Johnson, Phil

Phil Johnson is Editor Emeritus of Pietisten.

Tribute to Sandy Johnson

A short tribute to Sandy Johnson, who died May 17.

Tribute to Henry Gustafson

Henry Gustafson biblical scholar and outstanding Professor of New Testament died Monday evening, September 1, 2008.

Pietisten's Story

Pietisten Managing Editor Phil Johnson addresses a Seattle First Covenant Sunday School class and speaks about the history of Pietisten and the principles behind the journal.

Tribute to Bruce Carlson

Bruce Carlson, Pietisten’s Poetry and Navigation Editor died Friday, July 28.

Tribute to Michael Groh

Michael Groh (Mike) was a superb student, athlete, and consultant. He was honest, reliable, open, and he met and valued everyone as a person.

2009 Pietisten Annual Meeting

Report from the March 7, 2009 Pietisten Annual Meeting.

Looking to Luther — Galatians 2:11-21 (Summer 1986)

I think that Luther was surprised by God's work. I think that surprise is a divine intention. I think that Luther thought that surprise was God's divine intention and that it was an example of God's matchless Grace in the commonplace.

Looking to Luther - I Peter 4:12 —19 (Fall 1986)

Why do we look to Luther in this little paper? This may be a fruitful question.

God Went Away: Reflections on Genesis 3 (Winter 1987)

Whenever I get involved with the Genesis, the story of our beginning for which we each have a text, I become very active inside. It never fails to be stimulating and absorbing.

A Dutchman's Lectures (Winter 1987)

Report on the Hieko Oberman Lectures, Luther Northwestern Theological School, January 5 and 6, 1987.

Introduction to the Mission Meeting (Spring 1987)

When I arrived at Salem Covenant Church, New Brighton, Minnesota, Friday evening, May 8, at five minutes to seven, I was delighted to see the parking lot well filled and I regretted that I had not been able to arrive earlier to promote subscriptions to Pietisten.

Reformation Reflections (Summer 1987)

When Professor Donald Frisk outlined the Protestant principle" in Historical Theology class at North Park Seminary as the principle that there are "no sacred persons, places, or things," I felt an elation which sometimes comes from recognition and understanding.

North Park Philosophy Academy 1987 (Fall 1987)

Each fall, as the elm tree's shadow lingers and alumae and alumni gather on Chicago's north side for North Park College Homecoming, a small group gathers in the President's room for the annual meeting of the North Park Philosophy Academy.

An Easter Story (Winter 1988)

Mary did not sleep that night. She was troubled by discussion among the followers. They were together because they were friends not because of faith or anticipation. Some talked about what they were planning do. Others expressed opinions about recent events.

Requiem for a Story? (Winter 1988)

I had not read Waldenström's commentary on John 10:1-18 prior to writing "An Easter Story." If I had, the story might have been different.

The Grace Of Divorce and the Freedom Of Marriage (Spring 1988)

A denominational policy statement on divorce and remarriage, approved by the Covenant Annual Meeting of 1976 and "updated by the board of ministry" was printed in the May 1988 issue of The Covenant Companion. This statement is the catalyst for the thoughts which follow.

Out and About (Fall 1988)

Annual Meeting Report; Sport Report

A Blessed Escape (Winter 1988)

Questions about scripture, authority, and Gospel have been brought into focus for me by Dean Kline Snodgrass, Professor of Biblical Literature at North Park Seminary. I refer to his article, "No Easy Escape," in the December, 1988 issue of The Covenant Companion.

Out and About (Winter 1988)

North Park Philosophy Academy Meeting Report - October 27, 1988; Sport Report

Walker Percy (Summer 1990)

Walker Percy died today I hear. Oh no. Maybe it’s not true. If it is, no more of his great novels, no more of his interesting, penetrating, life-helping essays or whimsical writings. I wonder if he has written something not yet published. That would be great.

Out and About (Summer 1990)

Chicago Weekend; Philosophy at North Park; Pastor Norbert Johnson’s Farewell; Wanderings; William Coffin at Plymouth Church; The Authorized Version—Northrup Frye; The Gospel of Mark; Epcot Center

Sport Report (Summer 1990)

Many persons want to play games but sometimes it takes a lot to keep a game alive. If you have tried to get a game going or keep one going, you know what I mean. It is not hard to keep highly organized games, like a high school basketball game, going after much work and planning have been done to provide for them. But less-structured games are often a challenge to get going and to keep alive because they depend upon the will and resources of the moment.

Reading (Winter 1990)

Twice now, Bryce Nelson has challenged us to get more specific about pietism. Once, (Summer, 1989)) he asked "what a pietist looks like today. What are the characteristics of a contemporary pietist?" Then, in his letter printed in the last issue he asked that we provide a list of pietist readings.

TRANSITIONS: The Tension Between "How" and "What" (Winter 1990)

While creating this issue, the editors of Pietisten took the action of establishing Pietisten as a nonprofit association under the laws of the state of Minnesota. This means that Pietisten is now an entity. It is a legal personality. This may not strike fear in the hearts of others, but it does in ours.

The Gift of Authority (Summer 1991)

Authority is a gift, a wonderful gift. This gift is the source of human knowledge. It is a gift that comes with being human. Human authority issues from human authors, and human authors are individual persons who are born and who die.

Out and About (Summer 1991)

Schubert Club Concert, March 28, 1991; President Horner at Bethlehem, April 21, 1991

Sport Report (Summer 1991)

Good Shepherd Pummels Pietists; Chicago Mission Basketball League Celebrates 75th Anniversary

Reading (Summer 1991)

The only person, so far, to move a finger to supply some material for this column is Shelley Ritchie, writing from Japan.

The Gift of Authority (Continued) (Fall 1991)

There are other kinds of authoring, not of the teaching or learning type. An example is when we say, “I love you.” We are expected to and can say this on our own personal authority. Though not alone in teaching it, Christians teach that the basic, divine reality is love. When we love, we are authoring the most important thing, the thing that matters above all. Love is the reality that personal life depends upon and, as God apparently discovered, love depends upon personal life for its existence. It is for this very reason that God created humans.

Out and About (Fall 1991)

Annual Meeting Report; Dagmar Soneson at Wooddale Church

Pre-Socratics Struggle in Tournament (Fall 1991)

Pietisten’s Sport Prophet, its Sport Reporter, and two Angolan colleagues teamed up as the Pre-Socratics and “took it to the streets” in the Minnesota Timberwolves 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament on Saturday, August 3.

Out and About (Winter 1991)

The Gustafson Lectures; The North Park Philosophy Academy; Dedication of the Nyvall Memorial

Sport Report (Winter 1991)

Whenever I hear an announcer speak about an athlete’s “work ethic,” I grimace. I have a hunch that I know what the speaker means by this abstraction, but I don’t think it is apt.

Learning to Love Catholics (Spring 1992)

Jesus said, “In my Father’s house are many mansions.” I thank God for the great mansion, the Catholic Church, and in each new encounter with it, I now find it natural to continue to love Catholics.

Sport Report (Spring 1992)

Super Bowl Bash VI

Reginald D. Johnson (Fall 1992)

Perhaps it is common to respect one’s older brother. I loved and respected mine. After all, my big brother was the formidable Reginald Johnson. I know few people more resourceful than or as practical as he. This was true in spite of the fact that Reg became increasingly convinced as the years passed that everything was in God’s hands.

Paul G. Sonnack (Fall 1992)

I immediately felt the loss when I learned that Dr. Paul Sonnack of Luther Northwestern Seminary had died. No longer could I enjoy visits with Paul and gain inspiration from them.

Review: Swimming in the Congo by Margaret Myers (Summer 1997)

"How many times have you been saved, Grace?" The answer was eleven. "'Is that all?' Carrie tossed her head with an air of virtuous suffering. 'I've been saved twenty-four times.'"

National Crises: King David and Abraham Lincoln (Summer 1997)

If you have taken part in a study led by David Hawkinson, you know what a special experience it is. If you have taken a class or heard lectures by Zenos Hawkinson…, you know how imaginative and gripping his teaching is.

Introducing Karl Nelson, Online Editor (Winter 1999)

The loss of a beloved friend, Curtiss Johnson, has become the occasion for a new infusion of youth. The editor had the good fortune to meet Karl Nelson, Curt’s grandson, at the funeral home and again at Salem for the Memorial Service.

Working for a Civil Society in Eastern Europe and the Balkans (Winter 1999)

There has been a decade of trouble in this part of the world. Efforts at reconstruction are happening simultaneously with destruction. The following is an interview done last Fall with long-time friend, Mike Groh, a consultant and community organizer, who has been working in this part of Europe.

A Tribute to Curtiss Johnson (Winter 1999)

Curt made many friends, and he was committed to Christian faith and ministry. He was a lover. He loved his family, he loved history, he loved his country, he loved his church, and he loved sports. We salute him and his well-lived life.

An Old Ball Player Takes His Final Break (Winter 1999)

The magnificent memorial service in Salem Covenant Church, New Brighton, the home church of Curtiss Johnson, reflected the wide range of his friendships and influence.

To Pietisten Members: Annual Meeting Challenge (Winter 1999)

Tribute to Milton C.R. Carlson (Summer 1999)

Even Milton Carlson could not go on forever. No one saw Milt die so maybe, as son Bruce suggested, he was taken up by a chariot of fire. That is how he wanted to go.

Tribute to Muriel (Molly) Elizabeth Nelson (Summer 1999)

Molly grew up in Hibbing, Minnesota while the rich iron mine there was on its way to becoming the biggest open pit mine in the world. She graduated from the School of Nursing at the University of Minnesota. Soon thereafter, she met and married Barton Nelson. In 1930, the two of them set sail for China on the President McKinley to become Covenant medical missionaries at the Bethesda Union Hospital in Siangyang.

Tribute to Paul Sebestyén (Summer 1999)

Paul Sebestyén died not long after Rev. Wesley Nelson read Peter Sandstrom’s article to him from last issue of Pietisten.

Festschrift—a Fitting Tribute to F. Burton Nelson, Scholar, Teacher, and Churchman (Fall 1999)

This book in Dr. Nelson’s honor is a treasury of essays by distinguished scholars.

Theodore Hedstrand (Fall 1999)

We canoed the boundary waters together. We went cross-country skiing together. We flew on the last flight into Bass Lake before the government declared it a wilderness, confiscated all the cabins there, and burned them to the ground. It is the only time I saw Ted cry.

Melba Ann Teed (Fall 1999)

Melba Teed, Sandy Johnson’s mother and my mother-in-law, never presumed to have authority outside the family, but she exercised considerable power through appreciation and positive reinforcement. She thought of ways to give and to support—twenty-five- dollar checks now and then in the mail for no particular reason and always a check in a card for a birthday or an anniversary. She looked for ways to help, tasks that her children needed done in their respective homes, and she worked hard herself to help complete the jobs.

Out and About (Fall 1999)

Watching the Red; New Freedom in Kansas

News and Notes (Spring 2000)

Engagement; Ivar Wistrom; Per-Lars Blomgren, Pietisten Reader, Wins Wrestling Title; North Park establishes two biology prizes to honor Profs; Pietisten Crew at Work; Elizabeth Johanna Katter; On-Line Report

Out and About (Spring 2000)

Mission Meeting; Wiberg Birthday

Tribute to C. Leslie Strand (Summer 2000)

Why was it that Les Strand was widely and deeply loved? Why was he so valued by many? Memories of his kindness, gentleness, good humor, gracious manners, and personable presence come immediately to mind.

Tribute to Evonne Stenberg (Summer 2000)

The range of her impact and influence became quickly and dramatically clear. More that 600 persons flooded Bethlehem Covenant Church in Minneapolis for the memorial service.

Out and About (Summer 2000)

How Coya Came Home; A Night of Poetry; Cutting the cake again for the first time

A Tribute to Chaplain Sturdy (Winter 2000)

C. Cassius (Cash) Sturdy, Covenant Pastor and Military Chaplain, was one of a great generation of Covenant pietists. A person of the Word and of prayer in the best sense, he had an open and inquiring mind.

A Tribute to Ingvar Rehnberg (Winter 2000)

When I arrived as a green Intern Pastor at Salem Square Covenant Church in Worcester, Massachusetts, in the Fall of 1962, one of the first persons I met was Ing Rehnberg, Church Sexton. He immediately befriended me and it was always a joy to see him. He would say: "C’mon, Buddy Ruff, let’s go see the Greek for some coffee."

Out and About (Winter 2000)

Football in the Mid-Century; The Story of Some Heroic Survivors; In the Rockies.

To Smile or Not to Smile (Spring 2001)

The other day Wally Bratt told me that he was reading By One Spirit by Karl Olsson for a second time—a good book, he acknowledged. Several days later he reported that after finishing the book he went back to look at all the pictures. "There was not a single smile on any of the faces of those old Covenanters," he said. I began thinking what this might mean.

Tribute to Ruth Holbrook (Spring 2001)

Ruth was not one for sentimental talk. She disdained tears she sensed were not authentic but she responded with love and generosity to those in need or in pain. She was a person with a tough mind and a tender heart. We hope this poem portrays her spirit and liveliness.

Tribute To Mel Soneson from a Student (Spring 2001)

I first encountered Melburn Soneson as a Freshman at North Park College. That was 1956, his first year at North Park, too. He was teaching Introduction to Social Science. I was intimidated as well as fascinated by both the teacher and the course. Mel stood there at the podium talking, smiling occasionally, and sometimes breaking into a hearty laugh. He was discussing things that I, a Freshman from International Falls, Minnesota had never thought about.

Out and About (Spring 2001)

Six people were inducted into the Viking Club Athletic Hall of Fame at Anderson Chapel on the North Park campus. This writer had the privilege of presenting his favorite two—Bob Bach and Ivar Wistrom.

Considerations (Summer 2001)

Our vulnerability is extensive. Our recent experiences give new clarity to the hazards of living in a society that functions on trust and relies on powerful, high-speed technologies. The destructive possibilities of these technologies are readily available to almost anybody. This may be the most significant development of recent human history in relation to our human future.

Carl Philip Anderson (Summer 2001)

Carl Philip Anderson was a Covenant man of letters. After a number of years of Pastoral Ministry, he became Editor in Chief of Covenant Publications (1948-1970). Subsequently, Carl Phil and his wife, Hazel, owned and managed a Christian bookstore in Fargo, North Dakota, from 1970 to 1974. Then he served as an administrator of the Covenant community, Samarkand, in Santa Barbara, California (1974-1980), and, after working in several capacities for the Board of Benevolence, he became a resident at Covenant Manor in Golden Valley, Minnesota. Pietisten published an interview with Carl Phil in the Winter 1998 issue—"Carl Philip Anderson: An Editor's Story." If you do not have a copy, you may get one upon request from Pietisten.

An Evening of Music at Covenant Manor, Golden Valley, September 7, 2001. (Summer 2001)

"Praying the Psalms" — John Weborg at Bethlehem Church. (Winter 2001-2002)

The Bethlehem Covenant Winter Seminar featured John Weborg from North Park Theological Seminary. John is a veteran professor at NPTS, one of the giants who, as the years pass and the culmination of a career comes into view, makes one ask, "How can there be a North Park Seminary without him?"

“Shall We Gather at the River?” (Summer 2002)

The well-planned dedication—an Interfaith Service and a Gala Concert by the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra—included poetry, prose, and music written for the occasion as well as the elaborate recording equipment of Minnesota Public Radio. All this planning, as Bruce pointed out in 1988, makes rotation problematic.

Out and About (Winter 2002-2003)

A Winnetka Summer Wedding; The Waters of Baptism

Out and About (Summer 2003)

Mountain View Wedding; The Mending of Creation—Krister Stendahl at North Park Seminary, February 25, 2003; North Park Basketball Reunion, March 1, 2003.

Report to Subscribers (Winter 2003-2004)

As I pondered my concern about Pietisten’s institution identity, it dawned on me that some readers and bone fide institutions like library subscribers have other concerns. For example, we have received inquiries about missing issues and questions like, “Is Pietisten still being published?” Given the time between issues, you may question the existence and reliability of this journal yourself.

Review of O Clouds, Unfold! Clara Ueland and her Family (Winter 2003-2004)

People who have been inspired by the books If You Want to Write and Me or have enjoyed Mitropoulos and the North High Band or Strength to Your Sword Arm will be delighted to hear that the manuscript of another great piece of Brenda Ueland’s writing has been discovered and published.

Leo Vetvick 1919-2003 (Winter 2003-2004)

Leo Vetvick was a pioneer. He grew up near Foley, Minnesota, northern pioneer country, and he was a Covenant Church pioneer pastor in social gospel. He was a Norwegian-American in a church filled with Swedes and married Bette Ekblad, a Swedish-American girl.

News and Notes (Winter 2003-2004)

Gold Medal Morning for NPU Crew; Kristen Prescott and Michael Pietro Wed; Anders Peter Johnson Arrives; A Life of Academic Commitment at Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois; St. John 24 Mount Union 6

Mission Friends (Fall 2004)

Dr. David Nygaard, Ph.D., is Director of Rural Development for the Aga Khan Foundation. His office is in Geneva, Switzerland. David, Mary, their dog Suki, and cat Murph live on the trolley line in the community of Carouge. David and Mary are "Mission Friends" extraordinaire.

An Evening with W. Harry Davis (Fall 2004)

At 81, Harry Davis, author and veteran Minneapolis civil rights leader, retains the energy of a man who was a Golden Gloves boxer in his youth. His stories about his personal life and about the people and institutions of the African-American community in Minneapolis riveted the group gathered at the home of Carolyn and Glenn Ayres to meet the author.

Moving On (Winter 2004-2005)

The Heart of Christianity (Winter 2004-2005)

Dr. Borg described two paradigms of Christianity in America. He named them “Earlier Christianity” and “Emerging Christianity.” There are significant differences between them. Borg believes that Christians need to look for ways to build bridges between these groups that can lead to shared Christian faith and fellowship.

Harvard’s Noble Lectures (Winter 2004-2005)

Dr. Timothy Johnson, Medical Editor of ABC News, delivered the 2004 William Belden Noble Lectures at Harvard Divinity School in November. This report is based on a recording of the three lectures.

Heloise and Abelard, A New Biography (Winter 2005)

Heloise and Abelard is about two great historical persons. Heloise (1095-1163), a person of integrity and intelligence, loved Peter Abelard deeply and was unwavering in her faithfulness as a wife and a lover. She was 20 when she fell in love with the great scholar Peter, the 46-year-old master of the school of Notre Dame in 1115. She loved Abelard both physically and intellectually the rest of her life.

Out and About (Winter 2005)

North Park Homecoming October, 2005

Pietisten Holds Two 2005 Annual Meetings (Summer 2006)

Pietisten West Coast Tour (Summer 2006)

For ten days (April 26 to May 6) Sandy and I visited the Seattle, Washington area as Pietisten editors. We were guests of Carl and Marcia Blomgren on Vashon Island, of Associate Editor, Nels Elde and Ann, and Jackie and Art Mampel in Seattle, Gordon and Chris Johnson in Snoqualmie, and my sister, Adele Stone, in Longview, Washington. I talked to the Adult Sunday School Class at historic First Covenant Church in Seattle (text available at Pietisten.org) and Sunday afternoon Sandy, Nels Elde, Karl Nelson, and I represented Pietisten at the West Coast Annual Meeting (more than 30 attended) hosted by Gordon and Chris Johnson.

Shoulder to Shoulder (Christmas 2006)

A heart-felt tribute to two fine gentlemen, Glen Anderson from Princeton, Illinois and Arvin Anderson from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Nearly a half-century ago these two stalwarts vigorously attacked opponent defenses and opened holes for the North Park College Vikings.

Pietisten Bruce Carlson Memorial Weekend (Christmas 2006)

Many readers know that Bruce Carlson, Poetry and Navigation Editor of Pietisten and Executive Director of the Schubert Club of Saint Paul, died July 28, 2006 (same day and month as J.S. Bach). Bruce was a very close friend. I spent more time with him than any person other than my wife during the past forty-plus years.

Amazing Grace, The Movie (Spring 2007)

The movie Amazing Grace is about William Wilberforce and his colleagues who fought to abolish the slave trade in the British Empire and about John Newton who wrote the song and to whom Wilberforce went for spiritual advice. In 1807, 200 years ago, parliament passed the bill outlawing the slave trade.

Ella Christianson, a Century of Living (Spring 2007)

From a distance we join the many who gathered at Haddam Neck Covenant to honor and bless Ella Christianson who, as her daughter, Janet Johnson, points out, has been a Covenanter for a century. Three cheers and more for Ella!

The Producer and the Pastor (Spring 2007)

On a pleasant day on the Hawaiian Island of Kauai, the Reverend Arthur G. Mampel happily drove his recently acquired 1931 Model A Ford pickup along Koloa Road. The seller had taken $400 from the Pastor for the pickup plus another $400 for a Model A convertible. He liked to tell folks at a local watering hole how he saw the minister coming. If Mampel knew of this talk at his expense, he merely enjoyed the more the exhilaration of tooling along behind the wheel of his own Model A pickup.

Tribute to Arthur Peterson (Spring 2007)

Arthur (his given name rarely passed my lips) picked up the nickname “Squeaky” at North Park Junior College in Chicago. “Squeaky Pete” is a little poem on its own. To understand the origin of the name, one only needed to hear Pete speak a few words.

Krister Stendahl (Spring 2008)

Doctor Bishop Krister Stendahl, knowing God’s Kingdom includes people of every faith and walk of life, was a friend to all in the spirit of Jesus. He was a friend of Pietisten and our fondness for him is great.

In Praise of Higher Education (Spring 2008)

When John Johnson of North Park University, son of my old football teammate at North Park, Gordon Johnson, called, a rare opportunity fell into our laps. John is in Development and he asked if I could arrange a meeting between North Park University President, David Parkyn, and Dr. Bob Elde (North Park ’69), Dean of the School of Biology at the University of Minnesota, while the North Park choir was in Minneapolis.

Ruth Wold (Spring 2008)

Ruth was there to serve the Lord and to be the best helpmate she could be to her husband George, the Pastor. In that spirit, Ruth was always young and true. She lived simple, pure graciousness.

Annual Meeting Report (Spring 2008)

Our host this year was the Schubert Club of St. Paul. They opened the second floor of their Rare Instrument Museum for our festivities. In sense, our host was our departed brother and colleague, Bruce Carlson. It was a festive time.

Henry Gustafson (Christmas 2008)

Henry Gustafson, outstanding Professor of New Testament and theologian, died September 1, after several weeks of treasured hospice time with family.

Michael Groh (Christmas 2008)

Michael Groh, as his daughter, Alicia, said, “…was all about making a positive difference in the world. He had a very strong sense of social justice. He was a ’60s activist who continued to be an activist his whole life.” By consulting with non-profit organizations whose goals he shared, he carved an independent way vocationally.

Marian Anderson in Minneapolis (Summer 2009)

As I write this story, I am listening to Marian Anderson sing “Spirituals.” The songs are terrific, amazing, from the heart, remarkable, fun, and filled rich beyond imagination with metaphors of human life and the life of the spirit.

The Pietist Impulse in Christianity Conference at Bethel (Summer 2009)

Phil Johnson and Mark Safstrom report from the Christianity Conference at Bethel.

Pietisten Annual Meeting, March 7, Landmark Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota. (Summer 2009)

Though improvement has been desired, degeneration has continued. This in spite of a great deal of encouragement and support. A fine crowd of about 50 folks gathered for Pietisten’s Annual Meeting at the Landmark Center in Saint Paul.

Marlys Johanson — in Appreciation and Celebration of her Life (Summer 2009)

Surely God’s word includes the creation of the lives of us human people. Marlys Johanson was one of God’s best words ever and we can see the fulfillment in the life and legacy of Marlys. In her, God’s creation did not return without giving all that is meant by watering the earth and making it yield seed for the sower and bread for eating. Marlys has returned to the love out of which she, and all of us have come. She returns after delivering about all one could expect of actual human life and human love. It is this, her victorious life, that we have the opportunity to praise and bless this day as we celebrate Marlys Johanson.

Short of a Quarter Century (Epiphany 2010)

In the Summer 1992 issue, the editors of Pietisten admitted their failure to take Skogsbergh Point on Lake Minnetonka in Minnesota. The point was once owned by Rev. E. A. Skogsbergh and was a gathering place for Swedish Pietists in the early part of the 20th century. We planned to sail to the point in the dead of night and plant a Pietisten flag firmly in the soil. In the article “Editors Face Their Failure,” we sought to analyze the factors that prevented our success. If you read it, you will understand more clearly the present situation. Now more than 18 years have passed since that plan was conceived. The current Board and soon-to-be-replaced Managing Editor have missed the mark again; they have fallen short of a quarter century of publishing what is becoming known as “Pietisten 2.0.”

Tribute: Deborah Swanson Webster (Epiphany 2010)

Deep sadness and unbelief overwhelmed the husband and family of Deborah Webster at Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park, Minnesota when Deb, the new mother, wife, daughter, and beloved relative died 12 hours after giving birth to Kelsey Marie Webster.

BOOK REVIEW: Angels, Worms and Bogeys: The Christian Ethic of Pietism (Spring/Summer 2010)

This somewhat odd title requires explanation. “Bogey,” for example, is one shot over par in golf. Dr. Clifton-Soderstrom points out that through the years, critics have characterized Pietism as below par with respect to sound Christianity on a number of counts. Our author challenges that notion and shows that Pietism’s performance has been miss-scored. Being a person for whom a bogey is my par, a “double bogey” is needed before I think it bad. After reading Clifton-Soderstrom’s book it is clear that Pietism scores a better than par “birdie” as does her book.

Carol McNaughton (Spring/Summer 2010)

On Saturday, March 20, friends gathered at the Cromwell Covenant Church to celebrate the life of Carol (Conklin) McNaughton, prophet of grace, straight-talking friend to many.

Gordon Nelson (Fall/Winter 2010)

Dr. Gordon Nelson, an elected member of the Board of Estimate and Taxation for the city of Minneapolis for 32 years, joined the staff of Martin Sabo, Minnesota Fifth District Representative, in 1978 and served for 28 years. Gordy knew virtually everything, especially about politics and theology. Congressman Sabo said: “He was a quiet person with an incredible knowledge of the history of Minneapolis. He had a deep interest in city government and wanting to make it work.”

Jesus Weighs In and Lightens Things Up (Fall/Winter 2011)

Jesus was a practical person. I suspect he had some principles.

"Pietisten Digital Reunion" Web Project Is Underway (Fall/Winter 2011)

Phil Johnson introduces the project to digitize all the back issues of Pietisten.

(Re)Reading Kierkegaard Along with Paul Holmer (Spring/Summer 2012)

The late Paul and Phyllis Holmer regularly attended the various meetings of Pietisten.

Hanging out with Lutherans (Fall/Winter 2012)

I’m pleased to report that I spent part of Saturday, June 23, 2012, at the Augustana Heritage Association’s “Gathering VIII” at Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter, Minnesota. The Augustana Synod was formed by Swedish immigrants in 1860.

Sandra J. Johnson (Fall/Winter 2012)

Sandy’s family lived in Weymouth, Massachusetts and she was born in nearby Quincy Hospital. She was raised in the Pilgrim Covenant Congregational Church in Quincy. Church was a big part of her life. The neighborhood library was a favorite place of hers. She loved school and loved singing with her next door neighbors. She was thankful for these wholesome influences on her young life.

A little girl in Syria (Spring/Summer 2013)

This is a chapter in Phil’s upcoming book, Funny Stuff in the Bible, to be published later this year. Used by permission of Wipf and Stock Publishers. www.wipfandstock.com

Muriel Lindahl (Spring/Summer 2013)

Muriel lent her skills to Pietisten. She set up our former filing system. For years, Muriel teamed with Elder and friends to address and put stamps on Pietisten mailings. She was truly competent. Kindness and gentleness were Muriel Lindahl trademarks. If you did not have a chance to see her in action, you might not have guessed what a power house she was.

Chaplain Lars Edward Nelson (Spring/Summer 2013)

North Park Professor Zenos Hawkinson introduced Ed Nelson and me on Spaulding Avenue, North Park College Campus, south of the North Branch of the Chicago River. Headed in the same direction, we fell into step. I knew immediately that Ed was special. I was delighted by his enthusiasm when the subject of Pietisten came up.

More thoughts on “making friends” (Fall/Winter 2013)

Arthur W. Anderson (Fall/Winter 2013)

Rev. Arthur W. Anderson died at the John Knox Care Village in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, where he had resided for the past three months. Art’s is a very ecumenical spirit so it was okay that he was living in a Presbyterian residence when he died.

Sweet hour of prayer (Spring/Summer 2014)

For more than thirty years The Evangelical Beacon, the monthly magazine of the Evangelical Free Church, printed a column “Nine O’Clock Prayer” by Mary. Mary was a Christian layperson who had experience, brains, and good will. She was a disciple of Jesus and a priest in the sense of the “priesthood of all believers,” a reality she did not doubt for a minute.

Elder Lindahl (Fall/Winter 2014)

Dr. Elder Lindahl, lover of wisdom, died at Covenant Village in Golden Valley, Minnesota, November 3. He enjoyed carpentry, fishing, the outdoors, and coached tennis. Elder also loved Pietisten; his contributions include more than fifty articles.

Michael Makeleni and the Walmer Tigers of South Africa (Fall/Winter 2015)

There is a township in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, with a basketball team named the Walmer Tigers. The team has been playing for nearly three years. The facilities are Spartan; the basketball court is concrete. It seems like an okay court—until you look at the baskets. When you do, you say, “What the heck?” The rims are half way up the backboard, about ten-and-a-half feet high and there are no nets. There is very little backboard area above the rim—making layups a challenge. In a word, the rims are forbidding.

David R. Swanson (Fall/Winter 2015)

Whether you called him Swanny, Shorty, David, Dave, Dick, George for his unlikeness size-wise to the great George Mikan of the Minneapolis World Champion Lakers, or, as in one case I know of, Boo Boo, it doesn’t matter. We knew who this person was and he was our friend.

Sucking up (Fall/Winter 2016)

Speaking of sucking up, surely someone before me has described the main current of economic flow as sucking up — in contrast to “trickling down,” which in reality is but a drip.

Ted Larsen (Fall/Winter 2016)

I wheeled him into the hallway where we found a nice spot. He reached into his shirt pocket and pulled out folded papers. It was a neatly typed copy of “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe. Ted launched into a reading of “The Raven” like I have never heard. I can’t imagine it could be performed better. It took my breath away. Ted, our fine gentleman friend, began to wear down after a while not quite finishing the poem. No matter. I was dazzled.

Glen V. Wiberg (Spring/Summer 2017)

Phil Johnson's tribute to Glen Wiberg (1925 — 2017).

Out of Harmony? (Spring/Summer 2018)

“Gentle persuasion” has been the Covenant way at its best, but in making the position on human sexuality binding, the nature of the Covenant has shifted.

Second rate earth? (Spring/Summer 2019)

The dominant interpretation by Christian thinkers during the course of the past 2,000 years of the two Genesis creation stories (1:2–3 and 2:4–3:24), which make up the Hebrew creation epic, portrays humans and creation, after a glorious beginning, as second rate compared to what it was before human sin. This is what Augustine of Hippo (353–430 CE), perhaps the foremost of those who have proclaimed this anthropology, thought. He believed that there would be neither sin nor evil in the world if it were not for the first humans who, quite literally, screwed things up.

“Sorry” (Fall/Winter 2019)

Boeing Company is “sorry.” It’s proper for Boeing to apologize for the death of hundreds in its planes that malfunctioned and crashed. British Petroleum was sorry for what went wrong in the Gulf of Mexico.

Often have I wondered... (Fall/Winter 2020)

Do you sometimes wonder what you are thinking when you haven’t started to think yet? You haven’t sat down at your desk or begun writing about something or conversing with someone. Usually I’m not paying attention to what I am thinking until my thinking becomes official, like in writing or conversation and meditation and so on.

Tribute to Bob Bach (Spring/Summer 2021)

Football can be a useful metaphor for where things are in one’s life, especially if it is someone you have played the game with — an easy way to communicate. For example, for the past three years or so, Bob Bach could easily report where he was in his physical struggles. Like: “How’s it going, Socko?” “Well, Whitey, I’m on my own 25. I haven’t punted yet.” Try as he might, he could not get much beyond the 25-yard line from then on.

Tribute to Robert Thompson (Spring/Summer 2021)

Loved and admired by many, Robert Thompson’s absence leaves an empty feeling. Who can replace his voice, his keen wit, international understanding, friendship, and humor as Pietisten’s international correspondent?

J. Thomas “Tom” Tredway (Spring/Summer 2022)

There was a grand party on a Sunday afternoon this April in East Moline, Illinois to celebrate Tom Tredway’s life. A lively crowd of at least 150 gathered at the Bend, a fine party space filled with sunlight streaming through tall windows.