Issue: September 2003

Volume 3 Number 9

Caring for Creation Today: Dialogue, Debate and Discipleship

[1] At the beginning of our task force’s work on what became Caring for Creation I hoped that the result of our efforts would be a fundamentally theological statement on the environment. This was not a foregone conclusion. A serious treatment of ecological issues had to take into account scientific, technological, economic, and political realities […]

Extinction and Sin

[1] Ambrose, mentor to Augustine, puts the question. His was another audience and time but seventeen centuries later the question still serves us well. Why do the injuries of nature delight you? The world has been created for all, while you rich are trying to keep it for yourselves. Not merely the possession of the […]

In, With, and Under: The Lutheran Tradition and the Teaching of Christian Ethics

[1] The study of Christian ethics can be a contentious undertaking at church-related colleges, particularly if students come from diverse religious backgrounds. Does the professor instill students with the doctrines of the specific Christian tradition of the college, expose them to a variety of Christian traditions, include other religious and philosophical perspectives? What about those […]

On Seeing the Connections: Reflections on the Tenth Anniversary of Caring for Creation

[1] In this year of 2003 the synodical assemblies of the ELCA, the assembly of the Lutheran World Federation, and the Churchwide Assembly of the ELCA have all lifted up the common theme: “Making Christ Known for the Healing of the World.” In all these venues one heard eloquent testimony to the hurts of a […]

Our Environmental Ethic—Our Christian Heritage

[1] During the ten years since the ELCA adopted Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope, and Justice the environment has taken a beating. It’s not the fault of the statement, which, in and of itself, it very good. Nevertheless, finite, nonrenewable resources have been consumed at increasing rates; many renewable resources have been depleted or obliterated; […]

Reflections on “Caring for Creation”

[1] Ten years have flown by; it was such a great experience to be part of the task force. I think often of the people I met. I keep in touch with Lisa Lundgren. [2] Living in South Central Nebraska farming is my main concern. Farmers are going to minimum tillage (preventing the erosion of […]

Reflections on the Environmental Task Force (1991-93), The Caring for Creation Statement, and Subsequent Events

[1] As 16 invited individuals gathered in Chicago in autumn of 1989, it soon became apparent that this group of Lutherans was very special. Several members of the Department for Studies selected members of the task force for the Division for Church in Society based on prior knowledge of potential candidates, telephone interviews, and recommendations […]

Shelf-Life of a Vision: The 1993 Social Statement on Caring for Creation

[1] During the last decade, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, its theologians, its pastors, and many of its lay leaders have been preoccupied with a number of critically important issues: the calling and status of bishops and, behind that, the relevance of the historic catholic tradition; the interpretation of sexual identity and, behind that, […]

Singing “The Hymn of All Creation”

This address was given at Trinity Lutheran Seminary’s Commencement in May of 2003. Used with permission. [1] Exhausted faculty, indebted graduates, anxious development officers and president, relieved partners, children, parents, and friends, I am delighted to be your commencement speaker. [2] Such is the manner of a concocted commencement address by Garrison Keillor, who, after […]

Book Notes: Recent Works on the Promise and Peril of Genetic Engineering (1 of 4)

[1] This article inaugurates a column that will appear three or four times during the coming year. Its purpose is to review books addressing genetic engineering and its implications for the future of humanity. I’m using several criteria in selecting books to be discussed: 1) They will be directed to society at large, which means […]

What Do Religious Institutions Have to Say About Corporate Governance?

©2002 Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility. (This article originally appeared in the September issue (Vol. 30, No. 7) of the Corporate Examiner, a publication of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility.) For more information, please visit, or call 212-870-2295. [1] To say that 2001 and 2002 have been watershed years for corporate governance would […]

A Review of Law, Life, and the Living God: The Third Use of the Law in Modern American Lutheranism by Scott R. Murray

[1] Scott R. Murray, currently a Lutheran Church Missouri Synod pastor in Houston, Texas, began this book as a dissertation at New Orleans Baptist Seminary. His work was motivated initially by what he perceived as an ethical libertinism in the ELCA’s human sexuality studies of the early 1990s. The goal of this book is to […]