G.G., B.G., & M.G.
According to our newsmagazine, Good Guys and Bad Guys are part of a TV myth that is disappearing. Soon existential man will be in the saddle. He shares in a larger identity of Good and Evil, and is neither hero nor villain. He is more than a myth, a Free Man. As I remember Olympus, the myths were not too strong on pure types of Good and Evil. Modern thinkers will make the mythical purely good to make the purely good mythical.
Western writers may need help in building up this mixed hero/villain to the point where kids will buy his autographed cap pistols. Perhaps he should be introduced between the G.G. and the B.G. and the M.G. (mixed, muddled, modern).
Scenario for M.G.
B.G. These knots is tight. You won’t get out of this. Light the fuse, M.G.!
G.G. (Gagged) Awg … ahlwahch!
M.G. Why don’t you tie me up too?
B.G. Like to oblige, but I need ya on my next job, M.G. Light the dynamite!
G.G. (Still gagged) See above.
M.G. You’re a dynamic man, B.G., but are you as free as you think? Why must you kill? You’re punishing yourself!
B.G. You got it wrong, kid. You’re the dynamite man in this outfit. And I ain’t killin’ G.G. You are. Light the fuse or I’ll ventilate ya.
M.G. Certainly. I was just looking for a match. You know I’m your partner. But couldn’t we take the gag out? No one will hear him in this abandoned mine. Besides your mortido urge …
B.G. Okay, okay. Take out the gag. Here! Now let me bung that big mouth of yours. There. Now light that fuse!
G.G. While that fuse burns, B.G., I want to say I never knew you salted the mine.
B.G. Why then … M.G., you rat … I will lace you up too, pardner! Gotta hurry. Keep still, or I’ll … WHOOM! BOOOOM! (etc.)
G.G. That was a break. I must have been blown clear up the air shaft.
B.G. (Muffled) Help!
G.G. You too! Here, I’ll drop this rope down to you. Where’s M.G.?
B.G. He’s done for. All mixed up, kinda.
G.G. Maybe it’s better that way. C’mon, hombre, I’m takin’ you to the sheriff.
SECOND TO NONE
Permit me to thank you very much for the magnificent statement of justification (Mar. 16 issue). I try to keep up with the best in the Reformed and in the Lutheran writings on this significant matter, and the article by Dr. Packer is second to none! It has my hearty amen! Our students here are grabbing up the issue … like hot cakes. Thanks be unto God for his great grace which justifies us sinners per fidem propter Christum.
Columbia Theological Seminary
COMING OR GOING?
Have just read your editorial comment on Markus Barth’s The Broken Wall in which he breaks down the wall between heaven and hell (Mar. 16 issue). As far as I am concerned, your analysis is well taken. I have always supposed that the purpose of preaching was to persuade sinners to enter into the ark, not to prevent them from jumping out of it.
I don’t know who Rod Jellema is, but I have a feeling that this writer knows Barabbas and Mary Magdalene (Mar. 16 issue). Here is the kind of insight and poetic ability that warms the heart and kindles the mind of the reader. I hope sometime that the writer will give us something on John the Baptist, Paul, and John the Apostle.
The Akron District
North East Ohio Conference
The Methodist Church
I read the Easter poems by Rod Jellema … and liked them.
Grand Rapids, Mich.
I am wondering … if you … carefully read this poem before it was accepted. If so, my disappointment and distress are increased.
Staten Island, N. Y.
Very literary and beautifully constructed verses.…
Newark, N. J.
NO OFFICIAL VIEW
I should like to correct a misconception fostered by Harold B. Kuhn in the first paragraph of his article, “Christian Surrender to Communism” (March 2 issue). He clearly states that “a segment of the (Central) Committee” of the World Council of Churches “went on record as favoring a free world surrender on the terms of the enemy in case of a threat of hydrogen warfare.” The fact is that this particular sentiment was advanced in a minority report by certain members of the Commission on “Christians and the Prevention of War in an Atomic Age—a theological discussion.” A majority of the members of the Commission were unable to accept this position, as the principal text of the document makes clear.
The Commission had been appointed by the Central Committee of the World Council, but no member of the Central Committee was himself a member of it. When the document came before the meeting of the Central Committee at Nyborg, Denmark, last August, the Executive Committee finally took the following action with respect to it: “The ensuing statement is but a first-step in a continuing study process. It is offered to the churches for their reflection and discussion. No point here expressed is to be understood as an official view of the World Council of Churches. This document is in no sense a statement of World Council policy. The statement is that of a contribution to Christian research and inquiry on a vital issue of our time.” The World Council of Churches has no control over a Commission, composed mostly of distinguished theologians asked by it to address itself to a particular question. By the same token, no statement that results can be construed as an official interpretation of the views or policies of the World Council of Churches, unless it is adopted as such by the appropriate body of the World Council itself. The Divinity School
New Haven, Conn.
I should be sorry … if any of your readers were left with the impression that … the Protestant Pavilion at the Brussels World’s Fair … was not a very strong witness for Protestantism (Nov. 24 issue, p. 31).… It was seen by every visitor to the fair. Since the walls of the chapel were of glass, even passers-by were aware of the services of worship and other activities which were constantly being held. Ten to fifteen million people visited the Pavilion.… One of the greatest surprises to everyone was the very large number of Roman Catholic priests and nuns who visited the Pavilion and asked many questions.… Pastor Pieter Fagel, the director of the Pavilion, said that he was convinced that this was the most effective piece of evangelism that was being carried on in any part of the world during those months.…
Washington, D. C.
I was especially interested in your article “Perspective for Social Action” (Jan. 19 issue). Thank you for the clear interpretation you gave of past interest in this field. I found it stimulating.
Your article “Why Is NCC Prestige Sagging?” is a masterpiece! It is sensibly presented, precisely stated, and justifiably critical. Your diagnosis and prescription for Protestant ecumenism in America are at once safe, sane, and scriptural.
Cooper Avenue Baptist Church
Yuba City, Calif.
Did you call the attention of your readers to the fact that the vote of the Conference, two thirds of whose members were laymen (and of all of whom were expected to express their own opinions and not seek to represent the National Council of Churches), included two conditions which would have to be met before any approach would be approved to recognition of China? The first was the security of Formosa; the second was the security of South Korea.… You and other critics of the National Council have completely committed yourselves apparently to the idea that the only kind of Study Conference the National Council should hold would be one whose decisions were dictated to it or whose conclusions were repudiated if they did not agree with the predetermined views of the body responsible for the Conference.
Missions Council of the Congregational Christian Churches
New York, N. Y.
The Cleveland Conference on World Order, convened by National Council mandate, does not speak for all of its affiliated churches. I do not conceive that to be its purpose. Its purpose is rather to speak to those churches.
If the denominations did not send the right delegates to the study conference, that is not the fault of the NCC. It is possible that some denominations are not so organized that they can send delegates representing the diverse viewpoints within that denomination.
Probably overlooked by many who register their disapproval of the Cleveland Conference is the fact that most of the 600 delegates had studied the facts and had a better knowledge of all the facts at issue than most people.
St. James Evangelical and Reformed
Each issue of CHRISTIANITY TODAY is worse, in that you seem to have been captured by those who have no other purpose than to malign the National Council of Churches.
St. Paul’s United Church of Christ
Nothing but wholesale condemnation.…
Could charity have written the paragraph “Tilting to the Left?” Is there no place in Christian journalism for love?
St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church
Durham, N. C.
The big difference between these two groups at their formation and through the years has been that the NAE refused to call for separation from the FCC while the ACCC did, and the NAE included in its membership evangelical churches still inside the FCC while the ACCC included in its constituent membership only evangelical churches outside the framework.…
We also would appreciate it when you refer to the American Council if you would include the word “Christian” in our title.
International Council of Christian Churches
Collingswood, N. J.
If the pronouncements of the conference had taken standpat political positions, had endorsed Mr. Dulles and all his works, I doubt that we should have had a whisper of complaint from such churchmen as Dr. Poling, Carl McIntire, and yourself.
The Methodist Church
Springfield District, New England Conf.
The NCC is not the only group who makes mistakes. They are still human … Some of us agree with Old Testament history that alliances with heathen nations of idolaters was not good. Monmouth, Ill.
The article … was fine and a credit to your magazine. Its approach is quite different to that I have thought of, namely, the ethics of a setup which positions men so they are beyond democratic processes. How for instance can the grass roots people make any changes in the council though the council gets its power from claiming to represent the grass roots.
Morristown, N. J.
As a person who was a non-paying “guest” of that same Red China for more than four and a half years, and who was one of the ten Americans who were released and came out of that country in September 1955, I am impelled to add some comments. Such a recommendation can only come, it seems to me, from those who do not have all of the facts, or from leftists, or from defeatists. They probably do not know that recognition of our enemy, Red China, would involve the withdrawal of recognition from our good friend, Nationalist, or Free, China. Admitting our enemy, Communist China, to the United Nations would also mean expelling our good friend, Free China.…
Probably most people do not know, or have forgotten, the treatment that our American consul in Mukden, Mr. Ward, received when the Reds took over that place. Such treatment of an official representative of a government by another government has been the cause of wars in the past. Our government was very patient about the incident, but it certainly did not make our State Department any more inclined to admit Red China into the family of nations. From the time that the Reds took over mainland China they did everything that they could to build up hatred against America. In their newspapers they blamed America for having stirred any and every opposition that the Reds met up with in just about anywhere in the whole world.…
As a Baptist missionary, now technically retired, what goes against the grain most, though, is any talk on the part of any professing Christian of doing anything that might encourage the atheistic, God-hating government on the mainland of China, which has done and is doing everything it can to bring under its own control or destroy all trace of religion in the area it controls. If we are true to God we cannot aid such a government. Any appeasement would only be interpreted by them as a sign of weakness on our part and would not decrease in any smallest degree their working against us and their enmity for us.
The people on the mainland of China are under a hideous tyranny, and we are wondering whether some of our friends there are still alive, or if they are in communes, where they are only work animals—where they cannot live as human beings. To quote a verse that came to me when I was in prison in China,
He who always stayed at home,
And never left our freedom’s land,
Little can appreciate
What we’ve received at freedom’s hand.
Taiwan Christian College
Chung Li, Taiwan, Free China
The National Council of Churches has now issued a directive to the administration in Washington that Red China be admitted to the U. N. and recognized by the U. S. Will the World Council of Churches now declare the Reformation ‘null and void?’
Eagle Baptist Church
As to the Cleveland Conference …, let us consider.… “If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds” (2 John 10–11). “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Eph. 5:11). How can we Christians possibly have fellowship in any form with atheistic Communism?
There is no immediate need for … recognition in 1959 … for: 1) Red China has sufficient recognition by several nations to insure her of contact with the outer world …; 2) She has representation in the United Nations through Russia and her satellites.… We must never give the … world any idea that we approve of Communism in any shape or form. We did that to some extent when we gave our absurd recognition to Red Russia before World War II. For that mistake we have paid and will yet pay and pay.… Surely to recognize Red China would not help … the peoples of Red China … but would only tend to prolong their life under one of the most cruel dictatorships in all human history.… It seems best then that we maintain the status quo, evil as that is, for almost any alternative would be worse, except actual liberation and this means war.…
Pequea Presbyterian Church
You have rendered a great service in this report to us Methodists.… Without publications like yours we Methodists would never know what is going on in administrative circles and what part of our contributions are being used for.
El Sobrante, Calif.
The magazine is a most commendable champion of our historic Christian faith as opposed to the vagaries of destructive criticism, the encroachments of the papacy, the paganism of … communistic propaganda, the moral and political corruption of our time, and the blindness of churchmen who would sell us out to foreign dictatorships.
I want to heartily compliment you on your courage and fidelity to the basic Christian principles! What we so need in journalism and in our pulpits is that non-compromising, positive line against the spineless social gospel of our day; against leftists in church boards and wider organizations (like the NCC); and the increasing disregard of laymen who see secular trends in leaders and front offices. You are the voice of many a fine, experienced, solid Christian in pulpit and pew.…
Bay City, Mich.
Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.
Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 65+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more
More from this Issue
Read These Next
- TrendingRussell Moore: I Already Miss Tim Keller’s Wise VoiceThe late pastor theologian gave strong counsel to me and so many others in ministry.
- From the MagazineOur Worship Is Turning Praise into Secular ProfitWith corporate consolidation in worship music, more entities are invested in the songs sung on Sunday mornings. How will their financial incentives shape the church?español
- Editor's PickBecome a Shadow of Your Future SelfManifesting isn’t the answer. Consenting to holiness is.