As much as any periodical, I look forward to receiving a new issue of Pietisten, the “Herald of Awakening and Spiritual Upbuilding” whose contributors “draw heavy inspiration from the collective heritage of Lutheran Pietism.” (Its name honors the 19th century Swedish publication edited by C.O. Rosenius and P.P. Waldenström that was at the center of a revival whose descendants include the Swedish Mission Covenant Church and, in North America, the Evangelical Covenant Church, Evangelical Free Church, Baptist General Conference, and old Augustana Lutheran Synod.) So yesterday was a good day, as the Spring/Summer 2013 issue arrived in my mailbox!
I’m happy to have had a hand in two pieces: writing a column on divisions in Christianity (“The broken body”) and introducing the full text of a piece I previewed here in February — a 1963 paper by Covenant theologian Donald Frisk that explored the implications of Pietism for Christian education. Then, among many other fine essays, I enjoyed the biography of Swedish Free Church missionary Ellen Modin by David Gustafson (one of our Pietist Impulse contributors) and Paraclete Press editor Jon Sweeney’s review of the three-volume Paul L. Holmer Papers. (Holmer was perhaps the most famous son of my congregation, Salem Covenant Church: a Yale-educated philosopher and authority on Søren Kierkegaard, subject of the first volume in the set.)
I’ll provide some samples from each of those articles below, but if you’d like to read the full issue, you can subscribe ($10) at the Pietisten website.
Desiring to respond to all facets of experience, [pietists and romantics] are reluctant to exclude anything which may enrich life. The thrust of this emphasis can only lead to a concern with the liberal arts. (Donald Frisk)
In Evangelical Free Church history, Ellen Modin was the first missionary associated with its earliest work… She was known as a feisty woman with a passion to take the gospel in word and deed to others, whether to Swedish women in Salt Lake City or to distressed women and children in Minneapolis. (David M. Gustafson)
[Paul] Holmer could talk about loving and hoping in a way that would incite some to passion for theological discipline and Christian faith, and drive others to decry him as an anti-intellectual. (Jon M. Sweeney)
…the Cross toward which we walked in Lent can bear the sins of schism. And the Resurrection that we celebrated at Easter promises the “better days for the church” that sustained the original Pietist hope. (Chris Gehrz)