A new release…
I'm very pleased to let you know that an incredibly important book is now in print. I'm referring to Natural Law: A Lutheran Reappraisal? In this book sixteen contemporary Lutheran scholars, teachers and pastors look for answers within the historic Lutheran faith on how the doctrine of Natural Law may be once more raised to the forefront of our thinking. It is a doctrine that has been, frankly, nearly lost among us, at our grave peril. The essays contained in this book offer a fresh reappraisal of natural law within historic Lutheran teaching and practice. The book contains questions for thought, reflection and study, either by individuals or groups, along with indices to Scripture and Lutheran Confessions citations within the book. The book has been widely well received among scholars from various confessions who have received advance copies.
At the book's web site you can download a sample from the book, and connect to a Facebook page set up to facilitate community and discussion about natural law. You can also place your order. It is very reasonably priced at $24.99, plus shipping.
Why the Natural Law Is Necessary
What Others Are Saying
Natural law was a common idea among the Reformers and their heirs. There has been some fledgling reconsideration of this heritage in recent years in my own Reformed tradition, and it is very encouraging to see similar discussions taking place among Lutherans. Natural Law: A Lutheran Reappraisal helpfully wrestles with natural law from various historical and theological angles and also explores its relevance for several important social and ecclesiastical controversies of the present day. These essays on natural law—some enthusiastic, some cautious, others skeptical—are a wonderful contribution to the literature and should help to stimulate important conversations about this perennial issue for years to come.
As a Catholic, I found it fascinating to read these fine essays and "listen in" on a conversation about natural law conducted by an outstanding group of Lutheran scholars. The authors consider such topics as whether there really is a natural human capacity to identify and affirm valid moral norms, and whether belief in a moral law accessible to unaided reason is compatible with an acknowledgment of the devastating impact of sin on the human intellect as well as the human will. Lutherans will benefit from reading these essays, but so will everybody else.
God's law is written in two ways and two places: Not only in the words of revelation, but in our being, for we are made in God's image. For a long time, many Christians neglected or even denied this insight because of the mistaken idea that if the image of God can be obscured by sin, then for all practical purposes there is no natural law. How ironic, and how deadly to our common witness, that this common ground among all human beings, this universal prologue to the gospel, should have become a battle ground among Christians themselves. Catholic myself, I rejoice to see the rekindling of reflection on natural law among Lutherans, and I look forward to many interesting conversations.