Pietist Theology - Revisited and Renewed (Summer 1986)
If focusing on the task of continuing to do theology from a pietist perspective, I want to reflect on a few comments written by David Nyvall in his essay, "Covenant Ideals". It is my intention at this time not to attempt an analysis of what pietist theology is or was, but rather to propose a case for why we might primed and how we could go about it.
The Paradox of Suffering (Fall 1986)
The Epistle text for Reformation Sunday is I Peter 4:12 —19 . Through this lesson the apostle re —introduces us to the difficult task of how to interpret the experience of suffering. This matter wiH be looked at through Luther's eyes in Phil Johnson's article later in this issue. By way of introducing this second issue of Pietisten, however, I want to begin our consideration of the text by sharing' in some devotional reflection on its word to us.
Jesus, Temptation and Christology (Winter 1987)
As noted in our first issue, it is our intention at Pietisten to take seriously David Nyvall's proposal to continuously revise the creeds, recognizing that they "must be kept young." A similar call was recently restated in the Netherlands by Catholic theologian Edward Schillebeeckx: "In every age we must try to embed the faith in a new culture.
Luther and the Lessons of Losing (Summer 1987)
One of my favorite stories to come out of the Reformation concerns an event from the its very early days, after the posting of the ninety-five theses at Wittenberg, but before Luther's "Here I stand" performance before the Emperor at Worms.
On Behalf of the Cast (Summer 1987)
With this Reformation Sunday issue we begin our second year of publishing Pietisten.
Between the Magnificat and the Genealogy (Fall 1987)
Despite taxes and angels, inn-keepers and shepherds Jesus is born. The center of the assigned text itself is this finding of a baby. That is the story, and yet. it is not quite the Christmas story.
Ekman and Universalism (Spring 1988)
It was an honor for Pietisten to be able to publish Runar Eldebo's article, "The Eschatological Dilemma: A Study in Some Problems in the Eschatology of Erik Jacob Ekman," in our Fall 1987 issue. It was also a great pleasure for those of us on the editorial staff to be able to meet with Rev. Eldebo on various occasions during his faculty exchange time here in America.
Philip Jacob Spener's Proposals, Part I (Fall 1988)
Part of Pietisten's reason for being is to attempt an ongoing description of what pietism is and has been. Philip Jacob Spener of Germany (1635-1705) was one of the very first to write down what would become some of the primary concerns of the movement in his 1675 proposal for church reform entitled Pia Desideria. In last year's mission meeting issue of Pietisten, Zenos Hawkinson made reference to the six points of Spener's proposal and we are long overdue for a time of exploring them.
Spener's Proposals, Part II (Winter 1988)
Philip Jacob Spener's second proposal for reform of the church is "the establishment and diligent exercise of the spiritual priesthood." Spener writes that it is time to take Luther up on his idea of the spiritual priesthood and apply it earnestly in the life of the congregation. "Spiritual priesthood" may have an odd ring to it for American protestant ears in the twentieth century and perhaps for the ears of many Catholics as well. Part of our difficulty is that we have some very ambitious ideas about what constitutes spirituality as well as what a spiritual priesthood involves.
Spener's Proposals, Part III (Spring 1989)
In 1675, Philip Jacob Spener wrote that "the people must have impressed upon them and must accustom themselves to believing that it is by no means enough to have knowledge of the Christian faith, for Christianity consists rather of practice." It was the third of his six proposals for reform of the church, which comprised the main body of his work, The Pia Desideria.
Philip Jacob Spener, Part IV (Fall 1989)
We must beware of how we conduct ourselves in religious controversies with unbelievers and heretics." This fourth proposal for the renewal of the church from Philip Jacob Spener's Pia Desideria (p. 97) might also have been titled, "Disputation as if conversion, ecumenism, scripture, life, and the love of God and neighbor mattered." Spener's proposal #4 is an evangelical and ecumenical tour de force.
The Wisdom Tradition and Matthew's Magi (Winter 1989)
The Gospel of Matthew tells of the coming of wise men from the East, looking for the newborn king of the Jews. The gospel writer also uses this story to tell us of the wisdom tradition related to the heritage, life, and teaching of Jesus and asks us to ponder that theme as we consider Jesus' birth.
Some Thoughts on a Pietist Theology of Proclamation for the Evangelical Covenant Church (Winter 1990)
In response to an academic assignment given to me last spring, I began considering the relationship of the disciplines of systematic theology to the task of proclamation as it has been practised and historically understood in the Covenant.
Warning: Formulas May Be Hazardous to Your Salvation (Spring 1991)
This text from Numbers 21 presents us with a very strange story. It starts out normally enough for a tale of the people of Israel in the wilderness. Now, as they have before, the people again have become impatient and they speak against God and against Moses.
Tales of Lost Youth: A Chicago Story (Winter 1991)
During a recent flurry of job applications, I picked up more hints that being an ex-pastor with a graduate degree in theology has been a detriment to my present career development. My background was hampering my efforts to climb out of a six-dollar-an-hour job bracket that I have been in for some years.
Tales of Lost Youth: A Chicago Story Continued (Spring 1992)
After The Summer of 42 came the fall of 1971 when I became a freshman at North Park College. To save on expenses, I lived at home and walked to college—the same distance I had walked to high school. As a result, I was an “off-campus” student m the North Park world. It also meant that for most practical purposes I was still a Chicagoan.
A Thanksgiving Sermon (Fall 1992)
This is one of the earliest stories of Jesus that I remember learning. We heard it in Sunday School while sitting around a table in the church basement. I can still call to life the feelings of indignation and judgment I felt toward those nine lepers who did not return to give thanks. I thought poor Jesus’ feelings had been hurt. Our comments across the table reflected our certitude as six and seven-year-olds. We nodded earnestly to each other, “If we were there and Jesus had healed us, we would have gone back to thank him!”
Paul Sebestyén (Winter 1999)
I had never sung in Hungarian before. Actually, I had never spoken or done anything in Hungarian. Yet, here I was, one of twenty or so, who had gathered in what was then the lounge of the North Park College Campus Center. It was the sometimes haunt of a most amazing and unique man, Dr. Paul Sebestyén.
A Pietist Folk School: A Point of Departure (Fall 1999)
What follows, then, is the outline of a tentative proposal for the creation of what we are terming a "pietist folk school." As with its predecessors, this school would attempt to be an expression of pietism for its time and to speak to an unaddressed need in the realm of American higher education.
Tribute to Douglas Glenn Cedarleaf (Winter 2000)
We gathered on the first bitter cold day of the Minnesota winter to bid farewell to Doug Cedarleaf. A looming high-pressure center had driven away every hint of cloud that Saturday, leaving only the yellow sun, low slung even at its zenith, and the clarity of a blue sky found only in the chill of a northern December. The memorial service was conducted on the last day of the church year; the sanctuary, caught in the transition, was already bedecked with the golden angelic banners and evergreen boughs of Advent.
F. Burton Nelson (Fall 2004)
A vast sea of acquaintances knew Burton Nelson in any of several roles: seminary professor, pastor, theologian, Bonhoeffer scholar, social critic, ecumenist, author, and editor, among others.
Betty A. Nelson, 1936 — 2007 (Christmas 2007)
Betty Nelson was a gracious woman who warmly touched the lives of many people. Among those who experienced her unceasing cheerfulness, gift-giving, and laughter were, first and foremost, her family.
Death Has a Face (Spring 2008)
Bergman died last July 31, a New York Times writer declared that Bergman’s iconic figure of death incarnate in his 1958 film, The Seventh Seal, had become an enduringly effective symbol of both death and Bergman’s early signature film-making style. That black-robed persona with the wide, white grease-painted face and bald head protruding from his cowl outlasted relentless efforts to satirize, lampoon, and mock it for nearly 50 years. Considering how overwhelmingly cynical and derisive our culture’s comedy and commentary have become, it is really something when an icon from the world of art or cinema survives and continues with its original force intact. My teenage introduction to Ingmar Bergman and appreciation of him is a case in point.