The Grace of Being Freed From Judging My Neighbor

Earlier this week, I had an op-ed about religious freedom published in the local newspaper, responding to to legislative efforts in many states (VP nominee Mike Pence’s Indiana among them) to enable business owners to use religious freedom as a license to deny services and discriminate. Here’s an excerpt (click to read the full piece): As Lutherans prepare [Read More…]

At the Intersections: The Public Body of Christ

Many good people live and work at the intersections and I occasionally invite someone to tell a story from where they stand. I first encountered Samantha Nichols via Twitter and our common engagement with the Interfaith Youth Core. I met her this fall when she was on a #BlackLivesMatter panel at a meeting of the ELCA Theological [Read More…]

Fighting Religious Prejudice with Conversation & Information

How often do you have conversations with someone of a different faith than your own? Could you ever convert to a different religion? What would you miss if you did? What are the exclusive truth claims that you hold to in your religion? What’s more important: A book about interfaith dialogue for adults or a [Read More…]

Defending the Value of Muslim Lives, No Matter Where You Live

I wrote this piece which first appeared in the December 18, 2015, issue of the Jacksonville Journal-Courier, my local newspaper. While it addresses the demographics of this place, its relevance extends to all those who live in religiously homogenous places. If you agree with Donald Trump’s proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the United [Read More…]

Racial Justice & a Lutheran Roundtable

Today I’m heading to Chicago for a meeting of the Theological Roundtable of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. This is part of the work of theological discernment carried out by the Office of the Presiding Bishop, including representatives from several networks of scholars and theologians around the country. I’ll be there as a representative [Read More…]

#Charleston :: Round-Up of Lutheran Voices & Resources

On June 18, 2015, ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton wrote: “It has been a long season of disquiet in our country. From Ferguson to Baltimore, simmering racial tensions have boiled over into violence. But this … the fatal shooting of nine African Americans in a church is a stark, raw manifestation of the sin that [Read More…]

Freedom & Renewal: Lutherans at 500

In case you aren’t hanging around enough Lutherans and Lutheran institutions, I thought I’d let you know that 2017 will mark the 500th anniversary of what is widely noted as a watershed moment of the Reformation … Martin Luther’s posting of his Ninety-Five Theses (actually, his Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences, to [Read More…]

Summer Reading List from a Lutheran Roundtable

I recently attended a meeting of the Theological Roundtable of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, a network of groups of theologians, scholars, activists, and clergy working in various positions around the country.  As part of our introductory session, the chair of the meeting asked each person to recommend a book … something from each [Read More…]

“To Welcome The Stranger”

The Conference of Bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America released the following statement about President Barack Obama’s executive action related to immigration and deportation this week: As people of faith and leaders of the church, we support public policy that protects children, reunites families, and cares for the most vulnerable, regardless of their place of birth. [Read More…]

Voices on Ferguson

In some crisis moments, some of us do well to listen, learn, and read as a precursor to taking action toward justice.  Here, I feature excerpts from a few different places around the web that I think are important to lift up in light of the ongoing protests in Ferguson, Missouri. From Christena Cleveland: THE [Read More…]


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