A Special Tribute to G.W. Carlson

It was almost exactly a year ago that the family and friends of G.W. Carlson gathered in Bethel University’s Great Hall to celebrate his life. So it’s appropriate that we mark the anniversary by announcing the publication of a special issue of The Baptist Pietist Clarion, the publication that he edited for nearly fifteen years. For their work bringing this issue to press, please join me in thanking Ted Lewis, Ron Saari, and Joel Lawrence (pastor of Central Baptist in St. Paul), who introduced the issue:

The cover page of the Feb. 2017 issue of The Baptist Pietist Clarion

At the time of his passing, Bill was working on, and nearly finished with, a new edition of the Baptist Pietist Clarion. Following his death, a number of people… decided that we wanted to conclude Bill’s work on that edition of the Clarion and have it published. However, we also felt that it would be fitting if this edition of the Clarion would serve also as a memorial edition giving tribute to Bill’s many years of work for pietism through the Baptist Pietist Clarion.

So in addition to articles about prayer and the separation of church and state (by frequent Clarion contributors Terri Hansen and Glen Scorgie, respectively), the February 2017 issue includes the words of several people who spoke at last February’s memorial service, including GW’s daughter, son, and grandson, Ron, and yours truly (via a meditation on Matthew 25:35).

In his own remarks at that service, Joel said that GW “was infused with the soul of a prophet,” that his passion for God

led him away from a simply theoretical vision of God and His work into a deep longing to see God’s Truth lived out in the challenges of our world. With this, Bill’s passion was focused on defending the weak and the vulnerable, on standing with those who are on margins, with seeking to infuse an often cruel world with the love and justice that God has wrought through His Son Jesus Christ.

These were timely words in February 2016, but all the more so a year later. So, as Joel concluded the issue’s introduction, “As we remember Bill and all he stood for, we hope that his legacy will find new ways to continue in our world.”

Peace be to GW’s memory; peace come to the world he, like God, loved so much.