“It has been argued conclusively, I believe, that the spirit of American religion and of America itself, insofar as it has been penetrated by religious themes, has been thoroughly Calvinistic, rather than Catholic, sectarian, or Lutheran.”[I] It has been the mission of Robert Benne, Lutheran public theologian, to balance the current engagement between the Christian tradition and the public sphere of American life by adding a much needed Lutheran perspective – the perspective of a paradoxical vision – to what has been an otherwise often one-sided and impoverished conversation. The book under review this month, A Report from the Front Lines: Conversations in Public Theology, seeks both to honor Benne’s work over the last forty years, to point to his Center for Religion and Society as a resource for those engaging the debate, and to further enrich the Lutheran contribution to the public square.
 The four reviewers are Lutherans whose own views span a broad spectrum of philosophical and social views, and who are themselves participants in the Church’s engagement in the public square.
 Dr. Paul Jersild is recently retired as Professor of Ethics and Co-Director of the Center on Religion in the South at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Columbia, S.C.
 Dr. Marc Kolden is the Olin S. and Amanda Fjelstad Reigstad Professor in Theology at LutherSeminary, St. Paul, MN, and co-editor of By Faith Alone: Essays on Justification in Honor of Gerhard O. Forde.
 The Rev. Peter Speckherd is Pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Green Bay, Wisconsin, a Lutheran Church-Mo. Synod congregation, and is Associate Editor of the Forum Letter
 Dr. Martha Stortz is well known to the regular patrons of the Journal of Lutheran Ethics. She is Professor of Historical Theology and Ethics at the Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary/Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California.
[I] Robert Benne, The Paradoxical Vision: A Public Theology for the Twenty-first Century, (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1995), p. 26.