hair to the breed of the family dog. I have to admit that I was surprised to learn that George W. Bush is a small dog […]

Introduction: The Search for Just Peacemaking

[1] My recent research trip to the U. S. Virgin Islands was a window to the complexity of the pervasive violence that marks our lives. In the aftermath of the attack on the World Trade Center, all passengers were routinely subjected to electronic body scans, and all carry-on luggage was searched by hand not only […]

The Way Things Used to Be: JLE One Year Later

[1] “That is why what America most needs today may be prayer: prayer that God may yet help us, before it is too late, to stop our accelerating slide toward the way things used to be.” Stephen L. Carter, “Reflections on an America Transformed,” The New York Times September 8, 2002 [2] I have, in […]