The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


What do Christians owe each other?

Readers disagree on the details

Kudos to editor David L. Miller for his affirmation of the historical and catholic identity of Lutheranism (October, page 66). Only in receiving what Christ has to give to the church — Scripture, tradition and faithful teaching — are we truly free to be the church. Evangelical freedom and mutual accountability within the church catholic aren't mutually exclusive. One cautionary note: I agree with Miller's assertion that the Episcopal Church's confirmation of a noncelibate gay bishop is troubling, at least insofar as it is a unilateral decision lacking ecumenical or even pan-Anglican consensus. But we in the ELCA should first take the log out of our own eye: What of our recent exception clause to ordination within the historic episcopate?

William F. Kirsh-Carr
Southfield, Mich.

Miller's editorial said biblical literalism isn't an element of Lutheran tradition. I think you're mistaken. The early church viewed Scripture as God-breathed. Jesus said he came to fulfill the law and the prophets. He challenged the Israelite religious leaders on the basis of the Hebrew Bible. He viewed Jonah as a historical person and clearly spoke about the reality of hell.

Mark Luecke
Canton, Ohio

Marriage denied

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February issue


Embracing diversity