May 2014 Issue Index


Editor's Introduction

James Kenneth Echols
The plague of gun violence in our country, highlighted by tragic mass shootings at schools and in other places, has sparked renewed attention on the presence of the approximately 270 to 310 million privately owned legal and illegal guns and their use in the United States. As the debate proceeds on current and future public policy, the discussion involves deep consideration of gun laws, gun possession, gun rights and gun safety. This issue of the Journal of Lutheran Ethics explores the reality of guns and their use in our society from a variety of perspectives and invites us to reflect on where we stand on this important moral issue and why.

Gun Control

Dan Lee

​​Gun Violence and Christian Witness
   by Katie Day
 The statistics about gun violence in the United States are staggering--especially when compared to other countries.  Day examines the role of American culture in the gun control debate and how Christianity is often invoked to support gun ownership.  She also notes the potential within Chrisitian theology and the Christian community to work to end violence.  

Carmelo Santos

Keeping and Bearing Arms: Much More Than a Constitutional Right
    by Jeffrey Klingfuss
The Second Amendment was not created in a vacuum.  The Framers were responding to an already existing mindset about the natural right to bear arms. Klingfuss then moves forward through time, tracing the history of how this right has been interpreted in the American court system in the present. 

Kirsi Stjerna  

To Own a Gun or not to Own a Gun, That is the Question​
   by Alexander M. Jacobs                   
We know that guns are prevalent in many homes throughout in the United States, and we know that Americans  have the right to own firearms.  However, as Christians, should we?  Based on Paul's message to the Corinthians about eating meat, and Luther's concept of Christian freedom, Jacobs argues that Christians should choose to not own guns in order to set an example for the community and to keep it safe.



Book Reviews

From Jeremiad to Jihad

Review: The Future of Ethics: Sustainability, Social Justice, and Religious Creativity, by Willis Jenkins
   Review by Dale Ann Gray 
Willis Jenkins seeks to convince the reader that when Christian ethics begins with a worldview and then proceeds to application, it seldom arrives at the desired result of actually addressing overwhelming problems. The practice of faith demands action now. Borrowing the emphasis on praxis from liberation theology, Christian ethics will learn and adapt as it reflects on actions. 

Laura Hartman  

Review: Solidarity Ethics: Transformation in a Globalized World, by Rebecca Todd Stevens.
   Review by Laura Stivers
In this book, Peters helps first-world Christians with privilege think about how they might act in solidarity with those who suffer poverty and injustice as a result of neoliberal economic globalization.  While many first-world Christians have moral intuitions towards sympathy and responsibility, Peters argues that put into practice, these intuitions are disempowering to people living in poverty and fail to address the systemic factors that have contributed to social injustice.  In contrast, the ethic of solidarity that Peters proposes is based on the moral intuition of mutuality and connected to the values of justice and sustainability. 

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.

© May 2014
Journal of Lutheran Ethics
Volume 14, Issue 5