I now know there are ten readers of this column. That many good folk took the time to write and accuse me of dereliction of Christian responsibility because I let a drunk go out into the rain when he refused directions to gate twenty (“Plane Talk,” March 3 issue, page 32).

Therefore in the name of fairness I’ve revised the column, bringing into the account one of my esteemed readers:

The other night I was sitting in an airport lounge awaiting the arrival of my traveling companion. It had been raining for hours, and the rain was still coming down in sheets against the plate-glass window of the lounge.

I was just settling into my own thoughts when a red-faced drunk in rumpled clothes staggered in and asked a question of one of the baggage-handlers. Apparently not liking the answer, he shook his head and made his unsteady way toward me.

He stopped immediately in front of my seat, weaving back and forth on his feet. I prepared myself for a plea for financial assistance, but instead he asked, “Can you tell me where gate twenty is?”

I noticed he was clutching an airline ticket. Trying to be helpful I said, “Go through the door over there into the main terminal and you’ll see signs pointing to the different gates.”

“It don’t work that way,” he said with a frown, turning away abruptly with a swaying stagger toward the young woman sitting next to me.

“Where is gate twenty?” he demanded in a louder and more belligerent tone. Startled out of her magazine reading, the girl nevertheless immediately assessed the situation.

“Here, my dear brother,” she said, jumping to her feet, “I’ll show you the way to gate twenty.”


“Let me take you by the arm.”

“Shay, whaz your game, sister? Leggo my arm.”

“Here, let me put this gospel tract in your pocket while we walk.”

“Hey, whadda ya doin’? Get outta my pocket. You tryin’ to roll me for my money?”

“I’m just showing Christian compassion by leading you to gate twenty.”

“How do I know you’re leading me to gate twenty. I an’t goin’ nowhere with you. Leggo my sleeve, lady. Help! Shomone get this crazy lady away from me.”

“My dear friend, I’m just trying to help you. It’s for your own good.”

“I din’t ask for your help sho just sit down.”

“How can I sit still when I see á brother in need?”

“Well, I don’t need you so go ’way.”

“But, sir, I insist that you not miss your plane.”

“It’s my conshushushunal right to miss my plane if I want. Listen, lady, you got me so shook up I’m goin’ back to the bar to steady my nerves with another drink.”

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Now, is everybody happy?


My former pastor, David Yoost, introduced me to CHRISTIANITY TODAY, and I thank him for it. I have been challenged, entertained, educated, informed, and evangelized by your great articles and monthly features.

And the poetry—who selects the poetry? Seldom does it fail to speak to me in the most personal way. John Leax’s “After the Stroke” (March 17) is very moving. How wonderful it is that the Lord blesses some of his own with the gift of expression and then encourages them to share it.

From tears to laughter, reading “Sloven Power.” This also spoke to me; I am Sister Sloven! Thank you for a marvelous magazine.


Akron, Ohio


Your mention of Which Bible? in “The Bible as a Whole” (Feb. 18), is rather puzzling, to say the least. I do not mind for a moment being put in a “Special Category” providing the “category” is accurate and not given to discrepancies and egregious misstatements. I searched the whole review several times to find a presentation of facts to prove the thesis of Which Bible? was wrong. I couldn’t find one. I did find that “the overwhelming majority of evangelical Bible scholars … would agree in regarding Which Bible? as basically wrong-headed in its approach and typical of a misguided apologetic that causes evangelicalism to be identified in many people’s minds with an unenlightened obscurantism”.… This “overwhelming majority of evangelical Bible scholars” in our day, I take it, accept the Bible as the inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God in the original manuscripts. If they do, then they must believe that this Sovereign God has providentially preserved his Book all through the ages. This being the case, there is one question left—which version is nearest to the original autographs?

Which Bible? sets forth in nearly 300 pages clear, concise proof that the King James Version is that version. If there are those who can produce more proof, better proof that there is another version nearer to the originals, we welcomeit; but we are convinced they cannot produce it.

Wealthy Street Baptist Church

Grand Rapids, Mich.

In the article, interested readers were referred for more information to J. Harold Greenlee’s Introduction to New Testament Textual Criticism (Eerdmans, 160 pp., $3.50).—ED.

I must protest the false and unfair charges brought against Jay Green’s King James II Version of the Bible. It is false to say that this version is based on “an approach to textual matters that assumes for Erasmus a degree of accuracy impossible under the circumstances.” Why didn’t the authors of the article examine it with enough care to note the use of italics concerning textual questions (Johannine comma, etc.)? But it is a shame that for so many years evangelicals have uncritically accepted liberal theories of New Testament textual criticism through the influence of conservatives such as B. B. Warfield. Now that so many strictly Byzantine-type readings have been found in the early (non-Byzantine) papyrus manuscripts, evangelicals ought to be able to see that something is wrong and that they should not be following a Greek text that is bound to change considerably with every printing when the basis for it may be entirely wrong.

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Whatever its faults, it is also unfair to say that “it is difficult to find any particular in which this version is an improvement over what it is designed to replace.” What Jay Green has tried to do is give in present-day vocabulary a version of the Word of God without resorting to paraphrase (even “faithful” paraphrase, which depends upon the correct exegesis of the text) or accepting doubtful textual “improvements.” No other version attempts to do this, and that is an important achievement.

Grand Rapids, Mich.


I just wanted to thank Dr. Tinder for his essay, “Books 1971: The History of Christianity” (Feb. 18), which I thoroughly enjoyed. It seems to me an exceedingly succinct and useful sort of survey.

Professor, Theology and Philosophy

Yale Divinity School

New Haven, Conn.


In “English Church Merger” (News, Feb. 18), you state that 1,668 Congregational churches in England and Wales voted to merge with Presbyterians and form the United Reformed Church, while 465 voted against the merger. You did not tell the complete story. According to the British Weekly of January 21, 1972, there are some 700 Congregational churches remaining outside the proposed union.

On January 15, there was a meeting of leaders of the Congregational Association for the Continuance and Extension of Congregationalism. Plans were made to invite all non-uniting Congregational churches to a national rally in London the middle of May, to finalize the formation of a new organization which will probably be called the Congregational Federation.… So you see, Congregationalism is alive and well and living in Britain, as well as the United States and elsewhere.

Chairman, World Christian

Relations Commission

National Association of Congregational Christian Churches

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Milwaukee, Wisc.


After reading the news items on Better Entertainment Productions and the Ballad of Billie Blue in your March 3 issue, I would like to comment on this film and its executive director, Dr. Robert Plekker.

Dr. Plekker is a man committed to spreading the good news to as many as he can contact by whatever means he has available. He has been severely criticized by some churches for his latest use of the movie theaters to witness for Christ, but I know that the angels in heaven are rejoicing because of the souls given to the Lord by the use of this film.

Preacher Bob, as he is called in the film, shows Billie the way of salvation, and Billie becomes a Christian. This is not only an incident in a movie for Dr. Bob; he shows the same concern for all he meets in his everyday life. I feel it is a great privilege to know him as well as I do. If we were all as dedicated to spreading the word of God as this man, this world would be a much better place.

Jenison, Mich.


I wholeheartedly agree with Editor-Publisher Harold Lindsell’s statement in his Editor’s Note for March 3 that the administration and Congress are being fiscally irresponsible in pushing the limit of the national debt to $400 billion. I also agree with Mr. Lindsell’s statement, “Nations cannot afford to adopt programs, however good, for which they cannot pay.” That is why I hope all evangelical Christians will support a $40 billion reduction in defense and war spending to bring our budget into balance.

Washington, D.C.


It was interesting recently to see the good coverage that was given to our Youth for Christ International convention in New York (“Youth for Christ: It’s a Young World,” Feb. 18). I could tell who Plowman had been talking to by the contents of the article.

The only thing that disturbed me about the article was the final line that several veteran men had resigned in the dispute over autonomy versus centralization. My challenge would be to name one. The Eastern Area vice-president resigned as of September 1 and is giving serious consideration to coming into our Wheaton office to direct our overseas ministry. His associate resigned, but not over that. Those are the only resignations I know of, and I’m on the inside. I just hope a little barb appearing in a responsible publication doesn’t shake the confidence of the public in our organization.

Vice-President, Northern States Area Youth for Christ International

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West Des Moines, Iowa

Thanks for doing an excellent job reporting on the activities of Youth for Christ. It was comprehensive, fair, kind, and accurate. All of us are deeply grateful. Unquestionably it will do us a lot of good.… I have just come back from an extended time on the road. It was interesting to sense the influence of CHRISTIANITY TODAY. Numbers of folks referred to the article and expressed appreciation for the way you handled it. So, I’m encouraged.


Youth for Christ International

Wheaton, Ill.


Michael Bourdeaux is reported to be opposed to Bible smuggling because some Bibles have been confiscated (“The War on Church Establishment,” March 3). This is somewhat like being opposed to the general practice of surgery because a patient dies.

Our Bible courier teams reported that in 1971 less than 1 per cent of the Bibles sent were confiscated. Complete confirmation of their safe delivery is received. Letters from Russia continue to appeal for Scriptures.


Underground Evangelism

Los Angeles, Calif.

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