The Great Tradition—the Essential Guidance System for the Church

by (@TheIRD) September 4, 2013

Before writing his famous book, Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis was told by many advisors that ordinary Christians would not be interested in theology, that “dry old stuff,” but rather in plain, practical religion. He countered that he really didn’t think such ordinary readers were so foolish. He thought they would welcome the study of theology, which means “science of God.” “Any man who wants to think about God at all would like to have the clearest and most accurate ideas about Him which are available. You are not children: why should you be treated like children?”

Lutheran Exceptionalism—from Hope to Decline

by (@TheIRD) August 2, 2013

In the Halcyon days of the 1950s, Lutherans were considered by church historians and Lutherans themselves to be importantly different from both mainline Protestants and Evangelicals. They had, Robert Handy remarked in the 1950s, a stronger doctrinal base than Methodists, Episcopalians, and Congregationalists while they were more churchly—both liturgically and in appreciation of the whole scope of church history—than Evangelicals.

The ELCA Elects its First Openly Gay Bishop

by (@TheIRD) June 6, 2013

By Robert Benne Last week at its annual assembly the Southwest California Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) elected its first openly gay Bishop—Guy Erwin, who is a theology professor at California Lutheran University in California Oaks as well as the interim pastor of a nearby ELCA parish. Erwin has been ordained […]

Why Traditional Marriage Should Be Legally and Culturally Supported

by (@TheIRD) April 12, 2013

By Robert Benne In elementary school the teacher would demonstrate the magnetic field of a magnet by putting iron filings on a paper right over the magnet. Sure enough, the filings would get ordered according to the pattern of the magnetic field of the magnet. I often use that homely example to illustrate what the […]

Ethiopian Lutherans Break with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

by (@TheIRD) February 15, 2013

By Robert Benne On February 11 the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Makane Yesus released a letter which formally announced its break with the Church of Sweden and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.  The EECMY is the fastest-growing Lutheran church in the world, this year adding hundreds of thousands as it moves toward the 6 million […]

The March for Life and the Tale of Three Lutheran Churches

by (@TheIRD) February 4, 2013

By Robert Benne My wife and I marched—or perhaps more accurately, shuffled—in the March for Life in Washington on January 25. I would normally avoid such a march with its massive crowds and congested transportation, but I was invited to be a speaker at the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod Life Ministries Conference that followed the march on […]

Reduced Religious Vitality, Our Nation, and the 2012 Election

by (@TheIRD) November 13, 2012

Robert Benne is a Lutheran ethicist as well as the  Jordan Trexler Professor Emeritus and Research Associate at Roanoke College. We are indeed a changed country. We are in decline economically, socially, and culturally.  And the crucial factor—religion—that undergirds all those sectors is losing its punch. The victory of Barack Obama is a sure sign of […]

Reduced Religious Vitality, Our Nation, and the 2012 Election

by (@bjgingerich) November 13, 2012

by Robert Benne We are indeed a changed country. We are in decline economically, socially, and culturally.  And the crucial factor—religion—that undergirds all those sectors is losing its punch. The victory of Barack Obama is a sure sign of these changes. Let’s start with the economic dimension.  We have incurred trillions of dollars of debt […]

Social Witness for a Realigned Protestantism

by (@markdtooley) October 28, 2012

The following remarks were delivered at the recent Ecumenical Leadership Summit in Dallas by Robert Benne, a Lutheran and ethicist who is professor emeritus at Roanoke College in Virginia. I want to begin with something of an autobiographical slant so that—as we used to say in the 60s—“you know where I am coming from.” My […]