An unsuspecting archaeologist named Harvey Jenkins has made the find of the year at a dig near the ancient city of Nippur. It is a clay tablet with an inscription that has been deciphered as a dispensational chart. Fortunately, the tablet has the date 1863 B.C. stamped on it, so there is no need to make estimates of its age. Harvey is sure the tablet is authentic.

“My discovery was really accidental,” he told our man in Nippur. (We always keep a man in Nippur just in case there are any accidental discoveries.) “I really wasn’t looking for tablets. I had lost my can of wheat germ and was searching for it when I discovered the tablet.

Experts at the British Museum refused to comment. In fact, they refused to look at the tablet. “Stuff that’s already dated is not of interest to us,” snorted Sir Hilary Boswell-Bangbeetle, head of the tablet department. “It takes all the fun out of archaeological guesswork.”

Harvey’s sister-in-law, Mrs. Gertrude Gaswinder, a waitress in Keokuk, Iowa, stated dogmatically that the find was no doubt the greatest in modern archaeological history. “It is no doubt the greatest find in modern archaeological history,” she told our man in Keokuk. “It proves that the dispensational system is not a new invention, but an old invention.”

Dr. Howard Scroggins, the eminent amillennial archaeologist, examined the tablet carefully and concluded that it was not a dispensational chart. “It is definitely the marks of a horse’s hoof, a rather nervous horse at that,” he explained. “And I will believe this until kingdom come.”

Harvey has interrupted his work to fly back to the U.S. where he is to be involved in: (1) an illustrated lecture tour, (2) writing a book for Moody Press, (3) negotiating a professorship at Dallas Seminary, and (4) possibly making a movie and producing a series of cassettes.

“That piece of clay has transformed my life,” he told our man in Dallas. “But I do wish I could find that can of wheat germ.”


The Electronic Church

I thoroughly enjoyed Philip Yancey’s article on Jim Bakker and the PTL Club (“The Ironies and Impact of PTL,” Sept. 21). Yancey clearly points out the pros and cons of the “electronic church,” and states that Christians in America can no longer attempt to justify American materialism as scriptural.


Hamilton, Ohio

You certainly are a magazine of evangelical conviction! You have convicted PTL, its supporters, and the living dead it has raised to eternal life. You certainly must be feeding the ego of your audience, which is not doing the job of reaching people to help their neighbors.

Article continues below


Fairborn, Ohio

There are cooperating local churches and even charismatic prayer groups in most local Catholic churches that give assistance to the needs of people like the woman Yancey mentioned on page 33. I am one of many cooperating pastors who attempt to help these people as Jesus would have done. We do have an extension of PTL and the 700 Club in local churches and pastors.


Faith Temple Church of Pasadena

Pasadena, Tex.

Moody and the Feminists

It was disappointing to see John Maust project himself into his news story on Stanley Gundry, “A Male Casualty of the Feminist Movement” (Sept. 7).

Rather than questioning the integrity of Moody Bible Institute by suggesting that it dealt with Gundry because its conservative donors objected to Mrs. Gundry’s advocating the ordination of women, CHRISTIANITY TODAY could have written of an institution which expects its staff to uphold certain doctrinal and scriptural principles.


St. Paul’s Lutheran Church

Brookfield, Ill.

As alumni of Moody Bible Institute, we would like to express thanks for your article on Stanley Gundry. John Maust did an excellent job of covering a difficult issue. The fate which befell Stan Gundry has happened to others in the past, and will happen in the future unless drastic changes occur at the institute.


Burlington, N.C.

As a graduate of MBI and a past employee of Moody Press, I am inclined to agree with the unnamed school official in your article who blames Mrs. Gundry’s views—and the MBI administration’s “concern” for donor opinion—for Dr. Gundry’s departure.

Though the issues and opinions Mrs. Gundry presents may not find full reception in the evangelical community, her unquestioned adherence to biblical inerrancy and authority make her a valuable contributor to the debate on issues of female inclusion in the church’s ministries.

It truly is a shame that the institute feels such compulsion to bow to constituent pressure on its “historic position” of women in the church, for this acquiescence will leave the appearance to many that financial pressure from donors now overrules decisions in an institution so historically committed to the principle of faith in the divine sustenance of an omnipotent God.


Grand Rapids, Mich.

The Bible in the Classroom

The interview with Jon T. Barton, “Teaching the Bible in Public Schools” (Sept. 7) was timely. I have heard many preachers and teachers state that the Supreme Court has driven prayer, Bible reading, and God out of the schools. The court has never said one could not pray or read the Bible in school. It has only said that no governing body could require mandatory religious exercises in the schools.

Article continues below

It has been the fundamentalists who have blocked the teaching of the Bible by contending for the teaching of religion as well.


Decatur, Ga.

As an attorney I am bothered when I see fellow Christians trying to make an end run around the First Amendment. Public schools by constitutional mandate are and ought to be religiously neutral. Instead of trying to find loopholes to sneak the Bible through, evangelicals need to direct their efforts toward constitutionally permissible alternatives such as parochial school and after-school instructional classes.


Elementary Principal

San Diego Academy

National City, Calif.

Smoke Signals

In the news report of the Smoketown meeting of Mennonite leaders (“Smoke Signals from Smoketown,” Aug. 17), when I stated that students in our seminaries are often more concerned about spiritual realities than their professors, I did not mean to imply that this was true of the Mennonite seminaries at Harrisonburg, Virginia; Elkhart, Indiana; and Fresno, California.


Professor of historical theology

Associated Mennonite Biblical


Elkhart, Ind.

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.