Readers interested in Pietism, Baptists, social justice, Christian spirituality, religious liberty, or Bethel University should head over to the brand new website for The Baptist Pietist Clarion, edited by my friend G.W. Carlson.
Clarion issues have been available for download for several years now, but they were hosted by a page at a now-outdated version of our department’s website. Now that we’re finally getting an update to that site, it seemed like it was time to claim a domain name and give the Clarion a proper home. You’ll find current and back issues available to read both embedded as Scribd documents and as PDFs that can be downloaded or viewed in a web browser. Plus there are links to related websites and blogs, and indices of articles by regular contributors.
GW even agreed to let me create a Clarion blog for him. Look for tributes like those GW has periodically posted here at The Pietist Schoolman, recounting the lives and legacies of some of the people who have inspired and influenced him. Eventually, I’d love to see him use the blog to review some of the hundreds of books he reads each year, or to respond to posts from elsewhere in the blogosphere. (Here’s his interesting exchange with historian John Fea about David Barton’s recent comments on the women’s suffrage movement.)
The blog will also give him a chance to dig into the archives and revisit older Clarion articles. The first two posts were from 2002-2003, early in the newsletter’s run, on the hallmarks of the Swedish Baptist Pietist heritage and why it’s important to claim in the early 21st century.
If you’re new to The Baptist Pietist Clarion and would like to explore its content, let me suggest six articles (with sample quotations) that can serve as points of entry:
“Whatever one can say about this way of life, praying and depending upon unexpected resources to meet the crisis, history does affirm that the school did continue to exist, and all during those tenuous times, these Swedish Baptist schools [Bethel] on North Snelling Avenue had an influence for the building of the Kingdom of God that was far beyond their resources and the size of the operation. It was a kind of a blind man’s walk with a cane of faith, trying to feel out the way, day by day, and trusting in the mandate of John Alexis Edgren, ‘God will provide.'”
Carole Lundquist Spickelmier, “Growing Up in a Pietist Home” (July 2004, p. 3)
“What did we learn from all [these devotional practices in the Lundquist home]? That God is an integral part of daily life. That we can take our needs, large and small, to him. That we should be people of integrity, the same people at home that we are in public. That we are part of a large contingent of believers around the world. That God is bigger than any one group or denomination, and sometimes surprises us by whom he is willing to use for his glory. That acts of kindness can be part of our worship. That you never retire from doing God’s work.”
G.W. Carlson, “Living as Forgiven People: Ten Principles of Authentic Forgiveness” (September 2006, p. 13)
“Each of us has experienced times where being a forgiving person has been difficult if not impossible. A student once asked me how one could forgive a family member who has been abusive, slanderous and irresponsible?A faculty colleague once asked me how one can forgive the leaders of the former apartheid regime in South Africa who have killed his friends and made it difficult for him to gain an education? How do you minister in a Baptist church in Croatia in a manner that allows for Serbs and Croats to worship and serve the Lord Jesus Christ together? How does a society ask for forgiveness for failing to stop the lynching of African-Americans in the 20th century? How do you ask forgiveness from a student who received an irresponsible tongue lashing during the classroom experience? Can pastors forgive church members who have intentionally undermined a significant church ministry?”
“Evangelical churches have always highlighted the Great Commission, and focused on evangelistic activity. We are a tradition of busy, active doers. But how can any movement like ours continue to expend energy,and make sacrifices, unless it has a reliable ‘fuel’ supply? Churches and denominations can run out of gas—ministry fatigue can set in—unless the enterprise is sustained by a deep connection to God and is infused by his love flowing outward from one’s own transformed heart. As August Francke explained the matter, a minister “who has experienced a work of grace upon his own heart will have no great difficulty describing it to others.”
Jonathan Berry, “There Is No Fear in Love: A Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King” (July 2013, p. 1)
“In the command to love our brother my Bible does not say that it is alright not to love your brother because you have some fears. It doesn’t say that fear is a proper rationalization for disobedience to God’s commands. It doesn’t say that fear is a proper justification for the believer to act like the unsaved and unchurched. I won’t say that there was never a moment of apprehension or anxiety over what could happen during the movement as they faced police dogs and the firemen’s hose, but Dr. King didn’t allow them to keep him from the will of God. I submit to you that Dr. King overcame his fears and anxieties through the love of God so that loving his brother, even the ones that wanted to do him harm, were paramount in his press toward the mark of Christ Jesus.”