Currents in Theology and Mission, the Theological Journal of the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and Wartburg Theological Seminary, offers theological essays and book reviews on a wide spectrum of theological literature, as well as exegetical and homiletical resources for every Sunday and major festival in the church year (the latter section is called "Preaching Helps"). Currents aims to provide resources for mission, ministry, and theological growth for pastors and other church leaders.


The Globethics library contains articles of Currents in Theology and Mission as of vol. 43(2016) to current.

Recent Submissions

  • Jesus, Materialism, and the Women Who Teach and Preach Mark's Gospel

    Parker, Angela N. (Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, 2023-09-18)
    After several essays exploring the work by Robert Moses, Jesus and Materialism in the Gospel of Mark, readers are invited to engage four women, two biblical scholars and two womanist preachers, as they engage the Gospel of Mark.
  • Did God Forsake Jesus? Abandonment and Presence in Mark 15

    Bashaw, Jennifer Garcia (Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, 2023-09-18)
    A dominant strand of church tradition interprets Jesus’ words from the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” to mean that because of the sin Jesus took upon himself, God abandoned Jesus during the crucifixion. Such an interpretation is built on later theological assumptions rather than the context of Mark’s crucifixion narrative. This essay uses the literary context of Mark 15 and Psalm 22 to answer the question, “Is Mark communicating God’s abandonment or absence in his crucifixion narrative or does the story’s connections to Psalm 22 lead to a different conclusion?”
  • Mark's Gospel and Justice for the Poor

    Mitchell, Margaret M. (Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, 2023-09-18)
    This article, a revised version of a panel response at SBL 2022 in Denver, provides an appreciative review of Robert Ewusie Moses’ Jesus and Materialism in the Gospel of Mark, highlighting the many virtues of the book and tracing the assumptions upon which the exegetical reading of Mark’s gospel as showing Jesus’ special concern for the poor is based. The review also includes some discussion of the claims Moses makes about the chief functions of the temple in Jerusalem in relation to his exegesis of Mark 11:11-25. I close with one example of why a reading like Robert Moses’ is urgently needed in our current moment.
  • Preaching Helps for October 1–December 31: From Ordinary Time to the Season of Christmas

    Lundblad, Barbara K. (Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, 2023-09-18)
    Suggestions for sermon preparation are given by clergy in a variety of settings. Weeks covered are from October 1 through December 31, 2023.
  • Currents at 50

    Billman, Kadi D.; Nessan, Craig L. (Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, 2023-09-18)
    The co-editors of Currents in Theology and Mission offer gratitude for and reflections on the 50th anniversary of publishing the journal. The shift to becoming an open access, online journal was a risk, but it has expanded readership in numbers and global reach. The article expresses amazement at the work of Ralph Klein who edited the journal for 35 years and introduces the republication of his history of Currents.
  • Book Reviews - October 2023

    Nessan, Craig L.; Troftgruben, Troy M. (Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, 2023-09-18)
    Reviews submitted by our readers, covering recent works of interest to those readers.
  • The Day That Jesus Got Healed

    Jackson, Leah D. (Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, 2023-09-18)
    Jesus willingly healed numerous people during his ministry. In Mark 7:24-30, Jesus is confronted by a Syrophoenician woman whose daughter was suffering from a demon, but he refuses to heal her daughter. This sermon, originally preached for the Doctor of Ministry Intensives at McAfee School of Theology, explores the social and cultural factors present in the interaction between Jesus and this woman. Jesus, in his humanity, is forced to confront his bias, providing an example of how believers can faithfully interrogate their embedded theology.  
  • Wealth and Poverty in Apocalyptic Tension: Reflections on Robert Ewusie Moses, "Jesus and Materialism in the Gospel of Mark"

    Black, C. Clifton (Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, 2023-09-18)
    After examining three cruces interpreta, this brief assessment of Robert Moses’ Jesus and Materialism in the Gospel of Mark (2022) concludes with commendations of its author’s treatment of an underexamined topic in Markan exegesis.  
  • Mark's Jesus on Wealth and Poverty: A Response to C. Clifton Black and Margaret M. Mitchell

    Moses, Robert E. (Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, 2023-09-18)
    A response to questions raised by Professors C. Clifton Black and Margaret M. Mitchell in their review essays on Jesus and Materialism in the Gospel of Mark: Traveling Light on the Way.  
  • Cries of Abandonment with True Solidarity: Mark's Final Words of Jesus

    Reynolds, Jackson (Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, 2023-09-18)
    There are theological implications to Jesus’ words on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Is Jesus a pious rabbi expressing praise and hope? Or has God truly abandoned Jesus? A classic example and expression of Luther’s theology of the cross, these words of Jesus can be sweet gospel relief to those in times of despair. This article explores previous prominent interpretations, mainly from William Stacy Johnson and Jürgen Moltmann, and uses them to propose a new interpretation of subjective abandonment with objective solidarity.
  • This Woman's Worth: Still Making a Way

    Samuels, Rochelle (Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, 2023-09-18)
    For too long the woman in the Mark 5:25-34 text has been presented as an object of faith with little discourse on her personhood or how this encounter impacted her life and Christianity today. Is faith the deepest hermeneutical reflection to develop this text? Have we overlooked the significance of this divine intervention as Jesus begins to engage directly with women? The church must go deeper than a superficial interpretation of her story. True to Jesus’ ministry, class, status quo, and gender norms are being challenged here. This text screams inclusivity and not just window dressing on church membership rolls. Her fight for life mirrors the women, minorities, and other marginalized people of today who are still fighting for equity and inclusion.
  • Black Girls are at their LAST: Exploring a Womanist/Childist Reading of Jairus’ Daughter in Mark 5

    Parker, Angela N. (Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, 2023-09-18)
    Scholarship in the Gospel of Mark is now turning its attention to the children named in the Gospel. As an offshoot of feminist biblical interpretation, childist interpretation has opened ways to consider children in the biblical text. Adding a womanist lens, this article reinterprets the episode involving Jairus’ daughter in Mark 5 and, thus, argues for re-imagining Jesus’ ministry in today’s context. Specifically, recognizing that Jairus’ daughter is a child of privilege who has a patriarch to advocate for her, I argue that black girls are “at their last” and require protection and ministry as one of society’s least protected groups. Accordingly, thinking through a Jesus-focused ministry in contemporary contexts would mean advocating for ministry aimed toward black girls as a high priority in faith-based settings.
  • The Gospel as the Power of God for Salvation (Rom 1:16)

    Kim, Yung Suk (Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, 2023-09-18)
    Jesus’ death is not itself good news but a tragic event resulting from his radical love of humanity and his bold challenge to power. Because Jesus challenged the wisdom of the world that privileged the strong and wealthy, he was crucified. But God vindicated him and acknowledged his work of grace. From the cross, we must see God’s grace and love. Jesus is good news because he proclaimed the good news of God (Mark 1:14), which is equivalent to “the good news of the kingdom of God” (Luke 4:43) or “the good news of the kingdom” (Matt 4:23). The gospel/good news is not knowledge about God or Jesus but the power of God that empowers the poor, downtrodden, and marginalized, so they may stay hopeful in God (Rom 1:16). As such, the gospel must deal with injustices, racism, oppression, poverty, and all related issues in society. Paul summarizes the law as the love of neighbor (Gal 5:14; Rom 13:8-10). All sorts of gospels that do not foster the well-being of the mass of people must be suspicious.
  • Contours, Care, and Community: Moral Injury's Emergence and a Potential for Solidarity

    Morris, Joshua T. (Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, 2023-06-15)
    After two decades of sustained combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, do our religious communities better understand the lived realities and experiences of U.S. servicemembers and veterans? Utilizing the burgeoning trauma framework of moral injury, I argue that religious communities can take practical steps to understand the betrayal implicit in moral injury as an equalizing critique to understand our corporate betrayals emerging from COVID-19. It is that equalizing potential that opens opportunities for deep solidarity beyond the military and civilian—or healthcare worker and non-healthcare worker—distinction. 
  • Holy Space: Worship and Proclamation in the Liminal Space of Post-Disaster and Pre-Recovery

    Abdnour, Nicole Partin (Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, 2023-06-15)
    When catastrophic hurricanes make landfall, indiscriminately destroying whatever is in their path, whole communities are impacted. Within these communities, now indelibly marked by trauma from natural disasters, are congregations who gather every Sabbath for worship. These congregations are led by pastors marked by trauma from the hurricane alongside the members who will gather. This article explores how, in the immediate aftermath of trauma from natural disasters, the function of the sermon is impacted within the larger liturgical setting of worship. In addition, it explores what tools preachers can utilize amid trauma to allow for the community to grieve such that they may experience God’s grace through worship and heal over time.
  • Generational Trauma. Generational Resilience: July-September, 2023: The Sundays of Ordinary Time

    Lundblad, Barbara K. (Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, 2023-06-15)
    This issue of Preaching Helps offers ideas for sermon preparation for July 2 through September 24. Helps are written by a variety of clergy in congregations from across the United States.
  • Shadows of Trauma, New Songs of Resilience: A Reading of Psalm 96

    Hays, Rebecca W. Poe (Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, 2023-06-15)
    Psalm 96 is a joyful hymn celebrating God’s role as creator and judge. On the surface, trauma and the need for resilience may seem alien to its poetry, but the traumatic shadows of injustice, oppression, exile, and divine absence hover just below the calls to worship. Careful attention this psalm and its reception within the Hebrew Bible (cf. 1 Chr 16:23–33) and the ancient versions (cf. LXX Ps 95:1) serves as an excellent case study for how the book of Psalms equips its audiences to process trauma, move toward healing, and build resilience. 
  • Give Sorrow Words: Sermon Form in Trauma-Aware Preaching

    Turner, Anne Michele (Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, 2023-06-15)
    Preachers have an obligation to be aware of and responsive to the survivors of trauma in our pews. This article seeks to answer the question of how sermonic form might contribute to the process of developing resiliency after trauma. By employing and reflecting on different forms, I examine the contributions each of them make toward resiliency. My research suggests the importance of intentionally naming traumatic experiences from the pulpit, as well as the promise of sermons that leave space for the agency of survivors through unanswered questions and silence.
  • Implications of Historical Trauma for Biblical Interpretation: Resilience in Scripture and Community Life

    Cleath, Lisa J. (Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, 2023-06-15)
    In this piece, I develop some implications of historical trauma research for biblical interpretation, including how we engage biblical literature in community. I first define historical trauma, and then explore its applications for macro-level interpretation and application of the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible. Using the concept of narrative resilience from historical trauma research, the Hebrew Bible is reframed as a meta-discourse that arose from Jewish experiences of colonization. Finally, the diversity of voices implicit to narrative resilience leads to praxis-oriented suggestions for communal biblical interpretation.  
  • Godforsaken: On the Possibility of Black Faith and Black Care

    Peterson, Nick (Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, 2023-06-15)
    This article explores black trauma as the event of the Transatlantic Slave Trade and its afterlives. It invites us to consider how antiblackness structures black people in a godforsaken matrix of trauma. Turning to Jesus’ ministry, passion, and death in the Gospels, I explore Jesus’ demonstration of faith as a model for thinking about black faith and care amid trauma.  

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