History Department

Baptist Pietist Clarion header



For more information, contact G. William Carlson or Ron Saari.

"What is the Baptist Pietist CLARION?"

By G. William Carlson, Professor of History and Political Science, Bethel University

The primary mission of The Baptist Pietist CLARION, first published in March of 2002, is to defend the Swedish Baptist Pietist heritage, as it was reflected in the writings of John Alexis Edgren and further developed by leaders throughout the history of the Baptist General Conference (BGC).

The term "Clarion" refers to an effort to clearly communicate a message that is important and vital to the community. Since 1921, it has been the name of the student newspaper at Bethel and expresses the belief that all that we do in life communicates that Christ is Our Lord and Savior and that we do all for the glory of Jesus Christ.

This journal is an independent effort and not affiliated with the BGC or Bethel University and Seminary.

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The Baptist General Conference emerged from the Swedish Baptist Pietist Tradition and is committed to the following:

  • Sola Scriptura - the Bible is the sole basis for theological truth.
  • Affirmation of Faith (1951) - the consensual, non-creedal statement of faith that unites members of the BGC.
  • Necessity of personal conversion - the primary focus of the church is to bring people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
  • Great Commission - commitment to missions and evangelism.
  • Holy living - intentional Christian discipleship through Bible reading, prayer, and cultivation of the presence of the Holy Spirit.
  • Irenic spirit - speak truth in love, avoid harsh polemics, and reject irresponsible heresy hunting.
  • Religious liberty - each person is responsible to God alone in matters of faith and conduct, and the church and state must be kept separate.

Current Issue

March 2014 (Vol. XII, No. 2)
  • Glen Scorgie, "Bethel Seminary: Education of the Heart and Mind"
  • Joel Lawrence, "Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Quest for the Present Jesus: Some Reflections for the Church Today"
  • G. William Carlson, "Inside this Issue..."
  • G. William Carlson, "Tribute to Jim Spickelmier: Chronicler of Baptist General Conference History"
  • Christopher Gehrz, "Whole and Holy Persons: Pietism and Bethel University"
  • David Clark, "'What I Know for Sure': Our Mission is Growing Leaders"
  • David Clark, "When Theology Matters Supremely"
  • Leland Eliason, "James Spickelmier: Committed to God's Grace"
  • Terri L. Hansen, review of James and Carole Spickelmier, Give First Priority to Jesus Christ
  • Carl Lundquist, "Pietism: The Roots of a Heart and Mind Commitment"
  • Ted Lewis, "Five Visitations"
  • Vic Winquist, "Walter Rauschenbusch—Pietist or Social Activist"
  • G. William Carlson, "Walter Rauschenbusch, 'Why I am a Baptist'"
  • G. William Carlson, "Nathaniel Schmidt: Swedish Baptist Colleague of Walter Rauschenbusch"
  • James Spickelmier, "Faithfulness to the Mission of Bethel Seminary"
  • Diana Magnuson, "Challenge and Promise: 2009-2012"
  • Mike Widen, "Brokenness: Mirrors"
  • Christian Collins Winn, "Why am I a Baptist?"
  • G. William Carlson, "Walfred 'Wally' Peterson: Champion of Religious Liberty and Professor of Political Science, Bethel University"
  • Walfred Peterson, "Burlington Arriving"

Past Issues

March 2002 (Vol. I, No. 1)
  • G. William Carlson, "What is the Baptist Pietist CLARION?"
  • Ron Saari, "Analysis of the 2001 BGC Annual Meeting in Arlington Heights, Ill."
  • G. William Carlson, "What is Pietism?: 'In Essentials Unity, In Non-Essentials Diversity, In Everything Charity'"
  • Truett M. Lawson, "Fragile But Free"
  • G. William Carlson, "What are the Origins of the 1951 Affirmation of Faith?"
  • G. William Carlson, "John Alexis Edgren, A Baptist, Pietist Theologian: He Belongs to All of Us!"
  • G. William Carlson, "Renewed Interest in BGC Archives"
  • "Dean Gordon Johnson Affirms the BGC as a Non-Creedal Baptist Community"
  • G. William Carlson, "Recent Publications by Bethel College and Seminary Authors"
  • G. William Carlson, "Recovering the Poetry of Signe Peterson"
  • Truett M. Lawson, "Thoughts on Bruce Ware's Book, God's Lesser Glory"
  • G. William Carlson, "You are the God of Celebration"
  • Web Muck, "Is the Evangelical Theological Society Becoming 'Theologically Correct'?"
  • Chelsea DeArmond, "ETS Votes on God's Foreknowledge"
  • G. William Carlson, "Baptist Pietists Should Celebrate the Civil Rights Movement"
  • "Recovering the Inclusive Gospel"
  • "Evangelicalism and the Civil Rights Movement Selective Bibliography"
June 2002 (Vol. I, No. 2)
  • Virgil Olson, "One Step from Extinction"
  • Ron Saari, "Ypsilanti, Michigan: Here We Come!"
  • John F. Anderson, "Bicentennial Tribute to the 'Wall of Separation'"
  • Vic Winquist, "Our Voice for Religious Liberty: The Baptist Joint Committee of Public Affairs"
  • G. William Carlson, "Greg Boyd Resigns from Bethel, Spring 2002"
  • Greg Boyd, "Keep Their Eyes Fixed on You"
  • G. William Carlson, "Looking Out the Window"
  • G. William Carlson, "Rev. Neal Floberg, Champion of Baptist Pietism"
  • Neal Floberg, "God is Far Too Big to Fit into Any Theological Boxes"
  • "Bethel Seminars Presented at 2002 BGC Annual Meeting"
July 2003 (Vol. II, No. 1)
  • Richard Turnwall, "F.O. Nilsson, A Baptist Heretic"
  • Ron Saari & G.W. Carlson, "A Clarion Call for Baptist Pietism"
  • Jim Spicklemier, "'Baptist' is not a Dirty Word"
  • "Former Bethel Seminary Dean Defines Baptist Distinctives"
  • Virgil Olson, "Why I'm a Baptist"
  • John F. Anderson, "Why I'm a Baptist"
  • "Baptist Pietist Commitments"
  • Terri Hansen, "The Anatomy of Adversity"
  • G. William Carlson, "Celebrating the Life of a Faithful Baptist Saint"
  • G. William Carlson, "A Mother Who Took the Time to Pray"
July 2004 (Vol. III, No. 1)
  • Nancy Lundquist, "Celebrating the Goodness of God at Bethel"
  • Ron Saari, "A Baptist Pastor Celebrates a Sabbatical Experience"
  • G. William Carlson, "Inside this Issue of the Clarion"
  • Carole Lundquist Spickelmier, "Growing up in a Pietist Home"
  • Terri Hansen, "A New Vocabulary: Christian Spirituality in the Life of Carl Lundquist"
  • Carl Lundquist, "Understanding Christian Spirituality"
  • Carl Lundquist, "God's Miracle on Lake Valentine"
  • G. William Carlson, "Swedish Baptist Hymnody: Dr. C. Howard Smith and the Pietist Tradition"
  • G. William Carlson, "The Prayer Witness of Dr. Gordon Johnson"
  • G. William Carlson, "Gordon Johnson's Chapel Prayers"
  • G. William Carlson, "The Pietist Poetry of Signe Olson"


July 2005 (Vol. IV, No. 1)
  • Vic Winquist, "Religious Liberty: All Americans Believe in It. Or Do They?"
  • Dwight Jessup, "The Baptist General Conference and the Baptist Joint Committee: Vigilance in Protecting Our Religious Liberty"
  • G. William Carlson, "Inside this Issue of the Clarion"
  • V. Elving Anderson, "C. Emanuel Carlson as Historian and Educator: Personal Reflections"
  • John F. Anderson, "Onward and Upward: Reflections on the Life and Teaching Impact of Dr. Walfred H. Peterson"
  • G. William Carlson, "Dunn Praises C. Emanuel Carlson for Defending Religious Liberty and Church-State Separation"
  • C. Emanuel Carlson, "Religious Liberty: On Learning the Meaning of Prayer"
  • G. William Carlson, "Defend and Extend God-Given Religious Liberty for All: The Missions of C. Emanuel Carlson and Walfred H. Peterson"
  • Ron Saari, "Generosity: An Essential to Kingdom Life"
  • G. William Carlson, "The Pietist Poetry of Signe Olson Peterson: Early Poems Translated by Tom Coleman"
September 2006 (Vol. V, No. 1)
  • Wayne Roberts, "The Cost of Not Forgetting"
  • Terri L. Hansen, "Forgiveness: Truly Divine!"
  • Chris Armstrong, "Pietist Values: A Summary"
  • Laura Gilbertson, "Ubuntu and Forgiveness: Lessons from South Africa"
  • G. William Carlson and Diana Magnuson, "God's Gift of Forgiveness: An Evangelistic Tract of John Alexis Edgren"
  • John Alexis Edgren, "On the Sea of Life"
  • "'Forgive': The Pietist Poetry of Signe Olson Peterson"
  • "Christians as Forgiven People: Karl Karlson on The Lord's Prayer"
  • Ron W. Saari, "Christian Freedoms Baptists Value: Religious Liberty and Soul Liberty - Galatians 5:1, 13-14"
  • "Living as Forgiven People: Prayers of Gordon Johnson"
  • G. William Carlson, "Living as Forgiven People: Ten Principles of Authentic Forgiveness"
  • G. William Carlson and Terri Hansen, "Forgiven and Forgiving People: A Selective Bibliography"
  • "New Books by BGC and Bethel Authors"
June 2007 (Vol. VI, No. 1)
  • Chris Armstrong, "Historical Origins of Pietism"
  • Virgil A. Olson, "History of Swedish Baptist Pietism: A Significant Influence on Early Leaders of the Baptist General Conference"
  • G. William Carlson, "Inside This Issue of the Baptist Pietist Clarion"
  • Virgil A. Olson, "Baptist Pietist Marks: The BGC as a Pietist Influenced Community of Believers"
  • Carl H. Lundquist, "The Best of the Past as a Gift to the Future"
  • David L. Wetzell, "A Bethel Seminarian Explores the Value of Swedish Baptist Pietism"
  • "Former and Current Bethel Professors Write New Books"
  • "Palmquist Was a Workaholic"
  • Adolf Olson, "Pietism and the Läsare Movement"
  • G. William Carlson, "The Pietist Poetry of Signe Olson Peterson: 'The Letter Started On' (Understanding the Immigrant Experience)"
  • Chris Armstrong, "Major Characteristics of the Pietist Heritage"
  • G. William Carlson, "Selective Bibliography: Pietism and the Baptist General Conference"
May 2008 (Vol. VII, No. 1)
  • Truett Lawson, "Pietism Rocks: An Identity Worth Sharing"
  • Paul Healy, "Lessons from Luke: Why Do the Children of Cebu's Shelter Have to Suffer So Much?"
  • G. William Carlson, "Inside this Issue..."
  • G. William Carlson, "John Eric Klingberg: Experiencing the Blessing of God"
  • John Eric Klingberg, "A Well Worn Bible is a Good Evidence that its Possessor Loves It"
  • Elsie Osborne Davis, "Day at the Beach: Glimpses of Real Life at the Children's Home"
  • G. William Carlson, "The Pietist Poetry of Signe Olson Peterson: Celebrating the Life and Witness of John Eric Klingberg"
  • Klingberg poems by Signe Olson Peterson
  • Terri L. Hansen, "CSC in Retrospect - a Personal History"
  • Sidney Teske, "This Clown Left Part of His Heart in Cebu"
  • James D. Smith III, "Johanna Anderson: Pioneer Missionary" and "Johanna Anderson: A Family Friend"
March 2009 (Vol. VIII, No. 1)
  • Virgil Olson, "A Brief History of Theological Struggles within the Baptist General Conference"
  • Diana Magnuson, "Swedish Baptist Women in America, 1850-1914: the 'High Calling' of Serving Christ in the Life of the Church"
  • G. William Carlson, "Inside this Issue..."
  • Terri L. Hansen, review of Glen G. Scorgie, The Little Guide to Christian Spirituality
  • G. William Carlson, "Esther Sabel: The Bible and Missionary Training School"
  • G. William Carlson, "The Pietist Poetry of Signe Olson Peterson: Celebrating Swedish Baptist Women"
  • G. William Carlson, "Irene Murray and Alma Reiber: Baptist Evangelists"
June 2010 (Vol. IX, No. 1)
  • Leland Eliason, "Gordon Johnson: Encountering the Gospel of Jesus Christ"
  • Vic Winquist, "The Baptist General Conference in the 21st Century"
  • G. William Carlson, "Inside this Issue..."
  • Bruce Petersen, "Celebrating Gordon Johnson's My Church: A Manual of Baptist Faith and Action"
  • Gordon Johnson, "Effective Preaching Needed" and "Our Campus Says Something: We Trust It will Always Be Used to the Glory of Our Lord"
  • Glen Scorgie, "Becoming Baptist Again"
  • G. William Carlson, "'God, and the Life He Has Given Us, Is so Good!': The Ministry and Vision of Gordon Johnson"
  • G. William Carlson, "Celebrating a Baptist Heritage: The Pietist Poetry of Signe Olson Peterson"
  • G. William Carlson, "Angela Shannon: 'We Carry Our History With Us'"
  • Angela Shannon, "Freedom Baptist" and "MLK, Jr. and Prayer Power"
  • Stanley Anderson, "Distinctive Baptist Beliefs"
  • G. William Carlson, "Gordon G. Johnson: A Selective Bibliography"
May 2011 (Vol. X, No. 1)
  • Dan Olson, "Tribute to My Father: Speech in Honor of Virgil Olson on the Occasion of his 94th Birthday Celebration"
  • Glen G. Scorgie, "A Review of Five Decades of Growth and Change, 1952-2002: Pondering the Future of the Baptist General Conference"
  • G. William Carlson, "Inside this Issue..."
  • Virgil A. Olson, "Adolf Olson writes the Centenary History: The Story of the First 100 Years of the Swedish, Baptist, Pietist Community"
  • James and Carole Spickelmier, "The Writing of Five Decades of Growth and Change"
  • "Scorgie Edits New Book on Christian Spirituality"
  • Virgil A. Olson, "The Baptist General Conference and Its Pietist Heritage: Pietistic Characteristics Among the Conference Baptists"
  • Diana Magnuson and Kent Gerber, "Martin Luther King Invited to Address Bethel Convocation: Reaping the Legacy of President Carl Lundquist's Correspondence with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr."
  • G. William Carlson, "John Perkins Speaks on What It Means to Be the Church"
  • G. William Carlson, "Dale Johnson's Mural 'Remember, Believe and Act' Explores Bethel's Commitment to Creating a Reconciled Community"
  • G. William Carlson, "Arthur Whitaker: Christian Witness in Revolutionary Times"
  • Terri L. Hansen, "A Review of Greg Boyd's book Present Perfect"
  • Angela Shannon, "Dr. Martin Luther King: A Pastor Who Altered the Political Landscape of America"
  • Jim Spickelmier, "Virgil Olson: Pastor, Historian, Professor, College Dean, Mission Leader and College President"
  • Clarence Bass, "Virgil A. Olson: A Servant Leader"
  • Herb Skoglund, "Virgil Olson: Committed to Missions"
  • Ron Saari, "My Thoughts at Dr. Virgil Olson's 94th Birthday Party"
  • G. William Carlson, "Reflections on the Life and Witness of Dr. Roy 'Doc' Dalton (1926-2011)"
  • Christopher Gehrz, "Recovering a Pietist Understanding of Christian Higher Education: Carl H. Lundquist and Karl A. Olsson"
  • G. William Carlson, "Virgil Olson Selective Bibliography

March 2012 (Vol. XI, No. 1)

  • Jeannette A. Bakke, "A Religion of the Heart and Bethel Seminary"
  • Glen G. Scorgie, "Religion of the Heart: The Enduring Value of Pietism"
  • G. William Carlson, "Inside This Issue..."
  • Terri Hansen, review of The Dictionary of Christian Spirituality, ed. Glen Scorgie
  • Chris Armstrong, "Pietism and Heart Religion: A Challenge to the Modern Critique"
  • Carole Lundquist Spickelmier, "Religion of the Heart: Writings of Dr. Carl Lundquist"
  • Jeannette Bakke, "Making Space for God"
  • Signe Olson Peterson, "Wondrous Grace"
  • G. William Carlson, "Can You Drink The Cup?"
  • G. William Carlson, "John Alexis Edgren: A Desire to Live Like Jesus"
  • Will Healy, "'Big Jer': Wisdom Fashioned by the Poets"
  • Ron Saari, "Jerry Healy: An Agent of Peace and Good Will on the Golf Course"
  • G. William Carlson, "The Pietist Poetry of Signe Olson Peterson"
  • G. William Carlson, "Asking Good Questions: Intentionalizing Our Spiritual and Academic Journey"
July 2013 (Vol. XII, No. 1)
  • Jonathan Berry, "There is No Fear in Love: A Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King"
  • Jonathan Larson, "Honoring Virgil Olson's Commitment to Christ: An Imaginary Journey"
  • G. William Carlson, "Inside this Issue..."
  • "Tribute to Dr. Virgil Olson"
  • Martin Luther King, Jr., "Brotherhood That Transcends Race and Color"
  • G. William Carlson, "John Alexis Edgren: Founder of Bethel Seminary, A Naval Officer Opposed to Slavery"
  • G. William Carlson, "Martin Luther King: The Kitchen Prayer"
  • Martin Luther King, Jr., "Give Us the Courage to Do Thy Will"
  • G. William Carlson, "'Love Our Neighbor as Ourselves': Anton Pearson's Civil Rights Speech of 1963"
  • Vic Winquist, review of James and Carole Spickelmier, New Century/New Directions
  • Jerry Sheveland, "A New Missional Effectiveness"
  • James and Carole Spickelmier, "Converge Worldwide: Reflecting on the New Name"
  • G. William Carlson, "Each Day is a Gift from God: The Pietist Poetry of Signe Olson Peterson"
  • Terri Hansen, review of Emilie Griffin, Green Leaves for Later Years
  • Ronald Saari, "A New Identity: Bridging the Divide"
  • Doug Carlson, "Central Baptist Church in the Midway"
  • Julia Dinsmore, "My Name is Not 'Those People'"
  • Ronald Saari, "Reflections on His 23 Years as Pastor of Central Baptist Church"