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Review of Gilbert Meilaender’s Bioethics: A Primer for Christians

[1] Christian ethics, like Christian theology, is a human enterprise. It is a human enterprise that engages in critical reflection on moral life. One of the tasks of Christian ethics is to uncover the principles, norms, and values that should and really do inform Christian communities in their struggle to answer the ethical question: what […]

Truth Is Stranger than Fiction: The Da Vinci Code and Early Christianity

[1] Since its appearance in April of 2003, Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code has been a remarkable success.1 This fictional novel has won fans around the world, inspired a cottage industry in television shows, books and organized trips, and is presently being made into a major motion picture directed by Ron Howard and starring […]

What Has Been Overlooked?

[1] It is not an original thought. I heard one of the TV pundits discussing the point after the last debate; but it struck home. Over these past weeks of campaigning, the middle class has been front and center. People are losing jobs and health care. The elderly can’t get the prescription drugs they need. […]

Doping in Athletics: A Conspiracy of Silence

[1] In an event little-noted outside the swimming world, the U.S. women’s 4X200 freestyle relay broke the oldest world record on the books in the Athens Olympics. The 17-year-old mark was set by the team from the German Democratic Republic and was widely viewed as tainted by the East German team’s steroid use. East German […]

Caring For Health: Our Shared Endeavor: A Review

[1] Members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America are both corporate and individual consumers and providers of health care in the United States of America. As such, we are bound and committed to care for the health and well-being of ourselves and our neighbor as Jesus commands us to love our neighbors as ourselves. […]

Just War and Interventionist Foreign Policy

[1] The January 13, 2003 issue of The New Yorker published an article about a manufacturer of artificial limbs from Staten Island. He wanted to help the victims of the civil war in Sierra Leone, in which amputation had been a key form of terrorist activity. [2] He had difficulty finding a way to carry […]

Shareholder Advocacy

[1] Taking activist positions on issues of society is not a new endeavor for United Methodists and followers of the Church’s founder, John Wesley. Historically, the denomination is known for its involvement with political and social struggles that impact individuals locally and globally. The General Board of Pension and Health Benefits of The United Methodist […]

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 […]

They Told What Had Happened on the Road

[1] Raised in a parsonage in Michelsdorf in Germany, situated in the hills of Silesia – the son, grandson, and great-grandson of Silesian pastors, I was immersed in the Christian faith and its proclamation. My paternal, non-theological grandparents had died before I was born. My paternal uncles and aunts appeared only rarely in my life. […]

Sufficient, Sustainable Livelihood for All


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The following is an excerpt from the ELCA Social Statement “Sufficient, Sustainable Livelihood for All,” adopted by the sixth biennial Churchwide Assembly in August of 1999. To read the statement in full, click here ​. For all: especially those living in poverty [1] “For all” refers to the whole household of God—all people and creation […]