Post: Readers Respond

Dear Phil and Sandy. It was with real relief that I found a new copy of Pietisten in its familiar garb in my mailbox. I knew the intentions were to continue, but I wasn’t sure the new crew could maintain that “magical” sense of community you created. After reading the new issue, I do believe they may be imbued with the same spirit you have had, of generous acceptance of all kinds of “hybrids,” as Tom Tredway puts it. Marilynn Ford, Spring Park, Minn.

Instead of the Seattle Times, I found Pietisten at the breakfast table today! I especially liked the P.P. Waldenström translation. I again felt blessed by his words, as I need to know about activist Covenanters. I had just assumed my enjoyment of prophetic preaching and my interest in activism-stemming-from-faith might have come from a wayward gene from some other culture — but there is a precedent in Swedish Covenanters! Of course he suffered ignoble caricature at the hands of his critics, but that gives me hope, too! Robin Nilson, Seattle, Wash.

Yesterday I received my copy of Pietisten and I was excited to see how the transition is taking place. I was happy beyond words for the statement on the back cover about being “ecumenical and do not formally represent any institution, but we draw heavy inspiration from the collective heritage of Lutheran Pietism as represented by...” etc. Wonderful! It has never been stated so well. Glen Wiberg, New Brighton, Minn.

The Epiphany 2010 issue came in yesterday’s mail, and has been read cover to cover. I can relate to many of the articles. I also consider myself a “hybrid” — grateful for the Covenant Church that nurtured me for the first 25 years of my life and also for the United Methodist Church that has nurtured me for the past 50. Tom’s recognition of our superb North Park professors deserves a heartfelt “Amen.” Two of the hymns about which Glen Wiberg writes, “Children Of the Heavenly Father” and “How Great Thou Art,” are in our Methodist hymnal and are on the list for my someday memorial service. I once saw Warner Sallman draw his famous “Head of Christ” in chalk at Cromwell Conference Center. The account of the Methodist mission trip to Cuba made me proud to be a Methodist! And so it continues. I’m grateful for this publication and the way it ties me to my heritage! Janet Christianson Johnson, Concord, Mass.

It’s easy to build a straw man, and easier still to tear him apart. Countless preachers have built a case against secular humanism, which, they say, is degrading and ruining civilization! But Tredway has written a terrific piece (“In Defense of Hybrids”). Let’s keep alive and active “the conversation between one’s beliefs and one’s investigation of the world,” as Tredway puts it. Robert D. McNaughton, Middletown, Conn.

Hej på dig! I want to express my deep appreciation to you and all the rest of the “new kids on the block” for taking on the responsibilities of the great “rag” we have come to love and devour as soon as it hits the mailbox... Pietisten. I will remain forever thankful to God for the masterful and sensitively passionate leadership Phil and Sandy Johnson and their associates have given for many years. Gud välsigne dig! Paul D. Bengtson, Muskegon, Mich.

I met Phil Johnson about 50 years ago. He was the North Park College football team’s equivalent of the mythological Atlas, but instead of the world on his shoulders, he quarterback-sneaked his way down the gridiron ten yards per carry. For his astounding efforts he was a Division III All-American. After a 40-year hiatus I was re-introduced to Phil, this time as editor of Pietisten. Instead of human cargo, he labored under the weight of deadlines, printers, budgets, recalcitrant writers, tricky laptop computers, fundraising, limited subscriptions, mailings and NO SALARY. However, to lighten his load, he had a competent board of directors, talented writers, and a wonderful associate in his wife, Sandy. As in the days of yore, he presented an All-American performance and Pietisten is nonpareil in its genre. Soren Kierkegaard requested that his epitaph read, “The Individual.” Surely Phil’s will include “The Editor-in-Chief,” and we thank him immensely for 20 years of leadership. Arvid Adell, Roscoe, Ill.

I think there’s a change at Pietisten. Best wishes to the new (you have big shoes to fill!) and many thanks to the old. It has been one of my best literary experiences! Doris O. Barton, Colbalt, Conn.