One of the newspapers had a cartoon on a favorite theme, namely, a women’s club and its president, who was introducing the speaker as follows: “Our good friend Wilma Sue, who has just spent three days in Washington, will now review the condition of the country.”

I recently spent three days in Washington with about the same result.

Item: A high school principal told me that thirty-four girls in his high school were dropped this year because of pregnancy, and that two of the girls in the high school had set up a brothel across the street from the high school and induced some of their friends to participate in the program. He insisted, however, that the biggest problem among high school students from his viewpoint was liquor.

Item: A mother came to me in some distress because her daughter, who had been a “good church-goer all her life,” was finishing up her first year at the university and had lost all her religion because of her great admiration for a professor of philosophy who thought Christianity was a very funny thing indeed for an intelligent person to believe in. The university apparently was not allowed to teach religion but was allowed to teach irreligion. “I wish you would speak to her and straighten her out,” said the mother. Since we had less than an hour ahead of us, I wasn’t quite sure where to start.

Item: I was introduced to a barefoot boy with a beard who looked that way, he said, “just for kicks.” His parents had allowed him to go to a weekend beach party in Florida and thought, “He seems to have the strangest ideas.”

Item: They had a senior walk-out at one of the high schools that held up traffic in every direction. Among the cars that left the high school there were twenty-two white convertibles with red leather trim. Having a white convertible is a “fun thing” these days, and it does seem a shame to deprive young people of their fun.

But let’s not get legalistic.


Dr. Carnell is to be commended for his kindly though incisive reply to Dr. Grislis (May 21 issue). An additional reply also seems pertinent. Dr. Grislis seems to assume that all liberals are Christians. This leads to Karl Barth’s inclusion of Ludwig Feuerbach among the Protestant theologians whom we must take “seriously.” But how can anyone have confidence that an outright atheist, or even a theologian who substitutes music for the preaching of the Word, is a Christian?

The idea that there are “honest” differences of opinion, on which Dr. Grislis so greatly relies, is entirely irrelevant. Saul of Tarsus, when he persecuted the Christians, had an honest difference of opinion; he was not a hypocrite; and he was not a Christian. The idea that sincerity covers all sins and all heresies is a false idea and underscores a weakness in the argument that makes use of it.

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Butler University

Indianapolis, Ind.

Thank you for your article … by Dr. Egil Grislis, and especially for his comment on John 17:22. Surely the unity which Christ expresses in this prayer is to be both spiritual (doctrinal) and physical (organizational).…

I am sure that God wants the same kind of unity in his Christian family (the household of God) as he does in each individual family unit.

St. John’s United Church of Christ Marine City, Mich.

I believe the conservative has a certain image of the liberal, and the liberal has a certain image of the conservative. But we might be amazed to discover, if we could know each other better, that our images don’t quite do justice to the good qualities that are on both sides.

The Methodist Church

Advance, Ind.

Concerning my faith and theology, I consider the words “conservative” and “orthodox” to be fairly accurate adjectives. Reading “Conservatives and Liberals Do Not Need Each Other” I’d like to say to E. J. Carnell, “Almost thou persuadest me to be a liberal.”

The Methodist Larger Parish

Winnebago, Ill.

The liberal has too much love in him, as Dr. Grislis seems to perceive, to accuse anyone of heresy. Besides, to a liberal, heresy isn’t particularly important. On the other hand, as Dr. Carnell implies, an identical intentness of focus on divine plan, conscious or unconscious, suggests “stupidity” to the liberal, “truth” to the conservative.

Asst. Manager

Conservative Publishing Company Falls City, Neb.

The eye cannot say to the hand, “I do not need you.” Can liberal or conservative? Does he who told us not to judge tell us to determine who is part of his Body? He has taught us how to recognize false prophets.…

Columbus, Ohio


The essay entitled “Man, a Created Being: What of an Animal Ancestry?” by Leonard Verduin (May 21 issue) together with the discussions by Mixter, Ramm, Clark, and Henry came close to the heart of some of the contemporary aspects of the creation-evolution dilemma. Since the vast majority of evangelical, to say nothing of frankly fundamentalist, pastors and theologians are still fighting a much outmoded and somewhat discredited Darwinism, it is stimulating to see an attempt to come into the twentieth century. However, from the perspective of a state university biologist, some key points in the current nature of the problem need to be further emphasized.

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Verduin has put his linger on some neglected theological aspects of the problem. It is imperative for conservative theologians to avoid two major pitfalls that tend to discredit the Scriptures and weaken the case for a consistent doctrine of creation. First is the tendency to consider the interpretations of the great theologians of one or two or three hundred years ago as what the Scripture actually says. Just because it is pre-evolutionary science it is not automatically biblical! Without rejecting evolution outright and without swallowing it hook, line, and sinker, we need to examine both the scientific data and the theories in the light of all possible interpretations of Scripture.

Secondly, as indicated by Ramm, Verduin’s emphasis on the importance of both the proccssivc and the irruptive is vital. Too often the so-called theism of fundamentalism has been a distressingly unbiblical deism. In this way we have been defending the “God of the gaps”; and as the gaps get smaller so does our God. The God of the Bible is the God of Providence as well as Creation, the God of the natural as well as the supernatural.

Clark mentioned at least one botanist who admitted that “the botanical evidence for evolution is nil.” It is important to realize that this is not an isolated instance. Other scientists (e.g., Kerkut, Hanson, Sokal, and Sneath) have in recent years challenged their colleagues to face up to some of the unanswered (and unanswerable) dilemmas of the broad scope of “general evolution.” This does not deny a considerable amount of “special evolution”; and such limited evolution does not conflict in any way with the Scripture. It is, however, a healthy admission that all is not well with that part of evolution that is so problematical to Christians.

Finally, although not mentioned by any of the participants, we should recognize (as stated by Dr. Elving Anderson, president of the American Scientific Affiliation and reported in CHRISTIANITY TODAY, May 7 issue) that the real conflict is between biblical theism and a philosophy of evolution, “evolutionism.” While such a philosophy presumes to have its support in the “theory of evolution” or even the “fact of evolution,” it is merely the religion of the non-Christian who will not or cannot accept the Word of God. And the weaker the truly factual support for the philosophy the louder will be the dogmatic acclamations of the “fact”!

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Professor of Zoology

University of New Hampshire

Durham, N. H.

With keen interest I read Mr. Verduin’s essay.… Permit me to share … some observations based on the Hebrew text of the Genesis account.

Significant is the simple fact that the Genesis narrative asserts that both man (Gen. 2:7) and beast (2:19) were formed by God out of the ground or dust of the ground. In Genesis 1:24–27 the substance from which beast and man were created is not mentioned. Both, however, were called “living creature” after they were created or became alive. It is unfortunate that Mr. Verduin uses the English translation “living soul” in his discussion of Genesis 2:7. This pinpoints the need for an extended article on Genesis 1–2 clarifying to the modern reader—both scholar and layman—what the Hebrew text tells us about the creation of man.

“Living creature” is the term used for beast or animal in numerous references throughout this narrative (cf. 1:24 and 2:19). When man is created, he likewise is called a “living creature” in 2:7. Without taking into consideration the context, this verse explicitly states that when this dust-form, into which God breathed the breath of life, became alive, it was a “living creature” similar to beast and thus classified in the animal kingdom. That he was distinct from other “living creature” already created is clearly delineated in the context in both chapters.

We may not know in what combination the chemicals existed in the dust when God started to make man or beast, but one thing the text clearly asserts is that God used ground or dust of the ground to make “living creature” (beast) and “living creature” (man). A reasonable interpretation of “ground” or “dust of the ground” is that it was inanimate. As soon as it was animated, regardless of the method used by God, this product was called “living creature.” Both beast and man were molded out of this same material (Gen. 2:7, 19), but concerning man the additional information is supplied that God breathed into him the breath of life to make him a “living creature.”

The simplest and most obvious interpretation of this Genesis narrative which takes all the facts into consideration seems to exclude the use of lower forms of life in the creation of man. The account does not say that God used “living creature” to make “living creature” but that God began with earthy material to make man and beast—one made in the likeness of God and the other not. Sound exegesis of the Hebrew text seems to be wanting in support of “hints” for man’s supposed animal ancestry. The weight of textual evidence seems to eliminate process in the original creation of man as simply but profoundly stated in the Genesis narrative.

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Dept. of Bible and Philosophy

Wheaton College

Wheaton, Ill.

Whereas [Mr. Verduin] seemed to deny an “ictic” interpretation of Genesis one and two, he also shows that no scientific evidence exists to prove the gradual evolution of man. Did the same man write the following two statements in the same article? “Nothing seems to have been farther from his intention than the idea of a mighty creator bringing all creaturedom into existence by a snap of the fingers as it were” (p. 10); “For all the field work tells us, man popped onto the scene all of a sudden—precisely as Genesis has it” (p. 15).

Community Brethren Church

Los Angeles, Calif.

Ape genes cannot by any process build man.

1. There is no originating mutation.

2. There is no passing on of acquired characters.

3. There is no genetic additive in mutagenic ray!

4. Science hasn’t yet printed a one-page leaflet on originating mutation or additives and how to get them!…

Evolution Protest Movement

Canterbury, Conn.

You write: “The antiquity of the earth and of man-like forms of life is no longer in dispute.” I fear that someone has been neglecting his reading, for the age of both is open to much question.

As to the age of the earth, I am aware of all the arguments for its great antiquity—the uranium-to-lead ratios, the deductions from the velocity of light, etc., etc., but (to say the least) they all rest upon assumptions that cannot be demonstrated as facts; it simply cannot be proved that the earth is more than a few thousand years old.…

I, for one, have a God great and wise enough to make the clock, wind it, set it, and start it running—all in six days.

The Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer

Peekskill, N. Y.

Who is trying to fool whom? In the May 7 issue in a news report … entitled “Evolution vs. Evolutionism,” we find the characteristic evasionary tactics employed by the new evangelicalism.…

There is not one indication in that report that Dr. V. Elving Anderson rejects the theory of evolution, only that he is opposed to an evolution which rejects any theistic basis. In the name of Christian ethics, let alone fair play or intellectual honesty, it is about time that the American Scientific Affiliation new evangelicals came out from behind their camouflage if not outright deceit. This is the same cunning tactic repeated which was used by the modernists in their “take-over” at the close of the nineteenth century and beginning of the twentieth century in our country.

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Donald Smith Memorial Baptist Church

Oak Lawn, Ill.


Contrary to the statements of Mr. Robert Seymour in the April 23 issue (Eutychus). I believe that the majority of Southern Baptists agree with the statements of Dr. Wayne Dehoney about joining the National Council of Churches for the reasons which Dr. Dehoney states. As far as I am able to determine I know of no Southern Baptist church which has been intimidated against “applying the implications of our faith to the racial revolution all around us” or to any other problem of our day. Southern Baptist churches are independent and autonomous bodies.…

Baptist churches do fear the specter of organic union. We have seen numerous Protestant bodies merging in the immediate past, and there is now conversation concerning the largest merger of all. We believe that Southern Baptists have a distinctive witness for our day. We believe that we would lose more than we could gain through organic union.… On the local level, where churches really do their work if it is done at all, the majority of Baptists are at one with other churches in areas of social concern and in fellowship. This is true especially in the small towns where the majority of our churches are found.

Most of us do admit our fear of aligning ourselves with the NCC. We seem to be not alone in our fears of this organization, as members of churches which do belong to it are expressing their fears also. Baptists pride themselves on their local autonomy. If we remain true to our heritage it will be impossible for us to join the National Council. The Southern Baptist Convention cannot do so since it does not consist of an organic union of the churches which are affiliated with it.…

First Baptist Church

Robersonville, N. C.


Whoever wrote the following words in a CHRISTIANITY TODAY editorial of March 26 is greatly misinformed about the present religious status of the YMCA: “Today the agencies in which Mott was interested (with the exception of the YMCA, which has virtually surrendered the spiritual principles of its founder) have been combined into one monolithic organization.”

Since Association Press is the publication division of the National Board of YMCAs, I know, as its director, that the YMCA is vitally involved in the spiritual principles which John R. Mott promoted so creatively. In fact, the YMCA is now in one of the best positions of any organization to be the Christian demonstration center for the application of the kind of Christianity advocated by Dr. Mott.

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Association Press

New York, N. Y.


• The principles of George Williams, the founder, and of John R. Mott included what Mott said as chairman of the Executive Committee of the Student Volunteer Movement in 1910: “Above all, the college men and college women … must be led to surrender themselves wholly to Jesus Christ as Lord and let Him determine their life decisions and dominate them in every relationship.… The one crucial, all-important question [is] whether or not they will yield to Christ His rightful place as the Lord and Master of their lives.” Dr. Stuber notes that the YMCA “is now in one of the best positions of any organization to be the Christian demonstration center for the application of the kind of Christianity advocated by Dr. Mott.” Doubtless some branches remain energetically faithful to the original intention. But many need to revert to that intention—to lead men to Christ as Saviour and Lord.—ED.


The article by William Young (April 9 issue) … raises a number of problems. First, positivists do not deny meaning to historical statements because they may be given a religious interpretation. Their anti-supernaturalistic bias will show in their probable rejection of the virgin birth of Jesus as false rather than meaningless. But they would insist that the deity of Jesus Christ is meaningless, not false.

Second, logical principles are not tautologies, because they are not—to speak loosely—true by virtue of the logical form. They are rather analytic, true by virtue of the meanings of the terms employed.

Third, the problem of the irrationalist is not met by insisting that logical principles say something about the world. It has been held that they only say something about the logical order which man imposes on the world. So this form of skepticism cannot be met by Young’s approach. In fact, his statement, “There is no great gulf fixed between necessary truths of reason and ordinary truths of fact,” tends to play into their hands.

Fourth, I do not detect a recognition of the marked human limitations which restrict any attempt at philosophical or theological structuring of the world, or, for that matter, any human thinking. There are only a handful of propositions which are absolutely apodictic. Even the apodictic certainty of mathematical sentences depends on the assumption of the Peano-Frege-Russell, Euclid-Hilbert, or similar sets of axioms. These axioms are not necessarily valid, despite the nearly universal acceptance of the mathematical theorems which follow from them.

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The crux of the matter, so far as Christianity is concerned, is the self-authenticating testimony of Scripture, discussed by Ramm in the Witness of the Spirit and Pattern of Religions Authority. But this does not lead to a demonstration which is logically compelling to the one who is not receiving the testimony of the Holy Spirit. That is, Christianity is not apodictically certain.

Lecturer in Philosophy

Los Angeles City College

Los Angeles, Calif.

In reply to … David Siemens’s letter:

1. In my article, I did not charge positivists with denying meaning to historical statements because they may be given a religious interpretation. My point was that positivists deny that historical statements can have religious significance. Mr. Siemens and I are agreed that they would reject the deity of Christ as meaningless.

2. I am not distinguishing tautologies from analytical propositions, but am adopting a terminology that has become standard among logicians since Wittgenstein (cf. Tractatus 6.1: “The propositions of logic are tautologies”).

3. Skepticism can be met, on Christian principles, by insisting that God has created the world according to a plan exhibiting logical order. From this it follows both that the laws of logic say something about the order of the world as created by God and that universal necessary laws and contingent empirical facts are bound inseparably together in God’s all-embracing purpose.

4. Formulations of mathematical theorems are valid only within particular frameworks of axioms. But the mathematical order of the actual or even possible worlds rests unchanging in the eternal thought of God.

Asst. Prof. of Philosophy

University of Rhode Island

Kingston, R. I.


You are to be congratulated on the editorial (“Labor Laws”) … in the May 21 issue on … Section 148 of the Taft-Hartley law.

It is amazing how few people understand the implications of compulsory unionism. It not only violates the basic principles of our American free institutions, but it is contrary to the fundamental tenet of Christianity which recognizes the dignity of the individual and the sacredness of human personality which are inherent in the right of free choice.…

Elkhart, Ind.

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We at Christus House send our thanks for your April 9 news article on the Christus House Community program at the University of Iowa. We appreciate George Williams’s fine reporting.…

Christus House is at the State University of Iowa (Iowa City), as you point out at the beginning of the article. However, you later locate us at Iowa State, which is Iowa’s other great university (at Ames). With similar names, even Iowans continually confuse them. Thus, we gladly follow the policy of our new president, referring to our campus as the University of Iowa.

Lutheran Campus Pastor

State University of Iowa

Iowa City, Iowa


Congratulations on your editorial in the April 23 issue referring to the so-called “ministerial opinion poll” sent out recently to ministers of all denominations.

I agree that the questions were “obviously weighted” in favor of a position leaning heavily toward Communism and opposed to the stated policy of our own nation. In addition to the comment that these same ministers were in favor of using force in Alabama, I would observe that they are also noted for attempts to form one big church in search of political power for themselves—some would like to make the National Council of Churches a coercive, rather than a cooperative, body. I am thankful that the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches had the wisdom to stay out of the National Council.

Instead of returning the questionnaire to the senders, I forwarded it to my congressman with the comment that the tax-exempt status of this group should be reinvestigated. The law states clearly that tax exemption must not be given to any group which uses any major part of its revenue for the purposes of influencing legislation or other political purposes.

First Congregational Church

Beaver Falls, Pa.

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