Journal of Lutheran Ethics Issue Index September/October 2017: Lutherans and Sanctification

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Editor's Introduction


Carmelo Santos, Editor
In this issue of the JLE we continue to explore the role of sanctification in the thought of Luther vis-à-vis that of John Wesley. The original setting of these papers was the January 2017 meeting of the Lutheran Ethicists Gathering which included an actual dialogue between Methodist and Lutheran ethicists. In the first article, Svend Andersen, professor at the Department of Theology in the University of Aarhus, Denmark, compares and contrasts Wesley’s explicit elaboration of sanctification as moral perfection with Luther’s more implicit understanding of sanctification especially as it finds expression in his discussions of the role of love in the life of the believer and the work of the Holy Spirit in the economy of salvation. In the second article on this issue, Mathew Riegel, bishop of the West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, offers an erudite exploration of the place of justification and sanctification in the thought of Luther.   Read more.




Sanctification and Lutheran Ethics
by Svend Andersen

Writing from a Danish perspective, Andersen explores the role of sanctification in Lutheranism, in part by comparing it to the Methodist tradition. Focusing on the role of the Holy Spirit in sanctification, Andersen analyzes the origin of caring for the neighbor, as emphasized in Luther.  If Lutheran ethics is not about following moral rules, what is our guide and how is the Holy Spirit involved?


The End of the Human: Relocating Sanctification in Luther’s Thought

by Matthew Riegel 

In order to discern Luther's thoughts sanctification, and their significance for us today, Riegel, Bishop of the West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod, examines Luther's questions: "What is the human creature? And what is its end?" With such an emphasis on justification in Lutheran theology, what role is there for sanctification? For Riegel, the answer likes in Luther's theological anthropology.


Book Reviews

From Jeremiad to Jihad                  

Creation-Crisis Preaching: Ecology, Theology, and the Pulpit by Leah Schade
Review by Henry J. Langknecht

I came to this book as a preacher with a fully awakened understanding that the Earth is in crisis and a partially awakened sense that the Church’s way of speaking about Creation (Dr. Schade argues for capitalizing the word) is in need of reform. What I was looking for in Schade’s book was some theological depth to backfill my sometimes thin proclamation of the cosmic Christ whose death and resurrection give hope for more than the mere salvation of sinners. I also came looking for a way to think about God-in-nature that was grounded and existential while remaining big and mysterious enough to nurture my neoorthodox roots. I was also searching for useful, concrete suggestions for reframing my regular preaching practice. And I hoped for a word of hope.


Earth Ethics: A Case Method Approach by James B. Martin-Schramm, Daniel T. Spencer, and Laura A. Stivers

Review by Leah Schade

Understanding the complexities of socio-environmental ethics is a daunting task.  Even the most dedicated eco-ethicist is hard-pressed to have a comprehensive command of the facts and figures of the issues competing for our attention.  This is why Earth Ethics: A Case Method Approach is such a vital addition to the library of any professor, teacher, pastor, adult forum leader or anyone charged with facilitating a conversation about the most pressing environmental justice issues of our time.  This book is a one-stop-shop for providing not only the ethical frameworks and resources needed for addressing these topics, but also detailed examinations of nine of those issues. 

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.​

© September/October 2017
​Journal of Lutheran Ethics
Volume 17, Issue 5



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