A Challenge to the Sacred Cow

A Little Learning

As somebody so well said, “One man’s partridge is another man’s grouse.”

Things were going pretty well on the car radio until that announcer told me in that tone of voice announcers have—just the right touch of condescension and the sound of “look-at-me-how-youthful-I-am”—that that very night YOUTH were going to tell what was wrong with parents. It would he “refreshing,” he said, to hear these young people speak, because they would be so “straightforward and honest and candid.” I suppose they were also clear-eyed and ruddy.

I have no objection to youth, but I can’t stand YOUTH. The whole cult reminds me of some little ditty we used to have in a book of nursery rhymes, “Who can tell what baby thinks?” I don’t think the viewpoint of youth on any subject is worth any more than the viewpoint of anybody else, no matter how candid and clear-eyed it may be. Usually they simply don’t know what they are talking about.

It is sort of like the Christmas story. The whole thing is built around the “baby” Jesus. Who can fault a baby? The safest cover for a magazine is either a baby or a dog or a beautiful woman. But now where are we? We don’t know any more than we did before.

What really irritates me is that youth are probably learning the wrong sort of thing in what sentimental adults think is a learning process, namely, training in self-expression. They are learning that they can say almost anything just because they are young, not because what they have to say is worth saying.

In every generation people have been worried because young people have been going bad. As a matter of fact, history teaches us that young people did go bad in culture after culture, as a result of which all kinds of civilizations went to the wall. Maybe we have reached the stage in our own civilization where the question is not whether youth can talk but whether they have ever really learned anything.

Just for an old authority, take Dorothy Dix: “At twenty a girl’s only appeal is to the eye. She has not lived long enough to know enough to have anything to say that is worth listening to.”


No Conflict

After reading “Does the Bible Conflict with Modern Science?” (Jan. 21 issue), I thought you might be interested in a letter I received from Dr. Wernher von Braun, U. S. Army Missile Command.…

Keep up the good work of CHRISTIANITY TODAY, a publication which is of utmost value in these hectic days of apostasy.


Beasley, Tex.

• The material from Dr. von Braun has appeared in print, and includes this statement: “Two stimuli are necessary to make man endeavor to conform with the accepted ethical standards. One is the belief in a Last Judgment, where every one of us has to account for what we did with God’s precious gift of life on this earth. The other is the belief in the immortality of the soul which thus can cherish the award or suffer the penalty decreed in the Last Judgment. The belief in God and in immortality thus gives us the moral strength and ethical guidance we need for virtually every action in our daily lives.”—ED.

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Less than an hour ago, I came upon the January 21 issue of CHRISTIANITY TODAY, in which the relation of science and religion is discussed by eminent men. I could not take the magazine from the library—nor did I more than scan the first page—but I know that it is a very important article (for me).…

I enclose thirty cents for a copy of the issue.…


West Chester, Pa.

I am very happy to see that you are hitting scientism, the sacred cow which the run-of-the-mill theologians of the Church do not seem to dare to touch today. I am convinced that until we can again affirm faith in God the Creator and challenge naturalistic evolution, we cannot preach the Gospel either.…


Bethany Reformed Church

Grand Rapids, Mich.


The reference you make in your February 4 issue to the National Association of Evangelicals’ interest in the Christian servicemen’s centers for Viet Nam is not technically correct.

NAE has no plans to establish such centers through the CSF or otherwise. We are receiving funds to be used in the establishment of centers in Viet Nam, but these will be transferred to some other group more directly involved in the operation of centers.


General Secretary

Christian Servicemen’s Fellowship

Washington, D. C.

Aches And Paynes

It seems CHRISTIANITY TODAY is having trouble with pains. The January 21 (News) story on the recent Evangelical Theological Society convention lists Houghton College President Stephen W. Paine (Wheaton ’30) as the new president. It is Dr. J. Barton Payne, professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College, who was elected to head the society. Dr. Payne served as vice-president during the past year, and Dr. Paine succeeds him in that capacity.


Manager, News Service

Wheaton College

Wheaton, Ill.

• We painfully acknowledge that we made an error.—ED.

Roman Rabbi?

In Addison Leitch’s insipid eulogy of Eugene Carson Blake (Current Religious Thought, Jan. 21 issue), he still failed to answer one question that has often puzzled me. Is Blake a converted Christian called to be a minister of the traditional Reformed faith—or is he really a Roman rabbi wearing a Presbyterian robe?

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First Presbyterian Church of Miami

Miami, Fla.

Dr. Eugene Carson Blake has had many critics, and it was a very welcome change to read something for him instead of against him.


Olympia, Wash.

Dr. Leitch writes as if Dr. Blake’s willingness to fellowship with Bishop Pike is inconsequential.… While there seems to be no doubt as to Dr. Blake’s ability to lead the church, the question should be asked, “Where … would he lead the church?” Whatever his natural qualifications, he must be judged by the answer to this question.


Santa Barbara, Calif.

It is not amiss to remind Leitch that “Gene’s” advocacy of abolishment of the House Committee on Un-American Activities and his loud amen to the Supreme Court’s decision to deny the Constitutional right to say prayers in public schools, is no legend but hard cold fact.…


Washington, D. C.

Fourth-Class Beatles

Some of us feel that the States should pay through its nose for the privilege of Americanizing British culture. One method we have devised for this is to perfect the American pop-culture and sell it back to the States. This regains a small part of the millions of pounds we’ve spent this century on lining the pockets of Hollywood film and record stars. Indeed, some of us have been asking long before Eutychus (Jan. 7 issue) what kind of times these are that our balance of trade can be ruined by the importing of such junk from America.

Now one British group has perfected the

American idiom, so much so that the whole of Britain has profited. We’ve shown our gratitude to the artists for this eminent display of one-upmanship by giving them the O.B.E. This is, indeed, an order of knighthood; but the Beatles only made the Fourth Class (one from the bottom), so, alas, they have not been knighted. There’s no Sir Ringo … yet.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.


Alfred Place Baptist

Aberystwyth, Cardiganshire, Wales

Coping With The Retarded

Congratulations on the article “Counseling: How to Cope with Mental Retardation,” by Carl J. Rote (Jan. 21 issue).

The author’s thinking is very much in line with what I have learned in ministering to both physically and mentally handicapped.


Minister to the Handicapped

The Methodist Church

Ann Arbor District

Belleville, Mich.

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The article … is appreciated. I am a minister and father of a little mongoloid girl who is now eleven.…

Nancy is a great imitator; for example, she is just as apt to call me “Preacher Brown” as she is “Daddy.” Why not, since that’s what many in my congregation call me?

My wife and I can both testify that with love and proper care and treatment, a child like Nancy can be overwhelmingly accepted and bring rich blessings to the parents and family.…


Lovejoy Baptist Church

Lovejoy, Ga.

The retarded child is not God’s handiwork but the work of his archenemy.…

Even this, the heartbreak of a mentally retarded child, he redeems, and somehow [in a way] that we cannot understand here and now with our finite minds, he makes even this work toward ultimate good.


Winnetka, Ill.

God And No-God

It is enormously encouraging that CHRISTIANITY TODAY is not only putting emphasis on the Church’s mission to create new men in Christ but also formulating a strategy to make such emphasis worldwide. I have read the New York Times report of the Berlin Congress with great interest.…

1. Our position will be brought up to date and relevant to the man in the street. The secularist has rejected the authority of God. But what is he going to put in its place?… He has got to find some inner, order-treating authority or else, in order to overcome chaos, submit to totalitarianism—a dirty word in any age and particularly so in these days of unlimited freedom.… The truth is that evangelism, while restoring men eternally to God, is also essential for running this world here and now—a concern of vital interest to materialistic man.

2. The battle line between God and no-God provides us with the most effective ecumenical action. It draws a horizontal line that cuts right through the perpendicular divisions—Catholic and Protestant, left and right, conservative and liberal—that separate man from man. It unites the men of God in all groups against the atheism in all groups.

Atheism has become very apparent in Protestant circles. But if Father Pedro Arrupe, the new Jesuit General, is right in his observation, it has been felt in the Catholic Church too. In his Vatican Council speech Father Arrupe spoke of atheism as “insidiously influencing the minds of believers (including religious and priests) with its hidden poison and producing its natural fruits in the Church, naturalism, distrust, rebellion.”

An ecumenical action that restores men to God and lights atheism wherever it is found is far more logical and relevant for the world than building a huge socio-political church, which seems implicit in the Blake-Pike proposals.

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New York, N.Y.

Recognizers Recognized

Congratulations on the addition to your staff of my good friend John Lawing. Some of us “recognized his genius” long ago, but alas we have not been recognized. His biting satirical wit expressed in clever cartoons has been enjoyed by us since college days.…

You are to be commended on the excellent presentation of matters of religious concern which has made CHRISTIANITY TODAY one of the leading journals of its kind in the world.


Highland Heights Presbyterian

Little Rock, Ark.

Keeping One’S Head

In a day when the world is losing its head (and especially the theologians), it is good to have a Christian magazine that is not (losing its head).…

Many of us are behind you all the way.


Grace Methodist

Warren, Pa.

Forty Years Late

Re “Is Protestant Christianity Being Sabotaged from Within?,” by Ilion T. Jones (Jan. 7 issue): While I am glad for Dr. Jones’s alarm at the condition of Protestant seminaries, his alarm is forty years late in coming. The old modernism merely parroted the romantic rationalism of its day in superficial religious terms, as does the “new theology” proclaim existentialism.…


Kenmuir Baptist Church

Port Credit, Ont.

The article … is alone worth the price of our subscription, plus that of the gift subscriptions we made!…


Medford, Ore.

I think the fault lies not only in the professors in the seminaries but in the churches themselves. You can’t feed people on politics and social living and expect them to grow in faith in God. People need the Bible, God’s Word, not the whims and ideas of men.


Hurricane, W. Va.

A Pacifist Defending Pacifism

To have a fighting man defend killing (“Is the United States Right in Bombing North Viet Nam?,” Jan. 7 issue) is like having an adulterer defend adultery or a covetous man defend covetousness. The only Person who can give the right answer is Jesus Christ himself. He gave it, in John 18:36! Let us listen to him!


Berlin Bible Church

Narrowsburg, N. Y.

I have seen no political or moral argument that justifies our war intervention in Viet Nam. It seems to me that our position there has been dictated by stupidity, politics, fear, and outright egotism.…


First Baptist

Homer, N. Y.

The Vanishing Criminal

Kudos on “Man Cannot Escape!” (Editorials, Jan. 21 issue). There are many besides those of us studying human behavior who look with chagrin upon the gradual psychologizing of our society. In a very real sense we no longer have a “criminal.” Some acts of crime (witness the assassination of Kennedy) are of such a nature that the criminal must be mad. The case is a priori. No evidence to the contrary could convince many persons of sanity in such criminality.…

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Cambridge, Mass.

The Baha’I Cult

Several years ago a German doctor who had gone to Ethiopia to practice his profession found it necessary to visit a dentist. As he was sitting in the chair with his mouth open, the dentist, an Iranian Jew who had become a Baha’i and had gone to Ethiopia as a missionary of his faith, said to his patient, “Did you know that Jesus. Christ has returned?” The doctor, who had given up the Roman Catholic faith in which he was reared and had become an agnostic, on hearing this strange question thought the dentist must be a mental case. But as the dentist continued to talk to him, keeping him two hours after the appointment was over, the doctor became interested, and finally became a Baha’i!

It is not only in Ethiopia that Baha’is are carrying on an active propaganda. Since my retirement as a missionary of the United Presbyterian Church in Iran I have had the privilege of speaking in numerous churches in various parts of the United States, and in a number of places I have been informed that Baha’is are attempting to pull people away from their churches and draw them into the Baha’i World Faith, as they call their movement. Since Baha’ism arose in Iran a century ago and I had many contacts with Baha’is during the forty-three years I served in that land, I have often been asked to explain to Christians what this faith is.

The basic Baha’i doctrine is that God has made himself known to man again and again through “Manifestations,” each of which is more complete than that which preceded it. Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad, as well as Zoroaster, Buddha, and Krishna, are held to be divine “Manifestations.” But the latest and most perfect of the “Manifestations” is said to be Baha’u’llah, an Iranian who died in Syria in 1892. This name, or title, means “The Splendor of God,” and from it the term “Baha’i” is derived. Baha’is believe that all the Manifestations are One, and so they say that Baha’u’llah is really Christ, who has returned as he promised to do.

This “World Faith” is an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam, which is the national religion of Iran. But as it has moved westward to Europe and America, it has more and more sloughed off its Eastern garb and adorned itself with garments more attractive to Westerners. The “Principles” which have been adopted, and about which Baha’is speak so persuasively, are world peace, equality of men and women, harmony of science and religion, investigation of truth, freedom from all prejudice, a universal language, and so on.

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Many Christians would favor some or all of these teachings. But no Christian can accept the basic theology of Baha’ism without denying the Christian faith. For to accept Baha’u’llah as God’s most perfect “Manifestation” and the hope of the world for the next 1,000 years is to deny the sufficiency and finality of Jesus Christ the Only Son of God.

Unfortunately, much of the attractive literature produced and distributed by the Baha’i Headquarters in Wilmette, Illinois, fails to give an accurate account of the history and teachings of the Babi-Baha’i Movement. Should any readers of CHRISTIANITY TODAY wish to gain a more correct and complete knowledge of Baha’ism, I suggest that they study carefully the book which Baha’u’llah himself considered the most important of his many writings, The Most Holy Book, recently translated by Dr. E. E. Elder and published as a scholarly work by the Royal Asiatic Society of London. This book is sold by Luzac and Company in London and by Orientalia, Inc. (11 East 12th St., New York); price $3.00. Also, a booklet entitled “Bahaism” by Bishop Richards of St. Davids, Wales, and published by the SPCK in London is now available. Bishop Richards is an authority on the Baha’i movement and in this excellent booklet discusses it from the Christian point of view.…


Philadelphia, Pa.

Editorial Breaks Through

Your editorial, “Will 1966 Signal a Breakthrough?” (Jan. 7 issue), went straight to my inmost spirit. I copied excerpts from the final paragraph for our church bulletin.…

My husband is seventy-seven and I am seventy-one, but we are still going on in his service in the church we have built and will dedicate, the Lord willing, on March 6, five years since we came here.…


Decatur, Ill.

Still A Methodist

Your paper is challenging and is serving a very necessary spot for this troubled hour in history. It hasn’t made a Calvinist out of me, but I like to read it anyway. Just a line or two from a Methodist retired minister with fifty-one active years to his credit.


Columbus, Ohio

Great Encouragement

I am sure the majority of sincere Christians believe in the inspiration of the Bible and the deity of Jesus Christ, and it is a great encouragement to me to find a magazine that is widely read throughout the Christian world [and] that devotes itself to the affirmation of the “faith once delivered”.…


Newhall Church of Christ

Newhall, Calif.

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