Dear Connoisseurs of Linguistic Jive:

National Council of Churches social activists have, as part of their crash program on the “Crisis in the Nation,” erected a shanty in Resurrection City. It stands on Martin Luther King Plaza right off Abernathy Boulevard. New Breed churchmen have earnestly tried to establish “meaningful relationships” with the soul-brother—yippie—type demonstrators. I’m not sure how their “relevant dialogue” has gone, but I imagine their language adaptation may have been something like this:

“Hey, man, those long beads over the Nehru jacket and denims are wild. Like they’re the most! In this uptight world what a gas it is to be here in Resurrection City doin’ our own thing. Black and white together—sockin’ it to those Machiavellian racists on Capitol Hill—man, it’s positively groovy. Before we’re through, the Establishment’s really gonna know where it’s at. It’s high time the plastic man laid some bread on us poor cats. Till we get what’s ours nobody’s gonna turn us ’round.

“But you know, man, we gotta split from our own hang-ups, too. Like we gotta overcome our angst. You don’t dig? Sorry about that, Clyde. I mean we gotta get outa drag and get ultimately concerned. Ultimately concerned about what? Ultimately concerned about ultimate concern. I’m not talkin’ about Big Daddy in Skysville. I’m talkin’ about bein’ a man for others. I’m tellin’ it like it is. We also gotta accept the fact that we’re accepted, know what I mean? Man, that’s greater than droppin’ acid or flyin’ with a joint of grass. It’s really somethin’ else! It’s like an everlastin’ love-in!

“Of course, the straights don’t dig this. It’s not their bag. They’re too hooked on pie in the sky. And they’re always tryin’ to scare people with that jazz about the end of the world—Heah come de judge! Heah come de judge! They don’t realize that the existential moment is the thing. It’s now that’s important. We can’t wait. We gotta play our game now—and the name of the game is power—now! We gotta stick together and keep shakin’ up the honkies till we get some of that power. In the process of doin’ our own thing, we soul brothers will really tune in to each other. We’ll experience life force. And that’ll really blow our minds. As I said, Baby Cakes, I’m tellin’ it like it is. But we better get in that chow line now. It’s free, y’know.”


With heart and soul,


Thank you for the excellent article by Harold Fife, “The Changing Face of Missions” (June 7). The observations, especially that of the existence of the Church in most of the areas of the world, are accurate and desperately in need of emphasis in our churches today. In fact, I consider it my greatest obligation as a returned missionary to try to educate people at home to missions today.

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Augusta, Ga.

Harold W. Fife presents some very sound suggestions which are worthy of consideration by any mission board.


United Baptist Church

Presque Isle, Me.

“The Missionary and Cultural Shock” (June 7) was very revealing.…

There seems to exist a syndrome among missionaries on furlough to present a glorious picture of the work, no doubt in hopes of acquiring support. Because of this, conclusion number two—“Homeland supporters should be sympathetic about the new missionary’s problems in cultural adjustment and should pray specifically about this area”—is in many cases asking for prayer on a subject of which very few people are aware. The dynamic presentation of the work on the field causes many Christians to assume that the missionaries are stronger and more spiritual than everyone else.


Hazelwood, Mo.


An undesigned scoop! How fitting, the articles on the Israeli-Arab conflict (June 7) in the light of that week’s tragedy, and the hatred expressed.

Beside, they were helpful articles and interesting.


Central Baptist Church

Wallaceburg, Ont.

“Perspective on Arab-Israeli Tensions” gave the following two viewpoints:

Dr. Culbertson … was favorable to the overall Israeli position. His analysis contained at least forty-two separate Scripture references.

Dr. Kelso … in his vehement defense of the Arab position did not use a single verse from the Bible.



AEDUS Community Center

Chicago, Ill.

James L. Kelso’s article … failed to give the main reason for American support of Israel since 1948: the Jewish vote.…

If the Christian Church is guilty for the present Arab hostility toward the United States, it is because of the Church’s failure to counter the Zionists’ nationalistic arguments. The Zionists were able to convince the United States that they represented the Jewish vote and that the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine was in America’s best interest. Without sufficient opposition from either the Christian Church or the Arab block, the Zionist cause in Palestine carried the day, and Palestine became a Jewish state.


Pasadena, Calif.


The editorial, “The New Testament and the Jew” (June 7), is excellent. Actually, to say that the New Testament is anti-Semitic is itself as anti-Semitic a statement as anyone can make.… For by such viciously false utterances, men, both Jewish and Gentile, are blinded to the glorious saving light of the most wonderful book in the universe, the New Testament. And thus they are kept estranged from God; for in it only does he reveal the way of reconciliation between man and himself.

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I only wish those Jews and professing Christians who so perversely call the New Testament anti-Semitic could hear, as I have, what happens to an anti-Semite when he comes to know the New Testament as it really is. Here is what I, a Hebrew-Christian, have heard such men say: “I used to hate the Jews; but now I love them.” Quite a remarkable effect to come from an “anti-Semitic” book, What?


Scarborough, Ont.

Lately, a new attitude has appeared among liberal or non-religious Jews, an attitude supported, unfortunately, by some liberal Protestant theologians and ministers. Seeking to find natural causes for the Jews’ suffering, they have begun to point to the New Testament as the basis for anti-Semitism.…

These liberals propose that we evangelicals confess our guilt … [and] openly confess that the New Testament is a legacy of myths, written by bigots, filled with lies against a people who would not believe in Christ.

Would this really help combat anti-Semitism? I say that it would not! In fact, it would only increase the world’s persecution of the Jewish people!…

Sober thinking reveals that it is the Christian nations that have opened their hearts and doors to the Jews.… (I say “Christian” in opposition to Islamic or any other religious faith not founded on the New Testament revelation of Christ.) Do these liberals who attack us know that it was the good will and interest of Christian governments that gave Israel her land? It certainly was not the Arabs who did it! No, it is not by destroying the New Testament and the evangelical faith that we are going to solve the problem of anti-Semitism, because the Gospel alone breaks down the middle wall of partition (Eph. 2:12–18) and makes Jews and Gentile one in Christ Jesus.


Founder and President

International Board of Jewish Missions

Atlanta, Ga.

Anti-Semitism is an acquired reaction just like racism—it is a manifestation of racism. Some thirty years ago, when I was a missionary in China, I read several statements by theologians (?) asserting that anti-Semitism was due largely to the anti-Jewish implications of the Gospel of John. I determined to try to substantiate this hypothesis. I spoke to a good friend of mine, a very devout Chinese Christian and a serious student of the Bible, and asked him, “Have you read the Gospel of John?” “Of course,” he answered. “Many, many times. Why do you ask?” I replied by asking, “Do you hate the Jews?” To which he responded with evident astonishment: “Why, of course not. I don’t know anything about the Jews.” I am led to the conclusion that anti-Semitism has its root in two factors—cultural inoculation, and Jewish intransigence. Perhaps Christians would do well to emulate at least a modicum of their intransigence (Rom. 12:2).

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Byron Center, Mich.


I do enjoy Eutychus III. Do you suppose he would be interested in leading a summer tour to Nirvana (“Dear Probers of Inner Space,” June 7)? I’ve heard so much about it, I’d at least appreciate directions as to where (or how) it is to be found. I am most interested in meditation—however, not in the company of gurus.… Seriously, I do enjoy your articles.… Thank you for challenging, informing, and amusing.


Lakeside, Calif.


“Portland: Melting the Reserve” (News, June 7) presented two compliments: one to Billy Graham, who is still in “full bloom,” … [and] most important of all, praise to the Lord Jesus Christ, who is continually working within the heart of man.


Portland, Ore.

It is true that the preaching of the free offer of salvation has sometimes been accompanied by an unscriptural denial of fallen man’s natural inability.… But to accuse a scriptural evangelist of denying man’s natural inability to initiate his own salvation, simply on the ground of the giving of a general invitation, is a gross distortion of the truth, a violation of the ninth commandment.

In a libelous pamphlet entitled Billy Graham, the Pastor’s Dilemma, by Erroll Hulse, one reads, “The repetitive manner in which every meeting must conclude with a call for immediate response, is itself an eloquent confession of credence in the natural ability of man.…”

Let us imagine Mr. Hulse seated in a certain religious assembly in the time of Christ. “There was there a man having an atrophied hand.” Enter Jesus Christ. “And he says to the man with the atrophied hand, Stand forth in the midst.” At this Mr. Hulse grows anxious, and he tries to hold the patient down in his seat. All the time Hulse explains to Jesus, “This man really cannot move his hand. The high priest has certified that his hand is completely atrophied. The circulation in the hand has stopped. The nerves do not function. It is a case of total inability.”

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But Jesus does not heed Hr. Hulse’s warning. He demands an immediate response: “Stretch forth thy hand.”

At this Mr. Hulse expostulates, “But he can’t. Total inability is the first doctrine in the System. If you, Jesus, insist on an immediate response, then later on one of your disciples, under stress of an earthquake and threatened suicide, is going to tell a distressed army officer, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved,’ in the expectation of immediate results, and the custom of asking for immediate decisions will grow.”

Fortunately, Mr. Hulse’s interruption did not discourage the patient, for the record says, “He stretched it out, and his hand was restored whole.”

The seriousness of the argument against what he calls “Decisionist Evangelism” is grave. Whereas Christ commanded his Church to preach the Gospel to every creature, yet John Owen (The Death of Death, Eerdmans reprint of 1963, p. 202) says, “The proffer [of grace] itself neither is nor ever was absolutely universal to all …”; and so good a man as J. I. Packer, in his introductory essay to the John Owen work, says, “It is not likely, therefore, that a preacher of the old Gospel will be happy to express the application of it in the form of a demand to ‘decide for Christ’ …”

In opposition to the denial of the universality of the offer of salvation, we are fortunate to have an excellent brochure by Professors John Murray and Ned B. Stonehouse (The Free Offer of the Gospel, published by Louis J. Grotenhuis, Belvidere Road, Phillipsburg, N. J.) … that answers the attack on universal “decisionist evangelism,” by thorough scholarly examination of Scripture.


Dean Emeritus

Covenant Theological Seminary

St. Louis, Mo.


“The Church’s Defection from a Divine Mission” (May 24) illustrates the difference in the Church proclaiming salvation and a religious group pretending “Christianity.” …

If more preaching of the Gospel were done from the pulpits and lived in the lives of the hearers, then no room would be sought for “socio-politics” sermons (?). For a country which stands on the separation of church and state; it seems that more “state” is proclaimed from the churches and more “church-ianity” is proclaimed from our politicians than any nation on earth.

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Church of Christ

Bradenton, Fla.

Could it not be that Ilion T. Jones has misread the intentions of many who advocate church participation in social change?…

To me the Church has two responsibilities: (1) to be a gathering of those who want to hear the good news proclaimed and (2) to be a gathering of those who together seek to implement such change as will bear the fruit of redemption in terms of a healthy society. And perhaps the point of contention between staunch conservative and ardent liberal arises over the fact that each insists upon one without the other when, in fact, both are required.


Associate Minister

First Methodist Church

Saratoga Springs, N. Y.

That article “really preaches”! I used the Scripture, Galatians 1:6–9, as a text and most of Mr. Jones’s facts, and the people were really interested. It is true that the Church, or any part of it, cannot change the one Gospel already given to us just to fit our particular desires for our time.


Gardena-Torrance Southern Baptist Church

Gardena, Calif.

Many of us share Professor Jones’s concern for the maintenance of a clear evangelical witness and agree with many of his views. However, at least some of us are deeply disturbed by certain aspects of his brief essay.… With sweeping generalizations he rejects churchmen who “are openly using money as an external force to achieve what they consider to be the Church’s goal,” who “lobby for the passage of particular bills,” who “maintain lobbyists,” and so on. Quite apart from the democratic propriety and necessity of group activity and group expression, it is, of course, an undeniable fact that all significant Christian groups (see Miscellany, same issue), including the National Association of Evangelicals, use money to inform government leaders of their views, lobby for bills, and generally maintain lobbyists; I speak from experience, for I at one time participated in an NAE lobby! What Professor Jones seems to be denouncing is not economic and political church activity in general but rather activities which he disapproves of because of their goals. If that is what he means, then that is what he should say, and he should probably not present his personal views as being theologically orthodox or necessarily correct.

As far as I can ascertain, the closing quotation attributed to Lord Percy is taken out of context and was not meant to imply that the only way to change the world is to make people Christian. But Professor Jones implies precisely that and infers that all who think otherwise are lunatics. Presumably, then, all fair historians are lunatics, for it is abundantly clear that in many places and many times the world has been changed and greatly improved quite apart from Christianization.… The fact is, of course, as any informed observer knows, that in the United States and scores of other countries, both minor and major changes for the better, as well as many obviously regressive moves, have been instigated and achieved by non-Christian people.…

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To be sure, personal conversion must remain central in our Christian witness; but that fact in no way justifies a naïve or erroneous interpretation of past or present.


Associate Professor

Pacific College

Fresno, Calif.


The editorial “Dissent in the Churches” (May 24) ought to win some sort of prize. Your statement: “The big gripe … is that church leaders are issuing pronouncements and underwriting enterprises with no mandate to do so from those who supply funds,” just about tops the list for the materialistic basis for making theological decisions. Did you really mean to be so crass, or have we come openly, at last, to this in the Church?…

Where are all of these Bible-believing Christian laymen you speak about? Surely such a conviction on your part does not imply literacy or even close acquaintance with the Bible on the part of such believers. The existence of such, apparently, mythological persons has yet to come to my attention in my pastoral or otherwise daily experience. You should be awarded if only for verifying the existence of such folk.


Faith Presbyterian Church

El Paso, Tex.


I especially want to express my approval of the editorial, “The Ugly Spirit of Mobbism” (May 24). It appears to me that most of the “student rebels” are emotionally immature.… Those who act like naughty children deserve to be disciplined accordingly. Too many thousands of parents have “spared the rod,” and today’s headlines are the natural result.


Wakefield, N. H.


I really wonder if your reviewer of Bitter Harvest (“An Arab Strikes Back,” May 24) even read the book in its entirety.… Obviously no one likes what the Nazis did to the Jews, and therefore if you can imply that the Arabs or an Arab writer wants to do what the Nazis did, then you can write him off as not someone to whom we should give serious consideration. Dr. Young has tried to use just such a device. However the whole of the book indicates that Mr. Hadawi is not opposed to Jews but to Zionism and the concept of a “Jewish state.” His own proposed solution is to “return both Arabs and Jews to their own homeland,” and the Jews “who remain in Palestine would be only those who are willing to live and share with the Palestine Arabs the responsibility and privileges of citizenship.” This may not be a solution that is compatible with the views of your pro-Israeli reviewer, but this is not the suggestion of genocide nor Nazism! Undoubtedy, as in most books, there may be some mistakes and some overstatements to make a point, but I can assure you that this is a sober, well-documented presentation of the Palestinian question from an Arab point of view.… The United States must know that there are others, Christians and Muslims, who think Palestine is their land because it was their fathers’ land for generations. They will not so quickly be quiet just because we tell them, “Now we’re going to give this land to the Zionists from Europe.”

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Manama, Bahrain


It was most disappointing to discover that you had devoted a mere twenty-five lines to the Christian Labour Association of Canada and its recent Supreme Court of Ontario victory (“May Day Victory,” News, May 24). Both Dr. William Fitch and I had fully expected that you would give our evangelical activity more space.… Canada’s national newspaper, The Globe and Mail, devoted 123 lines to this court case alone.… Surely we may count on at least that much attention from an evangelical journal that is expected to favor a scripturally directed approach to social and economic problems.

You leave us and your readers with the distinct impression that you are not really vitally interested in independent, Christian movements that seek to be busy with issues of public concern in a Christian way.


Executive Secretary

Christian Labour Association of Canada

Rexdale, Ont.

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