Fall/Winter 2011

Volume XXVI, Number 2

In This Issue

Ecumenical Arches by Tom Tredway

There is hardly a McDonald’s in Christendom that lacks a group of elderly sages who gather every morning for senior coffee and a reprise of recent developments. You can try one of the stores just off Schwedenplatz in Vienna or hit the one in Uppsala on Fyrisparkvägen. There’ll be a table of regulars there almost any morning. In parts of New York City they’ll be speaking Spanish, and on Mercer Island, east of Seattle, they’ll nervously be looking at the calories listed beside all the menu items, posted by local ordinance. Whatever the language or the calories, the Golden Arches are world-wide.

Conform No Longer – Be Renewed by Mark Safstrom

An observation about teaching that I have heard several times is that you don’t know what you truly believe about a subject until you have to teach it. When we are in the role of a student listening to a lecture, we may listen or fall asleep, nod and look studious, agree or disagree, and then leave to learn another day.

It’s Sunday, but Monday’s Comin’ by Rev. Jim Sundholm

“It’s Sunday, but Monday’s comin’.” Author and speaker Tony Campolo preached on several occasions a memorable sermon titled “It’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming.” Among the places this was preached was at the Midwinter Conference hosted by the Evangelical Covenant Church a few years back, which I attended. Some weeks in the recent past, in speaking with Glenn Palmberg (ECC president emeritus), I joked that as a Pietist, someday I ought to preach a sermon titled “It’s Sunday, but Monday’s comin’.”

Pietisten Picnic

Sightings in Christian Music by Glen Wiberg

I must add a simple witness as to what has motivated the essays and hymns and their publication in “Singing the Story.” It has been my passion to preserve the music of our movement as Covenanters and Pietists. There will be those who see the music as irrelevant to our times. I believe, however, that there will be plenty in the next generation, if not this one, who will find in this music a treasure worth preserving and singing!

Called to Not Look Away by Anya Milton

I found myself completely caught off guard when I learned of a human tragedy that is larger in scale than the slave trade. This is a slavery in which children are daily bought, sold and sexually exploited. More specifically, I have become concerned with a smaller subset of this trade, which is called domestic minor sex trafficking. It’s the seedy underbelly of the sex trade that few speak of or really know about, but which exists throughout our communities, large and small.

The Love of Wisdom by Elder M. Lindahl

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.

The Works of Wendell Berry by John E. Phelan Jr.

One of our nation’s literary treasures is the farmer, poet, essayist, and novelist Wendell Berry. Every other year at North Park Seminary, Dr. Brent Laytham and I teach a course on Berry. It has become one of the school’s most popular electives, drawing some of our brightest students as well as students from other Chicago seminaries. The attraction is not so much our inspired teaching, but Berry himself.

Kierkegaard’s Abraham and the Lonely Leap of Faith by Mark Safstrom

Søren Kierkegaard made a habit of keeping others at arm’s length. By the time he died he had generated critics and even some enemies in the Church of Denmark, humiliated himself in a newspaper feud, distanced himself from family members and broke off a promising engagement to the lovely Regine Olsen.

Pilgrimage to Iona by Dorothy Balch

There were many questions going through my mind as I prepared for my pilgrimage to Iona, a very small island on the west coast of Scotland, Aug. 12-25, 2010.

James R. G. Hawkinson by Chris Gehrz

Having been blessed by the friendship of a man who was forty-five years old when I was born – closer in age to my grandparents than my parents – teaches me all I need to know about the importance of belonging to a multi-generational church.

Power Plays, Part III by Penrod

Have you done your assignment? I asked you to ask yourself “How did I manage to make it this far?” and “What’s working?” Did you note what is working in your life as you function interpersonally? Did you spend some time reflecting on how it is that you have managed to make it this far?

Jesus Weighs In and Lightens Things Up by Phil Johnson

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

Poetry Corner by Arthur Mampel

Has language become too familiar? Too anesthetizing? Too comforting? Do we soften the meaning of words by making them sound less offensive?

Advent is Here by Carl Boberg and translated by Mark Safstrom

News and Notes

North Park University's capital campaign; Covenant Point's Chuck Frasier Memorial Campaign

Youth Movement

Oskar Bryce Nelson; Henrik Luke Swanson

A Pietist By George Scott, C.O. Rosenius, and Mark Safstrom

In its initial year of publication in 1842, Pietisten presented a two-part article series as an explanation for the founding of the journal, titled “Pietism” and “A Pietist.” Part two is translated here from the Swedish.

Web Exclusives

Facing the Future Together by Mark Safstrom

Find out the story behind the current merger of three Swedish denominations (Covenant, Baptist and Methodist churches). Reprinted from the October issue of The Covenant Companion.

Nils Frykman – The Joyous Christian Singer by Börje Skagerö and translated by John A. Erickson

On March 30, 2011, it was exactly 100 years since the well-known songwriter Nils Frykman left our world. He has written over 300 songs, of which a goodly number are found in our hymnal and even now are sung in our various churches. They are immortal songs where the theme is joy in the Christian faith.

"Pietisten Digital Reunion" Web Project Is Underway by Phil Johnson

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