Editor’s Intro

Editor’s Comments – You Can Handle the Truth

[1] Colonel Nathan Jessup’s thunderous line, “You can’t handle the truth!” reverberated through the nineties.1 Provoked on the stand by Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee’s (Tom Cruise) questioning in the movie A Few Good Men, Jessep (Jack Nicholson) proceeds to lay out some of the harsh realities connected to the American way of life. “Son, we live […]

Planning for an Epidemic

[1] Confronting the possibility of a worldwide flu pandemic has a way of throwing some of our most enduring health care quandaries into sharp relief. How can we distribute limited resources equitably and morally? How do we balance care for the individual and care for the community when they are in conflict? How much power […]

Introduction to “Business Ethics” Issue

[1] This issue of the Journal of Lutheran Ethics deals with business ethics, a topic that impacts the lives of everyone – worker, manager, investor, and/or concerned citizen. Three authors in this issue speak to various facets of this topic. [2] Eric Mount sets forth an argument for recovering traditional norms of covenant, community, and […]

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 […]