The Congress hereby finds that the security and welfare of the United States require that this and future generations of American youth be insured ample opportunity for the fullest development of their intellectual capacities.…”

—College Academic Facilities

and Scholarship Act of 1962.

A far-reaching religious issue lay in the hands of Capitol lawmakers. For the first time in U. S. history, both houses of Congress had passed a bill which would include federal aid to church-related colleges for general construction purposes, with ambiguous safeguards against sectarian deployment.

Most Washington newsmen missed the significance of grants and loans for public and private colleges, however, and hardly a ripple of public protest ensued. Leading Protestant churchmen were still praising President Kennedy for his church-state “stand,” although a few observers felt that guardians of U. S. church-state separation had been caught napping.

The House and Senate bills differed in two respects. The $2, 674,000,000 Senate bill included scholarship aid for some 212,000 students in the amount of $900,000,000, while the $1,500,000,000 House measure made no scholarship provisions. Perhaps more important from the standpoint of church-state principles was the fact that the House legislation authorizes construction grants while the Senate bill would mete out long-term low-interest loans.

Democratic Senator Sam J. Ervin of North Carolina had sought to bar aid to church-related institutions by introducing an amendment which would have made all private colleges ineligible. The amendment was defeated by a roll call vote of 72 to 15. Three of the 15 senators who voted “no” are Mormons (Republican Bennett of Utah and Democrats Moss of Utah and Cannon of Nevada) and another is a Roman Catholic (Democrat Hickey of Wyoming). Only one other Republican supported the amendment (Tower of Texas).

It was obvious from floor debate that the church-state issue was complicated by the difficulty in defining a religious college. Ervin, a lawyer and former member of the North Carolina Supreme Court, conceded that his amendment may not have been properly drawn. He warned, however, that the college aid bill “is the first major breakthrough for those religious groups which have been demanding that they be given access to the federal treasury and permitted to finance their activities with tax money.” There was reason to believe that public apathy had again taken a toll. Republican Representative Eugene Siler of Kentucky, in an interview with Baptist Press, said, “One reason the other Congressmen were not concerned about the church-state issue in the college bill was that their constituents had not communicated with them.”

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Other factors also were involved, however, and some observers felt that they added up to a smokescreen under which the bills sailed through rather readily (in the House by a vote of 319 to 79 and in the Senate by 69 to 17).

One factor was a new exchange between Kennedy and Cardinal Spellman in which the President reaffirmed his opposition to federal aid to parochial schools on the elementary and secondary level. Spellman insists this is discriminatory. Church-state specialists in Washington observed that it would be difficult to find a legal distinction between grade schools and higher educational institutions from the standpoint of constitutional federal financing.

Recalling Kennedy Campaign Promises

Will President Kennedy have violated campaign promises if he signs a bill providing federal loans or grants to church-related colleges?

CHRISTIANITY TODAY addressed this question to a number of leading students of the church-state scene.

“Yes,” said the Rev. Donald H. Gill, assistant secretary for public affairs of the National Association of Evangelicals. “Such action can be interpreted as a breach of his campaign promises to uphold complete separation of church and state.”

Dr. Glenn L. Archer, executive director of Protestants and Other Americans United for Separation of Church and State, declared:

“I hope he will veto the bill and thus be consistent with the promises he gave the American people.”

Dr. Stephen W. Paine, president of Houghton College, which is operated by the Wesleyan Methodist Church, stated, “I fear that it sets a precedent in church-state interference.

Paine added that “it would dull the edge of his [Kennedy’s] words” if the President signed such a bill.

A statement by Dr. Oswald C. J. Hoffmann, director of public relations of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod and speaker of “The Lutheran Hour,” had this to say on the college aid legislation:

“President Kennedy appears to be following a pattern established by previous administrations in providing federal assistance on a limited basis to all colleges, some of which are closely and others more tenuously related to church bodies. The degree to which church-related colleges, especially Protestant schools, become dependent upon government subsidies will probably determine to a certain extent their future relationships with the church.

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“Taking his stand on constitutional ground, President Kennedy has consistently maintained a stiff insistence, in the face of tremendous pressure from his own church body, on separation of church and state in the field of elementary and secondary education. It remains to be seen whether he or his successors will continue to take this stand, should government assistance to colleges gradually break down the constitutional argument, creating a situation in which decisions regarding government assistance to church-sponsored schools, on all levels, will be based purely on considerations of public policy.”

The current church-state issue recalled particularly a campaign speech made by Kennedy in Houston in which he declared:

“I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute … where no church or church school is granted any public funds.”

Another factor was a paragraph in both bills which prohibits aid for construction of any facility “used for sectarian instruction or as a place for religious worship, or [any facility used] primarily in connection with any part of the program of a school or department of divinity.” “School or department of divinity” was defined as “an institution, or branch of an institution, whose program is specifically for the education of students to prepare them to become ministers of religion or to enter upon some other religious vocation or to prepare them to teach theological subjects.” A number of loopholes are apparent in the section, raising such questions as to what action could be taken if a school diverted a facility to sectarian use once it had been built with government funds. Moreover, the legislation fails to spell out the extent of eligibility of institutions where secterianism permeates the entire curriculum. Note: “Every subject taught,” said Pope Leo XIII, should “be permeated with Christian piety.”

One of the few newspapers to catch the significance of the church-state issue in the college aid legislation was The Christian Science Monitor, which made it the lead story for a day and followed up with an editorial quoting Supreme Court Justice Jackson in the Everson case:

“Catholic education is the rock on which the whole structure rests, and to render tax aid to its church school is indistinguishable to me from rendering the same aid to the church itself.”

There were some indications that whatever the final decision of Congress and the White House, the propriety of giving federal funds to church institutions may be challenged in the courts.

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Democratic Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon, who shepherded the college aid bill through the upper chamber, said the National Defense Education Act offered a precedent. He recalled an NDEA provision that 12 per cent of all funds for loans to educational institutions for construction of facilities for teaching mathematics, science and foreign languages be set aside for private and parochial schools.

Nonetheless, Morse himself apparently had some reservations.

“It has become quite apparent,” he said, “that in this gray area of constitutional relationships, there is an evergrowing need for a definite statement by the Supreme Court of the United States upon the meaning of the First Amendment with respect to the aid which can be given to the non-public sectors of all education.”

As of the middle of February, the college aid bills faced a House-Senate conference committee. A compromise measure, to which no further amendments can be made, still needs approval of both houses—and the President.

The Bible In Class

The Pennsylvania law requiring Bible readings in the state’s public schools is again being appealed to the U. S. Supreme Court. For the second time in three years, the Federal district court in Philadelphia ruled such Bible readings and prayer recitations unconstitutional. The nation’s highest tribunal refused to hear an earlier complaint. The Pennsylvania legislature has since removed “compulsion” clauses involving teachers and students.

Meanwhile, the biennial assembly of the Pennsylvania Council of Churches adopted a report which recommends early elimination of tax exemptions on income derived from church business ventures unrelated to “ecclesiastical activities.” Churches were urged not to seek additional exemption.

Change Of Course

After more than five years of work on a book citing Lutheran-Roman Catholic differences, the Board of Parish Education of the United Lutheran Church in America reported it had cancelled publication plans.

Dr. Arthur H. Getz, a board editor, explained that “considerable time has elapsed since this course was first projected, and the climate has undergone a marked change in the interim.”

“At the time that the course was project,” he said, “it may have been timely to stress the difference between Roman Catholicism and Lutheranism, but more recently the emphasis has been upon ‘conversations’ between the two faiths, and stress is being laid upon understanding each other.”

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Controversial Lecturer

More than a year ago, Dr. Albert T. Mollegen accepted an invitation to deliver a lecture series at Clemson (South Carolina) College. But when word got around the state, a reaction set in, particularly among Episcopalians in Charleston, who recalled that Mollegen had been associated with the “popular fronts” of the 1930s. The upshot was that some days before the actual series was to have been delivered, Mollegen received a long-distance telephone call at the Episcopal Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia, where he is professor of New Testament language and literature. The call was from Clemson President Robert F. Edwards, who explained that the Charleston Episcopalians were prevailing upon the school to cancel Mollegen’s lectures.

The Clemson lectures were called off, but Mollegen gave the substance of his lectures series anyway—at St. Philip’s in Charleston, largest Episcopal church in the city, at the invitation of its rector, the Rev. S. G. Clary. Mollegen feels that the misleading “popular fronts” charge was only partly responsible for the Clemson cancellation. He said those responsible were “right-wing extremists in every respect,” including insistence upon segregation which he opposes.

Net Gain: 14

Methodist researchers report that their denomination showed a net gain of only 14 new congregations for a three-year period which ended May 31, 1961. A survey made by the Methodist Division of National Missions also showed that new congregations are being organized at less than half the rate called for by the General Conference.

The Methodist Board of Missions devoted a five-page release to the results of the survey, which is part of a larger church extension survey being made by Protestant denominations through the Division of Home Missions of the National Council of Churches.

The Methodist survey showed a gain of 555 churches and a loss (through merger and abandonment) of 541.


Broadway has again turned to the Bible for dramatic theme. This time Paddy Chayefsky exploits the dramatic possibilities of the story of Gideon and his defeat of Israel’s enemies, the Midianites. Frederic March playing God, and Douglas Campbell portraying Gideon, give stormy, moving performances. Chayefsky’s script follows the text of the biblical narrative with a greater faithfulness than does many a sermon.

In the biblical story Gideon struggles with the divine call to defeat the hosts of the Midianites by such unlikely weapons as will demonstrate that victory is not achieved by Gideon but given by God. Chayefsky bites deep into this question of grace as definitive of the relationship between God and man.

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God assures Gideon of his love, but when this leads Gideon to pride, God assures him that he is loved only because he is just like any other man. To be loved because he lacks distinction, Gideon protests, is a reduction of his self to nothingness. God answers that just because God is God, Gideon is nothing. In such a God-relationship, Gideon repudiates God and against the threat of God’s destructive wrath insists that he will nonetheless be a meaningful and significant self.

This is not simple Promethean defiance. Gideon desires to love God and defies him only to avoid being nothing. But even such pathetic defiance is regarded by God as a threat to his unique status and elicits his destructive wrath. Paradoxically, however, in the play’s last two lines, contemplating man’s pretension to deity, God says: “Given time, man just might … perhaps …;” and adds: “With this conceit the play ends.”

Religiously sensitive souls repelled by human portrayals of God will recoil from a sacrilegious irreverence which elicits more laughs than feelings of awe.

A portrayal of the divine in which God sniffles and blows his nose, sounds the wolf whistle, and grins like a Cheshire cat when Gideon heeds his promptings, suggest that God has been lost in a quest for a meaningful human self.

Chayefsky’s play reflects a deep moral concern without benefit of the genuine religious dimension. The God of Gideon is to be defied, not because he is ungracious, but because Gideon living by God’s favor is regarded as nothing. Since both God and man cannot exist as significant realities, man must eliminate God in order to be himself.

The audience may see more than was intended at the very end of the play where God hesitates and finally asks Gideon: What were we talking about? Whatever it was, it was not about the Christian answer to Paddy Chayefsky’s problem.

J. D.

Observing City Churches

A prominent front-page news feature on the problems of urban churches in an era of social change marked the first issue of the new weekly National Observer.

Editor William Giles describes the Observer as “an unusual news concept which will reach out for significant trends rather than startling, sensational news lacking real substance.”

“Religious news,” he added, “will be measured on the same scale as other events that deeply influence national life.”

The first printing of the paper totaled approximately 400,000, with 125,000 going to prepaid subscribers and the balance to newsstands.

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B. B.

The Latin Crusade

The following report was prepared byCHRISTIANITY TODAYNews Correspondent Tom McMahon, who accompanied the Billy Graham evangelistic team on its South American tour:

Statistics coming out of evangelist Billy Graham’s South American crusade did not compare with those recorded during his tours of Europe, Asia, and Africa. But they were highly significant when viewed against the background of the area. Graham and his associate evangelists had preached to an aggregate of nearly a quarter of a million persons in five countries, with the number of decisions for Christ approaching 10,000. Almost everywhere the team went, turnouts were two or three times the local Protestant population.

The Graham crusade in South America, the first of two scheduled there this year, closed February 17 in Santiago, Chile. Among the achievements under God were these:

—Protestant forces were welded into unprecedented unity both numerically and spirit-wise.

—Top echelons of society were reached as never before—right alongside all other strata—by the simple Gospel message.

—Protestantism was given a new image in the minds of literate Latins as scores of newspapers gave front-page coverage and radio and television stations also cooperated.

The reaction of Roman Catholics ranged from open hostility to warm welcomes, with many falling in the middle with sullen silence and puzzled looks. However, one veteran U. S. correspondent declared that Roman Catholic churchmen had been studying Graham methods closely with a view to adopting some of them.

The Latin Catholic problem, especially in Colombia and in some parts of other countries, lies with its brand of medieval Spanish Catholicism which one newsman in Venezuela summed up neatly in one sentence: The Colombia Roman Catholic Church is 500 years behind the Vatican.

In Cali, Colombia, and Lima, Peru, clerical pressure virtually silenced the press, but word got around through the efforts of crusading Protestants who courageously plastered cities with billboards and banners.

Lima young people broadcast 300,000 handbills and 5,000 posters. One night 50 of the youth worked from 11 p. m. until 5 a. m. superimposing Graham stickers on big “Come and Hear” signs of a presidential candidate whose rally just ended as they began their night’s work. Two of them were jailed briefly for posting posters everywhere after the municipality had donated space for 400 on the city’s own bulletin boards.

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No offerings were taken in Colombia. The $5, 000 budget for Cali was raised without personal solicitations. A Dutch company donated $500 and personal gifts ranged from $200 given by a woman who drives a costly American-made car to $1 donated by a poor woman who explained that it had been given to her son at birth two years ago.

Among Latin political leaders who hailed effects of the Graham tour was former president Galo Plaza Lasso of Ecuador.

Protestant Panorama

• Dr. Franklin Clark Fry led a nine-man World Council of Churches delegation to the White House last month to present President Kennedy with the New Delhi assembly’s appeal for peace with justice and freedom. In another ceremony several days later, Kennedy was presented with the annual brotherhood award of the National Conference of Christians and Jews.

• The 12th annual assembly of the National Council of Churches’ Division of Foreign Missions voted to adopt an altered name and will hereafter be known as the Division of World Missions.

• Church World Service is implementing a detailed plan to resettle some 100,000 Cuban refugees now in Miami, Florida. Chartered plane flights will be utilized extensively.

• Free Methodist churches are organizing a world fellowship. An organizing conference which met in January at Greenville College, Illinois, elected Bishop Leslie R. Marston as president of the new fellowship.

• Polish Baptists expected eight or ten students to enroll at a new theological seminary in Warsaw. The seminary was to have opened soon after last September’s dedication of a Baptist building, but the government withheld permission for nearly six months.

• Evangelist Hyman Appelman saw more than 10,000 recorded decisions for Christ in his 1961 crusades.

• A commemorative service last month in Salem, Massachusetts marked the 150th anniversary of the sailing of the first American foreign missionaries. The service was held in the 300-year-old Tabernacle Congregational Church where five young Congregational ministers were ordained February 6, 1812, prior to leaving for India shortly after. They were sent by the former American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, oldest missionary organization in America. The board is now part of the United Church Board for World Ministries.

• The United Christian Missionary Society is shipping a single-engine aircraft to Africa for use by missionaries of the Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ) in the Republic of the Congo. The $30,000 cost of the Cessna 180 includes pontoons which are to be attached for river operation.

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• The Far Eastern Gospel Crusade is setting up permanent headquarters in a new $65, 000 building in Detroit. The structure follows the Oriental style of architecture and resembles buildings of countries where the organization has missionaries.

• A charge of unfair labor practices made by the National Labor Relations Board against the Methodist Publishing House in San Francisco has been set aside by the U. S. Court of Appeals.

• More than 60 per cent of Southern Baptist ministers who died in 1961 were victims of heart diseases, a convention annuity board survey indicates. Cancer was said to have claimed 20 per cent and accidents 7 per cent.

• The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod’s Commission on Doctrinal Matters has turned down for the time being an invitation to meet with the Committee on Doctrinal Unity of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. The commission has called on the Missouri Synod’s convention to express itself on the issues.

Four-Year Reprieve

Protestants in Costa Rica feel they have been given a four-year reprieve with the election to the presidency of Francisco Orlich.

Orlich and his party take a more liberal position in favor of religious liberty than does Dr. Rafael Angel Calderon Guardia, who was Orlich’s strongest contender. Orlich, a coffee planter, helped throw out Calderon’s government by force in 1948 after the doctor had lined up with Communists and the Roman Catholic hierarchy in a regime characterized by graft and violence as much as by social reform and a tightening of church-state relationships.

For last month’s election, Calderon played down his former Communist associations and campaigned on his credentials from the Vatican as a “most Catholic ruler.”

The peaceful election was an exhibition of impeccable democracy and ballots were cast for a party (Liberation National) and a program (reform socialism) rather than a personality in the Latin American tradition of leader cult.

The president-elect is closely linked to—some people say manipulated by—ex-president José (“Pepe”) Figueres, the peppery little statesman who has been one of the most effective and friendly critics of U. S. policy in Latin America. Figueres led the 1948 revolution and saved Costa Rica from a Communist takeover at that time.

Questioned recently by representatives of the Costa Rican Evangelical Alliance, President-elect Orlich underlined his party’s position as supporting cordial relations with the Roman Catholic Church but respecting the liberty of all religious minorities. He specially declared himself to the Protestants on four points:

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• All religious groups will enjoy equal freedom to carry on their educational programs, under the general oversight of the Ministry of Education, at all levels, including normal school and university, if a law now pending is approved by Congress.

• Church-sponsored institutions will not be exempted from taxation, despite pressure from the Roman Catholic archbishop.

• The Protestant request to license ministers to assist government agents in performing civil marriages will be given favorable consideration.

• Cabinet ministers will all share the new president’s views on church-state relations.

Somber note: Calderón carried most of the capital city of San José and the Pacific banana zone, reflecting growing Roman Catholic power and strong leftist trends among Costa Rican laboring classes.

W. D. R.

Marrying For Money

From Wales comes a new slant on the much-publicized danger of “union without tarrying for theology.” A Welsh millionaire, Sir David James, offers a gift of $700,000 if the country’s four Free Church denominations (Baptist, Congregational, Methodist and Presbyterian) effect a union by January, 1963.

Said the President of the Free Church Council, the Rev. T. Ellis Jones: “Even if the theological difficulties could be ironed out in the time, there remain all the questions of rights of property invested in the various denominations.” The latter would involve the passing of an Act of Parliament. Mr. Jones, while acclaiming the offer as that of a good man and of a great benefactor, said it was regrettable that it had the appearance of an ultimatum.

J. D. D.

An Archbishop’S Lot

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. A. M. Ramsey, is planning a trip to the United States. His itinerary includes two lectures on ascetical theology at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, Evanston, Illinois, October 19–20. He will also address the House of Bishops of the Protestant Episcopal Church at their fall meeting in Columbia, South Carolina.

The Primate is now under fire from certain quarters in England because of his recent support of proposals to abolish capital punishment. “No wonder the police force is short of men,” said the Rev. Eric Judd to his Anglican congregation in Lincolnshire, “… crime demands sterner measures than a sugar-coated pill for the murderer who creates terror by stalking old ladies and little children.” (The present law permits hanging only in cases such as those in which robbery is involved or a policeman is killed while doing his duty.) Judd, whose son is a policeman, continued, “If the Government were to say to the Primate: ‘Here is a dastardly murderer who has cut an old lady into pieces after raping and robbing her, what do you propose to do?’, would his answer be sentiment, talk, a pat on the back—or nothing?”

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J. D. D.

How Moral The Past?

Improved material conditions in the past 90 years have not necessarily involved a similar advance in the moral and religious training of young people. So said the Moderator of the Church of Scotland General Assembly, Dr. A. C. Craig, addressing the recent congress of the Educational Institute of Scotland.

This apparently innocuous statement evoked some lively comments from James Inglis, principal teacher of English at Airdrie Academy. “As far back as we can go historically,” writes Mr. Inglis in the Scottish Educational Journal, “it has been a favorite pastime of the ageing to castigate the immorality of the young, while stating or implying that things were better in their days.… If what they have said for thousands of years had been true, we could not possibly have by this time any moral standards left.”

After asserting what he described as the “magnificent” moral advance of humanity in the last hundred years, Inglis continued: “If I were a vindictive man, I would wish to see all our moaning clergymen and justices compelled to live in their moral paradises of the past; the club-law of the cave, the wergild of Anglo-Saxon justice, the helotry of Ancient Greece, the jealous Jehovah of the Jews, and the gin-palaces and work-houses of Dicken’s Victorian England.”

Inglis classed as “morally moronic” anyone who feels morally superior for having produced a world in which children face daily the threat of universal destruction.

J. D. D.

Mormons Go East

Mormons are stepping up a campaign to establish their church in Britain, under the direction of Marion Duff Hanks, a lawyer and one of the 38 senior “General Authorities” of the mother church in Salt Lake City. Some 1,100 young Latter-day Saints armed with street maps, “conversion kits” and tape-recorded sermons are to be deployed in systematic visitation and in youth work. They aim to get people “talking about God and religion,” to add 26 more churches by July to the present 24 in the country, and to increase the number of baptisms this year to 30,000 (13, 500 in 1961). The baptism course has been reduced from weeks to days.

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The Mormons now claim some 33,000 members in Britain where the first congregation was founded in 1837. Their optimism is seen in that they are now seeking a site for a university which would accommodate about 4,000 students. This university, similar to one recently set up in New Zealand, would be open to all denominations, and would offer an educational standard equal to that of any other British university.


Occasional Conformists

Following study of the now famous letter of 32 influential Anglican theologians (see “Review of Current Religious Thought,” February 2, 1962), the Council of Church Society, an influential movement within the Church of England, passed a resolution: “The historic position that the Church of England is in communion with the national Reformed Church, both on the Continent and in Scotland, should be maintained, and the traditional Church of England practice of admitting occasional conformists to the service of Holy Communion should be continued without restriction.”

A member of the council commented that the notion that Anglicans are only in communion with other episcopal churches is erroneous, historically untenable, and involves a denial of biblical principles.

J. D. D.

Incident On Mount Zion

An English woman tourist was shot and killed by a Jordanian sentry last month as she sought to place a religious banner atop Mount Zion.

Religious News Service reported that the shooting occurred in the no man’s land between the Israeli and Jordan sectors of Jerusalem.

The woman’s passport identified her as Mrs. Ann Lasbury, 57, a native of Newborough on Anglesey, an island off the northwest coast of Wales. Her home was at Folkstone, Kent.

Apparently in a “religious trance,” according to one report, the woman was challenged by the sentry, who saw in early morning darkness the outline of a figure climbing over barbed wire and through a minefield. Mrs. Lasbury turned abruptly, swinging her package toward the sentry. The sentry, apparently thinking that the package was a weapon, fired a bullet that struck her in the head.

Problems Of Liberty

The principle of religious liberty suffered another assortment of blows last month (CHRISTIANITY TODAY has already reported that a new wave of religious persecution seems to be developing around the world—see February 2, 1962 issue).

• Five Soviet evangelists were found guilty of “parasitic idleness” and were banished to “places set aside for that purpose,” which probably means forced labor in Siberia. The exiles were reported by Sovetskaya Kultura, newspaper of the Soviet Ministry of Culture, which added that a sixth evangelist was freed with a warning because of his advanced age.

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Kowloon Cleanup

The Hong Kong government is cleaning up the old walled city of Kowloon and two missionary couples have capitalized on the renovation program by turning two brothels into a Christian school.

Reports missionary evangelist David Morken: “With the Donnithornes (another missionary couple) we have secured two filthy brothels, scoured them, put in windows, painted and transformed these houses of ill fame into the Good Samaritan School.”

Morken further reported that the influx of children was so great that another five-story building was rented, affording schooling to 300 more of the 80,000 youngsters who live in an area of about eight city blocks without any free education.

The six evangelists had been arrested, according to the report, after residents in a Moscow suburb complained to authorities against the playing of tape-recorded sermons at revival meetings. The sermons were alleged to have projected a “spirit of pessimism, dejection, doom and indifference to all things earthly.”

Another Soviet newspaper reported that four churchgoers in the republic of Moldavia had been sentenced to death on charges of slaying a nonbeliever they felt had some hand in the death of two of their parishioners. Details of the story were sketchy.

Still another paper told of two men and three women belonging to the Shakers sect who had been given prison terms for alleged “anti-social activities,” by a court in Novosibrisk, Siberia.

• Far East News Service reported that a Christian pastor in Nepal was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment for having given instruction and baptism to Nepali believers. Another preacher from Pokhra, Nepal, presently serving on the Indian side of the border, was given the same sentence in absentia.

Following a country-wide election in 1959, a democratic government and constitution were established under the king of Nepal. The changes allowed for a measure of religious freedom, but in December, 1960, the elected government and constitution were dissolved.

More recently, the king has said he would re-introduce most of the constitution and abolish old laws. Some observers consider that this may include a modification of the present discriminatory laws directed against converts to Christianity.

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• In Malagasy, a 31-year-old medical student was tried and found guilty of “outrage” and “offense” against the government. He was fined the equivalent of $61.50.

The student, Roger Andrianaly, is general secretary of the Association of Malagasy Students in France. The charges against him resulted from publication in Fanasina, a newspaper of the Madagascar Christian Council, of a resolution adopted by the students’ group criticizing the Malagasy government as “repressive” and “corrupt.” The newspaper’s chief editor, Paul Rakotovolona, also was under arrest on similar charges.

Attorneys for Andrianaly announced they would appeal the verdict, although a retrial could result in a heavier sentence. A maximum sentence of three years’ imprisonment or a fine amounting to some $4, 100 could have been levied.

Andrianaly, who is studying at the University of Paris, was given back his passport, which had been seized at the time of his arrest, but he was not granted an exit visa to enable him to return to Paris. Andrianaly had interupted his studies to attend the funeral of his father, who was president of the churches associated with the Friends’ mission in Madagascar.

• Missionary schools in West Pakistan have been directed to include in their curriculum instruction in Islam, according to a report from Lahore. The schools were said to have been given three months to arrange for such instruction, which includes the recruitment of “qualified” staff.

• In Adana, Turkey, a Church of Christ missionary reported that the Turkish Minister of the Interior had revoked the governor of Adana’s permission for the church to operate there.

The missionary, Bill McCown, appealed the ruling. He is the only Church of Christ missionary in all of Turkey.

The Radio Pulpit

Dr. Ralph W. Sockman’s 34 years as National Radio Pulpit voice for the Federal and National Council of Churches were marked last month by the annual dinner of the NCC Broadcasting and Film Commission in Riverside Church, New York. There are reports that Sockman’s radio post will soon be filled by Dr. David H. C. Read, minister of Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church.

Dr. R. H. Edwin Espy, NCC associate general secretary, credited Dr. Sockman with “evangelical authenticity, pastoral sensitivity, social perspicacity, homiletic simplicity, and ecumenical (nonsectarian) validity.” Presenting a plaque for BFC’s Board of Managers, Harry C. Spencer described Sockman’s message as “evangelical in spirit, liberal on social questions,” and added that “of this we are very proud.”

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Sockman succeeded Dr. S. Parkes Cadman as radio pulpit speaker, just before the crash of the stock market and during the great depression; his airwaves ministry continued through World War II and into the era of expansion. President Elmer W. Engstrom of Radio Corporation of America commented that Sockman’s remarkable capacity for “quiet discourse between one individual and another” was illustrated by the immense mail response of personal letters. One wit recalled that once, during Sockman’s illness, his church bulletin board announced the guest speaker, the sermon topic “God Is Good,” and the news “Dr. Sockman is Better.”

“If I were going to do it all over,” said Sockman, “I would lighten the content of those sermons. But the conditions of 30 years ago are now changing. The art of communication has improved so much faster than the content. Radio sermons of the future will be better … will have more in them. We’ve got to measure up! These are the Searching Sixties in which we are seeking out our purposes and goals.”

President Theodore Alexander Gill of San Francisco Theological Seminary pictured the new world already coming into view: an exploding population, divorce percentages riding these larger figures, multiplied danger of nuclear extinction, the unresolved conflict between work and leisure, and a civilized population returning to nomadic life. The Church can supply the alternative to “a new kind of panic” and to “unprecedented callousness.” But to do so, he contended, it must be skeptical of “fixed patterns” and “frozen molds.”

C. F. H. H.

The Message Of Genesis

A storm of criticism is swirling about a Southern Baptist professor and his probing book, The Message of Genesis.

By last month the controversy had reached the point of debate among members of the Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, who finally voted to issue a statement of policy. The statement favors publication of books with varying doctrinal viewpoints “provided they represent a segment of Southern Baptist life and thought.”

The controversy lies primarily with the question of the critical orientation of a 209-page volume by Dr. Ralph H. Elliott, 37-year-old chairman of the department of Old Testament at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Kansas City, Missouri.

Elliott considers the board’s action “a tremendous breakthrough.” He said that “for the first time it puts on paper” a policy in favor of publishing varying viewpoints.

In the case of his book, the viewpoint is that of the “documentary hypothesis” relative the authorship of the book of Genesis. Though rejecting the theology of Julius Wellhausen, with whom the theory is mostly closely identified, Elliott regards the book of Genesis as the product of several writers.

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Several Southern Baptist state papers have carried articles criticizing the book. Some have run supporting arguments.

Trustees of Midwestern seminary have given Elliott a vote of confidence, but one district Baptist convention (in Houston) asked them to reconsider. A resolution passed by the convention without a dissenting vote asked that Elliott’s book not be used in Southern Baptist seminaries or Texas Baptist colleges.

In recent decades the “documentary” view of the Pentateuch has been increasingly under fire. Dr. Cyrus H. Gordon, Jewish scholar, has thrust it aside as now discredited (see “Higher Critics and Forbidden Fruit,” CHRISTIANITY TODAY, November 23, 1959).

Seminary Survey

American Baptist leaders are taking a new look at their theological education policies, with a wide-ranging survey already having been put together for consideration by 450 key convention personnel at a special consultation this month in Chicago.

The 140-page mimeographed survey, more than a year in the making and still cloaked in secrecy, represents the work of a specially-appointed “Committee of Seventeen on Theological Education.”

It reportedly expresses concern that American Baptist seminaries are not producing enough graduates, that they are not properly located, and that they need more money.

While the survey apparently does not disapprove of conservative theology or of varying emphases and aims in American Baptist seminaries, it is said nonetheless to frown on divinity schools requiring faculty members and trustees to sign doctrinal statements.

A series of recommendations are reported, among them a proposal for a Council on Theological Education and programs for raising seminary finances and recruitment of students. Other reported recommendations would initiate discussions among seminaries in three areas (West Coast, Central and Lake States; Middle Atlantic States) with a view to uniting, would require accreditation by the American Association of Theological Schools, and would urge stronger denominational ties for the seminaries.

The survey concentrated on eight approved seminaries: Andover Newton, Berkeley, California Baptist, Central Baptist, Colgate Rochester, Crozer, Eastern, and Northern. After the consultation, which is scheduled March 12–13, the survey will be revised. The plan is to present it to the annual sessions of the convention in June.

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The committee preparing the survey included Dr. George Armacost, Dr. H. R. Bowler, Dr. Edwin T. Dahlberg, Dr. W. A. Diman, Dr. Roger L. Fredrickson, Mr. H. Gordon Fromm, Dr. Robert T. Handy, Dr. Joseph H. Heartberg, Mrs. Maurice B. Hodge, the Rev. Ellis J. Holt, Dr. Lynn Leavenworth, Dr. Paul O. Madson, Dr. W. G. Mather, Dr. Samuel H. Miller, Dr. H. N. Morse, Dr. R. S. Orr, the Rev. E. S. Parsons, Dr. H. W. Richardson, and Dr. L. B. Whitman.

People: Words And Events

Deaths:Dr. F. Townley Lord, 68, former president of the Baptist World Alliance; in Greenville, South Carolina … Dr. Harold R. Willoughby, 71, noted Bible scholar and retired University of Chicago Divinity School professor; in Chicago … Dr. Jesse A. Engle, 61, general secretary of the Joint Section of Education and Cultivation of the Methodist Board of Missions; in Tarry town, New York … Dr. Karl Anton Mueller, 94, bishop of the Moravian Church in America; in San Francisco … the Rev. Samuel Charles Spalding, 83, Unitarian minister who wrote more than 100 “Nick Carter” detective novels; in Monterey, Massachusetts … Dr. J. 1. Peacocke, 96, Ireland’s oldest Anglican prelate; at Ballymena, County Antrim … the Rev. Edward J. Poole-Connor, 89, founder of the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches in Britain … the Rev. B. W. Isaac, 85, former secretary of the Church Pastoral Aid Society of the Church of England … the Rev. K. L. Parry, former chairman of the Congregational Union of England and Wales … Principal George Jeffreys, evangelist and founder of the Elim Pentecostal Movement of Britain and subsequently of the Bible Pattern Church Fellowship … the Rev. Alfred Maas, 66, director of the Church of the Evangelical Lutheran Confession in Germany.

Retirement: As head of the Lutheran Church of Würtemberg in West Germany, Bishop Martin Haug, effective March 31.

Resignations: As dean of Yale University Divinity School, Dr. Liston Pope. He plans to return to Yale in the fall of 1963 as professor of social ethics.

Appointments: As president of Lutheran Theological Seminary, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Dr. Donald R. Heiges … as president of The King’s College, Dr. Robert A. Cook … as vice-president of Ursinus College, Dr. James E. Wagner … as moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, Dr. J. H. Davey … as minister of University Presbyterian Church, Seattle, Dr. Robert B. Munger … as director of development of Overseas Crusades, Inc., the Rev. Ellsworth Culver … as executive secretary of the Friends Committee on National Legislation, Edward F. Snyder.

Elections: As Archbishop of Athens and Primate of the Orthodox Church in Greece, Metropolitan Chrysostom Hadjistavrou … as moderator of the Church of South India, Bishop A. H. Lagg … as Anglican Bishop of the Yukon, Canon Henry H. Marsh.

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