Spring/Summer 2019

Volume XXXIV, Number 1

In This Issue

Wade in the water by Deb Auger

We have an unusually generous theology and practice of baptism in the Covenant Church. There was wisdom in the minds and actions of our ancestors who chose unity over difference and dogma. We believe that baptism is a sacrament and an outward and visible sign of an inward and invisible grace. Whenever and wherever one is baptized, in the community of believers, God is present and is endowing grace on the individual baptized to walk in the love and light of God and to live faithfully into baptism.

Even when steeples are falling by Mark Safstrom

I returned to my office after teaching my Monday morning class a few months ago, opened my email and clicked on a message from one of our chaplains about a student vigil for Notre Dame. Not knowing what this could be about, I searched online and found live coverage of the fire engulfing the cathedral. I was transfixed, like the throngs of people I saw on the street and lining the river bank, silently watching in horror. And then there was a collective gasp.

Parkinson’s Disease and the Boxers’ Rebellion by Arvid Adell

What do all ten of these men in the photo wearing boxing gloves have in common?

Editorial: Remembering Who We Are Before a Momentous Annual Meeting

As many of Pietisten’s readers are faithful members of the Evangelical Covenant Church, as we are ourselves, we take this important moment to speak a word of assurance and encouragement to all those who may feel voiceless and marginalized by the recent barrage of correspondence issued by the denominational leadership.

Man After Diagnosis by Ann Boaden

Paraclete by Ann Boaden

Homemade yogurt and granola by Bonnie Sparrman

Since you are reading this, I’ll assume you did something I did today. You got out of bed, got dressed, and hopefully ate something for breakfast.

The Folkhögskola: A fantastic kind of school translated by Mark Safstrom

As part of the filming for the documentary, God’s Glory, Neighbor’s Good, we interviewed Elaine Lindblom, rektor at Karlskoga Folkhögskola in Karlskoga, Sweden, to ask her about the folkhögskola tradition, its long heritage in Scandinavia, and the educational opportunities that it presents today. Recorded by Tim Frakes, translated and edited by Mark Safstrom. May 19, 2015.

Democracy, Christianity, and other faiths by Tom Tredway

One of the conceits of the 20th century – and the early 21st as well – has been the belief that we have found the best political-social order in history, a way of setting up and organizing human life that optimizes each person’s potential, protecting and advancing the finest of which all people are capable. This order depends upon people themselves taking an active role in selecting their leaders and in monitoring their work. It is, of course, liberal democracy.

Music that makes community by David Bjorlin

As at least some readers of Pietisten no doubt experienced, one of the rites of passage in Covenant History class was reading Karl Olsson’s By One Spirit. The sheer size of the book led to many of my classmates experiencing dizziness and shortness of breath!

Treasures, both old and new: Transitions in worship music by Royce Eckhardt

I was recently asked to create a survey of the music used in Covenant camps in the Pacific Northwest Conference based on my years as music director at First Covenant Church, Seattle (1961-69). In leading hymn festivals with Seattle-area Covenant churches and being a musician at Covenant Beach Bible Camp, I had a fairly good overview of the music of that era. The present essay is based on that survey and expanded on the assumption that these perspectives may largely apply to the Covenant denomination as a whole.

Seeing America from the seat of a bicycle by David M. Gustafson

Last summer I checked off from my bucket list the goal of riding my bicycle across America.

The night the die was cast by Craig E. Anderson

Bible camp was an important part of my early spiritual formation. I began attending Covenant Harbor on Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, when I was in fifth grade, attending for a week each summer through the tenth grade. I also recall winter Hi-League retreats at the Harbor. It was familiar space, an extension of my church home. While in high school, I worked one summer on the staff of the camp and years later served on its board.

The man in the tower by Bill Pearson

The “humps” were a big deal in Galesburg, Illinois, my home town. Galesburg is located on the main railroad line from Chicago to Denver, and ultimately the West Coast. Today the railroad is known as BNSF - Burlington Northern Santa Fe. When I was a kid, Galesburg was on two main lines from Chicago to the west, a rarity for a town of 25,000 people.

The divine foot by Robert Blomgren

The common worldview known as scientific materialism was formulated early in the twentieth century as the philosophy which holds that matter is the fundamental substance in nature and that all things, including the cerebral, are the result of material interactions.

Review: I Love Jesus and I Accept Evolution reviewed by Elder M. Lindahl

Denis Lamoureux, a dentist with PhDs in theology and biology, presents his case for the compatibility of the Christian faith and evolution. He interweaves his own spiritual, intellectual, and emotional development with an extended discussion of the various ways one might relate God and the world.

Upper Room by Mindi Bach

Second rate earth? by Phil Johnson

The dominant interpretation by Christian thinkers during the course of the past 2,000 years of the two Genesis creation stories (1:2–3 and 2:4–3:24), which make up the Hebrew creation epic, portrays humans and creation, after a glorious beginning, as second rate compared to what it was before human sin. This is what Augustine of Hippo (353–430 CE), perhaps the foremost of those who have proclaimed this anthropology, thought. He believed that there would be neither sin nor evil in the world if it were not for the first humans who, quite literally, screwed things up.

Post: Readers Respond