Fall 1999

Volume XIV, Number 3

In This Issue

Moravian Roots of the Covenant Churches by Christina Ekström

When one seeks the roots of the 19th Century revivals, its doctrines and musical expression, one often studies Pietism, the movement which, simply expressed, was a counterpart of Lutheran orthodoxy. But, are there, perhaps, other paths to examine that led up to the 19th century revivals—revivals which found expression in, among others, the Swedish Mission Covenant and the Evangelical Covenant Church of America?

How Gene Siskel Became Movie Critic of the Chicago Tribune by Owen Youngman

When I came to the Tribune in 1971, Gene was new enough as film critic that he was still establishing a routine. That meant I’d often see him padding around the Sunday room in his stocking feet late on a weekend night, working his way through his thoughts for the next review or, taking a break from those thoughts and challenging the overnight copy boys to a 2 a.m. poker game.

The Festivity of Grace by Karl Clifton-Soderstrom

On November 2nd and 3rd, 1961, a young and experienced jazz musician, John Coltrane, brought his sextet to New York City to play at the Village Vanguard. The resulting live performances on those two nights, are considered by many to be among the greatest jazz creations of all time. In those brief two evenings, the gift of a new creation was offered.

Building on Refusal by Elder M. Lindahl

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 Pietist Folk School: A Point of Departure by Peter Sandstrom

What follows, then, is the outline of a tentative proposal for the creation of what we are terming a "pietist folk school." As with its predecessors, this school would attempt to be an expression of pietism for its time and to speak to an unaddressed need in the realm of American higher education.

The Making of a Reader — Part II by David Hawkinson

Some years ago, I had the pleasure of spending time with Professor Robert Sacks at St. John’s University in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In his mind, he was fascinated by many things, but, above all, he was a wonderful reader of the biblical text. In fact, he wrote a commentary on reading Genesis entitled The Lion and the Ass. I am fortunate to have a copy of this unpublished work and have learned much from his reading skills.

From Rättvik to Isanti County by Karl Nelson

My grandfather, Curtiss D. Johnson, had a deep interest in his Swedish heritage. Many years ago, he gave me a coin that depicted immigrants landing in New York with the Statute of Liberty in the background. The coin reminds me that my ancestors arrived in America in that same fashion. Many of Pietisten’s readers share this same heritage, but even those non-Swedes among us would enjoy reading Robert Ostergren’s history of the emigration of a Swedish community.

River Horse by Bruce Carlson

About ten years ago, a travel book appeared in which the author checked out our country by driving from coast to coast on the back highways. Blue Highways, written by William Least Heat-Moon, was very engaging.

Festschrift—a Fitting Tribute to F. Burton Nelson, Scholar, Teacher, and Churchman by Phil Johnson

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

Sigurd Westberg by Fredrick Holmgren

Sigurd Westberg was a much-loved grandfather, father, and father-in-law. Though his achievements were outstanding, his commitment to family was at the center of his life. Four daughters, their husbands, and their families remember Sig with great affection. Sandy Marks, one of the sons-in-law said that "the brothers-in-law club was one of his biggest fans."

Theodore Hedstrand by Vernoy Johnson and Phil Johnson

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 by Phil Johnson

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.

Regular Features

Sleepy Hollow: A Review by Max Carlson

Film director Tim Burton has a certain style that can be found in all his movies. His films are much like Edward Gorey illustrations: dark, humorous, and with striking imagery. You can find all this in his latest work, Sleepy Hollow.

Locks, Technology, and Freedom by Penrod

It is good to be sitting here in the Music Cove using pen and ink rather that typing standard characters on a keyboard. I can make the letters as I like, and I enjoy the flexibility.

Sightings in Christian Music by Glen Wiberg

When I asked Carleton R. Young, editor of the Methodist hymnal, whether the use of overheads in worship might not make singing from hymnals obsolete, he said: "We have all the technology to do so. But when the light of the overhead goes off, I have nothing in my hands. But when I take up my hymnal in song and prayer, I hold 2000 years of church history in my hands."

Notable Teachers by Arthur W. Anderson

I wish I could remember the name of my first-grade teacher. She made me fall in love with words. Before 10, I literally walked a mile to take out books from the library. Oh, the magic of the cover, the mystique of the print, and the aura of the book itself. She waved her wand over a value. She’s gone now. I wish I could thank her.

Out and About by Phil Johnson

Watching the Red; New Freedom in Kansas

Post: Readers Respond

Chad Pennington of Marshall by Eric Ecklund-Johnson

The choice for this year’s Waldenström Trophy is quarterback Chad Pennington of Marshall. He has led Marshall to an undefeated season this year and has probably been more crucial to his team’s success than any other player in the country.


Cotton and Rock Island Railroad by Tom Hubler

Just To Be In Skin Deserves A Medal by Arthur Mampel