All the “season control” of air conditioning, automatic heating, and refrigeration has not made us forget the seasons. No aboriginal American tribe followed seasonal game more diligently than we follow our seasonal games. We dutifully conform to the rites of the Vacation Pilgrimage, and any unseasonal behavior is promptly squelched by the combined forces of suburban opinion, teen-age scorn, and retail advertising.

We are also increasingly sensitive to the climate of opinion. Psychology has replaced astrology in determining the auspicious moment for political moves and business ventures. Instead of reading livers to discover when the Fates are propitious, it is now the custom to consult a market analyst to estimate consumer motivation. Both merchandise and propaganda must be moved at the psychological moment. A preseason clearance has its place, but the basic principle is, sell it in season!

The Preacher in Ecclesiastes is often quoted in support of seasonal living. He asserts roundly that there is a time for everything. The difficulty is that he also concludes that the changing seasons cancel each other out, so that the grand total is zero: all is vanity! Opportunism is the name for the way of life that has no value above timeliness.

The Apostle Paul preached with timely relevance. Yet it is remarkable that he charges Timothy to be urgent in season and out of season. God’s time of grace does not wait for the sinner’s convenience. Judas found a suitable time to betray Christ, but Felix never found his “convenient season” to accept Him.

Seasonal preaching may mean none at all, especially in the summer! We need more preaching out of season, and against the climate of opinion—outlandish preaching about death and the judgment.

This was Paul’s perspective when he charged Timothy to urgent preaching. He knew that the time of his departure was “at hand,” and he uses the same term in urging Timothy to be “at hand” with the Gospel. We can’t be leisurely and seasonal when the Judge of the living and the dead is standing at the door!


Your editorial entitled “Rome’s Unity Plea”, etc. (May 25 issue), contains a quotation to which I must take exception: “Jesuits had noted that … the Greek Church accepts church tradition alongside the Bible, and also the immaculate conception of the Virgin.”

While tradition has a very important place in Orthodox thought and practice, the Church does not accept it “alongside the Bible,” and most certainly has not elevated tradition into dogma as the Latin Church has done.

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Definitely the Orthodox Church has never taught that the Blessed Virgin was without sin, original or actual. On the contrary they condemn the Latin dogma of the Immaculate Conception as heretical.

It is also misleading to say that the Filioque controversy “had old political and theological facets now reconcilable.” The Orthodox Church holds that the unauthorized inclusion of the filioque clause in the Nicene Creed is a definite barrier towards reunion with any of the Western Churches.

This priest in reciting the Nicene Creed has always repeated the filioque clause with a mental reservation, and hopes it will one day be omitted from our Anglican service books.…

The Church of St. John the Baptist

Dunkirk, N. Y.


The position taken in “The Case for Orthodox Theology” and “Anchored … or Adrift” (Apr. 27 issue), if applied to other fields, would render any kind of organized knowledge impossible. The whole vast edifice of modern science and scholarship is based on the assumption that an infallible authority is not needed to supply objective and dependable knowledge. Truth shines by its own light.… There are many possible stopping places this side of atheism. For example, nearly all the miracles of the New Testament have been observed or reproduced under rigorous test conditions by the psychical research societies. And guidance, supply, answers to prayer, etc., are among the most stubborn of scientific facts. Couldn’t money being spent trying to promote a lost cause be better devoted to research in these fields?

There are many liberals with a very vital and positive Christian experience—men like Kagawa, C. F. Andrews, Leslie Weatherhead, Albert Schweitzer, etc. And there would be many more if such forms of research were more emphasized.… Very few atheists come from liberal homes.… Many … people … regain their faith through contact with some liberal church.

Los Angeles, Calif.

Of United Presbyterian (USA) persuasion and chronically perplexed by some of the hypercriticism among my brethren of their “cousin” “fundamentalists” in the fold, I was relieved to read the deft countercritic’s statement of Dr. Carnell … where he expresses the view that “the critics of fundamentalism often manifest the very attitudes that they are trying to expose.” To my mind this is a remarkable analysis of the liberal bias and the equally dogmatic attitude of the brethren who feel they have “seen the light.” Conservatives are by and large accorded the “narrow” label, yet it is high time that being “broadminded” has the taint of narrowness also.…

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In conclusion, let me say how much the magazine has meant to me since its inception. The articles have been intellectually honest, thoughtfully prepared, courageous, and concise. Not that I have catered to everything printed therein, but what has grated against my stripe has been abundantly valuable in thinking through my own faith and experience.… Your articles of social concern have avoided the usual liberal platitudes and the Gospel has been foremost in grappling with paramount issues of state.

Lakewood, Calif.


You mention a new Doubleday book by Dr. Franklin Loehr (News, April 27 issue).… He was ordained by the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. over 20 years ago, but he has not been listed in our “minutes” for several years, and he was in the employ of the First Congregational Church of Los Angeles when he did his “research.” We do not claim him or his work in this field!

First Presbyterian Church

Palmdale, Calif.


I have been greatly pleased with the fine and fair treatment you have given to the repercussions across the country with regard to the amazing recommendation of the Cleveland group so far as Red China is concerned. That action—which has not been repudiated by the officials of the National Council—has done, and is doing, the National Council of Churches irreparable harm.

The good that has come out of it is to make it unmistakably clear that the great bulk of church people in America, irrespective of denomination, do not share the decidedly leftist attitudes of some who are at the forefront in the officialdom of the National Council.

The ringing repudiation of this most unfortunate action of the Cleveland group by the Session of the National Presbyterian Church here in Washington is echoed by thousands of churches in all parts of the nation.

The response to the survey of the “Committee of a Million” against the recognition of Red China is proving, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that the National Council cannot get away with any such unchristian program as it proposed. Those who backed this movement ought to hang their heads in shame at what their action has already done in discouraging our wonderful missionaries on the front lines of this global battle—in Korea, in Taiwan, and in the Philippines. No wonder that their agonizing query is, “how could any Christian group in America even consider recognizing the murderous highwaymen in China in any such way?”

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Unless the National Council desists from such policies, it is doomed as an organization supposed to mobilize the various divisions of the Christian Church in this divisive day.


United States Senate

Washington, D. C.

The Study Conference on World Order of the NCC, and the articles supporting its deliverances concerning Red China, leave at least two major impressions. Its Report seems to have been drafted amidst a general feeling of frustration and confusion. Relations in the Far East are bad and evidently deteriorating: something must be done, and quickly. The Conference seemed convinced that it was the task of ecumenical Christianity to suggest what was to be done.… The Report seems to lack any worthy controlling idea. Expediency, not principle, is its underlying note.

Liberal publications which feel duty bound to defend the action of the Conference with respect to Red China show a similar lack of any profound basis. The touchiness which these periodicals show toward criticism do little to inspire confidence. The editors equate criticism with an attack upon the right of free speech. Now, not the right of the Conference to speak is in question, but the wisdom of what has been said.

The editor of The Christian Century admits that Red China is still treading the path of unprovoked aggression in Tibet, and that she is today violating her pledge of April 29, 1954, with respect to Indo-China. The major defense of the proposal to recognize the dictatorship of General Mao, and to admit the Peiping regime to membership in the United Nations is that if once she were “in” we could watch her and presumably lecture her. The editor of Nation (April 11 issue, p. 305) suggests that if she were in U. N. membership, she “could have been pilloried on the issue [of Tibet].” The same editorial admits that Red China is “an offender,” and suggests that the present situation is equivalent to “barring an offender from the courtroom.” It would be more to the point to say that it is equivalent to barring a criminal from a place on the jury.

How little insight into the communist mentality this editorial reflects! Has the editor forgotten how the representatives of the U.S.S.R. can not only themselves walk out of a U.N. session in which they are criticized, but how they take with them delegations from other nations?

We are told that there is a “hate America” movement in China. At all costs, we are told, we must inhibit this; and diplomatic recognition is held to be the answer. No one has yet demonstrated that recognition of the Soviet Régime in Russia has built one iota of friendship for America.… The Study Conference demands that we compound our blunders and allow Red China to open an embassy and a series of consulates and trade organizations upon our soil. The Conference would do well to ponder the fact that they propose a course which will ultimately bring us a diplomatic defeat which may rival that which we sustained at Yalta.

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This writer wonders whether the key to much of this confused thinking is not to be found in the National Study Conference’s abandonment of clear moral principles as a basis for their deliverances. What if the Conference had itself adopted a bold program toward Red China, a program morally based, and which would put American Christianity on record before the Free World in general, and before the eight free countries of the Far East in particular? We suggest some possible features of such a program.

With respect to recognition of Red China by the United States, why did not the Conference set forth some minimum ethical requirements to be met by the men of Peiping before recognition should even be considered? First: demand that Peiping consent to a reunification of the Korean nation upon the basis of free elections. Second, demand that Red China indemnify, in acceptable currency, the families of the American dead in the Korean War, with special indemnity to those who died in communist prison camps. Third, demand that Red China secure from a committee of neutral nations a fair estimate of the costs to the Free world of the Korean War which she aggressively waged, and that she set up a fund, under U. N. control, to be administered for the rehabilitation of Korea. Fourth, demand that she retract, through effective channels, her charge of germ warfare against the United States, this retraction to be made explicit both within and outside China.

With respect to admission to the United Nations, why did not the Conference propose for Red China a bold program which should be fulfilled as a minimum requirement for any possible discussion of admission? The following might have been embodied in such a program: in addition to permitting the reunification of Korea by free elections and to the public repudiation of the charge of germ warfare against U.N. troops, there should be a program of indemnification of relatives of United Nations’ troops killed in the conflict sparked by Peiping and maintained by her ‘volunteers,’ and the establishment of a fund for the reparation of damages done to U. N. forces in the Korean conflict. The fulfilment of these demands might also put the men of Peiping in a mood to consider some decent approach to the question of Taiwan.

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Such platforms as these would have put the Study Conference on World Order of the National Council of Churches upon a basis which would command the respect of the entire civilized world. It would have entitled them to speak with a prophetic voice, rather than with the voice of an impoverished and ad hoc expediency. It would have raised the voice of Amos at the point of world justice, rather than a voice like that of Aaron as he excused the casting of Israel’s calf.…

Asbury Theological Seminary

Wilmore, Kentucky


Your … article “Evolution or Creation?” (May 11 issue) is one of the best … ever … written upon this vital subject.

Loma Linda, Calif.

For any good Calvinist who believes God has ordered the seemingly fortuitous events of cultural history, it should not be difficult to discern his providence in the natural history of life (not only in the “major … instances of organization,” but in the “minor” ones too!) as best elucidated by modern evolutionary theory. By all means, let us “take the evidence at its face value,” and with alacrity acclaim in ardent accord with Dr. Clark that “God created the heaven and earth.”

Concord, Mass.

Clark is a thinker, and is on the side of the angels.

Loma Linda, Calif.

He did deny the theory of evolution, but was weak on the doctrine of creation. What we need for our generation is a positive, firm structure as to the questions of origins based on the opening chapters of Genesis.

Desert Highlands Baptist Church

Palmdale, Calif.

Dr. R. E. D. Clark’s article on evolution is well done. He has the clearest statement of the entropy argument I have seen. Also the “systems” argument is handled rather nicely. One could think of many more illustrations from the “evolution” of modern missile systems: the ladder of progress is climbed by major redesigns, not gradual changes (and by hard work and taxpayers money, not magic).

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

Silver Spring, Md.

Chance, God, Nature, Life Principle—one is neither more difficult nor easier to grasp or comprehend than the other with man’s meagre intellect. Ultimately, he must say only, “I believe,” and become either a victim or a possession of faith. He becomes a believer in a force of some sort and finds a certain mental peace or he believes no answer possible and tosses and struggles in the darkness of not knowing.

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It may seem “natural and sensible … to believe that God created the heaven and the earth” to Dr. Clark, but there are many sincere and honest people for whom it is not this easy. They are not aided by such an anthropomorphic view of God as appears in this article which intimates that God rested because he was tired.…

Delridge Chapel, Free Methodist

Seattle, Wash.

He builds his basic argument on two misconceptions. One, entropy or morpholysis does not apply in the biological world, per se. The total effect of the biosphere is one of productivity, of energy storing. A great deal more energy is stored by the process of photosynthesis than is consumed by subsequent food chain requirements, and a great deal more radiant energy reaches the earth’s surface than is stored. Hence, there is sufficient energy for creativity.

The other misconception is the argument concerning natural selection. The present view is that there is selection of the fit, not necessarily of the fittest. Or conversely, natural selection eliminates the unfit. Modifications due to mutations may have no adaptive significance whatever and still be maintained. That is, certain changes in the organism may make it neither more fit or less fit. Such changes need serve no purpose, but will still occur in individuals carrying the proper genes for such characteristics. Tongue-curling and tasting PTC (phenylthiocarbamide) are popular examples.

To speak of “magic” does not elucidate the principle being discussed, it seems, because the underlying problem is much deeper. We must resort here to a recognition of the role of assumptions or presuppositions. We assume we are able to observe and see what we look at. We assume that we can classify the information we gain. We, as Christians, assume God created the universe. This is not magic, but a basic postulate. If nothing in our experience strongly counters our assumptions, we retain them, we build upon them. Conclusions (interpretation of observations) based upon different presuppositions often differ. This is why the Christian and the materialist, and even the evangelical and the liberal so often clash. The conflict is not of fact but of theory.

It seems to me that R. E. D. Clark is speaking in the realm of theory rather than fact and is forgetting that explanations of universal phenomena are often enlightening if considered from the “both … and” basis rather than the “either … or.” Why can not one of God’s creative mechanisms be natural selection according to his plan?

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North Dakota Agricultural College

Fargo, N. Dak.

There is a difference between the entropy law, as applied only to energy, and the morpholysis law which includes the entropy law but has a wider scope. Dr. Cassel confuses them and then argues that “there is sufficient energy for creativity.” But energy is not creative. A few million horsepower will not invent a typewriter or create a literary masterpiece. Energy merely enables an already existing arrangement to be duplicated endlessly, as in factory or printing press. The problem of evolution, as ordinarily understood, is not one of duplication but of creativity—how did new types arise?

I was well aware that natural selection might sometimes select the fit rather than the most fit, but it was hardly possible to allude to all modern biological theories in a short article. Of course, purposeless characters (such as the ability to taste phenylthiocarbamide as bitter) will sometimes be present. But when a series of individually purposeless enzyme syntheses turn out, when the last link of the chain has been (purposelessly?) added, to be very purposeful indeed, the force of my remark is surely relevant: “Common sense revolts against the suggestion that all cases could be explained along these lines.”

Cambridge Technical College

Cambridge, Eng.


In conjunction with the celebration of its 150th anniversary, the congregation of the Park Avenue Christian Church, New York City, is hoping to locate an original anthem for use in 1960, their sesquicentennial year. The composer of the anthem judged best suited to their needs will be awarded a prize of $200.00.

Additional information and entry blanks are available to composers wishing to submit material, and may be obtained by writing to “Anthem,” Park Avenue Christian Church, 1010 Park Avenue, New York 28, New York. The deadline for entries is midnight of December 31, 1959.

New York, N. Y.

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