Monthly Archives: July 2014

A College’s Denomination: The BGC and the Vietnam War, 1964-1967 (Part 3)

We are convinced that war destroys all Christian values, including the destruction of human lives, rights and properties; that the possibility of plunging the human race into an unimaginable holocaust of death and destruction through nuclear warfare is ever upon us…  — Proposed resolution on War and Peace, 1966 BGC Annual Conference ❧ In this […]

1915 illustration of the Battle of Agincourt

Christians at War: Introduction

I am afeard there are few die well that die in battle; for how can they charitably dispose of any thing, when blood is their argument? Henry V, IV, i They occupy indeed a higher place before God who, abandoning all these secular employments, serve Him with the strictest chastity; but “every one,” as the […]

Bethel yearbook dedicated to the memory of Olivia Johnson

The “Spanish Flu”

One of the more curious sections of Windows of Memory, the 1961 memoir by Henry Wingblade (Bethel president from 1941-1954, after having taught at the Academy and Junior College for many years), is his chapter on Bethel and world missions (no. 25). Instead of simply telling the stories of five Bethel alumni who entered the missions field, […]

A College’s Denomination: An Exercise in Contrasts (Part 2)

Several weeks ago, I teased a series I planned to write on the Baptist General Conference during the Vietnam years. On Wednesday, I introduced that series. Today’s post was intended as the first of the three parts, but after a few hours of work on that post, I realised that there were too many background problems to […]

Signe Erickson

Signe Erickson: A Bethel Martyr

One day after their attack on Pearl Harbor, Japanese forces began their invasion of the Philippines. In December 1941 that commonwealth hosted twenty-one American Baptist missionaries, mostly working in hospitals and schools on the island of Panay. By April 1942, with American and Filipino defenses collapsing, only eleven of those missionaries remained at liberty. With the help of a […]

First draft of the timeline page for our website

Our In-Progress Timeline

Regular visitors might have noticed that a new page suddenly appeared here last night: a detailed timeline intermingling events in political and military history with key moments in the development of Bethel University. This timeline is very much a work-in-progress: the War on Terror section has yet to be filled in past the events of […]

A September 1964 cover of the Standard

A College’s Denomination: The BGC and the Vietnam War – Introduction (Part 1)

These past weeks have seen me move increasingly from secondary literature into primary sources. In particular, I’ve been paging steadily through the Standard, the official organ of the Baptist General Conference – then Bethel College’s sponsoring denomination – which ran from 1940 to 2002. That year the magazine became BGC World and in 2008 when the denomination changed its name to Converge […]

The Professoriate Turns: Evangelical Antiwar Dissent at Calvin College

A few weeks ago I looked broadly at the Evangelical left and Vietnam, focusing particularly on Jim Wallis and the Post Americans. Of course, not all evangelicals who ended up opposing the war would have described themselves as leftists, nor would they have been comfortable with the extent to which the Post Americans critiqued American […]

The Bethel Academy Class of 1917

“Are You Loyal?”: Bethel as an Immigrant School in 1917-18

Because of their widespread pro-German sentiments at the beginning of the European conflict and outspoken support for American neutrality, up to April 1917, the Swedes and other Scandinavians in the United States faced a highly uncomfortable situation, causing many to overreact—or to keep quiet. – H. Arnold Barton, A Folk Divided, p. 248 Both responses — overreact […]

A Sea King hovers, Vietnam mid-1960s

“Traveling by ‘Holy Helo'”

Paging through the July 4, 1966 issue of the Standard, I came across a small article that caught my attention. It’s rather vividly written by a Baptist General Conference navy chaplain, Kenneth Carlson, and describes how Carlson ‘choppered’ between vessels to hold worship services for U.S. Navy sailors. First though, I was curious whether Carlson ever […]