Spring/Summer 2017

Volume XXXII, Number 1

In This Issue

A Vision for North Park University by Kurt W. Peterson

North Park University is seeking a new president. As a longtime member of the Evangelical Covenant Church and former faculty member at North Park, as well as a resident of Chicago’s North Park neighborhood, I personally have much at stake in the university’s long-term success. With thanks to President David Parkyn and his years of service for God and humanity, what follows is a vision for North Park as it moves forward. I offer this to the greater North Park community – faculty, staff, students, board of trustees, alumni, parents, donors, and friends – for consideration during this year of discernment. The ideas are not all new or uniquely mine, but represent a focused set of priorities regarding mission, vision, and leadership.

The table of grace by Mark Safstrom

October 31, 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, counting from the day in 1517 that Martin Luther “posted” (that is, mailed) his 95 Theses to Albrecht, Archbishop of Mainz (whether they were actually “nailed” on the door of the Castle Church is debatable, as it turns out). Luther’s critique of indulgences and the preaching and theology surrounding penance was the focus of these early complaints, and most of us probably think of these concepts first when we think of Luther. Sola Scriptura, “Scripture alone,” would emerge as the motto for Protestants wishing to return to the primacy of scripture in determining right belief and practice.

The poetics of faith by Craig E. Anderson

“Religion is the supreme experience of the human spirit, and that experience finds its most perfect literary expression in poetry,” wrote Washington Gladden, the Congregational theologian whose life spanned the 19th and 20th centuries. I am among those interested in poetry that speaks to the intersection of our lives with the mystery and transcendence of God.

The Wilderness by Mindi Bach

Sightings in Christian Music by David Bjorlin

In the fall semester of my final year at North Park Theological Seminary (2010), Professor Phil Anderson asked if I would play saxophone on a couple hymns for a hymn festival that was to end a day of lectures honoring the joint heritage of the Augustana Synod and the Covenant Church. I agreed, partly because I was excited by the new discovery of the heritage hymns during my time in seminary, and partly because it never hurts to do a professor a favor!

Fresh Herb Roasted Salmon by Bonnie Sparrman

Food Ruts…we all fall into them. Even as I write, I’m chomping on one of my worst offenders … Skinny-Pop Popcorn, which if one eats half the bag, has nothing to do with “skinny.” But there are meal ruts as well: Taco Tuesday, pizza on Friday, burgers on Saturday. Or perhaps you begin each morning with the same breakfast cereal at least six days a week.

Holy humor and church chuckles by Royce Eckhardt

It was at a retirement center’s weekly chapel service, in which one of the residents was selected to read the appointed scripture lesson of the day prior to the sermon. The passage selected for that day was the Beatitudes. The senior lady was doing well with the reading until she uttered, “Blessed are the pacemakers…”

No Abiding City by Tom Tredway

Years later, for want of a Covenant church in the town where I was then living, I attended an Augustana Lutheran congregation. There, when a member died, the pastor would announce the funeral using with unrelenting regularity this formula: “We are once again reminded that we are but pilgrims and strangers here on earth.”

Glen Wiberg arrives in Heaven, sends report to Pietisten

The journey wasn’t hard at all. Suddenly, here I am, welcomed by folks of every kind and color, the majority had been poor. I think of Marion Anderson singing “The Gospel Train.” “Get on board little children – there’s room for many a more. The fare is cheap and all can go. No difference in the fare. There’s room for many a more.”

Post: Readers Respond

Glen V. Wiberg by Phil Johnson

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

Richard M. Lundberg

The Lundberg family's tribute to Richard M. Lundberg (1920 — 2017)