Given all we have in common, I’m kind of astonished Lars and I haven’t met in real life yet. He’s a graduate of my department at Bethel (albeit a year or two before I got there) and also husband to a woman named Katie. Most importantly, he’s a fellow Covenanter, pastor of the ECC church in Hinsdale, Illinois, and grandson of one of the two Covenant pastors to whom we dedicated our book: the late Rev. Jim Hawkinson.
But until we get a chance to connect in person, I was happy to chat by phone about The Pietist Option, what it might mean for the Covenant Church, and also the limits of appeals to “pietistic roots” for a multiethnic denomination.
Lars named his podcast after the former address of Covenant headquarters in Chicago (5101 N. Francisco Ave.) and intends it “to keep the family of the Evangelical Covenant Church connected and hearing one another’s voices and wrestling with issues together. My hope is that this podcast isn’t coming with any sort of agenda other than to hear one another, to be encouraged by one another, to be challenged by one another, and to model the best of Covenant living together.”
So if you’re a Covenanter, or just interested in what the Pietist Option might look like in practice — for the local church and a denomination — check out this episode of The 5101 Podcast, available at iTunes and other sites. While you’re there, also be sure to listen to episode 1, in which Lars talks with Covenant pastor Devyn Chambers Johnson about women in ministry.