Issue: January 2005

Volume 5 Number 1

A Response to the Task Force for ELCA Studies on Sexuality

“We are not what we know, but what we are willing to learn” -M.C. Bateson In the last years of study in the ELCA, we have learned that: Even as we confess one Lord, one faith, and one baptism, we hold different points of view about human sexuality; especially our church’s willingness to bless same-sex […]

JLE Portfolio: On the Release of the Report and Recommendations of the Task Force for ELCA Studies on Sexuality

[1] News reports of the report and recommendations of the task force for the ELCA Studies on Sexuality displayed various headlines. “No change” was followed by “Gays Win,” “Tolerate” and “Be Flexible” as news outlets tried to characterize the recommendations. Those unfamiliar with the history of the issue in the ELCA, the present regulations, Lutheran […]

Kenosis and Resistance

A previous version of this article was presented to the Bonhoeffer Group at the American Academy of Religion, November 2003. It represents a concise summary of ongoing research involving a broader historical argument; please contact the author with any further questions about research texts. The author is especially indebted to Charles Marsh, whose own works […]

No Red Synods/ Blue Synods in the ELCA: Attempting to Hold the Middle Ground

[1] When I have spoken publicly on these issues in recent years, I have said that if decisions concerning blessing same-sex unions and rostering persons in such unions split the church (in either direction), it will not be because of the issues themselves but because we have failed to understand and to live out what […]

Sex and “Church”

[1] We now know the recommendations of the task force for ELCA Studies on Sexuality: Retain “Vision and Expectations,” but enforce it using “pastoral discretion.” This presents a problem: What criteria should we use to adjudicate enforcement? It would be decidedly un-Lutheran (“enthusiastic”) to locate such discretion in the immediate activity of the Holy Spirit. […]

The Enduring Legacy of Roe v. Wade

1] The big story in this year’s election, we know by now, is that at a time when Americans were asked to consider a host of important issues ranging from Iraq to health care to the economy to terrorism, 22% of voters accorded priority in their deliberations to a nebulous thing like “moral values.” The […]