April 2014 Issue Index

​​Role of Government


​Editor's Introduction
   by James Kenneth Echols
The United States Senate has been called “the world’s most deliberative body.” It carefully considers proposals for public policy and is, therefore, engaged in “legislative deliberation.” By contrast, this issue of the Journal of Lutheran Ethics focuses on the current commitment to and emerging emphasis upon deliberation in the life and work of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) that is “moral.” Moral deliberation seeks to discern how the people of God are called to engage life and its various challenges and opportunities in the 21st century.
Role of Government

Community of Moral Deliberation and an Emerging Responsibility Ethic
   by Roger Willer
There are many different philosophies of ethics.  Which ones have informed the ELCA and how has that changed over its 25 year history?  Dr. Roger Willer, Director for Theological Ethics in the Office of the Presiding Bishop, charts out the ELCA's use of responsibility ethics, including what still has yet to be done. 
Church as Community of Moral Deliberation
    by Gary M. Simpson
Simpson situates the ELCA and its ethical discernments within the greater history of Lutheranism in 20th Century America, noting its goal of being a "community of moral deliberation."  ​​How is the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America really Lutheran when looking at its theology, and does that reflect such a community?  

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Congregational Moral Deliberation as Next Public Church

    by Per Anderson
​The concept of a community of moral deliberation is a unique philosophy of the ELCA.  Anderson locates how the ELCA at a denomination level lives out this ethic and explores the possibilities of congregations becoming the source of the ELCA's energy regarding commununal moral deliberation.  The need for local communities to explore theology and social issues is increasingly pressing as a new generation is coming of age with more individualistic attitudes.

​Book Reviews

American Civil ReligionChristian Social Teachings:  A Reader in Christian Social Ethics from the Bible to the Present edited by George Forrell, revised by James Childs
    by Norman Faramelli
Why do we need a book such as Forell's Christian Social Teachings? And, why do we need an update? As we will see, in an age where many suffer from historical amnesia, the excellent revision and expansion of Forell's work by James Childs is a significant contribution to an important but neglected field.  Forell's, Christian Social Teachings was first published in 1966, with a subtitle "A Reader in Christian Social Ethics from the Bible to the Present".  Childs has revised and updated that volume. 
Many ColorsSocial Ministry in the Lutheran Tradition edited by Foster R. McCurley
    by Donald Huber
The overarching theme of this book is to "make a case" both for Lutheran engagement in social service and advocacy and for the necessity of church-government partnerships if the needs of contemporary society are to be met fully and well.  The book should prove useful to social service leaders, pastors, and any who are interested in this vital topic.
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​​​© April 2014
Journal of Lutheran Ethics (JLE)
Volume 14, Issue ​4
Articles published in the Journal reflect the perspectives and thoughts of their authors and not necessarily theological, ethical, or social stances of the ELCA.​