Response to the Work of the Task Force for ELCA Studies on Sexuality in 2009

The release of the Report and Recommendation on Ministry Policies and the proposed social statement Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust by the Task Force for the ELCA Studies on Sexuality has naturally occasioned public comment and public interest. Journal of Lutheran Ethics offers, as its contribution to the public debate, both original essays by Lutheran scholars and links to commentary published elsewhere. What follows is a sampling of some of the publicly available documents.

The work of the task force is available at

The report and recommendation regarding ministry policies contains an appendix in which two dissenting positions are expressed. These dissenting positions are an important part of the public debate over the report and recommendations

These essays appear in Journal of Lutheran Ethics:

Luther’s Christocentric and Biblical Theology of Marriage
– Paul Hinlicky

“Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust” and the Christian Scriptural Tradition
– Matthew Marohl

Response: Proposed Statement on Human Sexuality
– Kristin Johnston Largen

These commentaries appear in other places on the Web:

Frequent JLE contributor Bob Benne makes his request here: When There Are No Biblical or Theological Grounds to Change

Paul Hinlicky expresses dismay in I Think I Want a Divorce

As of the end of April, more than 130 teaching theologians of the ELCA had signed on to a statementexpressing support for the work of the task force

Two bishops who offered public comment have made those comments available:

1) Response of Peter Rogness, bishop of the St. Paul Area Synod

2) Response of Roy Riley bishop of the New Jersey Synod (click on 03-04-09 bishops letter)

Kaari Reierson

Kaari Reierson is the founding editor of the Journal of Lutheran Ethics and is the Chair of the Journal of Lutheran Ethics Advisory Council.