"It's not the whole show," cried Presiding Bishop H. George Anderson of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America prior to the denomination's Churchwide Assembly in Denver. By "it" the bishop was referring to the question of full communion with the Episcopal Church. But his words did nothing to deflect fixation on the issue on the part of voting members, visitors and the media.
The issuing of the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification last year by representatives of the Lutheran World Federation and the Roman Catholic Church elicited great rejoicing. It appeared that an historic consensus had been reached on the central issue that has divided Protestants and Roman Catholics since the 16th century.