Fall/Winter 2020

Volume XXXV, Number 2

In this issue

Remain in the city…and breathe by Edrin Williams

The book of Acts gives us a look at the identity of the early church and the work of the Spirit in the life of the church. This book is Luke’s important historical account of the expansion of the church from a relatively small group in Jerusalem to a movement that reached the entire Roman world and then kept going! Jesus took a small group of average disciples and empowered them with his Spirit for radical mission.

Humility, curiosity, and a sense of humor by Mark Safstrom

The first day of fall classes was both eerie and comical. By the time I had walked up three flights of stairs in Old Main and reached my classroom, my plastic face mask and face shield were fogged up and dripping with condensation. I greeted the class, apologizing for being out of breath: “I don’t normally teach with a lampshade on my head.”

“Neither Jew nor Greek”: A call to unity and solidarity by Adam Barnett

I am deeply privileged to have a biracial family. My wife, Andrea, and I are both Caucasian, and we have two biological daughters and an adopted son and daughter from the Democratic Republic of Congo. In August 2015, God called our family to serve at Redeemer Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I remember a close friend’s comment around the time of our move: “Adam, I believe God is sending your family to serve in a deeply segregated city for a purpose.” A deeply segregated city?

Our siblings’ keeper by Phyllis K. Myung

Last year, my family and I took a long-anticipated trip to South Korea. The last time I had been there was nearly thirty years ago. In preparation for this big family trip, I made two lists. One was for all the food we wanted to make sure to eat and the second was a list of all the places I wanted my daughter to experience, most of which were places I had frequented during my childhood visits. I can tell you that almost everything on both of those lists got checked off. It was quite a memorable trip, but there was one experience at a baseball game there that kept tugging at me after we got back.

A litmus test of love by Donna Ahlberg

In our text from Exodus, we hear the Lord God say to Moses, “You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.” This is a reference to God’s mighty power in inflicting the twelve plagues on the Egyptians so that they would “let my people go.” I hope that sounds familiar to you. It is foundational in a Christian child’s upbringing, also in a Jewish child’s faith life. God’s crushing power rescues the Israelites from four hundred years of slavery in Egypt. In the Old Testament, we learn of God’s love for his chosen people, the Israelites.

Tart Flambé (Alsatian or Nordic) by Bonnie Sparrman

The recent perusal of two distinct collections of books leaves me with similar thoughts in regards to each. The first is my assortment of cookbooks and the second are the 66 books we call the Bible.

Surrounded by the old hymns by Bill Pearson

I did not understand the way I was feeling this day. I was stopped up. My throat felt constricted. Yes, I had had a bad go with allergies this entire summer. My eyes were constantly running. I had taken all the usual remedies but with no relief.

Pentecostal evangelist Cenna Osterberg and the Azusa Street Mission by David M. Gustafson

Ties between Swedish-Americans and the burgeoning modern Pentecostal movement are well-documented, including such stories of people like Andrew G. Johnson-Ek who carried the Azusa Street revival from Los Angeles to Skövde, Sweden. However, few people know about Cenna Osterberg (1854-1924), and her husband, Louis, and son, Arthur, who worked with William J. Seymour.

The Trinity, History and Pietism by Tom Tredway

There’s an old adage: “Be careful what you pray for!” It is certainly true that sometimes prayers are answered in a way we didn’t expect when we first prayed them. When in seminary, I got so confused about the Doctrine of the Trinity, that I prayed for months on end that God would show me the true doctrine. My prayer has, over the course of my life, been answered, though not in the way I originally expected. That answer is what this column is about.

Self-evaluation of my teaching by J. Melburn Soneson

One certainly can play games with one’s self in any self-evaluation process. In the process the introspective detection of this ploy can produce a form of skepticism. The self-examination of one’s self-examination can lead to an infinite regression, thus militating against the view that an honest appraisal is possible.

Often have I wondered... by Phil Johnson

Do you sometimes wonder what you are thinking when you haven’t started to think yet? You haven’t sat down at your desk or begun writing about something or conversing with someone. Usually I’m not paying attention to what I am thinking until my thinking becomes official, like in writing or conversation and meditation and so on.

Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation by John E. Phelan Jr.

Many religious and secular observers alike were stunned that white evangelicals voted overwhelmingly in the 2016 American presidential election for a man that seemed the antithesis of their moral and spiritual convictions. Donald Trump was a multi-divorced philanderer—a man who even bragged about sexual assaults. He was crude and cruel, given to mocking his opponents and attacking them at the points of their greatest vulnerability. He was ostentatiously wealthy and given to obscenely flaunting that wealth. By his own admission, Trump knew little about the Bible or the Christian faith and when he attempted to cite the scriptures he was likely to make a hash of it.

News and Notes

New book of essays honors Prof. Philip J. Anderson; Nels Elde wins MacArthur Grant!

Those crazy Kraken by Eric Nelson

A marine biologist could probably give you a nice lecture on the shared characteristics of the Norwegian Sea and Puget Sound. I’m here to give you one — they both have a Kraken.

Tribute to Stanley L. Holme by Dan Johnson

Stanley Lawrence Holme M.D. was born in Stambaugh, Michigan on February 17, 1934. He and his older sister Alice and brother Mel were raised in a Christian home by father Sigvald and mother Laura (Larson) Holme. Stan loved his childhood growing up in the beautiful Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where he learned to love the outdoors. He was a true “Yooper” and proud of it.

Tribute to Roald Tweet by Kai Swanson and Ann Boaden

Roald Tweet became a member of the Augustana College English Department in 1960, and remained there until his retirement in 1999; he chaired the department from 1967 until 1984.

Poetry Corner

The Uncomfortable Life by Jon Knudsen

Shepherds play for the baby Jesus by Alice Tegnér and translated by Mark Safstrom

Leviathan by Ann Boaden

Mages by Ann Boaden