This hasty note is past your deadline because I fell asleep while composing a letter of congratulation on the beginning of your fourth year of publication. I was reassured to read recently that chronic sleepiness can be inherited. Perhaps I share a congenital affliction with my ancient namesake at Troas.

May I suggest an article someday on the original Eutychus? Preachers, at least, should know how to spell and pronounce his name (Yew’-ti-cuss—ED.). The name meant “good luck” in an age when Lady Luck was even more fervently worshiped than at our race tracks.

Do you suppose anyone reflected on the name when Paul’s prolonged discourse was interrupted by the abrupt disappearance of “Lucky” from the window sill? Was anyone shaken by a sudden thought that the goddess Tyche was revenged on an apostate from an old cult?

At any rate, the First Church of Troas, without the benefit of centuries of jokes about sleeping in church, no doubt failed to see anything comical in the still form on the dark street. Yet their joy must have been the richer when Eutychus was restored. The sates of death could not prevail against the church of Christ. The bondage of “good luck” was broken by the Good News.

Too many Christians still live with crossed fingers, sweating out their good luck as a portent of calamity. To see them you would never guess that God’s good pleasure and not the goddess of Late rules human destiny.

No doubt Eutychus should have been listening and praying rather than sleeping, but childlike faith and deep sleep are not unconnected. Tyche’s devotees are great insomniacs; they must keep one eye on their capricious goddess. The psalmist, on the other hand, said, “In peace will I both lay me down and sleep” for the Lord who never slumbers was his Keeper.

At least Eutychus didn’t need a sleeping pill.



We enjoyed Dr. Blake’s article (Aug. 3 issue), and I am sure everyone who sees what is taking place appreciates your courage and his in bringing it out into the open.


Whittier, Calif.

The real essence of Mr. Blake’s article … is that the character of our churches has so changed and will continue to change, as to make untenable the tax relationship now existing between Church and State. Christ recognized the same characteristics in the religion of his day and plainly indicated that it was reflected in a Church no longer of God, but a synagogue of Satan. Our course should not be directed toward changes in taxation but toward obedience to Christ’s command that his house not be made a house of merchandise and a den of thieves.

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Shannon City, Iowa

He has either forgotten that the power to tax is the power to destroy, or that may be what he remembers. If his suggestion were to be followed the next would be to eliminate gifts to churches from income tax exemptions. The church (his kind, that is) would then be almost entirely dependent on the state and the reunion would then be complete.

Wouldn’t it be grand if clergy would attend to spiritual matters and leave economics and politics to us sinful laymen.


Houston, Tex.

And shall the government also—just to be fair—reconsider … the tax-exempt status of secularistic “science”-aiding foundations all the way from Ford-Rock-efeller-Carnegie … to little humanist foundations—all of which … (or nearly all) use at least part of every dollar to destroy Christ and promote antichrist.


Westminster Church (Congregational)

Canterbury, Conn.

I think Dr. Blake’s article perceptive and courageous.


Chicago, Ill.

With Carnell writing for The Century and Blake writing for CHRISTIANITY TODAY, the day of ecumenicity has arrived!!


Graystone United Presbyterian Church

Indiana, Pa.


In your report of the Oberlin synod of the merging United Church of Christ you state that the Congregational Churches in a previous merger, united with some churches of the Disciples of Christ to become the Congregational Christian Churches (Aug. 3 issue).

This is a rather common misconception due to the varied nomenclature used by the Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ). There were two movements in America in the early 1800’s which emphasized Christian unity, taking the Bible and the Bible alone as a rule of faith and practice. In Kentucky, Tennessee, southern Ohio, Indiana and Illinois one movement under Barton W. Stone was known as “Christian Church.” In Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Kentucky the other movement under Thomas and Alexander Campbell was designated “Disciples of Christ.” In 1831 these groups united and became widely known as “Christian Churches.”

Some churches of the Stone movement refused to give up their original doctrines and their fellowship with similar Christian Church groups on the Eastern Seaboard with the result that a small denomination known as “The Christian Connection” was set up with headquarters at Dayton, Ohio. This is the body that united with the Congregationalists in 1931.

Does this help to keep the record straight?

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Milligan College, Tenn.

What is of greater validity, our doctrines and polity or our oneness in him who is Lord, even Jesus Christ? I do not presume to suggest that our doctrine and polity should be passed over lightly, for we recognize the part played by tradition in our fellowship, yet I believe that the Holy Spirit somehow draws us together into this merger.… I challenge you to find what God would do in this coming together of our two churches.


Trinity United Church of Christ (Evangelical and Reformed)

Louisville, Ky.

The article … is very revealing. The merger seems to be running into rougher and rougher weather. And I suspect there will be many “whitecaps” when the merger lawsuit comes to trial.…


Chicago, Ill.

I realize full well that we will never have one great, all-embracing, monolithic church. Such a development would be far from desirable. However, many of us do recognize that our present division into multifarious denominations is the scandal of Christendom. When mergers take place like the present one …, then it is an occasion for rejoicing.


The Congregational Church

Gorham, N. H.

Betrays … utter lack of objectivity.…


Minersville, Pa.

I have read the account … with great interest.… I was there throughout the sessions and took very careful notes myself, and I find that your reporter did an amazingly accurate job in telling what went on.… As much as your reporter included [on] … the points at which there seemed to be friction between denominational officials … was evident from what I observed and much more might be said about serious differences of opinion.


Chicago, Ill.

I have … appreciated your most fair reporting of conventions of my own denomination, the troubles of my own seminary at Louisville, Ky. (Southern Baptist), and on that basis assume the news of other denominational meetings to be fairly reported. To be fair in these things is not easy, we know.

“Eutychus and his kin” is worth much; to see the reactions of the brethren is often informative as well as amusing.


First Baptist

Salisbury, Mo.


In his report on the North American Christian Convention (July 20 issue), J. D. Murch has given an excellent thumbnail sketch of our brotherhood of churches (known as Disciples of Christ).… When diversity of opinion includes questioning the authority of Christ, and distortion of the New Testament pattern, then charity ceases to be a virtue and becomes betrayal of “contention for the faith once delivered to the saints.” This is the unhappy situation in our brotherhood today. As in the case of a wayward child who leaves his father’s house to pursue his own wilful way, the only course left to faithful members of the family is to remain true and pray for the eventual return of the prodigal. Following the usual pattern in such cases, it is the “stand-patters” who are named as the cause of division. God will be the final judge of that, and he has warned that his followers shall have no fellowship with unbelief.

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It may be a little difficult for our denominational friends to understand how a body of believers can operate without a creed or discipline. The truth is, we do have both of these, but neither written by men. Our creed is Christ, and the life he lived on earth. Therefore it cannot be revised. Our discipline is found in the Word of God, given by inspiration to chosen men, who recorded it for the use of Christians, through all of time.…


Louisville, Ohio


Your magazine has been appreciated partly because I do not come from the typical liberal Protestant atmosphere of English Congregationalism. I grew up in a Gospel Mission which developed from the Sankey and Moody evangelistic campaigns.… I have felt often the shallowness of much Congregational thought. Your magazine brings the old atmosphere of boyhood days back.

… We [have] had our minds busy with the violent upsurge against the Communist Ministry in Kerala. Like the Roman Catholics (strong here since the days of Xavier) we refused to accept the Kerala Education Act, which would have reduced our control over our schools to deciding when to attend to petty repairs. The Roman Catholics offered to send men to guard our school buildings against Communist-inspired parents and (some) teachers who might break them open, defying us, and carry on the schools.… Communist attacks on the Christian Church produce strange bedfellows!


Trivandrum, Kerala, India


No … apology from John H. Gerstner was required for … warning against breaking auto speed laws (Aug. 3 issue).… I wonder whether he has ever preached on it from Nahum 2:4: “The chariots shall rage in the streets, they shall justle one against another in the broad ways: they shall seem like torches, they shall run like the lightnings.”


Patterson, Calif.

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