A Retirement Soliloquy (Fall 1990)
Coming to North Park College was in many ways easier than leaving. The process was quite simple. I talked awhile with Dean Albin Erickson, and then he suggested I go over to Wilson Hall and meet President Clarence Nelson. President Nelson asked about my graduate work at the University of Michigan, what kinds of philosophy I had been studying.
Whose Is Rosenius? (Winter 1990)
The name of one of Pietisten's patron saints, Carl Olof Rosenius, caught my eye in a recent article in Svenska Dagbladet, for Nov. 11, 1990. Serious dissatisfaction with the beliefs and life style of the Swedish State Church, the cause of the separation of Läsare [Readers] in the last century, was the reason for the organization. Now, as the article below reports, the dissatisfaction continues today and is leading to an imminent break with the Church of Sweden by these "Faithful Friends of the Bible."
Pietists in the Battle of Life (Spring 1991)
The immigrant pietists I knew in the '30s and '40s had strong convictions about Bible prophecy as it focused on the Middle East. We heard that we were living in the "last days" and that Jesus could come back momentarily.
Confirming Faith (Summer 1997)
The ideal time for serious discussion of evolution is, in my judgment, during confirmation.
Where is Waldenström? (Fall 1997)
For only the second time in the history of the publication Pietisten, Tommy Carlson's Paul Peter Waldenström’s column has not appeared. The Summer 1997, number went to press without Waldenström! The Editor tells me the absence was due to Tommy's trip to Europe and scheduling. Do you know who PPW is? Did you miss his column?
Here and There (Fall 1998)
During the years 1845-1930, 1.2 million Swedes, 25% of the Swedish population, emigrated to North America. This mass exodus, fueled by social discontent, poor crops, religious persecution, land fever, and new opportunities, split the country into two distinct groups–(A) Swedes who stayed, and (B) Swedes who left to become assimilated into an alien culture. America-fever tore families apart geographically and emotionally. In this essay, I am interested in the various ways those in Group B adapted, or failed to adapt, as they settled in as immigrants.
Computers (Winter 1999)
They are everywhere. And it makes no difference whether you associate with them or try to avoid them. Like it or not, computers will share our destiny and the destiny of our children’s children. Are they our servants or our masters? Do they think, and, if so, is their thinking superior to that of humans? Where does this leave us?
A Tribute to Dean Albin Erickson (Winter 1999)
Dean Erickson was a special person, a man of integrity, wisdom, patience, good judgment, kindness, and understanding. He had a first-rate mind and was committed to the Christian Faith. Albin was dedicated to helping the on-coming generations find an integrated heritage of faith and learning.
Interview with Carl Olaf Rosenius (Summer 1999)
Readers have asked for more information about some of the personalities of Pietisten’s roots. Rosenius granted Elder Lindahl a Narnian type interview in September, 1867. Picture the two of them taking coffee together in a konditori in Umeå, Sweden.
Building on Refusal (Fall 1999)
A new structure, the Courtyard Building, which will provide 130 new apartments, is being added to the existing building that has 125 apartments. The land on which both the old and new buildings are located was originally a swamp. Basset Creek, which was straightened out and redirected to the West, once meandered through the wetland on which the Covenant Manor complex is now located. How can such an impressive complex of buildings be constructed on such a marshy spot?
A Letter of Carl Olaf Rosenius (Spring 2000)
When I read your letter through, I knew only, that the more I loved you the more misery the letter revealed. Oh, my dear brother, I see so well how it is with you. I know your nature partly through personal contact and partly through your letters which clearly reflect your entire being.
Searching for an Old Friend (Spring 2000)
On a late afternoon in the middle of November, as I passed the Gustaf Adolph Kirche in Grossauheim, Germany, I heard the strains of an old song. The front door of the Church was open, so I walked in. Up on the second floor, at the rear of the church, I could see a light.
Probing a Very Large Universe (Summer 2000)
What is the universe? Do other earths exist, and are they inhabited? Are there countless solar systems? What is space? Does it make sense to talk about up or down; inner or outer space? Is space finite and limited, infinite and endless, or what? What is time? How are space and time related? Is the universe aging, and will it finally run down? What is the relation between God and the universe?
A Zuni, a Bar Maid, and a Body Man (Winter 2000)
A few weeks ago, Muriel and I received a phone call from Cibola General Hospital in Grants, New Mexico, telling us that my sister Carol had collapsed at a gas station off I-40 and was in intensive care.
Happy Birthday, Fredrika! (Spring 2001)
During this year, Swedes are celebrating the 200th anniversary of Fredrika Bremer’s birthday. Fredrika had a life-long interest in human development, especially of women, and in the moral and spiritual advancement of society. Her "everlasting sermon" was how much good there is in people, and how much care each must take to call it forth. "Self-improvement must never stand still," she wrote in her diary. Its an on-going process.
How High the Wall (Summer 2001)
Some questions I've been pondering these days are: What does it mean for Muslims to take their beliefs seriously in a secular state like ours? What are the conditions for the possibility of looking at one's religious faith objectively and critically? What are the consequences of separating or not separating church and state?
What a Muscle! (Winter 2001-2002)
Make a fist and look at its size. I’ve read that the size of one’s fist is about the size of one’s heart. As one grows from infancy to adulthood, the fist size is a good indicator of the size of the heart at each stage of one’s physical development. An infant’s heart and fist, for example, are about the same size.
Fresh off the Press: Private Lindahl, Citizen Soldier (Winter 2001-2002)
Brief Conversation with Youth by David Nyvall (Winter 2001-2002)
We are so often exhorted to learn to know God’s will, and Jesus Himself taught us to pray to God, saying, "Your will be done," but what are we to understand by God’s will? What is the will of God? Paul in Romans 12 gives an interesting and comprehensive answer to this question when he in verse two puts the phrase, "the good, the acceptable, and the perfect," as an appositive.
Face to Face (Summer 2002)
“Your face is familiar, but I can’t come up with your name.” It’s a pretty common line, especially if you live in a retirement community.
Heretics (Summer 2003)
The word “Heretic” is pejorative. A heretic, one who dissents from established practices or doctrines, from an accepted system of ideas, is usually unpopular with the majority. He sometimes suffers condemnation, persecution, excommunication, imprisonment or even death. And those who agree with non-conformist views, for example with those of Pelagius, Peter Abelard, Martin Luther, Giordano Bruno, Galileo, Johannes Kepler, Charles G. Finney, P. P. Waldenstršm, et al, may at times find themselves open to criticism, even at risk.
“From Books to Business: the Value of a Liberal Education” An article by Peter Fellowes (Summer 2003)
Peter was a colleague in the Humanities Division at North Park. He taught English, creative writing, and literature, became the Divisional Chair, and in 1986, Academic Dean. Three years later, he surprised us with the news that he was leaving the academic world to take over the manufacturing business his grandfather started in 1917.
An Educational Pioneer (Winter 2003-2004)
Erik August Skogsbergh was born in Värmland, Sweden, on June 24, 1850. He was converted at age 19, and attended Mission Schools in Kristinehamn and Ahlberg for about two years. Lutheran Pastor, Dr. Olof Olsson, third President of Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, and Covenant leader and Scholar, Dr. P. P. Waldenström, were his life-long teachers and friends.
Review of Ingrid, My Swedish-American Life and Adventure (Winter 2003-2004)
This recent book gives one an excellent picture of immigrant emellan, of a life lived in-between two countries, two cultures, and two languages. I highly recommend Ingrid’s book to the readers of Pietisten and to anyone who wants to read about an exciting, modern immigrant experience.
In Vårmland, the Beautiful (Fall 2004)
If you stand still, look, and listen, I will give a small homily. Yes, we are now in Värmland where you and I have never been before. First, a bit of an orientation.
The Orphan Train (Fall 2004)
Charles Loring Brace (1826-1890), a Methodist Minister, believed it was his Christian duty to help the multitudes of homeless New York City children. His mission was to round up orphaned, neglected, or homeless children who roamed the streets by day and night and put them on trains bound for the Midwest and elsewhere for placement into rural homes.
Gravity and Levity (Winter 2004-2005)
There’s a silent, constant force around us which pulls us all down toward the center of the earth. Though it’s invisible, we see the effects and experience the pull of that steady, encircling force everywhere. There are some great benefits for the steadiness it provides, and yet we’d all like to find some relief from its everlasting grip. I refer to this relief as a search for levity, the desire to be light of foot and heart.
And There Shall Be Wars, World War II Diaries and Memories by Bud Wagner (Winter 2004-2005)
This is an authentic story of patriotism and bravery. When Bud was drafted in April, 1941 at age 22, he thought he would be away from his beloved farming and market-gardening business in Minnesota for about a year. Actually, he served “for the duration” until July, 1945. Almost 42 months of this time was overseas duty, much in combat in North Africa, Sicily, and Italy. Bud was a model GI who willingly, honorably, and efficiently did his part to defeat Hitler. The point of his title, and Bud’s belief, is that there will always be wars until the Prince of Peace is affirmed by the nations of this world.
Geared to the Times (Winter 2005)
The Gospel is good news about God’s amazing grace, love, redemption, the kingdom of God, hope, and the life to come. It’s an ancient story about the possibility of new life for the human spirit, eternally appropriate in every time and at every place. Jesus of Nazareth is the way, the truth, and the life.
From Narcissism to Empathy (Summer 2006)
Humans are born selfish. When one observes young children at play, the central, operative word is often “mine.” It is like: What’s mine is mine, and what my playmates want is also mine. Toddlers do not at first feel the interests of the other, share toys or offer possessions. They live in the moment, grabbing things without thinking about the wishes, needs, or even the private property of their playmates.
They Were Married in July (Christmas 2006)
Anne Lindahl and Jed Bassett, both North Parkers, were married on Sunday, July 9, 2006, in Libertyville Covenant Church in Libertyville, Illinois. Pastor Peter Hawkinson of Winnetka Covenant Church officiated; Pastor Dwight Nelson of Libertyville Covenant Church, and uncle of Karl Nelson, webmaster of www.pietisten.org, led the service. Youth Pastor Chris Gredenius assisted. Anne and Jed’s beautiful, classic wedding brought many North Park University students and alumni together.
The Human Odyssey (Christmas 2006)
It is unfortunate that in the Christian Church the idea of hope is most often associated with the end rather with the beginning of life’s pilgrimage. Unfortunate, I believe, because as a consequence hope as a present-time orientation is often ignored or degraded.
Review: From one Heart to Another (Christmas 2007)
Dick celebrates this life-giving gift as he weaves together two threads, one about the physical ordeal he went through leading to well-being, and the other about the spiritual lessons he learned in the process. These parallel stories run throughout the book, connecting nicely into what might be classified as an extended, edifying Christian tract.
Sabbath Day (Christmas 2007)
Picture two young boys, maybe nine and twelve, on Sunday mornings standing in the narthex of the Swedish Mission Church in Stambaugh, Michigan handing out little text-only Sions Basun hymn books to the people as they arrive for worship. While the boys greeted people, the huge bell above them clanged loudly when sexton Art Thompson pulled on a thick rope nearby.
Engaging Anders Nygren (Spring 2008)
While we were enjoying a delicious Swedish Christmas dinner, my son-in-law, Jeff, asked about the subject of my doctoral thesis. Finishing the meatball I was chewing and stalling a bit to organize my thoughts, I responded, “I translated some of the early writings of Anders Nygren.” Though I added a few general comments for clarity, Jeff was not satisfied. “Dad, couldn’t you just put your thesis into a single paragraph?” Thankfully, the table conversation changed, and the festivities continued. His challenging question, nonetheless, became lodged firmly in my consciousness. What follows is an attempt, though not in a single paragraph, to expand a bit on my research experience.
The Human Imagination (Christmas 2008)
The question of the place of music in worship settings has been around in the world’s religions for a long time. Currently, the great divide for Protestants is between traditional and contemporary music. Though Pietists give singing a central place in the sanctuary, they do not always agree on how it fits in. In early times, spiritual words put to drinking-song tunes were considered irreverent and jazzy by some. Youth for Christ choruses of the 40s and 50s disturbed parents who liked the old, classic hymns better. In one way or another, the clash between traditional and contemporary music has been, and will be, with us for years and years.
Carol Jackson (Christmas 2008)
Carol Ruth (Lindahl) Jackson, 78, died on December 7, 2008, at Chandler Regional Hospital. She lived in Beechwood, Michigan during the summers and in Sun Lakes, Arizona in the winters.
Truth on Parade (Epiphany 2010)
It was a beautiful Fourth of July day in Iron River, Michigan. The annual parade was one of the best I have attended through the years. Polished fire trucks made their presence felt. Floats celebrating many local groups gave evidence of work behind the scenes. Prancing riding horses brought some real life amid the various kinds of vehicles and trailers.
BOOK REVIEW: Lillian Budd (Fall/Winter 2010)
Lillian Budd (1897–1989), born in Chicago to immigrants Charles and Selma Peterson, a WWI Navy veteran and Western Electric Company employee, wrote a delightful trilogy about Swedish-American immigration.
A Day in Washington, D.C. (Fall/Winter 2010)
The Twin Cities Honor Flight is a non-profit organization created solely to honor America’s veterans for their sacrifices and service. Their mission is to provide the opportunity for elderly veterans to visit the World War II Memorial and other war memorials in Washington, D. C. Each day, according to statistics, some 1,100 of the old WW II vets leave this earth. There are Honor Flight programs in about 38 states.
The Love of Wisdom (Fall/Winter 2011)
While walking in an outdoor mall the other day, I spied an old gentleman sitting alongside a young lady on a bench by a fountain. He wore a blue jacket, a lettered T-shirt, and cap, each distinctly marked in maize-colored letters. As I came closer, the word “MICHIGAN” stood out clearly on items of his dress.
Filial Piety (Spring/Summer 2012)
A young Vietnamese woman gave me a pedicure at our local Golden Nails shop the other day.