AND WHAT ABOUT LECITHIN?
Now what would you make of all this: “Unbleached Flour, Stone Ground Whole Wheat, Vegetable Shortening (with Freshness Preservative), Sesame Seed, Dried Whey, Salt, Yeast, Brown Sugar, Malt, Leavening, Wheat Germ, Lecithin, and Dried Garlic.” And it’s all registered with the “Penna. Dept. Agr.” It makes you rather thoughtful when you are all ready to bite into a little cracker just before spooning up the first taste of vegetable soup. Crackers, one gathers, are not to be taken lightly.
Has anyone taken the trouble lately to inquire into Lecithin (notice: everything in the cracker is worthy of capital letters)? And just how does your palate react to “Dried Whey” and “Dried Garlic”? Why don’t they tell us the percentages of all these ingredients? Why make a federal case out of all this if they are not prepared to go all the way? Are they sure we are getting no riboflavin or a few of the rare earths? This is more about a cracker than I need to know—but have they told me the one thing needful?
Come to think of it, I don’t really know what the one thing needful is. Do those sesame seeds get digested in the stomach or in the epiglottis? How goes it with that good old osmosis by which the Wheat Germ gets into the blood stream, into the cells, into the nerve endings, into the ankle-bone, the thighbone.… Anyway, the Unbleached Flour really came from the mill, the wheat, the soil, the fertilizer, the sunshine, the rain, and the rotation of the earth, not to speak of the eclipse of the seasons and the turnover of the whole solar system. And what of the Father’s will?
The move from science (which is valid and productive) to scientism (which is superficial and phoney) is almost a disease of the day. We tell all kinds of things that are true but not true enough, or irrelevant, or worse, misleading. But substituting bits and pieces for the whole, we either never experience wholeness or think we have the whole when we have only a part.
In an anthology of the works of George MacDonald there is a little piece on water. How smart it is to know that water is H2O; how wise, however, to bathe in it, drink it, delight in its liveliness and freshness. We know how easy it is to break an egg; who is creative enough to make an egg?
Mr. Cooper (“The Revival of the Conservative Spirit in America,” Oct. 9 issue) … makes the serious mistake of lumping together politics and religion.… There is certainly no authoritative basis for political conservatism as I believe there is for religious conservatism, and so there must be many like myself who embrace biblical Christianity but are not at all convinced of the ability of free enterprise and individual initiative to correct the ills of society.…
Institute of Limnology
It is with great joy that I write this letter.… Someone has finally written an article for the conservatives that is clear, concise, and straightforward in its presentation of its position.… I desire fifty copies.…
Thanks again for a good article speaking in defense of a reasonable position.
First Church of the Nazarene
St. Paul, Minn.
There is no natural or logical marriage between conservative theology and conservative politics, any more than there is between conservative dressing or stock-market investing. The one is something divinely revealed; of course it is to be conserved! The other is one of the multitude of human endeavors gradually progressing or regressing in step with human knowledge.…
Frankfurt am Main, Germany
The Bible is immutable and never-changing; hence we interpret ever the same as the Apostles, Reformers, and present-day saints. But, do we say the social order should likewise never change? No, it must be, of course, ever bettered, i.e., we must have a liberal outlook as Christians.
Second Reformed Church
Schenectady, N. Y.
Liberal Christianity has, too often, erred by placing too much emphasis on the social gospel and ignoring individual salvation. But conservatives have all too often compounded the problem by emphasizing the individual to the almost complete neglect of the social. Let us remember that Christ himself summed up the law for us by emphasizing our individual responsibility to love God and our social responsibility to love our neighbor.…
I am an admirer and supporter of Billy Graham but repudiate the candidacy of Senator Goldwater. I doubt that the issue is one between conservatism and liberalism but rather the issue is between love and hate, or … between sin and righteousness. Most of the people that I know are sometimes conservative and sometimes liberal depending on what they are dealing with.…
The Methodist Church
Would it not be a mistake for (religious) conservatives to vote for Goldivater on the mere ground that he too is Conservative? Many feel that the Senator is not a real conservative at all, but a reactionary with some radical views.
We Christians should never forget that our citizenship is in heaven while liberalism and conservatism are both of this world only.
Raleigh, N. C.
The excessive emphasis on individualism … comes not from biblical Christian sources but from eighteenth-and nineteenth-century liberalism. In the twentieth century it represents at best an ossified modernism of its own light. Biblical Christianity stresses not individual initiative in society for individual material gain as he appears to assume but rather individual responsibility in the love of Christ for one’s neighbor.…
Ass’t Prof, of Religion and Philosophy
New Orleans, La.
All credit to Harold B. Kuhn for his cogent analysis (Current Religious Thought, Oct. 9 issue) of the frenzied anti-Goldwater campaign being carried on by the press, television, and liberal religious leaders. The phenomenon he describes is something that transcends partisan politics; it concerns a massive campaign of false-witness-bearing the like of which has never before been experienced in our history. True, campaigns in the past have not been particularly noted for restraint or fair play. But the 1964 campaign has reached new lows in deceit, rhetorical trickery, deliberate suppression or playing down of facts, and shameless, cynical appeals made to racial and religious groups by the very elements who have most loudly preached “tolerance,” and who are now brazenly assuring us that “no Negro could possibly vote for Goldwater, nor could any Jew.” Protestant liberals have not clean hands either, with their snide implications that there is something unchristian about supporting Barry Goldwater.
Sea Cliff, N.Y.
Other religious journals were quick to pass judgment on Goldwater’s policies from a standpoint of so-called biblical morality. Your [article] pointed out with commendable fairness that their judgments seemed culled more from political partisanship than from genuine appraisal.
Evergreen Park, Ill.
Re “Who’s Who in German Theology” (Sept. 25 issue): I regret that your map leaves out several faculties of Protestant theology on German universities and all Theologische Hochschulen, which originate from thirty years ago, when not only Rückert but also others of those professors you mentioned were in opposition against the “Confessing Church” of Karl Barth and Rudolf Bultmann. You should have started your trip at Kiel, where for instance already Bultmann’s theology is represented in the third generation by the young Ferdinand Hahn (Christologische Hoheitstitel).
Coming from Hamburg you should not miss Bethel near Bielefeld, Pastor Bodel-schwingh’s town for the poor and miserable ones. There exists a theological school with well-known professors like the professor of New Testament, Heinrich Greven. North of Bonn yon will find the Kirchliche Hochschule Wuppertal, where Erwin Mülhaupt. Ernst Bizer, Wolfgang Nauck, and also the president of the Church of the Rhineland, Joachim Beckmann, are teaching.
If you say “in the Bavarian region, Erlangen stands alone,” then you forgot Neuendettelsau, a foundation of Wilhelm Löhe.…
In Eastern Germany your informant … does not … mention the faculties of Jena, of Greifswald and Rostock, and you forgot too the theological faculty of Humboldt-University with Heinrich Vogel and the so-called “Ki-Ho” at West-Berlin with Martin Fischer.
Thank you very much for “Judgment of the Theologians” (Sept. 25 issue). That first paragraph sets the tone of the issue and ought to be on the wall of every Christian home.…
The Bible does not change, even once in a century. It is a wonderful final authority, especially since the possibilities of biblical interpretation have been taken into account and have reached the thinking of the well-read layman.…
Port Crane, N. Y.
If there is any judgment from God from the standpoint of wrath, it is against the minor denominations who do not see their opportunity in the day of opportunity, to boldly declare their faith and advertise what they have. Too many are wasting their time defending their borders and building walls and fences of separation rather than opening their gates and declaring, “Come on in and we will do thee good.” The small denominations are under God’s wrath for their fences against each other and bickering against each other when there is really no difference between each other than the difference of family name and tradition.…
Concerning the progress of Christianity in the world, as far as European theology is concerned, I can see what “most scholars abroad” see. “a time of adjustment and readjustment, of combination and recombination.” I also see … the frontiers of Christianity passing entirely out of the hands of Protestantism just as it has from Roman Catholicism and from Greek Orthodoxy. The outcome of the turmoil of the European theology will lead to the unification of Protestantism into a monolithic organization, possibly with but probably separate from Romanism and Hellenism.…
The Methodist Church
May I express appreciation for the report … [on the] Faculty Christian Fellowship conference in Chicago (Editorial, Sept. 25 issue), which quite discerningly enters into the dilemmas which this movement faces at this juncture. Since some of the questions raised, however, involve more than can be developed in a short article, may I add just a note at two points.
Even if, as reported, the weight of opinion at the conference were not on the side of evangelicals, it must be said that the fundamental impetus for an ecumenical Christian faculty movement is thoroughly evangelical, though not necessarily in the restricted sense in which the word is sometimes used today. While there have been difficulties in establishing an identity for Christian faculty concerns in structural terms, a solid theological purpose has emerged in dealing with faith-culture or faith-learning questions, particularly as they bear upon the Reformation doctrine of Christian vocation in its import for the intellectual life of the university. Of necessity this requires an open-ended kind of conversation which precludes premature closure upon the live and often fresh theological questions at stake. But do not let the university arena and style of dialogue obscure the evangelical motivation for this movement. A comment in one of the preparatory documents for the conference (quoting a Dutch SCM statement of the thirties) gives particularly apt expression to this impetus: “What does the Lordship of Christ over every realm of life and thought really mean? Better to be a cheese merchant who can tell good cheese from bad than one of those Christian intellectuals who neither knows nor cares whether the spirits abroad in the university obey Christ or Beelzebub!”
The structural change in question (FCF’s becoming a part of the new Department of Higher Education of the NCC rather than continuing a semi-autonomous status) is in large part designed to relate Christian faculty concerns more closely to the life and strategy of the Protestant churches in higher education in this country. Not only is a more unified ministry within the university desired in ecumenical terms, but also there is a need to avoid dismembering the Church’s witness into student, faculty, or other such segments unable to communicate with each other. Somehow I failed to detect the uneasiness noted of Southern Baptist and Missouri Synod Lutheran conference participants at the prospect of “NCC control.” The National Council has no control as such; its higher education structures function simply as agencies of the member denominations, where the control actually lies. It is worthy of note that individuals from non-member denominations in our planning counsels encouraged this step of closer identification with the NCC from the beginning in the interest of a more adequate doctrine of the Church than the former more autonomous arrangement. But perhaps the important thing to say is that there are professors in all Protestant denominations who feel that Christian vocation in the university can be more effectively pursued with a united Christian witness and are actively working … to this end.
Faculty Christian Fellowship
New York. N. Y.
TO PROTECT THE INNOCENT
I have not seen the movie Spencer’s Mountain and do not wish to defend it. Furthermore, I am in sympathy with the underlying concern of Dr. Bell’s article (Sept. 11 issue) prompted by his viewing of that film. But his choice of illustrations is indicative of an attitude toward films which will do the Christian cause more harm than good. On the problem of distinguishing desirable and undesirable films, he writes: “Thus a parent may forbid a high school boy to see La Dolce Vita and encourage him to see Ben Hur.” Presumably this contrast reflects Dr. Bell’s critical standards. Yet La Dolce Vita is one of the most powerful indictments of a “pleasure-obsessed, cocktail-drinking, swearing, gambling, and sexually undisciplined way of life” to be found; while Ben Hur, though not as objectionable as many “religious” films, seems to me to be primarily a glorification of blood, violence, and vengeance, with a slight sugarcoating of piety to make it “Christian.”
Of course there is a great deal of trash, and some filth, coming from Hollywood. But the Church cannot try to preserve purity at the sacrifice of truth, nor can the portrayal of truth be limited “to what is in good taste.” Pornography need not be condoned, and cheapness and suggestiveness ought to be criticized sharply. But adult treatment of adult themes, in contrast to the juvenile preoccupation with sex and vulgarity, ought to be encouraged—with perhaps a compulsory grading system “to protect the innocent.”
University of Southern California
Los Angeles. Calif.
I heartily agree with what was written—I took the children to see this movie and was similarly affected.…
The beautiful Swan Lake which the Russians sent over a year or so ago put many of our sordid movies to shame.
I wonder if there aren’t many like us—who simply stay away from the movies since there is so little good to see. If we expressed ourselves in letters, maybe producers would try to “tap this market.”
Candler. N. C.
TO KNOW AND SERVE
Thank you for your timely and appropriate editorial, “The Greatest Educational Force” (Aug. 28 issue). Its emphasis is indisputably correct. Much appreciated also were the kind words on behalf of Christian schools and colleges by which Christian parents seek to more adequately discharge their responsibilities in training their children to know and serve their Lord.
Public Opinion Committee
National Union of Christian Schools
DIVERSITY BEHIND THE CURTAIN
Thank you so much for publishing Bela Udvarnoki’s article, “Church and State Behind the Iron Curtain” (Sept. 11 issue). Having lived two years under the Communists in Eastern Europe I can confirm everything stated in his article.…
What troubles me is the World Council of Churches’ glad hand of welcome in times past to such men as Professor Josef Hromadka of Czechoslovakia and Dr. Peter Janos of Hungary. I was in Czechoslovakia at the time of the Communist take-over. Hromadka welcomed the Communists to govern his land, and he made no bones about it. Hromadka is regarded by every clergyman in Czechoslovakia and all evangelicals in that country as being a first-class traitor, even among those in his own denomination. As for Dr. Peter Janos, he was one of my first interpreters in Hungary before World War II when I was studying the language. After the war he was personal secretary to President Tildy. A Reformed minister. Later on he became the chief of the Hungarian Delegation to the United Nations. When the Hungarian Revolution broke out I spoke personally to Dr. Peter Janos, and even at that time when his homeland was being raped by the Soviet troops, he loyally supported Moscow and approved their subjugation of his homeland. Today Dr. Peter Janos is foreign minister of Hungary and is a well-known Communist. How these two men support the Communists is beyond me. What troubles me is the welcome they receive from Americans in the World Council of Churches. If only [Americans] knew what sorrow this brings to the Christians behind the Iron Curtain, as both men are regarded as traitors by their countrymen.…
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