While the groundhog is still curled up in his shadow under a snowbank, spring comes with the appearance of the bookworm, who emerges to feast on the spring book catalogs. The early worm this year reports a bumper crop of paperbacks. More than a thousand new entries have been added to the 15,700 editions indexed in last year’s Paperbound Books in Print.

No doubt Washington watches with concern. Should the government launch a paper-bank program to subsidize publishers who will refrain from printing books? Or should book silos be built in Texas?

Already there are disaster areas of paperback flooding. A recent spot-check in a college apartment revealed one chair, three mattresses, one Munck reproduction, and 1,127 paperbacks. The floor was inundated and the rising tide of books was creeping up the walls.

Paperbacks admirably fulfill the specifications of Samuel Johnson: “Books that you may carry to the fire, and hold readily in your hand, are the most useful after all.”

That prophetic description of these handy books suggests, of course, a way to dispose of the surplus. But, contrary to the impression created by the drugstore rack, the paperbacks are gaining in quality as well as quantity. This minor publishing revolution could become a cultural renaissance under the very eye of television. Art, biography, economics, fiction, history, literature, philosophy, poetry, reference, religion, science—they are the classifications of the paperback catalog.

For years I have been filling my windowsills with these paperbacks, and some day I shall begin reading them. What I need, dear Editor, is your organizing genius. You have been spotlighting significant paperbacks regularly. Could you sponsor local CHRISTIANITY TODAY discussion groups? Or fine me if I haven’t read the book of the fortnight?

Leaders are readers; nowhere is a Christian retreat from the world more disastrous than in the world of books. If readers of paperbacks are to discover the leatherbacked Book, they must be met by Christians at home in both. The God-man must be confessed before men; the written Word of God must answer and judge the written words of men. The themes of culture are at root religious. Multiplied books do not make words cheap any more than the multitude of men makes life cheap. We must take both seriously. Christian journeyed to the City carrying his Book. Today he should have a paperback in each pocket.

No Need For Burial?

Thanks for the stimulating December 21 issue regarding the threats of Communism.… If we fail to clearly crystallize our crucial national and religious concepts and ideals international Communism may not have to bury us, but merely erect a tombstone over our graves that we have dug for ourselves. Now is the hour for national penitence and rededication: Communism is surely evil, but there is much evil within ourselves.

Article continues below

Oklahoma City, Okla.

I agree that basically this present world struggle is between two ideologies, individualism and collectivism, and these well may be called religion. And certainly Christian people must keep this fact in mind as they gird for battle. But the battle is being fought in the political arena, with overtones of the possibility that some phases of it may be fought by armed forces.…

I cannot go along with [Bishop Kennedy’s] declaration that “Communism as an economic system has certain undeniable strengths.” In my opinion the only truth in this statement is that Communism is an economic system. All too often it is assumed that Communism is either a political system or a political-economic system. Actually, Communism, an economic system, could operate under a monarchy, oligarchy or other political system. Communism does not exist anywhere in the world. The preliminary phase, dictatorship (of the proletariat!), is operating in the Soviets and other Communist countries, so called.

Neither Communism nor the “dictatorship of the proletariat” have “undeniable strengths.” Either would fall of its own weight except for the strength of the ruling political background.…

American Council of Christian Laymen

Madison, Wisc.

Congratulations on … “Facing the Anti-God Colossus,” by Billy Graham.… This is a most timely and excellent observation. Mr. Graham has occasionally been criticized for his straightforward proclamation of the Gospel, and I read one article that even went so far as to call him a “prophet of doom.” Personally, I am most thankful that the cause of truth has a voice such as his in times like these.…

Board of Church Extension and Home Missions of the Church of God

Anderson, Ind.

Never in all the Christian era have there been fields “white unto harvest” like those that now exist behind the Iron Curtain. Those people, now better educated than ever before yet denied access to truth, are desperately eager to find the meaning for life. Forbidden to enjoy even the basic freedoms of existence, they grope to know a better pattern of society than the one in which they are held subject.…

Memphis, Tenn.

Can the anti-Russians find no better remedy for our present divided world than this?… Physical force of our huge material riches will never defeat or convert communism into our outmoded American old-fashioned capitalism. The more we persecute our few Communists, the firmer they are in their self-defense, because they are firm in their social and economic religion as the first Christians were.…

Article continues below

Cleveland, Ohio

Though many truths are stated and well stated by all the writers on the subject, one wonders when Christianity is, as Bishop Kennedy has said, going to get off [dead] center.…

Philadelphia, Pa.

Dr. Bonnell in … “A Challenge to Christianity” has made a very broad and sweeping charge, “Religion in every shape and form, and especially Christianity, is regarded by Communism as its arch enemy.” This will be disputed by many Communists and fellow-travelers, but I think he has hit the nail on the head. Such a statement is very controversial and it will arouse an attack upon him, with a request to prove his case, but I think he is standing upon very firm ground, and that he can prove that his words were not idle words.…

McKinley Park Presbyterian Church

Pittsburgh, Pa.

Wonder Book Disclaimer

I should like to explain the position of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare with respect to the book Primitive Man (Editorial, Oct. 26 issue).

This book is one of a series which Dr. Paul E. Blackwood has edited as an outside activity conducted on his own time. The laws and regulations governing the conduct of Federal employees permit such outside work if no conflict of interest is involved.

In this case, however, one of our procedural rules was not followed, although the work itself was properly approved. We require that when an employee’s title or connection with the Department is shown in a private publication, a disclaimer must be used which clearly rules out any official support or endorsement.

In August the omission of a disclaimer from the Wonder Books edited by Dr. Blackwood was called to our attention. He was instructed that in this case the use of his title is not appropriate, and that if the fact that he is an employee of the Office of Education is listed it must be accompanied by a disclaimer. We are following up on the action taken to carry out these instructions. Of course, depending on the number of books which have been printed, it may be several months or longer before all books in dealers’ stocks show the new format.

Administrative Assistant Secretary

Department of Health, Education,

Article continues below

and Welfare

Washington, D.C.

Garbc And Billy Graham

Dr. Paul R. Jackson’s letter (Eutychus, Sept. 28 issue) was of particular interest to me, because I attended Baptist Bible Seminary in Johnson City, New York, when Dr. Jackson was president of the school.…

Dr. Jackson stated, “We are not against Mr. Graham, and it is our definite policy not to attack him.” This statement is false. Many times in chapel, in classrooms and from the pulpit at First Baptist Church in Johnson City, I have heard Dr. Graham attacked. Never once in my five years at Baptist Bible Seminary and in my past seven years association with the General Association of Regular Baptists have I ever heard a prayer uttered by any of the leaders in the movement for God’s blessing on Dr. Graham. I have heard prayers that God would show Dr. Graham the light so that he would repudiate his present position (this means come ye apart and join us).…

Due to the policies and the spirit of the movement several of the recent graduates of Baptist Bible Seminary have sought other fellowships.

Bethany Baptist Church

Highland, Ill.

I hold a Bachelor of Theology degree from the Baptist Bible Seminary, Johnson City, New York. BBS is an accredited school and endorsed by the GARBC. Dr. Paul R. Jackson who is now the National Representative of the GARBC was president and professor while I was a student.

I have had high regard for Dr. Jackson. However, when his letter to you appeared in the Baptist Bulletin, I believe he fell into his own error.… I can name men, and I am included, who … were sorrowfully led to leave the GARBC movement because its “policies” and “practices” are not in harmony. Let me add that these men were not only students but former faculty members of Baptist Bible Seminary.…

When I was a student I heard several times in class sessions and during chapel services aggressive attacks against Dr. Graham. This is one of the reasons that some men of my graduating class did not seek GARBC pulpits.

It may be a “definite policy not to attack Dr. Graham,” but I have witnessed the leading church in the Johnson City and Binghamton area do it from the pulpit. I was surprised at Dr. Jackson’s statement regarding the Chicago Crusade and the opposition from the GARBC. He said, “I live in Chicago, and I have not heard of any such incidents.” I heard about the attacks and I live a thousand miles away!

Billy Graham has nothing to hide. The conscientious laymen of the GARBC should know the facts.…

Pine City Baptist Church

Pine City. N. Y.

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.