Violence (including gun issues, domestic violence, etc)

Editor’s Introduction: Addressing the Sin of Child Abuse

[1] In December, Christians, especially those in the United States, tend to think a lot about children. Part of this is, of course, theological.  Christmas is the celebration of the incarnation of God as an infant.  Fragile as any child, the maker of the stars was, at his birth, unable to support his own head.  […]

The Haustafeln (Household Codes) in Ephesians and the Potential for Child Abuse

[1] I recently had a conversation with my friend, Rachel, who is in the midst of parenting three small children. Her oldest son is especially rambunctious; at 7 years old, he is full of questions, ideas, feelings and most especially, energy! My friend loves her son and sees all his many gifts. He is a […]

The Least of These: The Urgent Need for ELCA Seminaries to Prepare Called Workers to Minister to Survivors of Abuse and Develop Trauma-Informed Congregations

Introduction: ELCA assembly resolution on child abuse [1] At the 2022 ELCA Churchwide Assembly held in Columbus, Ohio, the delegates approved the Memorials Committee’s recommendation that “the Church Council consider authorizing development of a social message on child abuse and protection.”[1] [2] In recommending this action, the ELCA Memorials Committee acknowledged “there has been no […]

Grounding Child Protection in Six Core Commitments: Theology and Ethics

Introduction [1] As the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America deliberates a possible social message on child abuse and child protection, it is vital to ground the commitment to protecting children in core teachings that make explicit the implications for child protection.[1] This article addresses six core theological and ethical themes—baptism, spiritual practices, ecclesiology, diakonia, mission, […]

For Congregational Discussion: Addressing the Sin of Child Abuse

[1] This issue of JLE gives congregations an opportunity to host two kinds of adult education discussion.  The first, is to consider the possibility of non-violent parenting.  Reading Kathleen Gallagher Elkin’s essays on the Household Codes of Ephesians, participants might consider what it would mean to rethink the way we expect the use of force […]

Editor’s Introduction: Guns, Violence, Security in the U.S.: What Might the ELCA Say Now?

[1] The April issue of JLE publishes the papers and proceedings from The Lutheran Ethicists’ Network Gathering that was held in January. The conference topic in 2023 was “Guns, Violence, Security in the U.S.: What Might the ELCA Say Now?” [2] This issue is released the same week as the mass shooting at The Covenant […]

From Controlling Guns to Making Peace: An Assessment of ELCA Social Policy and Public Witness

American gun violence today [1] On an average day, gunshots injure more than 300 Americans. 200 survive while more than 100 perish. In 2021, 47,000 Americans died from guns, an increase of 44% over the last decade. This loss exceeds record highs in the 1990s, although death rates today remain slightly lower. Males account for […]

Understanding and Misunderstanding American Gun Culture and Violence

INTRODUCTION [1] The United States of America is exceptional in many ways. This includes the fact that there are more guns (c. 400 million) than people in the country (332 million) and that we have more gun violence than other high-income nations. Many draw a clear line between more guns and more gun violence. I […]

Notes from the Dialogue: What Can the ELCA Say or Do about Gun Violence Now?

As indicated in the editor’s introduction, this submission to the April 2023 issue provides readers with a snapshot of themes and content reported from the break-out group discussion session at the January 2023 Lutheran Ethicists’ Gathering.  This informal summary was compiled by Rev. Rebecca Nin​​ke and Dr. Jennifer Hockenbery; it does not represent official minutes […]

Review: The Violence of the Biblical God: Canonical Narrative and Christian Faith by L. Daniel Hawk

[1] In a “Letters” response to an appraisal of this book, author Daniel Hawk writes: “The review reveals that I missed the bar, and missed it considerably in some instances…I therefore find the critique painfully illuminating and appreciate [Shai Held’s] pressing it with all due force” (Christian Century, September 11, 2019, p. 6).  The reviewer’s […]