A man we could afford to have around these days because we surely need him is Fiorello (“The Little Flower”) La Guardia. He could cut through cant just a little faster than anyone else, and he certainly was a refreshing administrator—maybe because he never paid any attention to paper-shuffling.

One day somebody called him a radical, and to this “The Little Flower” responded, “I am as radical as the Lord’s Prayer.” Since the word “radical” comes from the same root as the word “radish” and actually has to do with radix or root, it is not necessarily a bad thing when a man is radical. I suppose what La Guardia had in mind was a phrase like, “Thy kingdom come … as it is in heaven.” We pray it all the time. It has frightening possibilities. If peradventure the Kingdom should come today, what would have to go?

I think La Guardia would be able to give us some guidance on freedom marches. Heaven knows we are due and overdue for a few demonstrations in behalf of our Negro friends and fellow citizens. What puzzles us is the relation between means and ends; it will be a sad day if we get them their rights by a method of wrongs. It is somewhat like hating your friends in order to love your enemies, and that sort of thing won’t do either in terms of building the Kingdom.

How often have you prayed, “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors”? Debts and debtors can be translated into all kinds of wrongdoings. You can’t really forgive unless you have really been hurt. There is no use going around saying there are some things you just can’t forgive, because that puts you in a kind of a bad relationship to God the forgiver. Some people in the present social uprisings find people on the other side quite unforgivable as they work away at their Christian witness. This is passing strange.

And by the way, did you ever think that the Prodigal Son asked for what he had coming to him—and surely got it!



I have three things to say about “The Glories of Heaven” (May 22 issue). It was refreshing, heavenly, and down to earth!


Asst. Prof. of Bible

Wheaton College

Wheaton, Ill.


I was most interested in the fine articles about Calvin in the issue of May 22. Especially did the article about “Calvin the Expositor” catch my attention. Most striking is the very great similarity between the “four expository principles” as discussed there and the basic principles of biblical interpretation as practiced by the so-called liberal school of “modern” biblical criticism.…

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Though trained at “liberal” Boston University, and therefore undoubtedly prejudiced, I sense that a great many Protestants pay lip service to the principles of the great Reformers while practicing an essentially Roman Catholic approach to Scripture and doctrine. Too many have become the new dogmatists, refusing to re-examine and test the traditions of the Reformation in the light of the most recent “careful grammatical and historical exegesis of the text” (Calvin’s first principle in the article cited).…


Trinity Methodist

Sequim, Wash.


It was interesting to find CHRISTIANITY TODAY less tolerant than the Orthodox Presbyterian Church of a challenge to rethink a traditional ecclesiastical policy (Editorials, “The Church and the Mission Hospital,” May 22 issue)! The unexpected symptom of premature hardening of the credulity was evidently triggered by a flaring of indignation at what you misconstrued as another case of the reduction of Christian social responsibility by reactionary evangelicals (a theme close to your heart we know but, be assured, to ours also).

The minority and majority at our General Assembly were not divided as to whether Christians ought to sponsor hospitals—that, we all agree, is not debatable. But Christians exist as individual believers abroad in the world as well as in organized church institutions, and to pronounce it undebatable that the church rather than a private Christian society is the proper agency to conduct medical “missions” would be to assume a stance on the problematic interrelationships of church, state, and private society that would be incredibly pontifical, especially in 1964. It would then have been more in keeping with the image of CHRISTIANITY TODAY if your editorial had applauded a serious attempt to develop in a relevant way the biblico-theological principles implicit in Christ’s lordship over culture as well as cult. And speaking of images, you quite failed to project the real Herbert S. Bird—my good and witty friend simply is not the snapping turtle type.


Westminster Theological Seminary

Philadelphia, Pa.

Your editorial … did not get its teeth evenly into the real point of the discussion at the recent General Assembly of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. Thus it contained a most lamentable distortion of the position of my good friend and ministerial colleague, Dr. Meredith G. Kline. Permit, then, this attempt to correct the “bite.”

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The question before us had nothing to do with whether social and moral evils are the proper concern of evangelical Christians. Neither Dr. Kline nor those who support his position can be fairly charged with “tending in the direction of neglecting good works for fear of exposing themselves to the social gospel”.…


Willow Grove, Pa.


I read it (Editorial, “Civil Rights and Christian Concern,” May 8 issue) as soon as it came … and find myself in complete agreement with it.… It is an excellent job!


First Presbyterian Church

Weslaco, Tex.

There is a great deal of cunning in that editorial, but absolutely no depth. The cunning is in seeming to be well versed on the subject at hand, in seeming to be Bible based, in seeming to be objectively Christian, and in seeming to infer that the civil rights bill before Congress at this moment is truly Christian and constitutional. You leave yourself an out on the latter point when you write that “the bill should and probably will be amended,” but then to offset that weakness, you advocate writing senators in favor of passage of the bill without any specifications as to what amendments would be required to make it conform with true justice and within the framework of the Constitution which it certainly is not under its present writing.…


Hudson, N. Y.

The best I have ever read on the subject. It is both concise and comprehensive; it is a challenge as well as an indictment of evangelical beliefs and conduct.…


Milton, Ill.

The action of the National Association of Evangelicals in passing a civil rights resolution (News, May 8 issue) was flagrant and unauthorized impertinence to a degree that many of us who have pulled out of the National Council in revulsion because of their unauthorized sounding off, may find that we should re-examine our affiliation with what we have considered a more conservative and scriptural organization.

No group of a few hundred individuals can fairly and honestly represent a nationwide constituency on such a controversial secular matter, and it was arrogant effrontery for them to pretend to do so. The leadership of the NAE owes its membership an apology for such high-handedness. Be assured that the Evangelical Methodist Church does not join its voice in such an expression, and if its representatives at the meeting did not voice their objections, they were acting for themselves and not for the church.


Publicity Chairman

Wesley Evangelical Methodist Church

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Memphis, Tenn.

I was particularly intrigued in reading the article titled, “Plain Words on Civil Rights” (News, May 22 issue).…

If he is the right kind of minister, the modern preacher feels himself an ambassador of God, not for a small section of life, but for all life! However, he is beginning to wonder whether he can be in true line with the prophets of old and take only a timid and academic attitude toward the political and social evils around him.…


McGregor, Minn.


I have followed with interest and instruction the several series of articles you have carried in your fine journal on Christian higher education. In all of these series of articles, as in the current May 8 issue, the rationale for this education has been, for the most part, admirably set forth.

And yet … nothing is ever really said in support of Christian elementary and secondary education. It seems to me that, if Christian higher education is so necessary, Christian elementary and secondary education is all the more necessary.…

Christian educators are, I would think, ready to take a cue from Lenin when he said in regard to his own philosophy and its inculcation, “Give me the child for the first eight years of his life, and I’ll have him.” To practice Christian education at the college and university level only is logically and psychologically, to say nothing of theologically, almost too little, too late.…


Muskegon Christian School

Muskegon, Mich.


[Eutychus’s] comments on invocations (May 8 issue) struck home when I was asked to “bless” the rodeo we had last weekend. The inanity of the situation was revealed to me in the following incident.

Before the invocation I stood talking with a lady timekeeper who was puffing vigorously on a cigarette. As I stood up to give the invocation I noticed the lady put out the cigarette as we bowed our heads.

After finishing the prayer I sat down next to this same lady. She promptly re-lit her cigarette. She said to me, “You don’t mind if I smoke, do you? In our church we aren’t supposed to but I do if the preacher is not around.” I said it was all right with me if she did. Then she added this comment, “You’ll notice I did put out my cigarette during your prayer, preacher. After all, I do have some respect for religion. You see, I’m not all bad.”


Central Methodist

Lincoln, Ark.


I read the article “Distinctives of a Christian College” (May 8 issue) with considerable interest. As an English teacher in a church-related college, I fully support Mr. McDormand’s plea for that “faith [which] must inform the best teaching of history, philosophy, literature, science, and the social sciences.”

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One comment, though, concerning a problem which Mr. McDormand seems to raise. Having made the claim that “contemporary literature echoes and re-echoes the wistful longing of modern man,” the author reinforces his claim by a reference to T. S. Eliot, “whose poetry repeatedly reflects this distressing frustration of the human soul devoid of faith.” Granted, the early Eliot poetry (“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” “The Waste Land,” “The Hollow Men”) clearly does reflect such depression, but Eliot’s tone changed markedly after he became a member of the Anglican church in 1927. Such later poems as “Ash Wednesday,” the “Choruses from ‘The Rock,’ ” or “The Four Quartets” are significant for their dramatic depiction of man’s road from disillusionment to faith in God. And especially in the drama cited, “The Cocktail Party,” a clearcut choice resulting in salvation is made. Celia Copplestone, who, as Mr. McDormand suggests in the quotation he gives, is “imprisoned in a realm of the finite and transitory,” does make a decision for service as a missionary, even going the ultimate road of martyrdom by being sacrificed a victim staked to an ant-hill. Likewise, Edward and Lavinia Chamberlayne, out of the depths of a “painful sense of impoverishment,” do find a measure of peace through the psychological and priestly ministrations of Sir Henry Harcourt-Reilly, the unidentified, probing guest.

Since thus the three characters just mentioned do not evidence, in the final analysis, a “painful sense of impoverishment” due to the workings of the fourth character, Sir Henry, but instead find an “awareness of [their] true identity,” one wonders if Mr. McDormand has not done one of our most ably distinctive and articulate defenders of the faith an injustice.


Asst. Professor of English

Nyack Missionary College

Nyack, N. Y.


I commend your courage for publishing and L. Nelson Bell for writing the article, “Recognizing the Distinctives” (Apr. 24 issue). It was an article that needed to be written, and Mr. Bell wrote it in superb fashion.

“Asleep in the Deep” by Eutychus II was also greatly appreciated.… His column never fails to delight me.


Vera Cruz, Pa.


Mr. Ronald C. Doll’s article, “Prayer, the Bible, and the Schools” (May 8 issue), advocates Protestant churches follow the Roman Catholic Church in teaching religion to our children, leaving “secular education to the public school.” Presumably he sees nothing wrong with this view or he wouldn’t advocate it. The Roman Catholic Church following Greek philosophy and not the Bible can do this, but this writer is firmly convinced that Bible-following Christians ought not.…

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CHRISTIANITY TODAY could perform a desperately needed service in Christian circles if it presented to the ministers and Christian public the nature of that education which is consistent with the Bible. Many ministers with whom this writer is acquainted don’t seem to see the nature and necessity of such education, as Mr. Doll doesn’t. If they did, those ministers would bend every effort to start private Christian day schools and use their education plants six days a week instead of one!


Bellevue Christian School

Bellevue, Wash.


Dr. Bernard Ramm has reached the very heart of Christian higher education in his article, “The Roots of Christian Humanism” (May 8 issue). All too often Christian young people have been persuaded that education in the Scriptures, to the neglect of the liberal arts, is sufficient to prepare them for a life of vital Christian witness. The world demands to be faced on its own terms, and if Christians are not prepared to meet the world on those terms, then there is little hope of meeting the world at all.

Christian colleges cannot afford to neglect the liberal arts, nor can they afford to demand less than the best of their students. Christian colleges must not become havens of “Christian charity” for mediocre students!


St. Davids, Pa.

Ought to be put into the hands of every administrator and every faculty member in every Christian college and Bible school in the country!


Prof. of English

Nyack Missionary College

Nyack, N. Y.

Why should Christian educators fear the liberal arts because these studies have enslaved some? We need a conquering Christianity. The liberal arts are useful tools for biblical studies when harnessed by such men in Christian education. Since God made humans and gave them the Bible to study, to live, and to proclaim, why should not the two be essentially advantageous for an effective Christianity today?


Elbing, Kan.


The reference to “Religion and the Peace Corps” (Editorials, Apr. 24 issue) is the first information I have had [of] the relation of the members of the Peace Corps to religious (Christian) schools and churches in the several countries where the United States government is using these young people.…

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Geneva, N. Y.


I have just finished reading … “The Word and the Campus,” by Ernest Gordon (May 8 issue). I agree with the author, “The campus is crying out for God’s Word.”

I have the unusual opportunity of complete working freedom at the local junior college. The attendance at the school this next year is to be around 600. Whereas this is a small school in contrast to the larger universities, 600 students can present a challenge and burden which only Christ can make real.

One of my first mistakes made while working with these students was to expect scholarly repudiation of Christianity. Because of such expectations I stocked my study on campus with the best of apologetic books. However, I have come to the conclusion that though we need to be ready “to give an answer” (reasoned defense), most of the students are just waiting for some minister to be friendly (even human), and to tell them the personal demands of the living Lord Jesus Christ in and upon their lives. I am amazed after my three semesters of working on campus of the desire of students to know the simplest of gospel truths.

Not too long ago a panel of ministers discussed the relationship of science and religion. The name of Christ was not mentioned a single time. The students went away firmly believing that religion has nothing to offer them. Instead of being defensive with regard to science, the ministers should have gone on the offensive with regard to what Jesus Christ has done for us, who he is, and what he can mean to the modern college student.


Bethel Baptist

Iowa Falls, Iowa


Conservative Christianity rejoices in the announcement (Apr. 24 issue) that the Reformed Presbyterian Church, General Synod, and the Evangelical Presbyterian Church are exploring church union. There was, however, one slightly misleading feature in the article, namely, the possibility the united church would be “141 years old.”

The Reformed Presbytery in North America was reconstituted in May of 1798. For a time … the synod (organized on May 24, 1809) only met biennially. But then the split of 1833 produced the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America and the Reformed Presbyterian Church, General Synod. Because the latter body has met annually (with two exceptions) since 1842, their synodical meetings now number 141 while the former, meeting biennially more times, only lists 134 sittings.

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The number 141 therefore simply refers to the number of synodical assemblies, not the age of the denomination.


Reformed Presbyterian Church

Almonte, Ont.

• One could trace the Reformed Presbyterian Church all the way back to the first century. We chose rather to report the age used on the floor of the assembly.—ED.


Hurray for the “social gospel” (Editorials, Apr. 10 issue)! You make its return sound like a terrible disease which keeps erupting. It is only the Holy Spirit bursting the bonds of “religion” and demanding that the worship of God enter life. But then you are also opposed to such worship.…


Christ United Presbyterian Church

Mars, Pa.

For those of us who have been studying the mountain of material issued by the social gospelers over a period of the last four decades, it is interesting to learn from your editorial writer that the social gospel ever departed!…


Church League of America

Wheaton, Ill.


In your April 10 issue the article … “The Depersonalization of God” brought to mind The Clouds of Aristophanes, literary burlesque to be sure, yet undoubtedly reflecting the opinions of some minds in the fifth century before Christ. I quote some pertinent lines from the B. B. Rogers translation (Loeb Library):

Line 379: “No Zeus have we there, but a Vortex of Air.”

Line 423: “Now then you agree in rejecting with me The Gods you believed in when young. And my creed you’ll embrace, ‘I believe in wide space, In the Clouds, in the eloquent Tongue.’ ”

In line 627 Socrates swears by Chaos, Air, and Respiration.


Pine Beach, N. J.


I see CHRISTIANITY TODAY regularly at the library of the U. S. Information Office, located not far from my home. Many of your articles are so informative. I surely had use for it when I a while ago wrote an article for the press here about Christianity in South America.


Reykjavik, Iceland

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