That indefatigable searcher for facts, Wilbur M. Smith, reports some interesting findings in Moody Monthly (Aug., 1956). An analysis of the 29th volume of Who’s Who in America, that is, of pages 13–112, yields this result, namely that 30% of those listed indicated some religious affiliation. Of the 1650 biographical sketches 53 were of clergymen. “The list reveals more Episcopalians and Presbyterians than all the other denominations combined.” However, “by far the greater number of the more prominent educators, scientists and writers do not indicate any religious affiliation. The same goes for playwrights, musicians, radio and TV men.” What mean these figures? Has religion become peripheral among those who mould the American mind? Or are they merely too shy to disclose their deepest loyalties?
“All this, and Revival, too” thus runs an article in The Christian Herald (Sept., 1956) on the Sector Plan of the American Baptist Convention. This plan is helping the churches utilize their total resources in new communities. During the past five years more than 3000 churches, Baptists and other communions, have used the plan with remarkable results in spiritual growth and power.
Canon Wedel writes a welcome warning in The Journal of Religious Thought (Spring-Summer, 1955) on “The Meaning of the Church”:
The phenomenal growth of the Pentecostal ‘sects,’ which ignore, for a time at least, the call to erect Gothic shrines, could remind us of the fact that “Church” in the New Testament, meant first of all a people of God united by a common faith and the living presence of Christ as Holy Spirit and not by institutional ambitions.
Wedel decries the mania for pompous church buildings in America. Air-conditioning, luxurious appointments, expensive ...1
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