Volume XVI, Number 2
In This Issue
The examination of religious belief as a cause of international conflict, particularly in the Middle East, and of its possible role in the recent terrorist attacks on New York and America, is often hindered by misinformation and confused thinking. The religion of Islam is all too simplistically blamed. Fundamentalist Christians make irrelevant pronouncements about God’s punishment of American wickedness and greed. Neither approach to the problems we face is productive.
St. John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota (the birth place of Minnesota Public Radio) is slowly and very surely producing the first Bible to be written and illustrated entirely by hand since the invention of moveable type more than 500 years ago. This St. John's Bible, a ten-year project, is now half-way complete.
have been reading and teaching from within the magnificent texts of First and Second Samuel for the past several years. Recently, I encountered the incident at the Pool of Giv'on found in II Sam. 2:12-16. I offer this reading into this strange event in order to explore some of its implications, as well as an example to further our inquiry into becoming better readers of the diverse biblical landscape.
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?
Before going on a trip, many people read up on the area they are going to visit. I prefer reading fiction. As I was pre-paring for a trip to Germany, I perused my Book Club offerings. One book stood out, The Last Survivor by Timothy Ryback. What caught my eye was Dachau. I knew we were going to that camp and I thought the book would give me some insight.
Part of the joy of being at my point in life is that so many of our relationships cross generations and many friends are of different generations of the same families. This reality is clearly portrayed here this morning at North Park Church.
Lots of people look forward to the Festival of Lessons and Carols broadcast live each year from the Cambridge University King's College Chapel on Christmas Day. The soaring music sung by boy sopranos, the lovely "Once in Royal David's City" processional, the beautifully read texts, and the thrilling acoustics of this vaulting, perpendicular Gothic chapel built by Henry VI combine for a spiritual and aesthetic treat.
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.
Ethel's a nice dark-brown black gal who likes to drink gin in Wally's room. The reason she likes to drink gin in Wally's room is because it's Wally's gin.
We were delighted to receive three old issues of the original Pietisten in very good condition through the care and kindness of Helen Laughbaum of Gladstone, Wisconsin. Mrs. Laughbaum passed these copies to Sydney Givovenco who in turn brought them to Pietisten. As you can see, one whose cover is copied above is from November 1902.
The Swedes rolled out a royal welcome for Södra Vätterbygdens Folkhögskola (SVF) and North Park alumni the weekend of September 21-24. It was the 25th anniversary of the Sweden Exchange Program between North Park University of Chicago and SVF. Alumni of the program were invited to a reunion at SVF in Jönköping, Sweden.
It was September 11th and my wife, Laura Lou, and I had just landed in Stockholm, Sweden. As we entered the apartment of my cousin, Solveig, the phone was ringing. "Turn on your TV," said the caller, "Something terrible has happened in New York!" We were in Sweden as part of the celebration of our Golden Wedding Anniversary.
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.
Vernoy Johnson was a distinguished educator. He taught math brilliantly in both North Park Academy and North Park College. Stories circulated that he could calculate the formulas for the angles of the ceiling beams of North Park Covenant Church during sermons.
Minnesota Viking in Cameroon; Georgia Bulldog in Africa
I recall from the earlier years of my ministry—when there were still some first generation Swedes around—that whenever we sang a Swedish translation someone was bound to say after the service: "It just isn't the same in the original."
A glowing memory from my North Park past is the story of my first encounter with a living legend, Dr. Navid Nyvall, former president of our college.
I spoke with a person the other day who said that psychologists are lazy. "How about philosophy and philosophers?" I asked. "Oh Ish! Another lazy bunch." She was adamant that the state's contribution to education should not be used to subsidize "soft" things such as music, art classes, literature, etc., except perhaps as minors. The money should be spent on useful things—science, business, technological development, medicine, and the like.