Change Of Format, No Change Of Heart

For fifty years The Christian Century has been the respected voice of liberal Protestant conviction. We extend anniversary congratulations, aware of this magazine’s long history and editorial keenness.

As contemporary theology has deepened its biblical roots and evangelistic passion, the Century’s influence has waned. While the magazine’s format has changed from time to time, its content has remained much the same: spirited assault on what the Bible says and stubborn confidence instead in what the Century says. Modifications of the magazine’s point of view across the decades have eliminated neither its original disparagement of mass evangelism (as corruptive of the churches), nor its despite for the authority of Scripture (as detrimental to Christian thought and life), nor its professed devotion to inclusive ecumenism as ideally expressive of Christian unity.

On the magazine’s 50th anniversary, Charles Clayton Morrison, its founder and until 1947 its distinguished editor, has contributed a reaffirmation of the Century’s theological and evangelistic vagabondage. Dr. Morrison devotes almost half his space in mourning over the pragmatic empirical philosophy that long passed in liberal circles for gilt-edged Christianity. He recalls (to his credit) how at long last he repudiated Professor Henry Nelson Wieman’s naturalism (which to Dr. Morrison and other liberals had once seemed “almost evangelical”!) when that philosophy’s banishment of the transcendent personality of God could not be disavowed. Nobody need question Dr. Morrison’s proper acknowledgment that “a false conception of experience … lured … Protestant ...

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