Lutheran Quarterly

Spring 2024 Featured Essay

Robert Jenson and the Dogmatic Location of Culture
by John W. Hoyum

This article takes up Robert Jenson’s theology of culture. According to Jenson, the church is a heavenly culture of its own alongside various worldly cultures. The church, therefore, presents a rival agenda for human social life conformed to a distinct Christian ethics and polity. Jenson’s brand of ecumenical ecclesiology has also been leveraged against the challenge of modern secularity. However, this article contends that Jenson’s ecumenical vision overinflates the doctrine of the church by assigning culture to it. Jenson’s ecclesiology risks the particularity of the various cultures, languages, and contexts in which the gospel is proclaimed. To redistribute the contents of ecumenical ecclesiology— and its theology of culture—into the doctrine of creation, this article culminates with an examination of Martin Luther’s theology and that of the Lutheran Confessions.

Read the full essay HERE.