Government (Civil)

A Few Remarks about Pious Politicians and What Christians Should Think about Them

[1] The editors of JLE asked me to think about what Christians should think about pious politicians who say they believe in God and talk about their prayer life on national television. The editors want us to ponder the question: how should Christians evaluate public displays of religiosity from political candidates seeking to win public […]

Faith in the Left-Hand Kingdom

[1] There is a very good chance that the 2008 Republican nominee for President will, for the first time in party history, not be a Protestant but rather a Roman Catholic or a Mormon. Historically, the Republican Party has been the party of America’s Protestants, both Mainline and, more recently, evangelical. Not long ago, the […]

The Religion of Candidates: Does it Matter?

[1] Should citizens consider the religious identity of candidates? The constitutional answer is no. The Constitution itself mentions religion only once; Article VI forbids religious litmus tests for public office. At a time when many state constitutions included religious litmus tests for holding public office, this was a bold move. Calling for an institutional separation […]

Thoughts on Evaluating a Candidate

[1] When evaluating a political candidate, a concerned citizen should rightfully examine several of that candidate’s traits. The most obvious trait perhaps is the candidate’s position on the issues most relevant to the attentive citizen. If the citizen is deeply concerned about the environment she will evaluate candidates based on their position regarding global warming, […]

What Should A Christian Citizen Consider?

[1] The question is posed: What should a Christian citizen consider when evaluating the religion of candidates for political office and their appeal to religion in their attempts to get elected and in their efforts to support their legislative initiatives? [2] The classic Lutheran answer to the first part of the question is that frequently […]

Niebuhr’s Realism and the Mess in Iraq

1] Published in the darkest days of the Great Depression, presciently warning about Hitler’s rise in Germany, insightfully urging that achievement of greater equality within America is a matter of its own survival, Reinhold Niebuhr’s Moral Man and Immoral Society is one of those books often referred to but infrequently studied. As we struggle to […]

Lutherans and the Southern Civil Rights Movement

[1] One of the most important events in United States history is the southern Civil Rights Movement. Although the Civil Rights Movement involved religious leaders and communities of many denominations, this paper focuses on how Lutheranism interacted with the movement. Lutheran involvement in the movement is a milestone in Lutheran history that will possibly be […]

Preaching and the Polis—Some Thoughts from the Pew

[1] As someone who has known John Stumme since his student days at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago in the late 1960s, when I was a young professor there, I am not surprised at the stellar career he has had in the succeeding decades. For already at that time he was a visible […]

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 […]

God, Church, and Country: Berggrav’s Leadership in the Norwegian Resistance

[1] In December 1944 the Norwegian Lutheran bishop Eivind Josef Berggrav (1884-1959) was featured on the cover of Time, becoming one of the few protestant religious figures to have been thus honored.1 In 1942, the New York Times chose him as one of the six religious leaders to be profiled in a series headlined “Churchmen […]