Thank you for inviting me to correspond with you during my sabbatical pilgrimage. It would be hard to conceive of a more thrilling travel prospectus. As you know, I am combining a Walrusific Grant as Fellow Traveler with my appointment to the Rocking Foundation Eclectic Chair in Ecuministration which has generous provisions for orientation travel during the first year. There are still open ends in my schedule but I shall be looking in on Europe, Africa, the Near East and Asia, with a brief survey of South America likely. I am frankly disappointed that I shall not be taking an active part in the New Delhi assembly, but I still expect my visit there to be the high point of my tour. My experience will be valuable when it is realized some day that we younger men have leadership potential. In the meantime I shall have enormous resources of lecture and sermon material.
Enough about myself. France is a travel poster in spring. No wonder art blooms here. Today I had the breath-taking experience of visiting the studio of Le Moment. The Le Moment! Delightful, indescribable confusion. One could trace in the strata of clutter his past periods: the vibrant, searing canvases of his red epoch; the looming timbers of his framework hypothesis; the intricate hair collages of his toupé period. Naturally my real interest was his present project, the great magnesium mobile to be suspended in the south transept of the Ecclesiastical Research Library. Of course it was hard to appreciate the ethereal power of the mobile from the unassembled bits and pieces of wire and metal scattered about. And I surely could not understand his working sketches and equations.
He explained to me his architectonic idea, however. The mobile is called Theologia Viatorum and represents the great movement in our time from a theology of pilgrims to a theology in pilgrimage. Everything in the mobile will be in constant motion; it will not even hang from a fixed point in the vault, but will be suspended by compressed air. Radiant particles will express the impetus to travel provided by a theology in movement.
If narrow, rigid theology sent missionaries to the ends of the earth, what will such fluid dynamic drive do, Eutychus?
AMERICA AT A CROSSROADS
The United States of America has come to a crossroads: shall we continue to develop the American dream of a “free church,” independent of government control, and of a government “under God,” free of church control or domination? Or shall we take a new turn, go down the European road from which our ancestors were trying to escape, and admit that it is impossible to prevent development of the kind of conglomerate situation where church and government struggle, one using the resources of the other, to accomplish their separate objectives?
These alternatives have been forced upon the country for decision at this time by sudden and massive pressure to provide governmental assistance for denominational schools. The main demands for such assistance come from people who claim they will be satisfied with loans, but in the past have openly favored grants, either direct or indirect, under the same principle which now “forces” them to demand loans.
Will Christian citizens remain silent at such a time of crisis? Will they not favor their congressmen and senators with a considered expression of their judgment, considerately formed?
OSWALD C. J. HOFFMANN
Office of Public Relations Director
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod New York, N. Y.
There is a crisis this spring in church-state relations.
I hope your magazine will remind your constituency of the importance of Protestants involving themselves in the forming of public opinion to bear upon the Congress in its important decisions. I believe nearly all Protestants agree that public funds should be for public schools only even though they may be divided on the desirability of Federal aid to education. We ought to stand for freedom for all to educate according to conscience. We are concerned for all children, their welfare and education, but we ought to be against the increasing tendency to seek public money for sectarian religious programs.
EUGENE CARSON BLAKE
Stated Clerk of the General Assembly
United Presbyterian Church, USA
The announcement of the Roman Catholic hierarchy that it will oppose President Kennedy’s proposal for federal financial assistance for public elementary and secondary schools unless private and parochial schools are included presents a declaration of bias against the American policy of public funds for public schools. It raises the question: What other threats may lie ahead? Already pastors and lay people of The American Lutheran Church have asked me to alert all our pastors of the dangers inherent in this issue. Such a letter is going out the first week in April.
FREDERICK A. SCHIOTZ
American Lutheran Church
Religious freedom faces a new crisis. Public funds for parochial schools violates American tradition of separation of church and state. Believers in religions should take a stand. Please urge your readers to write their congressman and senator.
HERBERT S. MEKEEL
First Presbyterian Church
Schenectady, N. Y.
The current discussion of church-state relations is likely to set the American course either forward into an adequate future or backward into the agony and conflicts represented by religious conflicts in the political arena.
The crux of this controversy is whether or not we are to have a completely adequate program of public instruction for the people. Just as people have the right to build their private roads so they should also be free to build their private schools at their own expense, but we must insist on using public funds for public purposes.
We encourage the people of the churches to take their full civic responsibility by keeping in contact with their “representatives,” and with the newspapers and other mass media in support of the high human values and the future of freedom.
C. EMANUEL CARLSON
Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs
Washington, D. C.
The present church-state controversy over aid to parochial schools is but a part of the long battle over separation of church and state. Federal money should be used exclusively for public schools. Strong support for President Kennedy’s stand will come from all religious groups. It would be tragic for the battle lines on this issue to be drawn strictly with regard to denominational affiliation. Kind but straightforward letter writing to editors of newspapers and magazines as well as Congress will help prevent this.
W. MELVIN ADAMS
Religious Liberty Department
General Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists
Washington, D. C.
PIKE’S PEAKED FAITH
Thanks for exposing the vacillating vagaries of Bishop Pike for what they really are—old heresies dressed up in modern synthetic fabrics.
ERIC EDWIN PAULSON
May I humbly submit to you, sir, and to all who uphold the laurels of neo-fundamentalism with such vigor that there is a higher heresy than that which you have charged Dr. Pike of possessing—what is more damning than the “Heresy of Orthodoxy!”
J. PROCTOR RIGGINS
First Christian Church
I am wondering whether the much lauded intellectual honesty of Bishop Pike which led him to make public his heresy, will result in a display of moral honesty in the renouncing of his ordination vows and his leaving the ministry. In view of all that is involved in such a move, it will be interesting to observe what happens, if anything.
HOWARD WESLEY KIEFER
The Bible Protestant Church of Inwood Inwood, N. Y.
As for the individual that began as a Romanist, “became” an atheist, “became” an Anglican, and now, it seems, “has become” a Jewish existentialist, the Anglican Church in this country must surely repudiate him. Self-preservation alone demands that.
MANNING MASON PATTILLO
Shell Beach, Calif.
The Rev. John A. Russell has “professed a good profession before many witnesses” (Eutychus, Feb. 27 issue) but when he asks for moderation against heretics he comes into conflict with the Spirit of Christ, who warned, “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump,” and with the inspired admonition of St. Paul: “A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition reject.”
E. P. SCHULZE
Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer
Peekskill, N. Y.
I cannot agree with Charles Wesley Lowry in his endorsement of … What We Must Know About Communism, in your Feb. 13 issue (Book Reviews). Doesn’t Mr. Lowry know that the Over-streets are known left-wing writers and this is very cleverly written and very misleading? To the average uninformed reader it tends to leave them “soft on communism.” Certainly we can’t afford to recommend such writings in our church publications.
I have similar reservations to those of Professor Young regarding the recent book by Brevard S. Childs (Feb. 13 issue). At the same time, he is one of the finest scholars lost to the evangelical church. Don’t you think that his scholarship deserves correct citation of the title, Myth and Reality in the Old Testament?
FRED E. HERSHEY
New Haven, Conn.
Speaking of 34 congregations which applied for membership in the newly-formed Church of the Lutheran Confession, you state: “All but 2 of the 34 formerly belonged to the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod” (News, Feb. 13 issue). This is not an accurate statement. There were indeed a few congregations that left the Wisconsin Ev. Lutheran Synod and are now applying for membership in the CLC. But the overwhelmingly greater part of those 34 congregations did not even exist until very recently. They are, in fact, splinter groups which broke away from congregations of the Wisconsin Ev. Lutheran Synod.
R. H. ZIMMERMANN
Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church.
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