Traditional sexual ethics vs. Christian morality

I happened upon a book by a former student of mine, Matthew Rueger, now a pastor in Iowa with a Ph.D.  The book, just out from CPH, is Sexual Morality in a Christless World.   Matt (if I can still call him that) tells about being put in the position of defending Christian morality in an Iowa State college classroom, whose professor was teaching pretty much the opposite.  He became a regular guest lecturer, up against great opposition, but his input grew to be respected, if not appreciated.  Those experiences became the basis of this book.

The Rev. Dr. Rueger includes a fascinating treatment of sexual morality in the Greco-Roman world.  The wide practice of homosexuality in that classical culture–specifically, pederasty, the sexual use of young boys–is particularly illuminating.  He also treats sexual morality in the ancient Hebrew world, which was not without problems of its own (such as easy divorce).   The Christian perspective on sexual morality, he shows, has always been counter-cultural.  It took its shape from consideration of our identity in Christ.   [Read more…]

Evangelical Catholics

Donald Trump’s running mate Mike Pence describes himself as an “evangelical Catholic.”  By which he means that he is a Catholic who attends an evangelical megachurch.  There are quite a few of those, including another presidential candidate, Marco Rubio.  (Megachurches don’t make such a big deal about “membership,” unlike other Protestant churches, so it would be easier to maintain both identities with the megachurch model.)

Catholic apologist George Weigel has called for an “evangelical Catholicism,” by which he means Catholics evangelizing non-Christians.

Political pundits are using the term to group together conservative Catholics who agree with evangelicals on moral and social issues.

But, historically, the term refers to LUTHERANS.  Read the two articles excerpted and linked to after the jump. [Read more…]

A theology of writing/a theology of fiction

My daughter Mary Moerbe, over at her blog Meet, Write, & Salutary, is trying to think through a theology of writing and a theology of fiction.   She is seeking input and possible contributors.  See where she is with this after the jump. [Read more…]

Which denominations oppose abortion and which ones don’t

The Pew Research Center has put out a study of what position various religious bodies take on abortion.  We learn that the churches that take the strongest pro-life stance are the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, Roman Catholic, Southern Baptist, Assemblies of God, and African Methodist.

Among other religions, the Mormons and Hindus are strongly pro-life.  Muslims, Buddhists, and Orthodox Jews have no position on the subject!

Some churches, such as Orthodox Christians, don’t seem to be represented in the study.  Other groups either support abortion with limits or support virtually all abortions.  See what they are after the jump.

What is it about these various traditions that would lead them to take the positions that they do?

[Read more…]

Lutherans have a confessional convention

Conservatives/confessionals feel very good about the triennial convention of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, which concluded last week in Milwaukee.  They passed virtually all of their resolutions by big margins, elected virtually all of their candidates, and won some big victories.

The convention voted to ensure that everyone engaged in Word and Sacrament ministry be ordained.  (Lay ministers may still serve in various church functions, but not they may not function as pastors, preaching and administering the sacraments, as many have been doing.  The convention also approved a path for getting lay ministers ordained.)  This lines up the 2.5 million member synod with the Augsburg Confession, Article 14.  For other actions, go here.

After the jump, Aaron Wolf, an editor with Chronicles Magazine, rhapsodizes about the LCMS, of which he is a member, saying that with the convention, “the LCMS officially embraced a conservative ethos.” [Read more…]

Latvian Lutherans go back to male-only pastors

Last month, the Lutheran Church of Latvia–the main church body in that Baltic republic–reversed course and rescinded its policy allowing the ordaining of women.  But the church has not ordained women since 1993, with its confessional revival at the fall of Communism.  Now the church has formalized its doctrine that only men may be ordained as pastors.

The Lutheran World Federation, whose member churches ordain women, says that this decision may affect the Latvian church’s membership.  But the Latvian bishop says that this could lead to affiliation with the conservative International Lutheran Council and its member churches such as the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. [Read more…]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X