Nystrom, Carolyn 1940-

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Nystrom, Carolyn 1940-

PERSONAL:

Born May 22, 1940, in West Union, OH; daughter of Wilbur N. (a factory worker) and Ada (a homemaker) Abbott; married J. Roger Nystrom (a teacher), August 26, 1961; children: Sheri, Lori, Randy, Craig. Education: Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL, B.A., 1962. Politics: Independent. Religion: Evangelical Presbyterian.

ADDRESSES:

Home—St. Charles, IL. Office—Curtis Bruce Agency, 3015 Evergreen Dr., Plover, WI 54467.

CAREER:

Ohio Soldiers' and Sailors' Orphans' Home, Xenia, part-time house-parent and playground supervisor, 1958-62; teacher of second grade at public elementary schools in Glendale Heights, IL, 1962-67, and Elmhurst, IL, 1970-73; foster parent in St. Charles, IL, 1973-75; writer, 1974—.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Gold Medallion Book Award, best children's book of the year, Christian Booksellers Association, 1982, for What Happens When We Die?; Children's Book of the Year Award, Christian Booksellers Convention (Europe), 1987, for Mike's Lonely Summer.

WRITINGS:

Forgive Me If I'm Frayed around the Edges, Moody (Chicago, IL), 1977, published as Fostering No Illusions, Scripture Union (England), 1979.

(With Margaret Fromer) A Woman's Workshop on James, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 1980.

A Woman's Workshop on Romans, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 1981, published as Workshop on Romans, 1991.

A Woman's Workshop on David and His Psalms, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 1982, published as Workshop on David and His Psalms, 1989.

New Life: A Woman's Workshop on Salvation, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 1983, revised edition published as Basic Beliefs: A Woman's Workshop on the Christian Faith, 1986, published as Workshop on the Christian Faith, 1989.

Characters and Kings, Part I: A Woman's Workshop on Israel under the Kings, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 1985.

(With Margaret Fromer) People in Turmoil: A Woman's Workshop on I Corinthians, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 1985, published as Workshop on First Corinthians, 1991.

Characters and Kings, Part II: A Woman's Workshop in the History of Israel, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 1985.

Behold Your Christ: A Woman's Workshop, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 1986.

Who Is Jesus? A Woman's Workshop on the Gospel of Mark, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 1987, published as Workshop on Mark, 1989.

Workshop on the Gospel of John, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 1989.

Compass for a Dark Road: Letters of Peter and Jude, Inter-Varsity Press (Downers Grove, IL), 1991.

Borning Chamber, Inter-Varsity Press (Downers Grove, IL), 1992.

Loving God, Inter-Varsity Press (Downers Grove, IL), 1992.

Living in the World, Inter-Varsity Press (Downers Grove, IL), 1992.

Finding Contentment, Inter-Varsity Press (Downers Grove, IL), 1992.

Loving Each Other, Inter-Varsity Press (Downers Grove, IL), 1992.

A Tale of Foreverland: A Story for Old and Young, illustrated by Janice Skivington, Inter-Varsity Press (Downers Grove, IL), 1992.

(Compiler) D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Alive in Christ: A 30-Day Devotional, Crossway (Wheaton, IL), 1997.

(With Ramona Tucker) The Bible for Today's Christian Woman: The Contemporary English Version, Thomas Nelson (Nashville, TN), 1998.

(With Bill Hybels) Too Busy Not to Pray Journal, Inter-Varsity Press (Downers Grove, IL), 1998.

(With J.I. Packer) Never beyond Hope: How God Touches and Uses Imperfect People, Inter-Varsity Press (Downers Grove, IL), 2000.

Integrity: Living the Truth, Inter-Varsity Press (Downers Grove, IL), 2000.

1 & 2 Peter and Jude: 12 Studies for Individuals or Groups, with Notes for Leaders, InterVarsity Press (Downers Grove, IL), 2002.

The Wesleys—Amazing Love: 6 Studies for Individuals or Groups with Study Notes, InterVarsity Press (Downers Grove, IL), 2002.

(Editor) J.I. Packer, Knowing God through the Year, InterVarsity Press (Downers Grove, IL), 2004.

(With Mark A. Noll) Is the Reformation Over? An Evangelical Assessment of Contemporary Roman Catholicism, Baker Books (Grand Rapids, MI), 2005.

(With J.I. Packer) Praying: Finding Our Way through Duty to Delight, IVP Books (Downers Grove, IL), 2006.

(With J.I. Packer) Guard Us, Guide Us: Divine Leading in Life's Decisions, Baker Books (Grand Rapids, MI), 2008.

Contributor to periodicals, including His.

Many of Nystrom's books have been translated into other languages, including Chinese, Japanese, Malay, Finnish, German, Spanish, Norwegian, Afrikaans, and Swedish.

JUVENILES

I Learn about the Bible, Creation House (Wheaton, IL), 1977.

Angels and Me, Creation House (Wheaton, IL), 1978.

Mark: God on the Move (teen workbook with teacher's guide), Harold Shaw (Wheaton, IL), 1978.

Acts: Church on the Move (teen workbook with teacher's guide), Harold Shaw (Wheaton, IL), 1979.

(With Margaret Fromer) Acts: Missions Accomplished (teen workbook with teacher's guide), Harold Shaw (Wheaton, IL), 1979.

Romans: Christianity on Trial (teen workbook with teacher's guide), Harold Shaw (Wheaton, IL), 1980.

Who Is God?, Moody (Chicago, IL), 1980.

Who Is Jesus?, Moody (Chicago, IL), 1980.

The Holy Spirit in Me, Moody (Chicago, IL), 1980.

What Is Prayer?, Moody (Chicago, IL), 1980.

Lord, I Want to Have a Quiet Time (teen devotional journal), Christian Herald (Chappaqua, NY), 1981, revised edition, Harold Shaw (Wheaton, IL), 1984, revised edition published as Meeting with God, 1991.

Why Do I Do Things Wrong?, Moody (Chicago, IL), 1981.

What Is a Christian?, Moody (Chicago, IL), 1981.

What Is the Church?, Moody (Chicago, IL), 1981.

What Happens When We Die?, Moody (Chicago, IL), 1981.

Children's Bible Basics, 1981, published as Children's Bible Basics: Questions Kids Ask about Belief, illustrated by Eira B. Reeves, Moody (Chicago, IL), 2000.

What Is the Bible?, Moody (Chicago, IL), 1982.

Growing Jesus' Way, Moody (Chicago, IL), 1982.

(With Margaret Fromer) James: Roadmap for Down-to-Earth Christians (teen workbook with teacher's guide), Harold Shaw (Wheaton, IL), 1982.

Jesus Is No Secret, Moody (Chicago, IL), 1983.

Before I Was Born, Crossway Books (Westchester, IL), 1985.

Salvation, Harold Shaw (Wheaton, IL), 1985.

At the Starting Line: Beginning New Life (student workbook and teacher's guide), Harold Shaw (Wheaton, IL), 1985.

Mike's Lonely Summer, Lion Publishing (Belleville, MI), 1986.

(With Matthew Floding) Relationships: Face to Face (student workbook and teacher's guide), Harold Shaw (Wheaton, IL), 1986.

Mario's Big Question: Where Do I Belong?, Lion Publishing (Belleville, MI), 1987.

(With Matthew Floding) Who Am I? A Look in the Mirror (student workbook and teacher's guide), Harold Shaw (Wheaton, IL), 1987.

Jenny and Grandpa: What Is It Like to Be Old?, Lion Publishing (Belleville, MI), 1988.

(With Matthew Floding) Sexuality: God's Good Idea (student workbook and teacher's guide), Harold Shaw (Wheaton, IL), 1988.

The Trouble with Josh: What Is It Like to Be Different?, Lion Publishing (Belleville, MI), 1989.

Emma Says Goodbye, Lion Publishing (Belleville, MI), 1990.

I Learn to Trust God, Moody (Chicago, IL), 1990.

I Learn to Tell the Truth, Moody (Chicago, IL), 1990.

I Learn to Obey Rules, Moody (Chicago, IL), 1990.

I Learn to Love My Enemies, Moody (Chicago, IL), 1990.

The Lark Who Had No Song (picture book), Lion Publishing (Belleville, MI), 1991.

When Jesus Comes Back, illustrated by Wayne A. Hanna, Moody (Chicago, IL), 1992.

The Holy Spirit in Me, illustrated by Eira B. Reeves, Moody (Chicago, IL), 1993.

(With Robert Boyd Munger) My Heart—Christ's Home Retold for Children, illustrated by Jerry Tiritilli, Inter-Varsity Press (Downers Grove, IL), 1997.

Courage, Esther!, illustrated by Sharon Dahl, Moody (Chicago, IL), 1998.

Forgive, Joseph!, illustrated by Sharon Dahl, Moody (Chicago, IL), 1998.

Run, Elijah!, illustrated by Sharon Dahl, Moody (Chicago, IL), 1998.

You, Jonah!, illustrated by Sharon Dahl, Moody (Chicago, IL), 1998.

Before I Was Born: Designed for Parents to Read with Children Ages 5 to 8, NavPress (Colorado Springs, CO), 2007.

SIDELIGHTS:

Carolyn Nystrom once told CA: "I think that the Bible, if it is worth anything at all, is relevant to all of life. Therefore, I write books that will help people not to study about the Bible, but to study the Bible itself. I hope that as people begin to see what the Bible says and to understand its interwoven meanings, their lives will take on a richer expression of oneness with their creator.

"I couldn't write so much if it weren't for my husband, a teacher, who takes over the reins of the household as soon as school is out in June. He cooks, cleans, does laundry, chauffeurs the children, and takes phone messages, as well as doing the usual husbandly jobs of mowing the lawn and repairing the cars. I, on the other hand, leave at seven o'clock in the morning, work out with aerobic dancing for an hour, then retire to a quiet, air-conditioned office with a windowless door and no phone. I return home at six o'clock to find supper on the table—a luxury afforded few working women.

"About half of my writing for the year is accomplished during those ten weeks of summer. In the fall, my husband and I switch jobs again; I become a full-time homemaker and write only when time is available—about ten to twenty hours per week.

"Some of my children's books touch controversial areas, such as death and sex. I want my books on these subjects to represent the best possible research and craftsmanship. At the same time, I want to speak from a biblical perspective. In writing What Happens When We Die?, for example, I studied what many educational psychologists had to say about what worries children and what things a child can comprehend about death at different stages of development. I also studied textbooks of systematic theology, as well as the Bible, to understand what theologians hold as inherent to the Christian view of death.

"Similarly, in writing the sex education book [Before I Was Born: Designed for Parents to Read with Children Ages 5 to 8,] I read all the children's sex education books in the library, dating back to the 1920s. I also studied the friction points between biblical teaching and current mores. I wanted to create a book for the five-to-nine-year-old age group that would not blush at specific sexual information but would present sexuality as one of God's loving gifts to be enjoyed within the context of marriage. My book shows frontal nudity, a couple in bed, and childbirth without cover-ups. But it also speaks of thoughtfully selecting a marriage partner, and it contains a wedding scene with a simple explanation of the marriage vows. I find that many parents want just this kind of help in telling their children the facts of life."

Nystrom later added: "Recently, I completed the ‘Lion Care’ series. This series helps children face some of the difficulties in their lives: divorce, adoption, learning disabilities, aging grandparents, terminal illness. Once again, I chose to research carefully—then face the issue head on. A girl stands by her aunt's bedside while she dies; a boy believes that nobody loves him because he can't learn, and he can't sit still. But I also try to provide hope and help in these troubled scenes. I want my writing to prod and comfort at the same time."

Many critics welcomed Is the Reformation Over? An Evangelical Assessment of Contemporary Roman Catholicism, which Nystrom cowrote with Mark A. Noll, as a lucid and fair account of recent developments in evangelical and Catholic relations. As Nystrom and Noll show, a shift in attitudes has occurred since the 1960s, with Protestant evangelicals and Roman Catholics drawing closer in outlook than had been the case in earlier times. Nystrom and Noll explain the basis of the traditional disagreements between the groups and discuss the influence of changes such as the ecumenical teachings that came from the Second Vatican Council. In a review of the book in Catholic Insight, James Hanrahan observed that its title question can be thought of as relating "not so much to doctrine or practice as to the old mutual antagonisms," which include such matters as the place of sacraments and music in worship. While Nystrom and Noll conclude that these antagonisms have not yet been overcome, they express hope and confidence that a full rapprochement is achievable.

David I. Fulton, writing in the Library Journal, deemed the book to be "timely and instructive," while National Review contributor Michael Potemra hailed it as a "lucid—and often highly inspiring—account of the amazing distance Catholics and Protestants have traveled" since the 1960s. Geoffrey Wainwright, however, writing in First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life, felt that the book's analysis is insufficiently deep or thorough. "The vision of Noll and Nystrom," he wrote, "does not rise above ‘cooperation’ between Catholics and evangelicals; it is innocent of the category of ‘degrees of communion’ introduced by the Vatican II decree on ecumenism that opened the way to a dynamic growth towards the full ‘reintegration of unity’ in the one Body." Theological Studies critic Thomas P. Rausch, on the other hand, described Is the Reformation Over? as a "hopeful book [that] makes excellent reading."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Books & Culture, July 1, 2005, Mark Noll, review of Is the Reformation Over? An Evangelical Assessment of Contemporary Roman Catholicism, p. 10.

Catholic Insight, June, 2006, James Hanrahan, review of Is the Reformation Over?, p. 44.

Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, January, 2006, D. Jacobsen, review of Is the Reformation Over?, p. 871.

Christianity Today, June 12, 1981, Mary K. Bechtel, review of Children's Bible Basics, p. 60; December, 2005, Collin Hansen, "Sticking Points: Despite Recent Rapprochement, Evangelicals and Catholics Remain Far Apart on Key Issues," p. 71.

Commonweal, January 13, 2006, Brad S. Gregory, "Two-thirds Catholic," p. 26.

First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life, October, 2005, Geoffrey Wainwright, "An Indifferent Reconciliation," p. 40.

Library Journal, June 1, 2005, David I. Fulton, review of Is the Reformation Over?, p. 138.

National Catholic Reporter, February 10, 2006, Charlene Spretnak, "The Triumph of Luther? The Dwindling Divide between Catholics and Protestants," p. 1.

National Review, July 18, 2005, Michael Potemra, "One Church, after All," p. 44.

Publishers Weekly, April 24, 2000, review of Never beyond Hope: How God Touches and Uses Imperfect People, p. 88; May 16, 2005, review of Is the Reformation Over?, p. 57; May 29, 2006, review of Praying: Finding Our Way through Duty to Delight, p. 56; December 24, 2007, review of Guard Us, Guide Us: Divine Leading in Life's Decisions, p. 46.

School Library Journal, April, 1988, Marguerite F. Raybould, review of Mario's Big Question: Where Do I Belong?, p. 103.

Theological Studies, September, 2006, Thomas P. Rausch, review of Is the Reformation Over?, p. 684.

ONLINE

Nav Press Web site,http://www.navpress.com/ (March 14, 2008), Carolyn Nystrom profile.

Zondervan Web site,http://www.zondervan.com/ (March 14, 2008), Carolyn Nystrom profile.