Issue: April/May 2024: Protecting Children: What Is the Role of the ELCA?

Volume 24 Number 2

Editor’s Introduction: Protecting Children: What Is the Role of the ELCA?

[1] This issue of JLE, which publishes the papers given at this year’s Gathering of Lutheran Ethicists, is a call to action to the ELCA on behalf of children.  We feature two renowned experts on this topic, Victor Vieth and Marcia Bunge, who were the speakers at the gathering in January. [2] In December, our […]

Lutheran Foundations for Promoting Child Well-being and Addressing Child Maltreatment

[1] Children and young people today face a host of ongoing and newly emerging challenges.[1] In countries rich and poor, many experience poverty, malnutrition, maltreatment, abuse, and a lack of adequate education and health care. Children and families struggle to meet even their basic needs under difficult circumstances when they are fleeing political unrest or […]

Providing Pastoral Care to Survivors of Child Abuse

 “Why did God let me suffer the agonies of [child abuse]? Why did God not intervene when I cried out to him night after night for relief? I have imagined at times my guardian angel pulling on God’s sleeve and saying ‘Don’t you hear little Wesley? Don’t you see his pitiful tears? Can’t you do […]

Panel Discussion on Child Welfare: Lutheran Ethicists’ Gathering 2024

[1] The Lutheran Ethicists’ Network invited a panel of three practitioners to share their insights on the issue of children’s welfare at the Lutheran Ethicists Gathering. [2] Cheryl Collins, CEO of Holy Family Ministries, Principal of Holy Family School in Chicago, gave a report titled: “The Maltreatment of Children:  Protecting our Future Leaders Is Everyone’s […]


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For Congregational Discussion: Protecting Children: What Is the Role of the ELCA?


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FOR CONGREGATIONAL DISCUSSION Please note: Congregations looking to have discussions on child abuse and its prevention might also look to the discussion guide in the December 2023 issue: https://learn.elca.org/jle/for-congregational-discussion-child-abuse/ Each of the essays in this issue might be occasions for a discussion within a congregation that wishes to consider new ways of thinking and new […]

Book Review Introduction: April/May 2024

Stewart Herman reviews Jeff Goodell’s The Heat Will Kill You First: Life and Death on a Scorched Planet through the lens of Lutheran preaching, contrasting Goodell’s approach to that of a Lutheran understanding of vocation.  Thomas Johnston dives into Lutheran notions of vocation from the perspective of formation in his review of Andrew Tucker’s 4D Formation: Exploring Vocation […]

Book Review: The Heat Will Kill You First: Life and Death on a Scorched Planet by Jeff Goodell

[1] On the jacket, Al Gore calls this book “entertaining”—which stunned me.  Al, didn’t you rattle our cages fifteen years ago—inconveniently!—to the dangers of climate change?  So what are you thinking now?  Should we be seeking to be entertained when reading about extreme heat, which kills almost half a million people a year worldwide—twice as […]

Book Review: 4D Formation: Exploring Vocation in Community by Andrew Tucker

[1] Quite often church leaders and academics find themselves challenged to interpret the theological dialogue on vocation to their colleagues or students. Some theologians make painstaking attempts to bring abstract theological concepts into modern contexts and everyday parlance.  Andrew Tucker is one of those theologians. When I learned that his book 4D Formation: Exploring Vocation […]


New! Journal of Lutheran Ethics: The Podcast, Episode 1

This issue features a first for the Journal of Lutheran Ethics – a new podcast to accompany this month’s articles! Host Rev. Matthew Best talks with Rev. Dr. Craig L. Nessan of Wartburg Theological Seminary about the prevalence of child abuse and the need for the ELCA to become a trauma-informed church. “I want our […]