Issue: June 2005: Just Peace and Just Peacemaking

Volume 5 Number 6

If God Gives Them the Same Gifts, Who are We to Hinder God?

[1] I have been engaged in the subject of homosexuality and the church, as both ethicist and teacher of church governance for many years. Formal engagement with the subject began in 1978, when I was the primary writer for a paper prepared by the Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary faculty for the Executive Council of the […]

JLE Portfolio: Just Peace and Just Peacemaking

[1] We have a special focus on just peace and just peacemaking in this issue. Mark Hanson, President of the Lutheran World Federation and Presiding Bishop of the ELCA, called for theological work among the member communions on principles of a just peace in his September 2004 President’s Address to the Lutheran World Federation Council. […]

A Lutheran Perspective on Teaching Legal Ethics

[1] I have a confession to make. For the past decade, I have been teaching Lutheran ethics to the students of George Washington University Law School. This confession will come as something of a surprise to my students and colleagues. GW is not, after all, a religiously affiliated law school, much less a Lutheran one; […]

In the Face of War

This article has been reprinted by permission from Sojourners Magazine. “In the Face of War” first appeared in Sojourners Magazine January 2005. [1] Our time – as every era – is a time of structured enemies. Yes, there are moments of true regard for the other, even moments of sheer poetry. Yet the fabric of […]

Our Pacific Mandate: Orienting Just Peacemaking as Lutherans

[1] The “pacific mandate” does not apply to Lutherans. Neither does it apply to Christians. If that were the case, it’d be shocking. In truth, of course, God’s mandate of peace, of just peacemaking, applies to all people and peoples. It pertains then to all Christian saints who, simultaneously as sinners and as creatures, stand […]

The Just War Theory of Peacemaking

[1] Peacemaking is a part of politics. God wills peace for his creation, and God’s will for peace expresses itself partly through government’s work of preservation. This, anyway, is the view of Article XVI of the Augsburg Confession. Earthly peace depends upon political power, and, therefore, in the service of peace government may “punish evildoers […]

Vulnerability and Security: A Paradox Based on a Theology of Incarnation

[1] The juxtaposition of two apparently contradictory notions, namely, vulnerability and security, makes for a wonderful paradox in the best of Lutheran tradition. They seem mutually exclusive but, in fact, comprise two basic, coexisting human characteristics: all human beings desire security, safety, protection, and shelter. As human beings, however, we also experience that we are […]

Review of Must Christianity Be Violent? by Kenneth R. Chase and Alvin Jacobs

[1] Must Christianity be Violent? “Of course not!” is the obvious answer of any faithful Christian. However, that is the title of this book, a compendium of lectures sponsored in March 2000 by the Center for Applied Christian Ethics of Wheaton College (Illinois). The impetus of these lectures was to engage the concern often leveled […]

Review: Three Books on Peace

[1] Must Christianity -defined as that theological ethos whose normative basis is the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ – be violent? This question, the title of the third book to be reviewed below, is answered with a definite “yes” by the first and emphatic “no” by the second. [2] To be sure, the […]