A Different Way of Talking

  [1] “For we are God’s servants, working together; you are God’s field, God’s building.”[i] [2] The Lutheran doctrine of the “two kingdoms” has real-life import when it comes to churches engaging in public issues. Because Lutherans believe that God’s realm meets the earthly realm, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has a history of helping […]

Preaching Across the Political Red-Blue Divide: Using the Sermon-Dialogue-Sermon Method in the Purple Zone

[1] Parts of this article are adapted from Schade’s book Preaching in the Purple Zone: Ministry in the Red-Blue Divide (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019). [2] In the first two months of 2017, I conducted a survey of mainline Protestant clergy in the United States to assess how preachers were approaching their sermons during this divisive time in our […]

Review: Preaching in the Purple Zone: Ministry in the Red-Blue Divide. by Leah D. Schade.

9 [1] Good morning congregation, let’s talk about women’s reproductive rights! Or maybe gun control? How about immigration?   [2] If a sermon or adult forum on these topics doesn’t elicit some nervousness for you as a pastor or layperson, I bet you can think of several other topics that would be controversial—and likely divisive—in […]

Routledge Handbook of Religion and Politics, second edition (Routledge, 2016)

[1] This is the second edition of Rutledge’s excellent Handbook on Politics and Religion by Jeffery Haynes. Haynes is Director of Research at London Metropolitan University in the U.K. The first volume was published after the events of September 11, 2011, looking at the implications of “religious terrorism” and “extremism.” Haynes asked some of the […]

A Womanist Perspective on the Election of Donald Trump: What Pastors Are Called to Do

Christians often talk about how we are all children of God. However, what does that mean for our relationship to each other–what are the responsibilities of being a sibling in Christ? Dr. Linda Thomas explores this question in light of the election of Donald Trump, with a particular focus on the role of pastors.

Editor’s Introduction: Post-election America

[1] The election of Donald J. Trump as the next president of the United States has raised some important ethical issues that will have to be sorted out wisely and carefully for the sake of the wellbeing of our country and our communities. There are complicated questions regarding conflicts of interest, foreign meddling into our […]

9.5 Theses for Times Such as These

Rev. Wilker, as pastor of a congregation in downtown Washington D.C., has a special perspective on U.S. politics. In this article, he outlines 9.5 ways congregations and individuals can continue to proclaim the gospel in conflicted and tense times such as these.

Editor’s Introduction: Politics

In this exceptional political cycle and fraught political climate, it can be difficult to navigate with thoughtful engagement. This month Dr. Robert Benne and Bishop Dick Graham bring their years of experience and thought into reflections intended to help traverse these waters. They both encourage active citizenship and flag dangers in political activity, with an […]

A Lutheran Bishop’s Reflections on the Church’s Public Work of Advocacy

Bishop Graham of the Metropolitan Washington D.C. Synod writes about his experiences with advocacy ministry. He notes that though Lutheran advocacy is a voice advocating for the poor among many similar voices, the humility and compassion Lutherans can bring to this work makes it all the more unique and valuable. How can Lutherans better serve their neighbor through this vital ministry?

Lutherans and the Political Challenges of 2016

In an election cycle so polarizing, and to some, hopeless, what is a Lutheran response? Benne argues that Lutherans, whether they choose to vote or not, cannot responsibly “opt-out” of this election.​ That being said, fusing religion and politics–envisioning a candidate as a political messiah–is also not faithful. Instead, Benne offers seven counsels for Lutherans and their churches in this fraught political season.