Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Epiphany: Do Lutherans have an "ethic"?

That may be an odd way to phrase the question. Of course Lutherans reflect and live ethically (or not). The question, however, of what might constitute a particular "Lutheran" ethic is a perennial topic of conversation (not to mention consternation). A few years back, the ELCA commissioned/convened a group that authored The Promise of Lutheran Ethics, which made various ventures into defining the parameters of ethics that could with integrity bear the name "Lutheran."

More recently, the ELCA has hosted an on-line resource, The Journal of Lutheran Ethics, which continues to gather topical essays on ethics from Lutheran ethicists and theologians. It's a great journal. You can subscribe to e-mail updates.

Last year I edited a preaching series for JLE, inviting guest pastors to reflect on the ethical implications of upcoming lectionary texts. For 2012, we shift gears a bit, this time focusing our attention on the ethical implications inherent in each season of the church calendar.

Watch for seven essays throughout the year, creative mashups of key ethical considerations as they pertain to the seasons of the church year and how to preach during them. For the newest essay, read Getting Your Meta On, a reflection on the season of Epiphany and how to preach it--kind of.

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