FOR THE KIDDIES
Pastor Peterson saw my cartoon, and after mustering a chuckle remarked on the seriousness of immaturity in the church. The apostle, he said, complained about having to feed the Corinthians milk instead of meat, but now even milk won’t do. It has to be candy, or candy-coated tranquilizers.
Fearing that he had missed my point, I suggested that all this concern about immaturity could be a clear sign of it.
“Exactly,” he agreed. “But it is difficult to preach with child-like simplicity to people who are looking for childish gratification. Once children were treated as miniature adults. Now adults expect to be treated as children. Everyone relies on the paternalism of the government, school, employer, and the church too. It’s a child’s world, where all your thinking is done for you, and every story must have a happy ending. All religions lead to the end of the rainbow, and the best church is the one where you find most reassurance. The hymn of the century is ‘Dear Lord, Hold My Hand!’ ”
I tried to interrupt this sermon by asking if he disapproved of the figure of the Shepherd, too. I only deflected the discourse. The pastor is outraged by the sentimentality with which that biblical figure is draped. If Christians today understood it, they would live more like David or Peter and walk in the steps of the Shepherd who gave his life for the sheep.
When he left, he was fervently calling for the church militant to replace the church juvenescent.
THE PROBLEMS OF YOUTH
Your July 6 issue is an excellent … study on the problems of youth today. Thank you for the reservoir of material that so many capable leaders have compiled for us.
First Baptist Church
The July 6 issue of your magazine has … reached me. I have read four articles, among them the first, by Pitirim A. Sorokin, and the one by your Associate Editor, J. Marcellus Kik, and I must say that for sheer pessimism I do not know their equal. Perhaps everything they say is true; but there isn’t a ray of hope in either of these articles. If I preached in that fashion every Sunday morning, either my Church would soon be empty, or folks would die from sheer despondency.…
If some of your writers could get the idea that a little good is more powerful than a great evil, they might at least express a hopeful thought in regard to the future.… My people leave the sanctuary happy on Sunday morning, as much as to say: “I believe I can meet the temptations and trials of the world for another week.”
The Methodist Church
Each of the writers shot straight from the shoulder in describing our present day problems that are affecting our youth.
Town and Country Church of Christ
I hereby confer an “Oscar.” These articles show us plainly what we’re getting into.
Princeton, N. J.
I was impressed, quite favorably, with the total impact of this particular issue. If I might mention the four items that “made” the issue: 1. The stimulating article by Dr. Sorokin set forth with quietly authoritative force a major problem of our time. The high quality of this article, even if we happen to believe that Dr. Sorokin’s suggested solutions are not ultimately realistic, was enough to carry over the motley array of inferior “traditio-homiletico” materials which followed his article directly.
2. The head-on grappling of L. Nelson Bell in his fortnightly column, with the question of “bibliolatry.” If this article proves nothing else, it proves that Dr. Bell is a courageous layman. But it does prove something else, and that is that in spite of the fact that Dr. Bell does not travel too far from opening question to concluding answer, nevertheless he reveals in this particular column … that his spirit is akin to the spirit which evangelical Christianity has long needed in both its irenics and its polemics. 3. The editorial headed “The Delinquent Church,” in its frank admission that the blame for some contemporary ills must be shared by all branches of the Church, reveals an intellectual depth and a spiritual humility and frankness that, if continuing in this magazine, may well persuade many of us that CHRISTIANITY TODAY is, indeed, the church magazine of our time. 4. But I was overjoyed to find Edward John Carnell’s positive review of Paul Tillich’s most recent book, Theology of Culture. This is one of your more honest and fair appraisals of Tillich.… I would have only one major question for Dr. Carnell, and that is in regard to his statement that Tillich’s theology cannot be considered to be consistently biblical. Perhaps Dr. Carnell would also be willing to say this of every exegete, theologian, evangelist, and parish minister. For surely complete consistency is not one of the realized goals of men in this life.
Simpson Church, Methodist
Paterson, N. J.
May I thank you indeed for publishing Dr. Pitirim A. Sorokin’s article “The Demoralization of Youth—Open Germs and Hidden Viruses”.… I thought he was absolutely correct in pointing to the cultural component surrounding the pornographic and obscene sexual literature which has been lately produced and increasingly distributed among our young people. He correctly indicates that the solution to this problem calls not for some overwhelming effort to arrive at a definition of words but rather for the disinfection of our entire life and culture from the cheap and sordid.
Acts of commitment in reconstructing our life through a personal witness in terms of our own reading, T. V. listening, movie attendance and behavior in general represents the most constructive form of censorship. The aroused conscience of the American people will more effectively than any machination serve as a weapon in cleansing the culture of America from the viruses that today infect youth and adults. This was a most constructive article and you are to be complimented for publishing it.
Dept, of Interreligious Cooperation
Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith
New York, N. Y.
At the risk of appearing unappreciative of the excellent article by Professor Sorokin, may I point out one important omission among the factors contributing to juvenile delinquency, namely: the glamorized sex “education” offered by many teachers in his own field of sociology both at the school and college levels. Sex, as Dr. Sorokin pointed out, is glamorized by TV, movies, advertisements and novels. It need not, however, be so glamorized in the classroom. The writer has taught college biology for over four decades and believes he knows whereof he speaks.
Please accept my sincere thanks for your most excellent periodical. As an Anglican priest, I appreciate what you are doing for true Christian evangelism—the only defense against the forces of evil that would destroy the world. Waukesha, Wise.
“Will Alcohol Destroy our Youth?” … is one of the most challenging articles that I have seen in 40 years in the ministry. It confirms many of the things that the church has been stressing, in principle, for some years.
Forked River, N. J.
Mr. Kik’s article on juvenile delinquency in the July 6 issue carries knock-out impact. So comprehensive, well documented, and scriptural in tone, it makes one fear for the future of our land. In fact, the main articles in this issue expose the moral conditions in our nation so unmercifully that it is hard to see how God can any longer withhold judgment. That we are sinking fast is evident, and that against the most moral and spiritual light any nation has ever had. God have mercy on us!
Professor of Practical Theology
Northern Baptist Theol. Sem.
Mr. Kik states that Christian churches have neglected this … juvenile delinquency [problem].… I want to reproduce this article and place it in the hands of headquarters of each denomination.…
St. Louis, Mo.
For a long time now I have been enjoying CHRISTIANITY TODAY as a magazine which is dedicated to the truth and glorifies our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ as the Son of God and Saviour of the world.… The July 6 issue was especially interesting and revealing. One major thought stands out after reading the various articles on juvenile delinquency.… The only thing that can help to solve the problems of youth as well as the problems facing all of us, is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This must be taught and preached constantly in churches and schools. It must also be taught in the light of the fact that all men are sinners and subject to the wrath of God unless they have a faith in Jesus Christ their Saviour. The problem is how to get this message to the children and keep it before them. The Christian education of the children is the task and dutv of the church for our Saviour said: “Teach them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” And what God said to Moses in Deuteronomy 6 is still in force today: “These words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children.”
Many Protestant churches have taken these words to mean that they should establish parish schools in which Christ is the center, and in which all subjects are taught, not just in an atmosphere of God’s presence, but in an atmosphere of the love of Christ the Saviour.
Establishing such a school is one of the most expensive things a congregation can do, and at the same time it is one of the most worthwhile activities that a church can utilize to “train up a child in the way that he should go.” Naturally such a school must be one where Christianity and all it implies permeates and affects every class and every subject, so that the children grow up to know and believe that Christ is all-important in their lives and the life of the world.
The parish school should be followed by a Christian High School in which Christ continues to be the solution to all of life’s problems. Since it seems that the state can do no more than just mention God and his law in the schools (in some places not even that much), it becomes the urgent responsibility of the Christian Church to provide an education for citizenship here and hereafter by establishing and maintaining more and more Christian schools both on the elementary and high school level, so that the children now growing up don’t become delinquents.…
The idea of establishing and maintaining Christian elementary and high schools is not merely wishful thinking because it is being done, however to a very limited degree in The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, as your news story in [the same] issue points out. You report that this body has 1,418 elementary schools and 16 high schools. In spite of the cost of maintaining these schools you report in the next paragraph: “The Missouri Synod has more foreign missionaries than any of the world’s Lutheran bodies.” This is cited to point out that you can educate thoroughly as well as evangelize thoroughly. A great percentage of pastors, teachers and missionaries are products of Christian elementary and high schools in this denomination.
Thank you … for a fine report of the convention as well as the excellent and enlightening articles in this issue.
Board for Parish Education Chairman
The Southeastern District of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
Hickory, N. C.
ANGLICANS AND OTHERS
In regard to the recent article in your issue of June 22 by Mr. P. E. Hughes: It is rather absurd for Anglicans to be subject to ridicule continuously for their insistence upon episcopacy when this insistence is at least in keeping with the opinion and practice of the great majority of Christians. Surely one cannot overlook Rome and Orthodoxy today or the history of the Church before 1519. Do these detractors of the Anglican position think that they are going to aid the cause of reunion by removing Anglicanism from this relationship with the East and with Rome? Or, one may ask, are these persons really concerned with the reunion of all of Christendom, East and West, Catholic and Protestant?
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
New Orleans, La.
Please allow me to invite your readers to examine for themselves the preface to the Anglican ordinal. (It will be found after the Psalter in the American Book of Common Prayer.) And then let them examine Mr. Edgcumbe Hughes’ edited version of the first paragraph and his deduction that this means no more than to “… define and justify the threefold Orders of Anglicanism.”
Anglicans do not … hold that denominational ministries are null and void in the sense that they have no spiritual efficacy, and in the early days of the Church, other “minor orders” functioned. Our only claim is that for us, within the Faith and Order of the Church Catholic, the threefold Orders of Ministers are necessary. Other ministries have limited themselves principally to the Preaching of the Word, which is only one facet, to us, of the work of Christ, however important.
St. John’s Episcopal Church
Mount Prospect, Ill.
The Anglican Church claims today that it has the Apostolic Ministry of Bishops, Priests and Deacons for several reasons: (1) It is the visible and concrete link with the Church of the past and with the historic life of Christ on earth. (2) It is the ministry not of the local church but of the whole Catholic Church of Christ. The three-fold ministry acts for the whole, not just a part of the church or a specific local congregation. When a bishop or priest gives absolution he readmits the recipient to the fellowship of the Body of Christ; therefore, one who bestows it must possess the authority of the whole of Christ’s Mystical Body. An Anglican bishop is a bishop of the whole Catholic and Apostolic Church, not just a district superintendent or administrative officer. (3) We believe that the Succession is the guarantee of valid ministrations. Whatever gifts God may bestow outside it, we are assured that His grace is to be found within it. On the side of doctrine, it is the pledge of Catholicity.
… The Canons of 1604 (9 and 10) … speak of non-conformist ministers “as schismatics … who separate themselves from the Communion of Saints as it is approved by the Apostles’ Rule, in the Church of England.” And, if such was not thought of until the Tractarian Movement, why the Anglican ethos of the Caroline Divines such as Bishop Jeremy Taylor? Also, what about Archbishop Laud? If it was disapproved of, it certainly was an act of Puritan government and happenings which led to such government, and not of the true English Church.
All Saints’ Parish
It is hoped that the Archbishop of Canterbury will answer the last half of this one-page report so ably presented by Mr. Hughes, i.e., answer in your pages.
It is interesting that “bishops-in-presbytery have been ‘utterly rejected.’ ” This is in contrast to the United Church of Canada’s admission that bishops must be accepted in the talks with the Anglican Church of Canada about union. Would a United Churchman care to comment?
St. David’s Presbyterian Church
THE FICKLE WIND
“Spit not at your neighbor, lest the wind change directions, etc.” This was my major thought when I read the letter written by Mr.… Rowland (May 25 issue). Shame on you, Mr. Rowland! You have done a bit of spitting, too.
Immanuel Mission Covenant Church
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