Despite an intensive war of words waged over many months, there seems little likelihood that the “religious issue” will have been thoroughly aired in the 1960 presidential election campaign.

Basic, relevant questions persist regarding claims which the Roman Catholic church exercises over the consciences of its faithful and unfaithful. Lack of authoritative answers has perpetuated Protestant anxieties, despite the apparent candor of the Roman Catholic candidate, Senator John F. Kennedy.

In the words of Dr. Henry P. Van Dusen, president of Union Theological Seminary, New York, “There are only two major questions in the so-called ‘religious issue’:

“What does the Roman Catholic church expect of its laymen in public office with respect to the church’s position on controversial issues?

“What is Kennedy’s attitude toward his church’s expectation?”

“The second question,” Van Dusen said in a letter to The New York Times last month, “has been answered by Senator Kennedy definitely and apparently to the satisfaction of all fair-minded Americans. The first question remains.”

The airing of the religious issue began in the editorial offices of Look magazine and, if judged by current press-TV coverage, “ended” in the Mayflower Hotel in Washington.

Kennedy himself brought the debate into the open in an article in the March 3, 1959, issue of Look.

“I believe as a Senator,” he said, “that the separation of Church and State is fundamental to our American concept and heritage and should remain so.”

Kennedy also asserted that he was opposed to federal aid to parochial schools and appointment of an ambassador to the Vatican.

A year and a half later some 150 Protestant clergy and lay leaders from 37 denominations assembled in the Mayflower to attend the “National Conference of Citizens for Religious Freedom.”

The repercussions of the meeting were such that they seemed to have had suppressing effect upon any further discussion, once the debate had subsided.

Objectivity and impartial interpretation was hard to find in press reports of the conference, which was often pictured as Republican-oriented, fundamentalist bigotry.

Dispatches cited the presence of Drs. Norman Vincent Peale and Daniel A. Poling as evidence of Republican partisanship. Ignored was the fact that Peale’s co-chairman at the meeting, William R. Smith, had been a delegate to the 1960 Democratic National Convention and that Poling had publicly supported Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1944.

Reports which dismissed the conference as fundamentalist prejudice failed to account for the participation of Dr. Charles Clayton Morrison, founder and long-time editor of the liberal Christian Century.

The misunderstandings growing out of the conference were not entirely attributable to press bias. Reporters were barred, but two “contrived” to hear some of the proceedings, but not all. Their piecing together was not wholly accurate. Other reporters were hampered by lack of a background in the issues.

Some observers feel that the religious issue as a whole has been a victim of modern news media methods. The nature of the debate does not lend itself to brief summaries and “headlinese.”

With a few notable exceptions, major newspapers and newsmagazines presented only the mediating and liberal views of American Protestants on the Church-State issue. The traditional Protestant position was often ignored or made to appear irrational.

On the Protestant side, some extremist elements have added to the confusion with irresponsible and exaggerated charges, not to mention false hate literature such as the bogus Knights of Columbus oath.

Another barrier to a responsible airing of the religious issue has been the silence of the Roman Catholic hierarchy. As of the middle of October, there had not been as much as an official admonition to Roman Catholics that they disregard religious motivations in voting. Ostensibly, this silence is on the grounds that the Roman Catholic officialdom does not meddle in politics.

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Individual Catholics have had much to say, mostly in terms of dismissing Protestant anxieties as motivated by prejudice. Catholics argue that they are not obligated to any teaching, save that of the popes speaking in the area of faith and morals. Many say that if a Roman Catholic is not entitled to the presidential office, then to be consistent he should not be entrusted with any public office. Some charge that Protestant attacks have been unfair, that they took up the argument against Kennedy the candidate only to drop it in favor of an indictment of the church at large when he satisfied objectors. Many Protestants insist, however, that all statements of the Roman Catholic church must be considered in the light of the record of history.

Kennedy supporters cite the system of checks and balances in the U. S. governmental organization as a guarantee that he could not violate Church-State separation. They also point to the fact that he could be impeached were he to overstep his authority. Moreover, they say, any objectionable programs would have to be executed at the risk of losing the 1964 election not only for himself but for others in the U. S. Democratic party.

Nonetheless, many Protestants still have misgivings about a Roman Catholic in the White House. Others are now willing to trust Kennedy, including Van Dusen, who says:

“There is one simple and direct way by which any Roman Catholic candidate can show that he should not be disqualified because of his Catholic allegiance—a clear and unambiguous affirmation of his stand on the controverted issues contrary to his church’s position. Precisely that Senator Kennedy has given in the most categorical and emphatic fashion.”

The Rev. Gustave Weigel, leading Roman Catholic theologian and professor at Woodstock College, declares:

“The Catholic president’s comportment with the clergy of his church would be exactly like the comportment of a Protestant president with the clergy of his church. Both would give the clergy the same social deference which the community at large grants them—no more and no less.”

Dr. Harold J. Ockenga, pastor of Park Street (Congregational) Church in Boston, raises these points:

“A strong individual candidate might reject or ignore his church’s teaching, but the pressures would always be there for him to succumb, especially when there is the possibility of excommunication for disobedience and such excommunication could mean the loss of his soul.”

“The solution,” says Ockenga, “is simple. Rome needs only to repudiate the view of the Syllabus of Errors and Immortale Dei on the doctrine of church and state. The Roman leaders in America need only democratize or Americanize the Roman Catholic church in this nation.”

He asks: “Are we moving into an era of Roman Catholic domination of America? This is the avowed aim of the hierarchy. If and when this becomes a fact, will the principles of Roman Catholic political theory be applied? Will there be a denial of rights, freedom and privileges for non-Roman Catholics? If so, should we aid and abet this situation by electing a President who has more power to advance such a goal than any other person?”

Ailing Editor

Dr. Donald Grey Barnhouse, editor-in-chief of Eternity magazine, underwent surgery for a brain tumor at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia October 8.

The condition of the 65-year-old Presbyterian minister, also a noted radio preacher, was described as critical.

Barnhouse had complained of headaches for some time, but the seriousness of his condition was not suspected until two days before the operation.

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How Will America Vote?

The first Gallup poll to reflect the effects of the religious issue in the 1960 election campaign showed that it is “both helping and hurting Senator John F. Kennedy.”

“Vice President Richard Nixon’s current strength among Protestant voters approaches the big majority which President Eisenhower polled among this group in the 1956 election,” said George Gallup, director of the American Institute of Public Opinion.

Gallup’s findings, released September 15, showed 56 per cent of Protestant voters favoring Nixon and 38 per cent for Kennedy, with six per cent undecided.

Gallup adds, however, that counteracting this is “a shift of some 22 percentage points away from the GOP since 1956 on the part of Roman Catholic voters.”

Among Catholic voters, 71 per cent endorsed Kennedy as against 26 per cent for Nixon, with three per cent undecided.

A poll taken among minister subscribers of CHRISTIANITY TODAY reflected their anxieties over the possibility of a Roman Catholic in the White House.

Among those who responded to the poll, 3062 said they expected to vote for Nixon and only 55 backed Kennedy. The responders included 1977 Republicans, 482 Democrats, and 658 independents.

Protestant Panorama

• Are Southern Baptists slowing down, or merely catching their breath for more growth? The question troubles Southern Baptist leaders, according to the Baptist Press. A former convention vice-president is said to have expressed his “very great concern” over downward trends this year in offerings, baptisms, and commitments of young people for church service.

• Dr. Robert L. Fleming, veteran Methodist missionary and a noted ornithologist, is participating in an expedition in search of the fabled “abominable snowman” of the Himalayas. The expedition, says the Chicago Natural History Museum, is headed by Sir Edmund Hillary of New Zealand.

• Protestants and Other Americans United is issuing a new publication in newspaper format aimed at widespread free distribution. Titled Church-State Digest, it presents digests of articles appearing in the organization’s regular monthly magazine, Church and State. Dr. C. Stanley Lowell is editor of both.

• American University and Wesley Theological Seminary, Methodist schools in Washington, D. C., are sponsoring a “Marriage Preparation Institute” for citizens of the national capital area. A series of four two-hour lectures and discussions is aimed at stressing spiritual harmony, money management, physical harmony, and inter-personal relations. Institute coordinators are Dr. Haskell M. Miller, professor of sociology and social ethics at Wesley, and Mrs. Patricia Schiller, director of guidance and counseling at the university.

• Dr. Oswald J. Smith, founder of the Peoples Church in Toronto, is holding an evangelistic crusade in Tokyo during October.

• The United Presbyterian Commission on Ecumenical Mission and Relations will finance construction of a new ecumenical conference center in Geneva, Switzerland. The center will replace John Knox House, a student and conference center in downtown Geneva which was established in 1954.

• Plans are under way for a comprehensive merger of seven Lutheran church bodies in Tanganyika, according to a report presented to the second All-Africa Lutheran Conference, held last month in Antsirabe, Madagascar.

• A new $500,000 headquarters building for the Presbyterian Church in Canada will be built in the Flemingdon Park area of Toronto. Present offices are on the campus of Knox College in Toronto. The new facilities will be made possible by a legacy from the late Walter Gow.

• The purchase of a $28,000 aircraft for missionary work in the Congo was authorized last month by the Board of World Missions of the Presbyterian Church in the U. S. at its annual September meeting.

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• The Assemblies of God Foreign Missions Department is opening a new Bible School in Stadskanal, Netherlands, this month.

• The Ontario-Quebec Baptist Convention dedicated an $800,000 divinity college on the campus of McMaster University in Hamilton last month.

• The Southern Baptist Foreign Missions Board is buying a new building to house the Baptist church in Tours, France, center of the famous chateaux country.

• The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (Congregational Christian) marked its 150th anniversary this month with services at the First Congregational Church of Farmington, Connecticut.

• Pacific Lutheran College was elevated to the status of a university in special ceremonies this month. Located at Parkland, Washington, it is the only Lutheran senior college west of the Rocky Mountains.

• The Evangelical Free Church of America plans to erect a new headquarters building on a newly-acquired, block-long site in suburban Minneapolis. Building plans will be presented to the church’s 77th annual conference next June.

Church Membership

Membership in U. S. churches and synagogues failed to keep pace with the population increase during 1959, according to newly-released statistics in the Yearbook of American Churches published by the National Council of Churches.

While the estimated American population increased by 1.8 per cent between 1958 and 1959, church and synagogue membership proportionately gained only four-tenths of one per cent.

The yearbook says that 63.4 per cent of U. S. citizens were members of a church or synagogue last year.

Figures are based on reports made by official statisticians of 254 religious bodies to the NCC’s Bureau of Research and Survey.

Total church membership as of the end of 1959 was placed at 112,226,905.

Religious education figures reported to the bureau by 230 religious bodies list 286,572 Sunday or Sabbath Schools in 1959, with 3,572,963 teachers and officers, and a total enrollment of 44,066,457.

For 1959, there was one change in the “standings” of the top 10 U. S. denominations as compared with the previous year. The Churches of Christ displaced the Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ) as the tenth largest denominational body.

Here are organizational totals:

According to family groupings:

Meritorious Public Relations

A quarterly for seminarians dealing with practical economic problems which ministers face won a public relations citation last month for the Ministers Life and Casualty Union of Minneapolis.

Seminary Quarterly, begun a year ago by Ministers Life, was lauded for “meritorious preparation, use and display of public relations” by the Life Insurance Advertisers Association at its annual meeting in New York.

Racket Warning

Racketeers in Nigeria and Ghana are flooding the United States with appeals for free Bibles, according to a report from the National Lutheran Council’s News Bureau.

American Bible Society representatives in Africa say that racketeers who obtain free Bibles from Americans sell them intact or render them useless and sell the paper.

The society told the bureau that the supply of Scriptures in Nigeria and Ghana is ample to meet the needs of any who ask for them.

Baptists and Taxes

In the predominant view of separation of church and state held by most Baptists and others, tax exemption for churches poses no conflict.

So says an opinion endorsed by most of the 85 Baptist leaders who attended the fourth annual National Religious Liberty Conference, sponsored by the Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs, in Washington last month.

There was a “strong minority opinion,” however, “that any form of tax exemption for churches injures the future of the freedom of the churches.”

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Conferees represented the Southern Baptist Convention, the American Baptist Convention, the North American Baptist General Conference (German), and the Baptist General Conference (Swedish).

Legal Dispute

The 700-member board of directors of the National Baptist Convention, U. S. A., Inc., named Dr. Joseph H. Jackson to his eighth term as president, but another contender for the office challenged the legality of the move this month.

The battle for the presidency of the 5,000,000-member denomination, the nation’s largest Negro church group, started last month when both men claimed they had been elected at the convention’s annual sessions in Philadelphia. Both resorted to local courts, which threw out counter suits, citing lack of jurisdiction.

Jackson’s opponent is Dr. Gardner C. Taylor, president of the Protestant Council of the City of New York, whose lawyers are appealing to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Taylor claims to have been elected by vote of the convention. Jackson says that he was re-elected in the convention’s acceptance of a committee slate and that he had adjourned the session before the balloting for Taylor took place.

Strife in Seoul

With 2,000 out of 4,000 Yonsei University students boycotting classes, 60 faculty members on a sit-in strike and 50 others reportedly resigned, officials of the interdenominational Protestant mission-supported school faced a grim task last month as they tried to keep the lid from blowing off what is essentially a power struggle by student and faculty elements against the administration.

Violence erupted when student demonstrators broke into the home of Dr. George L. Paik, chairman of Korea’s House of Councilors (Senate) and former president of Yonsei. The youths wrecked furnishings on the first floor of his quarters, pursued him to the second story, and there obtained his signed resignation as a member of the university board of trustees.

Earlier, besieged by 500 students in a five-hour sit-down before the House of Councilors building, Dr. Paik got the demonstrators to disperse when he promised them a “yes or no” answer by the next morning. His answer was “no.”

Organized under the name of “Yonsei University Committee for Campus Democratization,” the students also have demanded the resignation of two American missionaries in top Yonsei posts and all Presbyterian and Methodist representatives on the 15-member board.

The two officials are Professor Horace Underwood (Presbyterian), acting university president, and Dr. Charles A. Sauer (Methodist), acting chairman of the university board of trustees. They replaced Dr. Paik in twin posts he resigned last summer to run for government office. A Korean, not yet chosen, is scheduled to be elected university president next March.

The 60 striking professors are regarded as extremists in the power play against the administration. The 50 whose resignations have been reported are understood to have desired to disassociate themselves from the explosive situation. Of the university’s 300 faculty members, only about 25 are American.

Editorial Additions

Dr. Philip E. Hughes, noted Anglican scholar and writer from Oxford, England, is joining the CHRISTIANITY TODAY editorial staff this month for a three-month period.

Hughes, a contributing editor, holds the B.A., M.A., and D.Litt., from the University of Cape Town and the B.D. from the University of London. Most recently he has been editor of The Churchman, published in London. From 1947 until 1952 he was vice principal at Tyndale Hall, Bristol, and theological lecturer at the University of Bristol.

He is perhaps best known to CHRISTIANITY TODAY readers through his contributions to “Current Religious Thought.”

In this issue, Dr. Paul Rees makes his debut as a “Current Religious Thought” contributor.

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Orthodoxy and Ecumenics

Archbishop Iakovos of New York, head of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America, addressing the archdiocese’s 15th biennial conference last month, asserted that his church will continue in “increasing measure” its role in the ecumenical movement.

The Greek Orthodox Church, he emphasized, will cooperate with “all Christian churches as Iong as they are imbued with sincere and idealistic motives.” His church, he said, “does not fear honest and constructive relationships with other churches.”

“It is important to note,” he continued, “that the Roman Catholic, as well as the Protestant Churches, have expressed themselves in an increasingly respectful manner toward our church. This, of course, is due in great measure to the acceptance on the part of the Greek Orthodox Church of its rightful role in the center of the ecumenical movement today.”

Archbishop Iakovos told more than 500 clergy and lay delegates that “our position in the World Council of Churches and the National Council of Churches demands that we do not simply claim membership in these ecumenical movements, but fully recognize the true definition and mission of the ecumenicity of the Orthodox Church and the resultant role we must assume.”

He estimated that there are some 460,000 “faithful” Greek Orthodox people in the Western Hemisphere.

Sex Education

Sex education for young members of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada was authorized by the denomination at its 22nd biennial General Conference in London, Ontario, last month. A committee was appointed to prepare a curriculum.

The conference also authorized women holding ministerial licenses to officiate at weddings in Canadian provinces where civil law permits. Ordination of women is not permitted by the Pentecostals, but those with ministerial licenses have been allowed to baptize and bury.

700,000 Hear Graham In Germany

Evangelist Billy Graham’s crusades in Germany and Switzerland included a number of pastors conferences addressed by Dr. Carl F. H. Henry, Editor ofCHRISTIANITY TODAY, who accompanied the Graham team and who prepared the following report:

Sweeping across northern Germany in three week-long crusades, evangelist Billy Graham preached to congregations totalling 700,000, and more than 25,000 of these indicated a desire to receive and follow Christ.

Graham’s power in the pulpit was never mightier than in Germany, where he thrust home the message of Christ’s substitutionary death for sinners and the authority of the Bible with great force.

Wherever his mission carried him, the American evangelist was greeted by large throngs—in Essen in the heart of the industrial Ruhr Valley, in the great port city of Hamburg, 50 miles from the East Zone, and in the divided city of Berlin, itself surrounded by the Iron Curtain.

Graham went first to Essen, a city of 700,000. In a giant tent, he preached to capacity throngs of some 20,000 nightly, to 151,000 persons in all. The 4238 who came forward included a large proportion of students and workers.

The tent was later dismantled and shipped ahead for the Berlin meetings, a somewhat similar structure of canvas and steel having been erected in Hamburg.

The crusade in Hamburg, a cosmopolitan center of culture and commerce with 1,800,000 inhabitants, was marked by a rally at the edge of the notorious Reeperbahn, night-club area known the world over for its strip-tease performers and prostitutes. An hour before midnight Graham addressed 10,000 persons, warning of the judgment that fell on Sodom and Gomorrah for sex vice. An aggregate attendance of 289,000 turned out for the week-long Hamburg series, with 6270 recorded decisions for Christ.

In Berlin, provoked for weeks by an East Zone tightening of travel restrictions, Graham preached literally at the edge of the Iron Curtain. Loud speakers outside the tent, located 300 yards from the border, carried the message into the East Zone. East Germans were in attendance at each service, despite a series of propaganda blasts and malicious reports aimed at Graham by Communist leaders. A special students’ meeting drew 25,000. The climactic rally saw at least 60,000 assemble in and around the tent, pushing the Berlin attendance total to some 260,000. An estimated 15,000 decisions included many East Germans who were advised that they need not identify themselves, inasmuch as border guards were known to be detaining those who had attended Graham’s meetings.

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Graham traveled to Germany and Switzerland at the behest of the Evangelical Alliance, which sponsors 3000 prayer meetings during an annual prayer week and 18 annual conferences, the largest in East Germany where 4000 attend. The alliance saw the Graham crusade develop into its biggest project in 114 years. German leaders themselves handled the promotion, trained 1200 counselors in each crusade city, and collected innumerable offerings.

This was the evangelist’s third visit to Germany. In 1960 he found far more state church support than he had been able to draw in 1954 and 1955.

Graham stressed that Germany’s reputation for creative leadership in science and learning could help shape a new world atmosphere if spiritual renewal should once again come to the land of the Protestant Reformation. German preaching is intellectually oriented and often reflects the dominant philosophical and theological tides. Church attendance is down (less than two per cent of the population in some big cities) and the emphasis on ritual provides little opportunity for overt public commitment. Alongside theological intellectualism and a critical attitude toward the Bible, many pulpits scorn evangelism as an emotional technique and deplore piety as subjectivism. Although higher criticism had virtually disappeared by the end of World War II, it has blossomed anew in the last 15 years. The revival of criticism came especially through the growing impact of Rudolf Bultmann’s views. Although Karl Barth and Emil Brunner had stressed the Bible’s witness to special revelation, their dogmatics offered little resistance to higher criticism. The inroads of Bultmannism have proved much stronger than generally expected. Today the interest in “demythologizing” the New Testament extends beyond many young intellectuals even to some older pastors. Supporters of Barth and Brunner are struggling for an influential survival of their position. Yet a dialectical-existential dogmatism is also emerging and evangelical criticism of the dialectical view of revelation is deplored on the ground that the church of Germany has learned to live happily with the crisis-theology. The theological mood is thus sharpening against evangelical orthodoxy, and the Evangelical Alliance is considering a strong challenge to champions of a “broken Bible.” Since World War II Barth has more and more stressed the objective factor in revelation but this positive side of his theology lacks the thoroughness of the negative critics. Although Barth more than Brunner has been influential in Germany, he is not widely followed in his latest change of views. But conservative Protestants have taken special note of his friendlier attitude toward the “pietists” at whom 35 years ago, he directed the barb that “on this foul soil of pietism only foul flowers can grow.” Barth has now apologized to his pietistic brethren, indicating his identification with them in such concerns as regeneration and holiness.

The religious situation is complicated also by an overestimation of sacramentalism and a reliance on confessionalism rather than the Bible. In Germany, 90 per cent of the people belong to the churches. Since virtually all are church members, evangelism is more difficult, being resisted especially by pastors who contend that baptism makes a person a Christian (so that he needs only teaching and encouragement, not salvation). They deplore evangelism as the handmaid of poor theology. Meanwhile, although membership statistics hold constant, active participation is generally decreasing. Other pastors, more favorable to evangelism, contend that nobody is automatically reborn through the sacrament; baptism, they stress, is a divine offer of grace which is not really accepted apart from faith.

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Political tensions also shadow the national outlook. The division of Germany left the East Zone 90 per cent Protestant, while the broken Protestant strength in the West Zone (where half of the 60 million population is Catholic and half is Protestant) has enabled Roman Catholics to come to new political power in the person of Chancellor Adenauer. The changed political structure has had divergent religious effects. In Luther’s day, the princes went with Luther against Rome, and for centuries thereafter the religion of the emperor was the religion of the German people. Because of German mass psychology (Hitler and Goebbels were expert crowd manipulators, fully aware that the people react collectively rather than individually in a crowd) Graham stepped up his emphasis on personal decision during his crusades, and the results were all the more phenomenal. In view of a broken national religious outlook, however, some evangelicals contend that it is easier to evangelize Roman Catholics than state church Lutherans. The Roman Catholic journal Ruhr-Wort attacked Graham on the eve of his German appearance, charging that he uses evangelism simply as a front for peddling the American way of life.

Whatever may be the state of theology in the churches, there is no doubt that many people are hungry for the simple New Testament message and its call to receive Christ as Saviour and Lord. Many sources of spiritual quickening are evident, not only in the free churches but in new fellowships within the state church. Some free churches, in fact, are now undergoing a crisis through weak attendance, and a segment of the state church is more vital than these. Evangelical Protestants are determined more aggressively to fill the spiritual vacuum in the life of the nation.

People: Words And Events

Deaths:Dr. John Baillie, 74, leading theologian of the Church of Scotland and a president of the World Council of Churches; in Edinburgh … Dr. Samuel G. Craig, 86, president of the Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company and long-time Presbyterian magazine editor; in Princeton, New Jersey … Dr. G. Kearnie Keegan, 53, noted Southern youth leader; while en route to Hawaii … the Rev. Cleveland Kleihauer, 75, former president of the International Convention of Christian Churches; in Los Angeles … Dr. Joseph W. Clokey, 70, noted composer of church music; in Covina, California.

Resignation: As educational director of the National Association of Christian Schools, Dr. Mark Fakkema.

Nomination: For the office of secretary of the World Methodist Conference, Dr. Lee F. Tuttle.

Elections: As president of the newly-organized Methodist General Board of Christian Social Concerns, Bishop F. Gerald Ensley … as bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Quebec, the Rev. Russell F. Brown.

Appointments: As editor of The Christian Advocate, Dr. Ewing T. Wayland … as editor of the Lutheran Witness, the Rev. Martin W. Mueller … as secretary of Princeton Theological Seminary, Dr. David L. Crawford … as editor of Pulpit, the Rev. Hardy Steinberg … as dean of the college at Tennessee Temple Schools, F. Dean Banta.

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