Issue: August 2005

Volume 5 Number 8

JLE Portfolio: Sexuality: Law and Gospel

[1] I take some comfort in knowing that the ELCA is by no means unique in its struggle to hear God’s call and find its way when it comes to same-gender committed relationships and ordination, consecration, and commissioning of people in committed same-sex unions. We keep company with many other denominations, not to mention our […]

Christian Eye for the Queer Guy

[1] Human beings, as far as we know, are unique in their ability to engage in moral choice. The endeavor to do this is an ancient and sincere striving; one that makes living a happy and fulfilling life a real possibility. But in trying to make moral decisions we often become overwhelmed by the immense […]

Living Together Faithfully in Community While Disagreeing

[1] I have great appreciation for the work that the Task Force for Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Studies on Sexuality did as they wrestled with some of the most excruciatingly difficult issues of our time. I particularly like their recommendation that we concentrate on finding ways to live together faithfully in the midst of […]

Recognition, Not Blessing

[1] How far can confessional Lutherans bend to accommodate an urgently felt pastoral need and, if possible, to preserve the unity of the ELCA (such as it is)? Direction from the Confession of Faith [2] It is a sign of the theological weakness of this troubled denomination that it has yet to see the question […]

The Church as a Community of Moral Deliberation—A Time of Testing

[1] The church is about speaking and listening. For those who believe the church has responsibility in and for society, it follows quite naturally that Christians should talk together about the relationship of the faith to their responsibilities. Christians have done so for centuries in a variety of ways, and in a democratic society with […]

Why Now? Lutherans Join a Mainline Debate

[1] As Lutherans move toward our Churchwide Assembly in Orlando, it may be good to reflect on our historical context. For Lutherans are hardly alone in being driven to debate sexuality over the past decade. Methodists, Presbyterians, and Episcopalians–among others–have been rocked by questions about ordaining gays and lesbians and blessing homosexual unions. Why now? […]

Antinomians: Then and Now

The following article originally appeared in the Winter 2002 edition of Lutheran Forum and has been reprinted with permission from the author. [1] In appreciation for their diligent efforts, I want to respond briefly to the first dozen or so reviewers of my recent book, Christians in Society; Luther, the Bible, and Social Ethics (Minneapolis: […]