Issue: June 2010: Voluntary Poverty in the Economy of the Spirit

Volume 10 Number 6

Editor’s Comments – Voluntary Poverty in the Economy of the Spirit

Christ was born in poverty in the stable at Bethlehem, and He died in extreme poverty, nailed naked to the Cross.1 – Karl Barth [1] Leslie Hoppe concludes his recent, comprehensive study of the texts dealing with the poor and poverty in Scripture and the Rabbinic tradition with advice on how Christians should respond today.2 […]

Patristic Christian Views on Poverty and Hunger

[1] The poor are “living images of God,” wrote Martin Luther in 1522, an opinion shared by Ulrich Zwingli, who argued that God “turned all visible cults from himself to the poor.”1 Both reformers knew Johannes Oecolampadius (a co-signatory at Marburg in 1529), whose treatises on poor relief began with his 1519 translation of Gregory […]

Mark’s Gospel, Social Outcasts, and Modern Slavery

[1] Poverty entraps people by ensnaring and entangling them in intricate and inescapable webs of slavery. I use “slavery” not as a metaphor, but as an apt description of what life is like for between twelve and twenty-seven million people today.1 That there are more slaves today than at any other time in history should […]

Who Gets to Eat? Consumption, Complicity, and Poverty

[1] Two of my favorite theologians set the terms of this essay. One, Kathryn Tanner, asserts as her theological base that God gives unconditionally; God gives to all; and that God wills a community of mutual benefit.1 The other, Craig Nessan of Wartburg Seminary, writes that hunger in a world of abundance is a scandal […]

Review of Reta Halteman Finger, Of Widows and Meals: Communal Meals in the Book of Acts

[1] As the director of hunger education for ELCA World Hunger and a student of the Bible, I am always looking for books and resources that blend good history and theology with contemporary application. Reta Halteman Finger’s 2007 book, Of Widows and Meals: Communal Meals in the Book of Acts, in many ways succeeds in […]

Editors’ Comment to the CORE Responses

[1] Our May issue of Journal of Lutheran Ethics (JLE) was one of our most-visited in recent memory. One particular article, in fact, was among the most-visited pages on the entire ELCA site for the second week in May. The corresponding number of emails about Jon Pahl’s article on Lutheran CORE in historical perspective has […]

A Response to Dr. Pahl’s Critique of Lutheran CORE

[1] As an ordained woman who is a member of Lutheran CORE I find that I cannot remain silent in the face of Dr. Pahl’s florid and sprawling jeremiad against Lutheran CORE. [2] Dr. Pahl contends that Lutheran CORE is a bastion of angry, fearful American civil religionists, rotten to the core with a millennial, […]

A Rejoinder to Robert Benne and Cathy A. Ammlung

[1] Firstly, I am grateful to Robert Benne for plugging my new book, Empire of Sacrifice. I don’t think it’s “brilliant,” but I do think its analysis of religious violence in America sheds some light on Lutheran CORE, and especially its Chapter 4, “Sacrificing Sex.” [2] More substantively, while my essay might appear to Benne […]

C.S. Lewis on the Christian Life

1] The Christian life hurts. God hurts. That theme is firmly embedded in Lewis’ writings, and it is, I think, the deepest reason for the power of his writing. “The Divine Nature wounds and perhaps destroys us merely by being what it is,” Orual reflects in Till We Have Faces. This theme — that God […]

Addressing Hunger and Poverty Today

[1] One billion human beings are hungry today. One billion people do not have enough to eat. The number alone is staggering. But what makes it scandalous is the fact that God’s abundant creation — the fertile earth and seas — can produce adequate nutrition for all. Scarcity is not the problem. The problems (and […]