In the bedroom at the old-fashioned home of the retired Reverend Van Dyke is a fellowship quilt of curious design. There are wheels within squares and spokes from the wheels. Or perhaps they are sun-bursts in window panes that spread across the four-poster bed.
Radiating from each center are the embroidered names of the pastor’s flock. Here the ladies of the Dorcas circle are stitched in the rays of their square. Near the center are the names of the members of the senior choir in sectors of sopranos, altos, tenors and basses. In one corner is the male chorus. There are “memory” circles, and one center is labeled “Sunday School Class #7”; others bear the names of teachers.
A curious, but not a crazy quilt. I suppose it is a more constant comforter to the kindly Reverend than any electric blanket. The young Dr. Jones who succeeded him might not appreciate such a gift. It would hardly fit the contemporary decor of the new parsonage. Judging from the Doctor’s encounter with the Martha Circle, he might find the quilt had some hot patches!
The emeritus pastor, being advanced in years, is rather sentimental. In his afternoon nap he has used the quilt as a prayer reminder. Sometimes he worked his way across so many squares that he quite forgot to doze off.
I’m not sure that such a quilt should be made for every pastor—there might be too many stitches and perhaps too much chatter in the making. Yet it would be splendid for every Christian to own one, covered with the names of the saints. Tucked under it on a chilly spring night, one might get to thinking of the Lamb’s Book of Life and of the great fabric of the spiritual Temple in which we are wrought together, not as stitches, but as living stones, in the hands of the builder of his church.
THE WORD OF GOD
Surely for the Christian theologian Holy Scripture should be as binding as the axioms of Euclid are to the mathematician.
Victoria, B. C.
You speak of “… an authoritative canon of revealed truth.” What is this authoritative canon?… We note the flippant way the words, The Word of God.… are being used today …
EDWARD L. HUGHES
Dr. Mueller (CHRISTIANITY TODAY, Jan. 21) has argued vigorously and skillfully for the view that Luther essentially held to the view of the Scripture which later Lutheran and non-Lutheran theologians call “verbal” or “plenary” inspiration. My personal feeling is that just as Luther has managed to survive his Roman Catholic detractors he will probably survive his Missouri Lutheran defenders as well.
CHARLES E. CARLSTON
The Theological Seminary
University of Dubuque
Shame on you for allowing such an error in your magazine as to give the wrong reference to the verse, “Holy men of God.…” in your article on “Luther’s Doctrine of Inspiration.” “2 Tim. 3:14” should read, of course, “2 Pet. 1:21,” as any Bible student can tell you.
JOHN R. SHEARS
Providence-Barrington Bible College
Providence, R. I.
It will be received warmly everywhere by all who love the unadulterated Word of God.… More power to your group in their high and holy endeavor.…
C. C. MORLAN
… A concentration of much of the best of conservative Christendom.… Reading CHRISTIANITY TODAY, I feel the glow of enthusiasm for the authority of the Scriptures.…
REINDEER VAN TIL
While there is much which is very encouraging and helpful, there is one particularly distressing feature. This is the frequent use of the phrase “the Word of God” in contexts where it would appear to be intended as a substitute for the phrase “the Holy Scriptures.”
There are untold millions of us who, having received and receiving the inestimable blessing of God’s saving grace within the framework of his holy Church, have learned that when the Holy Scriptures speak of “the Word of God” they refer ultimately to no one and to nothing less than our Incarnate Lord, the second person of the most holy and glorious Trinity, The stature of your journal would be immeasurably increased in our eyes if you could assure us that it is not your policy (some contributors notwithstanding) to degrade the phrase “the Word of God” by unscriptural uses of it which make it refer to anyone or to anything less than him, by whose precious blood we are saved.
A. P. HORSFIELD
Vicar of Alberni
• Evangelical theology has always noted the various meanings of the term the Word of God and has distinguished the personal Logos and the spoken and written Word. But this distinction provides no basis for demeaning the authority of Scripture. Our Lord himself spoke of Scripture as God’s Word (Jn. 5:38 f.; cf. 10:35, 14:25). This regard for Scripture is preserved by the apostles, who identify what Scripture says as what God says (Rom. 1:2, Gal. 3:8, Rom. 9:17). The identification of Scripture as the Word of the speaking God is found also in Acts 4:24 f., 13:34 f. It is a New Testament presupposition that Scripture is the crystallized voice of God.—ED.
SCIENCE AND RESURRECTION
The lead article “Twentieth-Century Scientists and the Resurrection of Christ” is very startling and timely. However, I would like to have you mention that several hundred scientists, born-again, Bible believing and of course believers in his resurrection, are members of the American Scientific Affiliation of which H. Harold Hartzler, Ph.D., is President.… Many are listed in American Men of Science, etc.…
WILLIAM J. SCHEPP
The Schepp Labs.
East Paterson, N. J.
Mr. Smith’s article … states “The replies give no evidence that the scientists who deny the resurrection have carefully examined the New Testament historical records.…” Mr. Smith assumes, apparently, that scientists who accept the bodily resurrection have “carefully studied.” May it not be equally true that the scientists who accept … have not given careful study to the matter: perhaps they learned it as children in Sunday school and have given the matter no further thought. It would appear that those who reject the physical resurrection have given the matter more thought, on the whole, than those who accept it.…
… The question was concerning acceptance of the bodily resurrection, which, to me, appears to be a loaded question.… Had Mr. Smith stated his question more fairly probably many who reject a physical resurrection might have replied favorably to a spiritual resurrection.
EMERSON W. HARRIS
First Congregational Church
Detroit Lakes, Minn.
Mr. Smith seems to have been impelled to write this article by the false notion that Christianity, somehow, needs the endorsement of Who’s Who. This heretical idea is a popular one among today’s Christians. Indeed many Christians go so far as to confuse Who’s Who with the Lamb’s Book of Life … Extremely few names will be found in both these books … In fact it is everywhere apparent in the New Testament that the Holy Spirit carefully kept the Gospel from contamination of human wisdom, human accomplishment and human greatness.
As to the scientist segment of Who’s Who, these men are the Pharisees of our time … As to evangelizing them, should we not rather say of these twentieth century scientists: if they heard not of Jesus of Nazareth and the apostles, neither will they be converted though one rose from the dead.
I cannot help but praise the Lord for the 60 non-believers in the resurrection he found through his survey of scientists. This praise is not predicated upon a lack of such belief on my part, for I am a minister in the U. S. Presbyterian Church and hold this belief without flinching. Rather I praise God that they are members of churches where I hope that they have held before them constantly the basic beliefs of Christianity.
ROBERT B. BRANNON JR.
First Presbyterian Church
A good service has been rendered to evangelical Christianity in the publication of the fact that only one out of five leading scientists today believe in a bodily resurrection of Christ. Such a fact both reveals our failure and defines our duty to send a communicating witness to men of science. What I like particularly about Dr. Smith’s report is that warm-hearted, kindly manner which displays itself in the judgmental parts of his article.
Might I suggest that a copy of the Easter issue be sent to the 521 scientists who were polled?… Why don’t you send them a record without comment of the pertinent New Testament passages which deal with our Lord’s resurrection? Better “evidence” one cannot find.… Our scientists need the powerful witness of the Word of God itself. Too much of modern apologetics is Wordless. Give men of science that first hand evidence with which they love to deal. Not a few would be very willing to examine such evidence.
Summer St. Christian Reformed Church,
Passaic, N. J.
The article … is excellent. I am sorry to find, though, that half of the Episcopalian scientists queried did not believe in the bodily resurrection. The church teaches and believes it as central to the Christian Faith—without the resurrection the story of our Lord becomes just that of a wandering teacher of ethics who is sort of a Hebrew version of Socrates.…
JAMES H. DAVIS
Ascension Episcopal Church
Hinton, W. Va.
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