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March 2009


This issue of The Baptist Pietist Clarion is dominated by two impressive works of history. First, Virgil Olson presented an overview of theological conflicts in the history of the Baptist General Conference, touching on debates over eschatology, atonement, inerrancy, baptism, divine foreknowledge, and the transition from Swedish to English. He also noted the contested role of women in ministry, which dovetailed with Bethel professor and BGC archivist Diana Magnuson’s essay on the diverse roles women played in Swedish-American Baptist life from 1850 to 1914. From further into the twentieth century, G.W. Carlson added the stories of educator Esther Sabel and evangelists Irene Murray and Alma Reiber, and in sharing more poetry from Signe Olson Peterson, he told of her support for Ethel Ruff, the first woman ordained in the BGC, and missionary Olivia Johnson.

Finally, Terri Hansen reviewed Bethel Seminary San Diego professor Glen Scorgie’s Little Guide to Christian Spirituality, confessing that while she is “always a tad bit skeptical when a ‘little book’ takes on a big subject,” Scorgie succeeds: “He deftly guides his readers to a basic, yet profound understanding of the Christian journey.”

Click to download or view the March 2009 issue


  • 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”

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