Post: Readers Respond

Thanks so much for Pietisten. A most enjoyable magazine.

I have accepted a call to be the international pastor for the Immanuel Church in Stockham, arriving July 15, 1990. The enclosed check is for subscription and postage.

Thanks again, Richard Nystrom, Omaha, Nebraska.

Our mutual friend, Ike (Leyden, long time subscriber), told me about Pietisten and has given me an old issue to read. I find the scholarly nature of Pietisten very stimulating. Enclosed is my donation and my request to begin receiving Pietisten. I’m anxious to start this theological venture with you, along with the other editors and contributors. Raymond Mulligan, Haddam Neck, Connecticut.

I’d like to request a gift subscription for one of PJ’s fellow Broncos. Best wishes. Keep up the good work. James Lundeen, Chicago, Illinois.

Really appreciated the stirring tributes to Dewey Sands and Bill Fredrickson. Renewing—before renewal is necessary. David Sandquist, Foster City, Michigan.

Enclosing our check for one year’s subscription plus a little extra for the abnormal postage. Thanks for remembering us. Dave and Ann Swanson, Tokyo, Japan.

I’m enjoying Pietisten. I think you fellows are providing a great service. J. Irving Erickson, Chicago, Illinois.

At my prison class* last night, inmate Louie Jackson gave a class presentation on “White Death”—white referring to drugs. After his presentation he asked the class to observe one minute of silence for seven of his friends who have fallen victim to “White Death”:

Shaka— “Murdered—had a helluva jump shot in his day.”
Smooth— “Murdered—more women than Solomon.”
Darnell - “Knew more about car engines than Ford - on Death Row.”
Sykes— “Murdered—was in the wrong place at the wrong time, or the right place at the right time, or the right place at the wrong time—what the hell does it matter now?”
Byron— “On Death Row - has eight of the best kids you ever saw.”
Shakey— “Murdered—USC wanted him to play football but he never would leave the neighborhood.”
Slim — “Murdered—had a shiny black Mercedes and a helluva lot of friends from Palos Verdes - 400 people at his funeral. ”

Me and the boys are just “doin’ time with Jesus.” ** Robert Bach, Angels Camp, California.

[*Bob teaches a literature course for Columbia College at the Sierra Conservation Center. The editor has had the privilege of sharing Dr. Bach’s podium. **(Doing) Time With Jesus is the title of the devotional booklet published by the prisoners.]

Stuffing the latest issue of Pietisten into my hand luggage as I made for the airport, I managed to read it twice, on the non- stop Zurich—Karachi portion of the overnight leg of the trip.

Herod [Winter ‘89]—The author clearly had something in mind in the first quarter of the article but became lost in an aside on pedophilia and subsequently drowned in the subject. I am working from memory as I left the issue in Islamabad with a friend (and will reclaim it on my transit to Bangkok via Islamabad). First, the whole Herod business occurred more than a year after the birth of Christ. The assumption (catholic?) is that the Wise Men came to Nazareth and not to Bethlehem. The author’s query about whether Christ felt any pangs of remorse about things that happened before ? his birth is cursive. The author lost me in his incursion into Herod ‘s motivations. I had always thought eliminating rivals to be a part of kingship. Vide: Richard III inter alia. Big deal, Herod. He was doing what came naturally.

More important, from the theological point of view, is why God permitted the slaughter of the Holy Innocents in the first place? Albert Camus, himself no mean theologian by the way (see his thesis on St. Augustine) used the issue to effectively club God over the head. Anyway, the slaughter seems gratuitous...

Then the author, in a mighty leap of faith, plunges into the very murky waters of pedophilia/homosexuality, confusing the two. In reading this portion of the article and the author’s interview with the standard pedophile, I wondered what the author would have said to Socrates who was, after all, a very accomplished seducer of boys. Alcibiade’s description of his first meeting with Socrates aside (Vide: “The Symposium”), the other description’s make it clear who did what. And to argue, as defenders of Socrates do, that this merely reflected the mores of the times, is to say nothing whatsoever, as the central piece in any emotional relationship is the passion of one and/or both of the participants. Put another way, strip away the Platonic garb, Socrates was nothing but a dirty ole man, a very dirty ole man and indistinguishable from the author’s subject pedophile. Put another way, that Platonic garb allows us to “forgive” Socrates (if that’s the right word) and for your author to damn his interlocutors for having done the same thing, the exact same thing.

Anyway, my comps to Penrod. I will return to your article when I will have retrieved my copy.

Greetings from Kabul. I arrived here by special UN plane, from Islamabad. I was damned tense to think that some bloody Stinger made in the USA, and placed in the hands of some illiterate moujahadin by our beloved leaders, could down us in a wink. We were already two days late because of snow in Kabul. Robert Thompson, Geneva and New York.

What a treat to receive the Spring 1990 edition of Pietisten! I had enjoyed a two-and-a-half week visit with my dad who came from Sweden in the midst of the depression. Tommy Carlson’s dad, Carl, and my dad had often visited and compared their lives while the Carlsons and my brother both lived in the Cleveland area. Carl was, as my dad is, full of joy, gusto, and a deep love for the Lord Jesus.

Zenos’ tribute to the life and witness of Bill Fredrickson was of great meaning to me. Well I remember many stimulating conversations with Bill about applying vibrant faith to the urban struggles while I, myself, struggled to wash down George’s gyros with what might be faintly recognized as coffee. Indeed, Bill was an ecumenical pietist in the best sense of both of those ideals. I will miss him greatly.

Lastly, David’s stirring remembrances of our dear brother in Christ, Dewey Sands, bring a personal work to my soul. For many years, we enjoyed that unique fellowship of those who regularly attend the Urban & Ethnic Conference of our Covenant family. I will deeply miss the firmness of his handshake and the all-inclusive warmth of his hugs readily given in abounding grace. I now serve in the position of supervisor of the Western Illinois District, a service Dewey lovingly performed until his death. I will never be able to fill his shoes, but my prayer is that I might serve in this, and any other capacity, with the same spirit of joyful Christ-like living as was profoundly demonstrated by Dewey.

The pain and loss of Carl, Bill, and Dewey must not be minimized, yet, I joyfully celebrate the living faith which informed each of their lives. Hallelujah!! He is risen ... and alive!!! Amen!!!!

Enclosed please find a check to help meet the costs of this journalistic delight. Paul D. Bengtson, Princeton, Illinois.

I continue to enjoy Pietisten. Some periodicals I may scan and put down to read later, but Pietisten always gets read through on arrival. I appreciated particularly Paul Holmer’s article on heaven. Donald Frisk, Batavia, Illinois.