It’s worth the toll on any turnpike to escape the rushing barrage of highway signs and view towns and broad farms unhidden by a poster palisade. The motorist who is annoyed as the endless commercials of our billboarded countryside flash past is not the chief sufferer. Think of the farmer who must work week after week in the fields commanded by the unblinking gaze of “Miss Pale Beer of 1957,” her model smile glowing with paralysis from dawn till dusk!

The motorist who has had to endure a billboard at close range may look with sympathy at those who live beneath them.

My eye is caught by every sign, and I did not miss the great black letters, THE WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH. I also noticed that the sign dominated a bedroom view from the nearby brick house—presumably the manse for the adjoining colonial church.

For five miles I mused on the experience of living beside that sign. A modern novelist would savor the symbolism of a preacher’s son raised in that bedroom of doom.

Only on the trip back did I see that the sign was painted on the other side. To southbound traffic—and the other front bedroom—the sign declared, THE GIFT OF GOD IS ETERNAL LIFE THROUGH JESUS CHRIST.

The parable is sufficiently plain to be included in 1006 Sermon Illustrations, and suitably cross-indexed under “One-sidedness,” “Whole gospel,” etc. Evidently the sign was designed for the round-trip commuter who would see both sides in the right order, with time for heart-searching between.

Unfortunately the traffic today all seems to be southbound. At least most preachers go that way. Anyone who is not “biblicistic” will stop to airbrush a haze of pious uncertainty over the other side of the sign—the grim New Testament warning of eternal death. Yet it is a blessed thing to live in the faith which sees both sides of the sign.



My immediate purpose in writing is to express … indignation over the May 27th article on “John Dewey and the American Spirit”.… I have 18 books bearing his name on the shelf next to me.… I doubt if any of them would justify either the general conclusions about what Dewey taught, and certainly the inferences would be challenged.… I hope Dewey will receive better treatment in the hostile environment of your constituency.


University of Maine

Orono, Me.

I wish to congratulate you especially … on your articles on “Christian Responsibility in Education” and “John Dewey and the American Spirit”.… Also it seems to me our seminaries ought to be examined.…

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San Francisco, Calif.

Fervent congratulations on your very excellent article: Chrisitian Responsibility in Education. Say it again … and again … and again.


First Christian Reformed Church

Los Angeles 44, Calif.


The articles by J. C. Pollock was certainly heart warming.… It would be interesting to know why Evangelist Charles Finney was not so much as mentioned …


Transcona, Manitoba

I note that J. C. Pollock, in his resume of the aggressive line of evangelists … does not give two very typical and surely outstanding men … the earlier one, the unusual character of Gypsy Smith.… Also a later firebrand among the Lord’s evangels … is the very famous Billy Sunday of the more modern era.…


Friendswood, Tex.

Just to keep the record correct: … the sentence opening the third paragraph is just wrong way around. Whitefield preached in the open air near Bristol Saturday Feb. 17, 1739, and regularly thereafter. Wesley wrote in his diary April 2 of the same year: “At four in the afternoon I submitted to be more vile and proclaimed in the open air the glad tidings of salvation” …


United Church of Canada

St. John, New Brunswick


I have just finished your first installment on “Dare We Revive the Modernist-Fundamentalist Conflict?” I certainly hope you won’t.… Many of us are, and have, long since said, “A plague on both your houses.” The extreme left, so-called fundamentalism, seems self-righteous and legalistic for all its pious words. The extreme right, so-called modernism, is vapid and humanistic, out of proportion to the historic faith.…


Westminster Presbyterian

Youngstown, Ohio

I wonder why you took a neo-agnostic like Fosdick … and spent so much space covering unbelief in God.… I heard Fosdick in his pulpit when a student at Columbia and … wasted two hours.… But went down to the McCauley Mission at night and heard Sam Hadley preach the real gospel to men who wanted to hear about God, like people in New York are going to hear Billy Graham.…


Ashland, Ohio

I, too, believe in a church inclusive enough to include people of many variant theological convictions.… The same spirit which asks people who do not agree with Graham’s theological position to support him because of the obvious good he is doing, should also, it seems to me, ask those who do not agree with the conclusions of men like Fosdick to support them because of the obvious good they are doing. Is that asking too much?

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Madison, Wis.

Dr. Fosdick has had his day. He has been retired both professionally and in the thinking of most of us.…


Evangelical U. B. Church

Massillon, Ohio

The first installment of your series … was superb.… As a chastened fundamentalist, I have felt that the time has long since passed for judgment to begin with our movement.… I am shocked by our movement’s contentiousness and total unwillingness to acknowledge and repent of its glaring weaknesses.…


Presbyterian Church

Stewartsville, N. J.


Your publication is currently serving a vital purpose in my own ministry. I must confess that the point of view is often one I cannot accept, but overall the articles are challenging. In particular, I am grateful over the fact that you can take issue with the liberal writers of the day without the violent characterizations of other conservative publications I have read. There must be this patient, gracious spirit.…


Iroquois Presbyterian Church

Louisville, Ky.

Is your magazine soft on apostates?… For your Professor Stonehouse, in a nicer, but for that reason a more subtle way, follows the practice of your Professor Rule. By the juxtaposition in which he places the apostates of which he writes with true believers, in his final paragraph, he creates the impression that they are but two similarly erring groups, blanketed together by a “pathos” that descends to bathos. The sins of apostates cannot be excused by the shortcomings of saints.…


Church of the Good Shepherd

Portland 11, Ore.

Too long people have seen no difference between vital, evangelical, biblical Christianity and obscurantist Fundamentalism. CHRISTIANITY TODAY in its sound editorial policy is making this distinction clear. In many instances ministers have veered toward an indefinite liberalism largely as a reaction from evangelical Christianity as represented by extreme Fundamentalism.


United Church of Canada

Ulverton, Quebec

With much appreciation I have observed that your basic purpose has not been to enjoin certain controversial causes but to present … articles and news items from an unbiased viewpoint. I have been especially appreciative of your impartial coverage of the National Council of Churches; too often evangelicals have taken unwarranted potshots at the NCC.…


Immanuel Baptist Church

Minot, N. D.

From my contacts I would judge the Protestant ministers in this country to be better than 80% evangelical. The fact is I can count on my fingers the liberals who are attracting significant attention in this country at the present time. The deep sinfulness of human nature, the utter need for a powerful salvation and the deity of Jesus Christ were listed at the Ocean Grove Minister’s School as points in which American theologians were in substantial agreement.

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Browns Mills, N.J.

Your magazine … ought to voice the opinions of more than … the fundamentalists and … ought not to become an organ for the sole purpose of expressing the ideas of Billy Graham.

I do not mean to condemn the Southern Baptist movement (April 1 issue, p. 19).… When I speak of them as “radical,” I use the term only in the theological sense as being right wing, or very conservative.… I should have used the word “conservative”.… I do not use “radical” in the derogatory sense.

In regard to Mr. Graham, I do not wish to condemn him or his thoughts, even though I cannot agree wholeheartedly with him.…


The Methodist Church

Murrayville, Ill.


The recent article “Do We Want a Giant Church” by Gilbert Savery is a masterpiece.… The larger the organization the smaller the voice of the layman. I believe the answer lies in the New Testament … emphasis on the autonomy of the local church. The word “ecclesia” … appears 112 times.… 90 times the word is used to … refer to the local church. The New Testament makes the local church the important feature and not … strong denominations and mergers.…


Trinity (Evan. Free) Church

Ludington, Mich.

May a Catholic be permitted a word …? One does wonder where Mr. Savery finds his authority for equating democracy and Christianity in so many ways. His statement that “a centralization of religious organization and thought is as dangerous to Protestantism as similar trends are to democracy in the realm of civil government” can only mean, it would seem, that he regards the Protestant denominations as no more under the guidance of the Holy Spirit than the civil government. Since I doubt that he intends this inference to be drawn, I wonder on just what reasoning the statement is founded. Protestant worship has certainly done more by proxy (the minister) than democratically, since democratic worship would require the congregation’s praying and responding as much as, or more than, the minister.…


Christ Episcopal Church

Richmond, Ky.

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