Protest against pornography branded as “admirable” and “puerile”

Smile The Clouds Away

About the poorest advice anyone has ever given me—and, by the same token, the poorest advice I have ever given anybody else—is, “Don’t worry.” The way my mind works, the effort to quit worrying is just another one of my worries.

Two solutions have presented themselves recently, and the first one seems to work pretty well. I try worrying on purpose. I pick out a really good worry and try to concentrate on it; and, since my powers of concentration aren’t too good, the very act of trying to worry drives the worry out of my mind. There are no guarantees that this will work for you.

Last week I tried a different scheme. I tried to sort out my worries and classify them under some general headings. The results were awful. You have no idea how many worries you have until you really get around to The Large View. People want me to work out some answers on Viet Nam, Red China, and Formosa, the new revolution in Russia, the Islamic invasion of Africa, the population explosion, the starving people of India, the new morality, the election of 1966, the poverty program, the race issue, the new confession, and the like—after, of course, giving a little thought in passing to geriatrics and vitamin deficiencies. So our dog has an infection in the middle of her back and we have water grass growing in one corner of our lawn.

In the midst of this I have a word for our preachers who want to be up and at ’em so their congregations will know that they are aware of the relevance of the Gospel. All they do to me is preach to my anxieties. Maybe we could use an official word on the “Balm in Gilead.” Maybe they could tell me, in the midst of all my worries, the one thing needful.


Four-Letter Words

In his article “The Church Faces the Problem of Pornography” (Sept. 24 issue), Hillyer H. Straton … reminds us that “four-letter words” are objectionable, not because they always refer to what is indecent or unmentionable, but because no gentleman uses them in public. The four-letter word is not more obscene than the phrase “sexual intercourse.” Either is obscene if in its context it lures the reader of a story or the viewer of a picture into a sinful act. There are many unrefined folk who interlard their conversation with these words, with no evil intent or interest in their meaning, just as many of Shakespeare’s lower-caste characters call whatever they dislike “whoreson”.…


Patterson, Calif.

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Dr. Straton has done an admirable job of analysis, and he goes on to offer a prescription for the sick patient.…

I believe every pastor can do something about this threat by personally approaching the owners of drugstores and other public places that have newsstands in his immediate community, urging them to discontinue objectionable magazines, cheap novels, and so on.… One thing I point out: You have to keep going back and back. The owners will quickly tell you that while they are busy here and there, the agents for this filthy trash will come in and consign their dirty and profitable wares.


Druid Hills Baptist

Atlanta, Ga.

His contention that the Church should merely maintain support for the past, and claim identification with the opinions of other disciplines, is incredibly puerile.…


Tucson, Ariz.

Water, Tears, And The New Birth

Re “The New Birth” by Billy Graham (Sept. 10 issue): This is a well-written, impassioned appeal to the inner consciences of many people who are greatly confused over their spiritual well-being.…

Jesus explained to Nicodemus that he must be born of the water and of the Spirit in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven (the Church) (John 3:3–5).…

The physical birth is achieved after continuance through the various stages with which all of us are familiar. The undebatable harmony of the Scriptures relative to the new birth proves that it is also accomplished in progressive stages: hearing, faith (Rom. 10:17); repentance (Luke 13:3); confession (Rom. 10:9, 10; Acts 8:37) being the essential stages prior to the last stage or actual birth—baptism (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38).…


Vista, Calif.

He docs his usual exceptionally fine job except for one thing …: When he mentions how to receive Christ he leaves out baptism, which is the scriptural symbol of the new birth.…


South Walnut Street Christian Church Bloomington, Ind.

It is a most valuable essay and sums up with admirable clarity those great fundamental truths connected with our salvation which are so deeply cherished by all evangelicals.…

On page 15 Dr. Graham sets out the wording of the prayer which he has used so often in his counseling work. The prayer begins, “O God, I acknowledge that I have sinned against Thee. I am sorry for my sins.…”

I must admit that there is no scriptural justification for suggesting that sorrow for sin is an essential precondition of salvation. It is obviously desirable, but it is not essential.…

Repentance is certainly a condition of salvation; but repentance is an act of the will which enables the sinner to turn back to God and to receive by faith the unconditional gift of salvation by grace. Penitence, on the other hand, is a Christian virtue inculcated by the Holy Spirit in the heart of the believer as part of the process of sanctification.…

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Jesus said. “Him that cometh unto Me I will in no wise cast out.” He has never yet rejected any man on the grounds that he is too bad a sinner, or that he is not sorry enough, or even that his theology is unsound. The only condition is that he should come.

I would therefore venture to suggest that Dr. Graham’s prayer could with advantage be altered to read, “O God, I acknowledge that I have sinned against Thee, and I am willing to turn from my sins.…” That is all that is necessary. Our blessed Lord has promised to do all the rest, and he will do it.


Reigate, Surrey, England

It was a wonderful testimony in itself to find the essay “The New Birth” … right next to the editorial “What Is the Church For?” …

One gave the answer to the other.…


Red Bank, N. J.

We are a small church working in a small university town, and this essay seems good to be put in the hands of our college students.

If it is available, will you please forward me 100 copies?


Grace Baptist Church

Moscow, Idaho

I must tell you how greatly I enjoyed and appreciate the plan of these quarterly bonus inserts in CHRISTIANITY TODAY. The one by Billy Graham was particularly helpful. I think there is no living man that is doing quite the work that he is doing in presenting the saving fundamentals for the masses.…

I would like a dozen copies to send to different individuals.…


Washington, D. C.

• Regrettably, no reprints of “The New Birth” are available. The material was excerpted from Evangelist Billy Graham’s new book, World Aflame.—ED.

College Critique

In the next to the last paragraph in the first column (News, p. 45, Sept. 24 issue) there is stated a relationship between Upland and Messiah Colleges and the Church of the Brethren. No formal relationship has ever existed between these two colleges and the Church of the Brethren.…


Dir. of Church Relations

Juniata College

Huntingdon, Pa.

• Our mistake. Messiah and the late Upland should have been identified with the Brethren in Christ.—ED.

The greatest error is the omission of Texas Christian University from the list of church-related colleges.…


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First Christian Church

Fredonia, Kan.

• TCU is indeed one of the biggest. Our sourcebook credits it with 6,201 full-time students.—ED.

More Than The Weather

Re the letter of Melvin Roy (Sept. 10 issue): This rather sharp criticism lacks cogency. Quite evidently the broad context in Galatians demonstrates Paul’s independence from merely human authorization. Yet at the same time we cannot evade the apparent force of the verb “to visit” (ἱστορῆσαι) in 1:18. Peter and Paul did not spend that fifteen days talking about the weather. The verb itself most probably suggests a consultation designed to improve Paul’s acquaintance with the life and ministry of the historical Jesus whom Peter knew firsthand. W. D. Davies, in The Setting of the Sermon on the Mount (Cambridge University Press, 1964, pp., 453–55), cites convincing parallels in both Rabbinic texts and Greek papyri to support this exegesis. Galatians 1:18 is only one of a series of witnesses in the New Testament to the historical continuity existing between the kerygma of Jesus before the Resurrection and the message of Paul after it. No doubt the brevity of my argument in Proposition Four led to Mr. Roy’s query. My “theology” is an exegetical one, as Paul’s is a historical one.


Asst. Prof, of New Testament

New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary

New Orleans, La

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