It doesn’t take much to make some people happy, and that goes for me. A few years ago a good friend took me to see an indoor track meet in Chicago in which eight of the performers had been Olympic winners. I watched especially the best of them all, Harrison Dillard, who that night won the sixty-yard sprint and the sixty-yard high hurdles. He had just received his twenty-third and twenty-fourth gold watches. His total performance lasted about thirteen seconds, but what impressed me more than the performance was his preparation. He spent over an hour “warming up” for his events. It has always been reported, and is verily believed by me, that this great hurdler could pick a fifty-cent piece off a hurdle with his back foot. When he cleared the hurdle, he was immaculate, honed down almost to perfection. He also gave the impression of being a very happy fellow.

At the close of the war I was teaching in a college when the servicemen came back by the hundreds. They set the scholastic pace for the whole school. Sometimes they studied too hard, if such a thing is possible, or at least too continuously. They needed the breaks that the social life of the college was offering, but apparently they had no taste nor time for such frivolities. Their marvelous self-discipline, I believe, had grown under the pressure of discipline. They had survived an experience in which, if things didn’t suit them, they had no one to cry to. They had had to dig into the deeps of their own integrity.

Just last week in Tulsa I watched and heard a marvelous high school choir. They were sharply disciplined in eye, gesture, and voice, and they were a happy group. When will we learn that self-discipline is a product of discipline? Furthermore (and this could be a shock to modern educators) they had actually memorized great portions of the world’s best music.


A brief comment on the pleasant readability of B. E. Junkins’s article, “The Highest Calling,” in the June 4 issue. Aside from the pertinent spiritual message, he writes with an unhampered style, which laymen can understand.… Pineville, La. NELLIE GRACE FALKNER


If the Reverend Mr. L. Verduin’s exegesis (May 21 issue) of Genesis 1–2 was intended to correspond to the tenets of an evolutionary monogenesis of man, his anthropology is passé. But, on the other hand—his position is not exactly clear—if he meant a synthesis with the doctrine of polygenesis and pre-sapiens raciation, currently the vogue in the scientific establishment, then there is not only much more poetry in Genesis than he suspects, but all the claims of Holy Scripture are stranded in mid-air.…

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Kellogg, Iowa

In Genesis 2:18 ff. God concerns himself with man’s need for a helpmate. In the context the animal kingdom is reviewed, but no helper is found (v. 20). To be sure, a miracle had to be performed in order to provide a suitable mate for Adam. Adam himself was the product of a miracle, and it very well could be that God performed this on a proto-man selected from an earlier review of the animal kingdom, similar to the review in search of a wife for Adam.

To consider such a possibility does not in the least remove the necessity of divine intervention, nor does it remove the mystery of man. In The Immense Journey, Loren Eiseley has captured this in such paragraphs as the following:

If one attempts to read the complexities of the story, one is not surprised that man is alone on the planet. Rather, one is amazed and humbled that man was achieved at all. For four things had to happen, and if they had not happened simultaneously, or at least kept pace with each other, the bones of man would lie abortive and forgotten in the sandstones of the past:
1. His brain had almost to treble in size.
2. This had to be effected, not in the womb, but rapidly, after birth.
3. Childhood had to be lengthened to allow this brain, divested of most of its precise instinctive responses, to receive, store, and learn to utilize what it received from others.
4. The family bonds had to survive seasonal mating and become permanent, if this odd new creature was to be prepared for his adult role.
Each one of these major points demanded a multitude of minor biological adjustments, yet all of this—change of growth rate, lengthened age, increased blood supply to the head, moved apparently with rapidity. It is a dizzying spectacle with which we have nothing to compare. The event is complex, it is many-sided, and what touched it off is hidden under the leaf mold of forgotten centuries [pp. 88, 89].

Montclair Community Church

(Reformed Church in America)

Denver, Colo.

If there is no doubt as to the biological similarity of man to the Mammalia class of animals, why then should the next step be avoided? Does man have an animal (Mammalia) ancestry? Obviously he does. The confusion here is between the classification of man and the process of a creature becoming man. There is nothing unique about the “animalness” of man.…

Professor of Anthropology

Eastern Nazarene College.

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Quincy, Mass.

Mr. Verduin’s essay does violence to the plain teaching of the Word of God, as well as to the secondary standards of the Christian Church including the Westminster Confession of Faith.

Stockton, Calif.

It annoys me when I make my very best cake and someone remarks, “This is delicious! What kind of mix is it?” I suppose, in his infinite patience, God feels only a slight annoyance over the argument of what kind of mix man is made from. Why has it not occurred to anyone to say, “Well, and the common ancestor of man and animal, who was that? The fish?” If you keep going eventually you will get back to a handful of dust. You might even find out what kind of dust, what elements.

Rochester, N. Y.

“How many angels can dance on the point of a needle?” Who knows the answer, and why should I care?

McPherson, Kan.


Your editorial comments under “Supercity” (May 7 issue) are disturbing to me, not so much as to what you say, but as to what you fail to say.

Actually, there seems to be a note of pride in your being able to look into the future, far beyond the ability of the author of The Secular City. You point to virtues and potentialities of that which is to come.

What can you say as to the redemptive, atoning work of Christ in the present needs of everyman in every situation? Does the atoning work of Christ on the cross have relevance only to the future the redeemed ones will have with him? Or can I hope that the very power that brought again Jesus Christ from the dead is in me, and in you, and in our common needs at every level of life, manifesting redemptive potentials that can bring creative change to every man in the secular city?…

Seems to me, your editor should have read “Current Religious Thought” in the same issue before making editorial comment on The. Secular City.


Valley Forge, Pa.


• Confidence in the second advent of Christ does not imply pride; the returning Lord will humble a proud and unrepenting generation. Not only Dr. Kuhn’s “Current Religious Thought” (May 7 issue), to which Mr. Nelson refers, but our editorial pages attest CHRISTIANITY TODAY’s constant concern about social problems in a scriptural rather than narrowly political context.—ED.


In spite of the likelihood that John Calvin and other progenitors of our Reformed tradition accepted alcohol as a gift of God, Dr. Stimson’s inclusion of voluntary abstinence as a part of our Presbyterian heritage presently being threatened is not impertinent (Eutychus, May 7 issue).

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The stress on abstinence from alcohol, as a Christian virtue, is implicit in Calvin as it is in the Bible, in the same sense as is anti-slavery sentiment or the concern for Negro civil rights. Calvin knew little about physiology. Body chemistry was as foreign to him as Selma, Alabama. As a child of his age he considered alcohol to be a stimulant, rather than a narcotic drug. Subsequent science has clarified this point, and evangelical theology in due time began to sense the implications of the new knowledge. It is practically pointless today to adduce some sixteenth-century saint’s opinion on the use of wine in defense of social drinking.

Post-colonial America provided an en vironment in which a free church could begin to make sociological-theological connections without feeling threatened by the economic power structure of Europe. There the Lutheran and Anglican establishments were and still are heavily subsidized by the tax “contributions” of breweries and distilleries. Rome’s debt to alcohol profits is also well known. There have been notable exceptions, but generally churches with this sort of financial rootage have been silent on the subject in question, if not actually defenders of drinking practices. In this country, again with happy exceptions, the Lutheran, Episcopal, Roman Catholic, and Orthodox church leaders have been little disposed to challenge their own inherited attitudes on alcohol.

The powerful pressure of economically sensitive groups, including alcohol-advertising news media, helped to destroy Prohibition, and constantly minimized its drastic reduction of alcoholism. This pressure was experienced by the churches in the vilification of American Protestantism’s bent for moral reform. Our clergy were caricatured as pious and naïve, if not hypocritical, dogooders. Presbyterians did not escape. We ended up literally demoralized and almost painfully apologetic for our recent efforts to legislate morality. (The analogy between today’s Civil rights movement and the temperance agitation of the preceding century is remarkably close, even to the non-violent [and sometimes not so passive] demonstrations and marchings. It is intriguing these days to listen to sophisticated interpreters of the race-relations crusade who argue for the necessity of social legislation—i.e., the “prohibition” of discrimination, as a necessary statement of the enlightened community consensus and as a goal toward which to drag the more reluctant citizen!)

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So it is not strange, in the light of recent history, that denominational leadership has been tempted to remain largely silent for the three decades since Repeal, even though alcoholism has continued to intensify and has become the nation’s number three (some say number two) public health problem. Our generation has been conditioned to be timid about this subject and suspicious of those who want to discuss it. We are as decorously mild in challenging the alcohol “way of life” in the drinking culture of our day as is the Southern Protestant about his regional “way of life.” Again, the analogy is close, and our rationalizations are similar. Presbyterians mingle readily in upper social strata, and we don’t like to offend.

The likelihood of annoying Episcopalians, with whom we are exploring church union, is another reason for forgetting certain Puritanical fruits of our Presbyterian family tree—even though they make historical, scientific, and theological sense.

Meanwhile, at the local level, some of us work hard with A.A. chapters, with community counseling centers and clinics for alcoholics, with state associations which almost singlehandedly stand against the enormous political power of the “wets,” and with innumerable desperate men and women who trust us to understand and aid them in their battle with the bottle. They have little doubt as to who in the churches really care. They have scant time for theological sophistries concerning what the Church Fathers wrote about alcohol. They have been made painfully aware of the profound spiritual implications in alcohol addiction, and by a kind of elemental common sense they infer that there are antecedent theological, moral, and spiritual questions raised by the sort of social drink ing customs which got them started. Often they wonder aloud why so few doctors or ministers bother to be concerned and involved.

This “wonders” me too. There are encouraging signs that the medical profession is stirring, in spite of the heady whirl in which so many doctors are caught. There is a basic honesty here, as was evidenced when the cigarette-cancer issue was aired despite the prevalence of smoking among physicians. As for the Church, perhaps we will climb on the bandwagon again, once it gets rolling! Or maybe Ed Stimson is right and we are indeed ready to be serious about our moral heritage if our leadership will listen.

From a Los Angeles news correspondent this week: “Governor Edmund G. Brown has just reported to the State Legislature that the price California is paying for bad effects from alcohol has become ‘incredibly high.’ He declared ‘with the lives of thousands of Californians and a billion dollars a year in losses at stake, we can do no less than pledge a new assault on this social and economic evil.’ ”

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Governor Brown happens to be a Roman Catholic and can hardly be accused of nineteenth-century Protestant moralism!

First Presbyterian

Yakima, Wash.


The editorial “Picking Flowers on Golgotha” (May 21 issue) was a cogent statement of what, in time, may prove to be the greatest national crisis America has to date been called upon to face. The frightening rise in crime, the increase of chronic alcoholism and mental illness, and the pervading preoccupation with sex in its manifold forms can be cited as additional evidentiary support for the present existence of a national moral problem of profound proportions.…

Kansas City, Mo.


Today there are hundreds of people that have left churches of their fathers because of the easy “Christianity” that has replaced the old-time religion. In its place is monotone liturgy or high-church liturgy that one has to be an opera star to sing; Sunday schools are taught by people who do not know Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, let alone witness for him anywhere.…

In the midwestern states there are many older people in their late sixties and seventies that are traveling 300 miles round trip to little country churches that still have old preachers and prayer and testimony meetings. Our hearts cry out for men consecrated to God as Paul was and for preachers to once again toe the mark and preach Christ and not just about him. What is it going to take, bloodshed to purge the Church of its lethargy? Woe unto us when all men speak well of us.

Villa Park, Ill.


A legal fraternity called Phi Delta Phi publishes a house organ, in the November, 1964, issue of which its editor made this observation: “Speaking of the decisions of high tribunals (and who, apparently, is not?), it might be suggested, based on a juxtaposition of cases, that a fairly workable way to obtain protection for public prayer is for somebody to compose an obscene one.”

After reading CHRISTIANITY TODAY for April 23 (“Sexual Dialogue,” News), I think this may soon be accomplished—if it has not been done already.

Peoria, Ill.


Re “Ministry in Mission” (Apr. 23 issue): The emphasis on biblical authority in CHRISTIANITY TODAY is really refreshing. It is for that reason that I have this magazine sent to me all the way to Germany.

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Being mindful of the authority of the Scriptures, I must challenge Mr. Moore’s statement: “… the senior elder (was) consecrated at first by the apostles to serve as the bishop or presiding elder of the congregation.” Now, where does the inspired record say that the apostles did just that? In my New Testament the bishops appear as identical with the presbyters (Acts 20:17, 18; Titus 1:5, 7).

Shouldn’t we be more careful in distinguishing between what the apostles really did (what the Bible really reports of their actions and teaching) and the traditional developments of post-apostolic times? That would simplify matters a whole lot, at least among those who truly want to follow the Scriptures. I am aware that such clear-cut distinction would destroy the foundation of the hallowed “episcopal way of life.” But it would also make room again for real apostolic Christianity.…

Gemeinde Christi

Hamburg, Germany

I thank you so much for all the articles during this year which had the aim to inform about the development of modern theology. I find your reports on the modern German theologians very helpful, very precise, and adequate, and the review as a whole can be of much help. I try to write for myself a kind of an extract of those articles and to give them as a small contribution to the editors of the Methodist weekly periodical in Switzerland who are friends of mine.

Zürich, Switzerland


I am quite in sympathy with William H. Fisher (“Wanted: Protestant Schools,” May 7 issue) when he says it is time for Protestants to look into parochial education. He mentions practical considerations and how they can be overcome. More important than these are, I feel, the basic wishes of parents to raise their children Christian. Since the faith demands knowledge of the Bible and church history and teachings, and since the Sunday school cannot and never was intended to carry the full teaching load, we simply have no alternative but to open schools where Christianity can be taught. Of course we must support the public school system, but we must also provide our own children with Christian education. Episcopalians, Friends, and Lutherans are making strides in this direction now.

Associate Director

Council for Religion in Independent Schools

New York, N. Y.


I can’t understand why Eutychus II (Apr. 9 issue) and other writers in CHRISTIANITY TODAY insist upon calling Roman Catholics “Romanists.”

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My dictionaries classify this term as one used “chiefly in disparagement.” Like the term “Nigger” it is now associated with the K.K.K. and Know-Nothing mentality.

Maysville Presbyterian

Buckingham, Va.

• The terms “Romanist” and “Romanism” are by no means used only in a derogatory sense but are ecclesiastical shorthand for Roman Catholic and Roman Catholicism. The term “Catholic,” which many Roman churchmen now prefer, is confusing. Eastern Orthodoxy, Russian Orthodoxy, and Anglo-Catholicism likewise profess to be Catholic, and Protestants confessing the Apostles’ Creed speak of “one holy catholic church,” a reference to the Church’s universality.—ED.


A Soviet clergyman, frustrated by the appalling shortage of Bibles in the U.S.S.R., challenged me: “Why do not the visitors who come to our country each bring in and leave a Russian Bible?”

From this challenge evolved the offer of a free portion of the Russian Scriptures to those planning to visit the U.S.S.R. A number have found the experience successful, meaningful, and most satisfying. Among the participants were businessmen, doctors, scientists, ministers, teachers, students, and housewives.

For the readers of CHRISTIANITY TODAY who plan to visit the Soviet Union this year, each may receive a free Russian-English copy of the Sermon on the Mount by writing to the address below.

Russian Bible

Box 350

Cooper Union Station

New York, N. Y. 10003

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