As the term “social justice” is gaining more usage in America, not least in the Covenant Church, it might be useful to discuss how well this concept fits the Covenant profile. Is it a buzz word that well-meaning Covenanters have picked up from mainstream culture and transplanted into the Covenant Church? Or is this new term, and the goals associated with it, in line with the unique Pietist history of the Covenant?
In a previous article in Pietisten, I suggested that P.P. Waldenström’s commentary on North American society reflected some traditional Lutheran Pietist concerns for social justice. Prompted by a friend at Seattle First Covenant, this was expanded into a Sunday school series that traced the Covenant Church’s history of social ministries through its Pietist roots. This article is a summary of part one of that class.
The Pietist Impulse in Christianity Conference at Bethel (Summer 2009)
Phil Johnson and Mark Safstrom report from the Christianity Conference at Bethel.
As the incoming staff of Pietisten was busy at work publishing this current issue that you are now holding in your hands, we couldn’t help but chuckle about how quickly this change occurred, from Minneapolis to Seattle, from one generation to another. One year ago, none of us expected, nor had any aspirations of such a takeover. At the same time, once Phil started hinting that change was coming, and ambiguous conversations began about “who would pick up the reins next,” I think most of us were caught up in a great deal of anticipation. From the very beginning it seemed like a moment of serendipity…or maybe even Providence. For any of you Readers out there who at any point have had anxious thoughts about young whippersnappers tarnishing the good old name of Pietisten, you are invited here and now to put your minds at ease.
Welcome to the Conversation (Spring/Summer 2010)
Whether this is the first time you have opened the pages of Pietisten or you have been a faithful reader from the beginning, it is likely you are curious about a number of things regarding our journal. A few of the encouraging comments we have received make it clear that there is a great deal of interest in not only the journal itself, but in the broad tradition that we represent and seek to explore, namely Pietism.
Pietism (Spring/Summer 2010)
In the initial year of Pietisten in 1842, Rosenius shared his thoughts on Pietism in a two-part article series, as an explanation for the founding of the newspaper. Part one is translated here from the Swedish.
If we are the leaven, where is the lump? (Fall/Winter 2010)
Some of the early Pietists, as well as several other religious reform groups, drew on baking terminology to explain their perceived role within established churches. They came up with an oft-quoted analogy, in which they equated their zeal and piety with a “leaven” (a piece of fermenting dough) that would prompt Christians throughout the greater church, or the “lump” (the dough that has no catalyst), to rise.
Star of Bethlehem (Fall/Winter 2010)
Waldenström’s Commentary on the Psalms of David (Fall/Winter 2010)
Squire Adamson: Or, ‘Where Do You Live?’ (Spring/Summer 2011)
This celebrated allegorical novel first appeared in 1862 as a series in the newspaper, The Stockholm City Missionary. On the eve of its 150th anniversary, Pietisten is here presenting the first installment of a fresh English translation of the 11th edition (2003), once again in series form.
Navigating in the Fog (Spring/Summer 2011)
A common thread in this issue of Pietisten is the attempt by several authors to engage this moving target of post-modernism.
The Sailor and the Wind (Spring/Summer 2011)
Conform No Longer – Be Renewed (Fall/Winter 2011)
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.
Kierkegaard’s Abraham and the Lonely Leap of Faith (Fall/Winter 2011)
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.
Advent is Here (Fall/Winter 2011)
A Pietist (Fall/Winter 2011)
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.
Facing the Future Together (Fall/Winter 2011)
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.