The Ethics of Dialogue and Debate Book Review Editor’s Introduction

The book reviews in this issue carry forward the theme of dialogue found in the essays.  First, Sarah Bereza reviews Preaching in the Purple Zone: Ministry in the Red-Blue Divide by Leah D. Schade.  Schade proposes a sermon-dialogue-sermon model for eliciting grace-filled conversations about divisive topics.


Next, we pioneer a new format for a Journal of Lutheran Ethics book review.  Together, Angela Khabeb and Ingrid Rasmussen conduct a book review in the format of a conversation that brings into striking relief the impact of one’s social location in responding to a book. These two ELCA pastors discuss Dear Church: A Love Letter from a Black Preacher to the Whitest Denomination in the United States by Lenny Duncan, also an ELCA pastor.


We close with notations of additional resources for engaging congregations in dialogue about difficult issues in church and society.


Additional Resources

The ELCA has produced a number of resources to assist congregations and other groups in coming together to engage challenging issues.  The links below provide entry points for inviting and hosting conversations of moral deliberation in difficult matters of faith and life.



Study guides on specific issues, including for each social statement, are also available here.

Nancy Arnison

Nancy Arnison is a lawyer, theologian and nonprofit executive and serves as the Book Review Editor for the Journal of Lutheran Ethics.