Journal of Lutheran Ethics Issue Index July/August 2017: Book Review Issue



Editor's Introduction

Carmelo Santos

Roger Willer,  Managing Publisher

Since 2013 Dr. James Child (Jim), formerly dean and the Joseph A. Sittler Professor of Theology and Ethics at Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, Ohio, has served as buffet manager for all of us who depend on JLE as the solution to "so many books, so little time." As of this past June, Jim stepped down from this work he has done so to serve up what we readers need. This late summer's book review issue is dedicated to him with our deepest gratitude.  It is my privilege as managing publisher on behalf of the Theological Discernment Team in the Office of the Presiding Bishop of the ELCA to share a few reflections on this occasion.  As a heads up I also, at the end of this essay, am happy to announce who JLE's new book review editor will be.  Read More​.

Book Reviews

Dan Lee


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Christian Economic Ethics: History and Implications   by David K. Finn

Fi​nn states at the outset and reiterates throughout that the aim of the book is to answer the question, "What does the history of Christian views of economic life mean for our economic life in the twentieth century?"  His review of that history begins with the Hebrew Scriptures and runs through the early church, the Middles Ages, the Reformation, modern and contemporary encyclicals, and social statements of the Protestant churches.  The historical narrative is a rich blend of extensive excerpts from the primary sources and the author's commentary on their message.  It is the foundation that Finn lays for his concluding chapters on th​e principles and implications for economic ethics today. ​

Thinking About Sex by Adrian Thatcher

Adrian Thatcher is honorary professor in the department of theology and religion at the University of Exeter in the UK. He is highly regarded for his work in theology and human sexuality. He has edited the 2015 Oxford Handbook of Theology, Sexuality and Gender. His most recent book is God, Sex, and Gender: An Introduction (2011). Thinking About Sex, part of the Fortress Press “Thinking About” series, was published in cooperation with Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, London, England and originally titled, Making Sense of Sex.

Sin Boldly​ by Ted Peters

Ted Peters opens up the doctrine of justification by grace for Christ’s sake through faith so that we can see and appreciate how truly radical it is as he unpacks its vitality for our lives and our life in engaging this complex world. The doctrine of justification though familiar is always new and Peters helps us feel that creative energy of living in grace. As the subtitle tells us, Peters wants to speak of justification by faith in terms of “justifying faith.” The term has two meanings which, taken together, alert us to the scope of the book’s discussion. ​

A Conversation with Martin Marty about His New Book

This book is a little book with a big message: a message of repentance as change of heart, the message of 1517 that Marty is able to show has manifold implications for church and world. It is worthy of careful attention in the commemorations to come. Because of its size and accessibility to a broad readership, this book is an excellent resource for use in congregations as well as classrooms. It can introduce readers to the heartbeat of the Reformation. An extra benefit is the inclusion of the full text of the Ninety-Five Theses. Readers who may never have had an occasion to read them will now have them ready at hand as they read about their world-changing significance.

Laura Hartman  

Killing from the Inside Out: Moral Injury and Just War by Robert Emmet Meagher, Forward by Stanley Hauerwas and Afterword by Jonathan Shay

Moral injury often occurs when warriors witness or participate in an act so radically contrary to their values that the bottom drops out of their moral universe and their feelings of shame and guilt are so deep that their sense of self-worth is virtually destroyed. Some would distinguish this from PTSD that usually results from something that has been done to one though the two conditions may be woven together. In any case, moral injury is the reality Meagher focuses on. In doing so, he joins a growing number of concerned observers who have only recently recognized the phenomenon. As Meagher wants us to know in the chapters that follow war and moral injury have always been with us throughout history. It is only recently however that it has been identified by psychologists, psychiatrists, and therapists. Jonathan Shay, MD, PhD, who wrote the Afterword, is often credited with having first defined moral injury. For Meagher, quoting the mother of a veteran who committed suicide, moral injury is the kind of wound that “kills you from inside out.” 

Articles published in the journal reflect the perspectives and thoughts of their authors and not necessarily the theological, ethical, or social stances of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.​

© July/August 2017
Journal of Lutheran Ethics
Volume 17, Issue 4