“Do not fold, spindle, or mutilate” may become a requirement for students of Christian apologetics if Walter R. Martin has his way. The general director of Christian Research Institute would like to see an international computer network established to aid scholars. Last September the New Jersey institute sponsored a European conference to consider how churches use computers.
Martin anticipates that smaller computers (within ten years they will be about the size of a briefcase) can be linked to a central memory bank from which students can draw theological information. Already the CRI has conducted seminars demonstrating information retrieval from text of the New English Bible stored in computers.
Last month a United Methodist Church committee approved “in principle” a plan to computerize personnel information for the denomination. In addition, American Baptists, United Presbyterians, Episcopalians, the Lutheran Church in America, and the United Church of Christ are considering whether computerized methods could help them screen ministers for pulpits and special ministries, and find laymen to fill church posts.1
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