ELCA Social Teachings

“Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust”-Ramifications of a Relational Anthropology

[1] In March 2008, the Task Force for ELCA Studies on Sexuality, Church in Society, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America published a “Draft Statement on Human Sexuality.” The information provided at the opening of the draft explained that the ELCA was preparing a social statement on human sexuality to be considered by the […]

Response: Proposed Statement on Human Sexuality

[1] Of the many provocative and interesting aspects of the ELCA proposed social statement on sexuality—“Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust”—I want to focus my analysis on one particular theological assertion; and then elaborate on five key ethical and theological ramifications of that assertion. A Relational Anthropology [2] Repeatedly, in a variety of places, this social […]

A Preliminary, Quick Review of the ELCA’s Draft Social Statement on Human Sexuality

[1] March 13, 2008, the public release date of the ELCA’s Draft Social Statement on Human Sexuality, was not a date I had noted on my calendar. I confess that I was not paying much attention to the release of this draft, at least until two weeks ago when I was asked to be one […]

Be Careful What You Ask for

[1] I was called to serve Grace Lutheran Church in Evanston one year ago this April. Grace is my First Call, and I am blessed to be doing ministry with such an assembly. [2] Grace participated in at least two of the three sexuality studies. We’ve been a Reconciling in Christ congregation for some time. […]

The Use of Scripture in the “Draft Social Statement on Human Sexuality”

[1] My assignment is to evaluate how Scripture is used in the “Draft Social Statement on Human Sexuality” published in March of 2008. I will for the most part limit my focus to that single topic. All references to the document are by line number. Use of the Bible [2] By design, I start with […]

Appreciation and Critique of the ELCA’s Draft Social Statement on Human Sexuality

[1] As a colleague put it, “It’s not the train wreck that we feared.” Indeed, there is much that is theologically laudable in the draft Social Statement on Human Sexuality: centrally, the long over-due attempt in the ELCA to “frame” (#27-28) deliberation of difficult moral issues in terms of normative Lutheran theology. The ELCA has […]

Context Versus Principles: Still A Misplaced Debate

[1] “What benefits and drawbacks do you see to the theological moves made in the draft?” I was asked to respond to this question in this brief article, and I do so with enthusiasm for the powerful-if still imperfect-theological framing found in the recent ELCA draft social statement on human sexuality. Some Methodological Reflections: Four […]

Practicing What We Preach in Lutheran Sexual Ethics

[1] In many ways, the Draft Social Statement on Human Sexuality (DSSHS) represents a better theological foundation for a Lutheran approach to sexual ethics than its predecessors, both contemporary and historical. In this essay I discuss some of the theo-ethical benefits of this draft for the ELCA. Yet this draft also has some problems, two […]

Response to Draft Social Statement on Human Sexuality

[1] As a draft teaching document for the ELCA, the document provides scant and occasional reference to classical and past Lutheran theological construals of human sexuality, especially in relation to ‘homosexuality’. The only explicit reference in the body of the text is the statement that “[a]t this particular point in history, this church confesses with […]

Governor Spitzer and Marital Infidelity

[1] The fall of yet another politician on grounds of marital infidelity is nothing new, but it is always news. It is also tiresome and upsetting, for we would like to think that our elected officials are decent people whose character would not allow this kind of conduct. It prompts some thoughts about personal morality […]