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In The Making 



No. 1 


By William Clayton Bower 


By Roger Hazelton 


By Massey Hamilton Shepherd, Jr. 


By S. Vernon McCasland 


By Shirley Jackson Case 





Shirley Jackson Case, Editor 

Religion in the Making is published four times a year, 
in May, November, January and March. It is sponsored 
by the Florida School of Religion and edited by the dean 
of the School. 

The subscription price is $2.00 per year, or sixty 
cents per single issue. Remittances should be made by 
postal or express money orders or by check and made 
payable to the Florida School of Religion. 

All communications, including business correspond- 
ence, manuscripts, exchanges, and books submitted for re- 
view should be addressed to Shirley Jackson Case, Editor, 
Florida School of Religion, Lakeland, Florida. 

Published by the Florida School of Religion, Box 146 
Florida Southern College, Lakeland, Florida, four times a 
year, May 15, November 15, January 15, and March 15. 
Entered as second class matter at the Post Office, Lake- 
land, Florida. 





By William Clayton Bower 


By Roger Hazelton 



By Massey Hamilton Shepherd, Jr. 



By S. Vernon McCasland 



By Shirley Jackson Case 


The Florida School of Religion 91 



With this issue Religion in the Making enters upon its 
second year. We have become convinced that it has a real 
mission to perform. The hearty reception accorded it 
during the first year far exceeded our fondest expecta- 
tions. Within a few months the first number was out of 
print. Consequently many new subscribers have been 
unable to secure the first issue. This fact we sincerely 
regret and as slight compensation we added a fifth com- 
plimentary number for our first-year subscribers. Hence- 
forth the new subscription year will begin in November 
instead of May. 

Evidently we were not mistaken in supposing that there 
was a place for a new quarterly religious journal design- 
ed for thoughtful readers who desired to keep abreast of 
the times in the changing world of today. It has not been 
our purpose to exhibit the technical processes of research 
but to present the constructive findings that are emerging 
in the various fields of religious thinking and activity. 
We have no desire to be propagandists for any particular 
interest. Rather, our aim is to be informative. Each oi 
our writers speaks for himself untrammeled by any orders 
from us. In this respect we represent a truly democratic 
temper and seek to widen the range of our readers' ob- 
servation to cover different aspects of present-day re- 
ligious growth. 

The selected list of books reviewed in each issue aims 
to inform readers about the content and character of re- 
cent publications. With this information in hand one 
knows what is being said and whether or not one desires 
to procure a book for more intensive reading. 

Now we solicit subscription renewals for the second 
year. The subscription price remains the same as before. 
It is $2.00 per year, or sixty cents for a single copy. One 
may remit by personal check or Post Office Order, made 
payable to the Florida School of Religion, Box 146, Flori- 
da Southern College, Lakeland, Florida. 


William Clayton Bower, who is Professor of Religious 
Education and Chairman of the Field of Practical Chris- 
tianity in the Divinity School of the University of Chi- 
cago, has been for several years one of our foremost 
authorities in this area of interest. His numerous books 
published during the last quarter-century are recognized 
as standards of authority. 

Roger Hazelton has been Dean of the Chapel and Pro- 
fessor of Religion at Colorado College since 1939. Pre- 
viously he was Tutor in Religion at Olivet College in 
Michigan. He attended Amherst College, the Chicago 
Theological Seminary, and the University of Chicago 
from which he received the A. M. degree in 1934. He 
then obtained the Ph. D. degree at Yale in 1936. He has 
contributed articles to Christendom, the Journal of Phi- 
losophy, Ethics, and the Philosophical Review. 

Massey Hamilton Shepherd, Jr., is at present a member 
of the faculty of the Episcopal Theological School in Cam- 
bridge, Mass. Formerly he was an instructor in the Di- 
vinity School of the University of Chicago, where he ob- 
tained the Ph. D. degree in 1937. His articles have ap- 
peared in the Anglican Theological Review, the Journal 
of Religion, and in other scholarly publications. 

S. Vernon McCasland has been John B. Cary Professor 
of Religion at the University of Virginia since 1939. Dur- 
ing the preceding decade he had been Professor and 
Chairman of the Department of Religion in Goucher Col- 
lege. In 1937-3 , 8 he was annual professor at the American 
School of Oriental Research in Jerusalem. He received 
the Ph. D. degree from the University of Chicago in 1926 
and the next year was German-American exchange stu- 
dent at the universities of Marburg, Munster and Berlin. 
His book on the Resurrection of Jesus appeared in 1932, 
and he has published numerous scholarly articles in dif- 
ferent periodicals. 


By William Clayton Bower 

University of Chicago 

Chicago, Illinois 

In order to understand the changes that have taken 
place in religious education during the last quarter of a 
century it is necessary to know what the modern religious 
educator is seeking to accomplish. Since the beginning of 
the century, he has shared with progressive educators* 
a growing misgiving as to the traditional views of the 
nature and ends of education and as to the procedures 
employed. These misgivings had their source in an in- 
creasing dissatisfaction with the results, both in individ- 
ual persons and in society, of the forms of education in- 
herited from the past.The twentieth century was moving: 
into a new attitude toward man's relation to his world — - 
an attitude that had its roots in the Renaissance of the 
thirteenth century. This maturing attitude had gradually 
shifted attention from the past with its inherited struc- 
tures of thought and action to the present with its opening 
possibilities the realization of which lies within the future. 
The philosophy and practice of education had been form- 
ulated under social conditions that set the supreme value 
upon the recovery and reproduction of the past as norm- 
ative for the present. The emergent interest in the pos- 
sibilities of personal and social living called for a new 
philosophy of education and a new procedure that would 
enable society to re-examine its assumptions, explore the 
possibilities of its present experience, and proceed cre- 
atively to bring these possibilities to realization in new 
forms of thought and action. 

Roughly speaking, it may be said that the education 
which the twentieth century inherited subsumed under 
three general types, each with its distinctive philosophy, 
its content, and its procedure. One was the disciplinary- 
conception of education. It is very old — as old as education 
itself. It grew out of the conflict between the organized 


thought and habits of the mature generation and the 
fresh experience and spontaneous impulses of the newly 
born. It was conceived to be the function of education to 
v nold the young into the authoritative patterns of behavior 
a id into the institutions inherited from the past. The 
f esh impulses of youth pressing against the barriers of 
tradition were looked upon with suspicion. Human nature 
as it renewed itself in the child was distrusted as innately 
evil and to be curbed or broken by discipline. In religious 
education this distrust was deepened and darkened by the 
doctrine of original sin. As a regimenting procedure, the 
content of disciplinary education was narrow and formal 
and prescribed. Its method was that of habit-formation. 
Its appeal was to the capacities of respect for authority, 
conformity, obedience, self-renunciation. The method 
employed is better fitted to animal than human intelli- 
gence and is the one consistently used in subjecting 
animals to the will of man, either in domesticating them 
or in training them to perform in the circus. It is recently 
being employed on an immense human scale in the total- 
itarian states. 

A second type was the transmissive concept of educa- 
tion. It conceives the function of education to be the re- 
covery and reproduction of the great traditions of society, 
literary, scientific, philosophical, aesthetic, technological, 
moral, historical and religious. It regarded the mind as a 
blank and as plastic, to be formed from without by the 
presentation of subject-matter selected from the great 
traditions. Like the disciplinary concept, in its earlier 
forms it was manipulative and external. With the rapid 
growth of knowledge under the influence of the scientific 
method, greater and greater emphasis has been placed up- 
on knowledge. The content of education under this view is, 
therefore, the organized body of human knowledge ac- 
cumulated through the centuries. In more recent years 
, the growing volume and complexity of knowledge has be- 
ime so great that it is no longer possible for any one 
person to master all that is to be known. Out of this dif- 


ficulty grew the elective system, which because of its 
fragmentary results, gave place to the organization of 
fields of knowledge and specialization. In religious edu- 
cation this idea of education placed emphasis upon the 
Christian tradition, especially upon the Bible, the heritage 
of Christian belief, and the development of the church 
as a divine institution. The effective method for this 
type of education was instruction which was reduced to a 
smooth technique in the five formal steps of teaching by 
the Herbartians. As in the case of disciplinary education, 
the burden of education under education as transmission 
rested primarily upon the teacher. It made use of the re- 
ceptive, assimilative, and passive capacities of the learner. 
Being dominated by tradition, education could not be other 
than backward-looking and authoritative. 

The third type in the educational inheritance of the 
twentieth century was the concept of education as reca- 
pitulation. It had a brief but enthusiastic vogue in this 
country. It was one of the outcomes of the influence 
of the doctrine of evolution upon education. It resulted 
from the confluence of the ideas of the evolution of the 
race, of the individual organism, and of culture. According 
to this view, as the human being in its prenatal stages re- 
capitulated the prehuman biological development of the 
race, so in its development after birth it recapitulated the 
epochs in the cultural development of the race. The order 
of the appearance and flowering of the instincts and in- 
terests was set by heredity, and the proper materials for 
the stimulation and guidance of these interests were the 
culture products of the epochs of human evolution. Not- 
withstanding its great contribution in focusing attention 
upon the human organism as the chief concern of edu- 
cation and upon growth as the basic method of education, 
it, like the disciplinary and transmissive types, was under 
the domination of the past — in this instance not through 
precedent or tradition, but heredity. 

The reactions from these inherited conceptions of the 
nature, ends, and methods of education since the begin- 


ning of the century have been profound. Religious edu- 
cators share in the conviction of progressive educators 
that it is not the function of education to mold the young 
into the behavior patterns and thought-forms of the past 
or to recover and transmit the end-products of past ex- 
perience in the form of the great traditions. It is, rather, 
the function of education to assist growing persons to 
achieve the most intelligent and effective interaction with 
their real and present world, with the help of the re- 
sources of the funded experience of the past, with its rich 
content of insights, values, techniques, and institutional 
arrangements. The focus of attention of the modern edu- 
cator is upon the living present as the existential moment 
in history, where history is in the making, and where 
human life in its personal and social aspects takes on new 
directions. Within the range of the present situation, his 
attention is fixed upon the possibilities that are resident 
in it and particularly upon the effect of their out-working 
upon the future. This is why creative education is con- 
cerned with developing attitudes of constructive criticism 
regarding the existing modes of thought and life and 
with the conscious and intentional improvement of the 
conditions of human life through the processes of social 

Within this larger framework of current educational 
thought, the religious educator is concerned with assist- 
ing growing persons to achieve a vital religious experience 
ef life. This means for him that religion is not a com- 
partmentalized experience set off from the rest of life, 
but a quality that potentially attaches to every 
phase of living — intellectual, economic, political, voca- 
tional, aesthetic, moral, social. What the religious educator 
is seeking to do is to bring religion into vital and func- 
tional relation to personal and social experience in its en- 
tire dimension. He has become convinced that there is no 
guarantee that anything religiously significant has hap- 
pened when biblical knowledge has been taught by in- 
structional methods, when information concerning the 


history of Christian thought or the development of the 
church has been mastered, or the routine of ceremonial 
acts has been performed. What is more likely to happen 
is that the literature of the Bible, history, and liturgy 
will be substituted for a vital religious experience, or that 
religious instruction will end in verbalizing about re- 
ligion rather than in the reconstruction of life in terms of 
religious values. 

The achievement of a creative religious experience of 
life involves, however, much more than dealing with the 
isolated individual. Religion is a social fact, both in its 
origin and nature. It is a phase of a people's total culture. 
It finds expression in man's collective life as it does in his 
personal life — as a quality that is diffused throughout 
every aspect of his common life. Moreover, it is an insight 
of social psychology that the individual develops in inter- 
action with society. It is from considerations such as these 
that the modern emphasis upon the social implications of 
religion have arisen. In religious education this has ex- 
tended the objectives of the religious educator far be- 
yond the assisting of individual persons to achieve a re- 
ligious personality, to the building of a fellowship that is 
the church and to the reconstruction of the processes that 
constitute society in the light of religious ideals and pur- 
poses. Nor do these objectives move in separate planes of 
educational endeavor. They are reciprocally and insep- 
arably interrelated phases of an undifferentiated educa- 
tional process. No program of religious education can be 
considered complete educationally or religiously until it 
has eventuated in effective action — in the actual recon- 
struction of one's own personal religious life, of the fel- 
lowship that is the church, or of society. Modern religious 
education denies that the end of the educative process is 
a complete and clear idea. The achievement of an ade- 
quate idea is but the beginning of creative education; its 
consummation is the effective functioning of the idea in 
the redirection of a complete act. Moreover, one arrives 
at the clarification and completion of ideas through their 


actual use in managing experience. Ideas have their ori- 
gin in experience; they undergo modification and valida- 
tion through their functional use in experience. This also 
is the way in which values arise and find their fulfilment, 
as do techniques and institutions. 

These are the backgrounds of the religious educators 
concern during recent years regarding curriculum and 
method, as well as the organization of religious education. 
They explain why he has been chiefly occupied with a re- 
examination of the basic assumptions regarding education 
and religion, with the formulation of a philosophy to 
support and guide his work, and with experiments in new 
types of curriculum and method. 

The foundation of the modern theory of religious edu- 
cation rests upon an analysis of experience and of the 
functional relation of religion to it. One of the most fruit- 
ful insights of contemporary social psychology is that 
persons become what they are at the various stages of 
their development through the experience which they 
have. The way, therefore, into the control of the process 
of personal becoming through educational guidance is 
through an analysis of the structure of experience and the 
factors that determine its nature. Upon the nature of 
experience depend both the curriculum and method. 

When experience is subjected to analysis it is seen to be 
the outcome of man's interaction with his objective world. 
It is not, as has often been supposed, the result of the 
pressures of environmental factors, on the one hand, or, 
as has often been supposed, of the internal growth of the 
organism, on the other hand. Human experience arises at 
the point where the live human being and the dynamic 
objective world interact with each other. Their action 
upon each other is reciprocal, and results in change in 
both. The live human being is born with impulses and 
needs which cause him to assume an active, outreaching, 
and controlling attitude toward the various aspects of 
his world. In attempting to satisfy these impulses and 
needs desires arise in the self and values attach to ends 


in the objective world. The objective world is manifold 
and complex. It consists of the physical environment, 
other human beings, social behaviors and institutions, the 
traditions of culture, and values, all with cosmic impli- 
cations. It, too, is a dynamic process of becoming, in 
which continuity is indissolubly united with change. 

When experience is further analyzed for its structure, 
it reveals a pattern which makes it possible for the edu- 
cator to assist the person whom he is guiding to bring it 
under a measure of conscious and intentional control. 
Every experience has its beginning in an identifiable 
situation and its completion in some kind of a response 
made to the situation. This pattern is not, however, to be 
thought of as isolated or static. No situation is ever whol- 
ly unrelated to other situations. Neither is it possible to 
set a limit to the response as though it were fully com- 
pleted. As the situation emerges out of a rich supporting 
context of experience, so the response has a way of con- 
tinuing on in its consequences. So also the situation-re- 
sponse configuration is itself a process undergoing de- 
velopment. The situation undergoes change while the re- 
sponse is being made to it. Indeed, the response itself 
enters into the situation, resulting in what has been called 
a cyclical effect. 

From the standpoint of tunctional and creative rts- 
ligious education based upon guided experience, the unit 
of the curriculum is a unit of experience. A functional cur- 
riculum consists of a selection of crucial experiences in- 
volving major aspects of the person's interaction with his 
physical, social, and cosmic world at the various levels of 
growth from early childhood through maturity to age, so 
arranged as to be sequential, cumulative, and comprehen- 
sive. Life situations differ greatly in their educational 
value. Some are quite trivial and recurrent and require 
for the most part only simple treatment. They can largely 
be left to take care of themselves. But others are crucial 
and extremely complex, involving major issues and far- 
reaching decisions. These involve not only one's personal 


interests and needs, but the major issues of society. These 
are the ones to which the religious educator needs to give 
attention. It is not enough therefore, that the child's or 
youth's interests should be made the basis of an educa- 
tional program. The child's interests and needs are set in 
the larger social context. There is something off-center in 
the concept of the "child-centered" school. Education in- 
volves more than the interests of the child; it is at the 
same time a profound concern of culture itself and its 
principal means for interpreting and recreating itself. 

This does not mean that a functional curriculum is lack- 
ing in content. There are two resources upon which the 
learner or the learning group may draw for the inter- 
pretation, evaluation, and resolution of these indetermin- 
ate situations. One is the learner's or the group's own 
past experience, with its mixed content of information, 
skills, prejudices, and errors. When it is perceived that 
this accumulation of personal past experience is a means 
of misreading and mishandling a situation as well as of 
managing it intelligently and effectively it is easy to be- 
lieve that not enough has been made of this content of a 
learning situation. The other resource is the funded ex- 
perience of the race through long centuries of living. Here 
are to be found the great traditions of religion — its sacred 
literature, its heritage of religious faith, its system of 
growing values, its developing insights into the nature of 
reality and of man, the rich inheritance of meanings and 
symbols, and the embodiment of religious ideals in great 
religious leaders. The difference between the place of this 
fund of historical experience in the subject-matter cur- 
riculum and the functional curriculum is that in the sub- 
ject-matter curriculum subject-matter is directly "taught", 
chiefly as an end in itself, whereas in the functional cur- 
riculum it is used as a resource for the interpretation, 
judging, and resolving of the issues involved in current 
living. All the component elements of the religious tradi- 
tion had their origin in their functional relation to the 
once-present experience of the religious community in its 



interaction with the actual and concrete situations which 
it faced with the same uncertainty as we face our own. 
The Bible, theology, the creeds, ceremonials, the church 
— all these are the outgrowth of the religious experience 
of the ancient Hebrew and early Christian communities 
and their successors. They are the end-products of past re- 
ligious living. They are alive and have meaning only 
when viewed in their functional relation to the experience 
out of which they grew. It is when divorced from the 
living experience that gave them birth that they lose their 
meaning and become inert. It is because they were part 
of the living tissue of life in the past that these traditions 
again become living when they re-enter our own con- 
temporary experience as resources for understanding and 
directing them toward genuinely religious outcomes. The 
fundamental difference between the subject-matter and 
the functional curriculum is that the subject-matter cur- 
riculum starts with historical subject-matter and, at its 
best, seeks ways in which it may be "applied" to current 
living, whereas the functional curriculum starts with the 
actual life situations of living persons and groups and 
utilizes the funded experience of the past in resolving- 
them in terms of enduring spiritual values and ideals. 

For the same reason, a functional religious education 
calls for a creative method in dealing with experience. 
Such a method rests upon an analysis of the way in 
which an indeterminate situation is resolved by the use 
ef critical intelligence, discriminating choice, and effec- 
tive executive action. In this the creative method differs 
markedly from habit-formation, indoctrination, or in- 
struction. It is the method of inquiry, of search, of ex- 
perimentation. It begins by bringing the situation clearly 
into consciousness and in clarifying the issues involved. 
It proceeds by analyzing the situation for its factors and 
for its possibilities. It searches the resources of historical 
experience as preserved in the great traditions for such 
relevant insights, standards, and techniques as may throw 
light upon the present situation and facilitate its resolu- 


tion. It weighs the possible outcomes in the light of the 
inherited values of the past and of the demands of the 
present situation which are never quite the same as those 
of the past. Out of such analysis and weighing a choice 
is made among the possible outcomes. The chosen out- 
come is tried out experimentally. If the result is satisfac- 
tory the situation is resolved ; if not, a new attack is made, 
n new alternative is chosen, and so on until the situation 
is satisfactorily resolved. As a result of weighing, judg- 
ing, and choosing courses of action in order to achieve 
desired ends that are felt to be intrinsically worthful the 
emotions are aroused and appreciation is evoked. Appre- 
ciation in this way becomes as much an integral part of 
the learning process as are critical thinking and execu- 
tive action. It is out of this actual experience of value* 
that worship springs. It is out of such experience in the 
past that the symbols of religion have come and it is only 
ms these values have been experienced in the process of 
living that the symbols which are their historic expres- 
sion can be meaningful. 

It will thus be seen that creative method in religious 
education has its beginning and its end in experience. As 
ideas and values have their origin in experience, so they 
reach their fulfilment only as they re-enter experience as 
factors of interpretation and control. The burden of learn- 
ing has shifted from the teacher to the growing person 
who has been brought from a passive into an active re- 
lation to learning as growth, as inquiry, and as achieve- 
ment rather than as an external and superimposed result. 
Its motivation lies deep in disciplined desire and its end 
is commitment to that which is felt to be supremely worth- 
fuL Such creative learning is oriented, not to the prece- 
dents of the past, but to the possibilities of the future. 
Through it religious ideals and values are brought into 
functioning relation to the living process, and religion be- 
er mes a vital experience. 

It was to be expected that in its reaction from a trans- 
missive, external, authoritative, and backward-looking re- 


ligious education creative religious education in seeking 
to redress the imbalance should temporarily overstress 
certain values and neglect others. Undoubtedly there was 
overemphasis upon ephemeral interests of the child at the 
expense of the long-time values and needs of culture. An 
extreme emphasis upon the present led to an under- val- 
uation of historical experience and tradition. The stress- 
ing of life-situations as units of learning led to a certain 
degree of atomism, though it was never greater than that 
of a subject-matter curriculum with its specious logical 
unity. Revolt against the pressures of social authority led 
to an unwarranted initial individualism. These ovei'- 
emphases are the normal expressions of reaction which 
tends initially to be as extreme as that which the reaction 
sought to rectify. There are evidences that modern re- 
ligious education is seeking to achieve a synthesis of the 
new values it has won and the abiding values that were 
resident in the traditional types of education. Knowledge 
is indispensable in any intelligent ordering of life; but it 
is functionally useful knowledge rather than knowledge as 
an end in itself. A stable and effective life is impossible 
without discipline; but it is not discipline imposed from 
without but self-discipline of an even more rigorous sort 
involved in every form of social co-operation. Growth is 
the essence of education; but it is not a growth whose 
patterns are set by the irrevocable forces of heredity, but 
growth that springs from the interaction of the live hu- 
man being with a dynamic world, both in process of be- 

Creative Christian education takes place at the grow- 
ing edge of Christianity where Christianity is in the 
making. It is here in the living present that tradition and 
creativity meet. Too often these have been felt to be in 
irreconcilable conflict. Actually, they belong inseparably 
to each other as phases of the historical process. The 
present is the outgrowth of the past, as the future will in 
turn grow out of the present. Here continuity and change 
are inseparably united in an ongoing social movement. In 


the experience of living men and women face to face with 
the issues of the changed and changing modern world 
Christian concepts and values that had their origin under 
cultural conditions quite other than our own are subjected 
to re-examination and reinterpretation. In this testing of 
historical experience under new and different social de- 
mands those elements of the Christian faith that are en- 
during are sifted out from the context of temporary and 
datable circumstances. They live again in their function- 
ing in the support and the enhancement of the spiritual 
life of the contemporary Christian community. So our 
conceptions of the nature of God and man and their re- 
lation to each other that seem so convincing to us under 
the conditions of our scientific and social world will be 
subjected to the same process of re-examination and selec- 
tion by those who will come after us in a world that in 
its mental outlook and social needs will be very different 
from our own. The great historic creeds as well as the 
operative systems of beliefs are the records of the chang- 
ing and growing faith of the Christian community 
through many generations and the changing conditions of 
the centuries. 

But at this growing edge of Christianity in the living 
present not only are the concepts and values of the 
Christian tradition re-examined, tested, and sifted; 
Christianity as a growing movement is taking on new 
qualities and new directions. This has been true of 
Christianity in the great moments of its development in 
response to new conditions and new demands, as in the 
first century when its center was shifted from Jewish to 
gentile soil and in the Reformation as a phase of the Ren- 
aissance. History demonstrates that the experience of 
twenty centuries has not been sufficiently ample and com- 
plex to exhaust the resources of Christianity. The 
capacity of Christianity to respond to new intellectual and 
social demands seems to justify the expectation that the 
extremely complex and difficult situations of the con- 
temporary world will bring to light new potentialities of 


the Christian movement heretofore unsuspected. But the 
Christianity of the epoch before us will be like the Chris- 
tianity in all of its other great creative epochs — it will be 
a Christianity that is continuous with its historic past, 
but at the same time a reformulated Christianity. 

It is because creative religious education works at this 
growing edge of operative Christianity where the great 
traditions of Christianity are put to functional use in the 
interpretation, evaluation, and redirecting of present 
Christian experience that it is brought into immediate 
and fundamental relations with theology. It has been the 
habit of not a few religious educators to belittle theology. 
This is a superficial and mistaken attitude though net 
difficult to understand. Much of traditional theology, like 
much of traditional philosophy, has been a rationalization 
of social behavior irrationally determined — a legitimiza- 
tion of the status quo. The speculations of metaphysical 
theology seem to be so remote from the actual processes 
of life and culture that they confuse and retard rather 
than facilitate man's interaction with his real and present 
world. In so far as this is true much of a priori, tradition- 
al theology is useless for educational purposes. 

A more considered view, however, shows that religious 
education and theology are closely interrelated. The phi- 
losophy, content, and procedure of religious education are 
conditioned by the theological assumptions upon which 
they rest. A religious education that rests upon the 
theological assumptions, be they traditional or neo-orth- 
odox, of a supernaturally revealed and authoritative body 
of static truth, of a depraved human nature, of God's 
action as an invasion of the temporal by the eternal, of 
grace as contravening the known processes of growth — 
such a religious education will conform to the transmis- 
sive and disciplinary patterns of education described in 
the early paragraphs of this discussion. If, on the other 
hand, the religious educator thinks of God and man as in 
reciprocal relations, seeking and finding each other at the 
point of man's interaction with his objective world, if he 


thinks of truths as growing insights into reality to be 
modified, enriched and extended by fresh experience, if 
he views man with self-respect and dignity as evolving 
toward ever higher levels of intellectual and spiritual 
capacity, if instead of inflexible absolutes he grounds his 
life upon growing values that have been validated by 
millenniums of human living, if he is convinced that in cre- 
ativity man most nearly comes into mutual fellowship 
with God — if these are the substance of his Christian 
faith he will ground his educational philosophy upon the 
present moment in personal and social experience where 
human life is reproducing and recreating itself and where 
he believes that God is as creatively at work as in any 
period in history. He will trust that experience as capable 
of carrying the load of education more adequately than 
the past can do. He will endeavor to assist the growing 
person and the learning group to bring to bear upon the 
living issues of that experience the highest capacities of 
the human spirit — critical intelligence, discriminating 
judgment, and a dedicated purpose to realize in the con- 
crete terms of human relations the values that live at the 
heart of Christianity. Thus he will lift religious educa- 
tion from the level of repetitive routine authoritatively 
imposed from without to an ennobling and creative 
achievement of a way of life consonant with man's digni- 
ty and destiny. Above all he will direct the attention of 
living persons to the frontiers of religious thought and 
life where God is still at work creating a realm of good 
where life may be lived and lived abundantly. 

The religious educator is, therefore, not only dependent 
upon theology as a ground for his work. Because creative 
religious education is concerned with the actual function- 
ing of Christian concepts and values in contemporary ex- 
perience where historic Christianity is recreating itself, it 
has much to contribute to theology. Religious education 
is concerned with the operative aspects of religious con- 
cepts, values, and symbols. Theology, on the other hand, 
is concerned with the interpretation and formulation of 


these products of Christian experience. Theology has 
more to learn from the functioning of these expressions 
of Christian experience than from their formal structure. 
Other sciences have long since learned this in regard to 
their subject-matters. The productive focus both for 
theology as the interpretation and formulation of Chris- 
tian faith and for religious education as the conscious ana 
intentional organization of the operation of Christian con- 
victions and purposes in the lives of growing persons and 
groups is at the existential point in historic Christianity 
— the living present — where religion is in the making. 


By Roger Hazelton 

Colorado College 

Colorado Springs, Colorado 

"Humanism" has surely been a word to conjure with in 
contemporary thought. By and large its defenders and 
critics alike have considered its meaning to be a denial 
of faith in God and an assertion of the ethical autonomy 
— and often even the cosmic primacy — of man himself. The 
arbitrary and confusing ways in which the word has been 
used almost makes one despair of defining the term again 
and marking off the things it stands for. In the face of 
the mass of indecisive discussion about humanism one is 
tempted to give up impatiently the slow business of clari- 
fying terms and resort to Humpty-Dumpty's advice about 
words: "Pay them extra and make them mean what you 

As examples of only a few of the uses of the word we 
may remind ourselves of some of its American meanings. 
There is, or has been, a literary humanism urged by 
Babbitt, More, Foerster and others which has sought 
standards for literature and life, stressed the place of the 
"inner check" as against the dogma of self-expression, 
and exalted the aristocracy of the intellect. This formerly 
vigorous view has recently come under the fire both of 
the right and the left wings of current thought. 1 Marxist 
humanism, combining a world-view of dialectical material- 
ism with a strategy of the class struggle and an apocaly- 
ptic of the classless society, stands at an opposite pole of 
meaning. A so-called "religious" humanism, much to the 
fore in the twenties, has lately been defended by such able 
thinkers as Burtt and attacked by naturalistic and super- 
naturalistic theists alike. 2 It has defined God (where it 
uses the word at all) in terms of human values, equating 
religion with their practical and social realization. To 
these familiar brands must now be added the "integral" 
humanism of Maritain and Gilson, which is a program 


for contemporary culture based on the thought-structure 
of Thomas Aquinas. 3 

It is this last, Catholic usage which poses a new problem 
for Christian thinkers. Theistic and Christian writers 
have generally sought rather to repudiate humanism out 
of hand than to come to terms with it. Their attack has 
been largely apologetic, setting up more or less traditional 
Christian presuppositions against those of humanist 
thought. It has seldom been a square facing of the ques- 
tions humanism poses or a search for better answers to 
them than the humanist himself can give. David Roberts 
continues this line of attack in a recent article 4 and 
Charles Hartshorne, though more sympathetic than 
Roberts to the humanist's questions, sets forth panpsychis- 
tic theism as a step "beyond humanism" 6 . 

Now what the Catholic thinkers have done is to at- 
tempt to include humanism within the theocentric per- 
spective and, by making a humanistic theism possible, to 
kill the views of atheists and non-theists with the kind- 
ness of a more adequate religious metaphysics. That this 
move has been possible from the Catholic position is due 
to the fact that, interestingly enough, Protestant thought 
has been moving away from philosophical understanding 
to theological affirmation, while Catholic thought on the 
other hand has been feeling toward a "Christian philo- 
sophy" capable of comprehending and winning over con- 
temporary secular life. 

The importance of this newer development is that the 
older antithesis between Christianity and humanism can- 
not longer be maintained without serious confusion, and 
that it now becomes possible to speak of this contrast as 
two kinds of humanism, one centered in man and the other 
centered in God. Perhaps a more accurate statement could 
be given by using the terms "non-theistic humanism" and 
"humanistic theism;" but the present discussion, concerned 
primarily with the fact that the latter view now sees the 
importance of accepting the challenge of humanism and 
meeting it so far as possible on its own ground, will speak 


of the two humanisms, one of which tells us that man is 
"the highest type of individual in existence", 6 and another 
which holds that man gains his worth from superior 
powers and values. The one says that man is alone in real- 
izing his ideals, facing an indifferent nature on the one 
hand and a vacuum where God was formerly supposed to 
be on the other. The second humanism says that man 
finds meaning and purpose for his living only because he 
is upheld by a power not himself, at once great and good, 
which men have immemorially called God. 

In spite of these basic differences, the two humanisms 
display a common pattern. First there is a realistic ap- 
praisal of man as he is, individually and socially; second, 
an urgent concern about the ways in which he ought to 
live; and finally a presistent effort to adjust the tension, 
in thought and practice alike, between what he is and 
what he ought to be. There are really only two root-ques- 
tions at the bottom of humanism in this broader sense. 
They happen also to be ancient Biblical questions: "What 
is man?' and "What can a man do to be saved?" In so far 
as these questions are accepted, and answers to them 
sought, by thinkers of both groups, we are justified in call- 
ing both "humanistic." 

No one can properly deny that this appraisal concern 
and effort have been the very substance of both secular 
and religious thought. But the impact of the present 
crisis has quite naturally led many to question the power 
and advantage of thinking itself. The practical failure of 
liberalism on many fronts, as well as the rebirth of dog- 
matic finality in political and theological practice, make 
the painstaking use of reason seem ineffective and fre- 
quently impossible. Thinking, even about the things that 
most nearly concern men's values and hopes, proceeds 
under a heavy cloud of suspicion. One needs to remind 
himself of two things: that thought worthy of the name 
arises out of real needs and stimulations; and that such 
thought must in turn be tested in the fire of practice and 
action. It is no accident that Augustine wrote The City 


of God even while the very earthly city that was the 
Roman Empire crumbled and crackled before his agonized 

eyes ; or that the most important work on ethics of recent 
times, that by Nicolai Hartmann, was begun in the tren- 
ches of the Eastern front during the first World War. 
Every love, every bereavement, every disappointment, 
makes philosophers and theologians out of us willy-nilly, 
and the placid sea of thought is fed continually by the 
warm and turbulent streams of common, earth-bound life. 
Nor is it accidental that millions of school children lead 
different lives because John Dewey writes, modifying the 
whole course of public education in the United States for 
several decades, and that John Locke's innocuous treatise 
on civil government becomes a corner-stone of the 
American constitution, to which legislators even yet refer 
with patriotic enthusiasm on special occasions. The point 
is well put by Irwin Edman : 

The waves of a pebble of thought spread until they 
reach even the nitwits on the shores of action. There 
is nothing so remote or impractical in philosophical 
speculation that, granted only its genius and its in- 
sight, may not have infinite repercussions on pract- 
ical life 7 . 

If it be admitted, then, that such thinking as concerns 
the ways of man arises in and contributes to those ways 
themselves, and that we may fairly speak of both theistic 
and non-theistic thought as humanistic in so far as they 
seek answers to the questions "What is man?" and "What 
can a man do to be saved?", we are prepared to follow the 
issue between the two humanisms at closer range. We do 
so in the conviction already voiced by David Roberts : "No 
clarification of the theological issue is possible so long as 
humanism and the recent tendencies in doctrinal theology 
remain hermetically sealed off from each other." 8 For 
this purpose we choose two representative American 
thinkers, each a decidedly influential spokesman for his 
point of view, Max Otto and Robert L. Calhoun. 



The keynote of Max Otto's thought' may be found in a 
passage in his earlier book, Things and Ideals (New 
York: Holt, 1924) which Walter Horton has called a clas- 
sical expression of our first type of humanism: 

It is thus a constructive social suggestion that we 
endeavor to give up, as the basis of our desire to win 
a satisfactory life, the quest for the companionship 
with a being behind or within the fleeting aspect of 
nature; that we assume the universe to be indifferent 
towards the human venture that means every thing 
to us; that we acknowledge ourselves to be adrift in 
infinite space on our little earth, the sole custodians 
of our ideals . . . accept the stern condition of being 
psychically alone in time and space, that we may 
then, with new zest, enter the warm valley of earthly 
existence — warm with human impulse, aspiration 
and affection, warm with the unconquerable thing 
called life; turn from the recognition of our cosmic 
isolation to a new sense of human togetherness, and 
so discover in a growing human solidarity, in a pro- 
gressively ennobled humanity, in an increasing joy in 
living, the goal we have all along blindly sought, and 
build on earth the fair city we have looked for in a 
compensatory world beyond. 9 

These are courageous, humane, hopeful words. They 
contain the familiar double-headed insistence of the non- 
theistic humanist that we must give up the quest for God 
in or above nature as hopeless and transfer our allegiance 
to the unfinished business of improving the relations be- 
tween men. This combination of atheistic naturalism and 
social idealism he calls, in his latest book,"realistic ideal- 
ism". 10 Only by ceasing to sing "Glory to God in the 
highest", Otto thinks, can we set about the important 
business of realizing "peace on earth, good will to men." 

Since the issue about God is the diverging point of the 
two humanisms, we must get Otto's denial of God into 
sharper focus. In his Conversation about God held not a 


decade ago with H. N. Wieman and D. C. Macintosh he 
accused the theists of having falsely divided the world into 
material and spiritual realms, — falsely, because the two 
are"coequal aspects of experienced reality." He went on 
to say: 

It is my conviction that the happiest and noblest 
life attainable by men and women is jeopardized by 
reliance upon a super-human, cosmic being for guid- 
ance and help . . . Reliance upon God for what life 
does not afford has, in my opinion, harmful conse- 
quences. It diverts attention from the specific con- 
ditions upon which a better or worse life depends; 
it leads men to regard themselves as spectators of 
a course of events which they in reality help to de- 
termine; it makes the highest human excellence con- 
sist in acquiescence in the supposed will of a being 
that is defined as not human . . . u 

One wonders, and can never be sure, if Otto's denial 
of belief in God arises because the belief is false or be- 
cause it has "harmful consequences." When he is talking 
about nature he gives the impression that his aversion is 
intellectual, because God's existence cannot be proved and 
seems in the face of the given indifference of nature to 
be most unlikely. But when he is speaking of man he is 
against belief in God because he thinks that men who be- 
lieve in God tend to consider themselves helpless to change 
things and to look away from the things that need chang- 
ing to the far-off being who, they fondly suppose, changes 
not. Belief in God, he holds, is not only an error of mind 
but a paralysis of the will ; it cuts the nerve of action. 
Now it is clearly not the same thing to say that God does 
not exist because the facts are against the belief as it is 
to say that God ought not to exist because men's ideals 
will fail of realization if they look beyond themselves for 
the help men alone can give to one another. Mr. Otto, be- 
kig a pragmatist, confuses the two. 


• Nevertheless he claims to be an atheist, which he says 
does not mean that he doubts whether God exists but that 
he affirms positively that God does not exist. Such an 
affirmation calls for proof, and Otto offers several re- 
flections pointing in this direction. For one thing there is 
the undoubted fact that naturalism (the denial of God) 
has gained and theism has lost in power over men's lives, 
which seems to prove in a practical if not theoretical way 
that "in proportion as men have ceased to lean on God, 
they have not only learned to bend mechanical forces to 
good use and to control the physical conditions of human 
well-being, but they have opened up undreamed-of re- 
sources for the satisfaction of the noblest desires of which 
they are capable." 12 Or consider, he goes on to say, that 
much theism is crisis theism. 13 When people are comfor- 
table and happy they do not believe in God nearly so 
much as when they are miserable or shaken. Neither of 
these furnishes anything like genuine proof of God's non- 
existence. Otto comes nearer to such proof when he points 
to the non-moral character of the evolutionary process. 
We cannot presume to know of a far-off divine event to 
which the whole creation moves because we are in the 
middle of the business ourselves and can scarcely speak 
about the climax of a performance when we have witness- 
ed only the opening scenes; nor can we see in human 
history any evidence of a power not ourselves siding with 
our ethical best. On the contrary, "there is no indication 
that anything or anyone superhuman is bent upon the 
triumph of humane or ethical principles." See what hap- 
pened to Socrates and Jesus. Note the growing, festering 
power of wicked men, the death of the good and the defeat 
of the things for which they stood. In the face of all this 
"evidence" from nature and history, "the best we can in 
truth say for the cosmos is that up to date it has not pre j 
vented the human experiment from being tried. Anything 
more is too much." 14 

But even that, of course, is something. It may, strictly 
speaking, prove the existence, quite as convincingly as 


the non-existence, of God. Otto honestly admits that he 
cannot prove cosmic atheism to be true but claims that the 
theist cannot prove his assertions either. The evidence 
sufficient to establish either view beyond doubt is lacking. 
He chooses for his part an ""affirmative faith in the non- 
existence of God," because in the last aralysis it is better 
not to believe in God so that you will be better able to 
take up arms against a sea of social troubles. 

Waiving for the moment the feeling that Otto has dis- 
posed a bit too lightly of God, we come on to his view of 
man. What is man? The characteristic of human beings 
which sets them off from all other beings is that they are 
"intent upon making desired actualities cut of imagined 
possibilities." 15 Man, like other organisms, refuses "pas- 
sively to accept the world in which he happened to occur," 
but unlike these his aggressiveness toward the environ- 
ment is in the direction of an intelligent use of means to 
further his ends and a higher plane of general ethical con- 
sciousness. Otto is a "progressist" though not a shallow 
optimist; there are lights and shadows, losses and gains, 
in the picture of human advance, but it is an advance. 
Otto does not suppose, as did Ralph Adams Cram, that 
man has remained essentially at the Neolithic level. Man 
eludes all simple formulas and is a hopeless contradiction 
to logic. He is not only what he was but what he shall 
find the means of becoming. The conclusion, Otto tells us, 
must be "that man's nature cannot be exhausted in one 
stratum of existence." 16 In fact for Otto man is just about 
what he is to the humanists who also believe in God. 

And how shall man save himself, from what evils and 
for what end? The "spiritualizing tendency" observable 
throughout human history gives the clue to man's future 
advance. He must overcome the egocentric impulses which 
mai k childish life in the individual and the race ; he must 
wrestle effectively with the problems created by a general 
business-mindedness which places power and profit above 
the contribution of goods and services to life's dignity and 
beauty; and he must re-channel the immense mechanisms 


of industrial and political life into the ways of a con- 
tributive society. He can do these things by relying on the 
propulsiveness, resourcefulness and creativeness of his 
own spirit to produce not an accidental and chaotic equi- 
librium between human groups but a "man-conscious plan- 
ning," based on just a "comprehensible and work- 
able philosophy of life for those who are in it and of it" 
as Otto himself has set forth. It is the hope of a good life 
In a good world, not that of a future life in another, 
which is the undying flame kindling any social idealism 
worthy of the name. 

This is surely a most eloquent and honest example of 
the humanism which finds man's hope of betterment in 
himself, rather than in sub-human nature or an assumed 
super-human God. Its courage and faith must have a 
magnificent appeal for all those who, when the great 
maps of life are gone, need to find new incentives for 
living to replace the old. It should be understood and ap- 
preciated by theistic thinkers before it is attacked. 

One of those who have best understood humanism 
without God is Robert L. Calhoun. In a paper prepared 
for the Oxford Conference he deals fully and fairly with 
such a view as Otto's. 17 He goes so far as to say that 
"humanitarian modernism" (which would certainly include 
Otto's position) "should be cherished by contemporary 
Christians" in large part, "without conceding its ul- 
timate perspective." 18 That love of man is something we 
have far more need of, not less, is a recurrent theme in 
Calhoun's thought. In exalting personality and in seeking 
to shape the patterns of institutions to human needs such 
a humanism as Otto's comes nearest, in his opinion, to 
Christian faith. What the Christian clearly- cannot grant 
is the ultimate perspective of man-centered humanism, 
which is man himself. He rather sees man "as at once 
less admirable in his present actuality, and more pro- 
found in his ultimate significance." 19 

How can this be? Atheistic humanism places man's 
hope of salvation in himself and his ideals. Intelligence, 


good will, education, improving the social environment, 
which are part and parcel of its program, are all very 
fine, but they are not enough. They do not come near 
the heart of the problem of man which is man himself. 
Even ideals are not enough, for there are demonic depths 
in man which only a God-centered view can recognize, and 
only God can plumb. Such optimism about man as the 
atheistic humanist shares, even if it be like Otto's of a 
chastened sort, is simply not true to the facts of human 
behavior. One must admire the courage, but refuse to ac- 
cept the estimate, of such humanism's account of man. 

This refusal does not involve any unwillingness to ac- 
cept or utilize the findings of science and its positive 
gains in relation to the social and psychological environ- 
ment. In so far as atheistic humanism has been far more 
ready to profit from these than has Christian faith, it is 
Christianity's shame and loss. Such changes in Ihe en- 
vironment of human life and the world-views to which 
they gave rise need not to be repudiated but to be trans- 
cended by being included. Yet Calhoun feels certain that 
the Christian view sees depths of perversity and weakness 
in man which actually explain what man does better than 
the easier confidence of humanism without God, and holds 
that any program for man's advance must reckon with 
the facts concerning man's worst. 

This is what Calhoun means by holding that Christian 
faith sees man as less admirable in his present actuality 
than atheistic humanism. But what of the point that it also 
sees him as "more profound in his ultimate significance?" 
This is so because for the former man is seen as placed 
in a universe not alien to him but continuous with his 
own spirit, the source of his being and the goal of his 
striving. His significance is not self-sufficient but derived 
and dependent. But even so it is more profound. Man the 
sinner is more significant than man the thinker and learn- 
er and lover because he stands in the presence of a power 
and Tightness in things which judges him and from which 
even in sinning he cannot totally separate himself. Unless 


there be something greater and better than both man and 
nature, "there is no obvious ground for optimism about 
either the goodness and power of men or the ultimate 
worth of things." 20 

What, then, are Calhoun's answers to the root-questions 
of humanism? What is man? Man is "the victim of his 
own spoiled nature, which has become self-corrupted into 
a mass of misdirected cravings." He continues by pointing 
out that the Christian view 

has its eyes on man the animal as we know him in 
business, in politics and in war; in the hypocrisies of 
home and school and church, and all polite society; 
in the secret lusts and hates of his most private im- 
aginings, and in the walking nightmares of his mad- 
ness when these lusts and hates come out frankly, in- 
side hospital cells or in lynchings and pogroms. 
From this creature, man as he is, what can deliver him? 
What can he do to be saved? Neither "high ideals and 
moral discourses" nor "common sense, nor science, nor 
philosophy" can avail, though they may all help. And even 
less can the cults of race or class that seek "to free man 
from conscience and the claims of right by handing him 
over to the whirlwinds or raw power." For man is this 
curious, ambivalent being: he is an animal, predatory, 
deceitful, cruel ;" but he is no less incurably a "social, re- 
sponsible, aspiring being, who can no more rid himself of 
conscience than of his memory or his powers of speech, 
without ceasing to be a man," 12 Thus we see an apparent 
paradox in the Christian view of man. A deep pessimism 
about man as he is and his ability to save himself is com- 
bined with a great hope for man as he may become, and 
his chances to be saved by God. 

The Christian understanding of man, with its re- 
lentless pessimism and its exultant faith, is no ordi- 
nary Utopian dream, for it sees man not merely re- 
housed and re-educated, but re-made. It does not 
crudely glorify man, but it sees him, even in the depths 
of his sin, as never for a moment alone but always 


with God, in whose unseen presence he lives and . 
moves, and has his being. If there be any ground of 
hope for man the animal, it must be because some- 
thing like this is true. 22 

Man, then, is to be saved by God. This does not mean 
that he is abjectly helpless, cringing in weak fear before 
the divine omnipotence, as Islam, the Calvinist-Puritan 
strain in Christianity, and non-theistic critics like Nietz- 
sche and Otto, have all too often pictured him. It does 
mean that at some critical points in his living man stands 
in need of guidance, power, help, which neither he no? 
others of his kind can furnish. It means, further, that 
on the Christian premise such help is to be had, not 
magically or arbitrarily, but simply because there is what 
Einstein has called a "rationality manifest in existence" 
which has also the marks of power and goodness as we 
know them in human experience to be. 

Man's part in being saved is real and not illusory. But 
salvation comes by way of response to an order and pat- 
tern already "there," not through aggressive, self-suf- 
ficient attack by man upon his own problems. The ap- 
parent paradox of pessimism and optimism is actually re- 
solved in the experience of worship, in which one discerns 
the presence of God and commits his living into God's 
hands. Man is not only animal and child of nature. He is 
critic and builder, criticizing not only what is in terms of 
what he wants but even his wants in the light of what he 
ought to want, and making tools, developing cultures in 
order to reach desired and far-off ends. He is at all times 
an unfinished being, and knows his center of equilibrium to 
be outside himself, for he can become himself only by 
transcending himself. Even his ordinary work may assist 
in the process of being saved, in so far as that work is 
contributive rather than egocentric, planned rather than 
haphazard, a joy rather than a monotonous routine. 

In all this a certain view of God has been implied, ana 
we must glance now at the main lines with which Calhoun 
sketches in his view. The subject-matter of theology, he 


maintains, includes not only the data of natural and social 
science but also the rich variety and profusion of human 
experience not yet brought under the microscope and the 
calipers — "all of the more concrete and pungent aspects 
of human life." 23 Taking as many of these facts into ac- 
count as possible, and being as critical as one can in in- 
terpreting them, we find good reasons for preferring the 
hypothesis that along with random or mechanical or un- 
conscious factors in the universe there is something sus- 
piciously like mental behavior. 

Calhoun does not suppose any more than Otto that com- 
plete certainty can be had about God by any human being. 
In all such matters we have to move by analogy, which is 
to explain the less familiar in terms of the more familiar. 
He is quite as aware as logicians like Mill or Joseph that 
analogy is inconclusive, but he insists that it is an inevitable 
procedure in all thinking, and that to say that something 
lik^. mind is discernible jn the working of nature is quite 
as good an analogy as to suppose with Lord Russell that 
a million monkeys pounding a million typewriters could 
turn out all the books in the British Museum, the more so 
when on a chance or mechanistic view the typewriters 
would have to assemble, repair and reproduce themselves, 
turning out books for their own amusement or improve- 
ment. 24 Such analogical thinking about God should not fly 
in the face of scientific methods or findings; but Calhoun 
does not see how scientific research can possibly disprove 
God's existence, for the very reason that it is not con- 
cerned with God but with data that can be pointed to, 
weighed, measured and otherwise manipulated. We must 
use what methods we have, where they are appropriate. 
God is a question not of what we know but of what, given 
the things we know, it is reasonable to believe. 

Pursuing the analogy cautiously, we get, according to 
Calhoun, a view of God as Mind, present and operative 
everywhere through the space-time order in such wise 
that no event transpiring within it is physically hidden 


from the central permeating Mind, although it does not 
possess omniscience in the sense of foreknowledge or in the 
further sense of being able to get outside its own perspec- 
tive into some or all others. God's thoughts are not our 
thoughts, nor his ways our ways. As Doer God also has a 
purposive nature, for if one thinks of God as good (and 
Calhoun holds with Plato that this is the starting-point 
for theology) one must assume that He has some pref- 
erences and antipathies by nature. This assumption of 
goodness in God also prevents Calhoun from maintaining 
an absolute omnipotence for God : "There are many things 
which God cannot do, precisely because He is God, and 
must be true to himself: He cannot act unjustly, nor un- 
wisely, nor unmercifully." 2 ' 

Rather than pursue this theological trend further, we 
must consider how this God is related to men. Again, we 
depend, as we must, on analogies from human experience. 
If we say that God "loves", however greatly we may think 
divine love exceeds human love in power and reach, we are 
saying that God's love has something in common with 
man's, and can be recognized by men for what it is. There 
is what in statistics is termed "significant correlation" 
between human and divine attributes. Yet we have con- 
stantly to be on our guard against making over God too 
easily into the image of man. God, like a friend who re- 
fuses to fit into my pre-conceived picture of him, refuses 
again and again to be what we want Him to be, and by 
this refusal, as childish ideas of God give way to wiser 
ones, we are drawn closer to God as He is. Yet with con- 
siderable reasonableness we may say, Calhoun thinks, that 
God's activity with respect to men has three phases: the 
establishing and maintenance of conditions suitable for 
the rise and growth of beings capable of knowing good 
and achieving it; then, bringing into life such beings as 
can take advantage of these conditions; and finally the 
awakening in such beings of responses to good already 
there or possible good to be achieved. 26 This is God's 
way, as "living Mind at work", with men, in which a man 


is called to be a "contributing participant in a shared task 
and a common life," a "co-worker" with God. 27 

It is a fair question whether such a view may properly 
be called "humanism" at all. Calhoun himself nowhere 
uses it to describe his position but rather reserves it for 
characterizing views to which he takes exception. Yet if 
the term be allowed in the broad sense already given, 
surely Calhoun's fundamental realism in dealing with hu- 
man nature, as well as his careful analysis of human 
ideals and their grounding in the world order, and his 
positive statement of the ways in which these ideals are 
realized by man co-working with God in the search for 
personal integrity and social reconstruction, all permit 
the term in his case. When we further consider that he 
does not set his view up against the non-theistic or 
atheistic views but insists that they be inclusively 
transcended, we have another reason for using the term. 
When we also admit, as we must, that the belief in God 
which Calhoun upholds is not at all the same belief in 
God which Otto attacks, we have a third reason for al- 
lowing the possibility of such a designation. Calhoun 
would say that a belief in man such as Otto holds de- 
mands some notion of God in order to be made intelligible 
and practicable in such a world as this. If concern with 
common problems can justify a common name, "human- 
ism" would seem appropriate in Calhoun's as in Otto's 


In weighing the merits of the two humanisms we have 
to remember that non-belief in God and belief in God are 
matters of faith which necessarily go beyond available 
fact. Otto has been more frank than some of his fellow- 
travelers in admitting that, and Calhoun has been more 
willing than some theistic naturalists to say that the 
existence of God is not a matter of knowledge but of ra- 
tional faith. We are dealing here, of course, with the ul- 
timate guesses, with what James called the "overbeliefs", 


by which men try to body forth the forms of things un- 
known. We cannot rightly expect sure-footed certainty in 
these beliefs, though we have every right to insist on such 
clearness, consistency and adequacy as we are justified in 
expecting. In choosing between Otto's and Calhoun's views 
we do not have a choice between fact and fancy, or be- 
tween certainty and uncertainty; we have two alterna- 
tive faiths, which we must judge by the standards which 
are appropriate to them. 

We have in the second place to re-emphasize the fact 
that the real issue between theistic and non-theistic (or 
atheistic) humanism hangs upon two questions. The first 
is the theoretical question: Does such knowledge as we 
have tend to justify or to deny faith in God? It seems to 
the present writer at least that Otto's negative answer 
depends clearly upon his sharp division of the human 
from the natural realm, and that this distinction in turn 
depends upon a kind of scientific naturalism proper to 
the nineteenth century but quite out of place in the twen- 
tieth. When, for example, Whitehead holds that "the 
energetic activity considered in physics is the emotional 
intensity entertained in life", 28 he is assuming continuity 
and not discontinuity between human and natural facts. 
When Einstein paraphrases Kant to say that "science 
without religion is lame, religion without science is blind", 
he is suggesting a postulate of method which is much closer 
to Colhoun's than to Otto's way of thinking. Otto seems to 
equate theism with superstition and says in fact that to ac- 
cept the passing of the. gods is "the price of growing up."- 9 
One who makes such a statement in the face of respected 
opinion based on full acquaintance with rigorous scientific 
method must take upon himself the burden of proof. 

It is the special merit of Calhoun's criticism of non- 
theistic views that he joins the issue on grounds of ra- 
tonality rather than attempting to meet them on the basis 
of the pragmatic effects of belief in God. This is the 
proper function of a philosophical theology, which needs 
especially to be maintained in view of the anti-philoso- 


phical bias of much contemporary theology. Only such a 
theology can really understand, and really meet, the ques- 
tions posed for it by anthropoentric humanism. 

As we are constantly being made more aware of the 
connections between living and non-living, what is "val- 
uable" and what is "real", what men have termed "phy- 
sical" and what they have called "spiritual", where form- 
erly these were supposed to constitute realms irrelevant 
to one another, it seems clear that a world-view is now 
possible among men familiar with the procedures and re- 
sults of science in which God is not an anachronism or a 
superfluity, though he be not the God of Edwards, Milton 
or Dante or of the simple-minded believer. In a sense this 
is a judgment on past history, since it depends on what 
recent science has already achieved; but the strong hold 
of out-moded assumptions upon the "social sciences" 
makes its insistence pertinent. 

The second question which we have seen at issue be- 
tween the two humanisms is the practical question : Does 
belief in God tend to reinforce the moral life of the be- 
liever or, as the non-theists hold, to paralyze his will? In 
view of the discussion to this point it will be evident 
that the non-theistic position is valid only if the God in 
question be assumed to be all-powerful, all-knowing and 
all-there-at-bottom-is. To repeat a point already made, the 
idea of God held by Calhoun is not the idea of God which 
Otto rejects. A God who is the principle of goodness and 
the process of making good, who communicates himself 
to men not by intrusions of miracle into the normal order 
of nature so much as through that order itself, who is the 
ground and the goal of human striving persuading but 
not compelling the will,— such a God is the guarantor and 
guardian of human good rather than its annulment and 

It should be abundantly plain, to those of us who live 
under the ominous shadow of world crisis, that good will 
alone is not enough. It should be equally plain, waiving 
now the problem of theoretical justification with which 


we have already dealt, that man "needs to have his own 
stumbling efforts powerfully upheld by forces greater 
than his own." 3 " It should be clear, again, that even such 
good will as a man has does not explain itself, but points 
beyond itself to its source and its end. Men of good will, 
saddened as is Thomas Mann by the failure of the intellect 
to tip the scales in favor of humane living, shocked like 
Jules Romains into pained recognition of the unsavory, 
uutractable forces deep within life, or driven like Aldous 
Huxley and others into the paradoxes of a mystical 
pacifism, may find in the ageless quest of the human 
spirit after God not an easy peace, but a more sobering 
estimate of man at his worst and a profounder hope for 
man at his best than good will alone can provide. The 
unmistakable note of sadness sounding through the 
thought of non-theists like Max Otto is its own com- 
mentary on the position that belief in God destroys be- 
lief in man. Belief in man and belief in God belong to- 

Let this belief be clarified and criticized with all the 
tools of observation and of reason; let it be tested again 
and again in the fires of practice and of crisis; but man 
will know with the sureness born of conflict and desire 
that he is a child of earth but a child of starry heaven, 
too, that, in George Herbert's phrase, he is one world ana 
hath another to attend him. This strangest of beings 
which is man, which is you, which is myself, will go on 
learning and unlearning, building and wrecking, stumb- 
ling and striving, loving and hating. But he will know 
when he is most himself that the condition of his growth 
as man is a patient, teachable openness toward what is 
not himself, what he does not make but finds, after the 
fashion of the ancient paradox of religion, which is no 
paradox at all but the simplest truth : "He that loseth his 
life for my sake shall find it." 


1. See for example Eliseo Vivas, "Humanism: A Backward Glance" 
T'icn Hsia Monthly, February-March, 1941, pp. 301-313; and Leo 


R. Ward, "Humanism and the Religious Question," The Review of 
Politics, October, 1940, pp. 477-487. 

2. See E. A. Burtt, Types of Religious Philosophy (New York: 
Harper's, 1939) ; H. N. Wieman, and W. M. Horton, The Growth 
of Religion (Chicago: Willett, Clark, 1938), pp. 250-1 and passim; 
David E. Roberts, "A Christian Appraisal of Humanism," Journal 
of Religion, January, 1941, pp. 2-22. 

3. See especially Jacques Maritain, True Humanism (New York: 
Ccribner's, 1938.) 

4. See above, note 2. 

5. Charles Hartshorne, Beyond Humanism (Chicago: Willett, Clark, 
1 937.) 

6. Ibid., p. 2. 

7. Irwin Edman, Four Ways of Philosophy (New York: Holt, 
1937), p. 100. 

8. David E. Roberts, loc. cit., p 2. 

9. Pp. 289-290. 

10. The Human Enterprise (New York: Crofts, 1940) Chapter V. 

11. The Christian Century, August 10, 1932, pp. 978-9. 

12. The Human Enterprise, pp. 323-4 

13. Ibid., p. 325. 

14. Ibid., pp.332, 335. 

15. Ibid., p. 129. 

16. Ibid., p. 223. 

17. ''The Dilemma of Humanitarian Modernism", in The Christian 
Understanding of Man (Chicago: Willett, Clark 1938), pp. 45-81. 

18. Ibid., p. 75. 

19. Ibid., p. 71. 

20. God and the Common Life (New York: Scribner's, 1935), p. 93. 

21. What is Man? (New York: Association Press, 1939), pp. 69-70. 

22. Ibid., p. 73. 

23. "Theology and the Humanites," in The Meaning of the Humani- 
ties , ed. T. M. Greene (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 
J 938), p. 129. 

24. God and the Common Life, p. 125. 

25. Ibid., p. 193. 

26. Ibid., pp. 201-204. 

27. Ibid., p. 242. 

28. A. N. Whitehead, Nature and Life (Chicago: University of 
Chicago Press, 1934), p. 46. 

29. Review of A. E. Haydon, Biography of the Gods, in Christian 
Century , June 4, 1941, p. 755. 

30. R. L. Calhoun, What is Man?, p. 62. 


By Massey Hamilton Shepherd, Jr. 
Episcopal Theological School, Cambridge, Mass. 

Worship is the response of man to the holiness and the 
creative and redemptive love of God. For Christians the 
response of worship derives meaning from the revelation 
of the nature of God's holiness and love as it is in Jesus 
Christ. The entire experience of Christian worship is 
conditioned by historic reference to the life and teaching, 
death and victory over death of the Son of Man and Son 
of God. This reference distinguishes Christian worship 
from other forms of religious worship. In God's presence 
Christians must face honestly: 1) the absolute demand 
of God's righteous will that they be perfect even as He 
is perfect; and 2) the equally absolute demand of the ex- 
ample of Christ, completely obedient to the will of God 
even to the death of the cross. Every Christian in his 
profession of faith at baptism and confirmation promises 
to seek to do the will of God by following Jesus Christ as 
Lord and Savior. In turn God offers the means of fulfil- 
ling this obligation so solemnly assumed in the gift of the 
Holy Spirit, the spiritual Christ, who is communicated 
through the fellowship of Christian believers, the Church. 

In worship the Church, the company of faithful people, 
lays itself bare before God for His judgment of its offer- 
ings and His strength to carry on its responsibility. Those 
who share this experience generally agree that it involves 
the following fundamental elements: 

1) Thanksgiving — for the knowledge God has given us 
of Himself, His will, His provident care, and His re- 
demptive love through Christ. 

2) Penitence and forgiveness — for our failures to live 
up to His demands and to our obligation. 

3) Instruction and Vision — that we may more fully 
comprehend God's purposes, requirements and promises, 


the causes of our failures, and the means of overcoming 

■i) Commitment — to a more strenuous endeavor 
to set forth in our lives the ideal of perfect love to which 
we are called. 


The experience of the Church in worship differs from 
the private devotions of individual Christians in that it 
is social and communal in character. The church offers its 
praise and thanksgiving, makes its confession of sin, re- 
ceives the Word of God, and dedicates itself to service 
as a social corporate body, knit together by the common 
bond of the Holy Spirit. The public worship of the Church 
is not the sum total of many individuals' particular offer- 
ings and prayers. Granted that the individual Christian 
does and should come to worship with fellow Christians 
bringing the fruits of his own stewardship and the re- 
quests of his own need : none the less, in order to trans- 
late particular, individual concerns into a social exper- 
ience of worship, all the worshippers must share them one 
with another. In so doing the individual worshipper learns 
to interpret and modify his own Christian experience in 
the light of the largest possible good of the whole Church. 
Common worship thus gives perspective to each Christian 
life by relating it to the total purpose of the Church's 

If worship is to be social and common it must neces- 
sarily be liturgical. Without liturgy worship becomes dis- 
ordered, anarchic, and individualistic, and consequently 
unedifying. The experience of the early Corinthian church 
t aches this. The ecstatic utterance of many of its mem- 
bers though in itself a genuine and sincere expression of 
individuals' experience of God, was nevertheless unedi- 
fying because it was not translated into terms which 
built up the whole body of the church. Protestant wor- 
ship today has often been accused of excessive individual- 
ism and subjectivism. The charge is not altogether just. 
Congregations do have an active part in worship (though 


choirs often tend to monopolize it) ; and the minister does 
endeavor to offer prayer and instruction that is relevant 
to the intentions of the whole worshipping body. Yet it 
must be admitted, there is a tendency in much Protestarn 
worship for the congregation to become purely passive 
to the devotions of their minister. Liturgy preserves wor- 
ship from such a danger by establishing a means of inter- 
communication among all the worshippers. It demands the 
active participation of all who are present, without at 
the same time allowing any individual to invade or in- 
trude upon the spiritual freedom of his neighbor. It es- 
tablishes an order of worship which requires every mem- 
ber to contribute his or her proper share to the total of- 

Sacerdotalism has always been a dangerous pitfall for 
true common worship. By this we mean the monopoly 
which the clergy assume, willingly or unwillingly, with 
regard to the conduct of Christian worship. It results in 
worship being performed on behalf of people instead of in 
their name. The later Middle Ages afford an excellent 
lesson in this regard. Contrary to much popular opinion, 
the medieval Church was marked by steady liturgical de- 
cline. The lay folk lost any sense of responsibility and 
vital participation in what was taking place at the altar. 
The presence of a congregation was unnecessary for the 
clergy to conduct worship. People generally received com- 
munion only once a year at Easter. Otherwise their at- 
tendance at Mass concerned itself chiefly with the witness 
and adoration of the consecrated host. Though it cannnt 
be denied that this in itself was a high form of worship 
experience, it was not social, common worship. For the 
benefits of the adoration of the host were individually 
sought and individually applied. The Eucharist becam? 
very largely the vehicle of private devotion rather than 
the solemn offering of the people of God. The greatest 
achievement of the Reformation was its resurrection of 
the primitive Christian conception of the priesthood of 
all believers, and the emphasis upon worship as an act 


understood by the people. Yet Protestant history has 
shown that' the ideals of the Reformers have not been 
realized. For the sacerdotalism of the medieval priest 
there has often been substituted the sacerdotalism of the 
reformed minister, who functions as a complete dictator 
in the realm of the public worship. Protestant church 
people have willingly acquiesced in this. Many consider 
that they have done their duty if they have secured a tal- 
ented and capable minister to discharge the office of 
public worship. Their sense of obligation about attendance 
upon public worship is thought of for the most part in 
terms of its help to them personally and individually. 
They are not keenly alive to the fact that, apart from any 
personal help which public worship may give them, the 
worship of the Church is not complete without them. 
Social responsibility to fellow believers is as much a 
principle of Christian worship as of Christian living. 

Conditions of life in our modern age, well-known to all 
of us, aggravate the problem of making Christians social- 
ly-minded about worship. The complexity and imperson- 
ality of our ordinary relationships leave literally thousands 
without roots in a healthful community life. The very 
primal social group itself, the family, has not escaped 
forces of disintegration. All churches feel these difficulties 
keenly, especially the large city churches. Members of 
such churches are acquainted with only a fraction of their 
fellow parishioners, and are intimately known to fewer 
still. Often their closest friends are not members of the 
same church at all ; sometimes they are not even profes- 
sing Christians. It is inevitable that in such situations the 
responsibility of conducting public worship becomes pro- 
fessionalized. A sure sign of this is poor congregational 
singing. Most people are timid about singing in the pres- 
ence of strangers. A well-paid choir and magnificent 
organ can be a great relief to their embarrassment! 

Historical students frequently point out the parallels 
in social conditions of our own time and the days when 
Christianity arose and spread in the Graeco-Roman world. 


The cosmopolitan individualism of ancient days led many 
to seek religious worships marked either by emotionalism 
or mysticism — two inevitable retreats of the socially-de- 
feated individual. The mystery-religions furnished emot- 
ionalism, with the aid of highly skilled, professional priest- 
hoods. Philosophy became mystical for the intelligentsia. 
Neither the mystery-religions nor philosophy afforded 
men a society of mutual understanding, support, stimula- 
tion and comfort. That is why Christianity won in the 
ancient world. It gave men and women a sense of worth 
to one another and to God, sympathy and forgiveness 
amidst despair and failure, and encouragement and joy 
with one another even in the most bitter persecution and 
trial. No wonder Christians called their worship Thanks- 
giving and Love-Feast! If Christian people today have a 
high sense of belonging one to another and all together 
belonging to God as His own people, Christian worship 
today will be festal and joyful also. 

The liturgical movement which is taking hold of 
Christendom today, both Protestantism and Roman 
Catholicism, is a welcome and hopeful sign of a new day 
in Christian worship. In Protestantism, however, it faces 
a danger which threatens to annul positive gains. This 
is the danger of aestheticism (and it is related to both 
emotionalism and mysticism). Phrases often heard these 
days are the "barrenness" of Protestant worship and the 
need of its "enrichment" from historic and artistic 
sources. The enrichment, however, is thought of more 
from the standpoint of taste than of theology. Let us not 
forget the wise counsel of the Psalmist to worship God in 
the beauty of holiness, and not in the holiness of beauty. 
It is not necessary to have a Gothic church, stained glass, 
altar and candles, monumental organs, robed ministers 
and choir, and richly carved woodwwk to realize the pres- 
ence of God in a worshipping body. These things may 
help; but they may also distract. One's meditation may 
wander far away from the central concern of the congre- 
gation if one lets the ornamentation of many of oiir 


■church buildings be "suggestive." How many of us have 
not been tempted to enjoy the organ prelude and choir 
anthem for the sheer beauty and excellence of the music 
itself without any controlling sense of their real function 
in worship? It adds little to the worshippers' vital sense 
of participation in worship if choral responses are only 
available to the choir; if they can only stand by and watch 
the processional and recessional hymns and not march 
too; if they do not have before them where they can see 
and read and say together some of the great prayers and 
selective readings which the minister has culled from a 
rich store of Christian devotion. Despite the enrichment 
that has taken place in much Protestant worship, the 
man and woman in the pew are frequently left with as 
small a part in public worship as before. To most of the 
service they listen passively and, if possible, vicariously 
to minister, organist and choir. It all may be very uplift- 
ing, but it all may be only very entertaining. In many 
cases entertainment has been the basis — thinly disguised 
to be sure — for attracting people to church, whether it be 
the fine building, the fine music, the fine sermon (or 
address) or a combination of these. 

We make the wrong approach to the liturgical arts if 
we view them as inevitable helps to common worship. 
Rather they are parts of our offerings which we bring to 
God, offerings of appreciation and joy for the immeasur- 
able beauty with which He has surrounded and endowed 
us. They are a part of our total stewardship which we lay 
before God in worship for His judgment. Ideally consid- 
ered, the arts used in common worship should come from 
the worshippers themselves as their own creations, sub- 
ject of course to the best standards of taste at their com 
mnnd. But worship should never give tne impressior of a 
professional performance employed for effects. 


Thus far we have set forth certain general principles 
upon which the liturgical life of Protestantism should be 
based. There is doubtless a large measure of agreement 


about them. But the concrete problem immediately arises 
as to how these principles may be actualized in the prac- 
tice of public worship in Protestant churches. For an 
answer to this question recourse will naturally be made 
first to the historic tradition of the Christian Church. It 
seems to me that there is only one conclusion that can be 
drawn from this procedure. The primary and major task 
of liturgical revival in Protestantism is the restoration 
of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper to its historic and 
proper place in the worship of the Church. At the present 
time this sacrament is, in most Protestant churches, an 
occasional rite. If not occasional, it is subordinated in 
emphasis to other forms of public worship. 

The reasons for this situation are partly historical. Re- 
cent investigators have done much to clarify this aspect 
of the problem and it is unnecessary to repeat their find- 
ings here. Suffice it to say that all the great Protestant 
Reformers (Zwingli excepted) were insistent that the 
Lord's Supper remain the principal service of worship on 
all Sundays, as it had been since the very foundation of 
the Christian Church. We have already mentioned the de- 
cline in regular communion by the laity during the Middle 
Ages. This habit of infrequent communion, acquired over 
centuries, had a marked effect on the liturgy when the 
Reformers translated the Mass into a vernacular service 
understood by the people. It was impossible to revive 
among the laity the practice of weekly communions. As 
a consequence the latter part of the communion service 
tended to drop out of use, and the benediction was given 
after the sermon. This truncated service has persisted in 
Protestantism to the present time; though few perhaps 
are conscious of the fact that their Sunday morning wor- 
ship service is based on the earlier part of the Lord's 
Supper liturgy. 

Equally significant, however, in the decline of frequency 
of the sacrament in Protestantism is the way in which 
Protestants have allowed the original meaning of the 
rite, so rich and profound, to become restricted almost 


entirely to the note of commemoration of Christ's death. 
As a consequence, in many of our churches the rite is like 
a funeral. Few people indeed would desire a funeral as 
the normal expression of their common worship. Actually 
the note of commemoration of Christ's death has been 
only one out of many meanings which the Lord's Supper 
has had in the early days of the Church and succeeding 
ages. Nor has it always been the dominant theme by any 
means. Otherwise the ea'ly Christians would never havt 
called it a Thanksgiving, or a Love-Feast. To them the 
commemoration of Christ in the Eucharist included not 
only his death, but his entire ministry, including the re- 
surrection and ascension. It is true that the climax of 
Jesus' ministry and in a sense the seal upon it was his 
passion and crucifixion. At the Last Supper with his dis- 
ciples he was peculiarly conscious of its imminence, and 
its anticipation cast a shadow of tragedy across the upper 
room. Indeed the Supper itself was a part of his passion. 
Yet the death of Jesus was not the completion of his sav- 
ing mission. At the Supper he looked beyond to the fellow- 
ship with his disciples about a common table in the Mes- 
sianic kingdom. The early Christians never dissociated 
the thought of Jesus' death from that of his victory over 
death. That is why they could break their bread together 
with joy and gladness; the experience of the living Christ 
made all sadness impossible at the Lord's table. Indeed 
some of the resurrection experiences of the earliest dis- 
ciple^ were probably had at the table fellowship. The 
Lords Supper is a solemn occasion, but not a melancholy 

Some writers have emphasized the Lord's Supper as a 
dramatic representation — a mystery play, if you will — of 
the Gospel story. The point can be over-stressed. Certainly 
medieval interpreters of the Mass went to absurd lengths 
in finding in every gesture of ceremonial and every 
phrase of ritual some correspondence with an actual 
event in the life and death of Jesus. There is, however, a 
very real sense in which the Lord's Supper h a dramatic 


proclamation of the Gospel. We would do well to consider 
seriously this evangelical character of the rite. The Re- 
formers were deeply conscious of it; to them the sacra- 
ment was as much a setting forth of the saving Word as 
was the sermon. Certainly its obseivance rivets the at- 
tention of the worshipping body upon the central theme 
of the Christian Evangel. It is both a witness to the 
world of what Christians most solemnly p 1 of ess and be- 
lieve (and thus has missionary implications), and also a 
challenge to the Christian conscierce of the supreme de- 
mands of the example of Christ. So long as the sacrament 
is central in Christian worship, it will keep Christian 
worship close to its prime reference. It may also help to 
keep preaching relevant to the Christian message. 

One of the oldest and commonest names for the Lord's 
Supper is Holy Communion. The phrase contains a double 
meaning — communion with the spiritual Christ, who is 
present at the sacrament as host, and communion with 
our fellow Christians as brethren in Christ and joint- 
heirs of his kingdom. The exact nature of Christ's pres- 
ence at or in the sacrament has been much debated by 
theologians; but all Christians at least believe that he is 
present in a very real and peculiar way. This aspect of 
communion is so familiar that it is not necessary to dwell 
upon it here. On the other hand there is need for greater 
attention to the social implications of table fellowship as 
an expression of mutual brotherly love. Jesus had a 
peculiar fondness for the figure of table fellowship to ex- 
press the practice of love and charity to our neighbors. It 
embraces all sorts and conditions of men. Is it not very 
significant that it is only about the Lord's table that 
Christians have never dared to make distinction of race, 
class, education, social position, or any other of the marks 
which tend to set people off from one another? The race 
question came to the fore in the early Jerusalem church, 
and at Corinth economic differences raised an ugly head. 
Actually, the Lord's Supper is the most compelling wit- 
ness of the Christian social gospel, the most potent sym- 


bol of the community and fellowship of all men under 
Christ which is proclaimed in the Christian Gospel. An} 
Christian who consents to share in the high privilege of 
that table commits himself thereby to the social teaching 
of the Gospel in its widest implications. Lay people need 
•to realize fully this important truth. Eating and drinking 
together with Christ is as much a matter of social fel- 
lowship and equality as eating and drinking in one's home. 
The heart of God must grieve to see the hypocrisy with 
which many gather about His table in His house. If our 
Christian people believe that the Church is one family 
and they are all brethren they will realize this. But if 
church membership means no more to them than belong- 
ing to an organization, then, of course, participation in 
the Lord's Supper will be dismissed as idealistic and with- 
out practical implications. Cannot we make the Lord's 
Supper in Protestantism the center of that community life 
for which men's hearts are hungry today? 

Not only communion itself expresses the social ideal of 
the Gospel but also the offertory of the communion ser- 
vice. The early Christians brought to each service of table 
fellowship the gifts of bread and wine which were to be 
used in the sacrament. They also brought with these other 
gifts of food and money to be expended for those in need. 
They made the Lord's Supper an occasion of positive 
charity; the social implications of the sacrament were 
carried out then and there. Modern conditions perhaps 
make it inexpedient actually to have the worshippers 
bring their contributions of all sorts to the service itsell ; 
though small parishes might very easily adopt the prac- 
tice. At any rate the offering is not just a collection. It is 
an opportunity for sacrificial giving — a giving inspired 
by the complete giving of Himself which Christ made and 
which we commemorate in the sacrament. If we empha- 
sized more the benevolences which we support with our 
offerings than the expenses of our parish organization, 
we would make our communion offerings a more vital, in- 
deed a necessary part of our common worship. 


It is at this point that we see the real, fundamental 
meaning of the sacrifice which is involved in this sacra- 
mental worship. It is a great pity that Christians have 
fought so bitterly over the doctrine of the "sacrifice of 
the Mass." The sacrifice which takes place in the sacra- 
ment is a double one: the sacrifice and complete self -giv- 
ing of Christ which is there commemorated and re-pro- 
sented in all its fulness, and the sacrifice and complete 
self-giving of the Church, both as a corporate body and 
as individuals, in response and gratitude for the sacrifice 
of Christ. The two are inextricably bound together, one 
calling forth the other. The sacrament is thus a dramatic 
symbol of the union of offerings of Christ and his 
people. Faced with the confrontation of Christ's complete 
giving of Himself as it is set forth in the rite, the Chris- 
tian bows in thankfulness for its benefits, penitence for 
its unrequited challenge, and renewed commitment to the 
fulfilling of its ideal. 

Seen in. all these meanings the Lord's Supper fulfils all 
the prime experiences of the Church in worship: thanks- 
giving, penitence and forgiveness, instruction and vision, 
and commitment. It probes their deepest meanings more 
than any other form of Christian worship can do. It is an 
act of faith, an act of charity, an act of worship. It sat- 
isfies every demand of social, common worship; for it is 
a rite of the people. It is something they do, as well as 
something they say. The minister acts only as their 
mouthpiece. The sacrament has the virtues of simplicity 
and directness; its teaching, though profound, is plain 
and clear. Protestants have not begun to exploit its pos- 
sibilities, its evangelical character, its social spirit, its 
religious power. Moreover it is the only worship w T hich 
Christ instituted and commanded Christians to observe. 
Its origin was exceedingly simple and ordinary — a table 
blessing of thanksgiving to God for the fruits of the 
earth, the common daily food and drink. Christ made 
these humble, daily gifts which all men enjoy the symbol 


of the greatest of all gifts, the gift of his Spirit, the bond 
of a new fellowship and the earnest of the Kingdom of 


What is the best liturgical form to express this mani- 
fold meaning and invoke this rich experience of Christian 
worship? The best answer again will be found in the 
historic liturgical tradition of the Church. Underlying all 
the great liturgies which have been created during the 
centuries is a basic pattern, which, reduced to its simplest 
terms, may be outlined as follows: 

(a) Introductory. Here there is considerable varia- 
tion in the liturgies. Two elements, however, are more or 
less constant: (1) some invocation of the presence 01 
God, through introit, hymn or prayer; and 
(2) prayers of confession and penitence. These may be 
in the form of a common prayer of confession, or a litany 
with the traditional cry, Lord, have mercy upon us. 

(b) Lessons of Scripture. These have usually been 
two or more in number, but the last one is always chosen 
from the Gospels. In this way the whole revelation of God 
that is contained in the Scriptures is centered in Christ. 
In the traditional liturgies the people always stand when 
the Gospel lection is read because of its prime signifi- 
cance. This is a compelling bit of ceremonial, psychologic- 
ally speaking, and is well worth observing. People as a 
rule will give better attention to the reading if they are 
standing. There is no reason why the minister should 
read these lessons of Scripture. They may very well be 
read by members of the congregation, selected because of 
their ability to read well aloud. The early Christians did 
this. They appointed readers from their number who were 
especially skilled in the art. The art of reading aloud with 
clarity and understanding is by no means universal today, 
even among the clergy. The lessons may be appropriately 
separated by psalms or hymns or other musical numbers 
which brmg out the message of the lesson read. 


(c) Sermon. This naturally follows the lessons, and 
is often based upon them. The sermon should be consider- 
ed as a part of the total worship and not the goal towards 
which the worship leads. 

(d) Offertory. The social meaning of this has al- 
ready been stressed. In the historic liturgies it consists of 
two parts: (1) the actual bringing to the holy table of 
the bread and wine and other gifts, including money, and 
the preparation of the table and elements for the com- 
munion feast; and (2) prayers of intercession for all 
sorts and conditions of men. It is a wholesome custom to 
vary these intercessions from Sunday to Sunday according 
to particular needs and intentions of the time. It is here 
that individuals may most appropriately bring their own 
personal needs and aspirations, and have them included 
with the prayers of the whole church. It is unnecessary for 
the minister always to offer these prayers of intercession. 
Why not have one of the laymen do it, if he has a good 
voice and a sincere interest in the work of the parish? 

(e) The Thanksgiving, or Consecration Prayer. This 
is always said by the minister. Some churches may prefer 
that it be a fixed, invariable form. Others may desire the 
more primitive custom of the minister giving thanks "as 
he is able." The prayer should be a thanksgiving to God 
for all his manifold mercies to men: for creation, provid- 
ence and redemption — here calling to mind particularly 
the life and work of Christ, and, if desired, a commemo- 
ration of the institution of the sacrament. It should end in 
the Lord's Prayer. This prayer is as much a hymn as a 
prayer; its note should therefore be one of joy. It would 
be a good idea to have the congregation stand while it is 
being offered. This is not a customary procedure, but it 
is primitive; and brings out the hymnal quality of the 
consecration. It is, actually, a table blessing; this fact 
should never be obscured. 

(f) Communion. This is the climax of the rite. It 
might be preceded by a ceremonial breaking of the breao, 
with attention called to the symbolism therein conveyed. 


During the communicating of the people the choir or 
organ might suggest a basis for meditation. Yet there 
is no harm in having silence. We do not need in worship 
to have every period of silence covered with organ o» 
vocal music. Perhaps everyone will not wish to commune. 
Nonetheless they should have a lively sense of participa- 

(g) Final Thanksgiving and Blessing. This should 
be brief. Interest cannot be sustained long after the cli- 
max has passed. A festival hymn of thanksgiving is a 
fitting close. One would certainly not want a mournful 
hymn here. 

How much of such a service should be fixed and pre- 
scribed? The answer to this question will depend largely 
on the taste and the particular tradition of the worship- 
ping body. However one should carefully distinguish three 
things about the service: order, ritual, and ceremonial. 
The order has to do with the arrangement of the service. 
This should always be fixed so that the people know it 
thoroughly and its mechanics be second nature to them. 
If the order of a service is unfamiliar, there will be con- 
fusion and wasted attention throughout. It is not sound 
to shift constantly the pattern and arrangement of ser- 
vices, for it confuses the people and places the worship 
in the control of the minister rather than in the con- 

The ritual has to do with the actual rite itself, i. e. the 
words said. There may or may not be considerable lati- 
tude here. The opening confession might well be fixed, so 
that all may join in; or at least it should be provided in 
printed form. The lessons will naturally change from 
Sunday to Sunday. They should be selected on a broad, 
long-time basis, giving the people an opportunity to hear 
the most significant passages of the entire Bible. This is 
important today, as so few people read the Scriptures 
regularly in private. The intercessions, as already hintea, 
may well change from Sunday to Sunday; naturally some 
items will recur constantly. The consecration prayer is 


the duty of the minister. If he and his congregation do 
not prefer a fixed form for this prayer, the minister 
should study the historic prayers of Christian liturgies 
for a clear understanding of the sort of prayer which is 

Ceremonial is the good manners of worship, and refers 
to the way in which the ritual is conducted. In every 
case it should be reverent and dignified, not fussy or 
complicated, and appropriate to the solemnity of the oc- 
casion and the dignity of Him addressed. Ceremonial also 
has a close relation to the setting of the service, i. e. the 
church building and its interior arrangement, and to the 
resources, artistic and economic, at the command of the 
parish. As a rule ceremonial reflects the manners of the 
age whether servile, courtly or democratic. There is a 
rich field for study today in the matter of ceremonial — 
how can we make a democratic ceremonial for our wor- 
ship which is reverent and dignified? Closely associated 
with this problem is also the selection of appropriate sym- 
bols which are comprehensible to all, unambiguous, and 
evocative of genuine religious feeling. 

The following statement occurs in the official report of 
the recent Edinburgh Conference on Faith and Order: 
"We find that the obstacles most difficult to over- 
come consist of elements of 'faith' and 'order' 
combined, as when some form of church government 
or worship is considered a part of the faith." 
This statement clearly refers to the sacrament of the 
Lord's Supper. Certainly all Christian communions, with 
the exception of the Quakers, hold that this sacrament is 
a part of Christian "faith," and not simply a matter of 
"order." Their differences with regard to "order" large- 
ly arise out of their differences regarding the nature of 
their "faith" as it finds concrete expression in the sacra- 
ment. Yet specific proposals looking towards the union of 
Christian churches frequently take their starting point on 
the question of "order." This seems to me an impossible 


line of approach for it jumps over the fundamental ques- 
tion which gives rise to so much difference in "order." 
Would not a more fruitful avenue towards unity be in 
the realm of sacramental worship as it centers in the 
Lord's Supper? At least all Christians agree that it rests 
on an institution of Christ and has played a central role 
in the life of all Christian bodies. (The Quakers present 
a peculiar problem which perhaps cannot be solved along 
the lines of approach adopted by other Christian groups.) 
Experience has shown that worship is a better ground of 
unity than church government. 

Our conversations about church unity will amount to 
little unless the prime concern of the churches is to share 
with one another their experience of God as it is in 
Christ. All Christians have such an experience in the Holy 
Communion, because the holy table is the Lord's, not 
a priest's or a presbyter's. Of course, there are many 
Christians who do not appreciate the fulness and richness 
of grace that is in this sacrament. In fact, who among us 
does? But we have to grow into this grace, not be argued 
into it. And we cannot grow if we are unwilling to share. 
Who will be the loser by our sharing? Will God, Who is 
the Giver? I for one have come to believe that inter-com- 
munion, far from being the goal of church unity, is the 
very condition of its achievement. We modern Christians, 
I fear, are still too much like the Corinthians. One comes 
away from the Lord's table drunken, and another hungry. 

In this paper I have tried to suggest a common denom- 
inator, so to speak, of liturgical worship centered in the 
Lord's Supper. The sacrament, I believe, should be the 
norm of Christian public worship. If Protestantism will 
address itself to the task of restoring the Eucharist to 
its proper central place in the worship of the Church, it 
will have a more promising and fruitful source of unity 
than has heretofore been the case. 


By S. Vernon McCasland 

University of Virginia 

Charlottesville, Virginia 

An affirmative answer to the above question has been 
so often assumed by New Testament scholars and the en- 
tire body of Gospel material which deals with the subject 
so generally ignored, that one might be justified in re- 
garding the possessed person as the "forgotten man" of 
New Testament criticism. With this question in mind, let 
us study these stories in the gospels in comparison with 
similar material both of that time and of the modern 
world. We readily grant that stories about demons have 
been a favorite theme in the popular legends of the world, 
but that is not to admit that all such stories are legendary. 
It only shows that in considering such material one must 
be on his guard and use discretion and discrimination. An 
attempt must be made to arrive at objective criteria 01 
judgment by means of which fact may be separated from 
fiction. The problem in the Gospels is complicated by the 
fact that the stories passed through a period of thirty 
years or more before they were written down in Mark. 

The period of oral tradition is a sort of no man's land 
which has been difficult to occupy. Our problem is to de- 
termine whether this tradition which comes to us av 
onymously represents a creation of credulous popular 
imagination, or the report of eye-witnesses, or originally 
true reports which have been partly overgown with leg- 
ends. There are thus three definite possibilities. In an ef- 
fort to solve the problem, we shall present for comparison 
cases of demon possession and exorcism which are beyo nci 
question reported by eye-witnesses, so that the possibility 
of legendary origin is eliminated altogether. Then we 
shall present stories which provide a basis for recogniz- 
ing legendary phenomena as well as the features which 
are authentic. 


Testimony of the Christian Fathers 

We turn first of all to the early Christian fathers. Our 
first witness is Justin, the famous apologist of Roman 
blood who was born about A.D. 114 at Neapolis, Palestine. 
He was by training a Roman philosopher and is a writer 
of high reputation. He lived for a time at Ephesus, then 
also at Rome, where he suffered martyrdom about A.D. 
165. He writes of Christian exorcism in his time as 
follows : 

"For he (Jesus) was made man also, as we before said, 
having been conceived according to the will of God the 
Father, for the sake of believing man, and for the de- 
struction of the demons. And now you can learn this from 
what is under your own observation. For numberless de- 
moniacs throughout the whole world, and in your city, 
many of our Christian men exorcising them in the name 
of Jesus Christ, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, 
have healed and do heal, rendering helpless and driving 
the possessing devils out of the men, though they could 
not be cured by all the other exorcists, and those who used 
incantations and drugs." 1 

This statement of Justin is from his second apology 
and is addressed to the people of Rome. He writes of ex- 
orcisms with which both he and they are familiar: they 
Lave occurred not only in the city of Rome itself but in 
other parts of the world. These words were written not 
far from A.D. 150. 

Tertullian of Carthage in North Africa wrote of sim- 
ilar things as being well known about A.D. 200. In an 
apology addressed to rulers of the Roman empire, he at- 
tempts to prove that the gods worshipped by the Romans 
are demons. This he does by referring to Christian ex- 
orcism as follows: 

"Why, all the authority and power we have over them 
(the pagan deities) is from our naming the name of 
Christ, and recalling to their memory the woes with which 
God threatens them at the hands of Christ as judge, and 
which they expect one day to overtake them. Fearing 


Christ in God, and God in Christ, they become subject to 
the servants of God and Christ. So at our touch and 
breathing, overwhelmed by the thought and realization of 
those judgment fires, they leave at our command the 
bodies they have entered, unwilling and distressed, and 
before your very eyes put to an open shame." 2 

The point which Tertullian is trying to make is not to 
convince the Roman rulers that Christians exorcize de- 
mons from the possessed. He says that they have seen 
that done and admit it. He challenges the rulers to give 
just any Christian an opportunity to demonstrate what 
he is saying. His real point is that the spirits under pres- 
sure of the Christian exorcists confess that they are the 
gods which the Romans worship. Therefore, argues Ter- 
tullian, they are not gods at all but only demons. So there 
is really only one true God, who is worshipped by the 
Christians, and the charge of treason which Romans bring 
against Christians for denying the Roman gods is false. 
We are not concerned with the validity of his argument, 
but it should be clear that Tertullian is describing real 
exorcism here, not popular legends. 

Other eminent early Christian writers who wrote about 
similar things with which they were familiar were Iren- 
aeus, 3 Origen, 4 Lactantius, 5 and Augustine. 6 Many others 
might be named. These reports are similar to those in 
the Gospels to a remarkable degree. 

Modern Christian Exorcism 
Numerous authors have brought together stories of 
Christian exorcism from the Middle Ages and later, 7 but 
I have come upon some striking cases among Christians, 
and Moslems of modern Palestine and Syria. I present 
just one case by quoting from a description of it In a 
letter from the Christian missionary who performed the 
exorcism to his chief. It was written without any thought 
that it would ever be published and is clearly a faithful 
report. I give the story exactly as the author told it, only 
omitting names of both persons and places by request. 
The account follows verbatim: (Dated May 23, 1936). 


"On returning from to— a request came to 

me to go to and pray for a woman that was demon 

possessed for a period of ten years. They had burned her 
with hot irons, beaten her etc., etc., but with no avail. 1 

could never get away from that call. When Rev. 

and his wife came I spoke to him about the matter. We 
prayed about it and the result was that we four (Mrs. 

4th party) went. They told us the history of the 

case and how a group would gather around in the even- 
ing when she would go under the influence of these evil 
spirits and talk with them, in audible voice. They said 
they wanted prayer in Jesus name. We decided to have a 
service. We sang one verse and half of the chorus of No. 
1 Eg. and she was taken with great agony and we com- 
manded them in Jesus name to speak. The information 
gained was that there were 16. They affirmed that they 
were stronger than Jesus but were told that they were 
liars and were forced in the name of Jesus to confess 
that Jesus was stronger. Four came out of her mouth with 
great suffering to her but she was brave and anxious to 
be free when she would come to herself. Later we asked 
how many there were and they said ten. With continued 
prayer and casting out in Jesus name they confessed that 
they were five, four, three, and two. After continued pray- 
er without success we learned that she had three charms 
around her neck. They immediately took them off but re- 
fused to let us burn them. Finally a large group said, 
"What more evidence do you want that the Lord is work- 
ing? Burn them." They made a fire and 'we burned them. 

One was from the Greek Priest of , one from a 

Mos. Priest, one from Druze. We started again to pray 
and they told us there was still another charm. They 
searched for it and we burned it. The two remaining spir- 
its talked a great deal. They were from the Nejed. If they 
went out they would kill her. The ministers should go 

back to their land and the Priest of was to be 

called. He spoke in broken Arabic, as an Armenian would 
speak and said he was not afriad of Arabic but feared 


Turkish. They said their names were Mohammed and Alie 
king of old. After another season of prayer Mohammed 
left. It was then evening. Alie had been a familiar spirit 
with her for ten years and it was evident he was a stub- 
case. We took the woman to and the believers 

stood with us in a remarkable way. She was now able to 
accept the Lord as her Savior also her husband. Each sea- 
son of prayer she was greatly tormented. In the evening 
she fell over and went to sleep and we thought she was 
delivered. The next P. M. the same way. At the evening 
seivice she said she was going to her room to sleep. The 
church was packed and people outside. The entire town 
including some Druze soldiers. I was glad she was not 
there Tor fear she might not be delivered and cause a 
?c-ene. I was intending to get up and explain that she was 
tired and decided not to come. But just as I decided she 
slipped off the seat on the floor and we rushed to her and 
demanded the spirit to come out in the name of Jesus. 
The spirit started to sing a love song to her and would 
not stop. He sang how beautiful she was when he (first 
came) to her but that because she was not content she had 
become worn and of poor health ; if he had known that 
he would not have come to her. He would never go to a 
Christian woman again. I love you and your son, why do 
you want me to go? Etc. We prayed all night until three 
A.M. and fasted the next day. We decided not to pray witn 
her until the Lord so led. After noon her sister came in 
and said Ghazallie wanted to pray with us. In the midst 
of her distress she was asked to speak the name of Jesus. 
This she did with great difficulty as she had never been 
able to say a word of her own will before. We prayed in 
her ear in the first person until she was able to repeat 
after us. Then the power started down from her head 
through her body but slowly. Then she began to sing 
about the Lord and salvation and was perfectly delivered. 
She was not able to walk for some time. All this time 
people were confessing their sins and accepting Christ 
as their Savior. Her husband came and we gave them in- 


struction about prayer and Bible study. He came again on 
Sunday to go home with her on Monday. Needless to say 

we had some good meetings in and souls were 


"A man came from and asked us to come and 

pray for his sister. They say she has over a hundred evri 
spirits. She destroys every bit of clothing they put on her 
except a loin cloth. We have been praying for over a week 
about going. Pray much for those who have been delivered 
as they must go on with the Lord or it would be better to 
let them (remain) in their past state." 

In transcribing this document I have made no change 
in grammar, but have inserted in parentheses (first came) 
and (remain), which had evidently been omitted acci- 
dentally. The four persons who performed the exorcism 
were the two missionaries and their wives. It is of in- 
terest to note that four religions play a part in this 
strange story — Moslem, Druze, Greek Orthodox, and 
Protestant. The Moslem background is shown by the 
names of Mohammed and his adopted son Ali. The evil 
spirits are thought of as ghosts of the dead. The case in- 
volves some type of sexual aberration and Ali is the wo- 
man's lover. The incubus appears frequently in the liter- 
ature of demon possession. The story of the girl Sarah in 
the book of Tobit is another example. But there are num- 
erous illustrations from more recent times. 8 

The woman possessed by over a hundred demons is only 
briefly described with no attempt at exorcism. The first 
woman was delivered of sixteen demons. This multiplicity 
of possession is reminiscent of the New Testament stories 
of Mary Magdalene, from whom seven demons were cast 
out, and of the demoniac of Gerasa, from whom a legion 
went out into the herd of swine. The general similarity of 
these cases to those described in the Gospels, not to men- 
tion the geographical location, makes them sound like 
another chapter from Mark. That is why I have given 
them. Their authenticity which is beyond question ought 
to be a warning to anyone who is skeptical of Jesus' e*- 


ore isms of the same type. The modern case of exorcism 
so fully described above is reported by an eye-witness who 
was in fact the chief exorcist. It is a firsthand report with 
no possibility whatever for folklore to have entered in. 

It would be possible to give a large number of modern 
illustrations of these phenomena. One of the best collec- 
tions from the Orient is the book by John L. Nevius: 
Demon Possession and Allied Themes, (New York, 1892). 
This author had been a missionary in China for forty 
years when he wrote his book. 9 There is also much ex- 
orcism among the Moslems of Palestine and other sections 
of the Orient. The Dervishes are especially noted for it. 
But aside from the fact that they use Koran verses and 
Moslem terminology, their healings are the same in prin- 
ciple as the Christian. 10 

A Neiv Testament Eye-Witness 
Thus far we have presented eye-witness accounts from 
the ancient Christian fathers and also from modern sour- 
ces which are similar to the stories of exorcism in the 
Gospels. This evidence makes the Gospel accounts look like 
reports of persons who saw the events take place. At the 
same time, we know that Mark, the oldest Gospel, was not 
written until about thirty or forty years after the heal- 
ings are said to have occurred; and it is altogether prob- 
able that he has written down what he got from the 
church tradition rather than from personal observation. 
But it is unjustifiable to assume that tradition is un- 
reliable. Tradition is not to be equated with legend ; it may 
very well be an accurate record of what happened. Mark s 
record of Jesus' exorcisms may be eye-witness reports 
even if Mark himself was not the witness. 

But there is beyond question one eye-witness report of 
an exorcism in the New Testament. That is the account 
of the exorcism of the Pythian spirit from the slave-girl 
at Philippi by Paul related in Acts 16:16-18. The Greek 
text says that this girl had pmuma pythona. Python was 
the name of the serpent in Greek mythology which guard- 
ed the oracle at Delphi, said to have been slain by Apollo 


when he became the deity of the oracle. It was a divining 
spirit and the girl earned money for her owners by the 
practice of divination. In English the passage reads: 

And it came to pass, as we were going to the place 
of prayer, that a certain maid having a spirit of div- 
ination met us, who brought her masters much gain 
by soothsaying. The same following after Paul and 
us cried out, saying, These men are servants of the 
Most High God who proclaim unto you the way of 
salvation. And this she did for many days. But Paul, 
being sore troubled, turned and said to the spirit, I 
charge thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out 
of her. And it came out that very hour. 
The striking feature of this exorcism in the present 
connection is that it is described by a person who saw it. 
At two points in the three verses the witness includes 
himself among those present. He says " .... as we were 
going. . . .the same following after Paul and us. ..." The 
observant reader will note that up to chapter 16, verse 10, 
of the Acts of Apostles, the story is told in trie third per- 
son; that the writer speaks simply as the historian of 
what takes place; but that beginning with 16:10 and fre- 
quently to the end of the book, the narrative is told in the 
first person. It is obvious that the author of Acts was 
either himself present when this exorcism was performed 
or has used the memoirs of some one who was there. In 
either case, we have the firsthand report of a witness who 
was present when the event occurred. Whether we know 
his name or not, we have the story in his own words. The 
report has nothing to do with folklore or popular legend. 
It has not passed through an oral process. Here we have 
the memoirs of an eye-witness which have been so litei- 
ally copied and incorporated in the larger work that the 
final author, whoever he was, has not even taken the 
trouble to remove the first personal pronouns from the 
original document. Here again the similarity to the ex- 
orcisms of Jesus is so striking that if the story were 


told about Jesus instead of Paul it would be perfectly at 
home in the Gospel of Mark. 

Real Legends 

Above we have compared the exorcisms of Jesus with 
accounts which are beyond question the testimony of 
witnesses who were present and have reported what they 
saw. Let us now turn to some accounts which are just as 
obviously legendary. One ol the best illustrations of this 
type is the Life of Apollonius of Tyana, which was writ- 
ten early in the third century by Philostratus. Apollonius 
was a Pythagorean sage who was born about the begin- 
ning of the Christian era at Tyana in Cappadocia. He 
traveled widely over much of the Roman empire, and on 
one occasion went as far as India, as a student, a public 
teacher and healer, and died during the reign of Nerva, 
who had shown him honor. Thus Apollonius was a con- 
temporary of Jesus and of the first and second genera- 
tions of Christians, although there is no indication that 
he ever met any of them. Philostratus wrote the biogra- 
phy more than a century after Apollonius died, but he 
claims to have based his work on the memoirs of Damis, 
the philosopher's traveling companion. But regardless of 
its sources, much of the book is only a collection of amus- 
ing legends. Let the contents speak for themselves." 

On one occasion, Philostrates writes (IV. x), when a 
plague was raging in Ephesus, the distressed people sent 
for Apollonius to help them. As soon as he arrived the 
sage discerned the plague-demon distinguished as an old 
beggar. He commanded the people to stone the stranger 
to death. This they did with such vehemence that a heap 
of stones was raised on his body. Then Apollonius com- 
manded them to remove the stones. Underneath they 
found the body of a dog as large as a lion. 

A somewhat similar motif appears in the story of the 
lamia, or vampire, overcome by Apollonius at Corinth 
(IV. xxv). The vampire had assumed the form of a 
lovely woman in order to captivate and finally devour a 
handsome youth. There is another tale of how Apollonius 


relieved a village of Ethiopia of a ghost which assumed the 
form of a satyr in order to insult their women (VI. xxvii). 
Apollonius compelled the spirit to become intoxicated with 
wine while he was still invisible; then later he pointed 
him out to the villagers lying asleep in a cave as a harm- 
less satyr. 

The book of Tobit, an old Jewish romance probably 
written in Egypt about B.C. 200, is another good illus- 
tration of what folklore does with stories of demon pos- 
session and exorcism. Here the angel Raphael appears in 
person to deliver the girl Sarah from the incubus Asmod- 
eus, who had slain seven of her husbands one after an- 
other. The demon is routed and bound and the maiden 
given in worthy marriage. 

What the Jewish historian Josephus has to say about 
demon possession also illustrates the legendary element. 
He was a native of Jerusalem who settled in Rome after 
the fall of Jerusalem and during the years A.D. 70-100 
wrote his books under the patronage of emperors. Josepn- 
us gives a remarkable account of a strange plant which 
grew in the Baaras gorge near Macherus east of the Dead 
Sea. This deadly shrub could not be secured without dan- 
ger unless woman's urine or menstrual blood had been 
first poured on it or a dog which immediately died had 
first been tied to it. 11 Then he tells the story of exorcisms 
performed by a Jew named Eleazar in the presence of the 
Roman generals and soldiers, who proved that the demons 
went out of their victims by requiring them to overturn 
basins of water while the spectators looked on. 12 

Lucian of Somosata, the well known sophist of the 
second century, gives one of the best collections of stories 
from folklore in his Lover of Lies, which may be read 
with much profit by one who desires to learn the dif- 
ference between facts and legends. In discussing exorcism, 
one of the characters asserts that he saw a demon coming 
out of a possessed person black and smoky in color. One 
finds here numerous stories of spirits which became vis- 


able, of dead who were called up, of statues which got 
down off their pedestals and walked about and other 
creations of ancient fancy. 

Reliability of the Gospel Stories 
The student who compares these obvious legends told 
by Philostratus, Tobit, Josephus, and Lucian with the 
simple accounts of Jesus' exorcisms will note the differ- 
ence. The impression of credibility is overwhelmingly in 
favor of the Gospels. Most of the Gospel stories have no 
features at all which comparative folklore shows to be 
legendary. There is, however, possibly one exception. 
Mark's story of the legion of demons which entered into 
the herd of swine and caused them to plunge into the sea 
looks very much like a legend. This is the type of story 
which one finds in folklore the world over. The Jewish 
motif is evident. The demons as a desperate last resort 
fled into the unclean pigs for refuge, but even in this 
miserable abode they were outwitted when the animals 
destroyed themselves in the sea. At the same time, it is 
quite possible that the legend has an historical basis. Tt is 
only necessary to suppose that a herd of pigs frightened 
by the sudden commotion of the crowd did plunge into 
the sea; and that this was given the demonic interpreta- 
tion. Otherwise, the New Testament stories of demon pos- 
session and exorcism have rational, historical and psy- 
chological explanations and are entitled to be regarded as 
fact. They look like the reports of eye-witnesses. 


1. Justin, Apologia Secunda vi; cf. v, viii; Apologia xxv; Dialo- 
gtis lxxvi and lxxxv. 

2. Tertullian, Apologeticum xxiii. 

3. Ad Haer. II. xxxii. 4. 

4. Contra Celsum I. vi; I. lxviii; II. xxxiii; V. ii; VII. iv. 

5. Institutes Div. II. xvi : V. xxii. 

6. Civitas Dei XXII. viii. 

7. T. K. Oesterreich, Die Bessessenheit. (Halle, 1931), Eng. Tran., 
Possession, Demoniacal and Other, (New York, 1930) ; Louis 
Coulange,77;e Life of the Devil, (New York, 1930); John L. Nevius, 
Demon Possession and Allied Themes, (Chicago, 1894). 


8. Cf. Louis Coulange, Op cit., p. 173 f. 

9. Still more recent reports from Korea and China may be found 
in Charles Allen Clark, The Nevius Plan of Mission Work in Korea, 
1937, p. 112; and the Penyang News f Penyang, Korea, Sept., 1937, 
p. 2. 

10. Cf. J. A. Jaussen, Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society, Vol. 
Ill, pp. 145-157, for a notable account of a Moslem Sheik. 

11. Bellum vii. 178-185. 

12. Antiq. VIII. ii. 5. 


By Shirley Jackson Case 

Florida School of Religion 

Lakeland, Florida 

Today Christianity embraces a wide variety of organiz- 
ed societies, practicing a diversity of religious rites, using 
different rituals in worship, and professing distinctive 
creeds. From an early date this new religion had bred 
variations. By the close of the first century there were 
"Petrine," "Pauline" and "Johannine" congregations. In 
the course of the succeeding centuries eastern Christen- 
dom had produced independent Armenian, Syrian and 
Coptic branches, in addition to Orthodox Greek and Rus- 
sian Churches. Passing westward one encounters the 
powerful Roman Church which while organically a unit, 
contains within itself different orders like the Francis- 
cans and the Jesuits that might easily be treated as sep- 
arate religious denominations. Among Protestants the 
possibility of diversity seems to have no limits. There are 
the Lutheran churches of Germany and the Scandinavian 
countries, the Reformed Church in Holland, the Establish- 
ed Church of England and the Presbyterian churches of 
Scotland. Branches of these have spread to all parts of the 
world. There are also Congregationalists and Baptists ana 
Methodists and Disciples and Quakers and Unitarians and 
Mennonites and Latter-Day Saints and Christian Sci- 
entists and still other distinct groups too numerous to 

A visitor from Mars might wonder how it is possible 
to group all of these various religious movements under 
the single word Christianity. If he were to ask for an ex- 
planation of this diversity from representatives of each 
of these separate bodies, beginning with the oldest and 
most widely established and coming down to the most 
recent and smallest, he would be given a uniform answer. 
He would be told that one's own branch of the movement 
represents true Christianity while all others are perver- 


sions of the original. But this information would only add 
to the confusion of our visitor. He would now have to 
solve two problems instead of one. He would ask not only 
why there are so many separate Christian bodies, but also 
how it is possible that each of these branches of the move- 
ment can regard itself as the only genuine representative 
of the whole. He could scarcely fail to be impressed by the 
sincerity with which the claim to originality is made, and 
he might well suspect that if the adherents of one or an- 
other group should become disillusioned as to the genuine- 
ness of its particular branch of Christendom the result 
would be disastrous for the believer's peace of mind if 
not for his religious life itself. 

How has it come about that the Christian movement 
exists today in so many diverse forms? To answer this 
question satisfactorily one must remember, in the first 
place, that the Christianity of today has behind it nine- 
teen hundred years of history- This history has been made 
by a great variety of people living in different places over 
the face of the earth and representing very different 
types of personality and interest. If our hypothetical 
visitor would take the trouble to make himself familiar 
with the history of civilization, beginning back among 
the peoples who inhabited the lands about the Mediter- 
ranean Sea at the beginning of the Christian era, and 
would follow its course on down among the different 
European peoples of later times, and then would launch 
out across the ocean during the period of discovery and 
colonization in the new world, he would be in a much 
more favorable position to answer his inquiries. Then he 
would easily discover that Christianity throughout the 
centuries has been in a continual process of becoming, 
and that variations in the history of the movement are a 
consequence of conformity to the vital interests of one or 
another type of adherents involved in the course of an 
ever-changing cultural development. In the case of each 
of the different bodies of Christendom the form which the 
religious movement assumed was that best suited to the 


needs oi the members, hence their particular brand of 
Christianity quite properly seemed to them the one gen- 
uine type. The evolution of the movement throughout the 
whole course of its history is thus inseparably bound up 
with the process of cultural evolution among the dif- 
ferent peoples who today represent one or another branch 
of this historic religion. 

The gentleman from Mars should not fail to make a 
second observation. Indeed, it could hardly escape him. 
He would note that Christianity has always been a dis- 
tinctively aggressive movement. Its adherents, even though 
sometimes differing widely from one another and existing 
as separate and rival organizations, have usually been 
dominated by the conviction that they were responsible 
for spreading a body of truth indispensable not only to 
their own welfare but to the well-being of humanity at 
large. Christians have always believed that they were im 
possession of a precious heritage from the past and that 
each new age could profit immensely by heeding the 
message of the Christian preacher and conforming to the 
standards of the Christian society. 

Thus while time and social conditions have been con- 
stantly altering the historical form of Christianity, the 
movement itself has been a perpetually aggressive and 
creative factor in the history of civilization. From a very 
early date it has been a powerful organization making its 
influence felt over a wide range of social contacts. In the 
course of its career it has also been served by numerous 
individuals of a strongly creative temper, like Jesus, Paul, 
Augustine, Gregory the Great, Hildebrand, Luther, Cal- 
vin, John Knox, John Wesley and a host of others well 
worthy of note, who from time to time have contributed 
great vital energy to the progress of the cause. 

The detailed story of Christianity's past has often been 
told and need not be repeated in the present correction. 
It will be our aim merely to indicate the chief stages of 
c-ultural development by which the Christian movement 
has been affected throughout the course of its expansion 


and to appraise its significance as a shaping factor in the 
making of history. We shall be especially concerned to 
note the manner in which Christianity has met the dif- 
ferent types of religious needs that have been most deeply 
felt by mankind, particularly within western civilization 
during the last nineteen hundred years. 

I. Christianity and Jewish Culture 

The religious movement that we now call Christianity 
arose within a highly developed Jewish civilization in 
Palestine about a hundred years after the Romans had 
come into possession of the country. Palestine was un- 
happily situated for any people who had an ambition to 
maintain political independence. It was, so to speak, at 
the crossroads of communication from east to west and 
north to south in that ancient world. On account of its 
strategic position this territory was coveted by every 
ancient regime that aspired to world power. Assyrians, 
Babylonians and Persians in turn possessed themselves 
of the land as their armies moved westward to the con- 
quest of Egypt and the seaports on the Mediterranean. 
Then it fell a prey to Alexander the Great, and after hfe 
death it became a bone of contention between his succes- 
sors who set up rival kingdoms in Egypt and in Syria. 
Scarcely had the Jews of Palestine shaken themselves 
loose from their Syrian overlords when the Romans ap- 
peared upon the scene and assumed responsibility for the 
administration of the government. Sometimes they in- 
trusted the task to a local prince such as Herod the Great, 
while at other times a Roman official was placed m 
charge, as was the case in Judea when Jesus was cruci- 
fied by Pontius Pilate. 

Jewish civilization reared itself around the belief that 
the Hebrews were God's chosen people. Thus the political 
as well as the moral and spiritual interests of society were 
an integral part of religion. There was an inseparable 
unity between church and state; since both had the same 
divine origin, neither could be complete without the other. 
In Roman times the temple at Jerusalem with its elabor- 


ate ceremonies, and the services in the synagogues where 
the scriptures were made availible for the guidance of 
everyone, were of supreme religious worth. Yet the high- 
est religious good remained unrealized while the foreign 
overlord, who policed the land, collected taxes from the 
people, maintained the supreme authority in the admin- 
istration of justice, and filled the country with his idol- 
atrous abominations, retained possession of the Holy Land. 
He must be driven out to make way for a new regime to 
be established by God himself, or by his representative 
called the Anointed One, the Messiah. The longing for 
deliverance from the yoke of the foreign oppressor was 
especially strong in the years immediately following the 
death of Herod the Great in 4 B.C., and it continued to 
increase in intensity until the outbreak of the great revolt 
of the Jews against the Romans in the year 66 A.D. For 
large numbers of Jews in Palestine during these restless 
years the most crucial religious problem of the hour was 
how and when the kingdom of God would be inaugurated. 
The unrest that permeated Palestinian society in the 
opening decades of the present era invited the activity of 
adventurers and reformers with various proposals re- 
garding the time and the manner in which God would 
effect the deliverance of his afflicted people. It seemed to 
many persons that the time had arrived for some moment- 
ous occurrence, but all were not agreed upon the means to 
be employed to drive out the Romans. Nor were all Jews 
of the same opinion as to the conditions to be fulfilled in 
order to bring about the divine intervention. Some ad- 
vocated open revolution, declaring that if men would show 
a willingness to take up the sword on God's behalf he 
would give strength to their arms and insure their victory. 
Others were no less confident of ultimate triumph, but 
they were opposed to the policy of revolution and trusted 
completely in God to take the initiative and to accomplish 
the victory through a display of his almighty power. As 
they viewed the situation, the proper way to prepare for 
the coming of the new age was not to forge weapons and 


train for war but to cultivate more assiduously the pious 
life as preparation for membership in a new society to be 
established in perfection when God himself, or his Mes- 
siah, should appear on earth to assemble the faithful in 
the restored kingdom. 

It was in the interests of this second type of ideal that 
the Christian movement arose. It was in an attempt to 
prepare the Jewish people of Palestine for membership 
in the coming kingdom of God that the representatives of 
the movement sought to render their chief service to 
their fellows. John the Baptist had admonished his hear- 
ers to repent in preparation for the approaching day of 
judgment to precede the establishment of the new reign 
of God on earth. Jesus of Nazareth took up the message 
and spread it abroad more widely among the people. In 
the course of his activities he told his audience specifical- 
ly what he thought to be the most worthy kind of life. He 
must have been well aware of the fact that the Jews were 
already equipped with an elaborate technique for guiding 
them in religious attainments, but in his experience he felt 
a recurrence of ancient prophetic fervor that gave him a 
sense of dissatisfaction, if not of impatience, with the 
conventional operations of the existing religious institu- 
tions. His own personal emotions prompted a fresh em- 
phasis on closer and more direct contact with the Deity as 
the means of attaining to a new specialization in 
righteousness in preparation for membership in the com- 
ing kingdom of God. 

Jesus and his friends thought to meet best the religious 
needs of their day by advocating a very simple but sincere 
manner of life. They stressed the cultivation of an attitude 
toward God like that of trustful children toward a loving 
father and the adoption of moral standards as high as 
those assumed for the conduct of God himself. Men were 
to be perfect as the Father in heaven is perfect. In their 
relations with their fellow-men the same simplicity and 
candor were to prevail. Their ideal was to love one's neigh- 
bor as one's self. If that neighbor happened to be a 


violent person, as the Romans were, one was not to copy 
his bad example but to return him good for evil. As for 
the attitude toward the Roman government, taxes were 
to be paid to Caesar so long as God permitted Caesar to 
rule. Throughout the whole range of human thinking and 
action a simple honesty of motive and kindness of feel- 
ing were inculcated as the highest type of virtue by one 
who wished to prepare for membership in the kingdom 
of God. This was no easy-going attitude toward sin and 
sinners, nor was it an expression of indifference as to 
what political power should hold sway in Palestine. But 
those matters were entirely God's concern and consequent- 
ly they would be taken care of more quickly and more ad- 
equately than could possibly be the case on any program 
of man's devising. The will of God was accepted, not in 
desperation or despair, but in confidence and in the full 
expectation of an early and satisfactory solution of their 
common problem. 

Jesus threw himself into his work with zeal and aban- 
don not unlike that of the ancient prophets who felt called 
by God to summon their contemporaries back to a life of 
renewed sincerity and heightened spiritual idealism in the 
midst of the distressing facts connected with the worldly 
society in which they were now living. Both the message 
of Jesus and his personal character made a forceful im- 
pression. Those who liked him were ardent in their ad- 
miration and those who disliked him were generous in 
their hatred. In contact with him his friends found an 
assurance of help for their unhappy situation as Jews of 
Palestine under Roman domination. But other persons, in 
fact the great majority of his contemporaries, were not 
favorably impressed with his activity and saw no promise 
for the future in discipleship to him. This outcome need 
not surprise us. A person who put himself forward as a 
religious guide in a society where the interests of religion 
had already been safeguarded by many carefully nour- 
ished institutions might well have expected just the sort 
of opposition that Jesus encountered. Professionally he 


stood outside the established institutions. He could not 
claim to express their will even had he so desired, and 
he yielded his highest loyalty to an inner voice that might 
easily run counter to their decrees. Similarly the older 
prophets had stood without and above the institutions of 
their day, and in the name of an immediate and impelling 
religious conviction had set themselves to admonish prin- 
ces or priests or any other formally constituted authority. 

The friends of Jesus were doomed to disappointment. 
They expected the early establishment of God's new 
regime as a climax to the activities of their teacher, and 
his death was a tremendous shock to their hopes. The 
Romans were not driven from Palestine, but instead they 
nailed Jesus to a cross, just as they had of late been doing 
to hundreds of other Jews whom they thought a menace 
to the stability of their government. Now that its leader 
was gone the new movement was in a precarious con- 
dition. Its future looked exceedingly doubtful. The fol- 
lowers of Jesus, who apparently had been more concerned 
with the founding of a new political regime than with 
the religious values attaching to his message and personal 
example in living, could hardly imagine any reason for at- 
tempting to continue his work. As a matter of fact, when 
they did revive their activity their chief interest centered 
about a new phase of the hope of the coming kingdom. 
They now pictured Jesus raised to a position of authority 
at the right hand of God in heaven, whence he would 
presently descend to earth to redeem Palestine and gather 
together a new society of individuals from among his 
kinsmen worthy of membership in the kingdom of God. 
Christians went about preaching this doctrine among their 
fellow Jews, first in Palestine and then in the synagogues 
of the Dispersion around the Mediterranean, all the while 
striving to solve the age-old problem of realizing the pol- 
itical supremacy of the Hebrew God over the kings and 
emperors of earth. 

In all of their missionary activity the Christian preach- 
ers attached chief importance to their announcement that 


the crucified Jesus was the Jewish Messiah who would 
soon come from heaven to restore miraculously a theocra- 
tic kingdom in Palestine. It was still a long time before 
later generations of Jesus' disciples were to learn that the 
greatest abiding values connected with Jesus and his work 
lay primarily not in the political imagery of a new king- 
dom, so dear to the Jewish people when under Roman op- 
pression, but in those more individual and personal relig- 
ious attainments inspired by the words of Jesus regarding 
sincerity of motive and purity of heart in the daily re- 
lations of life. 

In a strictly Jewish setting the Christian movement 
made but slight impression, perhaps because it was felt 
to meet no very pronounced need apart from its unfulfil- 
led messianic promises. This political ideal soon proved 
false, and the disaster that overtook Jerusalem in the 
year 70 A.D., when the city and its temple were destroyed 
by the Romans, resulted in conditions still more un- 
favorable to the success of Christianity among the Jews. 
Later Christians learned by experience that the truest 
realization of the kingdom of God was not to be found in 
a political institution, but in the transformation of men's 
hearts and lives in conformity with Jesus' ideals of sin- 
cerity and purity. Yet even then the movement made no 
strong appeal to the Jews, who felt that they had other 
and more adequate means of cultivating these ideals. 
Christianity's future lay with the gentiles. In the opinion 
of the Jews it was no longer capable of rendering them 
any constructive and valuable service. 

II. Christianity and Gentile Culture 
When Christianity first entered the gentile field it was 
not with any intention of seeking a new and permanent 
home. On the contrary, its advocates, failing to win a 
satisfactory healing among Jews of the Dispersion, con- 
ceived the idea of offering gentiles an opportunity to 
enter the new kingdom of God. Yet it was still to be es- 
sentially a Palestinian and Hebrew establishment. Jesus 
would return to Jerusalem and there set up the new 


regime. Even so zealous a gentile missionary as Paul 
never imagined that the Christian movement would in 
future become a world-wide gentile enterprise severed 
completely from Judaism. 

The gentile society of the Roman Empire proved to 
be a far more fertile soil for the growth of this new Ori- 
ental religion than even its most ardent advocates had at 
the outset anticipated. Already the syncretistic religions 
of the Empire were attempting to meet a demand that 
had been created through the rise of the new cosmopolitan 
society. Ultimately Christianity proved more effective 
than all of its rivals in the field. But its victory came 
only after years of growth in the Christian movement it- 
self as its preaching and organization were shaped to 
suit the new environment. When it became the legal re- 
ligion of the Roman state in the closing years of the 
fourth century it presented to the world a very different 
appearance from that which it had borne in the middle of 
the first century when it was introduced to gentiles by 
Paul and his companions. 

Among the items in early Christian preaching that 
proved most attractive to gentiles was the invitation to 
believe in a prospective savior, a hero who had passed 
through the trials of an earthly career and ascended 
victoriously to heaven whence he would presently return 
to pass judgment upon the living and the dead and bestow 
on his followers the reward of eternal blessedness. By the 
first disciples of Jesus this figure had been portrayed in 
purely Jewish imagery, but in the gentile world it rapidly 
took on new characteristics. The gentiles were already 
thoroughly familiar with belief in heroic persons who by 
their labors on earth had rendered distinguished service 
to their fellow-men and had been rewarded by elevation to 
a position of dignity among the gods. The contemporary 
syncretistic faiths were permeated by this type of think- 
ing and the Christian Jesus rapidly entered into this 
heritage. Gradually he lost his distinctive traits as a Jew- 
ish Messiah and, through the reverence paid him in the 


rites of the Christian cult and in the speculations of the 
Christian theologians, he became the one all-sufficient 
mediator between God and man, fully divine and fully 
human. Consequently he was capable of guaranteeing a 
salvation that covered all the needs of mankind, while it 
was backed by the full power of the supreme Deity. 

One very significant change had to be made in early 
Christian thinking about Jesus before he could meet a 
particular type of religious need then prevalent in the 
gentile world. In surveying the syncretistic religions of 
that age one is struck by the growth of individualism. 
Religions that men once thought adequate because they 
insured protection for a race or a local community were 
being rapidly superseded by another type of cult in which 
personal experience was the feature of central importance. 
By a voluntary act the worshiper attached himself to a 
particular god and in return for his action received a 
very realistic sense of the deity's interest in his personal 
welfare. The accompanying emotional experience signified 
for the new convert the cementing of a bond of union be- 
tween himself and the god. The Jewish Messiah had never 
been pictured in any such personal role. He was the savior 
of a nation, or of a select group within the Jewish race, 
rather than of individual men. If the gentiles wanted his 
protection they must first join the Jewish race, else they 
could not hope to secure membership in the messianic 
community of the redeemed. 

Already before the year 50 A.D. there were gentiles 
who had heard about Jesus from preachers like Paul and 
Barnabas and had attached themselves to him after the 
distinctly gentile manner of appropriating the benefits to 
be derived from the worship of a heroic savior. They were 
quite satisfied with the results of the new experience that 
had come to them through joining the Christian commun- 
ity. In the initiatory rite of baptism the new convert ex- 
perienced a sense of union with the savior, and in the 
repeated observance of the Lord's Supper he renewed from 
time to time his awareness of the divine presence as he 


partook of the sacred food. In the assemblies of the be- 
lievers, as they prayed or prophesied or spoke with 
tongues, they felt the power of the new God in their 
midst. He healed the sick and drove demons out of those 
possessed. They could easily forget the Jewish pictures of 
a messianic salvation, since through personal experience 
they already felt the presence of the savior in their com- 

This transformation from a messianic savior of Jews 
into a hero-savior fully available for any individual, Jew 
or gentile, whose personal faith fixed itself on him, cre- 
ated for Paul and other missionaries one of the most 
crucial problems that arose in the early history of the 
new movement. It was only natural that Palestinian dis- 
ciples of Jesus should feel that the gentile convert who 
failed to join the Jewish society, which required the rite of 
circumcision, would find himself in a precarious situation 
when Jesus returned to set up the messianic kingdom in 
Jerusalem. But men of broader experience, such as Paul, 
knew very well that no religion could any longer serve 
effectively in the gentile world at large if it adhered to 
racial and national ideals and refused to place salvation 
upon a personal basis. Henceforth gentile Christianity was 
to be a religion of the personal type. Values were secured, 
not through membership in any racial unit, but by means 
of one's position in a new society of redeemed people who 
had each obtained a new experience of assurance that his 
life had been linked with God by suitable sacred rites. 
Thus Christianity was no longer a Jewish messianic 
movement, but was a new sacramental institution not un- 
like the mystery religions that were functioning in a 
similar manner. 

Christianity contributed further to the making of gen- 
tile religion through the ethical heritage which it carried 
forward from Judaism and from the teaching of Jesus. 
In this respect it was unique as a religion among gentiles. 
In their world it had fallen to the lot of the philosopher 
rather than the priest to provide society with its formal 


ethical instruction, while it was the more specific busi- 
ness of religion to deal with the supernatural. In Christ- 
ianity these two very important services were now com- 
bined, and in this respect the new religion made one of 
its most significant contributions to the civilization of that 
day. It derived materials for moral instruction from the 
Jewish scriptures and from the collected teachings of 
Jesus. To these heritages it added also contributions from 
contemporary Stoic teachers, who were the great gentile 
moralists of the age. By these means it sought to insure 
purity of character and rectitude in conduct on the part 
of every member of the church. But one must remember 
that Christianity always presented itself as first a super- 
natural salvation, and secondarily and consequently an 
ideal ethics. 

The success of Christianity in the Roman Empire was 
also due in no small measure to the attention which it 
gave to social welfare. The sense of brotherhood was very 
strong among its members. At first opposition and per- 
secution had helped to weld the brotherhood more solidly 
together and had heightened the importance of its charit- 
able activities. While its ministrations were directed prin- 
cipally toward the unfortunate members of its own group, 
they often extended to society at large. Amid the various 
guilds, brotherhoods and religious associations that mark- 
ed the social life of the Roman Empire, the Christian 
church soon became the most conspicuous. It magnified 
the virtues of brotherly love and charity, and it so organ- 
ized its activities as to make possible the effective appli- 
cation of its ideals. 

While the Christian church opened wide its doors to 
every class of society, and proudly boasted that ft could 
take the worst sinners and through its divine energy 
transform them into the purest of saints, there was still 
a rather marked exclusiveness about the group. Chris- 
tians appeared to be a. separate people, neither Jews nor 
gentiles, but a "third race." They were like Jews in stoutly 
refusing to pay allegiance to any of the pagan gods. But 


as a matter of fact they appropriated a wide range of 
religious functions and values that gradually undermined 
the operations of their most formidable rivals. All other 
cults were declared to be satanically inspired while Chris- 
tianity alone was said to represent the only true God. Its 
adherents refused to participate in any idolatrous cere- 
monies. They would worship neither the emperor nor the 
traditional gods of the Roman state. Thus they maintain- 
ed their distinctive identity; they developed a strong sense 
of social solidarity; and they successfully withstood all 
opposition, even persecution by the Roman government. 

By the middle of the third century the growing Chris- 
tian organization seemed to the authorities a serious 
menace to the state. Here was a powerful institution 
which refused to worship the ancient gods who were as- 
sumed to be the protectors of the Roman government. The 
neglect of these deities was thought to be the cause of 
those calamities that now threatened the overthrow of 
the declining empire. Christianity must be eradicated if 
the state was to survive. But an institution so thoroughly 
rooted in society as Christianity had now become could 
not be suppressed by a government as feeble as was the 
imperial regime in the third and fourth centuries. This 
the emperors themselves presently discovered. They had 
long been accustomed to accept new gods whose growing 
popularity seemed likely to offer new supernatural as- 
sistance to the state. Similarly, the very fact of the 
church's prosperity and growth in the Roman world led 
to the natural conclusion that the Christian God might be 
a real power among the other deities of the universe. 
Thereupon emperors decided to seek his aid also in sup- 
port of the state. At first Christianity was accepted on 
trial as one of the approved religions, but before the close 
of the fourth century it had become so well established 
that it was made the only legal religion of the state. 

Christianity had already assumed guardianship over a 
wide range of Roman society's cultural interests and now 
it took under its wing even the political order. It ex- 


plained impending calamities as due to the failure of the 
rulers to worship the true God. Henceforth this mistake 
was to be corrected. Officials of the Christian church be- 
came the most important personages in the state. Bishops 
were the agents of the emperor in the discharge of public 
duties and the disbursement of public funds appropriated 
to the service of religion. They were advisers of emperors 
and did not hesitate to call even the most powerful of 
them sharply to account when their conduct deviated from 
the standards of the church. 

Christianity was now the guardian of the total cultural 
life. It was the patron of all legitimate art and literature. 
All philosophy became Christian theology. All social and 
political activities were subject to its supervision. Church 
and state fused and Christianity was on the way to be- 
coming the City of God on earth. 

77/ Christianity in Medieval Society 

The Christian church had been accepted by the Roman 
government as its sole religious support just in time to 
witness the death agonies of the western empire. Itie 
barbarian peoples of the north swarmed into southern 
Europe in larger and larger numbers, bringing on a 
period of decadence that we are wont to call the Dark 
Ages. Perhaps the situation w r as not so utterly bad as it 
has sometimes been depicted, but it certainly was a time 
of extensive breakdown in the customary values of civi- 
lization. Its cities, its government, its industries, its com- 
merce, its wealth, its entertainments, its intellectual and 
artistic creativity, and its cultural interests in general 
rapidly deteriorated. But collapse w r as accompanied by a 
slow process of reconstruction in which the church played 
an important part. 

Christianity had become so thoroughly integrated with- 
in the Roman world at large that it participated both in 
the processes of decay and in those of revival. Like other 
institutions the new features that emerged within it were 
shaped in accordance with the tastes and capacities of 
the new peoples who were more or less ready to learn 


from the past but who naturally enough made their activ- 
ities conform in the main to the needs of the moment. A 
new generation of members and leaders in the church 
meant that even this ancient foundation should reflect in 
no slight degree the temper of the times. Yet no one of 
the older institutions carried over into the new state of 
affairs the same measure of momentum — or perhaps one 
should call it inertia — that characterized the church. Also 
the situation offered Christianity a new opportunity to 
show its efficiency in serving humanity at a time when a 
display of fresh religious energy was greatly to be desired. 

Christianity was the only institution that furnished 
even the semblance of unity and common direction to the 
civilization of early medieval Europe. It dominated, or 
professed to dominate, every area of human interest 
whether pertaining to this world or to the world to come, 
and for several centuries no one ventured to question its 
authority. A thoroughly disorganized society demanded 
a new protector and no agency was at hand so competent 
as the church to assume responsibility for this task. In 
later times, when society had developed within itself new 
agencies for directing its interests and activities, it re- 
sented the aggressiveness of a church that by long habit 
had come to look upon itself as the sole authority over 
the whole of life. Then the church was charged with ar- 
rogating to itself privileges that were not its rightful 
possession and this criticism was read back into its earlier 
history. But this was not wholly correct. While it is true 
that the leaders of the church in the early medieval peri- 
od were sometimes not averse to assuming unlimited re- 
sponsibility for society's direction it must be admitted 
that in a very real sense they were not impertinent ag- 
gressors but were actual benefactors to the men of their 
day. If a Roman bishop headed a delegation to meet a 
barbarian invader it was not because the church was ar- 
rogantly inserting itself into politics but rather because 
its leader was the outstanding man of the community to 
whom the populace naturally looked for direction and help. 


Christianity was called upon for a wide range of sei 
vices extending from the simple needs of the humblest 
peasant to the more complex experiences of the medieval 
noble. There was no area in this whole range of interests 
where the church was unwilling to enter or where in fact 
its presence was not demanded. From peasant to prince 
the society of that day looked to Christianity for divine 
guidance. While the church accepted this responsibility 
not ungrudgingly, it did so with serious intent and a feel- 
ing of assurance that it was walking in the path of duty. 
When, later, men became convinced that they had better 
ways of access to the will of God, and when princes grew 
bolder in maintaining the divine . right of a king inde- 
pendently of ecclesiastical authorization, it was not sur- 
prising that the representatives of the long established 
churchly institution should protest with all their might. 
It was inevitable that they should be distrustful of those 
new voices that people were hearing in later times and 
interpreting as the whisperings of the divine will. 

As a supernatural instrument in the service of human- 
ity, Christianity enabled early medieval society to recon- 
struct various areas of its shattered life with a large 
measure of satisfaction and assurance. The parish priest 
might be an illiterate person, and none too exacting in 
his morals, but those facts did not mar the satisfaction 
felt by the individual who, at one or another critical 
moment in life, needed the divine ministrations which the 
priest alone could render. The important thing was that 
the power of the divine church should be mediated, at 
birth, at marriage, at death, in times of sickness or pest- 
ilence or in any other significant act of life. In this way 
the welfare of both the individual and the community was 
supernaturally protected. 

Even in what would now be called purely secular af- 
fairs the medieval church was inevitably involved. In a 
society inadequately equipped with courts of justice to 
try civil cases the church assumed a large measure of this 
responsibility. Had this justice been less arbitrarily di- 


vine it might at times have been more generously temper- 
ed with mercy, yet one was sure to fare better in an 
ecclesiastical court than at the hands of a medieval 

The influence of Christianity upon the political recon- 
struction of medieval society was of great importance. In 
an age of regnant supernaturalism neither a new king 
nor his subjects could feel entirely satisfied that his 
regime had been properly launched until the mark of 
heaven had been set upon his brow. But unfortunately 
there were two types of political ideal that rivaled one 
another for ultimate recognition in the new European 
society. One, taken over from Roman civilization and 
sponsored by the Bishop of Rome, exalted the notion of 
an all-pervading imperialism. But among the barbarian 
settlers there developed in the course of time a powerful 
trend in the direction of nationalism. While the church ou 
occasion was willing to make kings it was never entirely 
happy in the thought that European society was to lose its 
imperial unity and be ruled by a number of independent 
monarchs. The ecclesiastical pattern called for an em- 
peror who should be supreme among temporal powers and 
subject to the supremacy of the spiritual power represent- 
ed by the pope. For centuries medieval thinking agonized 
over this issue but never arrived at a final solution. 

In the realm of artistic production the Christianity of 
medieval times has left one of its most abiding contribu- 
tions to civilization. In a more material age it would hard- 
ly have been conceivable that a none too pecunious society 
would contribute so large a proportion of its means for 
the building of those magnificent monuments that remain 
in the form of medieval cathedrals. But in a day when 
men fixed their gaze intently upon the life beyond they 
could gladly devote their time and substance to creations 
of the artists's ideal world. Medieval art is largely the 
expression in form and color of the extravagant super- 
naturalism that elicited the devotion of peasant, pries C 


and prince alike in their respective areas of activity. They 
lived in fleeting and transitory time, but they built for 

Were we to choose a single word to indicate in general 
the type of influence exercised by Christianity over all 
spheres of life in the Middle Ages it would be the term 
authority. All human conduct and thinking were subject- 
ed to this ideal. For men of that day this order of things 
was not altogether an evil. It might provide no very 
strong incentive toward creative moral and intellectual 
attainments, but it had excellent disciplinary value. And 
that age was much in need of police supervision, all the 
more effective because exercised in the name of Heaven. 
In a day when as yet empirical and scientific observation 
had provided no tools for any other mental procedure, it 
could have meant only chaos had men attempted to think 
through the problems of life and history in any terms 
other than those of authority and revelation Today we 
may not like the postulates on which Thomas Aquinas 
wrote his system of theology, any more than we accept 
the reality of the angels painted by Michelangelo, and yet 
we may admire the mental seriousness of Aquinas as well 
as the artistic feeling of Michelangelo. 

IV. Christianity and Modern Culture 
By constituting itself a supreme authority over every 
sphere of human interest Christianity had become the 
universally recognized guardian of medieval civilization. 
But ultimately there came a day when the needs of man- 
kind began to change. First in one and then in another 
sphere of interest the ideal of authority began to break 
down. By the opening of the fifteenth century the spirit 
of liberty was already awakening and in succeeding cen- 
turies it rapidly gained momentum. The agitating in- 
fluences were varied in character. From the twelfth to 
the fifteenth centuries new developments within medieval 
society had already begun to change the pattern of lift 
and make inevitable the coming of a new age in cultural 


The estate of a feudal noble could no longer remain the 
chief territorial unit. With the increase of population 
came the growth of trade and commerce. A new 
machinery of government had to be devised to stabilize 
larger geographical areas and to establish between these 
units more permanent and orderly relations. Thus began 
the interest in national and international affairs with 
which we are so familiar today. This movement in the 
direction of nationalism furnished the Christianity of the 
Middle Ages one of the most serious problems with which 
it had to deal. The ultimate consequences of this develop- 
ment necessitated on the part of the Christian movement 
a radical re-interpretation of its task in relation to the 
total processes of cultural evolution. Inevitably, different 
types of culture arose in different centers like England 
and France and Germany. A Christianity that had been 
adequate to the needs of a united medieval Europe, ap- 
pealing to the pope of Rome as the highest source of 
authority over all of life's interests, could no longer be 
expected to serve competently the new world where sep- 
arate and distinct nations were arising and prospering. 

Even within the church itself there were indications ot 
disintegration tending to weaken the power of the in- 
stitution. It lacked a broad-visioned leader in the papal 
chair who could sense the spirit of the times. Once it had 
been possible for a pope to defy successfully a king or an 
emperor by threatening to withhold the church's ministra- 
tions from the subjects of the prince. But now that was 
no longer possible. In the opening of the fourteenth 
century the king of France took possession of the pope 
and removed his residence from Rome to Avignon. It 
was a century before his prestige began to recover itself 
in Europe at large. Then, too, the awakening moral 
sense of society was offended by the evidences of world- 
liness that were to be found in the church. Simony, the 
sale of indulgences, financial abuses, and even the charge 
of immorality against many of the clergy, no longer es- 
caped attention. Even a series of general councils <J1 


Christendom, held with the professed intention of accom- 
plishing reformation within the church, proved incapable 
of satisfying the current demand. 

The rising stream of new vital energy was fed by many 
tributaries. New values of both a spiritual and material 
sort were recognized. The business of feudal society had 
been conducted in a very simple manner. Men traded in 
goods and in services, and land was the chief form ot 
property. Money was unknown ; it had no current value. 
But with the increase of population more laborers were 
available and they produced more articles than could be 
used in a local medieval village. Thus trade with other 
villages arose and towns grew up as manufacturing and 
trading centers. Men's horizons began to expand as con- 
tacts with other localities enlarged. Previously society 
had taken account of only two principal classes, the nobles 
and the clergy. But now there appeared a prosperous 
middle class, the bourgeoisie, the so-called "third estate," 
with which both church and nobles had to learn to reckon. 

The growing independence of a middle class was only 
one of the forces that menaced the authority of an estab- 
lished church. A new spirit of individualism was also 
awakened. Just as in the Roman Empire, the mingling 
of peoples together in the world at large and the rise ot 
the individual's feeling of responsibility for his own wel- 
fare generated a new type of society, so now there was a 
great stimulus toward initiative on the part of aggressive 
persons. This urge might express itself in some new in- 
vention like that of printing or in a voyage of explora- 
tion that would open up new worlds, and every advance- 
ment added to the new sense of resources and power at 
the disposal of mankind. The accumulation of wealth 
meant more leisure for study and reflection, contacts with 
other peoples furnished new ideas and intellectual stimuli, 
and the invention of printing made possible the wider em- 
ulation of knowledge. Thus many interests and activities 
over which it had been the privilege of the church 
previously to preside now moved in channels of their own 


making and with a force that could not be resisted even 
by this powerful institution. 

Christianity itself was too closely integrated with these 
new cultural developments to remain unaffected by the 
awakening temper of the times. While there were indeed 
ample evidences of worldliness within the church itself, 
the spiritual interests of the period were not dormant. 
They found new expression in the exalted piety of the 
medieval mystics, who felt no conflict between themselves 
and the church, but who in reality had caught the vision 
of the new day that was about to dawn. At the same 
time there were others readier to break with, or at least 
to criticize sharply, the conventional operations of re- 
ligion. One recalls such movements as were represented 
by the Albigenses and the Waldenses, or the activities of 
a Wyclif and a Huss, or the fiery preaching of a Savon- 
arola. This swelling stream of revolt against the author- 
ity of the ecclesiastical institution finally overflowed its 
banks in the sixteenth century and rapidly permeated 
northern and central Europe. We usually call it the Pro- 
testant Reformation. 

The Reformation, as a revolt against the authority of 
an ancient institution gave right of way to the new cul- 
tural interests of sixteenth-century Europe. But at this 
point it is easy to misread the mind of the reformers. 
They were still thinking of religion fundamentally in 
terms of an authority laid down in the past. They dif- 
fered from the pope chiefly in denying authority to his 
office and claiming it instead for the ancient scriptures. 
In reality they were tremendously influenced by forces 
operating in their immediate environment, but when they 
attempted to rephrase the significance of the Christian 
movement for the civilization of their time they adopted 
the customary procedure of applying norms derived from 
antiquity. Fortunately, however,, the bible was an ancient 
book whose original meaning was not always clear ana 
therefore was capable of being adjusted to the require- 


ments of a new age. Interpretation could quite uneon 
sciously read new interests into the sacred text. 

At the outset both Catholicism and Protestantism oc- 
cupied common ground in offering to mankind the 
guidance of a supernatural authority. The former found 
this guidance in an ecclesiastical organization headed by 
the pope while the latter located it in the bibb as inter- 
preted by the authorized theologians of the church. Cath- 
olicism has maintained its original stand down to the pres- 
ent moment, while large numbers of Protestants still ad- 
here to the biblical theory propounded by their ancestors 
in the sixteenth century. But once the Protestant principle 
had been established, that individuals or groups were at 
liberty to follow the dictates of conscience, the doctrine 
of an ultimate and infallible authority was virtually un- 
dermined for all time to come. The cultural situation of 
the individual now became determinative for his thinking, 
and a religious institution had to justify its existence in 
terms of its functional efficiency as an instrument for 
nourishing and perpetuating spiritual values. 

Whether the effectiveness of Christianity in modern 
civilization has been increased or diminished in con- 
sequence of the diversity in the movement resulting from 
the application of the Protestant principle of liberty, is a 
question that different persons may answer in different 
ways. But what religion thus loses on the side of un* 
versal authority it gains in the realm of personal tastes 
and satisfactions. Where there is much variety in cul- 
tural attainments and personal inclinations, different re- 
ligious activities and organizations are necessarily re- 
quired in order to meet the total range of men's needs. 
Since Protestantism has made this variation possible it 
has really given a greater vitality to the Christian move- 
ment. Some observers predict the early demise of Pro- 
testantism on the ground of its diversity and lack of 
central authority. But this judgment implies the validity 
of a totalitarian rather than of a democratic philosophy 
of life. From the standpoint of democracy one might pre- 


diet that a Christianity capable of expressing itself as di- 
versely as are the characteristics of modern human cul- 
ture would have the best of chances to endure. 

Whatever the future may bring forth, at least one 
thing is clear. The highest service which Christianity 
renders to mankind no longer rests fundamentally upon 
the maintenance of an infallible church, but upon the 
power of religious ideals to make themselves effective in 
the lives of men. Since the dawn of the Reformation ec- 
clesiastical establishments have gradually been forced to 
retire from various areas of culture. They no longer 
speak the final word in politics, in art, in literature, in 
philosophy, in science, in civic affairs, or for some of us 
even in the area of personal religious opinions. But if 
Christianity lacks formal authority in these spheres of 
modern civilization we are not to conclude that it there- 
fore lacks function. To pervade all of these areas of cul- 
ture, not by the utterances of an ecclesiastical fiat but by 
the inspiring leaven of high ideals, is still a worthy task 
for the Christian church. 

Christianity cannot hope to endure if it interprets itsell 
as something extraneous to normal cultural evolution. Itc 
moral and spiritual ideals must find concrete embodi- 
ment in human activities and institutions. One some- 
times asks whether Christianity can save our modern 
civilization. Certainly it cannot unless civilization is al- 
lowed to become the vehicle by which the Christian re- 
ligion is carried forward in the concrete processes of cul- 
tural life. 



So many inquiries have recently come to us about the 
Florida School of Religion that it would appear to be a 
matter of sufficiently general interest to justify a printed 
statement regarding its present work. The School is of 
comparatively recent origin and is thus far largely in the 
experimental stage. But after a little more than a year 
of operation its function is becoming more clearly de- 
finable and the need it has met is more fully appreciable. 


The Florida School of Religion was established under 
a charter granted by the State of Florida on March 15, 
1940. The charter empowered it to "conduct a religious 
institution of learning, possessing all the powers incident 
to such institutions, including the right to prescribe proper 
courses of study and confer proper degrees upon the com- 
pletion thereof." Steps were promptly taken to carry out 
the provisions of the charter through the organization 
of a group of trustees composed of S. J. Case, E. E. Kelley, 
R. B. Gilbert, Robert Tolle, Dana Coman and L. H. Terry. 
The officers elected by the trustees were R. B. Gilbert, 
President; Dana Coman, Vice-President; Robert Tolle, 
Secretary-Treasurer. An executive Committee was ap- 
pointed consisting of R. B Gilbert, Chairman; Dana 
Coman, Robert Tolle and S. J. Case. 

The members of the faculty carrying on instruction at 
the present time are Shirley Jackson Case, Dean and 
Professor of Biblical and Doctrinal Studies; Charles T. 
Thrift, Jr., Secretary of the Faculty and Professor of 
Historical Studies; Charles Warren Hawkins, Professor 
of Linguistic and Educational Studies; and George Lee 
Tenney, Professor of Music. During one week in the year 
the School brings in a special lecturer for a series of 
addresses that subsequently appear in book form. The 


first of these series was given in 1940 by Dean Willard 
Learoyd Sperry of Harvard Divinity School and they are 
now available in his volume on What We Mean by 
Religion. In 1941 Bishop G. Bromley Oxnam of Boston 
gave the lectures which have just appeared in his recent 
book, The Ethical Ideals of Jesus in a Changing World. 
At the same time the Dean of the School of Religion de- 
livered a supplementary series of addresses that have also 
appeared in book form under the title Christianity in a 
Changing World. The lecturer for 1942 is to be Dean Lynn 
Harold Hough of Drew Theological Seminary. 


In general the purpose of the School of Religion is: 

First, to meet the needs of those who desire to 
become intelligent about religion as an aspect of our total 
cultural heritage. In consequence of the American prin- 
ciple of separation between church and state, educational 
institutions supported by the state have found it difficult 
to make religion an essential part of their curricula. The 
result is that many educated persons are left without any 
intelligent awareness of the conspicuous place occupied 
by religion in our modern civilization. The School of Re- 
ligion seeks to correct this defect. 

Second, many students who expect to engage in secular 
callings desire at the same time to acquire an education 
that will enable them to participate actively and effect- 
ively in the life of the churches in their respective com- 
munities. The School of Religion aims to meet their needs 
by offering general courses of an untechnical and non- 
professional type portraying religion in its functional 
aspects in modern society. 

Third, the School seeks to serve those students who may 
be preparing to enter the Christian ministry as a profes- 
sion. They will be introduced to the various fields of study 
leading up to specializing in ministerial training. They 
will be given an understanding of the methods of study 
to be pursued, the scholarly approach to problems, and the 
tasks involved in the professional education of the preach- 


er and pastor. This preparation should greatly enhance the 
value of their subsequent study in the theological semin- 
ary, but it is not intended as a substitute for such study. 
Fourth, provision is also made for helping persons now 
in the active ministry to pursue further study in guided 
reading courses carried on by correspondence or by oc- 
casional conferences with instructors. 


The only degree for which provision has yet been made 
in the School of Religion is that of Master of Arts. The 
requirements for this degree are: 

First, candidates must previously have obtained a Bach- 
elor of Arts degree, or its academic equivalent, from an 
accredited college. 

Second, a candidate must complete at least fifteen cours- 
es, each constituting the equivalent of three term hours, 
and secure an average of not less than B grade for his 
work in these courses. 

Third, a final examination, oral or written as may be 
determined by circumstances, covering the entire area of 
work presented for the degree must be satisfactorily 

Fourth, an acceptable thesis on some topic connected 
with the student's special field of interest must be pre- 

Courses of Instruction 

The aim of the courses of instruction is to furnish a 
comprehensive understanding of the position and function 
of religion in the making of our modern civilization. 

First, there is a historical survey of the evolution of the 
Hebrew and Christian religions from earliest times down 
to the present day. To this is added also a sketch of the 
various other religions that have survived to modern times 
in the Near East, India, China and Japan. 

Second, attention is given to biblical studies designed to 
show how this body of religious literature arose, and to 
interpret the work of great creative personalities. 


Third, the development of the Christian type of relig- 
ious beliefs will be outlined from the beginnings down to 
the widely varied types of thinking current in modern 

Fourth, students will be made acquainted with the op- 
erations of the Christian religion in the present-day 
world through educational activities, the organization of 
churches and denominations, and the adjustment of re- 
ligious thinking to the various aspects of modern culture 
and social life. 

Fifth, should a sufficient number of students desire to 
begin the study of Hebrew or New Testament Greek, in- 
struction in these languages will be provided. A class ii 
beginning Greek is now in operation. 
Informal Courses 

In addition to formal classroom instruction as announ- 
ced in the class schedule each term, a series of so-calied 
"informal" courses is made available for private study. 
These are designed to stimulate the student to cultivate 
habits of study on his own account and skill in reading 
the literature on the subject. In each course he is provided 
with a syllabus indicating the main lines to be pursued, 
the general method of study, the distinctive features of the 
several books to be read, the chief problems to engage his 
attention in the acquisition of knowledge, and the specific 
issues that invite his reflective thinking and judgment. 
There are periodic consultations, either in person or by 
correspondence, with the instructor as a means of checking 
up on the student's progress and furnishing such guidance 
as he may need in the pursuit of his work. No course will 
be completed until a final examination has been passed, 
and when completed each course will carry a credit of 
three term-hours. 

All of the informally conducted courses are available 
at any time, according to the needs of the individual 
student, and may be completed quickly or leisurely as his 
time for study permits. These courses are grouped ac- 
cording to four main types, namely, historical, biblical, 


doctrinal and practical. The letters after the course num- 
bers (H, B, D, P) indicate respectively, each of these 
types and a student may choose any of these fields as his 
special interest. 

These courses have apparently met a very definite need. 
Since they were inaugurated a little over a year ago 130 of 
them have been taken by 80 different students and the 
demand is constantly increasing. Following are the in- 
formal courses at present available: 

201H. Christianity in Roman Society. The two text- 
books prescribed are S. J. Case, Social Origins of 
Christianity and S. J. Case, The Social Triumph of 
the Ancient Church. 

210H. Outline History of Christianity. The first text 
used is A. G. Baker (editor), A Short History of 
Christianity. This will be supplemented by some other 
book in line with the student's area of interest. 

213H. Christianity in America. Text: W. W. Sweet, 
The Story of Religion in America. 

302H. History of Methodism. Text: W. W. Sweet, 
Methodism in American History, supplemented by a 
second book chosen in line with the student's special 

332H. Non-Christian World ReKgions. Texts: C. S. 
Braden, The World's Religions, and a second book 
later to be determined. 

201B. Modern Biblical Study. Texts : E. C. Colwell, The 

Study of the Bible and a second book in accordance 

with the student's preference. 
203B. New Testament Beliefs. Text: E. W. Parsons, 

The Religion of the Neiv Testament. 
301B. Life and Religion of Jesus. Texts: S. J. Case, 

Jesus, a New Biography, and S. J. Case, Jesus 

Through the Centuries. 
302B. Life and Religion of Paul. Text : B. W. Robinson, 


The Life of Paul, and readings in the Pauline Epist- 
303B. Literature of the Old Testament. Texts: I. G. 

Matthews, Old Testament Life and Literature and J. 

A. Bewer, The Literature of the Old Testament. 
304B. Literature of the New Testament. Text: E. F. 

Scott, Literature of the New Testament. 
201D. Growth of Christian Ideas. Text: S. J. Case, 

Highways of Christian Doctrine, supplemented by a 

book in the ancient, medieval or modern field as the 

interest of the student may determine. 
202D. The Nature of Christianity. Text: S. J. Case, 

Christianity in a Changing World. 
304D. Modern Religious Philosophies. Text: E. A. 

Burtt, Types of Religious Philosophy. 
201P. The Work of the Minister. Texts : A. W. Palmer, 

The Minister's Job, and an additional book dealing 

with some special aspect of the minister's task that 

may be of special interest to the student. 
202P. The Work of the Church. Text: W. C. Bower 

(editor), The Church at Work in the Modern World. 
81 IP. Christianity and Modern Social Problems. Texts: 

selected pamphlets. 


The charge for tuition is $12.00 per course. This is 
the same for both formal and informal courses. Normally 
a student must purchase his own textbooks, but a rental 
library is gradually being accumulated for the informal 
courses. When a book is available it may be rented for 
from 35 cents to 50 cents per month, depending on the 
price of the book. 

For information address: 
Shirley Jackson Case, Dean, Florida School of Religion, 
Box 146, Florida Southern College, Lakeland, Florida. 


In The Making 



By Shatter Mathews 


By Gerald B. Switzer 


By Ray C. Petty 


By Roy H. Johnson 


By Herbert H. Stroup 



Albert E. Barnett, Paul Becomes A Literary Influ- 
ence . . . 180 

J. 0. Dobson,W orship 181 

G. Bromley Oxnam, The Ethical Ideals of Jesus in a 

Changing World 182 

Marguerite T. Boylan, Social Welfare in the Catholic 

Church 183 

J. B. R. Walker, Comprehensive Concordance to the 

Holy Scriptures 184 

Henry C. Link, The Return to Religion 184 

Winifred Kirkland, Are We Immortal? 184 

Henry N. Wieman, Now We Must Choose 184 

Arthur E. Holt, Christian Roots of Democracy in 

America 186 

Karl Ruff Stolz, Making the Most of the Rest of 

Life 187 

Marguerite Fellows Melcher, The Shaker Adventure, 

An Experiment in Contented Living 188 

Arthur Wentworth Hewitt, God's Back Pasture .... 189 
Austin L. Porterfield, Creative Factors in Scientific 

Research 190 

Harry Emerson Fosdick, Living Under Tension 191 


The subscription price for RELIGION IN THE 
MAKING remains the same as last year. We invite 
you to renew your subscription. The subscription 
rate is $2.00 per year, or sixty cents for a single 
copy. One may remit by personal check or Post 
Office Order, made payable to The Florida School 
of Religion, Box 146, Florida Southern College, 
Lakeland, Florida. 

— — 1MB TBingiirra^ui. u iJia.iiJ -«m wp ■KAiLa*»w»a 1 m 


SHAILER MATHEWS was, at the time of his death 
last October, Dean Emeritus of the Divinity School of 
the University of Chicago. He had been Professor of 
Historical Theology and Dean of the Divinity School for 
many years before his retirement in 1933. Dr. Mathews 
was associated in an editorial and executive capacity with 
many of the major religious organizations and movements 
in this country. He was president of the Federal Council 
of the Churches of Christ in America from 1912 to 1916, 
and of the Northern Baptist Convention in 1915; trustee 
of the Church Peace Union from 1914, and Director of 
Religious Work at the Chautauqua Institution from 1912 
to 1934. He wrote numerous books during the last half 
century, and did much to shape the social philosophy of 
American Christianity. His article published in this num- 
ber was written about two weeks before his death and was 
the last to come from his pen. 

GERALD B. SWITZER is Professor of Church History 
in Union College of British Columbia, Vancouver, B. C. 
He holds the Ph. D. degree from the University of 
Chicago. Dr. Switzer has contributed a number of arti- 
cles to the various religious publications in Canada. 

RAY C. PETRY is Assistant Professor of Church His- 
tory in the Divinity School of Duke University. A native 
of Eaton, Ohio, he received his A. B. degree from Man- 
chester College, his A. M. and Ph. D. degrees from the 
University of Chicago. He was formerly Assistant Pro- 
fessor of History in Manchester and McPherson Colleges, 
and Professor and Head of the Department of Religion 
in McPherson College. He has published numerous criti- 


eal 3 eviews and several articles in such leading scholarly 
journals as Church History and The Journal of Religion. 
He has recently published his volume on Francis of Assisi: 
Apostle of Poverty. 

ROY H. JOHNSON is Professor of History in Thiel 
College, Greenville, Pennsylvania. He received his Ph. D. 
degiee at the University of Chicago in 1929. He has done 
considerable reseaich on the subject he treats in his 
aiticle on "The Language Missions," and has from time 
to time presented some of the results of his research to 
various learned societies. 

HERBERT H. STROUP is a graduate of Union The- 
ological Seminary in New York City. He is now working 
on his Ph. D. degree at The New School for Social Re- 
search, and is planning to write his doctor's dissertation 
on the work of the Jehovah's Witnesses. 


By Shatter Mathews 

University of Chicago 

Chicago, Illinois 

Living in a world like ours is like being lost in a forest. 
No one who has had that experience wants to repeat it. If 
he is not a trained woodsman, when he finds himself off 
the trail in a forest, he wants to run. The more he runs, 
the more panic-stiicken he becomes. Around camp fires 
guides will tell stoiies of lost men who threw away their 
guns and coats and tore through the woods bent on getting 
back to camp, but having no idea where the camp was. 
They paid no attention to landmai ks ; they climbed no trees 
to get a view of the terrain. Such panic-stricken people 
must be rescued, the guides say, within forty-eight hours, 
or they will giow insane and die from panic and exposure. 

Anyone is liable to get lost in the woods, but a good 
woodsman knows what to do. He will sit down and take 
account of the situation. He may climb a tree to look for 
familiar landmarks. If the sun is hidden and he has no 
compass, he will study the bark of the trees, the flow of 
brooks, and other signs that indicate direction. Then, with- 
out panic, he goes on his way back to camp. 

This paiable is applicable to our present situation. The 
world which seemed so familiar looks strange and 
threatening. We a:e lost in the forest of propaganda, 
social change, international intrigues, economic struggle. 
racial enmities, religious and moral disillusion, war. If 
we want to keep our heads we need to use our common 

I am not at all sure that all people want to be sane in 
a world like ours. There is luxury in emotional excesses, 
whether they be chose of optimism or pessimism. It is 
easy for one's logic to reach into all soits of desirable and 
undesirable conclusions. In many cases this emotional re- 
lease is camouflaged under a claim of moral sincerity. Eut 
sincerity is no test of wisdom. Too often conscience may 
become a combination of passions and obstinacy. 


It may sound hopelessly Philistine to say that for the 
rank and file of us there is little to be gained from psy- 
chology. True, there are those sufficiently detached from 
life to be able to tell us why we are panic-stricken and 
point out the causes of our panic. They are physicians 
studying their patient. The difficulty is that most of us 
are the patient. Sociological diagnosis may disclose what 
is going on in the world, but such knowledge may simply 
add new problems to those we already face. We are sicker 
than we thought. A sense of futility seems a welcome an- 

But there is a practical treatment of the condition which 
the social psychologist describes. The man who is lost in 
the woods may not know the geological history of the ter- 
rain he must cross, but if he keeps his head he knows that 
water runs downhill and the sun does not rise in the west. 
Common sense need not be unintelligent. For those who 
really want to maintain a sane attitude in the midst of the 
uncertainties of the present situation there are some con- 
siderations which have weight. 

The first of these considerations is the fact that we are 
not living in an insane world but in a Titanic struggle be- 
tween ideologies. The development of mass production and 
the unification of life by new methods of communication 
and transportation have inevitably resulted in different 
conceptions as to how group action, whether it be of eco- 
nomics or politics, shall be organized. There results more 
than a struggle between capitalism and its rivals. It is real- 
ly a struggle as to the relative importance of the in- 
dividual and the state. On the one side is a nationalism 
made supreme by coercion, and on the other side is an 
individualism adjusted to group action. When we realize 
that the confusion with which our day seems filled is not 
born of anarchy but is an aspect of the struggle between 
two rival conceptions as to how human life should be or- 
ganized, we can see that action based upon intelligent 
choice is saner than lamentation and panic. 

A second aid to sanity is the habit of criticizing or, as 
accountants would say, "breaking down" daily news and 


propaganda. We need to remember that the news service 
is more or less perfunctory. Much of it, necessarily, is 
hardly more than gossip and guess work. If one were to 
compare the prophecies which many commentators have 
made during the past year, their mistakes and prejudices 
would be at once apparent. It is only common sense to 
treat them with skepticism. Foreign correspondents are 
under direct or indirect censorship, and stories which they 
send us can be treated as only approximately accurate. 
Certain cities are hotbeds of gossip and conjecture, and 
any statements that come from them are fair objects of 
suspicion. The nearest approach that we can get to facts 
is post cventum news. Even official communiques have to 
be taken with a very considerable caution. They are of the 
nature of propaganda and are not likely to give informa- 
tion which would be valuable to the enemy or discouraging 
to the nation they represent. It is easier to believe some 
communiques than others, but they all should be sifted to 
discover facts. 

One must recognize also the technique of those who wish 
to stir the emotions by the use of slogans and descriptive 
terms. It is an elemental method to arouse prejudice and 
hostility by the use of terms which arouse passion. 
Every demagogue smears an opponent by some term which 
arouses passion and prejudice. That same critical attitude 
which leads one to distinguish facts from interpretation 
will keep us from letting vocabularies rule our sympathies. 

It may be objected that such an attitude of skepticism 
or criticism will leave us in uncertainty as to actual sit- 
uations. That is true. But the refusal to be gullible will 
keep one from being submerged in forebodings. And, on 
the whole, it is better to be uncertain than to be a prey 
to prophecies of doom too often based on ignorance of 
history and discernible propaganda. 

But it is not impossible to discover enough facts to di- 
rect judgment. It is too much to say that all news Is col- 
ored, and I do not mean to say that all propaganda is 
vicious, but it is easy to see that there are plenty of in- 
fluences which would like to have the United States take 


sides in European and Asiatic conflicts. In fact, one of the 
chief dangers which threaten our futuie is the tendency 
for European enmities to reappear in organized fashion 
among our own citizens. If one once realizes this fact, it 
will prevent one's being ch awn into panic or partisanship. 
We may have our sympathies or we may have our uncer- 
tainties about the justice of other people's policies, but we 
can acquire the habit of allowing for self-interest on the 
pait of those who want our support, and either because of 
policy or their own sympathy do not present the facts in 
a disinterested way. 

Eut it is not enough to realize that we face an issue be- 
tween waning ideologies lather that social insanity. We 
should also become historically minded. One of the chief 
enemies of mental balance is the habit of judging events 
as if they were independent situations unconditioned by 
the past and not subject to complicated influences. Some 
philosopher of long ago, when a difficult situation arose, 
was in the habit of saying, "This too will pass." Of course, 
such an attitude might in some cases mean mere passive 
submission to fate but it may also be a formula for calm 
judgment. ^01 history is something more than a record 
of past events. It is a disclosure of t" ends and influences 
which are constantly repeating themselves and continu- 
ing in our present. If we could only bieak loose from the 
past and annihilate our memory of the injustices and 
enmities of the past, our prog" ess might be more easy. 
But we can no more eliminate history from our present 
than we can eliminate the physical characteristics of our 
ancestors. And the tragedy is that men are so often swayed 
by their past national, economic, and racial conflicts 
which persist. Whoever would keep his head in our world 
ought to take all such facts into account and determine 
that, so far as he is concerned, he will not succumb to in- 
heritance. He will look to the future. He will be an ances- 
tor as well as a descendant. 

But in today's conflicts historical mindedness, which 
comes fiom a realization of process, leads to a conviction 
which will keep one from panic or fanaticism. It is the con- 


viction that we are living in an orderly universe in which 
human history is not a succession of chances; that it is pos- 
sible to discover the conditions under which human wel- 
fare can be advanced. Thanks to our scientists, we have 
come to understand pretty well what we call the natural 
laws. We can foretell when the moon will rise, when 
eclipses will come. Even the most simple-minded among 
us know that day follows night and spring follows winter. 
Such understanding of the universe in which we live is, 
however, no more within our grasp than our ability to 
trace the operations of what we may call social laws in 
the course of human history. 

In the interests of sane judgment Americans should 
realize that, while our democracy needs to be made ef- 
ficient, it yet carries within itself something which the ef- 
ficiency of dictatorship cannot endure. The struggle be- 
tween ideologies is more than the conflict of tanks and 
airplanes. The success of nations that never were really 
democratic must not make us forget that the instruments 
and methods of dictatorships have been appropriated from 
the experimenting of democracies. Liberty means more 
than the freedom to follow our desires, or criticize or laugh 
at our government. It means an opportunity for men to 
develop their personal responsibility. That is revealed by 
historic process. We may have to recognize the fact that 
we are animals ; but as human beings we are more than 
accidents. The conditions under which we can carry out 
our human development are set by the universe in which 
we live. The cooperation of persons for common good is 
something more than sentimentality. It is the extension 
of cosmic activity itself into human relations. It can no 

more be disregarded than any cosmic activity. 

W T ith such a belief we can face the world in which we 
live without the panic which is born of confusion. We will 
act as those who believe in the possibility of directing 
process towards greater human welfare. We steady our- 
selves by a belief that the orderly universe did not become 
anarchic when men appeared within it. 


Such a point of view is sanely religious. It is by no 
means the same as saying that since God is on our side the 
outcome may be trusted to him. Such a faith may be hardly 
mere than defeatism. The divine will works through 
human processes and is one of destruction as well as con- 
st: uction. A basic 1 eligious faith involves a conviction that 
any course of action hostile to the supremacy of personal 
worth of individuals in social relations will cause suffer- 
ing. To oppose it is to conserve values worth conserving. 
The 1 e is in religious faith a heroic element which is more 
than a passive waiting for the divine action. It is a sacri- 
ficial social-mindedness that would express and cooperate 
with the personality-producing activities of the universe 
discoverable in society. Who directs that social mindedness 
with intelligence, to use the words of Jesus, buiMs his 
house upon the rock, and winds may blow and floods de- 
scend, but the house stands. 


By Gerald B. Sivitzer 

Union College of British Columbia 

Vancouver, B. C. 

(This article was an address delivered at the annual 
convocation of Union College on Apiil 29, 1941. But its 
interest and timeliness are such that we take pleasure in 
passing it on to our readers. — Editor) 

A peculiar thing happened some time ago. About the 
close of the World War a young officer just thirty years 
of age received an unexpected invitation to join a political 
party which had no representatives in pailiament and 
only six supporters. Out of curiosity he united with the 
group and was given the ticket of membership numbered 
"7". There was no one of prominence in the group, but 
the little coterie nevertheless decided to hold a public 
meeting. One of them rattled off a few invitations on 
the typewriter on slips of paper and the rest set to writ- 
ing theirs by hand. The young army officer went out and 
delivered eighty of them himself. At the appointed time 
the seven hopefuls made preparations for the great public 
meeting and awaited eagerly the big event. The hour 
passed and no one appeared. Refusing to be beaten they 
decided to call another meeting and subscribed enough 
money to put an advertisement in the paper. This time 
one hundred and twenty-seven attended and offered a 
very considerable collection. One month later another 
meeting was called and two hundred persons attended ; 
one month later, and four hundred attended. It was decid- 
ed to call a great mass meeting. This time an audience 
of two thousand appeared. The young army officer, not 
thirty-one years of age then, in his story about it, says: 
"Ah, my heart nearly burst with joy! Two thousand 
people!" He rose up to speak to the great assembly, and 
lo, he discovered he was somewhat of an orator. When he 
spoke, people listened. Hope leapt within him. 

A few years rolled by and the general election of 1928 
was pending. The group decided to run a number of can- 


didates for parliament. Twelve were elected. Two years 
later they again ran a number of candidates and one hun- 
dred and seven were elected. Two years later that young 
army officer, now forty-two years of age, decided to run 
for president and polled eleven million votes; a few 
months later in a run-off election, thirteen million ; a year 
later seventeen million, and a few months after that over 
forty-one million votes. That young army officer, aged 
forty-four, turned to the nation south of his, mighty 
France, and coldly announced : "I would remind you that 
more people have voted for me — Herr Hitler — than your 
whole French nation has population." Since then all 
Europe and the world has been sitting on a powder keg 
and it has recently ignited. 

As Professor of Church History, I thought that it would 
be as timely a thing as we could do in this field to spend 
the twenty-five minutes allotted to me in this Convocation 
Address in considering what Herr Hitler and his Nazi 
cohorts have sought to do with the Christian Church in 
Germany, taking as title, "Naziism and the German 

I think that no historian can seriously doubt that 
Adolph Hitler swept into power in Germany in 1933 with 
the overwhelming or at least a majority support of a 
joyous and expectant nation. After long years of post- 
war humiliation, economic depression, collapse of the 
monetary system, unemployment, and the ever-present 
threat of Communism hanging like a great pall over the 
nation, the long-awaited deliverer had arrived with his 
challenging slogans : 

Away with the chains of Versailles ! 
Down with the demons of Capitalism ! 
Out with the sins of the fathers! 
Away with slavery to interest! 
Productive work for everybody! 
Large industrial profits, not to the few, 
but spread among the many! 
Above all, Germany, unite! 


"For," said the new Chancellor, "Germany was never de- 
feated in the last war. She disintegrated from within be- 
cause of a lack of unity. This shall not happen again!" 

Is it any wonder that the hearts of a long disillusioned 
people Jeapt with anticipation? After years of misery and 
humiliation the new day was about to dawn, the great 
vindication. In many places pastors sprang to their pul- 
pits to herald the new day of release. It was an hour of 
sensitive, almost morbid, patriotism. 

If there is to be a wholly unified nation driving toward 
one end and one end only, every organization and person 
will have to conform. A totalitarian environment is a 
sorry place for minorities and dissenters. 

To this supreme end of German unification, Hitler and 
the Nazi state bent every effort in as concerted and prob- 
ably as ruthless a programme of regimentation as has ap- 
peared in our time. In five years they crushed all politi- 
cal opposition, including the powerful Social Democratic 
party which had formerly held office with one-third of 
the seats in a Reichstag of eight parties. They liquidated 
or wholly suppressed Communism, which had polled no 
less than six and a half million votes in an earlier election 
in Germany. They commandeered the Youth Movement 
to the Nazi banner. They regimented the one hundred 
and sixty-eight powerful and wealthy labor unions in 
Germany and an unknown number of employers' associa- 
tions into a single labor front. They whipped the uni- 
versities into humiliating compliance with their standards 
and aims. They succeeded in driving from the land an 
estimated one hundred thousand Jews, and banned Free- 
masonry, the League of Nations, Boy Scouting, Pacifism, 
Democracy; but for all their vigor there is one institution 
they have not wholly cowed — the Christian Church. As 
Albert Einstein has said recently, 

"Being a lover of freedom, when the revolution 
came in Germany, I looked to the universities to de- 
fend it, knowing that they had always boasted of 
their devotion to the cause of truth; but, no, the uni- 
versities immediately were silenced. Then I looked 


to the great editors of the newspapers whose flaming 
editorials in days gone by had proclaimed their love 
of freedom; but they, like the universities, were 
silenced in a few short weeks. Then I looked to the 
individual writers, who, as literary guides of Ger- 
many, had written much and often concerning the 
place of freedom in modern life; but they, too, were 
mute. Only the Church stood squarely across the 
path of Hitler's campaign for suppressing truth. I 
never had any special interest in the Church before, 
but now I feel a great affection and admiration be- 
cause the Church alone has had the courage and per- 
sistence to stand for intellectual truth and moral 
freedom. I am forced to confess that what I once de- 
spised I now praise unreservedly."* 

Let U3 summarize the Church and State struggle 
through the years. When in 1°33 Hitler swung into 
power he found in Germany twenty million nominal 
Catholics and a much larger group of Protestants — over 
twenty-seven million. This great Protestant edifice was 
regarded as a public or State institution. Unlike the vol- 
untary system of maintenance in Canada, it was support- 
ed by obligatory taxes collected by the State, which voted 
large subsidies and paid the pastors' salaries. The clergy 
had the prestige of state officials and their office was re- 
garded virtually as a wing of the civil service. There was 
not a single united Protestant organization throughout 
Germany, but rather there were more than twenty sepa- 
rate and virtually independent state churches in each state 
— Bavaria, Saxony, Wurtenburg, Prussia, and the like — as 
though here in Canada we were to have a United Church 
of British Columbia, a United Church of Alberta, another 
of Saskatchewan, and so on, independent of each other 
but supported by state taxes. Moreover, there were three 
bodies or denominations in each of these state or territor- 
ial churches : Lutheran, Reformed, and United, with dif- 
ferent creeds but all having the same administration and 
state support. In addition there were some smaller free 
sects like the Methodist Episcopal, Baptist and Mennon- 


ites, having only about eight hundred thousand members. 

Obviously the Naziism that was swinging employers' 
associations, trade unions, universities and the Youth 
Movement into line would not rest easily until the great 
Piotestant Church, the largest single organization out- 
side the state itself, was brought into at least reasonable 

There were several indications which might have led 
Hitler and his cohorts to imagine that the Church would 
readily align herself with the new Nazi renaissance. 

(1) The Church was of Lutheran tradition and ever 
since Luther it had staunchly supported the State. After 
the war the majority of its leaders had favoured the re- 
turn of the Kaiser and the old monarchical system and 
the clerical members of the Reichstag were of this persua- 
sion. Why should not the Church continue to support the 
State which paid the ministers' salaries and subsidized 
its needs? 

(2) A large number of the clergy saw in the rise of 
Hitler a spiritual rebirth of the German people. Up to 
this time even Martin Niemoller had consistently voted 
for Hitler. To be sure it would mean suppression of 
freedom for a time, but, said the average pastor, we 
must remember that this is a revolution. Such methods 
are only temporal ily necessary and will not continue when 
things are restored to normal. 

(3) The factor, however, which must have most en- 
couraged the Nazi leaders was the appearance, a year be- 
fore Hitler's elevation, of a new movement calling upon 
the Church to rally behind Hitler's so-called "positive 
Christianity" which urged all believers "to hold the race 
and folk heritage pure, to remain Germans and not be- 
come a bastard folk of Jewish-Aryan blood." It also in- 
veighed against unchristian humanitarianism, pacifism, 
international Freemasonry, and the Christian world citi- 
zenship. Here was a movement the Nazis could sponsor. 
Fast growing, it seemed the logical centre for the unifica- 
tion of Protestantism into a single Protestant Reichs- 
church. Hitler named the movement the "German Chris- 


tians" and recognized Rev. Hossenf elder as the spiritual 
leader of these new spiritual storm troopers. 

As ho was then a Roman Catholic, Herr Hitler was too 
discreet to act directly, but appointed Military Chaplain 
Ludwig Mueller as his delegated authority and represent- 
ative in all questions concerning the Church. When 
Mueller, wMh all the prestige of the Nazi Chancellor be- 
hind him, came out whole-heartedly for the German 
Christian movement and put his signature to their delara- 
tion calling for a single unified German Protestant 
Church and a single Reichs-leader of that Church, and 
urging the repudiation of the democratic method of elect- 
ing officials and absolute subscription to the Aryan myth, 
the Protestants of Germany awakened to see that this new 
movement of Rev. Hossenfelder was far more closely al- 
lied to the Nazi party programme than they had ever 
dreamed, and that it meant a subtle attempt to dictate 
Christian doctrine, Christian polity, and even the nature 
of Christian organization. 

Hoping to forestall the rising storm of protests, the 
German Christians hastily announced that they nominated 
Chaplain Ludwig Mueller, Herr Hitler's friend and con- 
fidant, for the position of Reichsbishop of the great uni- 
fied German Protestant Church about to be inaugurated ; 
but the German Christians and Hitler and Mueller him- 
self were all destined to disappointment for the plebiscite 
was held in all twenty-eight of the great state territorial 
church bodies and an overwhelming majority of votes 
were cast, not for Hitler's appointee and the German 
Christian nominee, but for a much beloved and respected 
Christian leader of opposing opinion by the name of Dr. 
von Bodelschwingh. 

Nazis and German Christians were alarmed. Here was 
virtual defiance of the Nazi policy. The government acted 
quickly. It appointed a State Commissioner for the 
great Evangelical Church of Prussia, who promptly order- 
ed the abolition of the consistories of that vast Church. 
In the Republic which had preceded Hitler's rule, the 
Protestant Church had built up a system of democratic 


courts not unlike our United Church system of Church 
Boards, Presbyteries, Conferences and the General Coun- 
cil, and with one fell swoop this was ordered abolished by 
the state. Imagine our consternation here were the Otta- 
wa government suddenly to order the abolition of the 
United Church courts. The action aroused a storm of op- 
position from loyal churchmen, some of whom organized 
the Young Reformation Movement to protest this assault 
upon the freedom of the Church to determine its inner- 
most policies. 

The Rev. Martin Niemoller, of the fashionable Dahlem 
Church of Berlin, and Dr. Von Bodelschwingh were leaders 
of the new movement. In protest against this autocratic 
state action Dr. Bodelschwingh resigned as Reichsbishop 
and the situation became so serious that the aged Hinden- 
burg rushed a letter to Chancellor Hitler expressing his 
deep concern both as a Protestant and as President of the 
Reich, and urging that pacific means be adopted to bring 
together the two great wings of the new Church. Herr 
Hitler acted on the principle of the letter, but opposition 
grew. In retaliation a state order went out that all 
churches, rectories, parish houses, must fly the Nazi 
swastika flag and that all pastors must express thanks- 
giving for the Nazi revolution and pray divine blessing 
upon its continuance. Most pastors obeyed. Some re- 

Outspoken in opposition to Nazi methods in the Church 
was Dr. Karl Barth, Germany's leading theologian, who 
openly challenged the legitimacy of reforms forced upon 
the Church from without. He uncompromisingly opposed 
the German Christian doctrine that the German Reichs- 
church must be the Church of Christians of Aryan race 
only. His arguments might have had greater w r eight in 
Germany had he been a German rather than a Swiss who 
was steeped in the long tradition of Swiss democracy. 

Meantime the German Christians, adopting Nazi 
methods of propaganda and intimidation, campaigned 
again for the election of Ludwig Mueller as Reichsbishop. 
On the eve of the election Chancellor Hitler appealed over 


the radio for all Protestants to vote for nominees of the 
German Christian party because it was based primarily 
on the fact of the Nazi revolution and the new state re- 
quired the unqualified support of a united church body. 
Result — Ludwig Mueller was elected Reichsbishop and the 
German Christians soon took possession of virtually every 
office from this supreme post down even to the member- 
ship of the individual parish boards. Jubilant over their 
success, thev made plans for a great national Synod to be 
held at Wittenbu' g, centre of Luther's early ministry and 
birthplace of the Reformation. It met, confirmed Muel- 
ler's election, announced that the official policy of the 
Church from now on would be that of the German Chris- 
tian party, with everything in strict conformity with the 
tenor of the new Nazi State. Rev. Martin Niemoller and 
two thousand protesting clergymen scattered protesting 
leaflets in the pews and walked out of the church. 

However, the German Christians were running too fast. 
Determined to swing the whole of Protestantism into line 
with Nazi thinking, they called a rally of twenty thousand 
who packed the Sportspalast of Berlin. One Dr. Krause 
was chosen speaker. He declared in a violent address that 
the purpose of the new movement was to complete the 
racial mission of Martin Luther in the Second Reforma- 
tion, of which three commandments were: "To love one's 
native land and stamp out anything un-German ; to elim- 
inate the Old Testament as a most questionable book 
about cattle-dealers and concubines ; and to wipe out the 
teachings of Rabbi Paul, that Jew!" 

Protests and resignation followed in such an avalanche 
that the Reichsbishop had to repudiate Dr. Krause and his 
speech and he was removed from office. As the storm 
seemed abating it was announced that all pastors must 
preach on the same text, and seven thousand rose in op- 

In February, 1934, Reichsbishop Mueller spoke in the 
Berlin Sportspalast to another throng of twenty thousand, 
and warned, "The time will come when only Nazis will 


conduct services and only Nazis will occupy the pews. We 
want one people, one State, one Church." 

For all his virulence the Reichsbishop was failing to 
end opposition and in the autumn of 1935, he passed from 
the scene and the state took another great step in curtail- 
ing religious freedom. It appointed a Minister of Church 
Affairs, just as we have a Minister of Education or a 
Minister of Labor in British Columbia, and it empowered 
this Minister of Church Affairs to issue ordinances having 
binding force. Herr Kerrl, the new appointee, selected 
an efficient churchman named Dr. Zollner to direct af- 
fairs, but a great wing of the Confessional group of the 
Church rose in opposition to state domination and in re- 
prisal the state forbade lecturing, suppressed circular 
letters, closed their theological colleges, threatened and 
sometimes withheld state grants, forbade the collection of 
money and openly encouraged the German Christian 
minority and the Rosenberg pagan religion, confiscating 
Dr. Zollner's journal. In despair, the doctor resigned and 
on February 12, 1937, Herr Kerrl, Nazi Minister of 
Church Affairs, furious, threatened dictatorial powers. 
"What Protestant Confessional Group leaders and the Ro- 
man Catholics want," he said in a public speech, "is the 
acknowledgment of the fact that Jesus is the Son of God, 
and that is absurd. There is now arising a new authority 
concerning what Christ and Christianity really is. This 
new authority is Adolf Hitler." 

Alarmed, the Roman Catholics smuggled a Papal Ency- 
clical into Germany on Palm Sunday and declared it was 
wrong to put any man on a level with Christ. There fol- 
lowed in retaliation the Nazi smuggling and immorality 
trials of priests and nuns. 

The spear-head of Protestant opposition has been Rev. 
Martin Niemoller. In November of 1933, he had appeared 
in the Brown Synod in a grey suit. In the Wittenberg 
Synod he had distributed leaflets affirming the right of 
the church to religious freedom. In June of 1934, he had 
appealed to Hitler, saying that it was his concern for the 
Third Reich which made him oppose regimentation of the 


Church, and Hitler had replied, "You can just leave con- 
cern for the Third Reich to me." As pastor of Berlin's 
aggressive Dahlem Church of ten thousand members, he 
had among his hearers three Nazi cabinet ministers, and 
until two months before his arrest, Dr. Schacht, the Nazi 
Minister of Finance, was one of his best supporters, sit- 
ting every Sunday with his wife and eight children in the 
front pew. 

On June 7, 1937, however, Niemoller apparently com- 
mitted the unpardonable sin. After a telling sermon on 
"Nations come and nations go, but the Church of God 
shall abide forever," he called for a collection for the Con- 
fessional Church Synod, and urged generosity. The Hitler 
Jugend burst into the church crying, "Cease collecting for 
this club!" The congregation rose and sang "A mighty 
fortress our God is still, a bulwark never failing." Four 
days later Niemoller was arrested for inciting to disobe- 
dience and for materially aiding the anti-German foreign 
press. (His church in summer was attended by many 
foreign tourists.) He was kept in jail awaiting trial for 
eight months and in February of 1938 his trial was con- 
ducted secretly against the open protest of the Federal 
Council of Churches of Christ in America, with which our 
United Church of Canada is affiliated, the World Alliance 
for Friendship among Churches, and other bodies, which 
pled for old time German justice. The representatives of 
the press were excluded, an observer of the Confessional 
Church was refused admittance, and the Bishop of Chi- 
chester, who had come from England to attend on behalf 
of the World Alliance of Churches, was denied entry. 
Finally a small fine was imposed and seven months' im- 
prisonment in a fortress, the lightest and most honorable 
form of imprisonment. As he had already served eight 
months, normally he would be released after paying the 
fine. Instead he was hurried to a concentration camp and 
at last accounts was still there. Whether Scandinavian 
reports that his mentality is breaking under the strain are 
dependable we do not know. In the Christmas of 1939 it 
is reported that eight hundred prominent laymen and 


eighty naval officers signed petitions offering themselves 
as hostages for his return to confinement that he might 
be permitted to attend the golden anniversary of his par- 
ents. The petition was denied. 

While Niemoller was awaiting trial Herr Kerr], Nazi 
Minister of Church Affairs, took one more decisive step 
in secularizing church control. He announced that all 
state grants to the Confessional Church would be discon- 
tinued and that he had delegated dictatorial powers over 
Prostestant Church af fails to Dr. Werner, a lawyer whose 
antagonism to Christianity is notorious. 

It is difficult to locate reliable material on the subject 
covering the months just before the outbreak of war and 
during the war. The Readers' Index of Periodical Lit- 
erature lists hardly more than twenty-five articles, most 
of them in the English "Spectator" and comparatively 

However, certain facts appear to emerge at the present 
time. The Nazi attempt to regiment the Church into one 
unified Protestant body wholly sympathetic with its move- 
ment has been only partially successful. Rather the 
Church has split into three groups. Out of eighty thou- 
sand Protestant parishes in Germany, 

(1) Two thousand may be termed of German Chris- 
tian type, whole-heartedly backing Nazi rule and methods 
within the church. We might call them supporters. 

(2) Sixty-six thousand accept the power and policy of 
the state but not ideology and try to build between 
Church and State a kind of theological bridge. We might 
call these compromisers. 

(3) Approximately twelve thousand are of the Con- 
fession:- 1 group which is in turn divided into four groups, 
only one of which, it appears, is willing to go as far as 
Niemoller for conviction's sake. 

Since the war the policy of the government seems to be 
to lessen the severity of its treatment of the Church, and 
Dr. Werner, Minister of Church Affairs, as a concession 
to Confessional scruples, has eliminated certain points in 
the oath required of pastors and many of the recalcitrant 


clergy have acquiesced, feeling that they can now take it 
without violating their oath of ordination. Karl Barth, 
greatly disturbed, has written from Switzerland to urge 
the clergv to stand firm as the concessions are mere 
trifles. However, many of the old married ministers 
have children and families and are finding it extremely 
difficult to resist any longer. At last account nine hun- 
dred recently ordained young clergymen were standing 
J.irm, refusing to take the oath. 

In conclusion, what shall we say about the German 
church situation? 

(1) In fairness to the Geiman government it must be 
acknowledged that the German Chui ch is and has been for 
years a State Church. According to Nazi figures re- 
ligious organisations own twenty-seven percent of all Ger- 
man land and church taxes amounting to two hundied 
million marks a year were collected by the State for 
chu ch use, and an additional subsidy of one hundred mil- 
lion marks was divided between Protestant and Roman 
Catholic denominations in a ratio of three to two. Sup- 
port of the theological seminaries and the salaries of army 
chaplains, was also furnished by the state. This is a 
wholly different situation from ours in Canada. 

(2) Let us take warning from the present plight of 
Geiman Protestantism over there. The reason the so- 
called German movement took so strong a hold on the al- 
legiance of men and became the ready tool and running 
mate of the Nazi government was because in no small 
measure the Protestant Church was failing in her trust. 
The rank and file of ordinary folk had drifted from her 
in droves because, as was all too evident, she had lost 
touch with the real life of the people. Swamped with 
venerability, tradition and over-ecclesiasticism, she had 
suffered serious losses. Statistics show that seveial mil- 
lions had left her in the space of a few years. Young 
people vvere little encouraged and the average age of the 
bishops was over sixty-four. This might be explained 
by the fact that thirty-six percent of German theological 
students were killed in the First World War. There was 


allegedly a real danger of Protestantism dying altogether 
from lack of social vision and leadership. Any Church, 
in Germany, Canada, or anywhere else, that will not move 
on will eventually have to move off. 

(3) Of one other thing, however, I feel we may be 
sure. Whatever the arbitrament of war, in the long, long 
last, Naziism cannot win her fight against the freedom of 
the Church. "The mills of God grind slowly" — but they 
grind. It may yet come to pass that the Rev. Martin 
Niemoller, suffering his Calvary as he looks out through 
the bars of cell number 448, may prove a greater force in 
human annals than Herr Hitler in his seat of power. In 
any case I cannot forget the reputed words of a dictator 
of an earlier age. As Napoleon Bonaparte stood one day 
where the waters laved the locky shore of St. Helena's 
Isle, looking back over the ruins of the dreams of world 
empire for which he had sacrified the lives of almost 
countless thousands, it is recorded that he was heard to 
say, "Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne and myself have 
built great empires but upon what did the creations of our 
genius depend? Upon force. Jesus alone built His King- 
dom upon love and to this clay millions would die for 

*From "Metropolitan Church Life." 



By Ray C. Petry 

The Divinity School 

Duke University, Durham, N. C. 

Christianity and Social Thought 
There has been a growing interest, recently, in the social 
character of Christian thought from the Protestant Ref- 
ormation to our own day. Our social problems as Chris- 
tians are in inspiring continuity with those of our six- 
teenth-century forebears. But our social viewpoints owe 
their vitality not only to the Reformers but also to an un- 
broken line of spiritual ancestors stretching back fifteen 
hundred years farther to the very sources of Christian 
social theory. 

From its very beginnings Christianity possessed a de- 
cided social sensitivity. Only gradually, however, did that 
which it sensed become conscious in its thought. Out of a 
growing awareness of common human needs and unique 
Christian resources, a few basic conceptions of social life 
gradually emerged. As the precipitate of unnumbered and 
often obscure minds, these were repeatedly emphasized by 
leading Christian writers from Jesus' day to that of 
Luther. The long process of development through which 
each conception passed, and the rich variety of interpre- 
tations supplied by the great thinkers of each succeeding 
era, cannot here be dealt with. But a brief survey of rep- 
resentative social views which predominated among 
Christians for a millennium and a half may be found in- 

The Kingdom and Ultimate Sociality 
The vitality of early Christianity did not issue from a 
consciously social passion to perpetuate and to reform ex- 
isting society. Paradoxically enough, the motivation for 
Christian service to the temporal world was a prior loyalty 
to something which arose from without, and proceeded 
beyond, all human association. 


The real heait of the earliest Christian community was 
Jesus. His fundamental dedication was not to any social 
project of our modern kind. It was religious commitment, 
unqualified and unyielding, to God and his kingdom. No 
human mind could devise that kingdom, and no mere or- 
ganization of man's efforts, however noble, could bring 
it to completion. Christ himself could not create, though 
he would help to usher in, this consummation of the divine 
Father's will for his universal family. The royal sway of a 
loving God in the whole universe was the object of Christ's 
final dedication and the end to which he pledged every 
follower. He permitted no relativism in the loyalties of his 
disciples. He caused them to subordinate their temporal 
attachments and made them pilgrims to a fatherland be- 
yond — to the pat via of God. 

This kingdom God alone could create. But it came to 
partial realization in every life which consecrated itself 
in Christ to the actualization of his ideals. Its full and 
ultimate realization, on earth as in heaven, was the ob- 
jective for which he lived and died. For its preparation 
he rejoined the Father. In anticipation of it, he promised 
his disciples, at his departure, a full reunion with him and 
the Father upon his return. The continuation of his vol- 
untary company was based on their belief in his own res- 
urrection and imminent parousia. The reception and re- 
tention of his spirit in their midst was their assurance of 
his reappearing in the vanguard of God's universal rule. 

The entire literature of the New Testament, and of the 
early Christian centuries, was woven about this faith in 
Christ's perpetuation and the Kingdom's ultimate victory. 
The synoptic gospels record Jesus's purported teachings as 
to the last days. The Son of Man would then come to 
punish disobedience, to claim his chosen for eternal fel- 
lowship with the Father, and to unify in him everything 
on earth and in heaven. 

The early and medieval church continued to stress this 
belief in the imminent coming of Christ and the Great Day. 
The time was long deferred. The sense of immediacy was 
deadened. The belief, however, not only persisted but 


functioned, also, as a living article of Christian faith. 

But, it may be asked, what significance has this lor 
social thought? Has not eschatology always been at far- 
thest remove from social concern ? It cannot be denied that 
in eaiiiest Christianity there was little social focus of a 
conscious sort. There was then, and later, some rejection of 
the present for the future world. Such unsocial, or appar- 
ently antisocial, conceptions have never lacked spokesmen. 

Nonetheless, the story of representative Christian 
thought is far otheiwise. For the most striking thing 
about the kingdom as Christ taught it, and as both the 
ancient and the medieval church believed in it, was its 
social quality. The kingdom was not a private matter. It 
permitted the maximum in individual development be- 
cause it was the ultimate in that spiritual community of 
life by which all true persons must be nurtured. 

No impartial reader of the Christian sources — biblical 
and extra-canonical, ancient and medieval — can fail to be 
impressed by the mounting and versatile emphasis upon 
the kingdom as consummately social. Those elected to it 
were called to an eternal solidarity as God's heirs and the 
brethren of Christ. God himself invited them to that ul- 
timate fellowship with his Son. All those repenting and 
seeking the kingdom were thus reclaimed from a condition 
of hopelessly dissipated unity to the status of God's own 
people. As such, they were anticipating already, in their 
eaithly sojourn, the perfect community of the royal city 
yet to come. Theirs was a destiny of joyous companionship 
with Christ and his Father. 

Not all the natural involvements of these men in the af- 
fairs of earth could obscure wholly the marks of their des- 
tined citizenship in the heavenly kingdom. No more could 
the pretensions to piety of those not so destined join them 
to God's special company. Any such earthly confusion 
would surely be dispelled when the true constituency of 
the royal family should be finally revealed. 

In every era of the ancient and medieval church this 
societal character of the cosmic kingdom was stressed. 
However incomplete might be the fraternity of God's 


chosen in their terrestrial pilgrimage, their ultimate 
society would be sanctified in peace and perfect unity. As 
the citizens of a free city, they would exemplify not the 
private love of self-seekers but the mutuality of a true 
community. No purely human association could even ap- 
proach this social life of kingdom members . 

In Augustine and in Thomas Aquinas, the emphasis was 
the same, The kingdom was primary. Its character was 
that of a society of men happy in the association of Christ, 
God, and each other. Theirs was a fatherland shared in per- 
petuity; a community of the elect, firm and tranquil; a 
reign with God, vital and eternal. How happy, indeed, as 
Hugo of St." Victor observed, and how indissoluble would 
be this solidarity of creatures with their creator, wherein 
the splendor which the creator possessed in all fullness 
would be given his creatures by their participation in his 
plentitude ! 

Therefore, surprisingly enough, Christianity was most 
social because it was most transcendent in its loyalties. 
Because Christians were called to an ultimate destiny 
which was most characteristically societal, they found it 
incumbent upon them to begin at once the cultivation of 
such sociality. The not fully realized, but already living, 
kingdom was to be the culumination of all communities. 
It therefore demanded, at once, a community action among 
its future constituents. The kingdom stimulated their 
sense of special vocation, their fellowship ; it obligated 
them to invite repentant sinners from an ephemeral world 
to their pilgrim society. Last, and most gloriously, it 
showed them the necessity of challenging and transform- 
ing the whole of human society in accordance with the 
mandates of the kingdom which was already in operation. 

Christianity and Temporal Solidarity 
The final destiny of Christians thus evoked in them a 
temporal solidarity. Because early Christianity was dedi- 
cated to the ultimate of all fellowships, it was drawn to- 
gether on earth in the mutuality of a common life. 

Summing up the plea of twelve Christian centuries, 
Thomas Aquinas reminded his brethren that there should 


be a union of affection among those who have a common 
end. Men, therefore, with their common end of eternal 
blessedness in God's companionship, owe each other the 
unity of mutual love. 

In Paul, Clement of Rome, Hernias, the author of the 
Epistle to Diognetus, Augustine, Francis of Assisi, Ber- 
nard of Clairvaux, Thomas Aquinas, and countless others, 
the dominant note of Christian social thought was sus- 
tained. By every token of solidarity found in animals, 
among natural men, and, consummately, in Christ's broth- 
erhood, Christians must bear in this world the first 
fruits of their royal association of love. 

With cumulative emphasis, Christian homilists ex- 
tolled the concord observable in the natural heavens, and 
the special regard of even the most ferocious beast for his 
own kind. One such writer even observed, with more 
picturesqueness than relevancy, that water fights fire but 
has peace with water. Not a few Christian writers cited 
ancient philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, and the 
Stoics, especially, as to the normal fraternity of natural 
man. As a social animal on his most fundamental bases of 
human existence, man could not but observe the mutual 
obligations and opportunities of his species. 

But Christians were called to a spiritual fraternity 
transcending all such considerations. Though they were 
brethren by virtue of their humanity, how much more 
were they such by reason of their being Christians! As 
men they were sprung from one father, Adam, and one 
mother, Eve. But as Christians they had one father, God, 
and one mother, the church. Their brotherhood exceeded 
natural fraternity by the measure of their superior pa- 
ternity. Their mother surpassed carnal motherhood to the 
extent that celestial heredity is better than a temporal 

Most soul-moving and exemplary of all unitary forces 
was the heavenly love with which God gave his son for 
their salvation, out of which Christ gave his life for 
their reconciliation to God and each other, and by which 
the very angels joined in the work of human-divine con- 


solidation. Thus, by the bonds of association, natural and 
spiritual, the Christian was strengthened in his love for 
other members of Chiist's body and gradually dispatched 
on a mission of reclamation to all society. Not only in 
Augustine, though in few others so eloquently, did the 
claims of Chiistians upon each other, and of all men upon 
the brethren of Christ, come to repeated expression. 

Endless was the reiteration of the sentiment, if not of 
the literary effectiveness, of the Epistle to Diognetus. 
Christians wei e to the world what soul is to the body. 
Though not of the world, they were in it for its redemp- 
tion and sustenance. Elected to a perfect society of love, 
they gave themselves in a community of service to all hu- 
manity. Consequently, by reason of being men, Christ's 
brethren were drawn to each other and to all the world 
in common need. But by virtue of being Christians, they 
were united as those who answer a special call to ultimate 
glory through dispensing, to all, Christ's saving graces. 
Diverse in gifts, they were one in the greatest endowment, 
love. Empowered by the spirit, they were admonished to 
bear not only the burdens of their inner circle but also of 
sinners without. Chastened in spirit and body, they were 
prepared for the communal life of the kingdom. United 
in the faith and hope of a final beatitude, they might set 
no limits to the charity with which they served the whole 

Social Continuity Behveen the Temporal and Eternal 
Christians were exhorted to entertain no sense of actual 
separation between the community of the ultimate king- 
dom and the body of Christ's faithful on earth. Both were 
vigorously alive. The kingdom with its company of God, 
his Son, his angels, and his saints in heaven, was not yet 
consummated. But it was the pattern and the source of 
Christ's followers in the world. They had been formed be- 
cause of the eliciting unity of its celestial citizens. Its in- 
vitation, its demands, and its spirit, were already upon 
them. Even while they were on a pilgrimage to it, they 
were servants of its life and the recipients of its bene- 
factions. The community of God's elect on earth and in 


heaven was regarded as being joined in one unbroken 
continuity. The city of God was "one both in heaven and 
on earth, though in part. . . .militant on earth, and in 
part reigning in heaven." 

God's sons were co-mingled for a time, in this world, 
with the unholy, turbulent, seditious, divisive, domineer- 
ing supporters of evil. But his chosen were, even then, 
proving themselves holy, pacific, tranquil, social servants 
of the supernatural kingdom of God as well as the natural 
order of men. They were "moving forward, already, as 
those destined to be citizens of the heavenly Jerusalem." 
in this social continuum the Christian devoutly believed. 
Chirstianity and Ecclesiastical Community 

But how, according to Christian social thought, was this 
continuity between a supernatural community and an 
earthly society maintained? What agency preserved the 
social integrity of each in a common solidarity? The 
Christians' answer was : the church. Here was the founda- 
tion of God's dwelling among men. The church was con- 
ceived of as a fellowship evolving in history from the old 
Israel of the Jews. It was the koinonia elicited by Jesus, 
the new Israel receiving and perpetuating God's rev- 
elation in Christ. 

This ecclesia was the community of those participating 
in him through mutual love. Its members gathered around 
him in his earthly career ; they met after his death to hear 
his Word through the Spirit and to plan for his reappear- 
ing; they worked, loved, and worshiped as Christ's spirit- 
ual body. As such, the church shared mystically, while on 
earth, the heavenly society of God, Christ, and the angels. 

Only a unity in duality could incorporate the men of 
Christ in the world with the victorious citizens of heaven. 
The church was that one in two. In it, two communities, 
earthly and heavenly, were destined to become wholly 
united in the transcendent kingdom. As a terrestrial, 
natural institution the church was thought of as being 
subject to the exigencies of time and circumstance, it 
grew, organized, and evolved symbols, traditions, a clergy, 
and a missionizing program. It challenged, advanced, re- 


treated, compromised, sinned, and did penance. It was re- 
garded, always, as a society, a community of faithful in- 
dividuals, adapting, suffering, achieving, and responding 
to their own and other human needs. Within this fellow- 
ship there developed an esprit de corps, a reciprocating 
experience, a communicating love, and a common loyalty 
to Christ. 

However, the growing social consciousness of this organ- 
izational church was felt, by representative Christians, to 
L>e derived from its divinely instituted resources. The Holy 
Spirit, the spirit of Christ, was its constitutive foice; its 
reservoir of history-transcending and individual-trans- 
forming life, its soul of unity. The Spirit's voice was 
heard as Christ's own Word. By it there was created a 
supernatural organism in which each person was a mem- 
ber of Christ's mystical body. By the divine organism the 
human organization was engendered and sustained. 

Christ and his church were thus one in their life. His 
saving graces were mediated through it, alone, to the 
world in which it now dwelt but to which it could never 
really belong. It was a community of transcendent or- 
igins and destiny. It would one day be perfected in its 
society of love. 

But how were these two aspects of the one church 
reconciled? Undeniably, there were sin and erro/ 
in the earthly church. Yet, its faithful members, who 
»vere humanly fallible to be sure, were alluded to, confi- 
dently, as saints by reason of their heavenly destiny and 
their participation in the redeeming grace of the church 
transcendent. The church might appear, at times, to be 
the prey of purely temporal forces. But it received from 
its communication with the living Christ a dignity and 
power which were more than temporal. The lack of the 
church terrestrial was compensated by the transforming 
power of the church transcendent. 

Thus, the two aspects of the one church were thought 
of as being reconciled in immortal energy. According to 
such a conception, it was God's supernatural, heavenly 
community that gave life to the Christians' natural, 


earthly society. Men might see a reflection, in history, of 
the celestial community that was later to be consummated, 
universally and eternally, in God's kingdom. In dedication 
to that kingdom the church of earth was born ; in the full 
appealing of that kingdom, and its perfect community, 
the cnurch of men would be purged and made fit for the 
ultimate society of the future. 

The Church's Names and Definitions Socially Suggestive 
This unity and solidarity of the two-fold church was re- 
flected in the very names, definitions, and connotations 
associated with it by early and medieval writers. Over 
and over, almost monotonously, the social character of the 
one church in all of its empirical and transcendent aspects 
was asserted. It was the convocation of all men called out 
of the world, and the collection of all faithful. At times, it 
was designated as the ''society of those joined in one body 
of religion by profession of doctrine and of the precepts 
of Christ under legitimate pastors, the Roman pontiff es- 

It was the assembly of the faithful, the city of God's 
own, a heavenly company set upon his mountain. Here was 
a congregation, universal and holy; the synagogue, taber- 
nacle, and temple of God ; the dwelling place of God's 
spirit among men. The church of Christ was a body — his 
body of which he was head — with his Holy Spirit as its 
soul and his faithful as its inter-communicating members. 
The church was his spouse and the mother of all Chris- 
tians. Or, again, it w r as the society, the guild, the congre- 
gation of those believing in the Master. No more fully 
socialized body has ever been envisaged than this house- 
hold of faith, this hostel of concord, this family of God, 
this brotherhood of man in Christ under the fatherhood of 
the Divine. 

The Church's Social Characteristics Analyzed 

In their analyses of the church's character Christian 

writers were even more explicit as to its sociality. This 

church, or congregation of the faithful, was one body with 

many members under the headship of Christ. Its cohesive- 


ness was manifest under four conditions, namely : unity, 
sanctity, catholicity, and apostolic stability. 

Unlike the heretics, the church was one. This unity was 
one of faith, subscribed to alike by all true members of 
Christ's body; of hope, common to those looking forward 
to eternal life; and of charity, interfused among all those 
serving humanity in God's name. Nothing must be per- 
mitted to rend the body of that one true church beyond 
which, like Noah's ark, there was no salvation. This was 
the unity for which Christ suffered, the inviolable oneness 
which his seamless robe signified, the force which led the 
world to faith, the sole abiding-place of God's pilgrim 
children on earth and of those reigning in heaven's glory. 

In this true, catholic church reigned the peace and love 
common to one God, one Christ, one faith, and one people 
moulded in an indisseverable corporateness by the cement 
of concord. Only thus, united about its shepherd, might 
the church hope to escape mutilation by the beasts of 
worldly dissension. In the church alone might a diversity 
of souls become one in Christ. 

The chinch was holy. This was not by reason of any 
moral infallibility which its members gave it. Rather w T as 
it by virtue of God's supernatural graces conferred upon 
those leceiving, together, the divine Word and Sacrament. 
Imperfect now, with evil in its midst, the church was, 
nevertheless, holy in its community of redemptive life. It 
would stand forth triumphant in the glorious future. This 
congregation of the faithful was washed in Christ's blood 
and anointed with his spirit. It was inhabited as God's 
temple and consecrated in the Lord's name. Its holiness 
was the communicating oneness of the divine society. 

The church was, likewise, held to be catholic or uni- 
versal. The emphasis of medieval Christians on this point 
was versatile and vigorous. It was universal, first, as re- 
gards place and extent. For as the faithful were diffused 
throughout the whole world so was the church ramified 
throughout the entire earth. This church, furthermore, 
was regarded as having three all-encompassing parts. One 
was on earth, another in heaven, and a third in purgatory. 


Again, the church was universal with respect to the con- 
dition of men. From it none was cast out; neither master 
nor servant; neither mah nor female. It was also univer- 
sal as to time. The society of those believing in Christ 
was even antecedent to his nativity. It was from Abel to 
the end of the ages and to the judgment of the world by 
Ch.] ist. Not even then was it to cease, for it was to re- 
main eternally. Its catholicity existed, furthermore, by 
reason of docto ine and the preservation of the faith. In 
it there was maintained the faith "believed everywhere, 
always, and by all." Its universality existed for the 
eternal salvation of souls, incapable of redemption out- 
side it. 

This church was stable and apostolic, firmly grounded in 
Christ. It was a city of twelve foundations, namely, the 
apostles and their doctrine, indestructible whether by 
persecution or error. Here rose a citadel of refuge for 
those contending against the devil. Against this church of 
Peter, grounded in the faith and delivered from fatal error, 
Satan might war, but the gates of hell should not prevail. 
Its stability was the firmness and stalwartness of God's 
own company. 

The apostles had seen Christ and believed in this church 
whose greatest triumphs they had not beheld. Their spirit- 
ual descendants now viewed the growing church and be- 
lieved in Christ whom they nad not seen in the flesh. All 
were built into the time-defying edifice of God's beloved 

The Social Character of the Church's Constituency 

The corporateness of the church had been suggestively 
treated by Paul under the similitude of a human body. 
With endless variations and minor refinements, ancient 
and medieval writers discussed the church as a great, liv- 
ing organism in terms of head, body, and members. Christ 
was regarded as both head and body, for he and his 
church were "one flesh, one person, one Christ." 

The soul of the church was the Holy Spirit, which vivi- 
fied the faithful with saving grace. The elect, who were 
established in faith and charity, constituted the inner 


church. Taken generally, the body of the church, in terms 
of its membership, comprised all men who were joined to- 
gether by the profession of true faith and the proper use 
of the sacraments. Viewed according to their various 
states, these members were triply classified as those mili- 
tant on earth, suffering in purgatory, or reigning as saints 
and angels in heaven. Thus the church's membership em- 
braced not only those who entered it in the time of Chiist 
or subsequently, but also those who, living before him, an- 
ticipated him in faith. 

The members of the church militant were viewed as all 
those, of the Christian faith, whether good and holy or 
evil and reprobate, who were united by external profes- 
sion, under the government of lawful pastors. This 
temporal mixture of evil and good would continue to exist 
together until the day of judgment, lest any earlier sep- 
aration should occasion the disruption of the church. At 
the final reckoning, those who were in the church corpor- 
ally, but outside it spiritually, would no longer be permit- 
ted to compromise its reciprocating unity. 

Viewed in its truest light, the church was a cohesive 
unit, knit in a mystical solidarity. As such, its body of 
angels and men, past, present, and to come had at its 
head the one Christ, who communicated his divine life to 
all. In that sense of kinship close and indestructible, lay 
the heart of an associative loyalty never surpassed in the 
history of man's social consciousness. 

And, although the similarity between spiritual organism 
and physical body was grievously overdrawn, the powerful 
suggestiveness of such a figure could not easily be ignor- 
ed. For the mystical body of Christians was seen as no 
mere abstraction of thought but a vital, inter-communicat- 
ing experience of the many in one. With a flexibility of 
appeal, and a descriptiveness of interdependency, truly 
amazing, Christian writers exhorted their brethren to 
that functional cooperation, in the body of Christ, the like 
of which makes the human organism sound and whole. 
With analogies based undeviatingly on Pauline prototypes, 


they brought a varied homiletics into their emphasis upon 
Christian consociation. 

Communicating in Christ's spirit, body, and blood, his 
brethren of all kinds and conditions cemented their fra- 
ternity of love. For though they were many, and Christ 
was one in his headship, they enjoyed a true unity; they 
participated with him in a genuine and enduring commun- 
ity. Whatever the needs and the griefs of the individual 
member, the resources of the whole body were his. Just 
as the spiritual sickness of each brought impairment to 
the whole, so the soundness of each member, in vital faith, 
preserved the common health. To that end, the church 
was the body of Christ vivified by one spirit, sanctified 
and united by one faith. What else, indeed, should it be 
but the whole body of faithful Christians breathing in 
Christ's spirit and feeding on his supernatural life! 
The Church and the Communion of Saints 

It is small wonder, therefore, that the spiritual solidar- 
ity of this mystical body with its faithful on earth, its 
souls in purgatory, and its saints in heaven, came to be 
their partaking of the fruits of redemption." The truest 
of communions was theirs as they shared with each other 
the fructifying unity of Christ's cosmic life. 

Saints of the church militant knew what it meant to 
communicate with each other in the same faith, sacra- 
ments, and government, as well as by examples, prayers, 
and merits. Between them and their brethren in purga- 
tory and heaven lay the vast inter-communicating vitality 
of suffrages, invocations, intercessions, and venerations. 
Thus, in a society not only of earth but also of heaven, 
was Christ's church represented as comprehending all 
that community of the saints from the beginning of time 
through the reaches of eternity. In this alone could there 
be perfect individuality, wherein all labors, merits, invo- 
cations, and intercessions were for all in common. 

The saints were therefore all things to each other. 
Those of earth prayed for their brethren in purgatory 
and implored the efficacious intercession of saints and 
angels in heaven. "The universal church in heaven and 


on earth was one single Temple of God." The very three- 
fold breaking of Christ's life-giving bread was the symbol 
of the three-fold church made one in him. 

In every aspect of its existence the church was poitray- 
ed as joining the lives of men in a natural and supernat- 
ural unity. Its sacramental graces, mediated by its 
properly ordained priesthood, gave unitive purpose to the 
temporal existence of all Christians and provided the 
guarantee of their final beautitude in the society of God. 
Hierarchical ordering, however much it might employ 
erring men, was seen as the guardian of the common faith, 
hope, and love. In the middle ages, the supreme pontiff, 
the vicar of Christ, was accepted as the custodian of the 
church's unity and the co-ordinator of its participating 

Christian Social Thought, Historical and Contemporary 

Medieval Christians had a deep-seated conviction that 
the unity of the Godhead itself was the pattern for all life, 
celestial and terrestrial. They sought to instill its so- 
cializing concepts into every phase of economic, political, 
and educational life. Whatever the disparity between the 
church's social theories and practices, its passion for the 
common life was sure. In the iconography of its cathe- 
drals and in the mystery of its altars, man's ultimate 
solidarity was proclaimed. In the international corpor- 
ateness of its universities and in the life of its cloisters, 
the common life was served. In its political philosophy 
and its theory of business, the role of communality held 

Despite their pointed criticisms of the church's defi- 
ciencies, the Protestant reformers appealed, with cause, 
to its best traditions of social life. The continuity, which 
they could not disavow, with the unifying heritage of the 
Christian ages, is ours to recognize and re-establish in our 
time. So that, in no servile obeisance to principles dis- 
credited, but in transhistoric fellowship with the true 
church of all eras, we may continue in its many vindicat- 
ed traditions of practical social thought. 


For, if ever a world pleaded for a social theory trans- 
latable into social action, that world is ours. And if 
ever a living tradition could claim an unsevered lifeline of 
social concern, that vital tradition belongs to the church. 
For Christianity, in its first fifteen hundred, as in its 
last four hundred, years was theoretically and actively 
social. Its basic conceptions were wrought into the very 
subconsciousness of the Reformation mind as they may 
well be reborn in the thought and experience of Chris- 
tians today. 

By Roy H. Johnson 

Thiel College 
Greenville, Pennsylvania 

According to the 1920 census, just before the great 
torrent of foreign immigration had been reduced to a 
mere trickle by the quota laws, more than one third of 
the one hundred five million inhabitants of the United 
States were foreign born or children of foreign born par- 
ents. The assimilation of this polyglot army with such a 
varied racial, linguistic, political and religious heritage 
has continued to be the most important social problem 
confronting the nation since the Civil War. Catholic and 
Protestant churches and independent agencies of evangel- 
ization and reform early saw the portent of this mass 
immigration to the moral and spiritual life of America 
and shaped their programs to care for the new arrivals. 
The "language missions," as they are called, have condi- 
tioned the development of nearly every church auxiliary 
and have initiated and given impetus to federated efforts 
both within and among the denominations. 

Significant changes in the national origin of the im- 
migrants have called for frequent adjustments in the per- 
sonnel and technique of evangelization. Before the Civil 
War Germany, England, and Ireland accounted for most 
of the newcomers. In the closing decades of the century 
the influx from southern Europe began, and it continued 
until the Great War closed the passenger lanes. Recent 
decades have seen the overflowing of the Mexican reser- 
voir and the rise of Spanish speaking missions. Prior to 
the twentieth century most immigrants with Protestant 
or Catholic connections in Europe were responsive to 
evangelization. In contrast, the southern Europeans, al- 
though nominally Greek and Roman Catholic, were often 
indifferent or openly hostile to Christian missions. 

For many of the immigrants, settling in America meant 
a simple transfer of church membership. Before the Ro- 
man Catholic or Lutheran adherents left the mother coun- 


try harbor missionaries in the principal ports gave direc- 
tions to pastors and churches in America. In New York, 
Philadelphia, and Boston immigrant homes made the 
sti angers welcome. Traveling missionaries speaking the 
native languages of the settlers visited scattered com- 
munities and started parochial schools and regular preach- 
ing. The 1916 religious census revealed that three out of 
four Lutheran churches utilized the German or Scandi- 
navian languages, two out of five Reformed congregations 
employed Dutch or German, and one out of three Roman 
Catholic churches was foreign speaking. Many of the 
above groups were entirely self-sufficing, forming inde- 
pendent synods and conferences. On the other hand, the 
English speaking Protestant bodies must redefine policies 
and train new leaders if conveits were to be won among 
the new arrivals from continental Europe. 

Two vital questions demanded immediate consideration. 
First of all, should the foreign influx be permitted to con- 
tinue, or should Congress be petitioned to close the gates 
on the alien hordes? The early decades of the nineteenth 
century had witnessed a crusading nativist movement, 
f.nti-foreign and anti-Catholic, which had influenced na- 
tional politics, and which a recent writer has dubbed, The 
Protestant Crusade." By the middle of the century the 
nativist movement, never officially supported by Protes- 
tant bodies, had declined. American Protestants with 
scarcely a dissenting voice welcomed the incoming multi- 
tudes and opposed the efforts of Congress to pass restric- 
tive or prohibitory legislation. Christian leaders shared 
a strong faith in the redemptive qualities of the so-called 
inferior races, and approved such statements as that of a 
prominent Baptist leader calling for a Pentecostal revival 
"wherein the Chinaman on the Pacific coast, the Negro of 
the south, and the semi-atheistic German, the superstitious 
Celt, and the wild red man shall unite." 2 When, in the 
closing decades of the nineteenth century, Congress passed 
laws excluding Chinese immigrant labor, local and nation- 
al bodies of Baptists, Congregationalists, Presbyterians 
and Methodists protested. Officials of twelve great mis- 


sionary organizations of various denominations met and 
appointed a committee to work to secure the repeal of 
anti-Chinese legislation. 3 At its 1924 convention the 
Methodist Geneial Conference passed a resolution con- 
demning the Japanese exclusion act and named a commit- 
tee to present it to President Coolidge. Nearly every na- 
tional Protestant body would endorse the Address of the 
Methodist Bishops, "We see no better way than to continue 
to guarantee all the benefits of our free institutions to all 
who seek an asylum and a home among us. . . .our sympa- 
thy is the same for all, whether they enter our land at the 
east or west gate, from heathen or from Christian lands/' 

A second important decision had to be made. Should 
the work be conducted in English or in the language 
familiar to the new settlers? Without an exception the 
major denominations decided to utilize native tongues. It 
was realized that adults would not respond to evangeliza- 
tion in English, and it was feared that their alien and sub- 
vei sive ideals, untouched by Christianity, would not only 
be inculcated in their children, but would destroy Chris- 
tianity and democracy, it was reported to the Presby- 
terian Geneial Assembly that foreign business men did 
not know such religious terms as faith, repentance, and 
justification in English, and the wives and mothers did 
not know even the language of business. 4 Leaders must 
be trained in America for bilingual work. Ministers 
Germany brought German views of Sabbath observance. 
temperance and the sacraments, out of harmony with t 
sister churches in America. 

Denominational colleges and seminaries revised their 
curricula and added to their faculties in framing a train- 
ing program. The German Presbyterian seminary at Du- 
buque, Iowa, was established about 1885 by the Reverend 
Adrian Van Vliet, who emigrated from Holland. A sec- 
ond seminary was instituted at Newark with four years 
in the preparatory and three years in the theological de- 
partment. Instruction was in both German and English, 
and graduates were required to be "in full sympathy with 
our American Presbyterian life." The Methodists estab- 


lished German colleges at Eerea in Ohio, at Galena in Illi- 
nois, and at Mt. Pleasant in Iowa. Foreign language de- 
partments were organized at the leading Baptist seminar- 
ies, German at Rochester, French at Newton, and Scan- 
dinavian at Morgan Park. The report of the Chicago 
Theological Seminary in 1886 revealed German, Danish- 
Noiwegian and Swedish departments. Training in Slavic 
was given at Oberlin. The concentration of foreign lan- 
guage work in a single seminary was denounced in a re- 
port to the National Council of Congregational Churches : 
"It is well for these brethren that they should know our 
American students, and it is well that our American stu- 
dents should know them. It will aid greatly in the work 
of the future if the prejudices of nationality can be bro- 
ken down." 6 Preaching in a foreign tongue was regarded 
as a temporary expedient. If prosecuted with some force, 
a Presbyterian committee reported in 1876, it might 
cease in half a century. 

Various means have been employed to bridge over the 
transition period. According to the findings of a Meth- 
odist commission which made a careful study of the prob- 
lem, English is usually first introduced in the Sunday 
school and young people's societies. These groups are 
then invited to attend an occasional English service in the 
evening. American born adherents soon come to out- 
number the older members in most language missions, so 
that, after some years of alternate language sessions, all 
Sunday services are conducted in the language of the 
land. The foreign tongue continues to be used for prayer 
meetings, and in the ministry to older persons by means 
of pastoral work and special services. 6 

Americanization and evangelization were the two com- 
mon objectives of all the language missions. The Ameri- 
can "Home Missionary Society informed the National 
Council of Congregational Churches of a significant 
change. For many years the missionary problem had 
been simple, merely to follow American families from 
New England and the middle states to the newer west. 
Put, the report continued, "That problem today is a com- 


pound one. It is not only to provide, for our own,, the 
means of a Christian civilization, but also to absorb and 
assimilate a great mass of strange crude material, not our 
own, except by adoption." 7 The Standing Committee on 
Home Missions, in its report to the Presbyterian General 
Assembly in 1888, pointing to a prospective annual immi- 
gration total of 900,000, concentrated largely in the new 
west, warned that Christian civilization must assimilate 
those multitudes or be assimilated by them. In develop- 
ing his theme, "What to do with the Foreigner," before 
the Baptist Congress that same year, the Reverend D. C. 
Potter declared the aim was clear, "to make Americans in 
the shortest possible time by disclosing the character of 
our institutions." A special committee on foreign lan- 
guage publications of the Methodist General Conference, 
after recommending a long list for missionary and evangel- 
istic purposes, specified that such publications must "in 
each case contribute to the development and strengthening 
of American ideals." The Bloomfield Seminary of the 
Presbyterian Church originally trained only Germans. By 
1919 changes of population made it necessary to teach in 
five foreign languages, German, Italian, Hungarian, Rus- 
sian and Ruthenian. It was expressly stipulated, how- 
ever, that all students must learn to read, write, and 
speak the English language fluently so as "to absorb 
through it the learning, the culture, and the idealism of the 
true native born American." The World War tended to 
accelerate the work of Americanization by placing foreign 
speaking groups under suspicion. 

Following 1850 continental Europeans came in such 
numbers as to lead Protestants to believe that the Puritan 
foundations of America were crumbling. The new arriv- 
als were sympathetic with political and industrial radi- 
calism and had ideas of religion, especially of Sabbath ob- 
servance, that differed widely from traditional American 
standards. Religious leaders rallied to defend cherished 
ideals and moral codes. Contemporary sources indicate 
that Teutonic nationals were among the first to give 
cause for general alarm. It has been estimated that ov 


1909 there were eighteen and a half million persons oi 
German descent in the United States. 8 

Certain cultural practices of the Germans were held to 
be inimical to New Testament Christianity. The Germans 
believed in the continental Sunday, a day of general merry 
making. To American Christians of English or New Eng- 
land origins, this was a blow at the very foundation of the 
Republic-puritan morality. The denominational news- 
papers and quarterlies, the meetings of state and nation- 
al organizations, and the pulpit became agencies of pro- 
test. Warnings were given that beer drinking, theatre 
going and Sabbath violations were leading to moral ruin. 
The editor of the Jiaptist Standard, under the caption 
"What are we coming to?'' stated, "It has long been ap- 
parent that the infidels from Germany who are flooding 
our shores have entered upon a systematic crusade against 
the Sabbath. Their social habits are of that low, sordid, 
animal kind which tends to sink human nature lower and 
lower until it reaches a point alike disgusting and dis- 
graceful." 9 A special committee reported to the Pres- 
byterian General Assembly in 1876 that the Germans were 
strongly organized and aimed "to overthrow the Sunday 
Civil law, the Church of God, the authority and inspira- 
tion of the Scriptures, and the foundations of belief in 
immortality and existence." 

The controversy intensified as the Germans assumed 
the aggressive and won control in the larger cities. As 
A. B. Faust has pointed out, the more recent German 
immigrants were practically without exception "on the 
side of personal liberty." 10 In July 1872 the Germans in 
Chicago dedicated their Turner Hall and boldly announced 
in the press that they were going to allow Chicago, "the 
honor and felicity of an European Sabbath." The re- 
ligious press reported a perfect orgy of godlessness and 
drunkenness. A perusal of the official proceedings of re- 
ligious conferences and conventions of the major denom- 
inations, state and local, together with a survey of press 
and pulpit utterances, reveals that no moral problem was 
stressed more than Sunday observance. Joint efforts 


were made to secure Sunday closing of the Centennial Ex- 
position at Philadelphia and the Columbia Exposition at 
Chicago. Congress was petitioned to prevent the railroads 
from carrying mail on Sunday. The issue was clear cut; 
the choice lay between the continental Sunday and the 
American Sabbath. Let the former prevail and puritan- 
ism was doomed. Defeat, however, was inevitable. Ur- 
ban-industrial America simply would not conform to the 
old standards. European godlessness took the blame. 

As southern European immigrants came to America in 
large numbers, socialism, communism, and atheism were 
added to the list of imported ills. The Jubilee Volume of 
the Baptist Home Mission Society in 1882 told of the 
dangerous elements in the new immigration such as nihil- 
ists, boycotters, Molly McGuires, brigands, and lazzaroni 
of southern Italy. The immigrants who came to America 
in the latter half of the nineteenth century brought with 
them the radical political and social theories current on 
the continent. Advocates of the state socialism theories of 
Karl Marx, and of various forms of anarchy and com- 
munism endeavored to get an American hearing for their 
doctrinas. Christian leaders were quick to sense the peril. 
The Illinois Federal Union in 1878 considered, "How to 
meet materialistic and rationalistic influence in this coun- 
try." Communism was branded "a barbaric fag-end, a 
ragged, dirty, poisonous remnant of the barbarism which 
civilization is seeking to drive out of the world." 

By 1890 over a million Bohemians had come to the 
United States and had settled in populous centers such as 
Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Chicago. Militant atheism was 
now added to the list of perils. The Reverend H. A. 
Schauffler who labored for the Bohemian Mission Board 
of the National Council of Congregational churches made 
a survey of the forty-two Bohemian newspapers published 
in the United States. Seven were found to be religious 
(five Catholic and two Protestant) ; of the thirty-five 
secular papers, one was favorable, one was neutral, and 
the remaining thirty-three were all propagators of infi- 
delity that heaped contempt on Christianity with a fanat- 


leal intensity. He also reported that about two hundred 
Bohemian infidel Sunday schools had been established. 11 
Valiant effoits were made to win the Poles and Bohem- 
ians to Christianity. Of the Protestant groups the Con- 
gregationalists were most successful. Bible study classes 
were formed in the Cleveland area, and a school for wom- 
en Bible readers organized. A department at Oberlin 
Theological Seminary was devoted to the training of con- 
verted Bohemians. 

Foreign immigration conditioned the development of 
urban Christianity. The phenomenal growth of American 
cities in the last half of the nineteenth century was large- 
ly due to the influx from continental Europe. At the turn 
of the century the Chicago school census revealed twenty- 
five nationalities represented, and the children born of 
German parents, numbering nearly a half a million, ex- 
ceeded those born of native white parents. The resources 
and personnel of the home mission societies were inade- 
quate in the face of unprecedented demands for evangel- 
ization and education, so the stronger city churches 
founded chapels, Sunday schools, and mission stations at 
strategic points. The North Star Mission, established by 
the First Baptist Church of Chicago in a German speaking 
area, within ten years had a Sunday school enrollment of 
more than thousand, an industrial school for girls, a read- 
ing room, a monthly paper The North Stay- and a full 
schedule of "sociables" and prayer meetings in the Ger- 
man language. Work was being done among the Welsh, 
the Swedes, and the Danes, and there were missions at 
the Stockyards, the Union Glass Works, the Rolling Mills, 
and the Bridgeport Iron works all financed and officered 
by the First Baptist Church. 12 

In cities wheie there were several strong churches of a 
given denomination efforts were generally pooled. Thir- 
teen city and six subuiban Congregational churches in the 
Chicago area united under a committee of Missionary Ef- 
fort and hired a superintendent to work among the Bo- 
hemians, Welsh, Germans, and Swedes. Acting on a res- 
olution of the Methodist General Conference of 1896 a Na- 


tional City Evangelical Union was formed, composed of 
"representatives from all the local organizations or unions 
by whatever name known, in cities of the United States 
working for city evangelization in city church extension 
under the auspices of the Methodist Episcopal Church." 
In 1872 the Chicago Baptist Union was formed and a co- 
operative home mission program under a paid secretary 

Soon there came to be the following six distinct types 
of city missions in the foreign speaking areas : the arm of 
a well established church, the independent mission backed 
by a wealthy individual, the neighborhood church, the in- 
stitutional church with its provisions for domestic science 
and vocational training, and the regular denominational 
missions. In addition there were immigrant houses in 
Boston, New York, and Philadelphia. 

Each denomination has developed an immigrant pro- 
gram peculiarly adapted to its organization, geographical 
distribution and resources. Baptists, Congregationalists, 
and Presbyterians have placed their main reliance on the 
home mission societies. Soon after the new settlers arrive 
colporteurs visit the homes distributing tracts. Later the 
home missionary calls urging attendance at meetings pre- 
paratory to the organization of mission congregations. 
The foreign speaking fields of the Methodists are first 
exploited by an established conference under presiding 
elders familiar with the language. As the language 
churches grow in numbers they are organized into distinct 
conferences. Although it is not the denominational prac- 
tice to organize separate linguistic synods, German Pres- 
byterians have formed two conventions, Western and East- 
ern, to foster work among their own class. The Swedish 
and German churches among the Baptists are formed 
into conferences. The Congregationalists have been par- 
ticularly successful among the French of New England 
and the Germans, Scandinavians and Slovakians of the 
west and northwest. They have pioneered in Slavic work, 
establishing numerous Bohemian and Polish churches in 
the Cleveland area. 


The demands of the language fields helped shape the 
policies and stimulated the growth of nearly all the estab- 
lished agencies of the churches. These organs of evangel- 
ization and education antedate the great immigrant in- 
vasion, but they have responded so well to the challenge 
of new fields that they have been transformed in the 
process. Fortunately by the middle of the nineteenth 
century the major denominations had home mission socie- 
ties, Sunday school associations, publication boards, and 
colleges and seminaries organized on a regional and na- 
tional basis. These have directed their energies to a com- 
mon goal. Special and standing committees on the foreign 
population have been commissioned by the national bodies, 
and the pages of denominational journals are replete with 
hortatory and statistical articles. 

While the work of home mission societies must be giver, 
due emphasis, the Sunday school associations were often 
the real pioneers. The report of the Sunday School Union 
in 1900 revealed that the Methodist Episcopal Church had 
schools among the Germans, Swedes, Norwegian, Danes, 
Bohemians, French, Italians, Portuguese, Chinese, and 
Japanese. A full time German Sunday school agent and 
a German editor for Sunday school publications were em- 
ployed. The Presbyterians established a special mission- 
ary department of the Sunday school, and the Cougrega- 
tionalists sent out missionaries among the foreign lan- 
guage groups to establish schools under the auspices of the 
Sunday school and publication society. 

The denominational publication societies produced large 
numbers of foreign language books and tracts. The Meth- 
odist Book Committee supervised the publication of a Ger- 
man hymn book and an official translation of the Disci- 
pline. German, Swedish and Bohemian weeklies are pub- 
lished by the Cincinnati publication house. Each year 
numerous books are published in languages other than 
English. The Sunday School and Publication Society of 
the Congregationalists publishes German, Norwegian, and 
Bohemian papers in Chicago, French in Springfield, and 
Italian in Boston. 


Today with the gates closed to immigrants, the original 
impetus to language work has ceased, and the anglization 
trend predicates an early end to the language missions. 
Perhaps this may be a propitious time to evaluate the ef- 
fects of immigration on American Protestantism. 

First and foremost, the work among foreign speaking 
groups has greatly furthered interdenominational co- 
operation. More than half a century ago, when the in- 
coming tide was strongest, the New York State Christian 
Convention, representing eight denominations, proposed 
a union of evangelical Christians for home missions. 13 
Delegates to a convention of the American Home Mission- 
ary Society were u iged to "unite about the largest nucleus 
of a Christian sect — Presbyterian, Congregationalist, or 
Methodist — whichever is strongest." 14 The twelve mem- 
ber denominations of the Council of Reformed Churches 
in America early agreed to cooperate in work among for- 
eign speaking people. Mention has already been made of 
the cooperative efforts of urban churches. Shortly after 
its formation in 1908 the Federal Council of Churches of 
Christ endorsed a plan of individual efforts under a fed- 
erated council which provided that, "local federations in 
district, city, or state should survey the field, study con- 
ditions and plan the work to be undertaken, leaving its 
prosecution to the church or denomination assigned to 
that particular service, the council standing ready with 
counsel and encouragement to reinforce denominational 
enterprise." That this cooperative spirit continues is in- 
dicated by the fact that during the past year an interde- 
nominational conference on "the Italian Church of Tomor- 
row" was held in New York City. 15 Recently the Interde- 
nominational Council on Spanish-speaking work made a 
survey that indicated that a quarter of a million Mexicans 
•vere in northern and eastern parts of the United States. 

In a much broader field the emigration of members of 
the national communions has led to fraternal relations be- 
tween kindred groups in the United States and conti- 
nental Europe. Fraternal letters were exchanged between 
the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church and the 


Bohemian Church of the Helvetic Confession in 1870, and 
the former body pledged its Sunday school and home mis- 
sionary facilities for the work among Bohemians in 
America, and hailed the exchange of delegates as the be- 
ginning of a permanent union. The Swedish Mission 
churches or Mission Friends were greeted as subscriber? 
to the same faith and practices "which our Congregational 
fathers founded through the blood of martyrs" by the Na- 
tional Council of Congregational Churches and were wel- 
comed as "new-found sister churches in the Lord." 16 It 
was agreed that Swedish churches, ministers and student* 
should have perfect liberty to join the association of Mis- 
sion Friends or of the Congregationalists or both as they 
might choose. 

In various ways, as has been depicted above, concern 
for the foreign born and their children has enriched the 
activities of urban churches. The institutional church is 
a splendid example of the social gospel in action. 

The infusion of new blood not only strengthened the na- 
tive chinches numerically, but the immigrants made val- 
uable contributions to institutions, scholarship and evan- 
gelical fervor. The deaconess movement which has been 
sponsored by the Lutheran Church is an example. German 
Methodism developed a unique series of schools, hospitals, 
and homes in the city of Cincinnati. Just as immigrants 
rose to high positions in public life and private enterprise, 
so they became leaders in American Protestantism. 

Foreign language work has been a main objective of 
all Protestant groups. Numerically, the results obtained 
are disappointing. The immigrants for the most part 
have continued the church affiliation, begun on the con- 
tinent, with a kindred body in America or remained in- 
different to a program of evangelization. The challenge 
of the unchurched millions, however, has been answered 
with a quickened zeal stimulating every agency of the 
church and bi oadening their activities. Although the de- 
termined efforts to perpetuate a puritan civilization have 
failed, neither have the Protestant churches been assimil- 
ated by an alien culture. Like objectives and the facing 


ot common dangers have developed a Protestant con- 
sciousness and have prepared the way for ultimate unity. 
At present the Atlantic and Pacific gateways to the 
United States are closed, but the world conflict may be 
ended by a Christian peace ushering in an era of interna- 
tional good will. Once again there will be free migration 
of peoples. Then there will be a revival of the language 
missions. American Protestantism is ready. Home mis- 
sionaries, publication boards, Sunday school associations, 
and colporteurs will greet the incoming masses, shelter 
them, evangelize them, and teach them the American way 
of life. 

1. Ray Allen Billington, (New York, 1938) 

2. The Baptist Quarterly (Vol. XI, 1880), p. 140. 

3. Annual Report, American Baptist Home Missionary Society (Vol. 
61, 1893), p.ll. 

4. Minutes of the General Assembly of th-e Presbyterian Church in 
the U. S. of A. (1892), p.181. 

o. Minutes of the National Council of Congregational Churches of 
the U. S. (1886), p. 274. 

6. Journal of the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church (1924), p. 1686. 

7. National Council Minutes (1886), p. 120. Cf. S. H. Doyle, 
Presbyterian Home Missions (New York, 1902). 

8. A. B. Faust, The German Element in the United States (Ne* 
York, 1909), II, p. 23. 

9. July 18, 1868. 

10. Op. cit, Vol. II, p. 178. 

11. National Council Minutes (1901), pp. 277-284. 

12. The Standard (Jan. 21, 1869), p. 4. 

13. Op. cit (July 12, 1878), p. 3. 

14. D. B. Coe, "Commity Between Denominations In the Home 
Field," National Council Minutes (1874), p. 59. 

15. General Assembly Minutes (1940), p. 156. 

16. National Council Minutes, (1889), p. 465. Cf. General As- 
sembly Minutes (1870), p. 52. 

* * * * 



By Herbert H. Stroup 

Neiv York, N.Y. 

The literature of the Jehovah's Witnesses indicates an 
intense antipathy toward the Roman Catholic Church. 
This feeling of hatred has developed increasingly in the 
last four or five years. The rise of the resentment is clear- 
ly revealed in the various books which have been written 
by the group's leader, Joseph Franklin Rutherford. 

The year 1926 marks a decisive change in the purpose 
and organization of the Jehovah's Witnesses. Before 1926, 
the movement was confined in its missionary activity, and 
the leadership of Mr. Rutherford was not generally ac- 
cepted. In this year the movement which had its start 
among the few followers of "Pastor" Charles T. Russell 
split. The Witnesses who had known Mr. Russell thought 
they had definitively expressed their religious obligations 
by attending group meetings, reading the Bible and the 
writings of Mr. Russell, praying for the Last Day, pay- 
ing dues, feeling and being charitable. Mr. Rutherford, 
who assumed leadership in this year, following the death 
cf Mr. Russell, thought that these duties comprised true 
faith, but he also added the greatest of all virtues (to the 
Witnesses) : the systematic, persistent evangelization of 
the entire population of the earth. The Witnesses who be- 
lieved that Mr. Russell was next to Saint Paul and Jesus 
in the estimation of Jehovah took issue with Mr. Ruther- 
f 01 d and refused to aid him in his grandiose scheme. From 
that day the modern Jehovah's Witnesses were born. 

This historical background is necessary in order that 
we may understand the attitude of the Jehovah's Witness- 
es, in this period of their development, toward the Roman 
Catholic Church. Since 1926 there has been an interest- 
ing change in the focus of the group's hatred. At first 
the hatred was in the generalized form of Satan, but grad- 
ually through the years that followed, it was levied more 
directly at such particular objects as the Roman Catholic 
Church and other religious organizations. 


In 1926 Mr. Rutherford published a book, Deliverance, 
which attempts to give "a vivid description of the Divine 
Purpose particularly outlining God's progressive steps 
against wickedness and showing the final overthrow of the 
Devil and all of his wicked Institutions; the deliverance 
of the people; and the establishment of the religious gov- 
ernment on earth." Over three million copies of this book 
have been distributed. The book tries to provide an "out- 
line of history." Its first chapters are concerned with the 
creation of the earth by Jehovah, the rebellion of man 
against Jehovah, and man's subsequent afflictions under 
the various cruel kings supplied by Jehovah for man's 
salvation. The last chapters tell of the end of the world, 
when "the wicked ruling system, designated by the title 
'beast' and made up of profiteers, politicians, and clergy, 
is taken." These evil ones will be cast into "the burning 
flames of everlasting destruction." Afterwards, a new 
world will be "established" in which the "reconstruction 
and restoration of man" and his social institutions will 
take place. 

In this book Satan is the foremost opponent of the Wit- 
nesses. Satan is the rebellious archangel, Lucifer, who en- 
joyed all the privileges of the celestial realm until his 
pride led him to jealousy and finally to revolt against 
Jehovah. History records the effort of Satan to thwart 
Jehovah: Satan tried to kill David; he defied Jehovah 
through Pharaoh ; he entered into Judas, the betrayer of 
Jesus ; he sought to prevent the resurrection of Jesus and 
afterwards told the enemies of Jesus of it. Satan's influ- 
ence has not lessened even today. He is the cause of and 
is responsible for all crime, all religious animosity, all war: 
"Now it is due time for the people to see and to under- 
stand the truth; and particularly to see that all the 
warfare amongst themselves, the conflicts between 
religious systems, and the crimes and wickedness that 
stalk about in the earth, all these unrighteous things 
originated with Satan who has used these agencies to 
turn the minds of the people away from God." 
Satan's strength is unlimited and often it seems to the 


pious Witness that Jehovah is overwhelmed and defeated. 
In our times three factors in society are inspired by 
Satan ; the commercial, the political, and the ecclesiastical : 
"At times it might have seemed that the power of 
wickedness had completely overwhelmed and defeated 
the God of righteousness. But not so. The Almighty has 
permitted Satan and his angels to pursue a course of 
wickedness without let or hindrance until such time as 
he sees it good, and therefore necessary, to interfere 
and manifest his power, that the people might not en- 
tirely forget his name. In all these world powers the 
three elements mentioned, to wit, commercial, politi- 
cal and ecclesiastical, have appeared prominently. In 
these latter times the three elements, under the super- 
vision of the Devil, have united in forming the most 
subtle and wicked world power of all time. They oper- 
ate under the title of 'Christendom', which is a fraud- 
ulent and blasphemous assumption that they consti- 
tuted Christ's kingdom on earth." 

The Roman Catholic Church, according to Mr. Ruther- 
ford's judgment in Deliverance, is an expression of Satan, 
but, generally speaking, the metaphysical conception of evil 
consumed the major interest and energy of the Witnesses. 
The Roman Catholic Church is not attacked with any 
special significance except as it is the most unified and 
dominant conception of Satanic influence. It is Satan's 
policy to work in an organized manner. This assumption 
underlies the idea which the Witnesses possess of all 
social organization. Organization is evil because it is or- 
ganization. Nowhere is this more true to the Witnessess 
than in the area of religion: 

"It seems quite clear that this (Genesis 4:26) was a 
scheme of Satan to have men call themselves by the 
name of the Lord and yet pursue a course in opposi- 
tion to God, thereby to ridicule God and hold up his 
name in scorn. These men were tools of Satan, the 
Devil, and were therefore hypocrites. This discloses 
a scheme of Satan which he has ever followed since; 


RIDICULE JEHOVAH GOD. This is mentioned here 
because it discloses the fixed policy on the part of the 
Devil to use religion as a part of his deceptive and 
fraudulent schemes." 

From Deliverance one gets the idea that the Roman Cath- 
olic Church is a wicked institution. Put it is only o^e of 
many historic and present evil institutions. It is an ex- 
pression of Satan, not Satan himself. 

The relationship between Satan and the Roman Cath- 
olic Church is shown in its historical perspective by Mr. 
Rutherford in Deliverance. Beginning with the life of 
Jesus, he traces the efforts of Satan to thwart Jehovah 
through the successive stages of the history of western 
Christianity. The following survey is introductory to an 
understanding of the attitude toward the Roman Catholic 
Church today. 

Ninety-five pages of the book, Deliverance, are con- 
cci ned with Satan's efforts to meet Jehovah's challenge in 
the form of the life of Jesus. Satan heard the angel an- 
nounce the coming birth of Jesus ; he sought to have the 
infant Jesus killed by Herod ; he tried to seduce Jesus 
from serving Jehovah ; he used the Pharisees to oppose 
the witness of Jesus; he blinded the Jews and many Gen- 
tiles to the significance of Jesus; he conspired to kill 
Jesus; he killed Jesus; he rejoiced over the death of 

According to Mr. Rutherford's interpretation, the death 
cf Jesus was followed by a period of rather pure religion. 
We must not conclude, however, that Satan was not fam- 
iliar with the wonder-working power of the fresh faith 
or that he did not try to impede its progress. "It is reason- 
able to presume that he (Satan) was familiar with the 
instructions given by the inspired apostles to those of the 
church." This being the nature of the situation with which 
Satan was faced "he realized that he must do something 
to counteract the influence and power of those who were 
being brought to Christ, if he would thwart the divine 


purpose.*' Very cleverly, Satan devised a plan to defeat the 
seaily Christians at the point of their greatest strength. 
""Satan saw that it would be profitable to his scheme 
to have the Christians become more popular; there- 
fore the Christian religion became ostensibly the 
leligion of his wicked world. The Devil thereafter 
planted amongst the Christians ambitious men, those 
who had a desire to shine amongst themselves and 
who m the course of time had themselves appointed 
or elected tc the positions of bishops and chief elders; 
and in due time there was established a clergy class, 
as distinguished from the laity or the common people. 
The clergy thus organized introduced into the church 
false doctrines taught by heathen philosophers, which 
of course were the Devil's own doctrines. These wei e 
uceel to coriupt the message of the Lord God. The 
clergy and the i tilers in the church then established 
theological schools wherein men were tiained for the 
clergy for the purpose of carrying on the wo 1: of 
their system already organized and in operation. 
In due course statements of belief, or creeds, were 
formulated and presented to the professed Christians, 
1 anyone who taught contrary to these creeds was 
considered a heretic and was dealt with accordingly. 

False doctrines were freely introduced and substitut- 
ed for the truth. Amongst these were and are the 
doctrines of the trinity, immortality of all souls, eter- 
nal torture of the wicked, the divine right of the 
clergy, and the divine right of the kings to rule. In 
the course of time, Mary the mother of the child 
Jesus, was deified; and the people were called upon 
to worship her as the mother of God. Satan's pur- 
pose in all this, of course, was to turn the minds of 
the people away from Jehovah. Crucifixes were erect- 
ed, and the worship of the people was turned to 
these rather than to let them intelligently worship 
the Lord Jehovah and the Lord Jesus Christ. Beads, 
so-called 'holy water', and like things were used and 
are still used, to blind the people. Gradually, seduc- 


tively, subtly and wickedly the Devil, through willing 
instruments, corrupted those who called themselves 
Christians " 

This, then, is the simple story of the rise of the Roman 
Catholic Church, according to Mr. Rutherford. It was at 
this point that the original Christian message was cor- 
rupted. Christ was converted to the antichrist. Satan was 
worshipped as God. This, to the Witnesses, is the supreme 
achievement of Satan. This interpretation of the rise of 
the Roman Catholic Church is basic to any understanding 
of the nature of the early antipathy of the Jehovah's Wit- 
nesses. The important item to remember is not that the 
Witnesses hated the Roman Church as much as Satan, 
but that Satan was the chief opponent to true religion 
and that Satan's present and historical expression is the 
Roman Catholic Church. 

The systematizing of the Christian religion took place at 
Rome where its bishop was recognized to be the temporal 
representative of Jehovah. Thus Christianity was sec- 
ularized. The position of the Roman pope is particularly 
obnoxious to the early Witnesses of ''the second dispen- 

"Satan the enemy was at all times in control of Pagan 
Rome. The religion of that world power was the 
Devil's own religion; he now adopted hypocritically 
the Christian religion ; his world power took on the 
name of Papal Rome, having a visible representative 
of the Lord Jesus Christ but who in fact was the rep- 
resentative of the Devil, whether he knew it or not. 
Millions of good people were deceived by this hypo- 
critical move. Probably many of the clergy were de- 
ceived, but some of them were not deceived. The 
pope presumptously assumed to rule as the visible 
representative of Christ." 

The effects of the rule of the popes were not admirable 
to the Jehovah's Witnesses. Indeed, "there have been some 
of the blackest crimes of history committed in the name 
of and by that system." 


But, the evils of the Roman Catholic Church brought 
revolts against its authority. Wycliff, Huss, and Luther 
made open warfare against the papacy. This rebellion 
against ihe Roman Church led to the Protestant Refor- 
mation and the Protestant denominations. This protest 
sought to restore the purity of the ancient faith, and it 
succeeded for a time. The denominations contained many 
God-fearing men, but "it was only a matter of time until 
Satan overreached these." The Protestant systems have 
organized themselves into real "political companies." Mr. 
Rutherford points out the Methodist Church as being "one 
of the strongest political organizations in the world." 

The idea that Satan was able to overreach various 
social organizations is well-known to the Witnesses, even 
today. Actually it expresses a powerful criticism of the 
persistent misuse of power which is characteristic of all 
social leadership. In one of the chapters of Deliverance, 
Mr. Rutherford shows how Satan was able to "overreach" 
the coiuts at the time of Jesus, thus making the agency 
of law the tool of evil. 

So it is that the greatest pretense covers the greatest 
evil and all reforming attempts become evil when power 
fe gained. Man's highest expression of his aspirations in 
religion are the result of demonic force outside both him- 
self and nature which controls the world. Jehovah does 
not dominate the human scene ; sometimes he attempts to 
edge his way into human life — then only to give men the 
assurance that he is yet responsible for the forces which 
can defeat evil and restore man to his original goodness. 
This is the form of evil which Jehovah's Witnesses hated 
in 1926. They hated evil in high places; they fought with 
principalities, power, and spiritual darkness. 

Following the year 1926, the movement grew and made 
more enemies than it had in its earlier stages. Persecution 
of true believers is mentioned in Deliverance, but only in 
the usual manner of religious groups, namely, that a 
believing person should not be popular with the world and 
should expect to suffer for the sake of the truth. Grad- 
ually the Enemy became less and less Satan and more and 


more Roman Catholic Church or the Roman Catholic Hiei- 
archy. A survey of the Indices of the books written by 
Mr. Rutherford during the years 1926-1940 indicates that 
merely in the number of references given to Satan and the 
Roman Catholic Church the matter is now quite the re- 
verse of the situation then. Jehovah, written by Mr. Ruth- 
erford in 1934, reveals how concrete the enemy had be- 
come by that time: 

"This (the desire on the part of the Roman Catholic 
hierarchy to destroy the movement) was particularly 
made manifest by the recent actions of the Roman 
Catholic hierarchy and their public press, and further 
at Plainfield, New Jersey, when their 'strong-armed 
squad' appeared on the scene at a public meeting of 
Jehovah's Witnesses, armed to the teeth, when there 
was no danger to anyone except those who could be 
hurt by the plain proclamation of the truth. That 
sti ong-armed squad was doubtless there at the in- 
stance of cruel Catholic priests, and to this day mem- 
bers of that strong-armed squad cannot understand 
why they did not commit murder." 

Mr. Rutherford's book Riches, published in 1936, is of 
significance because it contains the first expression of 
another attitude toward the Roman Catholic Church. In 
this book Mr. Rutherford uses a propaganda technique 
which is familiar, namely, to "drive a wedge" between the 
governed and the governing. He still insists that the 
Roman Catholic Church is a Satanic expression. Yet there 
is a qualification. The common people that comprise the 
Roman Catholic Church are not to be condemned overly 
much. They are unfortunates, intellectually ignorant, pol- 
itically docile, spiritually subservient. As such they are 
to be excused from responsibility for the wickedness of thu 
Roman Catholic Church. The real responsibility lies, so says 
Mr. Rutherford, with the priesthood. The hierarchy is 
evil. "The Roman Catholic Hierarchy is the strongest 
visible foe on earth of Jehovah's Witnesses and that or- 
ganization is fighting desperately to keep the people in 
ignorance." With a subtle, half-pleading tone, Mr. Ruth- 


erford seeks the confidence of the Roman Catholic laity: 
"Nothing is here written for the purpose of offending 
or holding up persons to ridicule because of their re- 
ligion of for any other reason. The sole purpose is to 
call to the attention of the people the truth of God's 
Word, to the end that those who desire to be enlighten- 
ed may have that blessing. There are millions of sin- 
cere persons on the earth who are designated 'Cath- 
olic population' and who are entitled to hold their 
views. Those persons are not at all responsible for 
the false doctrines held forth by the Catholic organ- 
ization known as 'the Hierarchy.' " 

The common people which comprise the Roman Catholic 
laity are not responsible for the teachings of the Roman 
Catholic Hierarchy. The Hierarchy proceeds "upon the 
theory that there are just two general classes of people, 
to wit, Communists and Roman Catholics, and that all who 
do not line up with the Roman Catholic side are therefore 
necessarily to be classed as Communists." It is interest- 
ing to note that although 121 references are made in the 
Index to Riches to the Roman Catholic HIERARCHY, not 
one is listed of the Roman Catholic CHURCH. 

In 1937 Mr. Rutherford thought that the importance 
of the corruptness of religion had not received sufficient 
attention. In that year he wrote a book, Enemies, in which 
he sought to show that the Witnesses have many enemies, 
but none more powerful or hated than organized religion 
of any description. Throughout the book he uses the word 
"religionist" with a particularly bad connotation. He gen- 
erally means by "religionist" a person who is a "supersti- 
tionist" or a "traditionalist." 

It was in this year (1937) that the Witnesses coined a 
phrase which they have used ever since; "religion is a 

"Put aside now preconceived opinions, and with an 
unbiased mind examine the facts concerning the great- 
est of all rackets that has ever been practiced 
under the sun, to understand the truth of which is for 
your personal welfare. . . . The most dangerous and 


destructive kind of racketeering is that which has the 
appearance of honesty but which is operated in such 
a subtle, deceptive manner as to blind people to the 
real truth .... The greatest racket ever invented and 
practiced is that of religion. . . . There are numerous 
systems of religion, but the most subtle, fraudulent 
and injurious to mankind is that which is generally 
labelled the 'Christian religion,' because it has the ap- 
pearance of a worshipful devotion to the Supreme 
Being, and thereby easily misleads many honest and 
sincere persons. Strange as it may seem, the two 
words 'Christian' and 'religion' are diametrically op- 
posed to each other. . . . Religion labelled 'the Christ- 
ian religion' is a racket invented by the Devil to de- 
fame the name of Almighty God and is practiced by 
men, some of whom are honest and practice it be- 
cause they have been induced to believe it is right, 
while others know that they are wrong and are work- 
ing a fraud upon the people." 

Religion per se is evil. Each world political power has 
adopted a religion whereby it has been able to command 
the respect of the masses. Religion, murder and war are 
associates. Religion was not originated by primitive peo- 
ple who feared their natural environments, but it is the 
eternal means by which Satan seeks to deceive and re- 
proach Jehovah. Religion does not give depth and scope t* 
human aspirations for security and perfection; it degen- 
erates the individual wherever its scrofulous touch is felt. 
Religion is one of a triad of evils (commercialism, politics, 
religion) which with their combined force have enslaved 
men from the first. 

Although Mr. Rutherford nursed his new-found hatred 
of all religion until it became a rallying-point for his fol- 
lowers ever since, he still did not diminish his special ha- 
tred of the Roman Catholic Hierarchy. "The chief visible 
enemy of God and therefore the greatest and worst public 
enemy, is the Roman Catholic religious organization .... 
The day of the wicked organizations must come to an end." 
The Roman Catholic Hierarchy is to be destroyed before 


commerce and politics in the Day of Armageddon. Mr. 
Rutherford thought in 1937 that the Roman Catholic 
Church was in a political alliance with the rulers and busi- 
ness men of the world to take over the control of the whole 

"The Roman Catholic Hierarchy is a selfish and 
devilish organization, operating under the misleading 
title of 'Christian religion,' and desperately attempt- 
ing to gain control over all the peoples of the earth 
in order to satisfy its selfish and ambitious desires." 
This is a theme which recurs throughout Enemies. 
Mr. Rutherford's last book, Religion, was published in 
the summer of 1940. In it he gives more attention than in 
previous years to the intense persecution which the Wit- 
nesses have undergone. This persecution is presented as 
a hydra-headed monster completely under the control of the 
Roman Catholic Church. Satan has fallen into the back- 
ground, but is still recognized as being the ultimate source 
of affliction (only five references to Satan in the Index 
to Religion). Communism, atheism, Protestantism, Roman 
Catholicism, are the tools of the devil : 

"The Devil practices all manner of fraud and de- 
ception. He organized the chief religious systems on 
earth, now under the Roman Catholic Hierarchy, and 
falsely designates that as 'the Christian religion.' 
Even the so-called Trotestant' systems of religion 
claimed to be opposed to Romanism, but, in fact, they 
all work together. The Devil then organizes and brings 
into action Communism, which openly fights the so- 
called 'Christian religion' and also true Christianity. 
He uses atheists likewise to fight against those who 
serve God, and thus the Devil uses all these means and 
organizations to fight against God and against God's 
faithful servants on the earth, and to deceive men.'' 
Mr. Rutherford claims that the leaders of "Christen- 
dom" howl and declare that the Jehovah's Witnesses are 
communistic and that they have seditious aspirations. This 
talk, however, he feels comes straight from the "papa" in 
the Vatican, who realizes that the communist cry will be 


a very effective means of dispersing the Witnesses. But, 
the Jehovah's Witnesses are not communists because they 
will have nothing to do with any political system. They 
are entirely separated from all political parties, giving all 
of their devotion to the one, true Jehovah. 

Religion in general and without definition is a snare 
and a racket. This doctrine which came into the Witnesses' 
literature in 1937 is one of their most popular beliefs in 
1940. Christianity is directly opposed to all religion and 
in itself is not a religion : 

"Christianity and religion are two sepaiate and dis- 
tinct things, and the two are in complete opposition 
to each other. Those who practice religion are numer- 
ous; those who truly are Christians are few." 
All religion will be completely destroyed at the Day of 
Armageddon ; indeed, "the end of all religion has come" 
in the year 1941. What we today think of as religion is 
merely a faked substitute which the rulers need to en- 
force their wicked ways. 

Since the beginnings of the present war, a new factor 
is combined with the evil triad of Satanic forces, namely, 
the military. War is evil to the Witnesses and definitely 
is contrary to the will of Jehovah. Therefore, the present 
war is regarded in parts of the literature as a further ex- 
pression of the efforts of the Roman Catholic Church to 
destroy the Witnesses. In the book, Religion, war is 
thought to be of such a destructive character in itself that 
it is classified as a fourth fundamental evil. 

According to Mr. Rutherford, everyone now recognizes 
the need for "more and more religion," but not for the 
truth which the Witnesses teach. 

"Religion, politics and commerce, the three elements 
visibly ruling this world, step to the fore and with 
one accord proclaim to the people, 'We must have 
more religion, else our civilization will perish.' " 
The cry for "more religion" is an effort on the part of 
the rulers of the world to avoid the discovery by the com- 
mon people of the evil nature and effects of their rule. 
The rulers require the Witnesses to salute the national 


flag against their consciences because the rulers need some 
scapegoat to divert the attention of the populace from 
their failures. The clergy cry for more religion because 
many people have already realized the demonic character 
of religion. Their ciy is an attempt to camouflage their 

In Religion, as in previous books, the Roman Catholic 
Church is an evil institution, originating in Satan. The 
Roman Catholic religion is a modern form of an ancient 
demonism. To worship man-created idols is pagan; thus 
the Roman Catholic Church breaks one of the essential 
commandments of Jehovah in worshipping saints, pictures, 
and statues. The conception of purgatory in Roman Cath- 
olic theology is incorrect and wicked simply because it has 
pagan origins. Purgatory is based upon the unscriptural 
pagan belief involving the immortality of the human soul. 
The Eible, according to all true Witnesses, denies the im- 
mortality of the soul. 

"The doctrines and practices of the Catholic religious 
organizations are specifically constructed by the Bible. 
That is particularly true with reference to 'purga- 
tory ;' to the primacy of the pope; to the dead as being 
more alive than ever, and prayers for the dead; to 
the doctrine and the claim that the church of God is 
founded upon Peter; to holy water; to images and the 
veneration of saints ; and to many other doctrines ; 
and these prove that the Catholic religion is demon- 
ism; and by the practice of demonism the people are 
led fully into the snare of the Devil and ultimately 
into destruction." 

It is this demonic influence which makes deluded re- 
ligionists stubbornly resist the truth of God's Word. 

The Roman Catholic Church is seeking world domin- 
ation. It uses many means for the attainment of this end. 
All movements, such as the Witnesses, that oppose the 
totalitarian claims of the Roman Church are declared 
evil by it. The Roman Catholic persecutes all those who 
tell the truth. Furthermore, it has aligned itself with the 
totalitarian forces in politics. In fact, the Roman Catholic 


Church uses the various dictators in its plot to rule the 
"Cruelly and subtly the totalitarian or dictator 
schemes move forward, and now the dictators have 
become bold and arrogant and have formed a bloc of 
nations, including Germany, Italy, Japan and other 
states, and on top of which bloc or combine the so- 
called 'spiritual' Roman Catholic Hierarchy sits in 
state and struts her stuff, administering supposed 
doses of soothing remedy in a studied effort to make 
Satan's rule or wine of this world appear a sweet 

In another passage which tells of the plan of the totali- 
tarian nations to place the whole world at the feet of the 
pope at Rome, Communism is given equal mention with 
Fascism and Nazism. It would seem that the final victory 
ever the Roman Church will be effected by "the radical 
elements." They will rush in (after the dictators and the 
Roman Catholic Hierarchy have finished robbing the 
Jews) and pillage the Vatican of its fabulous riches: 
"The dictators now permit the Roman Catholic Hier- 
archy to work with them, and all together they en- 
gage in robbing the Jews, who have been prosperous 
in commercial things and otherwise in obtaining 
money and property. When that radical and delud- 
ed element have finished with exploiting and robbing 
the Jews, it appears, then they will give their atten- 
tion to the big religionists. It is said that Vatican 
City has stored up more gold and other riches than 
any other nation or organization. It may be expect- 
ed that the various deluded radical elements will 
swoop down on the Vatican and Hierarchy after they 
have finished off the Jews." 
The dictators support the Roman Catholic Hierarchy 
principally because they too hate Jehovah's law and wish 
to supplant Jehovah. The religious leaders have not told 
the political leaders how Jehovah will destroy them in the 
Last Day. This is because they are both ignorant of the 
ways of Jehovah: 


"The religious leaders, particularly the Roman Cath- 
olic Hierarchy, have failed to tell the political rulers 
anything concerning God's purpose to destroy them, 
and this manifestly because the religionists are allies 
of the political rulers, and being under the influence 
and power of the demons, are blind to God's purpose. 
All of the dictators of the world have their religious 
advisors. The ruler of Germany is a Catholic and is 
constantly advised by the Vatican. He also freely 
consults the demons through their visible representa- 
tives. Other political rulers follow a similar course. 
Even in the democracies, the chief politicians do the 
same thing; and this shows that all such are in the 
darkness and hence blind to God's purpose and are in- 
duced to abuse and persecute the servants of God, who 
bring to them the message of truth." 
This view explains to the Witnesses why both religious 
and political leaders are persecuting the movement. 

Today "Catholic Action" is extremely vicious in per- 
secuting the Witnesses. "The Roman Catholic-Nazi combine, 
in their bitter oppositon to the Theocracy, make war upon 
Jehovah's Witnesses." The Hierarchy gets itself praised 
by the newspapers through threats to commercial dealers. 
"The clergy send out the vicious young Nazi element 
to commit assaults upon Jehovah's Witnesses. The real 
criminals, guilty of such vicious assaults, are the 
higher-ups of the Hierarchy." 
The Witnesses are opposed by a "world-wide conspiracy" 
headed by the Roman Church. This "conspiracy" does not 
obey the laws of God; in fact, it obeys only those laws 
which make for its strength and security. 

The Witnesses are not altogether defenseless against 
the onslaughts of the Roman Catholic Church. They be- 
lieve that it is proper and necessary to repel attacks with 
physical force. In Religion the example of the Witnesses 
on the 25th of June, 1939, at Madison Square Garden is 
given : 

"Persons (Roman Catholic) who oppose God's king- 
dom Lad repeatedly made threats that they would 


break up that assembly, and these threats had been 
brought to the attention of the Lord's people. Even 
the police officers had been notified of such threats. 
On the day of the meeting several hundred of such 
wicked ones entered Madison Square Garden meet- 
ing after the program had begun, and made a violent 
attempt to 'break-up' that meeting. Ushers, whose 
assigned duty was to keep order, commanded the dis- 
turbers to stop their disturbance or else leave the 
building. Instead of complying with that request the 
disturbers violently assaulted the ushers. Some of 
the ushers in their God-given and lawful rights re- 
sisted such assaults and used reasonable and neces- 
sary force to repel such wrongful assaults. In doing 
so the ushers acted strictly within their rights and in 
the performance of their duty and certainly have the 
approval of the Lord in so doing. The ushers were not 
using carnal weapons in order to preach the gospel, 
but they were using force to compel the enemy to 
desist in efforts to prevent the preaching of gospel." 

The Witnesses aie advised never to act hastily and always 
with the highest motives in using physical force. They 
are reminded that Christian always obey the law. The 
Christian should Lire other methods of meeting evil, if such 
are available, befoie resorting to physical force. The 
Christian should never purposely seek physical combat. 

Moreover, the Witnesses are not alone in defending 
their lights. Jehovah is not blind to the sacrifices which 
the Witnesses are making to the truth. He will not for- 
get those who now persecute them. The Witnesses look 
forward with great expectation to the Last Day, the Day 
of Armageddon, at which time Jehovah will utterly de- 
stroy all those who at present persecute the Witnesses. 
"The battle of that great day of God Almighty will forever 
CUTORS." "The enemy, the religionists and their allies, 
have repeatedly shed blood of the inocents, and for that 
they shall be fully paid by the Executioner of Jehovah." 



The third annual Florida Ministers' Week will be held 
at Florida Southern College, Lakeland, Florida, January 
11-15, 1942. Dean Lynn Harold Hough, of Drew The- 
ological Seminary, Madison, New Jersey, will deliver the 
mam lectures of the week. Dean Hough has announced 
his general theme as "intellectual Patterns." Dr. Elmer 
T. Claik, editor of the World Outlook, will lecture on "The 
Small Sects in America." President Ludd M. Spivey, Dean 
S. J. Case, and Roy L. Smith, editor of the Christian 
Advocate, are among the other lecturers announced for the 
week. Some of the lectures will be published in full in the 
next issue of RELIGION IN THE MAKING. 

Dean Willard L. Sperry was the lecturer for Ministers' 
Week in 1940. Bishop G. Bromley Oxnam, of Boston, and 
Dean S. J. Case, of the Florida School of Religion, were 
the lectuiers during Ministers' Week in 1941. These 
lectures have now been published. 


The fourth annual meeting of the Florida Religious 
Association will be held at Florida Southern College, 
Lakeland, April 20-21, 1942. This association is rapidly 
becoming the chief medium for inter-faith religious ac- 
tivity in Florida. At an earlier session, the Association 
defined its purpose to be: 

(1.) The promotion of fellowship among persons who 
are interested in religious studies and activity. 

(2.) The gathering of information on the history of 
religious movements in Florida. 

(3.) The consideration of religious education in ed- 
ucational institutions, churches, synagogues and other 
community groups. 


We expect to carry a brief transcript of the proceed- 
ings of the annual meeting in a later issue. The following 
statement about the Florida Religious Association has 
come to our attention, and we take pleasure in publish- 
ing it for our readers, especially those in Florida. 

Our Inquiring Reporter, having heard of the Flor- 
ida Religious Association, called upon its President, 
Professor Anna Forbes Liddell, of the Florida State 
College for Women. 

"Dr. Liddell, the name of your organization is very 
general. What is the object of the Association?" 

"To provide for fellowship and interchange of views 
among men and women of all faiths, and to en- 
gage in such religious research as may from time to 
time seem practicable." 

"Is the Association trying to promote or 'put over' 

"Not a thing, unless it be fellowship and good will. 
We are not trying to spread any particular religious 
beliefs or practice. The fact that our membership in- 
cludes Protestants, Catholics and Jews is a guaranty 
that propoganda is utterly foreign to our aims." 

"But can a group of such diversity have much in 

"Oh yes. We may never fully understand one an- 
other, but we realize that we are all children of God 
and that we are all trying to serve Him, each in his 
own way. Moreover, the problems we encounter in our 
work — for example, in religious education, are basic- 
ally similar, and so we find that we have something 
to learn from one another's experiences. We also seek 
to cultivate that all inclusive good-will which is the 
only defense against the rising tide of Anti-Semitism 
and other prejudices in this country." 

"Where does the Association hold its meetings?" 

"Our first meeting was held in Winter Park, the 
second at Florida Southern College, Lakeland, and the 


third at John B. Stetson University, DeLand. Next 
April we are to meet again at Florida Southern. 
Thus far we have met only once a year, but as our 
membership grows in numbers and territorial extent 
one or more regional meetings each year will be- 
come desirable." 

"What has been the nature of your programs?" 
"We usually concentrate on some religious or ed- 
ucational problem. For instance, at the DeLand meet- 
ing we considered the question of religious education 
in the public schools. Professor Harrison S. Elliott, 
of Union Theological Seminary, was our discussion 
leader. The year before, our theme was 'Religion in 
Relation to Security of Life.' The program of our 
next meeting will probably deal with character edu- 

Thank you, Dr. Liddell." 
"You are very welcome. Here is a copy of our con- 
stitution. You might mention that our Secretary, Miss 
Janet Daugherty, of Winter Park, is glad to receive 
applications for membership accompanied by one 
dollar in payment of dues for one year from the date 
of payment." 

* * * * 


CHRISTIAN REALISM. By John C. Bennett. New 
York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1941. 198 pages. $2.00. 

The -.void 'realism" in this title is used primarily in the 
practical rather than the philosophical sense. The author 
seeks to steer a middle course between the extremes of 
optimism and pessimism in the interpretation of the 
Christian task. He finds reality most truly in the actual 
facts of immediate experience, although he is enough of 
an idealist to allow reason to operate upon the given ele- 
ments in experience. Accordingly, in the early part of 
the book he vividly portrays the eviis of the modern sit- 
uation before proposing a program for their alleviation. 

The present is a time of great perplexity for the re- 
ligious thinker. All of his ideals seem to have been shat- 
tered, particularly by recent events in Europe that also 
cast shadows upon the American scene. These happen- 
ings tend to shake our former faith in both man and God. 
One might infer that men are hopelessly evil and that God 
is indifferent to their perversity. But Professor Bennett 
cannot accept this deduction of the pessimists. He is keen- 
ly awake to the fact of evil but he believes that there are 
still redemptive possibilities resident in human nature and 
capable of realization through divine assistance. The 
major portion of his book deals with the program of 
Christians in society and the scheme of redemption rep- 
resented by Christ and the Church. The key to suc- 
cess is believed to be a more complete recognition of the 
necessity of a social rather than a merely individual sal- 

Yet one must not suppose that it will be sufficient to 
identify Christianity with particular social programs and 
enterprises. The individual Christian must become social- 
ly minded before the movement itself can become socially 
effective. Evidences that this procedure is in process of 
growth are seen in the developing recognition that justice 
and moral integrity should characterize any social order, 


and that every man regardless of race or status should 
."share equally in privileges. There is also a helpful recog- 
nition among modern men that their own favored groups 
^are not free from the sins which they so readily ascribe to 
their rivals. And a broader outlook upon history enables 
one to see the total historical scene as the arena of God's 
activity. In spite of temporary darkness one is still able 
to perceive that the most powerful forces in the world are 
in line with God's intention. 

Thus faith in the forces of redemption can be revived 
<even in a peiiod of gravest discouragment. Hope still 
centers in Chiist and the church. The author is some- 
what less emphatic than he was in his earlier book on 
Social Salvation in affirming that the teaching of Jesus 
provides an explicit program for modern salvation, but he 
still believes that Jesus and the place he has held in the 
historic Christian faith are the souice of our best social 
insights and inspirations. And the church is believed to 
be the institution that gives greatest promise of success 
in realizing the ideals of the social gospel. Admittedly 
this institution has many defects and deserves much 
frank criticism. But by and large it is still our most de- 
pendable basis for the hope of a better world in the future. 
Reforms are needed but evidences of their coming are al- 
ready apparent. These are seen, first, in the fact that the 
church, especially in Russia and Germany, is still capable 
of standing up against persecution. Moreover, within re- 
cent decades a much keener social conscience has mani- 
fested itself within large sections of the church. A third 
indication of revival is seen in the new interest in the- 
ological questions that has grown up since the first World 
War. Still other hopeful aspects of the situation are the 
trends toward unity among the different branches of 
Christendom and the awakening of an ecumenical con- 

Such are Professor Bennett's reasons for believing that, 
notwithstanding the dark hours through which we are now 
passing, there is light ahead. It will come by a more per- 
sistent pursuit of the ideals of the social gospel. In this 


respect he stands sharply opposed to the advocates of the 
now much-heralded Barthian type of theological specula- 
tion that expostulates vociferously against social activity, 
derides human capacity to aid in setting up the kingdom 
of God upon earth, and denies the ability of the rational 
man to apprehend and pursue the divine will. 

Marion J. Biadshaw. New York: Columbia University 
Press. 254 pages. $2.50. 

This is a descriptive treatment of the attitude toward 
Christianity of six seventeenth century philosophers. After 
an introductory essay commenting upon the present situa- 
tion and delineating some features of seventeenth century 
society, each philosopher is presented largely in language 
from his own works, but under sectional headings design- 
ed to display his significance. To each name is also at- 
tached a distinguishing epithet. Descartes is "the great 
dualist," Hobbes "the great materialist," Locke "the great 
empiricist," Pascal "the great mystic," Spinoza "the 
great rationalist," Leibniz "the great individualist." The 
treatment throughout is highly appreciative. There is no 
disposition to "debunk" these characters and each is 
found to possess some distinctive element of greatness. 

The interest of these philosophers in Christianity is 
thought to have been much more extensive and vital than 
has commonly been assumed. In fact, Professor Brad- 
shaw would have us believe that they were all staunch de- 
fenders of the Christian faith. But even his persuasive 
words may not prove universally convincing. And that 
the faith of these thinkers was founded in their respec- 
tive philosophies seems still more doubtful. Is it not more 
likely that they derived their faith from heritage and en- 
vironment and pursued their philosophical speculations as 
a supplement to, or independently of, their traditional in- 
heritance of Christian or Jewish beliefs? Even Pascal, 
who was the most religious of them all, really felt it nec- 
essary to renounce his philosophy in the interests of re- 
ligion. The others were not ready openly to renounce re- 


ligion in favor of philosophy, but they made no very ser- 
ious effort to reconstruct a new system of Christian the- 
ology in accordance with their philosophical postulates. 
Even Locke, rigid empiricist that he is, was not willing to 
trust explicity to reason for religious truth and turned 
to biblical revelation as the ultimate source of knowledge. 
We might call these thinkers, or some of them, philosoph- 
ical apologists for the faith of their day, but it is 
stretching the point to call them philosophical "founders" 
of the faith. That task had been performed much more 
thoroughly by the schoolmen than by the later rationalists. 
Of course much depends upon what one means by 
"faith." If it means the acceptance of a definite form of 
belief, or is only a vague attitude of reverence for that 
which lies beyond the ken of human wisdom, different 
answers might be given to the question of how far any 
man kept the faith. If it is meant only in the latter sense, 
as Professor Bradshaw seems to use it in his final chap- 
ter, then it will be true of every person, however rigid 
his thinking, who faces the mystery of the cosmos. We 
follow reason as far as it leads, and thereafter we walk 
by faith. But this is what multitudes of Christians, ac- 
cording to their several lights, have done all through the 
ages. In this respect the seventeenth century philosoph- 
er, like the present-day theologian, was running true to 

GOD AND PHILOSOPHY. By Etienne Gilson. New 
Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press. 147 pages. 


In the modern age, where the concrete happenings of 
daily life smite us with great severity, only a few men 
have the inclination or the leisure to indulge in meta- 
physical speculation. The physical world of daily ex- 
perience impinges so mightily upon our consciousness that 
we have no time to theorize about the laws or principles 
that operate in those areas of the cosmos that are beyond 
our immediate perception. But in recent years several 
Roman Catholic philosophers and theologians have re- 


vived interest in metaphysical problems, and Professor Gil- 
son is one of their most distinguished representatives. 

Christians have usually taken for granted the reality of 
both a visible and an invisible world, but have trusted to 
revelation for their knowledge of the latter and confined 
the operations of human reason to the observable phe- 
nomena of experience. Not until the thirteenth century, 
with the appearance of Thomas Aquinas, did a Christian 
thinker attempt to show that certain items of metaphys- 
ical wisdom formerly ascertained through revelation only 
were also capable of demonstration by the processes of 
human reason even without resort to revelation. Thus 
Aristotelian concern with metaphysics was baotized into 
Christianity and is being vigorously refurbished by pres- 
ent-day Roman Catholic writers. This is the instrument 
employed by Professor Gilson in expounding the relation 
which obtains between our notion of God and the demon- 
stration of his existence. 

r J he book contains four lectures delivered at Indiana 
University. Greek thinking about the gods is the subject 
of the first lecture. After sketching the evolution of 
Greek notions from Thales to Aristole, the lecturer con- 
cluded that to Aristotle must be given credit for stating 
in his metaphysical conception of a prime mover, a prin- 
ciple that makes possible a correct conception of God. But 
this god could have no concern with the world of human 
affairs aiicl hence could not sponsor a religion. Christian 
philosophy, adopting the living God of Hebrew religion, 
adequately supplemented Greek speculation. From being 
"something" God now became "somebody." The philosophi- 
cal problem now became not simply "What is nature?" but 
"What is being?" But Christian philosophy was slow to 
perceive that concern with God's essence, rather than pure 
belief in his existence, was a fatal bondage to pagan Greek 
thinking. This limitation still attached even to Augustine 
and Christian thinking did not obtain deliverance until 
Thomas Aquinas appropriated the speculation of Aristotle. 

Later Christian philosophy, beginning with Descartes, 
was deflected from its true course by failure to view God 


in his absolute self-sufficient perfection. Instead, it made 
him essentially the object of religious faith, and thus gave 
him only those attributes that accounted for the existence 
of the world. Instead of being "He who is" God became 
the "author of nature." This has been a tendency in mod- 
ern philosophy that our author would correct by restor- 
ing the metaphysics of Thomas Aquinas. Science seeks a 
rational explanation of what the world actually is but 
metaphysics is concerned with why it is. This latter ques- 
tion involves a religious, as distinct from a scientific, in- 
terpretation of nature, and it can be answered only by 
the light of a metaphysical principle. Thought, being the 
only principle of order known to us in experience, requires 
us to point to the existence of a purposeful God to account 
for purposive intelligibility in the Universe. Thus God is 
not a scientific probability, as some scientists might af- 
firm, but a metaphysical necessity. Yet religion requires 
one step beyond metaphysics. The religious man recog- 
nizes that the "He who is" of the philosophers is He who 
is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 

One who finds it difficult to pursue the close-knit ar- 
gument of this book will do well to remember that the 
task of comprehension is futile without a clear apprehen- 
sion of the postulates which it holds to be axiomatic. These 
are the Thomist doctrines of metaphysical truth attainable 
by reason yet in perfect accord with the traditional truth 
of revelation. 

CAN WE KEEP THE FAITH. By James Bissett Pratt. 
New Haven : Yale University Press, 1941. 216 pages. $2.75. 

In this book a philosopher speaks in defense of a liberal 
type of Christian belief. As a teacher of philosophy for the 
last thirty-five years at Williams College, he has reflected 
long and deeply upon the subject under discussion. He has 
written several earlier works, notably the Psychology of 
Religious Belief (1907) and The Religious Consciousness 
(1920), that indicated the trend of his mind. More re- 
cently his Personal Realism (1937) and Naturalism 
11939) have expressed the further maturity of his think- 


ing, and now he sums up the results of his reflections up- 
on the valid content of Christian faith. He restates not 
only the content of this faith, but forecasts the prospecrs 
for its endurance in the future. He is not interested in 
defending the tenets of any particular Christian denomin- 
ation, but writes as a sympathetic observer who would 
sift the wheat from the chaff over the total range of 
Christian beliefs and practices. 

The book is addressed to a particular type of person, 
namely the intelligent man who reveres human rationality, 
accepts without reserve the discoveries of modern science, 
and yet is genuinely religious and appreciative of the 
main body of Christian tradition. The author fears that 
this heritage is in great danger of being lost amid the 
confusion and diversity of thinking that have overtaken 
the present world. He laments the lack of interest in re- 
ligion that marks the younger generation of today and 
the decline of stress upon religious instruction in mod- 
ern times. He sees a danger that historical criticism of the 
Bible, the trends in naturalistic science and philosophy, 
and the political situation in large parts of Europe and the 
far East may threaten the collapse of Christianity. This ca- 
lamity He would avert by providing a deeper insight into 
the real nature of Christianity and a keener appreciation 
of its essential values. 

Professor Pratt is careful to state at the outset what he 
means by "Christianity." In the last analysis he finds 
it to be neither a creed, nor an institution, nor a body of 
moral precepts, but a movement in the spiritual life of the 
race. Yet this movement has been marked by certain 
distinguishing and decisive characteristics in the sphere 
of experience, activity and belief. Its adherents have an 
experience of love for God and for man, its typical activity 
is an outgoing expression of that love in service for 
others, and its beliefs are distinguished by a spiritual in- 
terpretation of the universe. Although the specific forms 
of these beliefs may be altered with time and varying 
conditions, their essential nature is thought to be constant. 


Changes are the mark of true vitality while life itself re- 
mains the same throughout all variations. 

The author recognizes that Christianity in its historic 
expression has not only sponsored certain beliefs but has 
employed many symbols that have acquired high emotion- 
al value. Familiar creedal formulas, scriptural verses, 
long-used hymns, stained glass windows, the bread and 
wine of the sacrament, and all other liturgical acts or 
forms, have behind them a meaning which may change or 
be completely lost in the course of time. The meaning of 
the symbol may escape logical definition, yet the symbol 
itself may retain its power to stimulate the imagination 
and move the will for the good of the individual and so- 
ciety. This aspect of Christianity has a survival value for 
the enrichment of leiigious feeling that can never be com- 
pletely supplanted by any redefinition of ethical or the- 
ological tenets. 

The gieatest menace to the continuity of Christianity 
is found, not in the perpetuation of its possibly outworn 
symbolism, but in two types of present-day dogmatic as- 
sertion. The first of these is materialistic naturalism 
that limits reality to physical existence and the operations 
of natural law. This position is vigorously attacked on 
the ground that it fails to recognize the reality of mind 
and ignores the spiritual side of the existential universe. 
So long as one does not lose sight of the supra-material 
aspects of existence there will be room for the essential 
truth of the Christian faith however extensively specific 
items in that faith may have to undergo revision in the 
interests of rational accuracy and scientific evidence. Be- 
yond the range of observable material phenomena there 
will always be the wider regions of spiritual reality ac- 
cessible to faith but impervious to empirical observation. 
And Christian faith is not demonstrable knowledge but a 
belief about that which lies beyond demonstrability. It 
must be rationally consistent and must not deny the estab- 
lished facts of science, but it reaches into the wider areas 
of the unknown where it claims no finality but only a oai- 
ance of probability. Ultimately, it is faith rather than 


knowledge, but a faith that does not insult the intelligence 
of the educated man who allows a place in this thinking- 
tor the reality of the spiritual world. 

The second type of dogmatism, thought to be a more 
dangerous foe to the survival of Christianity, is the appeal 
to authority represented both by Fundamentalism and' by 
the theological movement connected with the name of Karl 
Earth. To deny, as the Barthians do, the worth of human 
reason as an instrument of religious knowledge, and to 
refuse to recognize the imminence of God in a world that 
he has created, will in the opinion of Professor Pratt 
mean ultimate suicide for Christianity. One of the most 
incisive sections of his book is directed against this recent 
attempt of the Barthian theologians to revive the suprem- 
acy of supernaturalism and irrationalism as the essential 
aspects of genuine Chi istianity. 

If the Christian faith is to survive it must be perpet- 
uated by religious people who do not lose sight of spiritual 
reality while at the same time they admit the full rights 
of human reason and scientific knowledge in the area of 
religion. They need not doubt the divine transcendence 
but they will also find God most realistically in the realm 
of their own experience as they live in a universe wher* 
matter and spirit are both believed to be essential realities. 
And since men are creatures of free will, whether or not 
they keep the faith rests with them. The author is not 
too optimistic yet he is hopeful that the faith will be kept, 
and anyone who gives his book a careful reading will find 
it an exceedingly helpful medicine for the perplexed in 
these troubled times. 

PROVING GROUND. By Elizabeth K. Nottingham. New 
York: Columbia University Press, 1941. 231 pages. $2.50. 

Here is a volume that intermingles the general with the 
particular without doing injustice to either phase. The 
story of the rise of Methodism in America is carefully in- 
termixed with the rise of Methodism in the southeast por- 
tion of Indiana. Methodism in America has of course been 


modified constantly by its environment but thorough-going 
studies of how divergences of environment affected the 
subsequent development of the denomination have not been 
made. This lack of local studies is true not only of the 
Methodists but of practically all denominations. Miss 
Nottingham's study of a portion of Indiana should serve 
as an inspiration and a model for similar studies of other 
areas of the United States. 

The author points out that she is only passingly con- 
cerned with how Methodism was Americanized but spe- 
cifically with how it has "frontierized." It is in develop- 
ment of this theme that she draws her illustrative mater- 
ial from southeast Indiana. Three of her ten chapters are 
devoted almost exculsively to a consideration of what 
frontier Indiana did to Methodism. These three chapters 
constitute the major contribution that the volume makes 
to the history of Christianity in America. The frontier, 
for example, profoundly influenced the hymnody of the 
church. The stately hymns sung in the churches along the 
eastern seabord gave way to "rough and ready words set 
to rousing popular tunes." Hymnals still in use bear tes- 
timony to the survival of this influence. 

In the more general chapters interest centers largely in 
the way in which Methodism of the Wesley pattern was 
altered in America by factors of geography, communica- 
tion, occupation, tradition, habits, and ideas. 

Bainton. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1941. 248 
pages. $2.50. 

This is an unusual book. Here is a one-volume history 
of Christianity for children written by an outstanding 
historian. One-volume histories of Christianity are in 
themselves generally unsatisfactory; likewise, the few 
previous efforts to present the history of Christianity to 
children have not been altogether satisfactory. In this 
volume Professor Bainton, of the Yale Divinity School, 
does the unusual by writing a book that is satisfactory in 
each of these areas. Of course the book has its limitations 


for it is not a compendium of church histoiy, but such it 
was not intended to be. Used within the range for which 
it was Intended, the book has no equal. Not only will the 
children for whom it was written find it interesting but 
so will many adults who have never been initiated into the 
great history of the Christian church. 

The illustrations copious and usual. Nearly all of 
them are drawn from contemporary sources — from min- 
iatures in manuscripts, from carvings, from old woodcuts. 
These, reduced to line drawings, are not only decorative 
but illustrative. Here, for example, are the church's ear- 
ly symbols as painted on the walls of the catacombs and 
carved on tablets and sarcophagi in honor of the dead. 
The influence of the church on architecture is shown 
through numerous drawings. One not only reads that "Goth- 
ic architecture grew out of the Romanesque by making 
the vault pointed and by setting supports for the pillars a 
little distance away with arms called flying buttresses 
reaching across," but he sees exactly what the author 
means by this in an illustration placed alongside the text. 
The whole pageant of popes, monks, saints, crusaders, 
preachers, kings, peasants, and reformers unfolds along- 
side the text of the volume. 

The author has done far more than collect interesting 
and colorful episodes and string them together. He has 
written an authentic history which is at the same time a 
book of wonderful stories. As a means of giving children 
some knowledge of their Christian heritage and of the 
processes by which it has come to them, and of cultivating 
in them a receptive attitude toward it, this book is recom- 
mended without qualification. 

By Irwin Edman and Herbert W. Schneider. Cornwall, 
New York: The Cornwall Press, 1941. 1008 pages. 

This is the type of book that every teacher would like to 
have available for the use of his students in every area 
of historical investigation. There is no tool more useful 
than one that makes accessible the original sources of in- 


formation in any field of inquiry. But ordinarily these 
sources are so vast in scope and so widely scattered that 
it becomes practically impossible to introduce them to the 
student in the initial stages of his education. An adequate 
source-book, such as is here supplied for students of phi- 
losophy, seems to be the best answer to the problem. 

The task of selection was an arduous one where only a 
single volume of a thousand pages was permitted. There 
had to be large omissions and some users of the book may 
regiet the absence of names that stand high in their es- 
teem. The editors were not unaware of this possibility. 
But they adopted as a principle for guidance those phi- 
losophers who could most truly be regarded as "land- 
marks" representative of the total range of the main 
problems of philosophy. Thus they represent not merely 
high points in the history of philosophical thinking but 
landmarks in the permanent landscape. The selections are 
believed to represent perennial issues and recurrent prob- 
lems in western philosophy and to be eminent for clarity 
and cogency. Whenever possible, complete works, or at 
least continuous portions, have been printed, thus avoid- 
ing the atomistic character of many source-books. An ex- 
planatory introduction is prefixed to each author but this 
is always brief and is no substitute for the perusal of the 
original text. 

Following are the contents. Plato's "Protagoras" and 
"Symposium" are reprinted in full. Aristotle is represent- 
ed by selections from his "Physics" and his "Nichomach- 
ean Ethics." There are selections from Augustine's 
"Enchiridion" and his "City of God." Thomas Aquinas is 
represented bj^ selections from Summa contra gentiles. 
Descartes "Discourse on Method," Parts I-IV, is given 
in full. Selections are made again from Hobbes' "Elements 
of Philosophy" and his "Leviathan," from Berkeley's "Of 
the Principles of Human Knowledge," and from Hume's 
"Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding" and "En- 
quiry Concerning the Principles of Morals." Kant's "Fun- 
damental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals" and 
Hegel's "Introduction to the Philosophy of History" are 


given in full. Schopenhauer's "The World as Will and 
Idea" has been handled more freely and is presented in 
a compilation of extracts. Essays I and II of Nietzsche's 
"Genealogy of Morals;" portions from "The Sentiment of 
Rationality." "Reflex Action and Theism," and "Pragma- 
tism" by William James ; and chapter I of Bergson's "Two 
Sources of Morality and Religion" complete the volume. 
And its value is further enchanced by an excellent top- 
ical index. 

Kierkegaard. Princ2ton, New Jersey: Princeton University 
Press, 1941. 579 pages. $6.00. 

In the May issue of Religion in the Making Walter 
Lowi ie's translation of Kierkegaard's Stages on Life's Way 
was reviewed. There mention was made of this Danish 
author's situation and point of view. Previously Professor 
Swenson had published an English translation of Kier- 
kegaard's Philosophical Fragments and now the rendering 
of the Postscript, begun by Professor Swenson and com- 
pleted by Dr. Lowrie, makes available for English readers 
a fairly complete presentation of Kierkegaard's type of 
philosophical thinking. He is the father of the so-called 
"existential" philosophy that has been revived today to 
interpret the disrupted status of the modern world. In the 
first instance it was put forth as a protest against the 
Hegelian absolute idealism that fitted all phenomena into 
a unified system free from all contradictions and diver- 
sities. On the contrary, the existential type of thinking 
accepts as ultimate reality "the mess we are in" without 
endeavoring to eliminate its contradictions by the arbi- 
trary methods of a unifying logic. A dialectic of opnosit'\s 
rather than a close-knit system of logical uniformities is 
thought to be the proper technique of discussion. It is the 
philosopher's task to take the world as it is and to deal 
with its diversities without any ambition to construct a 
uniform system of thought that would eliminate con- 
flicting variations. The outcome is pessimism rather than 
optimism, and the latter is thought to represent the only 
true picture of reality. 


Albert E. Barnett. Chicago: The University of Chicago 
Press, 1941. 277 pages. $2.50. 

The author has undertaken a laborious task which he 
has performed with unremitting diligence and pains- 
taking accuracy. He has examined with microscopic care 
all of the extant Christian writings to about the middle 
of the second century with a view to ascertaining the ex- 
tent of their acquaintance with the letters of Paul. The 
conclusions reached are to the effect that Paul's letters 
attained popularity as a collection during the last decade 
of the first century, but lost their popularity during the 
first quarter of the second century, because of the use 
made of them by heretics. During the next quarter-cen- 
tury, however, they recovered their prestige and thus 
became an integral part of the New Testament canon of 
scripture. This general conclusion, which might be ap- 
parent even to the casual observer, has now been given 
a scientific demonstration that will be heartily welcomed 
by all scholars interested in the subject. 

Dr. Barnett has had a more specific purpose in mind. 
He aims to marshal his data in support of the special 
thesis of his former teacher, Edgar J. Goodspeed, under 
whose direction he pursued this study in candidacy for the 
Ph. D. degree. This hypothesis assumes that the publi- 
cation of Luke-Acts awakened a fresh interest in Paul and 
led to a collection of his letters for which the collector 
composed Ephesians as a general intioduction. Thereafter 
the Pauline corpus became an influential body of writings 
acquaintance with which is more or less evident in the 
subsequent literature. This supposition is readily conceded 
when an author makes specific reference to Paul but that 
phenomenon rarely occurs. Hence the argument for de- 
pendence has to rest upon the discovery in the later writ- 
ings of words, phrases or ideas that appear also in one or 
another of Paul's letters. Of course, under these circum- 
stances one can never be quite sure that actual literary 
dependence has to be assumed. There is always the pos- 
sibility, perhaps even the more likely probability, that 


this language had become the current oral phraseology of 
many churches after Paul's day and had survived not as 
literature but as the habitual language of one or another 
type of Chi istian thinking. And, as usually happens, when 
a writer shows acquaintance with the terminology and 
ideas of only a limited number of Pauline letters it might 
seem more likely that he derived his knowledge from the 
oral tradition of some specific locality than from the pe- 
rusal of a complete Pauline collection of epistles. Dr. Bar- 
nett is too good a scholar to be unaware of the tentative 
character of his findings. With admirable caution he 
concludes that sometimes literary dependences seem 
"practically certain," but more often he is content to 
maintain only a "high degree" or a "reasonable degree" 
of probability. In both method and temper this book is a 
model of exact scholarship. 

WORSHIP. By J. O. Dobson. New York: The MacMiilan 
Company, 1941. 190 pages. $1.25. 

Worship is here interpreted from the Anglican point 
of view. Hence the book is marked by insights and ap- 
preciations that are especially characteristic of that com- 
munion. The basal elements in worship are said to be 
two-fold. Each act represents an offering to God on the 
part of man and a receiving of God's grace. There is a 
two-way process. The media of expression are prayer, 
symbol and sacrament, and the Holy Communion. Hence 
the importance of liturgy which provides not only a means 
by which man approaches Deity but a mechanism by which 
God communicates himself to the devotee. Thus the book 
is less well suited to the purposes of the non-liturgical 
communions, but the information it exhibits is thoroughly 
reliable and the attitude of the author is one of fair- 
minded objectivity. 

The discussion opens with two edifying chapters on the 
necessity and nature of worship. These are followed by a 
historically descriptive account of worship as it has de- 
veloped within Christianity. There is an informative 
though rather sketchy chapter on the manner of worship 


as it was variously displayed from early Christian times 
down to the sixteenth century. The use of art in worship 
and the function of the sermon are considered, although 
the latter is assigned a relatively unimportant place. This 
must necessarily be so when ritualistic ceremony is 
thought to be primary. The author recognizes that wor- 
ship has fallen into some disrepute in modern times but 
he still has faith in its future notwithstanding present 
decline in church-going. He concedes that changes in form 
and phrasing may become necessary under altered con- 
ditions if worship is to maintain a functional reality. 
This is particularly true of the younger churches estab- 
lished on the mission fields. It is unwise to transplant 
from the west rigid liturgical forms upon this foreign 
soil. The new churches ought rather to learn to express 
their Christian life in forms that are of their native 

A final chapter on the fulfilment of worship enjoins 
the necessity of carrying ever into practical life the 
vision of God and the knowledge of his will derived from 
the experience of worship. The Christian life should be 
one of self-forgetting social service, but this must be 
constantly purified and inspired by renewed acts of 

WORLD. By G. Bromley Oxnam. Nashville: The Abing- 
don-Cokesbury Press, 1941. 135 pages. $1.00. 

The lectures given by Bishop Oxnam during Ministers' 
Week at Florida Southern College in January, 1941, are 
here presented in print. A summary of their contents ap- 
peared in the January issue of Religion in the Making 
and this need not be repeated. But the privilege of read- 
ing the lectures in full, and at one's leisure, provides an 
opportunity for a most gratifying experience. The 
charming style in which this wealth of practical wisdom 
is phrased, the lecturer's firm intellectual grasp of moral 
and social problems, the clarity of his spiritual vision, 
and the force with which he drives home his message, 


hold one's undivided attention from the first to t'. e last 
page. Eveiyone who heard the lectures will want to read 
the book and those who were not privileged to hear the 
lectures will find it indispensible. It is a fresh attack 
upon modern social, industrial and international problems 
by one <,vho brings to his task an abiding conviction that 
the ethical ideals of Jesus are still pertinent to the crucial 
moral and spiritual issues than constantly re-emerge in our 
changing world. 

Marguerite T. Boylan. New York: The Columbia Uni- 
versity Press, 1941. 363 pages. $3.00. 

We have here an intensive study of the social welfare 
program of the Roman Catholic church. The book is not 
concerned with theories or schemes for social reform. 
Rather, it is descriptive of the work of Catholic charities, 
particularly as they have been operating during the last 
decade. The author is herself Executive Secretary of 
Catholic charities in the diocese of Brooklyn which she 
draws upon for much of her illustrative material. But she 
is also widely familiar with the development of other dioc- 
esan bureaus that have been organized extensively by 
Roman Catholics since the year 1900. She shows how 
the bureaus have developed in line with the needs of dif- 
ferent localities and under diverse conditions in ac- 
cordance with size of population, economic and social 
status, and the general character of a diocese. The book 
is packed with information, carefully selected and some- 
times tabulated or charted, that is of first-rate importance 
for social workers, whether or not they happen to be 
connected with the Roman Catholic Church. Social work 
under religious auspices is not thought to eliminate the 
need for lay workers. There are many types of activity 
that can best be performed by them, such as social case 
work, probation and parole. But the ultimate goal of 
effort should be a spiritual motivation derived from the 
Christian philosophy of life that elevates love and human 
brotherhood above the hatred, intolerance, violence and 
persecution so conspicuous in our present civilization. 


SCRIPTURES. By J. B. R. Walker. New York: The Mae- 
Millan Company, 1941. 957 pages. $2.00. 

This useful concordance to the Bible was first published 
half a century ago. It has been frequently republished 
and is now reissued at a moderate price that makes it 
available for a wider circle of ministers and biblical stu- 
dents. Although it is based upon the King James version 
of the English Bible, it has not yet been superseded by 
any more recent book. It is still an indispensable tool 
for those who wish to locate specific words and passages 
of scripture. 

York: The MacMillan Company, 1941. 181 pages. $1.00. 
This lias been a widely read book since it was first 
published in the year 1936. It is now reissued at a re- 
duced price in the hope of reaching a still larger circle 
of readers. Religion is here conceived of primarily as a 
therapeutic for the sick minds. For people whose lives are 
enslaved by their temporary mental aberrations, the ways 
of thinking and acting prescribed by the Christian religion 
are believed to offer the surest relief from mental distress 
and the most helpful guide for conduct. 

ARE WE IMMORTAL? By Winifred Kirkland. New York: 
The MacMillan Company, 1941. 43 pages. $.90. 

This brief literary essay defends faith in the immortality 
of the human soul. At least to live now as if we were to 
endure hereafter, and to have faith in that about which 
exact present knowledge is impossible, is thought to make 
life most worth living. 

NOW WE MUST CHOOSE. By Henry N. Wieman. 
New York: The Macmillan Company, 1941. 245 pages. 

This is an attempt to undergird our tottering democracy 
with a redefinition of its real nature and a program of 
procedure that will insure its survival. It seeks to make 
clear the manner in which true democracy is to be con- 


ceived, and by choosing or refusing to accept this philoso- 
phy of democracy we determine its fate in the future. The 
temper of the discussion is throughout expository rather 
than dogmatic. Readers already familiar with Pro- 
fessor Wieman's type of thinking will still find him the 
same tolerant person, who is almost reverential toward 
those with whom he disagrees while at the same time he 
advocates his distinctive opinions with persuasive zeal and 

A large part of the book consists in analyzing the forces 
that have operated to defeat the democratic process. It 
tends to lose its dynamic when the united energies of the 
people aie channeled into the plans of a dictator. This 
means death to democracy since it smothers the generative 
foices that make possible further democratic growth. This 
distinctive principle applies not only in politics but over the 
total range of organized society's operations. Whenever 
individuals rise to power in the economic, industrial, ed- 
ucational or religious areas of life they trend to establish 
a disruptive independence that militates against a fully 
operative democratic way of life. Stress upon the independ- 
ence of individuals, the pursuits of absolute idealism, and 
centralization of control in business and industry are 
thought to be the dangers 01 the hour in modern times. 
What is needed to checkmate this menace is not the sup- 
pression of individualism but a larger recognition of the 
inevitability of conflict and a determination to practice 
mutual consideration for conflicting interests and points 
of view. 

Accordingly, the author proposes two rules for the at- 
tainment of true democracy. These are "creative inter- 
action" and the "compounding of perspectives." This is 
only the philosopher's way of saying that human beings 
of all classes, races and types need to learn to live togeth- 
er cooperatively and peaceably while working out as best 
they can procedures that will permit them to realize for 
all concerned the highest measure of common good. More 
attention should be given to the purpose than to the mech- 
anisms of the democratic operations. The only coercion 


to be permitted is an inherent drive emanating from one's 
sense of belonging to the common human family and con- 
stituting a "functional member of a sensitive, responsive, 
creative community of other human beings." This is the 
faith that will save democracy; otherwise we shall lapse 
into the tyranny of dictatorship. 

Underlying Professor Wieman's thesis is a faith in the 
ordinary run of people that may seem to some of his 
readers almost naive. At times he appears to entertain an 
almost romantic confidence in the virtues of humanity in 
the raw, and would trust our salvation to the creative ac- 
tivity of human beings on the level of primitivity. At 
such moments he might be classed as a disciple of Rous- 
seau or of Gerald Heard. But this would be to do him a 
grave injustice. He is keenly conscious of the fact that 
society must have effective and intelligent leadership. 
What he is pleading for is a realistic appreciation of the 
elemental human factors that must enter into the creation 
of a genuine democracy and an attitude of wider tolera- 
tion and deeper comprehension on the part of leaders who 
give themselves to the task of helping to bring in a new 
day for the democratic way of life. The book does not at- 
tempt to prescribe detailed agenda. Rather, it aims to 
clarify purposes and sensitize minds to the task in hand. 
As such it has a distinctly therapeutic value. 

Ey Arthur E. Holt. New York: Friendship Press, 1941. 

187 pages. $1.00. 

"It is the contention of this book that . . . when we 
establish churches, we are saving democracy from within." 
The reference is to Protestant churches, for "Democracy 
in political life and democracy in religious life reinforce 
each other or die together." This forthright thesis the 
author maintains first by a novel analysis of the democratic 
ideal which pervades biblical literature, and second by an 
inquiry into the relationship of religious concepts and 
democratic philosophy at crucial moments in American 
history. The author concludes that while democracy and 


Christianity in this country have never equated, each irr 
its present form owes a vital debt to the other. 

This symbiotic relationship of democracy and Protest- 
antism in America is now threatened by the growth of 
organized prejudice, by the concentration of economic 
power, and by world imperialism. Will it survive? The 
author believes it depends on "whether or not democracy 
can maintain its central core of values .... Even though 
Germany and Italy should be beaten into the ground, the 
basic problem of democracy would not have been settled.'* 

This is an interesting book. Its style is discursive 
rather than expository, and the relevance of some of its 
pages to the main theme is difficult to discover. But it is 
suggestive, fresh and realistic. 

Karl Ruff Stolz. New York: Abingdon-Cokesbury Press. 
416 pages. 1941. $1.50. 

This book is intended to tell middle-aged people or 
"those of riper years and experience" "how to live grace- 
fully and wholesomely during the second half of life." 
The period of adolescence has long been recognized as one 
of stress and strain with physical changes, new mental 
horizons and spiritual urges that affect all of later life. 
Doctors, lawyers and some preachers have also recognized 
that a similar period of adjustment faces mature men and 
women. We have talked, some of us, about the "foolish 
forties," the "fatal fifties," and some have referred to the 
"sexy or senile sixties," but there has not been much un- 
derstanding of early middle age nor have ministers had 
much material to pui; in the hands of people facing the 
beginning of the second half of life. Dr. Stolz's most re- 
cent book faces in frank and interesting fashion many of 
the problems of middle life and old age. 

A husband and wife had returned home from a party 

given by elderly friends. The hostess had retained much 

, of her youthful beauty which was crowned not only with 

I eyes alight, but with a beauty of character and sweetness 

of disposition that endeared her not only to the members 


of her family, but to friends and casual acquaintances. 
The young wife said to her husband, "I wouldn't mind 
growing old if I could be as beautiful and gracious as Mrs. 
So and So." To which the husband replied, "You can be, 
but if you are to have a beautiful old age, you must begin 

This book is an excellent one to put in the hands of 
men and women who are disturbed by certain physical 
and other changes they begin to meet in the forties. Such 
ordinary affairs as money, rules of health, rest, exercise 
are among the topics interestingly discussed. Second 
marriages, adult education, the making of new friends and 
solitude are also included. The author is insisting that 
success in the second half of life depends on recognition 
of those elements that will make life normal. He says : 
"Basic activities and inteiests make and keep an individ- 
ual normal. First, the normal man is usefully if not gain- 
fully employed. Second, he is wholesomely related to other 
people, Third, he is honest and capable enough to exam- 
ine and improve himself. Fourth, he has a sympathetic 
understanding of the situations others face. Fifth, he 
cultivates a tension reducer in the form of an avocation 
or hobby. Sixth, and finally, he has a sound philosophy 
of life which gives meaning to his world and support to 
his conduct. These six competencies and developments 
are not luxuries without which a man can live normally, 
but indispensabilities. Furthermore, they interpenetrate. 
The first five are regulated and controlled by the sixth." 
Along with this there is a deep undertone in this book 
rising out of the definite assurance that "'life can be 
good," with all the deep significance that can be read into 
the tei m. 

THE SHAKER ADVENTURE, an Experiment in Con- 
tented Living. Ey Marguerite Fellows Melcher. Princeton, 
N. J.: The Princeton University Press, 1941. 319 pages. 

This account of the Shakers is a well documented, sym- 
pathetic narrative of the origins, doctrines, economy, arts 
and fa': j of the Shaker communities in America. The 


author uses mostly Shaker sources a^c! emits some of the 
critical material available on Mother Ann and the ea^ ly 
history. But the story is none the less as authentic as 
any account of the Shakers is ever apt to be, and gains 
much from the author's personal acquaintance with the 

The theme of "adventure" is emphasized for a double 
reason : to bring out the element of pioneering adventir e 
in the Shaker faith, and to point out than when this love 
of adventure ceased, and the new members sought 7 ather 
security, the life went out of the movement. The history 
of the Shaker movement is indicative of this loss of life : 
at first the dances were vigorous sublimations of energy 
and sex; then they became curiosities for the entertain- 
ment of "the world ;" and lastly they became lifeless rit- 
uals. The author regards the whole experiment as an ad- 
venturous but persistent pursuit of a perfect life, per- 
fection implying the devotion of the member to the group 
(family) and of the body to the spirit. The author points 
out convincingly that a real perfection was attained in 
their agriculture, architecture, and handicrafts, but that 
the Shakers had a different conception of "spirit" than 
the spirit of art implies, and that instead of continuing 
to adapt their economy and arts to a changing world, they 
adhered steadfastly to prophetic spiritualism. 

Spiritualism and the hope of Christ's coming were both 
the inspiration and the cause of failure. Irresponsible 
spirit messages and teachings sowed the seed of distrust. 
One of the most curious and instructive episodes in the 
narrative is the enthusiasm for a decade or more in out- 
door worship (and dances) on "holy hills." 

The list of sources and the information regarding the 
present state of Shaker properties are valuable features 
of the book. 

GOD'S BACK PASTURE. By Arthur Wentworth Hewitt. 
Chicago: Willett, Clark and Company, 1941. $1.50. 

Those who read Highland Shepherds, published two 
years ago, will be eager to share further in the author's 


experience as he discusses other phases of the rural min- 
istry in his new book, God's Back Pasture. The former 
book dealt with the rural pastor's "professional" work; 
this one discusses his sociological parish responsibilities. 
For the title of the book, Mr. Hewitt uses an expression 
of scorn for the rural parish that is made by some who 
have ambitions elsewhere — "the back pasture" — and he 
turns to good account as he explains that the back pasture 
is the one high up on the mountain from which the widest 
landscape is seen. This book is another testimony of the 
conviction that the pastor who serves in the rural sec- 
tion is really privileged of God. 

Mr. Hewitt describes the conditions and problems that 
are present in the rural parish and indicates what the 
Church can do to Christianize the situation. Why the 
Church does so little about it he summarizes under six 
headings: Invincible ignorance, ecclesiastical manslaugh- 
ter, fantastic pessimism, pious immorality, economic 
stringency, and the fact that the Church is a "colony" in- 
stead of a "state." 

Continuing, Mr. Hewitt discusses with cnaracteristic 
wit and wisdom the arrangement and management of the 
sanctuary as a place for the worship of God. He gives at- 
tention to the parish house, rural church finance, the ed- 
ucational work of the Church, and rural philosophy. 

The great value of the book lies in the fact that the 
author -hares with his readers the principles that have 
made his long ministry in the rural parish conspicuously 
fruitful. The volume will tend to develop within the read- 
er a wholesome attitude toward and respect for the rural 
parish as a field for a significant life work. This is one of 
the really important books about this field, and should 
be in the library of every rural pastor. 

A Social Psychology of Scientific Knowledge Studying 
the Interplay of Psychological and Cultural Factors in 
Science with Emphasis on Imagination. By Austin L. 


Porterfield. Durham: Duke University Press, 1941. 282 
pages. $3.50. 

This is an orderly, logical, concise, concrete critique of 
scientific methods, useful to social scientists in every 
field, and not without interest to biologists and physical 
scientists. It should be particularly useful as a ref- 
erence book in all classes in social research. 

The study develops a social psychology of scientific en- 
deavor by studying the interplay of psychological and cul- 
tural factors in the development of science. It shows how 
the assumptions of the scientists are related to his cul- 
tural backgrounds and demonstrates the dependence of 
his techniques upon his methodological assumptions; indi- 
cates "that culture itself is the product of creative in- 
sight, and requires the same mental processes for its study 
and interpretation as were originally required for its 
origination and development;" emphasizes the fact that 
"the dynamic factor in research consists in the creative 
control of observation, experimentation, and reasoning/' 
It illuminates its principles by drawing them out of and 
applying them to concrete materials. 

LIVING UNDER TENSION. By Harry Emerson Fos- 
dick. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1941. 253 pages. 

The public has come to expect something of unusual 
value whenever a new book or collection of sermons by 
Harry Emerson Fosdick is announced. There will be no 
disappointment with reference to his latest volume 
Living Under Tension, between the covers of which may 
be found twenty-five of the recent sermons by one of the 
most popular preachers of modern times. 

The subject of the first sermon in the volume furnishes 
the title of the book, which is appropriate, since most of 
the sermons reproduced here were prepared and preached 
in the atmosphere of the days of stress and strain in 
which we are still living. However, Dr. Fosdick has pre- 
ferred to deal with eternal principles rather than with 


temporary issues. Yet, he has not avoided current sit- 
uations, and again and again he reaffirms briefly his 
well-known convictions regarding the futility of war, its 
evil consequences, and the impossibility of getting peace 
by unpeaceful methods, or democracy by undemocratic 
methods, or liberty by illiberal methods. 

One could not even characterize each of the twenty-five 
sermons in an ordinary review. It is enough to say that 
they are up to Dr. Fosdick's recognized standard of ex- 
cellence and will richly repay an unhurried reading, per- 
haps one at a time on Sunday afternoons. To this re- 
viewer the following sermons were especially impressive: 
"How to Stand Up and Take It," "What Does the Divinity 
of Jesus Mean?" "The Cross, an Amazing Paradox," "A 
Great Year for Easter." 

* * * * 


In The Making 

VOLUME II MARCH, 1942 No. 3 


By M. C. Otto 


By John T. McNeill 


By Martin Rist 


By Frederick M. Derwacter 


By Elmer T. Clark 


By William H. Bernhardt 




Shirley Jackson Case, Editor 

Religion in the Making is published four times a year, 
in May, November, January and March. It is sponsored by 
the Florida School of Religion and edited by the dean of the 

The subscription price is $2.00 per year, or sixty cents 
per single issue. Remittances should be made by postal or 
express money orders or by check and made payable to the 
Florida School of Religion. 

All communications, including business correspondence, 
manuscripts, exchanges, and books submitted for review, should 
be addressed to Shirley Jackson Case, Editor, Florida School 
of Religion, Lakeland, Fla. 

Published by the Florida School of Religion, Box 146 
Florida Southern College, Lakeland, Florida, four times a year, 
May 15, November 15, January 15, and March 15. Entered 
as second class matter at the Post Office, Lakeland, Florida. 


Shirley Jackson Case, Editor 
VOLUME II Contents for March, 1942 No. 3 



By M. C. Otto 

SANCE _ 207 

By John T. McNeill 


I CLEMENT . 222 

By Martin Rist 



By Frederick M. Derwacter 


By Elmer T. Clark 

CONCEPT — 252 

By William H. Bernhardt 


M. C. Otto is Professor of Philosophy at the University of 
Wisconsin, where he received the Ph.D. degree in 1911, having 
joined the faculty the previous year. He has been a frequent 
contributor to scholarly periodicals, and among his published 
books are Things and Ideals, Natural Laws and Human Hopes, 
and The Human Enterprise: An Attempt to Relate Philosophy 
to Life. 

Frederick M. Derwacter is well known to scholars through 
his book, Preparing the Way for Paul, published a decade ago. 
He is at present Professor of Greek in William Jewell College 
and holds the degree of Doctor of Philosophy from the Uni- 
versity of Chicago. 

Elmer T. Clark has for many years been engaged in educa- 
tional and literary activity in the service of the Methodist 
Church. As an editor and author he has been responsible for 
a score of books, one of the most recent being The Small Sects 
in America. He received his , education at Vanderbilt and 
Temple Universities and holds an honorary LL.D. from South- 
ern College. 

John T. McNeill is Professor of European Christianity 
in the Divinity School of the University of Chicago. He is 
?.lso the author of several learned volumes and numerous articles 
in the standard religious periodicals. He holds degrees from 
McGill University, Westminister Hall, and the University of 


Martin Rist, who occupies the New Testament chair at the 
Iliff School of Theology, received the degree of Doctor of 
Philosophy at the University of Chicago a few years ago. He 
has already written a number of scholarly papers that have been 
published in different journals. 

William Henry Bernhardt has already been introduced to 
our readers by the article he contributed to these pages in the 
issue of January, 1941. We heartily welcome a second product 
of his pen. 


By M. C. Otto 

University of Wisconsin 

Madison, Wisconsin 

Religion is nearly as old as man. It came out of pre-history 
with aspiring wonder in its eyes and the blood of innocent 
victims on its garments. The spirit of brotherhood has at- 
tended it down the centuiies: so have hardness of heart and 
narrowness of mind. Moral integrity has been its watchword 
and moral compromise its frequent practice. Sometimes it has 
deserved to be called an "opiate of the people"; nevertheless it 
has persistently aimed to arouse and strengthen the best in 
human beings. Although it has become stiff with tradition, 
it still embodies the ageless hope of a better life in a better 
world. Because of this history, this involvement in humanity's 
struggle, we may safely assume that some form of religion 
will survive as long as man — man the creature who initiated 
devotion to ideals as a function of life. 

But ours is a critical time for religion. Deflection from 
religious institutions, enforced by state authority, has been ad- 
vertised for the world to see. In Europe and in America religion 
is on the defensive. In the eastern hemisphere where oriental 
religions have for almost two thousand years withstood Chris- 
tian dogma and latterly Christian guns, religious conceptions 
:ire suffering from the impact of secular events. This is true 
even among the isolated, backward peoples who have managed 
to adhere most closely to primitive beliefs and practices. They 
are being enticed into the ways and views of more sophisticated 
races. Everywhere religion is in a crucial state, and no re- 
ligion will come out of this crisis unscathed. 

A phenomenon of such magnitude and one that in certain 
important features has no historical parallel is not to be compre- 
hended in all its fullness. It can however be well enough 
understood to leave no doubt that profound religious changes 
are going on and that further changes of a similar nature are 


inevitable. Moreover, we can perhaps select from the immense 
complexity of the. causal factors the one that is most dynamic. 

What is this factor? To this question not everyone will 
give the same answer. For my part I find it to be the attractive- 
ness of the life-economy produced by the union of inventive 
genius and a highly .perfected scientific technique. Radios, 
automobiles, devices of birth control, large scale commercial 
products, gadgets of applied science — such things as these are 
finding their way to every part of the globe. From this life- 
economy no one plans seriously to be free, in spite of its ad- 
mitted and deplored shortcomings. Its comforts and opportu- 
nities are wanted for what they are, and they are looked upon 
almost universally as necessities of civilized existence. The 
result is that habits, customs, desires, and ideas which were 
foreign to those who gave shape to our inherited religions are 
taking commanding place in the lives of contemporary men and 

This vital and inescapable situation has created the problem 
which religion has to solve in the human interest. Religion 
must willingly enter into the growing togetherness of men in 
what they seek and the ways and means of their seeking. It 
must willingly become part of the active, daily, normal business 
of living, and on this basis work for the best and noblest in 
human nature. That is to say, religion is challenged to trans- 
form itself; so to transform itself that the inherited distinction 
between the secular and the religious will disappear, and all life, 
rather than a detached part of it only, may be thought sacred; 
so transform itself that to be religious will mean that the entire 
man, whatever his race or social status, or however he makes his 
living, may be engaged in advancing the dignity and happiness 
of mankind. 

To make this ideal more specific let us consult two passages 
of New Testament scripture, one in the Gospel of John, the 
other in the Epistle of James. Not that these passages are to be 
taken as final authorities, or that we are to confine our hopes 
to their original interpretation. On the contrary, we are to 
transcend their earlier import and search them for suggestions 
relevant to the present religious exigency. 


John omits some of the most familiar and best-liked por- 
tions of the gospel account. He says nothing of the Good 
Samaritan, the Prodigal Son, the Rich Young Ruler, the drama 
of Gethsemane, or the principles of conduct enunciated in the 
Sermon on the Mount. But he does tell of events to which 
no other writer refers. Among these is the story of a man 
prominent among the Jews who came to Jesus for a personal 
interview, and who came by night, probably not wishing to 
have his visit noised about while he was still uncertain what 
to think of the religious innovation called the Good News. 
There in a dimly lighted room where big shadows moved and 
gestured as the two talked, Jesus spoke the words that have 
found their way into all languages: "Ye must be born again." 

Nicodemus was baffled by what he heard. The proposal 
struck him as fantastic. But Jesus was insistent. The wind 
blows, he said, but you do not know where it started nor where 
it is going. So. is everyone who is born from above. His life, 
from the viewpoint of the uninitiated, is an insoluble mystery. 
Yet its demand in the way of practice is clear. You are not 
asked to begin again the life you have lived, the life in which 
success is failure and victory defeat: you are asked to enter 
upon a new life which you have never yet begun to live and 
which, if you lose, you have lost everything, no matter what 
you 'seem to have won. "Marvel not that I said unto thee, 
Ye must be born again." 

In line with this admonition we may draw a preliminary 
conclusion. Religion is a life: a life st> ,different in moral 
disposition from the commonly prevailing ambitions and pur- 
poses that to enter upon it amounts! to a new birth. Jesus 
stressed the unbridgable difference in a memorable sentence: 
"That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is 
born of the Spirit is spirit." 

We cannot make sure what Jesus himself had in mind, but 
the saying was soon given an interpretation which for most 
people it has carried ever since. According to this interpretation 
body and soul are two entities absolutely distinct in origin and 
destiny: the one is composed of natural elements doomed to fall 
apart again into dust: the other is a simple, indivisible substance 


forever indestructible. And religion consists in caring for the 
eternal "wellbeing" of that soul. 

Today we are under no necessity to accept the traditional 
interpretation. Indeed, in the light of modern knowledge this 
would be difficult to do. We need not think of the soul as a 
ihing. We need not regard it as the spiritual double of the 
physical body. We may think of soul as an attitude in living, 
as the essential personal element refined in the laboratory of 
daily action and daily relations. But in any case the religious 
life is in some sense a life of the spirit. It is the antithesis of 
the conventional materialistic life. In that respect the words 
spoken to Nicodemus are still authentic: "Marvel not that 
I said unto thee, Ye must be born again." 

So far, so good. Religion implies interests diametrically 
opposed to those ordinarily pursued. Its aims and rewards 
are utterly different from the aims and rewards of the unreli- 
gious life. Stated in these terms, however, the ideal is still 
too general or even abstract. It must be rendered more specific 
and concrete. The Epistle of James will take us a step in that 
direction. James had little respect for religion in the abstract. 
He judged a man's religion by the specific things it led him to 
value and to do. "Pure religion," he declared in a well-known 
passage, "and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to 
visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep 
himself unspotted from the world." 

If it were our task to determine precisely what James meant 
by this definition, a number of words would give us trouble: 
pure, undefiled, God, Father, world. And in each case we 
should have to decide whether James thought of religion as 
primarily a natural or a supernatural allegiance. But we 
happen to be interested in his particular usage only in so far 
as it may aid in clarifying the meaning of religion for our own 
time and situation. Examined with this intention, the quoted 
passage sets forth two requirements: responsiveness to human 
need and avoidance of degrading influences. Fatherless and 
widows in affliction — what is this but a symbol of distress? 
Spotted by the world — what is this but a metaphor depicting 


the blotting out of a man's finer nature in the contacts of day 
to day living? 

Two requirements: but so intimately and inseparably 
lelated that as we think about them they fuse into one. Sensi- 
tiveness to human need will not survive in a personality sur- 
rendered to dehumanizing impulses, and a personality genuinely 
humane will resist surrender to those impulses. Hence, uniting 
the two requirements, we may say that religion is active de- 
votion to the common welfare and, at the same time, active 
opposition to every tendency that would coarsen men's motives 
and harden their hearts. 

A great mystery could be made of this definition by those 
who are more keenly interested in conceptual refinements than 
in the refinement of life. Others will not be much puzzled. 
They know without being told what it means to be helpful 
where help is needed. They are aware of degrading aspects 
of their environment without having them labeled. But we 
cannot stop with the close at hand or the familiar. Religious 
opportunity and obligation reach beyond the nearer into the 
wider environment, reach into "the world" which is after all 
the context of every man's doing and being. The proposal 
must therefore be sufficiently particularized to indicate where, 
in that broader sphere, the religious issue is most accute. 

Foremost among these particulars is resistance to increasing 
moral cynicism. Various reasons have been assigned for its 
increase among us. Science has been blamed for it. Intensi- 
fied competition for material gain has been blamed. So has 
the successful ruthlessness of the dictators. But whatever the 
cause may be, the effect is unmistakable. Moral conviction 
has weakened; moral energy has decreased. 

Is this really so? The air seems full of moral invective. 
Blame, if not praise, is handed out with a bountiful hand. 
Nor are we slow to punish what we regard as crimes. If a 
man throws a brick through a store window he is put in jail. 
If he robs a bank he goes to the penitentiary. If he kills a 
man with malicious intent he is hanged, electrocuted, or in- 
carcerated for years or for life. It is, however, just as true 
that a man may destroy, rob, counterfeit, kill in the moral. 


realm, in the realm of truth, justice, beauty, ordinary decency, 
and go scot free. He may exploit the intellectual and moral 
resources of his fellow men, leaving the area of his exploitation 
spiritually arid, and not only escape all social penalty, but be 
honored, extolled, called to positions of trust, elected to public 
office with improved opportunity to repeat the progress on a 
larger scale. 

Let us look more closely at this disturbing issue. Every 
home, every school, every church in the land is expected to 
train the young in elevated practice. Parents, teachers, minis- 
ters of religion arc to inculcate principles of fair-dealing and 
honesty, of unselfishness, chastity, devotion to country and 
God. But no such responsibility operates on the men and 
women who set the current standards of practical success. Day 
by day we learn what is done by business leaders, industrialists, 
bankers, newspaper owners, men in political office, and the 
composite picture is not engaging. The idealism which homes 
and schools and churches are to nurture is blandly ignored. Not 
merely ignored, but betrayed, derided, ridiculed, made to appear 
futile and childish. A stream of moral poison thus flows into 
every community from sources which most of us are tempted 
to look up to with respect. 

The religious person will avoid this contaminating stream. 
That is one thing it means to keep himself unspotted from the 
world. And it means another thing. The religious person 
will refuse to succumb to an even more obstructive trend of 
contemporary life — the glorification of might and might- 

The might-pattern of life goes back to those ages when the 
lower animals competed for animal supremacy; yes, it goes 
back to the still remoter times when inorganic forces were 
building the stage on which the animal contest was later acted 
out. Human beings appeared on the scene with the heritage 
of those aeons of struggle in their bones. They had some- 
thing else in them, too, the derivation of which remains un- 
explained, something that gradually lifted them above the 
struggle for sheer physical survival. Slowly they acquired 
enough mastery of their environment to discard the rawer brut- 


ish instincts. They learned to respond to ideals of conduct in 
opposition to those which had dominated their earlier career. 

From then on human nature was a battle ground of two 
vital attractions, savagery and civilization. Here and there 
in the span of history a moral and aesthetic level was reached 
which almost seemed to indicate that the savage past had been 
outgrown. And again and again upsurgings of barbarism 
wiped out great achievements of civilizing effort and at times 
threatened to make an end of civilization altogether. By this 
zigzag road we have come to where we are. 

No one needs to be informed that the will to might is 
once more on the march, and that it is armed with weapons 
of destruction never approximated in the bloody conflict of 
the past. "Blessed are the powerful." its champions declare; 
"Blessed are the powerful, for they shall inherit the earth." 
Let it be so for the moment. They will not keep the earth 
they inherit, not even the earth, since it is inherent in the prin- 
ciple of might that the fruits of victory shall presently be 
snatched away by a new might, a stronger or a cleverer might. 
And what is gained by inheriting the earth and losing the values 
of life that make the inheritance blessed? 

Considering the philosophy of might, all of us naturally 
think of dictators and of war. Many of us think no further, 
as if its exemplifications were confined to these. Of course 
it is not. War and dictators are spectacular eruptions of a 
fighting will that is always at the eruptive point in some area 
of our social order. Indeed reliance upon might regardless of 
consequences beyond those immediately aimed at is an out- 
standing characteristic of our scheme of life. Pressure-group 
tactics pervade our economic and political activities. All over 
our country individuals are united in militant groups to ad- 
vance their own welfare in defiance of the welfare of anyone 
else. Even persons engaged in pursuits ostensibly far removed 
from the battle for material success act as if might were right, 
differing from comrades in ruthlessness solely in the art of 
self-deception or public disguise. 

Religious men and women can have nothing in common 
with this morally devastating attitude. They are unalterably 


opposed not only to wars of aggression and to dictators and all 
their works, but to the wide-spread and deep-seated vice from 
which war and dictators arise — ordinary, day to day un- 
spectacular might-philosophy and might-behavior. Open op- 
position to these ingrained habits and customs will cost a price. 
To be religious .implies a readiness to pay that price; to pay it 
in money, in social standing, or intellectual reputation, in 
anything and everything it takes to reject might as an individ- 
ual or social principle of living. 

To these qualities of religion — repudiation of moral cyni- 
cism and resistance to the infatuation exerted by physical might 
— must be added the quality of feeling which was given first 
place in the definition we have chosen. Religion implies out- 
going good will. It means warmth of heart, quickness of 
sympathy, willingness to lend a hand where needed. But good 
will has two sides, an inner and an outer side. It combines 
disposition and act. Mere good will is the ghost of a reality. 
Actual good will lives in the body of a deed, a process, a pro- 

Now if we follow this clue into society we see the necessity 
of incorporating good will in social instruments. Many peo- 
ple are so situated that aspiration can scarcely rise above the 
hope of caring for bare physical needs. These people and these 
situations are of direct concern to religion, especially to a reli- 
gion which refuses to be put off by promise of compensating 
satisfaction in the hereafter. It is therefore a primary religious 
obligation to help incorporate good will in social institutions, 
to take an active part in the establishment of a social order 
which, in the words of Alice James, is "the embodiment of a 
huge chance for hemmed-in humanity." 

But social machinery left to itself will not establish or 
maintain a beneficent social order. There happens to be no 
substitute for good will in public affairs, as there is none for 
thoughtfulness and affection in personal relations. And the 
very multiplication of statutes, regulations, and bureaus tends 
to withdraw attention from the critical appraisal of their moral 
function. Therefore in our time, when we are prone to meet 
new problems by multiplying such devices, it must be a pri- 


mary obligation of religion to infuse social mechanisms with 
good will. True as the warning was when the citizens of 
Corinth were advised of it in terms of their day, true as it 
has been throughout history, so it is true for us in terms of our 
world. Though we talk with the tongues of worldly wisdom 
and understand the mystery of all knowledge and all machinery, 
and have not good will, we are become as sounding brass or a 
tinkling cymbal. Though we distribute jobs to the unemployed 
and give our bodies to be shattered by bombs, and have not 
good will, it profits us nothing. For worldly wisdom will 
fail, and machines will cease running, and knowledge will 
vanish away. It is good will alone that is made to abide, and 
abiding can give rise to better instruments and designs of human 
happiness. We have knowledge, machinery, good will, these 
three; and the greatest of these is good will. The greatest 
but greatest among equals, and powerless alone. And be- 
cause it will take yet a long while to bring the three into bal- 
anced working unity, religion has plenty of work to do. 

We in the United States and all mankind are now inescap- 
ably involved in the most momentous crisis that has so far 
threatened the human venture on this planet. We are engaged 
in bloody conflict compared with which all previous wars seem 
provincial struggles. As we give ourselves with determination 
and fortitude and loyalty to the trial of might which we have 
been unable to avoid, we can still hope and work to achieve, 
even out of the stress and strain and suffering of the present 
tragedy, a better social order and a more rational and humane 
way of living together as peoples and races. If to be religious 
does not mean at least this, it will not mean much that a reflec- 
tive person will bother about. 

In a time of great national danger and confusion Abraham 
Lincoln sent a message to his countrymen. "The dogmas of 
the quiet past," he wrote, "are inadequate to the stormy present 
The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with 
the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think and act 
anew. We must disenthrall ourselves." 

We must disenthrall ourselves — this is the final message 
of religion in our time as it has always been the message of 


religion at its best. We must disenthrall ourselves as a people; 
free ourselves from the low, the cheap, the false, the brutal, 
the ugly in our environment, and draw upon the inner resources 
of the human spirit, release its latent powers of intelligence and 
good will, to build a happier and nobler world. And we must 
disenthrall ourselves individually, live as we can in the world 
we would build, whatever we can or cannot do with the world 
about us. 

The occasion is piled high with difficulty. We cannot 
circumvent or run away from that difficulty. Our case is 
new, and we must think and act anew. But if we think and 
act as our times require we shall reestablish, in a form indigenous 
to our age, the religious motivation characteristic of great civili- 
zations in the past, before men had been misled into setting up 
religion as a separate and specialized commitment antagonistic 
lo the interests and occupations of life as a whole. So doing, 
we shall heal the deepest wound from which modern civiliza- 
tion has suffered and suffers — the rift between the actual and 
the ideal. And healing that wound we shall set the feet of 
man, woman, and child on a new pathway toward happiness 
and worth. 


By John T. McNeill 

University of Chicago 

Chicago, Illinois 

The use of the word "debt'' in our title suggests the limits 
within which we are to treat the intricate relationships of these 
two movements. The Reformation has been represented as 
the religious aspect of the Renaissance, and, on the contrary, 
it has been described as a reaction against it. Both these 
characterizations are so oversimplified as to express more error 
than truth. There were individuals who moved easily from 
the Renaissance to the Reformation, and some who were par- 
ticipants in both movements at once. But in certain realms 
cf discussion controversy arose between the protagonists of the 
one movement and those of the other. Much of the Renais- 
sance was indifferent to Christianity, while the Reformation 
was primarily concerned with the church, the Christian life, 
and theology. These divergences may not be examined here: 
nor are we now concerned with anything the Reformation or 
the counter-Reformation may have done to the later Renais- 
sance. The question to engage our attention is briefly this: 
In what ways did the Renaissance help to make the Reformation 
possible and to determine its nature and its course? 

Perhaps the most obvious point of indebtedness has to do 
with the linguistic basis of Bible study. The Renaissance 
attention to the Hebrew and Greek scriptures was first definitely 
advanced by Gianozzo Manetti and Lorenzo Valla, under the 
patronage of Pope Nicholas V. Nicholas, indeed, appointed 
Maretti to translate the whole Bible into Italian, but the pope's 
death ( 1455) brought the project to an end. The reformers, 
from the beginning, sounded the appeal to Scripture, and to 
Scripture in the original tongues. Luther's notes on Lombard's 
Sentences, written at the outset of his lectures in theology 
(1509-1511), already show some awareness of the importance 
of Greek and Hebrew. He had procured a copy of Reuchlin's 
Rudimenta which contained in three volumes the Hebrew Lexi-- 


con and Grammar, shortly after its publication in 1506. His 
student friend, Johann Lang, now like Luther, an Augustinian, 
was to assist his study of Reuchlin and to encourage the begin- 
nings of his work in Greek. 

It is; not suggested that Luther became a reformer because 
he read the Bible in the original tongues. The reverse is nearer 
the truth. His effective use of Greek and Hebrew came only 
after his new opinions were well advanced. In his translation 
of the Seven Penetential Psalms, April, 1517, he made only 
limited use of Reuchlin's Septem psalmi poenitentiales, which 
appeared in 1512. Similarly in his lectures on the Psalms, 
1515-1516, he shows an elementary knowledge of Hebrew 
and the Septuagint Greek. Lang's edition of the Psalter in 
Hebrew, 1516, may have stimulated his Hebrew studies. His 
expositions of the Psalms began to appear in print in 1519, 
and at the Leipzig Disputation in that year he gave to a pro- 
fessor of classics the impression of a competent knowledge of 
both Hebrew and Greek. He based his later studies on the 
Psalms defintely upon the Hebrew text. 

Luther labored on with both languages for years thereafter. 
In 1518, under Melanchthon's instruction, he renewed his 
efforts in Greek; Homer swam into his ken, and so captured 
his interest as to sprinkle his writings with a fair number of 
Homeric words, phrases, and allusions. Lorenzo Valla's An- 
notations had been published by Erasmus in 1505. In the 
early years of Luther's revolt the works of Valla and Eramus. 
of Reuchlin and Lang led him to regard the Vulgate as an un- 
safe translation, and to form the habit of appealing from it to 
the original languages. 

In the actual work of translation Luther used in the Wart- 
burg Erasmus' Greek text of the New Testament. His use 
of the second edition of the work is probable, since it is known 
that Luther had already made its acquaintance at Wittenberg. 
Before this translation appeared, Melanchthon, a much better 
Grecian than Luther, cooperated in its revision, no doubt with 
full use of the up-to-date textual apparatus. 

When, in early March, 1522, Luther was on his way back 
from the Wartburg to Wittenberg, some Swiss students en- 


countered him at the Black Boar tavern, Jena, in the attire of 
a knight, poring over a Hebrew psalter. The Old Testament 
was soon to follow the New into German. In this difficult 
task Luther had the assistance of Melanchthon, Mathew Auro- 
gallus, the new professor of Hebrew at Wittenberg, and others. 
Though he himself did much of the hard labor, the translation 
profited by the cooperation of abler Hebraists than himself. 
The main textual basis for the Old Testament was the Brescia 
Bible of 1494, which Gershom, son of Rabbi Moses, had printed 
in small octavo "so that it may be with every man night and 
day to study therein." A copy of this Hebrew Bible with 
Luther's autograph is in the Royal Library, Berlin. 

Luther's Bible appeared in complete form only in 1534. 
The text incorporated revisions of previously published sections. 
Incidentally, the book was a printer's masterpiece. A number 
of revised editions followed in Luther's lifetime. The revisions 
were determined on by the Wittenberg scholars in conference, 
Luther taking the lead. The German Bible of the Reformation 
was linguistically fortified by adequate mastery of the original 
languages of the Scripture on Luther's own part, and by the 
labors of men of sound humanistic learning. 

But the first complete Protestant German Bible was not 
Luther's. It was prepared by Zwinglian scholars of Zurich, 
and published at Worms in 1529. It made free use of Luther's 
earlier translations but employed the German-Swiss dialect. 
Zwingli and Leo Jud brought out a second Swiss Bible in 1530, 
published by Froschauer in Zurich. It was called The Entire 
Bible According to the Greek and Hebrew Under Conrad 
Celtes in Vienna and Thomas Wyttenbach in Basel, Zwingli 
had become a humanist. Wyttenbach had led him to Bible 
study, and with him Leo Jud and Wolfgang Capito, who also 
became Protestant scholars. Zwingli calls Wyttenbach "my 
patron and very dear preceptor." But for Zwingli the study 
ripened under the influence of Erasmus, of which more later. 
He made a copy with his own hands of Erasmus' Greek text 
of the Pauline Epistles, 1517. Prior to coming to Zurich, 
January 1, 1519, he had been engaged in close study of the 
Greek New Testament, and he came, as he said, resolved "to 
preach Christ from the fountain." 


Tyndale, the English translator, probably began Greek in 
Oxford, where for more than a generation before his student 
days, that language had been taught by men who had studied 
it in Italy. The competent humanists, William Grocyn, Wil- 
liam Lilly, William Latimer, Thomas Linacre, and John Colet 
had returned from Italy as respectable students of Greek. Their 
religious interests had not been weakened by contact with the 
Italian Renaissance, but rather strengthened and redirected 
through the influence of Pico, Ficino, and probably, in Colet's 
case, of Savonarola. There is some reason to think that William 
Latimer may have been Tyndale's instructor and that he was 
that "ancient doctor" to whom Tyndale went for counsel 
when intent upon his translation in 1523, and who then 
confided to Tyndale his belief that the Pope is antichrist. Now 
William Latimer had assisted Erasmus' labors on the Greek 
Testament. There is no evidence that Tyndale met Erasmus; 
he went to Cambridge some years after Erasmus had there 
written most of his New Testament. But while in Glouces- 
tershire, before his translation of the New Testament, Tyndale 
translated Erasmus' Enchiridion. About this time he hotly 
replied to one who in a learned company objected to his zeal 
for the Scriptures: "If God spare my life ere many years I 
will cause that a boy that driveth the plow shall know more 
of the Scripture than thou dost." This outburst reveals the 
fact that Tyndale had been reflecting upon the pregnant lan- 
guage of Erasmus' preface to his New Testament of 1516, as 
will appear from this familiar passage of the latter: 

"Christ wishes his mysteries to be published as widely as 
possible. I would wish even all women to read the 
gospels and the epistles of St. Paul, and I wish that they 
were translated into all languages of all Christian people, 
that they might be read and known, not only by the 
Scotch and the Irish, but even by the Turks and the Sara- 
cens. I wish that the husbandman might sing parts of 
them at his plow, and that the weaver might warble them 
at his shuttle, that the traveller might with their narra- 
tives beguile the weariness of the way." 

For the New Testament Tyndale had the use of the third 
edition of Erasmus and of the third edition of Luther's German 


version. His latest biographer, J. F. Mozely, says: "By the 
level of his day Tyndale was a good Greek scholar, fully as 
good as Erasmus or Luther." He was deeply indebted to both. 

The records of Tyndale's hunted life do not permit his 
biographers to determine the means by which he learned He- 
brew, but the fact that he learned it for his translation of 
the Pentateuch is now placed beyond dispute. The evidence 
does not rest upon the affirmation of a chance acquaintance, 
the humanist Hermann von dem Busche, though that may 
be quoted for what it is worth. Spalatin, secretary of Fred- 
erick the Wise, says that at a supper on August 1 1, 1526, von 
dem Busche stated that he had met at Worms the Englishman 
who was having the New Testament printed there, and that 
this scholar had such familiarity with "Hebrew, Greek, Latin, 
Spanish, English, and French that whichever he speaks you 
would think it his native tongue." The evidence for Tyn- 
dale's scholarship rests rather upon the numerous passages in 
his translation in which he departs from both the Latin and the 
German versions at his disposal. Many of these are of superior 
accuracy, and have been utilized in the authorized and revised 
versions familiar to us. 

Linguistically John Calvin was well equipped before he 
became a Protestant. From early childhood he was fortunate 
in his teachers and he early became an exceptionally good Latin- 
ist. For Greek he was first indebted to Melchior Wolmar, 
and later to Pierre Danes. A Latin rhyme was circulated that 
affirmed Danes to be superior to the great French Grecian, 
Guillaume Bude himself. Calvin learned Hebrew probably 
from Francois Vatable, who shared with Danes a post in the 
Royal College instituted by Francis I in 1530. Both these 
scholars were charged with heresy before the Parletnent of Paris 
in 15 33, but there is no evidence that they were affected by 

Calvin was a friend of the Cop family in Paris; the senior 
Cop, the King's physician, was on friendly terms with Reuchlin 
and Erasmus. Beyond his immediate circle Calvin felt with 
other young humanists the stimulus of the deep and accurate 
scholarship of Bude, respected the scriptural learning of Lefevre, 


some of whose pupils were his friends; and responded to the less 
immediate but no less challenging voice of the prince of human- 
ists, Erasmus,. 

As a full-blown humanist Calvin wrote his Seneca commen- 
tary in 15 32. It was suggested by Erasmus' 1529 edition of 
Seneca, and was something of a defense of Seneca's moral philos- 
ophy against the severe judgment of Erasmus. The author's 
conversion to Protestantism followed perhaps two years later. 
Calvin's cousin, Pierre Robert Olivetan, may have aided his 
language studies. By 1535 Calvin had assisted Olivetan in 
the translation of the Bible for the Waldenses published at 
Neuchatel in that year. 

A graduate from humanism, Calvin remained a meticulous 
student of words. This is best seen in his commentaries, where 
an interest in words combines, one might perhaps say, contends, 
with an interest in theology. In dealing with Greek words 
he has a consciousness of mastery, and is free to agree or disagree 
with Erasmus to whom he often refers. Thus he commends 
Erasmus' rendering sermo, speech, instead of Vulgate verbum, 
word, for the Greek logos in John 1, 1, but in, John 3, 3, he 
says Erasmus was clearly wrong in rendering another, "from 
above.'' It must mean "again, " else Nicodemus' question that 
follows does not make sense. "The Greek word, I admit," 
he notes, "is ambiguous; but we know that Christ conversed 
with Nicodemus in the Hebrew language." Again I Corinth- 
ians 8, 4, he disagrees with Erasmus in favor of the Vulgate 
rendering, "An idol is nothing." As a reader of Greek Calvin 
travelled under his own power, thanks to his earlier humanist 

These facts must suffice to illustrate our first point — that 
the Reformation demand for the recognition of the authority 
of the Scripture was supported by the fullest use of the linguis- 
tic tools provided by humanism. This involved changes in 
the meaning of the text of Scripture at many points where the 
Vulgate rendering had been used to support doctrines abandoned 
by the Reformers. There can be no reasonable doubt that the 
illumination of the meaning of Scripture by humanist study 
was an indispensable factor in clarifying the doctrine of the 


Reformation and in giving the power of conviction to its 
propaganda. Renaissance scholarship was at this point essen- 
tial to the success of the Reformation. 


More complicated is the problem of indebtedness in actual 
content of thought. The Platonic, anti-Aristotelian and anti- 
scholastic trend of the Renaissance corresponds to the Reform- 
ation Augustinianism and repudiation of scholastic theology. 
Luther's distaste for Aristole dates from notes made on Augus- 
tine's works as early as 1509. He was then lecturing on 
Aristotle, very unsympathetically. By 1510, he calls Aristotle 
"a rancid philosopher." By 1515 he can speak of the scho- 
lastics as "pig-theologians." At times, it is true, Luther pays 
tribute to Aristotle's Metaphysics and Physics, but he is in- 
consistent here, and in general he deplores the use of Aristotle 
for the support of theology. "Aristotle," he observes, "knows 
nothing of the soul, of God and of immortality, and Cicero 
far excels him in these subjects." Here Luther is not far from 
the Occamism in which he was nurtured, which drew a clear 
Vine between philosophic and revealed truth and made the latter 
the province of theology. Luther is never so vehement against 
Aristotle as when referring to the use made of Aristotle's con- 
ception of substance and accidents in the doctrine of the Euchar- 
ist. "What shall we say when Aristotle and the doctrines of 
men are made to be the arbiters in these divine matters? .... 
The Holy Spirit is greater than Aristotle." (Babylonish Cap- 
tivity) . 

Luther was no Platonist or Neo-Platonist, but he was not 
militant against Renaissance Platonism. His ardent and early 
study of Augustine must have given him a favorable slant on 
Platonism. Mutianus Rufus. who led the humanists of Erfurt, 
was an admirer of Pico della Mirandola and a pronounced 
Neo-Platonist. Pico's ideas were remarkably widespread and 
influential and Luther felt their influence through German 
friends like Lang and by direct study of Pico's works. H. 
Boehmer. in listing the authors familiar to Luther, remarks 
that he "had gone very thoroughly into the humanistic theology 
of Lefevre, Erasmus and Pico della Mirandola." 


It is difficult to say which of these three had most influence 
upon Luther. From time to time there have appeared animated 
discussions of his debt to Erasmus. For instance, G. Ritter 
and J. Haller have contended over the matter in a series of 
contributions to the Zeitschrift fuer Kirchengeschichte. Haller 
is accused by Ritter of having represented Luther, as merely 
setting the match to explosives prepared by Erasmus. Haller 
had actually said: "Martin Luther was held by many a disci- 
ple of Erasmus, and Zwingli himself for one. And this was 
no misunderstanding. Erasmus himself at first treated Luther 
as his spoilt pupil." In moderate restatement he contends that 
Luther, like most of the learned and many of the educated of 
the time, was much influenced by Erasmus and learned much 
from him. This seems a justifiable position, though Luther 
would not have admitted so much. In aserting that "faith is 
the only door that leads to Christ" (Enchiridion) and in his 
condemnation and ridicule of scholasticism, superstitious cere- 
monies and obscurantist beliefs, Erasmus certainly anticipated 
Luther, and may have influenced him more than the younger 
man realized. But it is not surprising that Luther and Eras- 
mus fell into contention. Erasmus did not like Luther's ur- 
gency and clamour, and Luther did not like Erasmus' com- 
placency and laughter. Melanchthon vainly tried to reconcile 
them. The nature and the limit of the debt to Erasmus that 
Luther was willing to admit is expressed in words uttered in 
1533: "Erasmus has fulfilled the mission to which he has 
been called. He has introduced the classical languages and 
withdrawn us from Godless studies." In Luther's Table Talk 
we find his pointed characterization of four men: 

Matter and words, Melanchthon; 
Words without matter, Erasmus; 
Matter without words, Luther; 
Neither words nor matter, Carlstadt. 

One must be on one's guard against asserting an intellectual 
debt where one has proof only of an anticipation in thought. 
A case in point is Luther's recognition of the fact that Wessel 
Gansfort, who died when Luther was six years old, had been 
thinking his thoughts before him. Wessel, he said, was "truly 
taught of the Lord." "If I had read his works earlier," he 


adds, "my enemies might think that I had absorbed everything 
fiom Wessel: his spirit is so in accord with mine." What 
follows in the preface of Luther to Gansfort's Letters (1522) 
from which these words are quoted, makes it clear that Luther 
was encouraged by his late discovery of Wessel to firmer belief 
that he himself was right. Erasmus saw the difference between 
Wessel and Luther as that between a gentle and a violent spirit. 
They were both saying the same things. Wessel was a well- 
trained humanist whose Greek and Hebrew studies had been 
begun in the fifties of the fifteenth century, and in theology 
he was a Protestant before Protestantism. His books aided 
the propaganda of the Reformation, but imparted none of the 
content to Luther's theology. It is unsafe, too, to relate such 
Neo-Platonic elements as are found in Luther entirely to the 
revival of Neo-Platonism in the Renaissance. Some of them 
may have been imparted to Luther from the persistent Neo- 
Platonism of the Middle Ages through the writings of the 
mystics which he read. 

However, Luther's limited, but very real, indebtedness to 
Guillaume Lefevre d'Etaples is not in doubt. The subject 
has been amply investigated by Fritz Hahn (1938). He 
shows Lefevre's theology to have, been molded on Neo-platonic 
ideas under the influence of Pico and Nicholas of Cusa. In 
Lefevre's statement, "By the faith of Christ alone justifi- 
- cation is infused," there is a Thomist conception of the infusion 
of grace but an un-Thomist absence of the sacramental in 
justification. God takes the initiative in justification, which 
is caused by his benignity and righteousness, not by merit. For 
Lefevre good works indeed precede justification, not however, 
as its cause, but as the opening of the eyes precedes seeing, 
They likewise follow justification; and he wants to harmonize 
St. Paul and St. James by the explanation that James is speak- 
ing of the works that follow justification, Paul of those that 
precede it. Moving on from Neo-platonic allegorization, Le- 
fevre pointed to a "literal-spiritual" sense of Scripture, as dis- 
tinct from the allegorical, and likewise from what he called the 
'literal-carnal" sense; and here Luther followed him. He defi- 
nitely anticipated Luther, too, in the doctrine that the spirit of 
God alone can rightly interpret the Scripture and that the Bible 


is brought to life by men activated by the Spirit of God. 

Here it may be remarked that apart from borrowings in 
matter, the peculiar attention given to Sf. Paul by Ficino, Pico, 
Colet, and Lefevre undoubtedly prepared the way for Luther's 
concentration on the Pauline Epistles. Lefevre's edition of 
the Epistles of St. Paul with notes appeared in 1512. His 
edition of the Psalter in five Latin versions, including his own, 
had already appeared in 1509. Luther made industrious use 
of both these works, less as a textual aid than as an aid to in- 

Zwingli was educated outside the cloister, and was a natural 
humanist. During his pre-Zurich period he fell under the in- 
fluence of Pico and Erasmus. While at Basel he shared Pico's 
views in some of the thirteen theses which Innocent VIII con- 
demned, out of the 900 which Pico ambitiously propounded in 
Rome ( 15 87). Pico in these statements confuted the Thomist 
doctrine of transubstantiation, and this may have had its effect 
on Zwingli's mind. Zwingli possessed a number of Pico's 
books. But Zwingli was only ten years old when Pico died 
(1494). Erasmus was his older contemporary. A poem of 
Erasmus in which Jesus is made to expostulate with men for 
their neglect of him, led Zwingli to question belief in the 
supplication of saints. In a spirit of exultant admiration he 
visited Erasmus in the spring of 1516, and later wrote him a 
letter full of superlative, but probably sincere compliments. It 
is notable that the thing which he most praised in Erasmus 
was his humanist service to scriptural learning. Wyttenbach 
had already given him a zeal for the Scripture, and Erasmus 
weaned him quite away from scholasticism. Indeed in his 
early pastorates he drew sermon illustrations from classical 
authors. And he read, no doubt gleefully, a copy of the 
Epistolae Obscurorum Virorum sent him by Glareanus, distin- 
guished Swiss humanist, who also shared the favor of Erasmus. 

Zwingli informed Melanchthon that he was indebted to 
Erasmus for his doctrine of the Lord's Supper, but his doctrine 
is not identical with that of Erasmus; and perhaps what Zwingli 
principally meant in his ascription of it to Erasmus was that 
Erasmus had started him thinking on the subject. In his 


Notes on the New Testament Erasmus compiled a list of changes 
introduced by the Papacy since the days of primitive Chris- 
tianity, an d asked of the popes concerned: "Were they justified 
in so doing?" The list includes transubstantiation. If 
Zwingli at any time held the vague spiritual view of the Eucha- 
rist to be derived from Erasmus' writing (the consecrated bread 
is "living and confers true life") he moved on from this by 
stages in which he felt the influence of Carlstadt and Hoen to 
the position which W. Kohler has called Fiductals-Praesenz, 
that is, presencc-to- faith. Lcfevre seems to have leaned to 
the memorial view which is also an element in Zwingli's 

When at Zurich through varying experiences and responsi- 
bilities his religious life deepened, Zwingli remained an un- 
reconstructed humanist in his ceaseless reading of the Greek 
and Latin classics, and in his efforts to improve his Greek. 
That he read humanist criticisms of the papacy is evident from 
his note entitled "Christ's Defense of Martin Luther," written 
in 1520 (after the Papal bull Exsurge Domine) in which he 
mentions the warnings of Petrarch, Richard Pace, Pico, Platina 
the historian, and others. His close friend Leo Jud translated 
Erasmus' Complaint of Peace (1521) and Zwingli was indebted 
to this pacifist work in his Solemn Warning against the traffic 
in mercenary troops, in which, by the way, he quotes Euripides, 
Cicero, Caesar, Livy, and Homer. Zwingli held Plato worthy 
"to be numbered among the great prophets," and thought pos- 
sible the salvation of good pagans like Socrates. A direct in- 
fluence of Plato on Zwingli has been recognized by scholars in 
the method of his dialectic, in his sharp antithesis of spirit and 
sense, and in his political theory. But he has no hesitation in 
using Aristotelian terms and concepts. Perhaps he owed more 
to Stoicism, as represented by Cicero, Pliny, and Seneca, than 
to Plato. He calls Seneca "Animarum agricola," the husband- 
man of souls. Yet he criticizes the materialistic basis of the 
Stoic philosophy: and his zeal for getting things done in the 
world was out of accord with Stoic apathy. Of poets, he 
seems to have liked best Pindar and Horace. Zwingli was, in 
fact, nobody's intellectual disciple, but he sharpened his wits 


and replenished his arsenal of controversy by wide humanistic 

Calvin's "sudden conversion" about 1534 changed his 
lelation to humanism. The classics yielded to the Scriptures. 
But Calvin did not repent of humanism, he only graduated 
from it. We have already noted that the new studies were 
pursued with the language equipment gained in his humanist 
days. This extends to his own Latin style, one of the aids to 
the European success of his books. He may have owed a 
special debt here to Maturin Cordier, an inspired grammarian. 
But in any language Calvin would have been eloquent. Not 
merely did he write the best Latin of his time; he wrought in 
unintended association with Rabelais to bring to effectiveness 
a literary French. His French prose has been acclaimed by a 
chorus of modern critics. I hesitate to add that in the College 
de Montaigue the use of French was prohibited in Calvin's 
undergraduate days. 

Calvin's devotion to biblical theology never quenched his 
humanism. Quirinus Breen, in John Calvin, a Study in 
French Humanism, refers to the "precipiate" of humanism in 
Calvin's later work. Precipitate, perhaps, but we might call 
it a ferment. It was something active and activating. Breen 
refers to aspects of the revival of Stoicism in the Renaissance, 
and shows the influence of Stoic writers; on Calvin. In the 
Seneca Commentary Calvin links Stoic and Christian ideals 
and dwells upon the Stoic emphasis on conscience; yet he points 
out the polarity between Stoic apathy and Christian sympathy. 
Certainly Seneca and other Stoic writers quickened Calvin's 
awareness of universal moral ideas which have validity independ- 
ently of ecclesiastical structures. Some sections of the Institutes 
abound with references to the classical writers. Sometimes 
these are used to point an argument by objection; e. g. I agree 
not with Cicero," (I, iii, 3) ; "that frigid dogma of Aristotle." 
(I, v, 5). Even Plato is not always right, though he is 
"the most religious and judicious of them all." But often Cal- 
vin uses the ancients in direct support. He affirms the strength 
of man's "sense of the deity" and that "to know God is man's 
chief end. Of this the heathen philosophers themselves were 
not ignorant. This was Plato's meaning when he taught that 


the chief good of the soul consists in similitude to God.'' It 
is not in their teachings about deity that Calvin is most apprecia- 
tive of the writers of antiquity. Yet his point of view here is 
not that they were wholly wrong, but that they missed a higher 
truth. Calvin freely adopts the Stoic-Paltristic doctrine of 
natural law and equity. "The law of God which we call the 
moral law is no other than a declaration of natural law, and 
of that conscience which has been engraven by God in the minds 
of men" (IV, xx, 16). State laws may vary but to this 
natural law they must conform. For checks on royal abso- 
lutism Calvin refers to the institutions of Sparta, Athens, 
and Romet — the ephori, the demarchi and the consuls. 

Of the schools of the ancients only the Epicureans are con- 
demned without qualification by Calvin, both for their do- 
nothing gods and their hedonistic morals. Probably Valla's 
Elegantiae and De voluptate had occasioned this emphasis in 
Calvin. Valla's edition of Livy was known to Calvin, as 
well as his critical works on the New Testament and the Dona- 
tion of Constantine. He cites Valla, Lefevre and Erasmus 
against the Council of Trent's decision to make the Vulgate 
the authoritative text. Calvin was a great admirer of William 
Bude, a scholar of greater achievement than reputation, who 
in Calvin's eyes gave France the palm for erudition. The real 
greatness of Bude is known to students of the Renaissance. 
Calvin used his celebrated work on coinage ( de Asse) to explain 
references to money in the Scripture commentaries. (Not Bude, 
but his widow and children, became Calvinists.) 

I referred above to Calvin's close attention to words in his 
commentaries on the Bible as a product of humanistic study. 
He occasionally lights up Scripture passages by citations of 
Greek and Roman literature. Thus on Exodus 21:18, "If 
men strive together, etc." he cannot refrain from using Aulus 
Gellius' yarn about Lucius Veratius who behaved like the 
modern nursery child's "Bad Sir Brian Botany" and went about 
cuffing people's ears. On Deut. 21:1, he shrewdly reports, 
apparently from Aristotle, the reply of Theopompus to his 
wife who lamented the reduction of her husband's power by 
the appointment of the Ephori: he would have less power but 
it would last longer. And on Lev. 25:39, he cites the view 


of heathen philosophers (Seneca?) that masters ought to treat 
their slaves as if they were hired servants. 


We have examined only a little of the large body of avail- 
able evidence on the debt of the Reformation to the Renaissance. 
The subject is at once more complicated and more far-eaching 
than these illustrations suggest. We have not discussed, for 
example, the broad historical question of the revolutionary 
leaven and psychological preparation for the fall of the medieval 
church that lay in the Renaissance literary work of a century 
and a half before Luther. In particular the satires of Boc- 
caccio, of Chaucer, of David Lyndsay, of Erasmus, and of Hut- 
ten have to be considered in that light. 

A certain number of humanists besides Zwingli and Mel- 
anchthon, commited themselves to the Reformation. Numer- 
ous second line leaders, like Buccr, Justus Jonas, Capito, Peter 
Martyr, a Lasco, Oecolampadius, Bibliander, Bullinger, Beza, 
are entitled to be called humanist scholars. To attempt to 
show how far such men retained the intellectual liberalism of 
humanism would prove a long task. The divisions in religion 
left disciples of Erasmus in all camps, and a liberal indifference 
to the dividing confessions of faith took various forms. This 
liberalism is discernable in many efforts to reunite the severed 
churches through the subsequent period. It also finds expres- 
sion in Lutheran Syncretism, in the Arminian phase of Calvin- 
ism, in Cambridge Platonism and Latitudinarianism, not to 
mention its later manifestations. So far as England was con- 
cerned, her Reformers never broke from the humanist as Luther 
did. They habitually mention Erasmus with favor and respect. 

We cannot here examine the science of the Renaissance and 
its reception by the Reformers. They were about as slow as 
the professional scientists in accepting the teachings of Coper- 
nicus, although it was a Lutheran theologian, Osiander, who 
wrote the preface to his book. 

Pierre de la Primaudaye was a French Protestant of the 
second generation who wrote a book saturated with Platonism 


entitled The French Academy, 1582; it was translated by "T. 
B. C." into English in 1586. In the "Epistle Dedicatorie" 
we read, appropriately, the following quotation from Augus- 
tine's De Doctrina: 

"As for those that are called philosophers, if they have 
uttered anything agreeable to our faith and doctrine (especially 
the Platonists) we are not only not to feare it but rather 
to challenge it from them as unjust possessors thereof .... 
So the doctrine of the Gentiles hath not only counterfeit and 
superstitious forgeries and heavy packs of nedeles labour .... 
but also liberal arts meete to set forth the truth by, and cer- 
tain profitable precepts of manners, yea, some true points . . . 
concerning the worship of the one onely God." 

This quotation from Augustine accords well with the words of 
Calvin (Institutes II, ii, 15) which give a clue to his own use 
of the litterae humaniores: 

"Whenever, therefore, we meet with heathen writers let 
us learn from that light of truth which is admirably dis- 
played in their works, that the human mind, fallen as it 
is, . . . is yet invested and adorned by God with ex- 
cellent talents. If we believe that the Spirit of God is 
the only fountain of truth, we can neither reject nor de- 
spise the truth itself, wherever it appear, unless we wish 
to insult the Spirit of God." 

If the bringing together of these two quotations suggests 
that the attitude of the Reformation to Renaissance classical 
learning was much like that of the church fathers to Hellenistic 
thought, the impression will not be erroneous. The Reformers 
did not seek out every flower in the humanist meadow, but 
selected blossoms laden with the honey of "liberal arts meete to 
set forth the truth by," and "profitable precepts of manners. 


By Martin Rist 

The Iliff School of Theology 
Denver, Colorado 

In his book Agape and Eros Nygren regrets the failure of 
writers in general to pay adequate attention to the actual mean- 
ing of the word "love" as used by Christians from early times to 
the present, "as though the meaning and structure of the Chris- 
tian idea of love were clear and self-evident; as though it were 
only necessary to mention the word 'love' for its meaning to be 
perfectly understood." In 1930, the year in which the Swedish 
edition of Nygren's work appeared, Moffatt made a similar 
observation concerning the vagueness with which the term is 
used by Christians in his book, Love in the New Testament: 
"Men speak of Christianity as the religion of love, commonly 
without any need of examining their terms. Yet the phrase 
may become inaccurate and even misleading by its very vague- 
ness. 'Love' is a great dictionary word, and in the religious 
vocabulary of the world Christianity has been indentified with 
it so loosely that it is well to ask what this definition or descrip- 
tion really means, and how far it is true." 

Both Nygren and Moffatt are correct in their observation 
that Christians have used the word "love" so loosely and vague- 
ly that its true meaning can with difficulty be ascertained. It is, 
perhaps, unnecessary to devote much attention to Nygren's at- 
tempt to remove the ambiguities by differentiating between 
eros and agape, the former assertedly representative of the Greek 
and Platonic concept of salvation in which man seeks the Divine, 
the latter the Christian and Pauline whereby God seeks man; 
nor is it certain that this distinction, in so far as the early Chris- 
tian sources are concerned, is valid. Indeed, it would appear 
that the Lutheran doctrine of unmerited grace, which Nygren 
practically equates with agape, has controlled his conclusions to 
too great an extent. 


Moffatt's detailed study of the meaning of "love" in the 
various books of the New Testament deserves more attention 
than can be accorded it here. Although he finds considerable 
variation in usage, with no small amount of vagueness and am- 
biguity, nevertheless he observes that in the main the New Test- 
ament use of the term comprises three mutually interdependent 
relationships: God's (or Christ's) love for man; man's love for 
God (or Christ) ; and man's love for his fellow man. 

Since Moffatt's investigation was confined almost exclu 
sively to the New Testament, this study of the usage of "love" 
in I Clement, which is contemporary with a number of the 
canonical writings, may serve to clarify still further the meaning 
of this important concept for the early Christians. It will be 
preceded by a brief consideration of its meaning for Ignatius, 
the ecclesiastically-minded bishop of Antioch who suffered 
martyrdom early in the second century. As Richardson has 
shown in his recent monograph, The Christianity of Ignatius 
of Antioch, this early bishop of the church attached an institu- 
tional, ecclestiasical, meaning to the term. 

A summary of the Ignatian usage, agreeing in general with 
Richardson's conclusions, will serve as a background for the 
discussion of I Clement which is to form the main portion of 
this paper. It will be remembered that Ignatius wrote the 
extant letters bearing his name to promote Christian uniformity 
in practice and belief under the leadership of the divinely ap- 
pointed officials, and, as a necessary corollary, to circumvent 
those heretics and schismatics who were threatening the institu- 
tional unity which he held so dear. In fact, he is rightly con- 
sidered to be one of the important architects of that imposing 
edifice of Christian unity and uniformity, the highly organized 
Catholic Church of the early centuries. 

In consequence we are not surprised to find Ignatius using the 
term "love" to denote the complete unity and harmony of all 
believers in doctrine, liturgy, and worship in submission to 
God and Christ and to their representatives on earth, the bishops, 
together wih the presbyters and deacons, of the several churches. 
Although "love" is at times coupled with "faith," i. e., correct 
belief, when used alone it quite logically includes the second 


term, for unity and submission to the bishop of necessity involve 
doctrinal conformity. Moreover, just as the members of a 
given church are united to one another through "love," likewise 
the bishops (and their churches) are joined together by this 
same bond. Although Ignatius seldom mentions deeds of 
benevolence, philanthropy, and charity, he no doubt was prac- 
tical enough to realize that the care of the needy, the widow, 
the orphan, and the prisoner for the faith would serve to tighten 
the bonds of "love." 

The mystical relationships embodied in the concept "love" 
are renewed if indeed they do not originate in the celebration of 
the eucharist. Both "faith" and "love" are in fact closely 
associated with this sacrament through which the believers are 
united with the divine and with each other in one body, "faith" 
being indentified with the flesh and "love" with the blood of 
Christ. Significantly enough, in one passage the term agape 
is explicitly applied to the eucharist. Not only are "faith" and 
"love" associated with the sacrament; they are, it would seem, 
sacramental in their own nature; for like baptism and the euchar- 
ist they are indispensable ways to salvation; without them there 
is no salvation. There is, of course, no "love" for heretics 
and schismatics, none for those outside of the Christian fold. 

Thus, for Ignatius, Christianity is a divine community, a 
theocracy, pervaded and held together by a mystical, sacramental 
"love" by which all believers are harmoniously united in obedi- 
ence to God and Christ and to their representatives and deputies, 
the duly appointed bishops and their assistants. It is this in- 
stitutional, ecclesiastical concept of "love" which in general 
diffenentiates the Ignatian usage from that of the New Testa- 
ment; although as Moffatt has observed in passing, there are a 
few passages in Paul and in the so-called Johannine writings in 
which "love" is used to denote Christian unity characterized by 
a harmony devoid of internal strife and disunity. 

With this resume of the Ignatian usage in mind, let us turn 
to a contemporary Christian source, I Clement, in which the 
term "love" is employed in a similar manner. This epistle, it 
is generally conceded, was composed in the last decade of the 
first century. Tradition assigns its actual composition to a 


certain Clement, one of the Roman college of bishops. Whether 
or not this is a correct is certain that the latter was 
written in the name of the Roman church to the church at Cor- 
inth to persuade the members of the latter to compose their in- 
ternal differences and strife and to reinstate certain presbyters 
(equivalent in rank to the Roman bishops) who had been de- 
posed in a factional dispute. A single theme, that of "love" as 
defined in the summary of the Ignatian letters, runs through the 
entire epistle, although the actual word itself is seldom used 
in the first part of the document. This conclusion can best 
be demonstrated by a running commentary of the text. 

Following the customary opening salutation, the writer, 
who will be called Clement for the sake of convenience, expresses 
deep regret that a few self-willed and rash individuals have 
created an abominable and impious schism in the Corinthian 
church, thereby slandering its good name which had been held 
in love by all men. He recalls that the Corinthians had been 
noted for the steadfastness of their faith, for their piety, hospi- 
tality, gnosis, blameless conduct, humility, good works, and 
hatred of all rebellion and schism. Indeed, the ordinances 
and commandments of the Lord had once been inscribed upon 
their hearts. Now, in tragic contrast, through jealousy they 
were divided by dissension and schism and were no longer walk- 
ing in 'the divine ordinances and commandments. It was 
through such conduct, he warns, that death had come into the 
world (i-iii). In the lengthy section that follows he cites 
examples of the dire results of jealousy, and summons the 
offenders to repent, as others had done, and to abandon the 
strife and jealousy which lead to death, becoming humble and 
obedient in imitation of Christ and other noble souls 
(iv-xix. 1 ) . 

To be sure, there are no explicit references to "love" such 
as occur later on in the letter. However, the qualities which 
are praised, humility, peace, unity, harmony, steadfastness in 
faith, and obedience to their leaders and to the ordinances of 
God, are all comprised not only in the Ignatian concept of 
"love," but are also included in the Clementine usage, as will be 
shown in the proper place. 


In keeping with his main theme Clement next exhorts the 
Corinthians to hasten on towards the goal of peace provided 
from the beginning, looking steadfastly upon the Father and 
Creator of the entire universe in contemplation of his long- 
suffering purposes and his freedom from wrath towards all 
his creatures (xix.2-3). Next he introduces a liturgical pas- 
sage which combines Old Testament phraseology with Stoic 
concepts of the general order in the cosmos: The heavens 
move at God's direction and are subject to him in peace. The 
earth brings forth its produce at the appointed time without 
changing God's decrees. The unfathomable realms of the lower 
world are held fast by the same divine ordinances. The sea 
remains as it was created without passing its appointed bounds. 
Spring, summer, fall, and winter succeed each other in peace, 
while the winds blow and the perennial springs flow without 
fail. Further, even the smallest of living creatures live to- 
gether in concord. For the Creator of the universe ordained 
that all creation should exist in peace and concord, most especial- 
ly those who have sought refuge in his mercies through the 
Lord Jesus Christ ( xx) . 

It is important to note that this liturgical section has been 
identified as a free rendering of the eucharistic anaphora of the 
early Roman church. It has not been casually introduced into 
the epistle; nor is it a disgression as some have maintained. 
Quite on the contrary, it forms an integral part of the main 
argument in that it gives a divine sanction to the writer's plea 
for unity and harmony in Corinth: just as the entire cosmos 
exists in peace and concord in obedience to the divine ordinances, 
so much the more should Christians who have sought refuge 
in his mercies live peaceably and harmoniously with one another 
in obedience to God's commands (which, as will be shown, 
include the commands of the divinely appointed officials of 
the church ) . Not only are Christian unity, harmony, and 
obedience given cosmic and divine sanction through the in- 
troduction of this liturgical passage, but in addition they are 
related to the celebration of the sacrament of the eucharist, if 
the identification with the Roman eucharistic liturgy is indeed 
valid. This association with the sacrament will b&, more 
evident later on. 


Clement next proceeds to utter a dire warning to the dis- 
obedient schismatics: "Take heed, beloved, lest his many good 
works toward us become a judgment on us, if we do not good 
and virtuous deeds before him in concord, and be worthy 
citizens of him" ( xxi ) . Further admonitions to fear God 
and to obey him in holiness and humility (with a passing 
reference to the power of pure "love") are reinforced by ad- 
ditional threats of a future judgment for wrong-doers in 
marked contrast to the promise of a blessed resurrection for 
those who serve him in holiness ( xxi-xxvIII ) . This inclusion 
of the resurrection hope, which Clement attempts to prove by 
relating the strange tale of the fabulous Phoenix which rises 
from its own ashes, is not a deviation from his theme as some 
suppose. Instead, Clement has introduced (the doctrine of 
future punishment and rewards to give a solemn sanction 
to his exhortation to live harmoniously together in submission 
to God. 

This same theme of Christian unity, harmony, and obedi- 
ence is pursued in the ensuing section ( xxix-xxxvi) , which is 
pervaded with liturgical phraseology. Indeed, it begins with 
a formal call to worship, as if Clement were actually conducting 
the worship service in Corinth: "Let us then approach him 
with holiness of soul, lifting up holy and undefined hands to 
him, loving our gentle and merciful Father who made us his 
chosen portion" (xxix). After reminding the Corinthians 
that they are required to perform deeds pertaining to holiness, 
avoiding certain vices which he names, Clement alludes again 
to the schism by exhorting them to cleave to those to whom 
grace had been given by God (i.e., in all probability, to their 
presbyters) , and to put on concord, being humble-minded, self- 
controlled, and free from all gossip and backbiting (xxx) . To 
be sure, justification is by faith (xxxii), but if they are to 
imitate God, whose beneficent cosmic activity in ordering 
the universe is cited once more, they will not be slow to perform 
these good works, they will not cease from "love" (xxxiii). 
Here, for the first time, Clement specifically equates "love" 
with concord, humility, and other attributes which further 
Christian unity. 

He next proceeds to relate "concord" to the eucharist as 


he includes himself with the Corinthians as they are about to 
partake of the sacrament. Just as myriads of angels worship 
God singing "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Sabbaoth, the 
whole creation is full of his glory," so we too, he continues, 
"must gather together in concord in our conscience and cry 
earnestly to him, as it were with one mouth, that we may share 
in his great and glorious promises" (xxxiv). Following a 
hortatory disgression, the litgury resumes and reaches a climax 
in a High Priestly passage: 

This is the way, beloved, in which we find our 
salvation, Jesus Christ the High Priest of our offerings, 
the defender and helper of our weakness. Through him 
we fix our gaze on the heights of heaven, through him 
we see the reflection of his faultless and lofty countenance, 
through him the eyes of our hearts are opened, through 
him our foolish and darkened understanding blossoms 
towards the light, through him the Master wills that 
we should taste the immortal gnosis (xxxvi.1-2). 

Although it is generally assumed that Clement has derived 
this High Priestly passage from the Epistle to the Hebrews, 
Knopf, following Drews, believes that Clement and the writer 
of Hebrews are both using a common liturgical tradition. < At 
any rate, its eucharistic character cannot be seriously questioned, 
for the phrases "that we should taste the immortal gnosis" is all 
but an explicit reference to the immortality that results from 
partaking of the sacred elements of the sacrament (cf. Ignatius, 
Ephesians xx.2; Hebrews vi.4-6a; John vi.27; and especially 
the eucharistic prayer in the Didache ix.l-4;cf. x.2). Further, 
the "offering" mentioned in the first sentence may include not 
only the prayers of the worshippers but also the eucharistic 
gifts which were a part of the celebration of the sacrament, 
as Lightfoot has observed. 

Clement's inclusion of this liturgy of eucharist in his plea 
for Christian unity is quite understandable; for since Paul's 
time, at least, it was through this sacrament in which the wor- 
shipers actually partook of the body, of the flesh and blood of 
Christ, that they became mystically united with him (and God) 
and with one another, becoming one body in Christ. Clement 


illustrates this unity with a military analogy, in which he calls 
attention to the discipline, submission, and readiness of all 
ranks in an army to obey the commands of who in turn obey 
the commands of the king, their supreme commander (xxxvi. 1- 
4). The application to the Corinthian situation is obvious: 
in the Christian army, the church, all members must be disci- 
plined like soldiers in an army, obeying their officials who are 
earring out the will of God, their king and supreme leader. 

Next, in an allusion to I Corinthians xii, which no doubt 
was well-known to his readers, he shifts the figure by comparing 
the Christian community to a human body: "Let us take our 
body; the head is nothing without the feet, likewise the feet 
are nothing without the head, the smallest members of our body 
are necessary and valuable to the whole body, but all work 
together and are united in a common subjection to preserve 
the whole body" (xxxvii.5). The mystical, if not sacra- 
mental, nature of this union is stressed in the next sentence 
"Let, therefore, our body be preserved in Christ Jesus and let 
each be subject to his neighbor, as also he was placed by his 
spiritual gift" (xxxviii.3). This is followed by one of the 
few passages in which Clement relates Christian unity (i.e.. 
"love") to philanthropic and charitable deeds. 

Focusing attention upon the schismatics once more, he warns 
them, using quotations from Job to strengthen his admoni- 
tions, that no mortal man in his conceit can withstand the 
power and might of God (xxxix). He continues his appeal 
to these leaders of factional strife by insisting upon the divine 
origin of the organization and sacramental practices of the 
church, fortifying his argument with Old Testament proto- 
types. For just as God had appointed the priesthood and laity 
of Israel, with provision for sacrifices at stated times under the 
direction of the priests, in like manner he had appointed the 
bishops (presbyters) and deacons, through regular succession 
from the apostles and Jesus Christ himself, to be in charge of 
the Christian liturgies at stated times and places (xl-xliv). 
Accordingly, everyone must be well-pleasing to God (or, to 
follow a var^nt reading, must join the eucharist to God) in 
his own rank, not transgressing the prescribed rules of the 
liturgy (xli. 1). As those in Israel who transgressed the ordi- 


nances were punishable by death, so Christians, who have been 
entrusted with a greater gnosis, run even greater risks (xli.3). 
For they are guilty of dividing the body of Christ with their 
strife, causing it to be torn asunder (xlvi.7). Clement, there- 
fore, is clearly warning the dissidents, who have displaced their 
divinely ordained leaders and are apparently celebrating the 
eucharist without proper supervision, that they are actually 
opposing God himself and may be provoking him to punish 
them with death itself for dividing the church, the body of 

By now Clement has developed his argument, step by 
step, to the place where he is ready to introduce the term "love" 
{ normally he uses agape but on occasion Philadelphia, brotherly 
love) as the equivalent of his institutional ideal of Christian 
unity and obedience with sacramental connotations. For up 
to now, with but a single exception noted above, he has studi- 
ously avoided this ecclesiastical use of "love" while developing 
the concept itself: but in the section to follow (xlvii-1), which 
is actually the climax of his letter, he freely introduces the term 
"love" with little deviation from the Ignatian usage. 

Accordingly, referring his readers to I Corinthians once 
more, he reminds them that the blessed apostle Paul had once 
rebuked the Corinthian church for an earlier dissension. But 
this factional dispute was less reprehensible than the present 
one, for the partisians of Paul's day had at least been followers 
of apostles of high reputation. The current schism, lacking any 
apostolic sanction, was a deplorable evil which was diminishing 
their reputation for "brotherly love" (philadelphia) . Not 
only were they blaspheming the name of God by their actions. 
but they were also creating no little danger for themselves 
(xlvii) . 

While Clement does not explicitly define "brotherly love" 
in this passage, nevertheless it is clear that since the "love" of 
the Corinthians has been decreased by their disunity and dis- 
obediences, there must be some vital connection between "love" 
and Clement's concept of Christian unity, concord, and obe- 
dience, if indeed they are not identical in meaning. Further, 
since the Corinthians by diminishing their "love" through 


their dissension and disobedience arc inviting divine punish- 
ment, it would appear that a supernatural, almost sacramental, 
power is also included in the concept. 

With this threatened danger confronting them, Clement 
urges the dissenters to repent, to become reconciled to the rest 
of the church, and to restore "the holy and seemly practice of 
"brotherly love' (Philadelphia) ." For this "brotherly love," 
in marked contrast to the current dissension, "is the open gate 
of righteousness leading to life, i.e., immortality" (xlviii.2). 
In a further allusion to Paul's letter he admonishes: "Let a man 
be faithful, let him have the power to utter guosis, let him be 
wise in the discernment of arguments, let him be pure in deeds; 
for the more he appears to be great, the more he ought to be 
humble-minded and to seek the common good of all and not 
his own benefit" ( xlviii.5-6 ) . The implications of this echo 
of Paul's teaching are obvious; when dissensions and disunity 
exist, not even the possession of those highly prized spiritual 
gifts which he has mentioned can be substituted for "love." 

This introduces a eulogy on "love" which is deliberately 
reminiscent of Paul's celebrated hymn in I Corinthians xiii: 

"Let him who has 'love' (agape) in Christ perform the 
commandments of Christ. Who is able to explain the 
bond of the 'love' of God? Who is sufficient to tell of 
the greatness of its beauty? The height to which 'love' 
lifts us is not to be expressed. 'Love unites us to God. 
'Love' covers a multitude of sins. 'Love' bears all things, 
is long-suffering in all things. There is nothing base, 
nothing haughty, in 'love.' • 'Love' admits no schism, 
'love' makes no sedition, 'love' does all things in concord. 
In love' were all the elect of God made perfect. With- 
out 'love' is nothing well-pleasing to God. In 'love' did 
the Master receive us; for the sake of the love' which he 
had towards us, did Jesus Christ our Lord give his blood 
by the will of God for us, and his flesh for our flesh, and 
his soul for our souls" (xlix) . 

This panegyric on "love" is almost self-explanatory, in 
view of the theme which Clement has been developing. Ob- 
viously, those who possess "love" will obey the commands of 


Christ, that is, the commands of those appointed by him. 
"Love" unites the Christian to God, and is a way of salvation, 
since it covers a multitude of sins. "Love" admits of no sedi- 
tion, no schism ; quite on the contrary, it leads to concord. 
While this is less clear, the mention of the "blood" and "flesh" 
of Christ in the last sentence may be a reference to the eucharist. 
If so, in Clement as in Ignatius, "love" is explicitly associated 
with the eucharist, if indeed it does not possess sacramental 
efficacy of itself. 

Clement repeats some of these emphases in the next chapter 
(1). "Love," he asserts, is great and glorious; there is no 
adequate way to express its perfection. He prays that we may 
be found in "love" without partisanship, without blame. He 
points out that "love" is an assurance of the resurrection; for 
all men since Adam have passed away, save those who have 
been perfected in "love" through the grace of God. These are 
now dwelling in the abode of the pious and will become mani- 
fested (i.e., resurrected) at the coming of the Kingdom of God. 
Accordingly, he asserts, we are blessed "if we perform the com- 
mandments of God in concord of 'love' that through 'love' 
our sins may be forgiven." 

Thus, in this section (xlvii-1), which forms the climax of 
his entire argument, Clement, citing Paul rather than the Old 
Testament as his authority, equates "love" with his theocratic 
concept of Christian unity, concord, and harmony in submis- 
sion and obedience to God and to the duly constituted officials 
of the church. Whereas disunity, schism, and disobedience 
result in divine retribution and punishment, "love," which 
unites the believers to God through Christ and to each other 
in a mystical body as in the eucharist, leads to forgiveness of 
sin, to salvation, and to the resurrection. Unlike Ignatius, 
Clement does not explicitly couple "love" wih "faith" or cor- 
rect belief; however, since "love" includes obedience to the 
church officials it of necessity involves adherence to doctrines 
and those only, approved by them. Furthermore, while 
Clement does not stress brotherly affection, charity, and phi- 
lanthropy in connection with "love," no doubt he considered 
these a natural result of this Christian attitude. It should be 
noted that Clement has introduced no new idea in this section 


on "love": instead he has merely given a label to all those 
factors which contribute to ecclesiastical concord and unity. 
Accordingly, in his use of "love" he differs but little from his 
contemporary, the bishop of Antioch. 

What is more, his special usage may have originated with 
Paul, whose "first" letter to the Corinthians he quotes so 
effectively. It will be recalled that I Corinthians is an ex- 
tremely practical letter, dealing with social and institutional 
problems and written in part to promote harmony, good order, 
and unity in Corinth. Certainly the letter gives evidence of 
factions, jealousies, and disorders which had developed in the 
church. While he deplores the existence of factions which 
claimed to be following Apollos, Cephas, and himself respec- 
tively, and insists that they were all one in Christ, nevertheless 
Paul does not hesitate to press his claims as a divinely elected 
apostle and as their founder and legitimate leader. They are 
to follow him as he follows Christ. Since sexual freedom on 
the one side and asceticism on the ather were causing dissension, 
he gives his opinion on sexual conduct and marriage. Like- 
wise, he urges discretion in the eating of meat sacrificed to idols 
lest the more scrupulous become offended. He also requests 
that members of the group refrain from suing each other in the 
pagan courts. In the interests of solidarity they should place 
their case before the brethren, or better yet, suffer wrong or 
injury rather than sue each other. 

Towards the end of the letter he shows his concern about 
certain abuses in connection with the church worship and the 
celebration of the Lord's supper. In his discussion he presents 
his basic view that they had all become united to Christ and 
God and to each other in one mystical body, the church, through 
the sacraments, especially through the eucharist. Those who 
were disloyal to Christ and the church by participating in the 
sacramental meals of pagan deities as they did of the Lord's 
supper are threatened with punishment by a jealous God. 
Likewise, others who profane the sacrament through cliques, 
selfishness, and other disorders (including, perhaps, the use of 
an incorrect liturgical formula) are warned that they too may 
suffer sickness or death as a result of their temerity. Women 
have caused offense by attending the church service with un- 


covered heads and by assuming too prominent a part in the 
worship. Jealousy may have been created by those who 
claimed superior spiritual gifts. At any rate, the excessive 
practice of glossolalia and other forms of ecstatic speech had 
created disorder during the worship service. Paul, accordingly, 
gives directions concerning the dress and conduct of women 
in church, the proper exercise of spiritual gifts, and the conduct 
of public worship, including the correct formula to be used 
in celebrating the eucharist. 

In the midst of this discussion he introduces his celebrated 
panegyric on "love." Is this to be treated as a digression with 
no vital relationship to these pressing institutional problems 
which have engaged Paul's earnest attention? Or is Clement 
correct in considering Paul's concept of "love" in this connec- 
tion as a mystical, sacramental bond which preserves the church, 
the body of Christ in unity and harmony in obedience to him, 
their divinely appointed apostolic leader, with divine punish- 
ment, even death, for the disobedient. If so, then the origin 
of both the Clementine and Ignatian use of "love" as a sacra- 
mental, ecclesiastical concept can be traced to this letter of Paul's 
to the Corinthians. 

To return to I Clement, the rest of the letter is largely an 
anticlimax. Clement again urges the leaders of the schism to 
repent, confessing their transgressions, since those who harden 
their hearts will be punished (li) . In keeping with an early 
practice, he may have intended this confession to take place 
during the celebration of the eucharist. He goes so far as to 
suggest that those on whose account the schism had arisen 
should leave the Christian church that it might enjoy peace 
under its presbyters (liv) . He urges the schismatics to submit 
themselves both to God (lvi. 1) and the presbyters (lvii.l) , in 
keeping with his view that obedience to God involves obedience 
to the officers of the church. Clement, who now claims that 
God is speaking through him, (lix.l) , promises that the obedi- 
ent will be saved, but warns that the disobedient are placing 
themselves in danger. 

All the commentators agree that the long liturgical prayer 
which follows (lix.2-lxi.3) preserves the actual phraseology 


of the intercessory prayer of the eucharistic liturgy of the early 
Roman church. Up to now Clement has presented forceful 
arguments and warnings to the trouble-makers at Corinth. 
They may refuse to heed his words; nevertheless, as he had 
promised before (cf. lvi.l) he will pray earnestly to God in 
their behalf. Through his use of this eucharistic prayer at 
this juncture he once more gives a sacramental sanction to his 
concept of "love." 

This prayer is followed by a brief summary of the epistle 
which is worth quoting, since it practically confirms the inter- 
pretation presented in this paper: 

For we have touched on every aspect of faith and repen- 
tance and true "love" and self-control and sobriety and 
patience, and reminded you that you are bound to please 
Almighty God with holiness in righteousness and truth 
and long-suffering, and to live in "concord," bearing no 
malice, in "love" and peace with eager gentleness, even as 
our fathers, whose examples we quoted, were well-pleas- 
ing in their humility towards God, the Father and Creator 
of all men (lxii) . 

A final plea that the sedition come to an end is reinforced 
by his claim for a second time that he is writing through divine 
inspiration (lxiii.2). He highly recommends the Roman dele- 
gation that is to take his message to Corinth, and expresses the 
hope that they will speedily return with a final benediction and 
doxology (lxv.2). Since we learn from a letter written toward 
the end of the second century by Dinoysius, at that time the 
bishop of Corinth, that the Corinthian church of his day 
treasured and read Clement's letter, it is fair to assume that it 
was effective in restoring peace, harmony, unity, and obedience, 
or, in a word, "love" in the ecclesiastical and sacramental mean- 
ing of the term, to the church at Corinth in keeping with 
Clement's fondest expectations. 


By Frederick M. Derwacter 
William Jewell College 
Liberty, Missouri 

Nothing is more striking as one studies the developing liter- 
ature of the early Christian movement than the broadening 
racial and national attitude of the followers of Jesus. Assum- 
ing as probable that the tone of the picture of Christianity 
found in the various writers is congenial with the circle within 
which it arose and for which it was first of all intended, we 
may trace with some degree of assurance the changes that took 
place from time to time. Since the attitude of Jesus himself 
is represented with some difference by the early writers, we 
must assume that each writer selected his material and inter- 
preted it as he understood it and had the mind and heart to 
appreciate it: or, what amounts to much the same thing, that 
such selection had taken place along the avenues by which the 
material had come to him. In this paper it is my purpose to 
examine as one aspect of this development the attitude of early 
Christians toward the Samaritan. 

When did Samaria and the Samaritans enter into the gospel 
traditon? What were the circumstances and motives of this 
development? These questions impress one as he reads the 
records of the first century of Christianity. These records 
betray an increasing interest in the people of Samaria, a growth 
in sympathy with them, as they furnish us a constantly in- 
creasing amount of material dealing with them. 

In the earliest Christian literature extant, that is, the Pauline 
epistles, there is no mention of Samaria or Samaritans. This 
may be of no great significance, however, as there is no mention 
of Galilee or Galileans. In fact Pauline references even to Judea 
are rare indeed. All these references (Rom. 15:31; II Cor. 
1:16; Gal. 1:22; I Thess. 2:14) are subject to question as to 
whether Paul refers to the Roman province, or to Palestine as 
a whole. He does not anywhere clearly indicate geographical 


divisions in the land of the Jews. In the letters, as is true also 
in the Acts, Paul's work is seen as lying outside Palestine, and 
his visits, like the references indicated, are casual and incidental. 
Even travel to Jerusalem gives us no detail (Gal. 1:18: 2:1). 
We do not know from Paul himself what routes he took in 
Palestine. Jerusalem is the sole point of interest. 

The Gospel of Mark, by common consent the earliest, is 
like the Pauline epistles in having no mention whatever of 
Samaria or Samaritans. This, however, is of more concern 
to us. For Mark tells the story of the work of Jesus, whose 
life, unlike Paul's, was spent in Palestine, and whose work is 
by other writers described as including contact with and ministry 
to Samaritans. The Source Q or Logia is likewise silent in 
regard to this phase of Jesus' ministry, unless the passage dis- 
cussed in the following paragraph be derived from it. 

The earliest references to Samaria or Samaritans in the New 
Testament and the only one in Matthew's Gospel occurs in 
the commission to the Twelve, a passage having no parallel in 
the other Gospels. It is noteworthy because of its typically 
exclusive Jewish tone. In his own words Jesus limits the 
ministry of the disciples strictly to Jews and along with the 
Gentiles expressly eliminates the Samaritans: "Go not into 
any way of the Gentiles and enter not into any city of the 
Samaritans but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of 
Israel." (Matt. 10:5: see also 15:24). It is difficult to 
imagine any motive for the invention of this passage. On the 
other hand its omission from the Gospel of Luke may not 
indicate thot it is unknown to the writer or not a genuine pas- 
sage from Q. It is out of harmony with the universal tone of 
Luke's Gospel. But it is quite in keeping with a stage of Jesus' 
ministry when limitations in the disciples' viewpoint had to be 
taken into account. 

The Gospel of Luke has three passages peculiar to it regard- 
ing Samaritans and these passages are taken here in an ascending 
scale with reference to their appreciation of the people of 
Samaria. All occur in the so-called Perean section which con- 
tains so much material peculiar to this gospel. In the first 
(9:51-56). we read that when Jesus planned his last journey 


to Jerusalem he sent messengers ahead to prepare a place for him 
to lodge in a Samaritan village. "And they did not receive him 
because his face was as though he were going to Jerusalem." 
This represents the Samaritans in an unfriendly light. But the 
Samaritan rejection and the outburst of James and John, "Lord, 
wilt thou that we bid fire to come down from heaven and con- 
sume them?" simply represent the traditional attitude of Jews 
and Samaritans toward each other. The point particularly 
worth rioting here is that Jesus' rebuke of the two disciples is 
the first passage in the New Testament in which a different 
attitude is suggested. 

In a second passage in Luke (17:11-19) Jesus, travelling 
with his disciples along the border between Samaria and Galilee, 
meets a band of ten lepers, of whom one at least was a Samari- 
tan. Upon their cry for help, Jesus heals them all, but one 
turns back to praise God and to thank Jesus, "and he was a 
Samaritan." Jesus in turn singles out for a special word of 
commendation "this stranger" who alone "returned to give 
glory to God," and who thus in his opinion surpassed in piety 
the other nine, who presumably were Jews. Not only is it 
suggested here that discrimination against the Samaritan is out 
of place, but also that the Samaritans even prove more responsive 
to Jesus' ministry than the Jews themselves. 

The other passage to be considered is the familiar Parable 
of the Good Samaritan (10:30-37). The Samaritan in the 
Parable stands out in sharp contrast to the Jewish religious 
leaders. He has no official rank like a "priest" or a "Levite," 
but he is set up as the ideal in kind and generous conduct, as 
the one who best obeys the law "thou shalt love thy neighbor 
as thyself." 

These three passages in Luke reveal in the teaching of Jesus 
a new attitude toward the Samaritan. First, the Samaritan's 
inhospitality is not to be taken as an excuse for summoning 
divine wrath. Second, the, Samaritan's faith and gratitude 
are to be recognized, even in contrast with many Jews. Third, 
the Samaritan's attitude toward the Law may be more human 
and more pleasing to God than that of many Jewish religious 
leaders. It should be noted that the contacts of Jesus and his 


disciples with Samaritans in the Gospel of Luke are casual meet- 
ings on the way from Galilee to Jerusalem. 

The Gospel of John presents a still higher development. 
In the fourth chapter, we find that Jesus and his disciples are 
going through Samaria on their way from Judea to Galilee. 
Stopping to rest beside a well, Jesus talks freely with a Samari- 
tan woman, even accepting a drink of water from her, and 
finally spends two days teaching his gospel in a Samaritan 
village. A number of the people become his disciples. Im- 
bedded in this passage and setting it in greater relief is the ob- 
servation of the author or editor, for the benefit no doubt of. 
a Gentile public unacquainted with Palestinian customs: "For 
Jews have no dealings with Samaritans." 

The only other reference in this gospel to Samaria or Samar- 
itans is the passage in which the Jews hurl at Jesus in the heat 
of controversy the stinging words: "Say we not well that 
thou art a Samaritan and hast a demon?" (8:48). Again 
appears the traditional attitude of Jews toward Samartians: 
the very word Samaritan is a term of opprobrium. From its 
appearance here, however, we may infer that at the time of 
writing and in the mind of its readers, this is no longer true. 
On the contrary the Gentile Christian may find comfort in the 
fact that Jesus himself had been assigned his place outside the 
Jewish circle. 

Thus, from the complete silence of Paul and of Mark, 
from the practical silence or unfriendly reference of Matthew 
(or Q) , advance .is made through recognition and appreciation 
of the Samaritans in Luke to evangelization in John. It is 
interesting to note that this last stage continues in the Acts, 
where it reaches its highest point. 

There are a number of references in Acts to Samaria merely 
as a territory, in expressions where it is joined with other geo- 
graphical names: (a) Judea and Samaria as places to which the 
disciples, in striking contrast with Matt. 10:5, were enjoined 
to carry their message (1:8); (b) Judea and Samaria as places 
to which the disciples were scattered after the death of Stephen 
(8:1): (c) Judea and Galilee and Samaria as places where 
believers lived (1:31): (d) Phoenicia and Samaria as places 


through which Paul and Barnabas and others passed on their 
way from Antioch to Jerusalem (15:3). 

The other references in the Acts are all in the eighth chap- 
ter and have to do with the visit of Philip at Samaria for the 
purpose of evangelization, the subsequent "follow up" visit 
of Peter and John, and the encounters the disciples had with 
Simon Magus. These represent Samaria as one of the earliest 
missionary objectives and Christianity as successfully planted 
among the Samaritans. It should be noted also that while in 
the Gospel of John Jesus was simply passing through Samaria 
,when he met the woman at Sychar and turned aside for a few 
days teaching in her village, in the Acts the city of Samaria is 
the center of deliberate evangelistic effort. 

The conclusion of this study must be that the farther we 
get from the earliest records the more common is the reference to 
Samaritans; that the earlier references reflect the traditional 
hostility of Jew and Samaritan; that Luke's Gospel first 
breaks this down with records of Jesus' expressions of apprecia- 
tion and praise; that first in the Gospel of John do we find any 
efforts at evangelization, efforts of Jesus himself which have 
their later counterpart in the early chapters of Acts in the dis- 
ciples' extended missionary labors in Samaria. 

Obviously Christian tradition as seen in the New Testament 
went through a process of emancipation from Jewish narrow- 
ness. If we set aside for a moment the Gospel of Luke and 
the Acts and look carefully at the rest, we begin to realize how 
much we owe to one man's record and its influence. • Is it 
possible that Luke in the research which he made in preparation 
for his writings (Luke 1:3) discovered, perhaps in Palestine, 
some valuable traditions congenial to a disciple of Paul but long 
buried under national and racial prejudices? At any rate, the 
Samaritan interest, if a little late, found through the writings 
of Luke and the Fourth Gospel a secure place in the New Testa- 
ment. And a generation laboring in the spirit of Paul for the 
universal gospel and the Gentile mission no doubt welcomed 
this new light, thanked God and took courage. 


By Elmer T. Clark 

New York, N. Y. 

The problem of small sects is "home mission problem 
number one." There are approximately 300 little denomina- 
tions in the United States and the number is increasing rapidly. 
The religious census of 1936 located 58 new groups which had 
not been in existence ten years before. The actual membership 
of these bodies is not over two or three million, but there are 
probably ten or twelve million people in the country who re- 
ceive all the religious guidance they ever receive from sects so 
obscure that most informed people never heard of them. In 
every community in America these groups are reaching the 
people which the great churches are failing to reach, and they 
are flourishing in the communities, in the very buildings, which 
the Methodists and other denominations have abandoned. The 
problem of evangelism, the problem of the country church, and 
the problem of the industrial community are all bound up with 
the psychology of the small sects. 

Many of these groups are very peculiar. Most of us are 
familiar with the "Holy Rollers," who shout and talk in un- 
known tongues, and the Saints, who handle rattle snakes and 
hot lamp chimneys, but there are many other types with which 
we are not so familiar. 

More than one Negro denomination insists that the colored 
people are really Jews and descendents of the lost tribes. The 
Church of God and Saints of Christ take this so seriously that 
to the customary Christian observances they add the old Jewish 
rites. They circumcise as well as baptize. They sprinkle 
blood all over the place at Passover and lay all their earthly 
goods at the feet of the apostles, represented by Bishop William 
H. Plummer. G. F. A., which means Grand Father Abraham. 
The Church of the Living God, Christian Workers for Fellow- 
ship, insists that the prophets of Israel, the apostles of the early 


church, and all other biblical characters were black; Jesus was 
certainly a negro, for he was the son of David, who confessed 
his color in a Psalm: "I became as a bottle in the smoke." 

The Amish Mennonites do not wear buttons, neckties, or 
coats with lapels, neither do they have telephones, radios, top 
buggies, carpets, pictures, or other worldly items: they choose 
their preachers by lot and hold their services in barns. The 
Dukhobors are always wandering around to meet Christ some- 
where, and not infrequently they go entirely nude in order to 
meet him in pristine purity. The River Brethren split over the 
momentous issue of whether in the foatwashing ceremony 
the same person should both wash and dry or whether two 
saints should perform the two operations; whereupon we have 
the One-Mode and the Two-Mode Brethren. Mennonites and 
some others make the women cover their hair and the House of 
David will not allow men to cut their hair, and the two groups 
justify the divergent customs by the same passage of Scripture. 
Paul said it was a shame for the head of the woman to be un- 
covered, wherefore women must wear the covering; but Paul 
also said the head of the woman is the man, so that he really 
meant it is a shame for the head of the man to be uncovered. 

Two Mennonite denominations split over a horse trade, 
and two more originated because an enthusiastic brother in- 
sisted on holding revivals. Some of the Brethren groups broke 
up over the issue of baptism: one holds it can be performed only 
in running water, another that it must be performed indoors, 
several others insist on dipping three times face forward. There 
have been schisms over the communion meal and the elements of 
the sacrament: one sect thinks the meal and the elements should 
be placed on the table together, another that the elements must 
be prepared after the meal, still another that the elements should 
be ready in the room during the meal but on a separate table. 
Intrumental music, the use of modern hymns, the acceptance of 
a missionary subsidy, the state of the dead, and even the cut 
of a preacher's coat have disrupted churches and given birth 
to new denominations. 



Studied from the standpoint of beliefs and practices and the 
types of mind attracted by them, and speaking quite generally, 
there are six different types of small sects in this country. 

1. Communistic sects draw apart from the world and 
organize self-contained socialistic colonies in which they practice 
community of goods and sometimes community of women and 
children. In the course of our history there have been large 
numbers of such colonies, most of them religious, but few have 
been able to survive. Among those still in existence are the 
Amana Society or the Society of True Inspiration, the House 
of David, the recently defunct Llano Colony, Church of God 
and Saints of Christ, the Church Triumphant, and the expiring 
remnant of the Shakers. 

2. Esoteric sects possess deep dark secrets of mystic nature 
into which the elect must be initiated. Many of these are off- 
shoots of Hinduism. Among this class may be mentioned the 
Rosicrucians, Theosophists, and Spiritualists. 

3. Egocentric sects cater to the physical body and offer 
comfort, personal exhilaration, peace of mind, freedom from 
pain and disease, and prosperity as the goals of existence. 
Among such are the Christian Scientists, the Great I Am, Divine 
Scientists, New Thought devotees, and the followers of the 
Unity School of Christianity. 

Pessimistic sects are those who despair of social processes 
and expect God to intervene in the world-order and shape things 
to his liking by a cosmic cataclysm. These are the premillen- 
arian or second-coming sects, such as the Adventists, Jehovah's 
Witnesses and the various groups of the so-called Fundamental- 
ists. Thesej rely upon apocalyptic literature, especially the 
books of Daniel and Revelation, and find prophecies of coming 
events in the strange figures and cryptic references with which 
the persecuted Jews in the days of Antiochus Ephiphanes and 
Christians in the early centuries hid their meanings from their 
enemies and strengthened the faithful by assurances that their 
persecutors would be overthrown. 

5. There is a large number of Perfectionist sects. These 


are the people who seek after holiness, freedom from tempta- 
tion, a satisfactory inner state, and various personal experiences 
and blessings. The Perfectionists claim that in addition to 
justification and regeneration there is a second work of grace or 
sanctification and that without this none can be a perfect Chris- 
tian. Such a work is always accomplished by God alone and 
is attested by a personal experience of an emotional character. 
Practically all of these are offshoots of Methodism directly or 
indirectly. The word that best describes them is subjective. 
The point on which they lay supreme emphasis is personal reli- 
gious experience. 

There are right wing and left wing Perfectionists. The 
right wing is represented by the moderate second blessing holi- 
ness people like the Church of the Nazarenes. The left wing 
is the Tongue-talking "Holy Rollers" who indulge in extreme 
emotional excesses and are found in nearly every rural and 
mountainous community on this continent. 

The left wing Perfectionists are the charismatic sects, so 
characterized because of their insistence on divine gifts, or charis- 
mata. They are found throughout the nation. They seek 
spiritual blessings and enduements of various kinds. Spirit 
guidance is fundamental to them and this is sometimes carried 
to absurd extremes. In Kentucky a few years ago a woman was 
murdered by her own son as a human sacrifice in obedience to 
the promptings of the spirit. The almost universal charism of 
this group, however, is that of the gjossolalia, or the gift of 
tongues. The phenomenon of tongues is a most peculiar motor 
exercise which has been discussed by many persons who have 
written on the psychology of religion. Several sects insist upon 
it as the sign and seal of Christian perfection. Among these 
are the Catholic Apostlic Church, the Assemblies of God, Pente- 
costal Holiness Church, International Church of the Foursquare 
Gospel, the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, several varie- 
ties of Churches of God, and such negro sects as the Apostlic 
Overcoming Holy Church of God, House of Prayer, and many 

6. The other group of sects I have called Legalistic. If 
the v/ord subjective characterizes the Perfectionist group, then 


the word objective describes those now under consideration. 
The characteristic element is the presence of some observance to 
which the people cling. They do not care much about spirit- 
uality, as understood by the Perfectionists. What they desire 
is something definite which they can see, handle, do, or oppose, 
and which is made the test of religious regularity. Sometimes 
this craving for objectivity takes the negative form and the peo- 
ple find satisfaction in opposing something which other people 

The craving for objectivity is seen in the attachment of 
certain Baptist groups to baptism and peculiar modes of ad- 
ministering the same, which is so important that it becomes the 
mark of the true Christian Church. Others satisfy the same 
craving by covering the heads of the women, letting their hair 
grow long, wearing clothes of peculiar cut of pattern, anointing 
each other with oil, foot washing, and similar observances. 
Negatively, it finds expression in opposition to church organs, 
hymn books, missionary and other Church organizations, and 
the Puritan type of morality which opposes tobacco, theatre 
going, novel reading, wearing gold and costly apparel, dancing, 
and other worldly practices. 

In setting up these objective things to do or to refrain from 
doing, these sects persuade hemselves that they are reviving 
primitive Christianity. None of them regards the things it 
does or refuses to do as aids to worship, but as actual and nec- 
essary elements of the Christian faith. No primitive Baptist 
would contend that he washes his brother's feet because it up- 
lifts the soul or creates an atmosphere conducive to holy medita- 
tion. He performs the rite because it is a part of the Christian 
system as revealed in the Bible, and the omission of which 
would constitute a denial of the faith. Members of the churches 
of Christ do not think the absence of the organ produces a 
more beautiful service or conduces to a more spiritual state of 
mind. They hold to the theory "we speak where the Bible 
speaks and arc silent where the Bible is silent." They hold 
that what God in the Bible has not expressly commanded, he 
has expressly forbidden, and since they do not find anything in 
the New Testament about having organs in churches, therefore 
this silence is proof that God has no ear for organ music, and 


the presence of an organ in a church dedicated to his service is 
displeasing to him. 

It appears, however, that it is the psychological craving for 
objectivity, rather than reverence for holy writ, that is the crux 
of the whole matter. This is seen in the very interesting fact 
that no sect practices all of the observances mentioned in the 
Bible, and none of them, of course, opposes all the things the 
Bible does not mention. All of them profess to do so, how- 
ever. As a matter of fact, they pick out two or three things 
which satisfy the peculiar bent of their minds and ignore all 
the others though they are equally plain. 

Baptist sects baptize in various ways and wash each oher's 
feet, but they do not cover the heads of their women, anoint 
with oil, or greet each other with a holy kiss. Mennonites use 
the head covering but do not commonly wash feet. The Bible 
has no more to say about tuning forks than about organs, but 
the Churches of Christ use the one and despise the other. While 
professing to speak where the Bible speaks, they do not wash 
feet, anoint with oil, or cover the heads, nor do they pay any 
attention to the silences of the Bible except in the matter of 
organs and missionary societies. So it is with all these sects. 
Professing to follow the Bible thoroughly and accurately, they 
proceed to. pick 'out two or three observances or oppositions 
that are congenial to them. This satisfies their craving for 
an objective something to which they can cling, so they calmly 
ignore a hundred things quite as plain as those they adopt. 


In America, however, we have witnessed a peculiar exception 
to the early universal rule that sects are the refuges of the poor 
and the ignorant. Here we have produced several groups which 
are the refuges of prosperous middle-age people who are afraid 
of growing old and who desire to escape the inevitable hard 
realities of this life without waiting for a heaven beyond the 
grave. Such are the egocentric sects, Christian Science, Unity, 
The Great I Am, New Thought, and the various "new psychol- 
ogy" groups. We seem to have contributed these to the world, 
since practically all of them originated here, and most of them 


flourish here and nowhere else. They are products of our 
prosperity, and the philosophy and manner of life engendered 
by it. These, however, cut such a small figure in the general 
religious pattern that only a mention of them is necessary here. 


Let us now turn to a consideration of a few psychological 
and theological factors that are basic among the sects, and which 
may throw some light on the religious problem they present. 

The Sects arc strongest at these points of doctrine and prac- 
tice where the denominations are weakest. They flourish by 
taking up the things which the great churches drop. An analy- 
sis of their outstanding characteristics reveals the fact that all 
f them were once characteristic of the greatest religious bodies 
in this country but have now been neglected or discarded. This 
is a fact of the utmost importance, signifying as it does that 
the churches are growing away from multiplied millions of our 
population and gradually widening the breach between them- 
selves and the plain people. Time and again it has been 
necessary for great religious leaders like John Wesley to lead 
a revolt against the helpless, conventionalized religion of the day 
on the part of the submerged millions. It is probable that the 
stage is being prepared in this country for another such move- 
ment. Should a prophet appear who should be able to bring 
together and organize the religious discontent in the nearly two 
hundred small sects of his country, he would immediately 
have at his disposal a body larger than the greatest Protestant 
denomination and a message suited to the psychological and 
spiritual needs of the plain people. He would be able to domi- 
nate the religious life of the country. 

1 . The most flourishing sects employ the method of the 
mass movement which has been so effective in this country and 
which the great churches have practically abandoned. The 
revival technique is characteristic of nearly all those groups 
which are experiencing any large growth. They are able to use 
this device effectively because of their small size, the simple faith 
which they preach, the devotion to their cause which is character- 
istic of new religious movements, thj> like-mindedness of their 


people, and the intellectual and social status of the people with 
whom they deal. 

At this point it may be well to point out the historical fact 
that there has never been any religious ingathering above the 
normal increase of the population except in connection with 
some kind of mass movement which influences the public psy- 
chology. Usually it has been a far-flung evangelistic move- 
ment, such as the early revivals of Edwards, Whitefield, the 
Tennants, the Methodist circuit riders, the camp-meeting revivals 
of the first years of the nineteenth century, the revivals of the 
Civil War period, and the campaigns of Moody. The increase 
in church membership went above the norm in connection with 
all of these. But religious mass movement of an altogether 
different nature may produce the same results, as was the case 
during the Parliament of Religions at the Chicago World's Fair, 
and the Methodist Centenary, the Presbyterian New Era, the 
Baptist Seventy-Five Million, and the other great financial cam- 
paigns after the close of the World War in 1918. It would 
appear, therefore, that any social movement which focuses public 
attention on religion and creates a favorable public psychology 
is likely to result in a supernormal increase in church member- 

2. The sects place supreme emphasis upon the super- 
natural, and the gospel they preach is entirely other- worldly. 
This note has all but disappeared from the great denominations, 
but it flares up with great intensity among the small sects. God 
is intensely real and intensely active. Prayer has objective 
physical results. The devil exists as a personal figure close to 
every man at all times. There is a definite heaven. Conver- 
sion, which is always insisted upon, is a real miracle. 

Here again the small sect capitalizes the lack of emphasis 
on the supernatural which is characteristic of the large churches 
at the present time. The plain man expects from the church 
a word which is definite and authoritative upon spiritual ques- 
tions. He wants to know how to be saved from sin, to secure 
inner peace and a sense of security, to know what will happen 
to him when he dies. He will desert any religious leader who 
cannot give him definite and certain information about these 


subjects. Ho will go to the Labor Union, the ballot box, or 
the W. P. A. for an improvement of his material life, but he 
will not listen to the preacher who offers him social benefit 
or fails to offer him a sure hope of heaven. 

In view of the fact that the sects thrive mainly among the 
disinherited, it seems strange that not one of them makes any 
attempt to ameliorate the physical condition of its adherents. 
The modern social gospel is entirely alien to them. In fact, 
it is resented as proof that the churches preaching it have for- 
saken the true gospel. None has any program of social reform 
except frugality, industry, temperance and opposition to the 
liquor traffic. Some of the sects even forbid their members to 
vote or hold public office, and regard the Constitution of the 
United States as an atheistic document because it does not rec- 
ognize the kingship of Jesus Christ. The modern social gospel 
as preached by the great and progressive denominations of 
Americans is a product of those who do not need it. It is 
preached almost exclusively by persons quite well placed who 
have tasted the fruits of mammon and found them good. But 
it makes no appeal to the disinherited who really need it. It 
seems plain that the millions of the world cannot be won by a 
gospel which offers them an improvement of economic status. 
Their God looks with high favor upon poverty. 

3. The small sects lay great emphasis upon the feeling 
element in religion. These churches are the refuges of the 
emotionally starved. They are in large measure denied the 
activities through which the prosperous find outlets for their 
emotions. They have not established rational control over 
their feelings. Yet being emotionally inclined and having no 
other outlet, these people revel in their religious experiences. 
Most of the great Protestant bodies hold in some indefinite way 
that the seat of authority in religion is experience, but after 
reading their learned books on the subject the average person 
is likely to remain in doubt as to the exact meaning of this 
doctrine. There is no such doubt among the small sects. 
Most of them believe that personal experience constitutes a 
certain and only touch with God, and personal experience with 
them always means emotion. John Wesley declared that he 
wanted a faith that none could have without knowing that he 


had it, and he once declared that feeling was the test of religious 
truth. "I know because I feel." 

That is exactly where the small sects stand. Hence they 
covet blessings, gifts, and outpourings of the Spirit. They have 
developed an elaborate technique of stirring the emotions and 
inducing these blessings, and lacking the control which comes 
with mental culture they not infrequently run to terrible ex- 
tremes of frenzy. These need not be described here, but they 
can be witnessed in extreme forms at any of the conventions 
held by the Church of God in Cleveland or Chattanooga, Ten- 
nessee, or Bishop Grace's House of Prayer at Augusta, Georgia, 
Bishop Phillip's Apostalic Overcoming Holy Church of God 
in Mobile, or Father Divine's "Heaven" in Harlem. 

Here again the sects are strong where the great churches are 
weak. The feeling element has all but passed out of American 
denominational life to the great detriment of the churches, I 
am afraid. It has been seized upon by the sects and made the 
instrument of their power over the masses. 

4. The sectarian mind demands definiteness in religion. 
It must have a note of absolute certainty and an authority 
that is infallible. This is found among all the sects. Among 
the Perfectionists, it is a certainty of an inner assurance. With 
the Legalists, it lies in the belief that if certain objective physi- 
cal acts are performed, God will be pleased and the devotee will 
be in the right relations with him. 

Here again the great denominations are weak where the 
sects are strong. We are no longer as certain as we once were 
as to where authority resides, the exact nature and implications 
of the inspiration of the Bible, the nature of God, immortality 
and the future life, the meaning, nature and method of salva- 
tion, and what it means to be lost. But the ordinary religious 
mind demands an authoritative word on these things and the 
sects give it to one. They know exactly what they mean when 
they use the words lost and saved, and they can tell a penitent 
without a moment's hesitation exactly what he should do to be 
saved. Herein is the secret of the strong hold which the small 
sects have on the minds and hearts of the plain people. 



In summary and conclusion, it may be said that the psychol- 
ogy of the small sect is characterized by four deep human 

1 . There is a craving for the direct intervention of God 
to correct the ills and inequalities of his world. This is marked 
among the Pessimistic or Adventist groups, who despair of 
social processes. 

2. There is a craving for the supernatural and for a sal- 
vation which man cannot achieve and which this world cannot 

3. There is a craving for an emotional outlet and a direct 
touch with God. 

4. There is a craving for definiteness, for objectivity, for a 
real act which man can do, the doing of which will be pleasing 
to God, and a word of dogmatic certainty on spiritual and 
eternal subjects. 

These are the four strong points of the small sects in 
America. They are the four weak points, if we may use that 
term, of the large denominations, and the weakening of the 
emphasis at these points on the part of the big churches in large 
measure explains the fact that they are losing the masses of the 
plain people of the churches. It is worthy of note that the 
Roman Catholic Church has suffered little from the sectarian 
spirit and it may be that the explanation is in the fact that this 
church has not weakened at either of the four points mentioned. 
Catholicism has laid no great stress on the modern social gospel. 
Its pageantry is as tawdry as the plainest of the plain people 
could desire, and it provides a considerable emotional feature. 
It certainly stresses the supernatural, and is exceedingly other- 
worldly, and it satisfies the craving for definiteness, objectivity, 
and a certain word of authority on religious matters. If these 
points give us insight into the reason for the sectarian revolt 
in this country, probably they also afford a view as to what 
the great denominations should do to halt that revolt and win 
back the ordinary people they are so rapidly losing. 


By William H. Bernhardt 

Iliff School of Theology 

Denver, Colorado 

Discussions of the God-concept are normally confined to 
one or more of the following questions: (i) What is the nature 
of God? (ii) Does God-as-defined exist? (iii) What is the 
relation of God-as-defined to man and the world? Occasional- 
ly some one will attempt to dismiss one or more of these 
questions as irrelevant or unanswerable. Professor Wicman, 
in one of his earlier works (Religious Experience and Scientific 
Method, 1926) sought to eliminate the third question listed 
above. He defined God as that "Something upon which 
human life is most dependent for its security, welfare and in- 
creasing abundance," and stated that the existence of "Some- 
thing" was not open to question. In his next volume, how- 
ever, (The Wrestle of Religion with Truth, 1927) he defined 
the God-concept more specifically. When he did this, how- 
ever, he faced the necessity of 'testing' the concept. This 'test- 
ing' consisted in attempting to prove that God-as-defined 
actually existed. It may be stated categorically that whenever 
one defines God in specific terms he faces the question: Does 
God so defined exist? To the present, then, it appears to be 
impossible to evade the three- fold question of nature-existence- 
relation when one considers the problem of God. 

There is a preliminary question, however, which must be 
answered before one is in position intelligently to consider 
these three related questions. What is the fundamental cate- 
gory or general class to which all entities named Deity belong? 
Or, to what class of realities does Deity belong? An analogy 
from physics may clarify the meaning of this question. When 
the physicist is asked about the nature of his basic problem, he 
may answer in the words of J. Arthur Thomson that "physics 
is mainly the science of the transformations of Energy (Ener- 
getics) ." (An Introduction to Science, New York: Henry Holt 
and Co., 1911, p. 105). The physicist, in other words, has 


selected some phase of the universe about him and subjects it 
to critical examination. He confines his attention to motion, 
and attempts to answer the questions which emerge from its 
consideration . He does not ask whether or not there is Motion, 
spelled with an upper case M. He begins with common-sense 
experiences of motion and subjects them to progressively re- 
fined and complex analyses. The other sciences follow a 
similar procedure: they select given areas or phases of the world 
about them, and investigate these areas as thoroughly as pos- 

The religious thinker has no such clearly defined field. 
He may not assume that the object of his study exists: no other 
inference may be drawn from the fact that he must prove its 
existence. Furthermore, religious thinkers are not in agreement 
as to the category to which God-as-reality belongs. Some con- 
temporary thinkers believe Deity belongs to the class of essen- 
tially and absolutely non-sensible or imperceptible realities (as 
does C. E. M. Joad. Matter, Life and Value. Oxford, 1929) : 
others believe Deity belongs to the category of perceptible ob- 
jects, and to that specific group which includes those of highest 
value (as does H. N. Wieman in several of his books) ; others 
view Deity as the Dominant Phase of all reality (as does F. S. 
C. Northrop, in Science and First Principles, Macmillan, 
1931) . Each of these thinkers has selected a different category 
for the entity or being designated by the term God. God is 
Subsistent Value (Joad), Existent Value (Wieman), or De- 
terminant Power or Control (Northrop) . 

The various schools of theological thought with then 
widely divergent conceptions of Deity are normal consequences 
of the selection of different categories for Deity. If one be- 
lieves that the realm of subsistent objects contains all that is 
needed in the way of information concerning Deity, he has, by 
that choice, determined in advance the general character of any 
God-concept he may develop. Likewise, if he selects for ob- 
servation and examination that which probably represents the 
dominant or controlling phase or phases of reality, he has by 
that selection predetermined the basic character of the God- 
concept which will emerge from his investigations. 


The answer which one makes to the preliminary question 
of general class or category to which all God-concepts belong 
is thus of major importance in any attempt to define God. 
The specific significance of such choice will become more evident 
as we analyze two such categories. This preliminary analysis 
should throw some light upon the whole set of problems which 
cluster about the problem of God. 

I. Agathonic Realism 

The term 'agathonic' is derived from the Greek expression 
to agathon, which means "good in its kind." Agathonic is 
defined to mean whatever may be of use and (or) enjoyment 
to human beings. The term Realism is used in its normal 
philosophical meaning to denote that which has independent 
existence or subsistence; that which is not dependent for its 
being upon either human or divine experience or thought. Aga- 
thonic Realists, then, are those who believe that God belongs 
to the category of value, defined in terms of what is of use 
and (or) enjoyment to humanity. The data accepted as ad- 
missible by Agathonic Realists in the derivation and validation 
of theories concerning the nature of God consists in behaviors, 
events or entities (existent or subsistent ) which are believed to 
support and (or) enhance human values. 

This approach found an early exponent in Plato. He 
stated that God as creator had created only that which is good, 
and that he himself .was perfect and changeless in character 
(The Republic, bk. II, 380,381). Plato, as one may recall, 
viewed all changing, observable entities as quite deficient in 
reality. When he defined God as a perfect, changeless reality, 
he discarded the world of perceptible entities from all serious 
consideration. One of Plato's numerous successors in this 
tendency is C. E. M. Joad. In an important volume, Matter, 
Life and Value (Oxford, 1929), he presented his theory of 
reality. Reality consists in three levels. The first and lowest 
is matter. Matter is defined as an entity devoid of life or 
mind and exhaustively explicable in physico-chemical terms. 
The second level is Life, described as an indefinable principle 
which appeared in matter in some mysterious way at an un- 
known time. Life is characterized as a Protean thrust or im- 


pulsion (Ibid., pp. 138 f . ) . The third level, and the only one 
to which Joad appears to apply the term reality, is value. 
He characterizes it in Platonic terms as permanent, perfect and 
changeless. It contains all that may be designated at its lowest 
levels by the terms truth, beauty and goodness. The term 
God may be used to symbolize this realm of value when it is 
conceived of as one and individuated. (Cf. his Present and 
Future of Christianity. New York: Macmillan Co., 1930, p. 

Knowledge of value or God is not to be obtained by ex- 
amination or experience of either matter or life. Knowledge 
as such is always a matter of awareness. Awareness is defined 
as the directional activity of living beings accompanied by the 
feeling of immediate certainty. All forms of knowing are thus 
forms of awareness: awareness of matter is called sensation; 
awareness of subsistent objects (such as thoughts) is called 
thinking (Matter, Life and Value, p. 3 78). At its highest 
level, awareness is called mysticism, or the vision of God or 
Value. It is still a form of awareness, but a much higher and 
rarer form. Those who possess it may be called 'sports', and 
their vision may become the means whereby lesser folk grope 
their own way closer to the light. (Ibid., p. 363 ff). 

It may be possible for some folk to catch indirect and fleet- 
ing glimpses of value (God) in the esthetic experience. How- 
ever, the chief source of information is and must remain the 
mystic vision. This means that the primary source of informa- 
tion, the basic data for determining the nature of God. is 
mysticism or awareness of the Third Level of Reality. No in- 
formation is attainable, directly, through sensation or thinking. 
To all intent and purposes, the whole spatio-temporal con- 
tinuum is irrevelant to the quest for knowledge of God. 

Professor Wieman adhers to the Agathonic category. Like 
Plato, he insists that God did not and does not create the 
'mechanical' universe. In his debate with R. L, Calhoun, he 
specifically denied that God created mechanisms. He defined 
a mechanism as whatever "has its parts externally related to 
one another," or as that in, which "the natures of the several 
parts are not determined by their relations to one another. " (Cf. 


Wieman, "Faith and Knowledge," Christendom, I (Autumn 
1936), p. 774). God may use mechanisms in the realization 
of values, but he is not responsible for them as such. This 
implies, if we understand Mr. Wieman, that when one seeks 
information concerning the nature of God, he may safely dis- 
regard the study of the astronomical universe as pure fact, or in 
its existential dimension. Such an investigator will have all 
of the data admissible if he confines his observation to values 
and the value-making or value-increasing aspects or phases of 

The Agathonic Realists, in terms of this preliminary analy- 
sis, believe that the term God refers to that in one's total me- 
dium of existence, or his Existential Medium, which is of use 
and enjoyment to human beings (Wieman), or which, accord- 
ing to Joad, is of no practical use to us but which serves as 
the highest object of appreciation and contemplation. Their 
theories concerning the nature of Deity are thus dependent upon 
data selected from what is of use and (or) enjoyment and ap- 

//. Pure Realism 

The term 'pure realism' is used to designate that approach 
to Deity which agrees with agathonic realism in its acceptance 
of the independent existence or subsistence of the Existential 
Medium viewed cither as a whole or as a multiplicity of entities, 
events or behaviors, but which disagrees with it in its principle 
of selectivity. Agathonic realism accepts as admissible data 
only those facts (entities, events, behavoirs) which are of use 
and (or) enjoyment and appreciation to persons. Pure real- 
ism accepts as admissible data whatever may aid one to determine 
what is dominant or controlling in' the Existential Medium 
without considering (at first) whether or not this may be of 
value or significance to human beings. The category or gen- 
eral class to which all God-concepts belong, for the Pure Realist, 
is that of Dominant Phase or Determinate Behavior Pattern of 
the Existential Medium as a whole. The term Deity, in other 
words, refers to "the Determiner of Destiny" in Pratt's phrase- 
ology, without implying that this destiny must be desirable to 


man. The data admissable in determining the nature of God 
for the Pure Realist is thus inclusive. Whatever may provide 
information concerning the cosmos is acceptable as data relevent 
to the attempt to discover what, if anything, is dominant or 
controlling in it. 

The term 'pure' in the name Pure Realist may require a 
word of explanation. It is used here to denote an attitude 
on the part of the investigator, an attitude of disinterested 
search for the most valid understanding of Dominance in the 
Universe. The term 'pure' has as one of its numerous mean- 
ings that which is "taken in its essential character and apart 
from relations and applications.'' It is precisely this meaning — 
the meaning of the adjective in Kant's Critique of Pure Reason — 
which is meant here. One who approaches the problem of 
God from the point of view of Pure Realism must put aside 
resolutely all questions of personal or human interest in his 
attempt to understand the nature of God categorized as Domi- 
nant Phase of the Total Existential Medium. He must be 
nonpragmatic in his primary approach to God. Once he has 
reached his conclusions concerning the nature of God. then 
the question of the relation of God as defined to human values 
becomes relevant. 

This approach is by no means novel. From the point of 
view of category or general class, it is probably true that this 
represents the earliest attitude of primitive or savage peoples. 
Thus the Melanesians who used the term mana had reference to 
a non-physical power or influence of unusual nature which 
conditioned human existence and which had to be considered 
seriously if one wished safety and power. It was an extra- 
natural power which could be used for either good or ill. Ac- 
cording to E. Durkheim ( The Elementary Forms of the Reli- 
gious Life, Macmillan, 1915. Eng. trans, by J. W. Swain, pp. 
192 ff ) , whose conclusions rest primarily upon observation 
of Australian peoples, mana designated every power which 
affected man and in harmony with which he must learn to 
live. From primitive or savage levels of culture to those of 
the contemporary west, there have always been those who 
thought of God in terms of Dominant Phase of the Existential 
Medium, or of some aspect of it. 


Aristotle, seeking an explanation of the world in which he 
lived, believed the concept motion to be the starting point for 
any thorough analysis. He concluded that motion implied 
change or movement; that movement implied both a 'moved' 
(i. e., a something that is in motion or in process of change), 
and a 'mover,' that is, the source of movement. The distinction 
between motion and source of motion involved him in a process 
of .infinite regress. He broke this apparently interminable 
cause-effect sequence by positing an ultimate Unmoved Mover 
as the final source of all movement. (Cf. his Physics, bks. 
vii and viii). He then identified God with this Unmoved 
Mover whose existence was made necessary by this analysis of 
motion in the world of immediate experience. 

Building a new structure, but with Aristotle's theory as 
foundation, F. S. C. Northrop has recently developed the 
theory of God as Macroscopic Atom. Northrop believes that 
the facts educed by modern physics and the theories in which 
these facts bi,ve been generalized compel us to posit the exist- 
ence of a macroscopic Atom, perfectly spherical in form, which 
encloses the microscopic atoms within itself, and impresses upon 
them the order, intelligibility and other qualities which they 
exhibit. (Science and First Principles, Macmillan, 1931, pp. 
120 ff., and 249 ff). The Macroscopic Atom is then identi- 
fied as God. God is thus dominant or determinant phase — 
atomic in character — of one's total Existential Medium. He is 
responsible for the character of the behavior of the microscopic 
atoms individually and in their various, if temporary, forms 
of structuralized relationships. 

The pure Realist, from Aristotle to Northrop and others, 
approaches his task, ideally, with the attitude of the 'pure' 
scientist. He identifies God with what is dominant or con- 
trolling in reality, and then seeks to determine as precisely as 
possible the nature of this dominant or controlling phase. Only 
after this has been done, is he prepared to investigate the pos- 
sible significance of God as defined for religious values. 

III. Corollaries 

Several corollaries suggest themselves at once. The first 
is related to the admissibility of data. For the agathonic realist, 


the world-as-valued, or the world-as-experienced-as-value consti- 
tutes the primary source of data. This may be a very large or 
a very small part of the world-as-known. Whatever it is, 
this is accepted as the source of data. All else is more or less 
irrevelant. For the pure realist, it is the world-as-experienced 
or the world-as-known which constitutes the source of data. 
He may not impose any value criterion as test of admissibility. 
His task is that of determining the nature of the dominant or 
determinate phase of the Existential Medium as a whole. Con- 
sequently, his basic presupposition will not permit him to 
exclude from consideration as possible data any fact which 
presents itself. The only limits to his primary source of data 
are the boundaries which may mark the limits of experiential 

Both positions are subject to criticism at this point. The 
Agathonic Realist is accused of being too highly selective in his 
choice of data. The criticism levelled by Lippman in his 
Preface to Morals (pp. 136 ff) at Kant and the Kantians is rele- 
vant here. Kant failed to find a basis for belief in God in his 
analysis of experience by means of 'pure' reason. He adopted 
man's moral experience as absolute in order to find what ap- 
peared to him to be an adequate basis. The modern Agathonic 
Realist modifies Kant's principle of selectivity somewhat, but 
the practical consequences are almost the same. Kant confined 
himself to man's moral needs: the contemporary Agathonic 
Realist confines himself to man's value experiences. Both 
represent highly selective bodies of data. 

The Pure Realist faces precisely the opposite criticism. He 
must include such a vast body of data in his quest that his 
attempts to find order or determinateness may be wholly futile, 
This is the criticism which H. E. Barnes (The Twilight of 
Christianity, Richard R. Smith, 1931, pp. 249 ff) directs at 
all such attempts. To the present, at least, both of these criti- 
cisms have not been refuted. Much more critical consideration 
will have to be devoted to them to detcmine whether or not 
they can be met. 

The second corollary be^rs more directly upon religious 
values. The traditional attributes of God may be divided into 


two general groups: (i) the moral-personal, and (i) the ab- 
solute or existential. (Cf. W. Adams Brown, An Outline of 
Christian Theology, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1906, pp. 102 
ff). The first are those which belong to the general realm 
of the good, of value, of character. The second are those 
which belong to the realm of power, structure, being, existence. 
It is obvious, as pointed out above, (cf. p. 254) , that the attrib 
utes of Deity which will emerge from the Agathonic approach 
will belong to the moral-personal group. God will be so 
characterized as to make him the most valuable object of 
human aspiration or contemplation. There can be no question 
concerning this. When one places God in the class of the most 
worthful objects known or knowable to man, the only data 
which will be given consideration are .those which define God 
in terms highly satisfactory to human beings. Thus God is 
for Wieman that which is most worthful or of highest value; 
thus God for Joad is that level or realm of reality whose con- 
templation represents the goal of all human striving. 

The attributes of Deity which emerge from the approach of 
pure realism are more existential or absolute in character. God 
as dominant phase or determinate behavior pattern of the total 
environing medium may not possess the list of agathonic attrib- 
utes so characteristic of the other approach. Analysis may 
prove that God possesses some or all of the moral-personal 
attributes. If this happens to be the case, the conclusion will 
be accepted gratefully. If, on the other hand, the facts which 
emerge from observation lead one to conclude that human 
values are relatively unimportant (to indulge for the moment 
in understatement) , this conclusion may also have to be ac- 
cepted. It will then be necessary for the contemporary to 
adjust himself to a rigorous theology, a theology such as served 
John Calvin and his day. There is a vast difference in the 
agathonic character of early Calvinism and that of contemporary 
Agathonic realists. It is worth remembering, however, that 
religious values have been found in both. 

The third corollary is epistemological in character. The 
selection of one's basic category^ for Deity determines, in the 
main, the methodology which must be used in the investigation 


The prolonged discussion of the possible relevance of empirical 
of the precise character of the object one proposes to call God. 
methodology to philosophy of religion loses much of its rele- 
vance in the light of the preceding analysis. If the category 
to which all God-concepts belong, or if God as object of pos- 
sible investigation is said to belong to the realm of perceptible 
entities, then he is subject to investigation by empirical methods. 
The precise empirical method which may be used will have to 
be determined by further analysis of dimensional factors in- 
volved, but the relevance of empiricism as method is no longer in 
question. If, on the other hand, one accepts Joad's category 
for Deity — as generalized name for an absolutely non-perceptible 
Realm — then empiricism as method is impossible. The basic 
choice concerning the general class of entities to which God as 
object of investigation belongs may thus preclude all reference 
to empirical methodology and the perceptive process upon which 
it rests. (Some of the commentators who participated in the 
debate precipitated by E. R. Walker's article, "Can Philosophy 
of Religion Be Empirical?" which appeared in the columns of 
The Journal of Religion, April, 1939, saw this point, but failed 
to take full advantage of it. It is obvious, of course, that if 
one accepts Walker's basic category for Deity, the debate becomes 
irrelevant) . 

IV. The Derivation of Categories 

Thus far we have stated two approaches to the basic char- 
acter of Deity and examined a few of the corollaries to which 
they give rise. We now face the question of fact: To which 
of these two categories does God (or gods) belong? As soon 
as this question is raised, however, a curious fact emerges. 
There appears to be no way whereby one may justify, directly. 
the areas of actual or possible experience, mediate or immediate, 
which he selects as relevant to the quest for knowledge of God. 
In other words, there is nothing in a given experience which 
compels one to call it a God-experience, except tradition. Thost 
who have been reared in the Platonic tradition, as has Joad. 
will think of God in Platonic terms. Those, on the other 
hand, who have been reared in the atmosphere of western prag- 
matism will probably think of God in more immediate agathonic 


terms, as does Wieman and the school of younger men he has 
gathered about him. Those reared in other traditions will 
doubtless select other experiences to be labelled divine. 

This is oversimplified, of course. The utilization of tradi- 
tion as a determinant of categories is more indirect than is im- 
plied in the preceding paragraph. Technically, the process 
may be reduced to the following operations: (i) One recognizes 
that the term God belongs within a given universe of discourse, 
i. e., a given group of related concepts and symbols employed in 
the exploration and communication of a given form of behavior 
traditionally called religious. (ii) . The next step consists 
in the determination of the extension of the term religion, the 
setting of boundaries to the area or areas to be included within 
the denotation and connotation of this term. (iii). Having 
defined the limits of the term religion, one next determines the 
function of the God-concept within these areas. If one decides 
that religion has been and is an attempt to find supernatural 
support in the quest for values, the nature and function of Deity 
are readily discerned. God is the supernatural, in whole or in 
part, upon which individuals and groups may rely for support. 
If, per contra, one decides that religious behaviour is concerned 
with the discovery of ethico-social ideals of high order and with 
the motivation of individuals and groups in the pursuit of these 
ideals, then God belongs to the realm of the ideal, to the realm 
of high and moving goals which have lured the human race on 
from quest to conquest, from glorious feat to equally glorious 
defeat. It is possible, but highly impossible, that the God of 
the supernaturalist and that of the ethico-social idealist will be 
identical; in most cases they are different beings and belong to 
quite different orders of reality. 

This method is formally correct. The category Deity is 
deduced or derived from preceding conclusions. It is a neces- 
sary consequent of a given definition of the nature and function 
of religion. It is thus a useless procedure to debate the relative 
validity of the Agathonic or the Pure Realistic approach to the 
God-concept. If a given conception of religion is proved to 
be valid, Agathonic realism is a necessary consequence. If a 
different theory of religion proves to be valid, pure realism may 
be the inevitable corollary. This merely means that all fruitful 


discussions of God depend upon prior work in the philosophy 
of religion. Once this prior work has been done, then an effec- 
tive approach to the God-concept is possible. 

V. Summary 

The results of this preliminary analysis may be summarized 
very briefly. (i) All significant discussions of th" God-concept 
presuppose clarification of the basic category or general class 
to which all entities termed Deity belong. Categories consti- 
tute a form of definition in that they circumscribe the extension 
of given terms. Until one has circumscribed the extension 
of the term God, he has no basic data-determinant, no way 
whereby he may decide what may be admitted as data for the 
fuller understanding of God. (ii). Once this basic category 
has been determined, many puzzling problems become irrelevant 
or may be resolved by deduction. Problems in the field of 
methodology may be cited as illustrative of this. ( iii ) . The 
preceding analysis indicates that religious problems are closely 
interrelated and that this interrelatcdnessmust not be forgotten 
no matter what problem in the field confronts one. It is ob- 
vious that basic categories for Deity depend upon prior work in 
defining the extension of the term religion. Similar analysis 
will indicate that analogous conditions prevail with respect 
to religious techniques, i. e., the whole realm of overt behaviors 
employed to achieve and conserve religious values. 



Florida Southern College held its third annual Ministers' 
week January 11-15, 1942. More than one hundred ministers 
were in attendance during the week. Two courses of lectures 
were offered, one by Dean Lynn Harold Hough of Drew Theo- 
logical Seminary, and the other by Dr. Elmer T. Clark, editor 
of the Wtorld Outlook. Dean Hough also preached the sermon 
at the college church on Sunday morning. Dr. Clark lectured 
each afternoon and Dean Hough each evening. In addition to 
the afternoon and evening lecturers various guests spoke each 
morning. Dean Hough's general subject was "Intellectual Pat- 
terns." We had planned to publish a summary of these lectures 
in this issue. However, the fact that the lectures are to be pub- 
lished shortly by Harper and Brothers makes this unnecessary. 
Dr. Clark lectured on the general subject of "The Small Sects in 
America." Instead of summarizing his lectures, we are pub- 
lishing one of them in full in this issue. 

On Monday morning Dr. P. M. Boyd, Superintendent of 
the Tampa District of the Methodist Church spoke on the sub- 
ject "Adjustment to a New World." The lecturer for Tuesday 
morning was Dr. Glenn C. James, pastor of The White Temple, 
Miami, Florida. Dr. James' subject was "The World We 
Would Like to Live In." Following is a brief summary of 
his lecture: 

Life is challenging; the world is not beautiful, and yet 
how glad we are that we are alive. All worthwhile people 
do not ask for life on a silver platter. We may not do all 
that we set out to do, but, it is worthwhile to set out to do 
something. Too many of us wanl all the privileges of our 
world, and none of the responsibilities. 

Where are you going? Are you a bit of driftwood ? Or 

' have you decided to consecrate yourself to something that is 

really worthwhile? You may not have the kind of world 


you want, but you can work on it. Abraham was the first 
man of whom we have record who objected to his kind of 
world, and set out to do something about it. He did not 
know "how far" or "where to," but he knew "where 
from." He believed that the God who planted within 
him a divine dissatisfaction would show him the way. 
We need this same divine dissatisfaction . Youth has not 
faced in the last generations the great opportunities they 
face now, if they are able, or the great perils, if they are 
not able. 

Man's life has been a succession of upheavals — why? 
Because the patterns were not right; a world that refused 
to sacrifice is now called upon to suffer. The war we call 
the "unnecessary necessity." The world that we would 
like to have, which we may not see, but which we can work 
on and try to have some part in, is the world that God 
intends. It has not yet been realized, but we can work 
on it. We do not know "where to," we do not know 
"how far," but we do know "where from." We want 
to get up into a world that is dictated by the will of God, 
a world that has foundations that God has made. First 
we must have hope; then we must have faith to give sub- 
stance to that hope. We must visualize God's world first, 
then have a faith that will put foundations under it. 
Truth is the foundation that God gives us for a world — a 
world where truth is believed to be something more than 
an impossible ideal; a world of cooperation, not isolation; 
a world where there are no barriers, where there is love 
among all people; a world where all eyes are fixed on 
Jesus Christ. Let us build on a foundation that can not 
be shaken. We can not escape Jesus because the universe 
is back of Him, God is with Him, He is the foundation of 
the world that God intends. 

Dr. J. E. Anderson, pastor of the Methodist Church in 
Tallahassee, spoke on Wednesday morning, and used as his text 
"Stir up the gift of God that lies in you." The following is 
a brief summary of his sermon: 

Although we are all tired of hearing about the war, 


whatever we say in this hour that is significant in the lives 
of people today must bring in the war. The world is 
disintegrating before our eyes. Why? War brings out 
all that is bad in humanity. We now realize how un- 
christian certain areas of our lives were; it is no wonder 
that we are where we are today. It gives a challenge to 
the churches and the Christian people of today — to create 
a life that is worthy of the name Christian. We regret 
all that the war brings, but we shall rise from our knees to 
create a better way of life. We shall have a difficult time, 
but remember that Christianity grew in a time just as bad 
as today. We shall not thank God for this war, but we 
shall thank him for the courage to build a better world. 
It is only in the case of emergency that we find the power 
to do the things that have to be done, the development 
of latent powers — the gift of God which we have not yet 
begun to realize. 

Set before you a goal which will consume all the 
energy and all the powers of your life. There are two 
types of people — those who sit down when they meet a 
hard situation and those who go on and overcome that 
situation. There is in us a divine discontent which is not 
only the beginning of all wisdom but also the beginning 
of all art. We realize that we can never grasp that which 
is unsurpassed, but we can reach for it. How we ought 
to be ashamed of ourselves, how we ought to stir up the 
gift of God which lies in us, how we ought to meet the 
situation of the world today and rise above it. What is 
this God-given gift? The gift of intelligence; the gift 
of understanding; the ability to choose — to take the good 
and leave the bad; to go until you reach the best. But 
more important is the gift of love. All other bases for 
building life today have been tried; structural, organic 
bases for society will not do. This world can be rid of 
war. It is the will to have power and force over people 
that is not Christian, however it may be achieved. We are 
trying to obey God and man at the same time. When a 
person says "I am living in the Kingdom of God," he 
finds that his allegiance is to God and not to man. His 


citizenship is in heaven. Let us stir up the gift of God 
which lies in us. 
Following the sermon of Dr. Anderson, Dr. Charles T. 
Thrift, Jr., of the Florida School of Religion, spoke on the 
subject of "Church History in Florida." He pointed out the 
necessity for preserving the history of Christianity in Florida, 
and outlined several research projects now under way in the 
Florida School of Religion. 

There were three speakers on Thursday; Dr. R. E. Wicker, 
pastor of the First Methodist Church of Jacksonville; Dr. J. 
Wallace Hamilton, pastor of the Pasadena Methodist Church; 
and Dr. Roy L. Smith, editor of the Christian Advocate. Dr. 
Wicker's subject was "Light in Darkness." The following 
is a summary of his lecture: 

This is a dark morning in the history of the world; 
it is involved in war. We are in this war, and we are in it 
to win this war. We have one great danger in appreciat- 
ing the place which we occupy in this darkness — we are 
tempted to believe that winning the war is the only thing 
before us, and that winning is the only thing necessary. 

We are called upon as Christians to dispel the darkness 
of the world: and the only thing that dissipates darkness 
is light. We will have to supplement the victory we 
expect as a nation with the victory of God's business of 
bringing light into the world. We have two battles to 
fight. One is to win the war: the other is the battle 
that God wages to bring light into the world. This is 
the only kind of victory that will endure. We need to 
remember this. Jesus says. "I am the light of the world," 
and if the war victory is to count, we must bring the light 
of Jesus to it. We must keep the principles of Jesus 
alive and shining in the midst of a great war, if we are to 
have a victory that is worthwhile. 

We must put our hearts into 'the war — then the 
little difficulties do not amount to anything. God oper- 
ates like that. The only way this world will ever have 
peace is to harmonize with God as he speaks to it. God 



uses our difficulties, sorrows, troubles, sometimes, and 
keeps working on us until we get our hearts and lives 
into harmony with Him. We must keep our religious 
fires burning to reach the victory that we want. We 
must keep the light of Christ shining if we are to dissipate 
the darkness. We are also the light of the world and God 
has said, "Let your light shine." The early work 
of the Christian Church was done in a warring world; 
this did not stop them. They felt they had to keep 
the light of Christ shining. We must keep alive the 
feeling of missions in God's Kingdom as well as keep our 
loyalty to our country. 

We are called upon for two strong loyalties where 
some people only have one. It is our portion to reflect 
the light of Christ in this dark day. We must be faithful 
as Christians to the Christian Church to keep our souls. 
If we will just let our light shine, when the war is over it 
will have its effect in the peace of the world. 

Dr. Hamilton preached on the subject "The Half-way 
Place," and used as his text "Terah died in Haran." The fol- 
lowing is a brief summary of his sermon: 

Too many men receive salvation and die in the "half- 
way place." Isn't this what we are facing today? Are 
we going to expand our democracy to meet the present 
needs, or are we going to see it die in the "half-way place"? 
Democracy grew out of the belief that God made man in 
His own image. We have now reached the place of 
decision. Will we die in the "half-way place," or move 
on to perfect the dream? We have been thinking of 
democracy as a status rather than a process. It is not a 
status; it is a process. Democracy is a growing thing — 
it is a strong thing; we have it, but we have it to get, also. 
We have it in certain spots; we have yet to achieve it in 
other spots. That is our fight. Social, economic, in- 
ternational democracy. We must go on or go under. 

The "half-way place" is dangerous; we are neither 
good enough to make a good world, nor evil enough to 
protect ourselves in a bad world. We can not be de- 


brutalized unless we are ready to go and become Chris- 
tianized. The failure of today indicates that in the world 
of tomorrow democracy must take a purer form. The 
Treaty of Versailles was neither harsh enough nor too 
harsh. Wars never settle anything; they only provide 
the chance to settle things. Wars never decide who is 
right; they only decide who is left. For awhile we will 
have to go back before we can go forward again. The 
war has us in the situation where we have to fight, and 
we will pray for strength to win. But by no stretch of 
the imagination can wc call it Christian. Wc have to 
sec to it that the right people are left to carry on to" the 
Promised Land. There must come a revolution in our 
thinking today. War is an absolute waste unless at its 
end, we can march out of it, leaving the past behind, with 
the vision of the Promised Land in our hands and hearts. 

Dr. Roy L. Smith spoke on the subject "The Temptations 
of the Church," and a brief summary follows: 

The church could have the world today, if the church 
wanted it on evil's terms. The pulpit of the church of 
Christ is not the place to preach hatred. The church 
could be popular if it endorsed the right people and parties. 
The only way by which the church can redeem the world 
is by the doctrine of brotherhood according to the princi- 
ples of Jesus Christ. Unless this war brings about a 
world in which brotherhoood can have a chance, it will 
have been fought in vain. 

We could have all the world if we would follow the 
techniques of the dictators and the politicians. We must 
realize that there are things more important than material 
products, or we will not have solved our problem. If we 
sink to the level of our enemy, what have we won? It 
means that the Japanese way is right — that we have learned 
how to work their way. We are living in a moral uni- 
verse. It did not come about by whim or accident. It is 
your Fifth Column: The government sells the soldiers 
whiskey with which to get drunk. The stones turned 
to bread — we save ourselves at the expense of the cost. 


We can save ourselves many times by keeping still, but the 
church of God must speak out against wrongs. The des- 
perate need of the Church today is a right spirit and a right 

Some of us are all the time looking for a miracle. 
There are people all over the world who are saying that 
God will solve the problem. Jesus said, "You are my 
witnesses." The need of this world is for usefulness of 
the powers we already have, not praying for more power. 
When men and women become infatuated with the idea 
that God's way is the only way, then the miracle will 
have come. A group of Christians getting together ought 
to throw the fear of God into evil somewhere. In these 
days of stress and strain the Church of God is only going 
to overcome when it has discovered its own weaknesses. 


In The Making 

VOLUME II MAY, 1942 No. 4 


By Bernard Eugene Meland 



By Floy S. Hyde 


By William S. Minor 


By Mary E. Andrews 




Shirley Jackson Case, Editor 

Religion in the Making is published four times a year, 
in May, November, January and March. It is sponsored by 
the Florida School of Religion and edited by the dean of the 

The subscription price is $2.00 per year, or sixty cents 
per single issue. Remittances should be made by postal or 
express money orders or by check and made payable to the 
Florida School of Religion. 

All communications, including business correspondence, 
manuscripts, exchanges, and books submitted for review, should 
be addressed to Shirley Jackson Case, Editor, Florida School 
of Religion, Lakeland, Fla. 

Published by the Florida School of Religion, Box 146 
Florida Southern College, Lakeland, Florida, four times a year, 
May 15, November 15, January 15, and March 15. Entered 
as second class matter at the Post Office, Lakeland, Florida. 


Shirley Jackson Case, Editor 
VOLUME II Contents for May, 1942 No. 4 



By Bernard Eugene Meland 



By Floy S. Hyde 


By William S. Minor 


By Mary E. Andrews 


The Florida Religious Association 333 


Ernest F. Scott, The Nature of the Early Church 342 

Sherwood Eddy, The Kingdom of God and the 

American Dream 543 

Irl Goldwin Whitchurch, An Enlightened Conscience 344 

Paul S. Minear, And Great Shall Be Your Reward _ 346 

Theodore Gerald Soares, The Origins of the Bible . 346 

Chester Warren Quimby, Jesus as They Remembered 

Him .... 347 

George Claude Baker, Jr., An Introduction to the 

History of Early New England Methodism 348 

Joseph R. Sizoo, On Guard 349 

Russell L. Dicks, Who Is My Patient^ 349 

Karl Ruf Stolz, Pastoral Psychology 350 

Carl Heath Kopf, Windows On Life 350 

Richard Kroner, The Religious Function of 

Imagination 351 

Karl Barth, This Christian Cause 351 

Hugh S. Tigner, No Sign Shall Be Given 352 

George Steindorff and Keith C. Steele, When Egypt 

Ruled the East 353 

William Redmond Curtis, The Lambeth Conferences.^ 354 

Ray C. Petry, Francis of Assist, Apostle of Poverty 354 


Bernard Eugene Meland is head of the department of reli- 
gion in Pomona College, Claremont, California. He is a 
Ph. D. of the University of Chicago and the author of several 
books including Modern Man's Worship, Write Your Own Ten 
Commandments, and The Church and Adult Education. He 
has also written a number of significant articles for religious 
and philosophical journals. 

Floy S. Hyde is a teacher of English in Florida Southern 
College. During the past year she has been a graduate student 
and an assistant in the Florida School of Religion. 

William S. Minor is Professor of religion on the West- 
minster Foundation in the Bible College of Missouri, which 
is the School of Religion at the University of Missouri. He 
pursued graduate studies at the University of Chicago where 
until 1935 he served two years as an associate to Dean Charles 
W. Gilkey of the University of Chicago Chapel. 

Mary E. Andrews is head of the department of religion in 
Goucher College. She holds the Doctor's degree from the Uni- 
versity of Chicago, and she is the author of a volume on The 
Ethical Teaching of Paul, as well as of various articles in 
scholarly journals. 


By Bernard Eugene Meland 

Pomona College 

Claremont, California 

Much that is being written in philosophy of religion today 
is unintelligible to the lay reader. He may think it is because 
his mind does not follow deep thought readily. He may be 
right in his case; but not all of the difficulty is with him. 
Part of it arises from the radical change of meaning in the 
fundamental concepts of religion. For in its contemporary 
philosophical form, religion speaks a new language. It is the 
language of dynamic process. Its vocabulary is filled with 
words and phrases such as interaction, creativity, environing 
activities, adjustment, flux of experience, empiricai reality, 
growth, fulfilment, etc. In this language, man's chief end is 
to grow and to fulfil his life upon the earth. 

This was not the language of the old time religion. Our 
fathers spoke of change, but they mentioned the word with 
proud lips. "Change and decay in all around I see," they 
sang, "but Thou who changest not, abide with me." In 
this world of thought, man sought escape from the world of 
change, not fulfilment through its process. God, rather than 
being a reality in the creative process, was a being above and 
beyond the temporal scene of change. 


The preference for a static deity is a very old habit of 
thought in western philosophy. It goes back at least to Plato. 
Plato developed a theory of the universe in which the contrast 
between rest and motion became focal. Constancy and flux 
characterized for him two diverse realms. On the one hand, 
there was the world of every-day experience in which change 
and perishing were dominant tendencies: on the other was the 
realm of eternal forms or ideas which were changeless and fixed. 


This changing character of the world of experience was for 
Plato evidence of its unreality. The changeless quality of the 
world of ideas was a guarantee of its genuine reality. In this 
view of the universe, Plato portrays God as an intermediary 
Being who rescues man's rational soul from the life of flux 
by influencing him to aspire to association with the static world 
cf eternal forms. 

Aristotle removed the stigma of unreality from the world 
of common experience, but he failed to give it genuine signifi- 
cance; for he identified God with Plato's Supreme Good, which 
remained, as in Plato's thought, distantly removed from these* 
common scenes of flux and change. In Plotinus this separation 
was made more complete by a view of intelligence and a view 
of deity which could only lead to the conclusion that the divine 
realm was inaccessible to human intelligence. Augustine 
struggled to meliorate this estrangement by introducing into 
the Neo-platonic picture the Hebrew conception of a personal 
God of history, a deity with whom men might commune in 
person, provided they came within the orbit of His being. But 
the orbit of God was a static order above the world of change: 
and man attained identification with it at the price of becoming 
alienated from the world of experience. 

We are accustomed to saying that in the time of Thomas 
Aquinas, when medieval theology discovered Aristotle, there 
was a sharp turning away from the Platonic tradition which 
had dominated Christian thought since Augustine; but we 
should not let this assertion obscure the fact that the revival ot 
Aristotle in the philosophy of Aquinas did not eliminate 
Platonic elements which had persisted in the thought of Aris- 
totle. One of these elements was the concept of a static deity, 
operating above the realm of change. To be sure, Aristotle's 
doctrine of teleology, which reappears in Aquinas, brought the 
world of flux and the eternal order into more intimate associa- 
tion than had ever occurred in the Platonic universe; but this 
did not alter the basic pattern of thought which placed deity 
outside the world of change. 


The age of mathematical rationalism which produced the 
systems of Descartes and Spinoza returned the conception of 
deity to a static nature nearer to the mathematical pattern of 
Plato. For Spinoza, in fact, God was the mathematical order 
of the universe. "Whatever the difference between his God 
and the God tradition," writes H. A. Wolfson in the Philos- 
ophy of Spinoza, "Spinoza seems to say at the beginning of 
this new chapter in the Ethics that his God does not differ from 
the traditional God in the matter of eternity." It is true that 
Spinoza used the word eternal in at least three senses, but when 
applied to God, he, himself, said "Eternal" can mean only im- 

Despite their differences, then, the generations of thinkers 
from Plato to Spinoza were influenced in their thinking upon 
God, and upon other matters pertaining to religious concerns, 
by one underlying assumption: That assumption was that 
the basic reality of the world was a mathematical reality. Until 
fairly recent times, all philosophic thought in the west sub- 
scribed to this mathematical picture of reality, and was there- 
fore shaped by it. Hence the portrayals of ultimate reality 
have represented God as a static being, and the things of supreme 
value, as static, unchanging realities. The result has been, as 
Whitehead has said in Modes of Thought, that "the most evi- 
dent characteristic of our experience has been dismissed into 
a subordinate role in metaphysical construction." Whitehead 

"We live in a world of turmoil. Philosophy and religion, 
as influenced by orthodox philosophic thought, dismiss 
turmoil. Such dismissal is the outcome of tired decadence. 
We should beware of philosophies which express the domi- 
nant emotions of periods of slow social decay. Our in- 
heritance of philosophic thought is infected with the de- 
cline and fall of the Roman Empire, and with the decadence 
of eastern civilizations. It expresses the exhaustion fol- 
lowing upon the first three thousand years of advancing 
civilization. A better balance is required. For civili- 
zations rise as well as fall. We require philosophy to 


explain the rise of types of order, the transitions from 
type to type, and the mixture of good and bad involved 
in the universe as it stands self-evident in our experience." 

The key to modern metaphysics is to be found in this con- 
cluding sentence of Whitehead's. The modern philosopher 
is concerned with the story of emergents and transitions and ful- 
filments. In short, with the story of process. And he is con- 
cerned with understanding the deep-lying spiritual problem that 
is raised by the inescapable inseparableness of good and evil dis- 
cerned in a world in process. Hence the thought-climate 
of philosophy and religion has changed. Instead of a God who 
"changest not," the modern philosopher has come to know a 
God who makes all things new. And in that incessant creativi- 
ty, he seeks to find the meaning of his own existence, and the 
meaning of all that is. 


This temporahzing of the Chain of Being, as Professor 
Lovejoy puts it, was one of the principal happenings in eight- 
eenth century thought. Seeds of a new view of deity in the 
role of a Creative Power, he suggests, are to be found in the 
writings of Leibniz, Kant, Robinet, and Schelling. But they 
are only seeds. The new orientation of deity as a creative work- 
ing in the temporal-spatial world was to develop increasingly 
in the nineteenth century, and to emerge as a great ground-swell 
in our own day. 

Yet this development was to be overshadowed throughout 
the nineteenth century and the early years of the present one 
by a venture in philosophy in which basic reality was conceived 
neither as a static being nor as a creative participant in the world 
process. Between the era initiated by Plato and concluded, 
shall we say, by Spinoza, when deity was viewed as static being, 
and the very recent era, stands the Great Interlude — Idealism. 
The prophetic voice of this Great Interlude was Immanuel Kant. 
His Critique of Pure Reason cut through the steel strands that 
held together the mighty structures of the rational era. The 
falling of these rational towers of Babel rendered the objective 


and the subjective worlds apart. Man was left with his own 
consciousness. The thing-in-itself hovered over him as a mys 
terious unknown, now become unknowable. 

The agnosticism and subjectivism of subequent years took 
its rise, there can be no doubt, in this decisive critique by Kant. 
But there was to rise from it also a most amazing development 
in quite an opposite direction. When Kant intimated that 
"the mysterious unknown, concealed behind the phenomena 
of sense, might possibly be identical with the unknown in our- 
selves." he opened up a path of thinking that was to lead to 
enormous speculative consequences. This was to lead to Abso- 
lute Idealism. Although Kant failed to carry out the implica- 
tion of this seed idea, other German idealists, especially Fichtc. 
and later Schelling and Hegel, were to make it the basis foi 
their impressive systems of thought. Here the human ego be- 
came the key to understanding the Absolute Ego. In Fichte 
and Schelling the Absolute is still transcendent: but in Hegel, 
deity becomes completely immanent. As one contemporary 
writer states it. "If we mean by God the being transcending 
human reason, then Hegel is the most atheistic of philosophers 
since no one is more emphatic in affirming the immanency and 
perfect knowableness of the absolute." (Weber and Perry, 
History of Philosophy) 

While Absolute Idealism may appear to be a further stage 
in "temporalizing the Chain of Being" it was not really so. 
Rather, it represents a departure from that tendency. One 
might even go so far as to say that when all things are consider- 
ed, the world of deity swallows up the world of temporal exist- 
ence in the philosophy of Absolute Idealism. All is resolved 
in the Absolute Ego: hence existences have no reality of their 
own, really. Every existent thing is but a facet of the Abso- 

One recognizes in the philosophy of both Royce and Hock- 
ing an earnest attempt to bring a more empirical content into 
the concept of the Absolute. This applies more particularly 
to the later stages of Royce's thought. Hocking's view of God 
as the Absolute Knower known directly through sense experience 


whose character gives reality to all social experience and to 
nature, brings Absolute Idealism to the threshold of Empiricism. 
It is the nearest, in fact, that any Absolute philosophy comes to 
a recognition of the empirical datum. 

It would be an interesting study to trace through the turns 
of thought in philosophies which have reacted against Absolute 
Idealism in the sense of denying the Absolute Ego. What one 
would find, I am sure, is that in these instances, there was little 
more than a reduction of capital letters to small case letters all 
along the line, leaving the human ego the substitute for deity 
with accompanying postulates of Idealism concerning the human 
consciousness remaining. Is it possible that the religious 
humanism arising out of pragmatism and, for that matter, the 
humanistic emphasis that has always been manifested in the 
Instrumentalism of John Dewey, are but reactions against the 
concept of the Absolute Ego, without, however, any fundamen- 
tal modification of the primary premise of Absolute Idealism? 
Instead of speaking of Religious Humanism as a truncated super- 
naturalism, we might rather speak of it as a truncated Absolute 
Idealism. This at least would get at the philosophical pecul- 
iarities of this position, and throw some light, I am sure, upon 
issues that now divide The Religious Humanists and the New 
Theists of the naturalistic group. 


Returning, now, to the main argument of our survey, if 
the seeds of the new orientation of deity were evident in eight- 
eenth century philosophies, the forthright expression of this 
identification of deity with the temporal passage of events occurs 
for the first time in the writings of Bergson, and becomes full- 
blown as a naturalistic theism in the organismic philosophy of 
the British group, including Whitehead, C. Lloyd Morgan, 
Jan Smuts, and S. Alexander. In this country, development 
toward a naturalistic theism has come to frutition in the writ- 
ings of Henry Nelson Wieman. A more detailed analysis of 
the rise of this new naturalism and its general outlook may 
now be given. 


Prior to the nineteenth century, naturalism was hardly 
anything more than a protest against the supernatural in the 
name of reason: or, in its sentimental form, a romantic effort 
to soften the shock of rationalism through emotional rapport 
with the world of nature. The turn toward a genuine natural- 
ism began with the writings of Lamarck, but did not signifi- 
cantly shape philosophical conceptions until the publication of 
Darwin's Origin of the Species in 1859. During the decades 
immediately following this event, philosophical pictures of the 
world, based upon the evolutionary theory, began to take shape. 
These early naturalistic philosophies could not possibly go 
beyond the agnosticism of Herbert Spencer, for they were pre- 
mature generalizations upon the newly discovered facts of the 
physical sciences. The decade of the eighteen seventies might 
well, in fact, be regarded as the peak of the materialistic era. 

The philosophical beginnings of the new naturalism, as 
Whitehead has pointed out in Science and the Modern World. 
date back to the closing decades of the nineteenth century when 
"the notion of mass was losing its unique preeminence as being 
the one permanent quantity." Energy displaced matter as the 
fundamental concept. Mass became a name for "a quantity 
of energy considered in relation to some of its dynamical 
effects." At the close of the century, orthodox materialism, 
which up to that time had reigned supreme, was being rapidly 

Whitehead attributes to William James the inauguration 
of the new stage in philosophy in the publication of his essay, 
"Does Consciousness Exist?", which first appeared in 1904 
in The Journal of Philosophy, Psychology, and Scientific 
Methods. In this essay, James denied that the word "conscious- 
ness" stands for an entity and insisted that it connotes a func- 
tion. In so doing, says Whitehead, James was challenging a 
conception of the mind which had been initiated by Descartes in 
his Discourse on Method, published in 1637, thus bringing to 
an end a philosophical period which had undergirded scientific 
materialism for two hundred and fifty years. The full import 
of this decisive step away from materialistic naturalism becomes 


clearer when one realizes that with James, philosophy moved 
beyond the habit of thinking in terms of physical notions and 
entered upon an era in which physiology was to provide its 
basic language. 

While James must be credited with initiating the method of 
thinking that was to create the new naturalism, the introduction 
of the physiological language into philsophy must be attributed 
to Bergson, whose memorable volume Creative Evolution, pub- 
lished in 1911, stands as the pioneer work in evolutionary 
naturalism. How close James and Bergson were in their 
pioneering thrusts in this direction can be appreciated best by 
perusing their exchange of letters. Bergson and James both 
reacted against the mathematical view of the world in favor of 
a philosophy drawn from concrete experience. Their differ- 
ences doubtless arose, as Professor Perry has suggested in his 
The Thought and Character of William James, from the fact 
that James took Darwin as his scientific guide, while Bergson 
preferred to follow Lamarck. Bergson chose Lamarck rather 
than Darwin on the grounds that the former's view of evolution 
provided an explanation of the adaptation of organisms, enabl- 
ing different parts and different combinations of causes to effect 
similar results. The explanation of this convergence of effects 
he found in an inner directing principle whch the Lamarckian 
interpretation admitted, and which the Darwinian view did 
not. This no doubt accounts for the more subjective and 
mystical character of Bergson's thought, as compared with 
James* radical empiricism. 

Bergson is best remembered for his exciting doctrine of the 
elan vital, and perhaps for his theory of the intellect, which 
made of mind little more than a candid camera; but more im- 
portant than either of these, and more lasting in its impression 
upon modern philosophical and religious thought, was his 
concept of time, for which he used the term duration. It is 
common to amplify Bergson's meaning of duration by saying 
that he conceived of time as indivisible and thereby unmeasur- 
able; but a more positive way of stating it is to say he viewed 
time as organic, a rich medium of multiple experience in which 


life spans were moving toward fulfilment, in which events of 
creation and dissolution were forever happening, and in which 
seasons changed, tides turned, and civilizations rose and fell 
with the imperceptibleness of growth itself. In fact, the term 
growth has come to replace Bergson's term duration, and rightly 
so; for it gives to this concept the dynamic and creative character 
which Bergson really intended. 

The full import of this amplified view of time as duration 
and growth has not, it seems to me, been sufficiently recognized. 
Having become so accustomed to the pragmatists' dismissal of 
metaphysical reality in the empirical dictum, reality is what it 
is experienced as. which brings to mind a truncated view of 
reality, we are inclined to look upon every naturalistic theory 
of life as another form of truncation. Naturalism means ignor- 
ing the superstructure, so we assume. Or one says, empiricism 
is empiricism, however differently dressed. But this is not 
true. The empiricism of pure experience which arbitrarily 
ascribes boundaries to reality for philosophical purposes, as was 
done in pragmatism, is bound to lead to a humanistic basis 
for religious thought, in wheh the reality experienced becomes, 
in fact, human reality, specified as the concourse of human 
minds, or the social environment. Dissatisfied with this 
humanly circumscribed reality in its truncated form, one might, 
as did James, hold open the possibility that the higher human 
phase of experience is "coterminous and continuous with a 
MORE of the same quality, which is operative in the universe 
outside of him, and which he can keep in working touch with, 
and in a fashion get on board of and save himself when all his 
lower being has gone to pieces" (Varieties of Religious Experi- 
ence, p. 508). Or he may proceed to enlarge the meaning and 
importance of the human environment, to give it heroic dimen- 
sions, and to cherish it as a rare and precious spiritual fruition 
of earth forces in the vast and desolate spaces of cosmic waste- 
lands. Empiricism in this truncated form has always led back 
to some compromised theory of dualism, or to a more rash re- 
linquishment of superhuman meaning in the universe. 

The empiricism which stems from Bergson's view of dura- 


tion, and which finds formulation in the new philosophic am- 
plification of growth, has abandoned this truncation view 
once and for all. It has always seemed to me that the chief 
significance of Wieman's work, especially in his book, Religious 
Experience and Scientific Method, lay in his giving decisive and 
clear expression to this turn of thought in empiricism. He cut 
through the rather insulated view of pragmatism and came to 
terms, head on, with the issue dividing naturalistic and super- 
naturalistic thought. One way of stating it is to say that he 
let go of supernaturalism in a way that enabled him to embrace 
a full-orbed naturalism. Hence, the tendency to shunt off 
metaphysical problems, with its truncating effects, so evident 
in pragmatism and humanism, has given way in Wiseman's 
thought to a fresh and forthright empirical approach to the 
whole of objective reality as it impinges upon man's world. 
I think this comes out most clearly in passages in his Religious 
Experience and Scientific Method where he attempts to move 
bcvond the position of William James. To the suggestion 
that in order to have access to the spiritual world we must turn 
away from the material world, Wieman exclaims, "No! That 
is the pitiful blunder that always leads to confusion — the path 
that leads out into the morass where nothing but dreams and 
will-o'-the-wisps can be found. . . If the spiritual is to be 
found at all," he insists, "it must be found in and through 
the material. The same senses that reveal the material must 
also reveal the spiritual. And, in fact, is that not very plainly 
the way in which we become cognizant of, say, other human 
minds which are spiritual entities, if the word spiritual has 
any significance at all." 

One should not infer from this statement that Wieman's 
religious naturalism stems from the philosophy of Bergson. 
His religious thought may best be described as the confluence 
of the two streams of empiricism, issuing from Bergson, through 
the organic philosophies of Whitehead and others, and the 
empiricism of William and John Dewey. His repudiation 
of Bergson's anti-intellectualism indicates a fundamental diver- 
gence from his view; yet this should not blind one to affinities 
between Bergson's concept of duration and Wieman's use of 


the term growth. Both men see in the events of experience 
operations that carry mystical overtones, beyond the biological 
concept. While Bergson was content to leave the matter with 
a modified vitalistic explanation, Wieman is concerned to give 
the concept growth more definitive meaning in terms of sub- 
human and human operations, and operations that go beyond 
both these areas. But the pattern of thinking, in each case, 
remains the same, as distinct from that which underlies the 
philosophy of Dewey, Ames, and other pragmatists. 

This observation may throw light upon differences that 
divide Wieman and Ames. Many noted a kinship between 
their views; yet each of these two men is aware that their posi- 
tions do differ. Wieman senses in Ames a humanistic bent; 
Ames sees in Wieman's view a survival of the habit of spatializ- 
ing deity. Both men are justified. For Ames' thought is 
essentially grounded in the humanistic soil of pragmatism, 
though he has sought to go beyond humanism, employing the 
conceptualist method for defining his theistic position. This 
has given him a concept of God which gives focus to recognized 
social values that have religious import, but a God that has 
conceptual meaning only, not existential implications; al- 
though, of course, the values so idealized do exist and genuinely 
affect the course of things. Wieman, on the other hand, as 
we have said, holds to the conception of a diety that is desig- 
native, a reality whose operations, in a minimum way, can be 
specified and recognized. Thus, while many of their terms 
are alike, and, in so far as fundamental human values are con- 
cerned, their religious interests converge, their philosophic posi- 
tions differ markedly. 

The spiritual, then, if, as Wieman says, it is to have any 
meaning at all, becomes the rich- fullness of experience that is 
ever potential with new meaning and new actualization as 
human life yields to the creativity that shapes it toward yet- 
unrealized ends. 

This is close to the humanistic theism expressed in Dewey's 
A Common Faith, but it. differs at the point where religious 
naturalism goes beyond pragmatism, namely, in the recognition 


of operations in this flux of experience, making for the actuali- 
zation of value, which are more-than-human functionings, 
more than man's purposes, more tran the fruits of human imagi- 
nation. In The Growth of Religion (pp. 327-28), Wieman 

"Growth which is creative synthesis is superhuman. 
The outcome of creative synthesis can never be foreseen by 
the human mind until after instances of the same kind of 
synthesis have been observed. It is never the work of 
human mind. It occurs spontaneously when the required 
conditions are present. All growth is of this sort. It 
is superhuman although men can and often do provide the 
conditions which are required for the miracle to occur." 

Man's part in growth, according to Wieman, is to provide the 
required conditions under which growth might occur. Then, 
as a gardener, he waits in wonder to watch the miracle happen. 


In a philosophy of Religion in which God and growth have 
become inseparable and indistinguishable, the language of reli- 
gion not only takes on new words, but gives to old words new 
meaning. Religious naturalists have argued among themselves 
as to whether religious thinking is served better or worse by 
attempts to salvage old terms that have become freighted with 
precious meaning; or, whether religion would not be better 
served by striking out boldly, in the interest of clarity, to 
fashion a new language altogether. It is clear that they cannot 
avoid creating new terms. With what has the old religion to 
do with words like concretion, creativity, the growth of connec- 
tions? One can find their counterpart in terms like incarnation, 
creator, the w\ork of love, or the Holy Spirit; but what worlds 
apart in meaning! Much that is not meant becomes implied; 
much that is meant, is uncommunicated. 

Similar objection may be made to clinging to old terms 
even where comparable meanings are more evident, as in the 
terms God, sin, salvation, and prayer. Wieman has argued for 


their continued use with some persuasion, saying that we are 
doing no differently here than we have done as a matter of 
course in other areas of thought. Have we abandoned the 
word Earth because we came upon the discovery that it is spheri- 
cal instead of the flat disc the ancients thought it was? Have 
we ceased speaking of the Sun because, with the vanishing of 
solar faiths, we no longer ascribe powers of deity to it? No, 
we have continued to use these terms, adjusting our underetand- 
ing of them to the meanings we now know them to have. So 
with these ancient words of the religious vocabulary: There 
must still be a word to designate that Reality upon which man 
and all life depends for its maximum support and growth. 
Whether or not we ascribe to it all that the ancients attributed 
to it, we may still call it God, says Wieman. There must still 
be a word to express that hideous and dark vein in man's nature 
that makes him recalcitrant and resistant to the growth of good. 
We may not wish to bring into our meaning the mythology of 
ancient lore, but we may still call this tendency by the age-old 
word, Sin. Likewise, there must still be a word to describe 
what takes place when this recalcitrance and resistance is over- 
come, so that men yield to the working of that creativity which 
is God, becoming transformed in character and purpose, and 
empowered with capacity to embrace a new life of meaning and 
value. It would be a mistake to suggest that by this experience 
one has become uprooted from the world of sense, and destined 
toward another world of spirit, as was thought in ancient times: 
yet the world Salvation, divested of this ancient meaning, may 
still express this new birth that transforms life and makes it new. 

This is not the place to raise the question whether or not 
this procedure in religious naturalism is justified or sound. We 
are interested here merely to record the fact that while the new 
orientation of religious thought has given rise to a new language 
in religion, there is strong insistence in the direction of retaining 
old terms, enlarging their meaning, through explanation where 
possible, but more important, by associating them with activi- 
ties and habits that accomplish the religious end that is sought. 

Where this is accomplished satisfactorily, however, we have 


a new language, whether we use the same words or not. That 
is to say, we communicate meanings that differ from the mean- 
ings of the older faith. Commitment to God, for example, 
becomes identification with an operation in this world of sense, 
superhuman though it may be, not disdain for these earthly 
hills. Being saved, yes, being saved through grace, implies 
being released to participate with fuller sensory powers in this 
wide, wide planetary life, not being resucd from this earthly 

If, then, the result of our communication, when intelli- 
gently and satisfactorily achieved, conveys new meaning and 
accomplishes a new orientation for pursuing a significant life, 
the question arises, is anything really gained, or is something 
probably lost, by this conscientious effort to speak in a familiar 

What is gained, obviously, is that it renders this new mean- 
ing communicable to masses of people for whom the new lan- 
guage would be utterly unintelligible. And this points to a 
familiar process, one that has generally followed upon the work 
of new prophets in religion where fresh insight has been dis- 
closed: namely, the process of accommodation. In such ad- 
aptation, the new has been absorbed into the old in such a way 
that it ceases to be new, and becomes only a fresh and different 
exposition of the familiar theme. This has occurred over and 
over again in religious movements. It is what occurred in the 
rise of popular adaptations of religious innovations that resulted 
in Mahayana Buddism, in popular Hinduism, and in the Catho- 
lic Christianity of common men. In all these instances, the 
fresh insight of a religious movement was accommodated to a 
social mind which could not, or would not, respond to innova- 

It would seem that wherever there is innovation in religious 
thinking, periods of accommodation follow in which new in- 
sights become clothed in a familiar language. There is some 
evidence that religious empiricism, in the new form that it is 
taking among theistic naturalists, is entering upon the early 
stage of such a period of accommodation. If this process con- 


tinues, rapprochement between Christianity and the new 
naturalism might very well develop, and a new chapter in the 
growth of popular Christianity will have been written. The 
disturbing question that follows upon this suggestion is. Can 
the new language which has temporarily arisen, and which gives 
zest to creative thinking in religion, survive this accommodation? 
It has not done so in historic faiths. And this may indicate 
that language cannot continue or develop in any permanent 
way, even as tools of inquiry, apart from a cultus or some 
organizational group. Yet, if freshness of insight is to survive 
accommodation, if a sharp edge of inquiry is to persist so as 
to continue exploration along the new frontier of faith, the new 
language in religion must be kept alive. For in its defined 
meaning, and only through use of its clarified concepts, can a 
growing edge of religious truth be maintained. 



By Floy S. Hyde 

Florida Southern College 

Lakeland, Florida 

In Palestine 

Probably no part of the Roman empire showed less promise, 
or gave smaller hope of large outpourings, than did the little 
land of Palestine. Crowded into a hilly, although fruitful, 
strip of land at the eastern end of the Mediterranean, with Syria 
and Phoenicia to the north and west and Arabia and the great 
desert to the south and east, its total territory was not more 
than one hundred and fifty miles in length or more than ten 
thousand square miles in area. With no scacoast in its per- 
manent possession, only the Lake of Galilee and the Dead Sea, 
with the river of Jordan flowing from the life of one to the 
death of the other, afforded the inhabitants of the land any 
sort of waterway or fishing grounds. 

Far from being the land of peace and plenty envisioned by 
the hardy wayfarers from the desert, Palestine had proved to 
their descendants only a pawn of the empires, passed back and 
forth among them with little regard to the rights or wishes of 
the persons involved. Small wonder that the Jews at the time 
of Jesus regarded their situation as desperate and looked with 
eager eyes for the day of deliverance which they felt must surely 
be at hand. 

Historical Background 

From the kingship of David early in the tenth century, 
B. C, a time of relative attainment of the great ideal, to the first 
part of the second century, B. C, when the Maccabean revolu- 
tion had once more given the little nation temporary political 
independence, the years had been a succession of war, exile, 
hardship, and broken hope. 


But, from 135-104 B. C, under the leadership of one John 
Hyrcanus, the little land of Judea was able to extend its borders 
and its distinctively Jewish mode of life with rather comforting 
success. Idumea on the south, and Samaria and Galilee on the 
north, were gradually taken over, although only in the latter 
were the Jews and their rites of worship ever given any real 
reception. However, the territory of Perea, just east of the 
Jordan and in the southern portion, became predominantly 
Jewish. These three units — Judea, Galilee, and Perea — made 
up the Holy Land proper; the allegiance of all adjoining terri- 
tories was a political acknowledgment only and without lasting 

Even this somewhat qualified theocracy was not for long. 
While the period had been the nearest approach to the greatly 
anticipated Kingdom of God since the time of David, internal 
disloyalty and strife soon took the inevitable toll, and in 63 
B. C. Palestine fell into the hands of the Romans. After a three 
months' siege the wall of the city of Jerusalem was broken; on 
the very Day of Atonement Pompey and his legions rushed into 
the temple, slaughtering even the priests at the altar. It is said 
that twelve thousand Jews fell in the attack and that large 
numbers of captives were carried off to the capital at Rome, 
where they unwittingly raised the Jewish colony to great im- 
portance for the days to come. Pompey stripped Judea of most 
of its territory and made the remainder subject to his representa- 
tive in Syria, Scaurus. 

However, with the death of Pompey and the coming to 
power of Caesar, many of the privileges were restored to the 
Jews. They were freed from supporting Roman soldiers or 
furnishing auxiliaries; their tribute was reduced during the 
sabbatical year: the possession of Joppa was restored to them; 
the walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt; religious customs were fully 
guaranteed, not alone in Judea, but in Alexandria and else- 
where; and the Jews were termed "confederates" of the Romans. 

It was no ordinary man who came to the throne in the 
person of Herod the Great (37-4 B. C.). He was an astute 
ruler, able to keep in check a headstrong people and at the same 


time maintain the friendship of Augustus; he was a builder of 
cities, a Roman man of the world, and the fearless guardian of 
the Arabian frontier. He considerably increased the boundaries 
of his Kingdom, and in the management of his foreign affairs 
he proved little short of genius itself. Only Cleopatra of Egypt 
remained an enemy whom he failed either to overcome or to 
placate. During his regime Hellenism increased rapidly; Jeru- 
salem itself had its theater, amphitheater, and games, although 
all pious Jews held themselves rigidly aloof from these pagan 
accoutrements. While Herod was tireless in promoting the 
development of his seaports, his cities, his temples, his castles, 
his military operations, he did not fail to protect the Jews in 
their religious independence. Even his enemies could plead 
little against him beyond severity in the interests of order. 

However, with his death the rule passed to three of his sons, 
and the period of at least partial national unity was ended. 
Archelaus came into authority over Judea, which was separated 
from its sister states of Perea and Galilee and joined to two 
with which it had little sympathy, Samaria and Idumea. His 
rule was so completely unsatisfactory that he was ultimately 
deposed and the territory given over to a Roman procurator. 
Galilee and Perea were more fortunate in their ruler, Antipas, 
who on the whole did a very creditable piece of work, although 
regarded with the highest disdain by the Jews over whom he 
had been put in authority. 

Political Situation 

The province of Judea, with its three districts — Judea, 
Samaria, and Idumea — was designated as an imperial province 
of the second rank, governed by a procurator who was primar- 
ily a fiscal agent whose office naturally kept him at the head 
of the administration of the taxes and the customs. The taxes 
were collected by imperial officials, but the customs were 
"farmed." They were of wide variety indeed — export duties, 
sa lt — and the privilege of collecting same was sold to the highest 
bidder. The man who actually did the collecting was the hated 
import duties, bridge and harbor duties, market taxes, tax on 


publican of the New Testament, cordially despised for his very 
general practise of extortion and misrepresentation. 

The procurator also had military and judicial duties which 
easily placed him in actual control of all his territory. In the 
latter he had the power of life and death, except when formal 
protest was made to the Emperor in case of a Roman citizen. 
But it is unlikely that he exercised the authority to any great 
extent, as most cases of importance were doubtless settled in 
the great Jewish Sanhedrin at Jerusalem. Of all the procura- 
tors, Pontius Pilate is probably the best known, not merely 
from the gospels but from Philo and Josephus. Although 
described by the former as of an "unbending and recklessly hard 
character," the fact that Tiberius, who was especially attentive 
to the provinces, left him in office for ten years is distinctly in 
his favor. 

Societal Conditions 

Josephus estimates that in his time there was three walled 
cities and two hundred and four villages in Galilee alone. The 
Galileans, although thorough Jews in their devotion to the 
Law and the Temple, were without any of the fanaticism of 
the Judeans. A sturdy, impulsive people, largely farmers and 
fishermen, their normal life and concepts were surprisingly 
healthy: as a people, they were given to considerable idealism 
and were unusually ready to accept the Messianic claims of the 
Judeans. But they were in more constant relations with Greek 
and Roman civilization, and therefore evinced a much freer 
and broader life than their kinsfolk to the south of them. 

It is certain that Palestinian Jews were to a considerable 
degree conversant with the Greek language, and that Hellenism 
exerted a very real liberalizing influence throughout the land, 
especially in the fields of literature, art, music, and general 
modes of thought and ethics. But the result was only to tight- 
en the requirements and increase the zeal of the loyal Jew, 
so that he might be constantly on guard against the threat to his 
religious integrity. If the heathen possessed the land politi- 
cally, there wgs no slightest danger of any weakening in Juda- 


ism, which awaited only God's good time for the establishment 
of His kingdom among them. The Messianic hope grew in- 
creasingly brighter and more urgent. 

Although the outer picture can be quite easily recovered, 
the inner life of the people cannot be so readily reclaimed. 
Palestine was a land crowded with city upon city, bringing the 
Jew and the Greek closely together, even if unwillingly. Every 
bit of tillable soil was made to bear its crop; the hills were cover- 
ed with flocks; and the Sea of Galilee was teeming with fisher- 
men, and presumably with fish. Roman rule had the political 
situation well in hand, although always sharply on the look- 
out for incipient rebellions within its borders and intermittent 
raids from without. But it is evident that the great majority 
of the Jews did not give as complete allegiance to their laws 
as did the Pharisees. Many were poor people of the land, who 
had no time or money with which to meet the exceedingly 
taxing demands of the temple service. There were doubtless 
also many among them who waited with quiet piety for the 
coming of the Kingdom without all the obtrusive arrogance of 
the Pharisee or the Sadduccee. But the legalistic spirit had been 
too great an element in Jewish life to be anything but revered; 
and despite its excesses, Pharisaism impressed indelibly every 
Jewish person with a sense of moral distinction and responsi- 
bility not thinkable under any other jurisdiction. However, 
the burden was great, and life became more and more a seeming- 
ly hopeless requirement of infinitesimal tasks and less and less 
a direct service of love to the father Jehovah. 

The Kingdom of God 

But the Kingdom which He would establish among them 
became increasingly the focal point of their future. For cen- 
turies they had looked forward with varying concepts to the 
time when God should deliver them from their oppressors; their 
idea of a specific leader was at first not clear, but later such 
seemed a necessity to a fulfillment of their dreams. He must 
be a man sent from God himself, a man of the branch of David; 
and of bis Kingdom there was to be no end. The Messianic 


hope was no philosophy: it was born of a national spirit, and 
while the property of all. was the especial possession of the 
Pharisees, the Essenes, and the Zealots. The Sudducees alone 
seem not to have been concerned. 

The actual advent of the Kingdom of God was to be pre- 
ceded by a period of intense suffering throughout the land and 
with sincere repentance and a real return to righteousness. After 
awesome manifestations of the physical universe, the Messiah 
was suddenly to appear, from whence no one knew, although 
some said from Bethlehem, some from Jerusalem, some from 
Rome itself. Then would begin a final war and judgment, 
from which God and his angels would emerge triumphant for 
all time. This judgment would mark the end of that age and 
the beginning of the "Age to come," with Jerusalem, perhaps 
even a new Jerusalem from heaven, as its center. Peace would 
prevail, the righteous dead would be raised, and God's glorious 
Kingdom would become an actuality on earth. 

In most cases the Messiah was evidently thought of as a 
human king, especially chosen and fitted by God for the estab- 
lishment of his Kingdom; in the early days he was seldom con- 
nected with the divine, and only once or twice is he described 
as having pre-cxistence with God himself. 

But all ethical and philosophical views were confined largely 
to the literary and the refined; the conception of the masses 
was quite different. They little considered the matter of re- 
pentance or righteousness; they looked for a warrior, perhaps 
a Christ who would work miracles, but only when he had 
summoned the Jews to arms and rebellion. And it is in this 
aspect of the religious development of the Jews that we find a 
basis for an understanding of their first conception of Jesus of 
Nazareth — in the role of the Jewish Messiah who would lead 
by force out of present difficulties into a new day. 

Ultimately the Jewish people came to cherish two ideals 
for the Kingdom: on one hand, an earthly military manifesta- 
tion such as envisioned by the average Jew; on the other hand, 
a Kingdom attainable only through moral and spiritual regenera- 
tion. In the latter case the Prince of Peace would return speed- 


ily, at a moment when they knew not, to establish the true 
Messianic Kingdom with Jerusalem as its center. 

Conflicting Ideas Regarding the Attainment 
of the Kingdom 

It is scarcely to be supposed that there could be any real 
agreement among people so diversified in their occupations and 
customs as were the inhabitants of Palestine. A very large 
number of persons were tillers of the soil, giving themselves 
entirely to the production of the surprisingly large number of 
products which the fertile land and mild climate made possible. 
The countryside was thickly planted with olive and palm trees; 
honey was produced in large quantities; grapes, corn, and dairy 
products were abundant. Galilee was especially rich in the 
quality of its soil; only Pcrea was largely unproductive, al- 
though even there vineyards were not unusual. 

Difficult as it would have been to induce the rich owner 
of fertile fields to agree with his menial farm-hand upon a 
common program for the establishment of the new order, it 
would have been even more of a problem to bring city-dwellers 
into any sort of concord. Even the smallest of the villages 
of Galilee is reported as having from ten to fifteen thousand in 
population. Sepphoris, a prosperous business center, was the 
capital of Galilee in the time of Jesus, and was second in im- 
portance in Palestine only to Jerusalem of Judea. The fact 
that it was only an easy hour's walk from Jesus' home in 
Nazareth makes it of especial interest to present-day students. 
Capernaum was the most important city on the Sea of Galilee, 
although many other names have become familiar — among 
them Bethsaida, Magdala, Gamala, and Chorazin. Every type 
of urban interest was doubtless represented in these flourishing 
centers, and the extremes of wealth and position represented by 
the high official and the wretched slave could hardly be made 
compatible in idea or requirement. 

In addition to the Jewish elements of Palestine, both rural 
and urban, there was a very considerable foreign population. 
The ten cities known as Decapolis were the direct outgrowth 


of Greek colonization efforts following Alexander the Great. 
While subject to Rome, they retained their Greek characteristics 
in every particular. And the Roman, although in Jewish 
territory for the first purpose of taking care of governmental 
affairs, nevertheless exerted an exceedingly wide influence 
through his customs, language, forms of entertainment, and 
certainly his religion. Graeco-Roman influences were to be 
seen on every hand: no greater evidence could be given than 
the effort to offset such by those purists of the Jewish faith 
who ever increased their restrictions and their requirements for 
the faithful among them. But even so. there was at least one 
Synagogue in Jerusalem, perhaps more, where the service was 
conducted in Greek for the special benefit of those Jews who 
had lived in foreign lands so long as to be unable to return to a 
free use of their native tongue, Aramaic. These Jews of the 
Diaspora were a natural and easy link between Palestine and the 
Gentile world and doubtless served in a certain levelling process 
of which they were quite unaware. 

So it is not greatly to be wondered at that no common 
method or conception could be agreed upon regarding the 
Kingdom which was to come. But armed revolt against Rome 
was certainly not one of the methods upon which there was full 
concord. The Jewish life of Palestine, especially in business 
and cultural circles, had become too permeated with outward 
influence to be wholly antagonistic to the power which in many 
ways gave prosperity and protection. 

Religious Sects 

Of all the sects in Palestine, the Pharisees and the Sadducees 
were the most prominent. The former stressed particularly 
the observance of all forms and rites and looked upon the world- 
ly features introduced by the king and his government as highly 
offensive. The Pharisees were interested in the sword only in 
defense of the faith; the real emphasis lay in complete devotion 
to God and the absolute observance of his law as set forth in 
the sacred writings. They believed that it was God's preroga- 
tive to elevate his people in his own good time. An association 
of purists, they stood out severely against the mixture of mo- 


tives as evidenced in many of the other groups. As zealous 
students of the scriptures, they were popular among the faith- 
ful, whose well-being they considered their first responsibility. 
The Pharisees, all in all, were the largest and most important 
single group in the entire Palestinian world of religion. 

The Sadducees gave their best attention to the courting 
of favor from the foreign powers or the governing authority. 
They did not over-exert themselves in observing the religious 
rites; they were wealthy priests and aristocrats, unpopular with 
the masses, and especially bent upon making themselves of 
assistance in the administration of the government. 

In an earnest attempt to live in a manner pleasing to God, 
both as individuals and as a nation, various other groups came 
to have considerable significance. The "Zadokite sect" was 
passionately devoted to the law of Moses: its followers felt that 
their more specialized righteousness was highly superior to the 
observances of the Pharisees, and that the condition of Israel 
was due to its failure to keep God's requirements properly. 
They preached repentance and the adoption of a stricter mode 
of living, declaring that only through such could there ever 
come into being the order for which they lent every effort. 
The hostility between the Zadokites and the Pharisees was 
open and bitter. 

The Essenes made up another considerable group in the 
religious life of Palestine in the first century A. D. Living 
in large groups outside the cities, which they considered unbear- 
ably wicked, they held all things in common and followed a 
life of restraint in every respect, practising fasting, frequent 
bathing, and the extreme of self-discipline. They revered 
Moses next to God and endured any kind of punishment rather 
than to violate their sacred Law. Although they would conde- 
scend to carry weapons while on a journey, the Essenes were 
definitely pacificists in their attitude toward other nations and 
govermental affairs. 

General Unrest 

The spirit of discontent throughout Palestine brought forth 
periodic attempts to force the issue with Rome. "Simon" of 


Jericho and a certain "Judas" of Sepphoris were active leaders 
of the mob over a considerable period of years. The times 
of great religious festivals at Jerusalem were especially perilous; 
after one revolt from a great gathering, Roman authorities 
deemed it necessary to crucify at least two thousand persons 
suspected of having an active leadership in the affair. Many 
earnest Jews believed that God could not be expected to come 
to their assistance unless they themselves were willing to fight, 
and die if need be, for their own freedom. The youthful 
element of the nation was especially Impatient for results and 
joined itself easily to any one of the various groups which 
promised the method of procedure most in keeping with its 
ideas. It was quite the usual thing for a John the Baptist to 
come preaching repentance and calling the righteous to follow 
him; and there was also nothing unusual about a Jesus of 
Nazareth offering a somewhat different "ology" as the proper 
panacea. The day was one of division, a multiplicity of parties 
and groups, each one with its own theories and its own plan 
of endeavor. It was perilous business to become actively at- 
tached to any of them, and one who dared to inaugurate or lead 
such a group hazarded his very life for his ideals. 

A Sense of Security in the Temple 

The public welfare in general could not be seriously dis- 
turbed by these semi-political groups so long as the Jewish 
religion maintained its ancient and honored customs, unified 
and embodied in the great temple at Jerusalem, which in the 
time of Jesus was easily one of the most splendid edifices in the 
Mediterranean world. Situated in a conspicuous position on 
the eastern hill of the city, its rectangular area was surrounded 
on all sides by thick, high walls. The outer court was open to 
the general public, but the inner court might be entered only by 
Jews. Closer still to the holy house itself, only male Jews 
could approach; only priests, or an Israelite about to make his 
own offering, could proceed any further. The temple itself 
stood on even higher ground, and only priests were permitted 
to enter. The altar of incense with the seven-branched candle- 
stick and the table of shew-bread occupied the first chamber. 


The "Holy of Holies" at the rear had once contained the Ark 
of the Covenant and was regarded by every Jew as the most 
sacred spot on earth. 

Elaborate services were conducted morning and evening by 
richly apparelled priests and Levites; sacrifices were offered ac- 
cording to the ancient instructions; formal prayers were recited, 
incense burned, and a perpetual veneration offered the God of 
Israel. Even for the Jew who could not himself observe many 
of the ritualistic requirements, it was a very real satisfaction 
to know that others were meeting the responsibility at the 
sacred altar and that his offerings were making possible the 
continuance of the observances so vital to his well-being. 

The supreme authority in both the civil and the religious 
affairs of the Jewish nation rested in the body of the seventy 
elders known as the Sanhedrin, whose place of meeting was 
situated on the south side of the temple area and known as the 
"Hall of Hewn Stone." Composed of gentlemen supposedly 
representing the height of legal knowledge and wisdom, with 
a president who might or might not be the high priest, the 
Sanhedrin pronounced judgments from which there was no 
possible appeal. Should the Roman procurator attempt to 
exalt himself by force above the Sanhedrin, the Jewish people 
only looked upon the effort as a burst of arrogance and fruit- 
less display. 

Three great yearly festivals drew to Jerusalem every Jew 
who could possibly make the trip. The greatest was the Feast 
of the Passover, celebrated in the spring on the fifteenth of 
the month Nisan, to commemorate the deliverance of the He- 
brews from the bondage of Egypt. The elaborate observance, 
repeated exactly from year to year, held also a strong meaning 
as the symbol of God's continued favor toward his chosen peo- 

The support of any institution so elaborate and all-embrac- 
ing as was the Temple necessarily placed a considerable burden 
upon every Jew. But it was a burden joyously borne, and the 
various and sundry requirements were met with the utmost 
in faithfulness. Every male twenty or more years of age was 


required to pay a year's tax of half a shekel, regardless o\f 
whether he lived in Palestine itself or in the Diaspora. A 
"tithe," or tenth, of everything grown was paid as a regular 
fee, while one-fiftieth of the yield of certain other agricultural 
products was presented regularly to the priests. 

Altogether the Temple represented a vital and very precious 
reality to the Jewish people, a concrete symbol of the link be- 
tween the Jew and his God. Quite naturally it was looked 
upon as the probable spot which God would select in his own 
good time from which to restore his Kingdom and bring to 
his people the long-expected deliverance. 

The Synagogue 

Even closer than the Temple to the life of the common peo- 
ple throughout the land were the local synagogues, at least 
one of which was located in every village. Here prayers were 
offered and a hearing given to whoever might prove himself 
worthy to speak. The local council of elders met at the Syna- 
gogue to discharge their civic duties; criminals were tried and 
punishment administered, whether it meant scourging, excom- 
munication, or even death. Young children were instructed 
for a period of time before attending the school proper; funds 
were collected; and alms were distributed to the poor. The 
Synagogue was in every sense the very center of small-com- 
munity life. 

The Law 

Before any of these institutions had come into being, the 
sacred writings of the Jewish people had been regarded as the 
direct word of God himself, and throughout the centuries this 
reverence had been maintained. Moses was looked upon as 
having received the Law, which embraced the first five books 
of the Old Testament, directly through divine revelation. The 
Prophets and the Writings were only a little less revered. It 
is not surprising that the correct interpretation of God's word 
for his people should become a matter of exceeding moment. 
Professional interpreters known as scribes, largely the product 


of the sect of the Pharisees, devoted themselves assiduously to 
the task. Their word was regarded as authoritative for the 
rendering of decisions on either civil or religious questions. 
The sacred book was the basis of all instruction, and even the 
most learned Jewish scholars who studied at foreign universi- 
ties were not disposed to find any real wisdom outside of their 
own inherited body of literature. 

In addition to the written documents, there was a large 
body of oral tradition, nearly as binding in its authority as 
the writings. In all matters in which the scriptures were not 
specific enough to meet the needs of current times, it became the 
province of the scribe to study diligently and to interpret faith- 
fully the meaning of the law as he saw it. 

Jesus and the Kingdom 

Only the political area remained beyond the direct and com- 
plete control of the Jewish Law. But within their rigid and 
all embracing institutionalism, the Jews felt they could ade- 
quately meet any requirement of Jehovah, were their devotion 
only sufficiently sincere. Any reformer arising among them 
had a difficult road ahead if he tried to deviate in any material 
degree from the established procedure. It was only through 
appeal to his contemporaries and the winning of their approval 
for his ideals that he could hope for any real accomplishment. 

So it was that Jesus went first to his own people with his 
message — a new interpretation of the meaning of the Kingdom; 
and so it was that he was rejected and despised as a dangerous 
dissenter, one wholly unworthy of his Hebrew heritage. 

In the Dispersion 

There is abundant evidence of Jewish population in most 
of the Roman provinces, but their numbers were doubtless 
greatest in Syria, then in Egypt, in Rome, and in Asia Minor. 
All around the Mediterranean — along the coast-line of Egypt, 
in southern Gaul, and in Spain — their influence was strongly 


felt. Although exact figures do not exist, reliable estimates 
place one million as the probable number of Jews in Egypt. 
Allowing about seven hundred thousand for Palestine, and more 
than a million for Syria, there is no doubt that the total 
throughout the Empire numbered at least four and one-half 
million, or about seven percent of the total population under 

Individuality Maintained 

Regardless of numbers or position, Jewish racialism and 
religion inevitably maintained itself. Wherever Jew met Jew, 
he regarded him as brother. Although Jewish communities 
existed in every large city under the protection of the ruling 
power, nevertheless the real loyalty and passion was toward 
Jerusalem and its temple. While Jews of the Dispersion were 
necessarily separated from the Temple and the sacrificial system 
in its entirety and were unable to fulfill a portion of its precepts 
as regarded the keeping of the Law, there was never any lessen- 
ing of moral requirements. While many of their features — cir- 
cumcision, Sabbath observance, the prohibition of swine's 
flesh — -might appear to the populace as highly offensive, the 
masses could not fail to be impressed with the Jews' worship, 
without any of the accoutrements of the pagan faiths, of a 
deeply spiritual God. 

Prosetytism Developed 

When one considers the intense nationalism of the race and 
the wall of partition which it erected between itself and all 
other religions, one finds it difficult to reconcile acceptably the 
peculiar missionary impulse which existed so clearly. The 
Jew felt beyond all doubt that he was intimately acquainted 
with the finest religion conceivable and that it was his duty 
and privilege to promote it wherever he went. Throughout 
the empire he proclaimed the one and only true God, his high 
moral law, and his righteous judgment. And it was only a 
step for Judaism to enter the ranks of philosophy and present 


itself most acceptably to the Greeks as the best revealed and the 
most ancient of religions. 

The evidence for proselyting activity dates from 139 B. C 
to the early Christian empire. In fact, the rabbinic traditions 
and imperial laws reflect its existence well into the fourth cen- 
tury. We may feel assured that Judaism did not spread through 
natural increase of numbers within itself, or through inevitable 
accretion from near-by individuals or groups, but through active 
promotion by zealous adherents. 

Naturally, groups of Jews living precariously in a foreign 
land had to build up a defense, inasmuch as they were resident 
among the Gentiles only by special privilege and as their prac- 
tices ran counter to the laws of nearly every community in which 
they lived. It was their first duty to bind their groups to- 
gether, and second, to draw as many as possible of the influential 
and powerful of the community into their circle, thereby soften- 
ing the shock of the inevitable clashes between the various in- 
terests of the factions represented. 

In every Jewish communitv there were, first, the Jews who 
were racially bound to the group with all its customs. Next 
there were proselytes, who are described by Philo as those who 
had "come over to a new and God-fearing constitution, learning 
to disregard the fabulous inventions of other nations and cling- 
ing to unalloyed truth." These proselytes were individuals 
who had "granted to them the same favors that were bestowed 
on the native Jews, an equal share in all their laws, and privi- 
leges and immunities." Finally, there were those known as 
"God-fearers" — Gentiles with varying degrees of devotion to 
Jewish ideas and customs. They were welcomed to the syna- 
gogues as sincere persons breaking away from paganism and 
were exhorted to forsake their idols and worship the one true 
God of the Jews, adopting at the same time the strenuous moral 
life required of all true followers. Incidentally, they gave sub- 
stantially to the treasury. While probably relatively few 
Gentiles became actual proselytes, submitting to circumcision 
and all the requirements, it is certain that large numbers fell into 
the category of the "God-fearers," and that it was in this group 


that Christianity found such a ready hearing. 

From a religious standpoint, the Jew realized that peaceful 
penetration could be a most effective weapon in hastening the 
Kingdom of God. The legalists were naturally not in favor 
of lowering their standards, but as for the rest, a convert of 
any kind was one more trophy for Israel. 

Means Employed 

For all Jews in their residence abroad, as in the home land, 
the synagogue was the center of life. It preserved not only the 
unity of the Jews themselves but served as a definite evidence to 
all the community of the unwavering fidelity of the race, in- 
viting Gentiles through their curiosity or earnestness to seek the 
one true God and the righteousness of the law of Moses. The 
language of instruction was the Greek, commonly understood 
by all Gentiles and the many Jews who had lost touch with 
their original Hebrew tongue. 

An interesting item found in the legal notices of the first 
century A. D., pertaining to a transaction in the synagogue of 
Crimea, recounts the decree liberating certain slaves. But a 
condition under which the Synagogue became witness and 
guarantor of the freedom was that the freed men should give 
faithful adherence to the services of the Jewish faith. Evidently 
the freedom was often granted merely as a means to proselytism. 

Inasmuch as the number of Gentiles who could actually 
attend services in the synagogues was relatively small, the Jews 
resorted to a literary propaganda directed to larger and more 
influential circles. Jewish scripture in the hands of the Gentiles 
came to be taken entirely for granted. Josephus represents 
Cyrus as engaged in reading the prophet Isaiah, and Luke's 
picture of the eunuch returning home from a trip to Jerusalem, 
reading from the prophets, is doubtless drawn from a situation 
which he had frequently observed. 

In addition to the synagogues and the literary material there 
were doubtless many travelling propagandists. They may not 
have been actually great in numbers, but there is every reason 


to believe that the method of itinerant teaching and preaching 
was a common phenomenon of the time, adhered to alike by 
the Jews of the propagandist spirit, by the pagans, and by 
Christians of later days. 

Success Attained 

While these combined efforts doubtless reached large num- 
bers of people in all classes, it is altogether likely that the great- 
est success was met among the lower groups. To be a Jew 
meant complete separation from all other cults and the usual 
worldly affairs; and not many persons of importance could be 
expected to ostracise themselves so thoroughly from the life of 
which they had become part and parcel over a long period of 

Nevertheless, the Jews of the Diaspora were frequently a 
powerful minority, controlling, through their religious chan- 
nels, a very considerable wealth, enjoying connections of some 
dignity with Jerusalem, and receiving the favor of the power- 
ful Romans. Therefore, Judaism did offer to its proselytes 
the prestige of its position as an influential, clearly marked and 
privileged social group, which must have offset in part the dis- 
advantages of racialism and the badge of nationality which it 
always put upon its converts. Those without Roman citizen- 
ship doubtless found in the Jewish sect a considerable protection 
not obtainable elsewhere, especially the possibility of escape 
from military service. In order to intermarry, certain individ- 
uals of royal blood and real wealth doubtless came over fre- 
quently to the Jewish demands. Or a fortune-hunter might 
often have made himself acceptable in order to win a certain rich 
Jewess whom he admired. Superstitious fear, or fear of the 
very real power of the group, may have been contributing fac- 
tors in other cases. 

But all these were purely minor. Judaism's great success 
as a propagandist faith can be ascribed to little else but its moral 
and spiritual elements, the very real satisfactions which it had 
to offer in the religious world. 


Harnack points out that Christianity is largely indebted to 
the phenomenal success of the Jewish mission which preceded 
it. Judaism provided a field tilled all over the empire, religious 
communities already formed everywhere in the towns, the "help 
of materials" furnished by the preliminary knowledge of the 
Old Testament, the habit of regular worship and a control of 
private life, an impressive apologetic on behalf of monotheism, 
and finally, the feeling that self-diffusion was a duty. 

Proselytisrn Declines 

But the very success of the Jews contained the seeds of 
their decline. Outsiders as they were, they could not be pop- 
ular with the people among whom they lived, so long as their 
religious and social exclusiveness led them to take no part in the 
common life. Excused from military duty because of the 
danger of breaking the laws of the Sabbath, permitted to meet 
freely and to send to Jerusalem large sums of gold, regardless 
of local economic interests, enjoying the privileges of their own 
local government while getting Roman aid when needed against 
their fellow-townsmen, claiming their nation to be the favorite 
of heaven and to hold the future of the world in their hands, 
it is no wonder they excited the jealousy and suspicion of the 
rest of the world. 

Above all, the Christian movement, coming out from but 
repudiating Judaism, contained all the elements necessary to 
make itself instantly popular in the pagan world. Its condem- 
nation of Judaism for the crucifixion of Jesus was a most serious 
indictment. Altogether the anti-Jewish gospel tradition syn- 
chronized with the political rebellions of the Jews. Restrictive 
legislation put heavy handicaps upon proselyting activities. 
The tendency in the ancient world was away from intellectual- 
ism and high ethical demands to the more mystical and vicarious 
conceptions of morality; and Christianity supplied all these de- 

Hence, because of its rigid inadaptability, Judaism failed 
to reap the harvest of its own sowing, and Christianity entered 
eagerly into the field so richly prepared. 


By William S. Minor 

The Bible College of Missouri 

Columbia, Missouri 

It is difficult to face the charge that we have betrayed youth 
by giving it a society in which collegiate clothes, cars, recreation, 
and education followed by normal marriage, happy family 
life, and constructive work are displaced by military uniforms, 
planes, tanks, trucks, maneuvers, and battle in a background 
of delayed or hasty marriage with enforced separation. It is 
even more difficult to accept the fact that in this society the 
moral values of honesty, trustworthiness, personal cleanliness, 
integrity, and love are increasingly displaced by legalized and 
commonly accepted deception, lying, stealing, prostitution, ex- 
ploitation, personal and social disintegration, and hatred. It 
is most difficult to realize that these displacements are mere 
symptoms of a deeper displacement which produces these symp- 
toms. This deeper displacement is the development and main- 
tenance of public school systems including colleges and univer- 
sities, which displace study of the existence and nature of God 
as the core of the curriculum by study of other values less than 
God as the core of the curriculum. In this profound displace- 
ment we discover our basic betrayal of youth. 

Some most outstanding educators, statesmen, and religious 
leaders sense this betrayal and are trying to eliminate it. Presi- 
dent Robert Maynard Hutchins, of The University of Chicago 
holds that the valid core of the curriculum in the modern uni- 
versity is natural theology. (Preface to The Case for Theology 
in the University, by William Adams Brown, Chicago, 1938). 
Our Honorable Secretary of State, Cordell Hull, is especially 
anxious concerning the present status of religion. In a recent 
address he said: "Humanity desperately needs today a moral 
and spiritual re-birth — a revitalization of religion." Thought- 
ful religious leaders are increasingly aware that revitalization of 
religion is dependent upon critical and systematic study of it, 


especially at the level of higher education. Churches may af- 
ford excellent services for the worship of God, but if youth and 
elder people as well do not have sufficient understanding of 
God, gained by disciplined study of the history, literature, and 
philosophy of religion, to appreciate the depth, richness, and 
supremacy of value discoverable in God, they will see no reason 
for including worship services in their way of living. The 
most intelligent support which the church receives from both 
young and old comes from those who have made most thorough 
study of religion. Foundations for this study can and should 
be laid in elementary, and secondary education, but the deeper 
issues of religious living found in its history, literature, and 
philosophy, can be studied most effectively and can be appreci- 
ated most deeply at the level of higher education as found in the 
college or university. 

Judging merely by labels, we find almost all college and 
university curricula seem to imply that the world's history, 
literature, and philosophy are studied in all their beauty, pro- 
fundity, and comprehensiveness, but thorough analyses yield 
startling facts. Dr. William Warren Sweet, a professor of 
history in The University of Chicago, has summarized (Address 
delivered in the University of Chicago Chapel) his findings 
with regard to the amount of space devoted to religion in our 
school histories. He has pointed out that neglect of religion is 
characteristic of the great American histories; including the 
Chronicles of America Series in fifty volumes; McMaster's 
eight volumes entitled the History of the People of the United 
States; seven volumes on the slavery controversy, the Civil War, 
and the Reconstruction periods by James Ford Rhodes; and 
Oberholtzer's History of the United States since the Civil War. 
Even though religion was a main aspect of many of the issues 
dealt with, he shows that in none of these works has it been 
given adequate attention, and in some practically no attention 
whatever. His examination of the most widely used texts 
on American history revealed this same neglect. Most of them 
made no mention of Qeorge Whitefield or Jonathan Edwards 
even though Whitefield was one of the greatest of the inter- 
colonial leaders and Edwards was America's first great phil- 


osopher, who is even yet classed by some as the greatest mind 
that America has produced. Professor Sweet has given the 
evidence showing that in main sources, in high school and in 
college texts, the historians have not done full justice to the 
part played by religion in American life. On the basis of this 
evidence we are forced to conclude that most departments of 
history are not teaching the subject profoundly and compre- 
hensively. Therefore, youth is betrayed. 

As to the study of literature, after ten years of work with 
university students in the field of religion, I believe that a 
large majority of them at graduation are not only uninformed 
as to the existence and nature of the seven great Bibles produced 
by the religions of mankind, but that they have little, if any, 
specific knowledge of the Bible of Christianity. Even though 
church supported colleges stress study of the Christian Bible 
more than any other area in the field of religion, many institu- 
tions of higher learning have failed to provide effective means 
for study and appreciation of the world's most sacred literature. 
When young people learn that the Christian Bible is ever the 
world's best-seller, that it has been translated into a thousand 
tongues, and that it is an incomparable anthology of living 
religious literature loaded with rare insights and precious mean- 
ings, they will study it if the necessary means are provided for 
doing so. Failure to provide these means is a betrayal of youth. 

There is now a tragic need for systematic study of philos- 
ophy of religion. The traditional systems of religious belief 
passed on to us no longer bring to the modern mind the wealth 
of meaning which they brought to our ancestors. Traditional 
patterns of theology, like the blueprints for our grandfathers' 
houses, are now obsolete. The discipline of systematic study 
necessary for the development of modern theology is philosophy 
of religion. Some refer to it as philosophical theology. Ac- 
cording to Alfred North Whitehead, 

"It is the business of philosophical theology to provide 
a rational understanding of the rise of civilization, and of 
the tenderness of mere life itself, in a world which super- 
ficially is founded upon the clashings of senseless compul- 
sion .... 


"The task of Theology is to show how the World is 
founded on something beyond mere transient fact, and 
how it issues in something beyond the perishing of occa- 
sions. The temporal World is the stage of finite accom- 
plishment. We ask of Theology to express that element 
in perishing lives which is undying by reason of its ex- 
pression of perfections proper to our finite natures. In 
this way we shall understand how life includes a mode 
of satisfaction deeper than joy or sorrow." (Adventures 
of Ideas, New York, 1933, pages 218 and 221.) 

In this task of theology we discover the basic reason for 
education. Theology is therefore, rightly, the core of the 
curriculum. The complexity of this task demands most thor- 
ough treatment by the most critical and disciplined minds. Every 
layman's life is dependent upon it if he is to emerge beyond the 
mere brute urge to live. The history and literature of religion 
arc illuminated by it. To evade it or to place it in an insignifi- 
cant position in the curriculum for university men and women 
is to betray youth. If we are to prevent this betrayal we must 
examine its causes and consequences. 

Betrayal by Those Who Do Not Know What Religion Is 

Youth is often betrayed by those who do not know what 
religion is. This may be due to failure to examine it, or it 
may be the result of confusion due to examination of conflict- 
ing definitions of religion. Since we do not know cverthing 
about anything, "know in part and see in part," (I Cor. 13:9) 
all of our definitions, including those of religion, arc limited. 
Yet we have definitions of religion which are as accurate as our 
definitions of energy, atoms, cells, and the like. Religion is 
found in human behavior, but not in all human behavior: in 
that behavior which we call loyalty, but not in all human loyal- 
ty. Religion is one's loyalty to what one regards as supreme 
value for all men. Religion, at best, is loyalty of the total, 
matured self, functioning especially through one's vocation, 
but also through all other forms of one's behavior, to what 
really is supreme in value. Some are confused by definitions 
of religion because they confuse the definition itself with that 


which the definition is meant to symbolize. For example, 
when we refer to God in terms of "Supreme Value,'' or with 
Professor Whitehead in terms of "concretion," some critics 
have said that "no one could ever pray to such a God." Such 
critics have not analyzed the situation sufficiently to discover 
that no person could pray or "communicate" intelligently with 
a definition. Definition of religion is a necessary guide to 
stating the objective of teaching in the field of religion. If 
we are to prevent further betrayal of youth we must know what 
this objective is. 

The Primary Objective of Teaching in the Field of Religion 

The direct, primary objective of teaching the well-establish- 
ed disciplines of religion is not to make the students of religion 
religious, but to stimulate critical study of religious behavior 
in the lives of men, in order that there may be growth of under- 
standing of this behavior. Teachers in the field of religion 
who accept this objective do not try to make their students 
religious, just as teachers in the field of economics do not try 
to supply their students with economic goods. However, better 
understanding of religion gained through critical study of it 
contributes to the development of more intelligent religious 
living just as better understanding of economics through critical 
study of it contributes to more intelligent practices in the 
economic aspects of life. 

Since religious behavior is loyalty to what one regards as 
supreme value for all men, it is clear that one's religion involves 
the core organization of the self, if any such organization exists. 
Failure to provide specific, systematic, and critical study of this 
central and most profound aspect of life is to offend common 
decency in education. Growth of civilization and culture de- 
pends directly upon critical evaluation of the object of our 
supreme devotion, since it is this object which gives man his 
primary sense of direction and destiny. If this object thought 
to be supreme is not supreme, education for the modern mind 
demands disillusionment even in one's ideas of God as well as in 
one's ideas of lesser values. 


Some confuse the main objective of teaching with the ob- 
jectives of other kinds of work done in the field of religion. 
Some religious agencies that do work in educational institutions 
have very little educational content but devote themselves to 
activities for inspiration, fellowship and the like. While reli- 
gious inspiration and fellowship are recognized values which 
we do well to serve, if we allow these to be a substitute for the 
educational content of, religion we fail to fulfill our responsi- 
bility for the advancement of profound and comprehensive edu- 
cation. Many sincere people with good intentions support 
vulgar, pathological forms of religion because they lack the 
education necessary to diffcrlntiate these forms from those 
which are intelligent and health-giving. While religion in its 
broad meaning is a way of life rather than a mere intellectual 
system of thought, failure to advance systematic instruction in 
religion defeats the very purpose of higher education by allow- 
ing superficial views of religion to control human conduct. 
This failure is betrayal of youth. William U. Gucrrant, a 
successful university director of religious activities, says it is 
good to support and strengthen religious activities on all our 
campuses, but what students need most is to know something 
about religion. My observations lead me to believe that growth 
in the understanding of religion stimulates such growth of 
appreciation for it that students naturally and normally seek 
an affiliation with some religious fellowship in which the art 
of worship can be cultivated. 

Some assume that the main objective for teaching in the 
field of religion is to provide educational facilities for those who 
expect to become professional religious leaders. In so far as this 
assumption, lacking in perspective, prevents future laymen from 
making a systematic study of religion, it creates a circular prob- 
lem. Laymen uneducated in religion do not have sufficient 
understanding of and appreciation for intelligent religious 
leadership to know where to look for it, how to select it, or even 
to want it, much less to support it. Not until the laymen are 
bettter educated in the field of religion can ministers serve the 
people by preaching more profound sermons, for, as Shailer 
Mathews has said, "no one can be a leader unless he has fol- 


lowers." This circular problem can be solved by affording 
every youth an opportunity to receive a good education in the 
field of religion; otherwise all youth are betrayed. 

Areas of Study in the Field of Religion 

There are teachers and administrators in educational work 
whose background of learning has not been sufficiently compre- 
hensive to make them aware that there are recognized, system- 
atic, and critical disciplines of study in the field of religion. 
For example, a young professor of political science in an out- 
standing university recently faced his situation by asking ques- 
tions which revealed his almost total lack of knowledge in this 
regard. It is easy for such men unconsciously and inadvertently 
to betray youth by guidance controlled by this lack of know- 

There are at least the following main divisions in the field 
of religion which are recognized as worthy of systematic study 
in higher education. 

1. History of Religion includes all world religions, ancient, 
medieval and modern, and also a comparative study of 
these. The historian, as such, does not evaluate or criti- 
cize religious behavior. His purpose is to describe as 
objectively and disinterestedly as possible the flow of 
religious events, movements, and institutions. 

2. The Literature of Religion includes study of all seven of 
the great Bibles of the world's religions, even though most 
attention in our Western World has been centered upon 
study of the Old and the New Testaments of the Chris- 
tian Bible. Some main tools used in the study of the 
literature, in addition to knowledge of various languages, 
are: textual or lower criticism, higher criticism, and form 

3. Psychology of Religion, including both descriptive and 
applied psychology of religion, is analytic study of reli- 
gious behavior by scientific method. 


4. Philosophy of Religion clarifies basic religious concepts, 
examines the source and validity of religious beliefs, and 
studies critically the various systems of both historic and 
current religious thought and practice. 

5. The Methodology of Religion, known as Religious Edu- 
cation, is study of means used for communicating and 
transferring religious thought and practice. It includes 
study of the art of worship, sacred music, missions, reli- 
gious drama, sermon-making and delivery, principles, 
methods, and practice of teaching, administration of reli- 
gious institutions, etc. 

While these five areas of study are definitely established, others 
are being developed. For example, we find courses now being 
organized in the Sociology of Religion in several institutions 
in this country. Recognition of and appreciation for these 
accepted areas of study by men and women responsible for 
educational procedures are important factors in preventing be- 
trayal of youth. 

Identification of the Content of Religion 

Some teachers and administrators of education with an 
apologetic rather than a straight-forward attitude toward re- 
ligion betray youth by refusing to identify the content of re- 
ligion when it is present. If religious problems must be dis- 
cussed, its language is not used. If religious behavior is studied, 
they would bury its content in courses which do not deal 
primarily with religion. To study religion without identifi- 
cation of it may lead to serious consequences. To stimulate 
the development of religious behavior without identification of 
it is to make it an unconscious and therefore an unintelli- 
gent groping for the best. When religion is studied it should 
be studied openly, frankly, fairly, freely, critically, and 
thoroughly. Religion is too dangerous to be played with, for 
it is the most dynamic force in nature. The teacher of any 
aspect of it is perilously insecure unless he has technical know- 
ledge of the whole of it, especially its history, its literature, 
and its philosophy. The difficulties encountered in securing 


a comprehensive understanding of such a complex field are often 
causative factors in producing the apologetic attitude among 
educators who refuse to deal with the subject directly. To 
generalize this attitude and project it as an ideal educational 
procedure is betrayal of youth. Professor Henry Nelson Wie- 
man, of The University of Chicago, has expressed recently, in 
an unpublished paper, the great dangers involved in such an 
attitude which opens the way for the development of an un- 
conscious, and uncriticized religion. He says: 

"An unconscious, unexamined, uncriticized religion will 
be crude, fantastic and dangerous. To put the modern 
tremendous powers of achievement in the hands of such 
a religion is like putting explosives into the hands of a 
maniac. Such an unconscious and uncriticized religion 
has developed in various countries because the gap between 
conscious religion and the educated mind became too great 
to bridge." 

Methpds Used to Put the Study of Religion in the Curriculum 

The variety of methods used to include the study of re- 
ligion in the educational curriculum has often been sufficiently 
confusing to prevent the adoption of any method by interested 
school administrators, thereby obstructing the development of 
any teaching program in the field. This, too, is a betrayal of 

The various methods used include: 

1. Religion is studied as segments of courses treating history, 
literature, psychology, and philosophy, generally. This 
method gives the least possible attention to the study of 
religion. Almost all of the general texts used in these 
fields have very few, if any, chapters dealing with reli- 
gion. Almost all the teachers in these general (fields 
have had no opportunity for graduate study of religion 
and are therefore incapable of dealing with whatever 
source material may be included in the general texts. 

2. Courses are given wholly to the study of religion and are 


included in the appropriate general departments of history, 
literature, psychology, philosophy, etc., in colleges and 
universities. A common weakness in the use of this 
method has been the inclusion of these courses in the teach- 
ing load of men who have not done adequate work to 
teach in the field of religion. 

3. A third method involves establishment of a department 
of religion in the college or university. In the depart- 
ment all courses offered in the whole field of religion are 
brought together as a unit in the curriculum. This 
method makes it easier to organize and maintain, under 
the leadership of a chairman, a comprehensive and balanced 

4. A fourth method is the establishment of a school or col- 
lege of religion which retains the general academic pat- 
tern of a department of religion plus financial and ad- 
ministrative independence with privileges of granting its 
own academic degrees. 

My observation of situations in which these methods have 
been tried, leads me to believe that the departments and schools 
of religion are best fitted to develop and to maintain a balanced 
curriculum in the field with all areas, including history, litera- 
ture, and philosophy, well coordinated. Distribution of the 
courses in religion in the general departments, or distribution 
of the content of religion in the general courses, all too often fail, 
to give sufficient attention to the study of religion to make it 
possible for interested students to study it either systematically 
or comprehensively. This is betrayal of youth. 

Separation of Church and State 

Another contributing factor to the betrayal of youth is 
an outgrowth of separation of church and state. State domina- 
tion of religion on the one hand, and ecclesiastical domination 
of the state on the other hand have produced a long struggle 
which causes church and state to desire freedom from entangle- 
ments with each other. Even though we may regard this 
separation as a precious heritage, I see no more serious problem 


facing the world than that of the relation of church and state. 
The difficulty in defining accurately the valid functions of each, 
since both deal with the same human groups, has undoubtedly 
caused many people to commit themselves primarily either to 
the one or to the other. Both are equally concerned with the 
development and maintenance of the social order. The basic 
contribution of the state to this objective is legalistic. The 
state is a law-making, law-interpreting and law-enforcing 
agency. Its dominant method for enforcement of law at pre- 
sent as well as traditionally is punishment prescribed for viola- 
tions ranging all the way from parking one's car too far from 
the curb to violations of international agreements. The basic 
contribution of the church to this objective is religious. Reli- 
gion at best sensitizes men to that supreme value in all existence 
which we call God. Its dominant method is worship. 
Through the art of worship there is stimulation and cultivation 
of growth of appreciation for Gbd as best and all loyalty to 
lesser values is subordinated to the greatest. The pure religious 
act is motivated by the lure of God. Men who see God want 
to adjust their ways to his ways. They do not need law to 
remind them of duty or punishment. As effective religious 
functioning decreases, legal responsibility increases. Excessive 
dependence upon the state for securing and maintaining order 
necessariljy yields totalitarian dictatorships which inevitably 
collapse under their own excessive responsibility. In this way 
the state destroys itself. The state, like all other agencies and 
institutions developed by men, is dependent on God. 

Youth is betrayed when the church fails to carry its rightful 
responsibility and when men turn to the state as the primary 
agency for development and maintenance of the social order. 
Where religion is reduced to patriotism there is a major crisis. 
High religion is then displaced by Paganism in which study of 
God is displaced by study of politics. The distinctly different 
functions of the church and of the state make complete union 
of them both undesirable and unnecessary, but if youth is not 
to be betrayed by confusing these functions, creative interaction 
between them is both desirable and necessary. If creative inter- 
action is to be served, parents, teachers, and administrators 


must assume responsibility for education in all significant as 
pects of life including the religious, otherwise youth is betrayed. 
A basic aspect of this responsibility involves generous financial 
support, for first class work in religion cannot be done with 
inadequate salaries and shoddy materials with which to serve 


Sectarian conflicts and divisions in the world of religion 
are a common obstruction to the study of religion in an other- 
wise unified school system. These sects, with differences both 
in their methods and also in their content, prevent, by the very 
fact of their differences, a common recognition of their work 
by institutions which are of, by, and for all the people. To 
avoid sacrificing the unity of educational institutions on the 
altars of sectarian religious conflicts, and to prevent partiality 
toward any sectarian group, laws have been made which wisely 
separate tax supported education from religious sectarianism. 
Youth is betrayed not by the educational institutions which 
fail to include study of religion because of sectarian conflicts 
but by religious sectarianism itself. 

Some religious groups which have built their own educa- 
tional institutions have done so to support and extend their own 
sectarian approach. This, too, is a betrayal of youth in so far 
as sectarian bias is stimulated and fostered. Leading educators 
who try to eliminate bias from the educational process are 
rightly as suspicious of sectarian religious influence as they are 
of political influence, but there are religious groups which 
found and support educational institutions in .which only 
scholarly, disinterested, non-sectarian study of religion is recog- 
nized; just as there are political institutions (city or state) 
which prevent political bias from interfering with education 
itself. It is this scholarly, disinterested, non-sectarian study 
of religion for which there is no sound basis for either academic 
or legal restrictions. By providing the necessary conditions 
for this kind of study of religion in the educational system, 
youth will no longer be betrayed, for sectarianism is a by- 


product of our lacking first-rate education in religion. 

Methods used in the Teaching -learning Process in the Field of 


Parents and teachers working in the field of religion, as in 
other fields, often betray youth by the methods they use in the 
teaching-learning process. There have been enough failures 
in this regard to cause some people to conclude that religion can- 
not be taught. Of course loyalty to what one regards as supreme 
value for all men, which we call religion, cannot be taught; 
for religion itself as a way of living is a process of growth. 
However, this does not deny the fact that the history, literature, 
psychology, sociology, philosophy, and methodology of re- 
ligion can be taught. It is the systematic teaching of these 
disciplines which yields understanding of religion. We must 
understand it in order to provide the conditions necessary for 
the healthy growth of religion in life. 

The "teaching-learning" process in religion fails to yield 
understanding when the process is an initiation of students into 
sentences, and paragraphs even though these be scriptural; when 
it is mere training of habit forms, even though these be labeled 
prayer; and when blind faith is cultivated even though it be 
faith in God. It is this kind of "teaching" which betrays 
youth and prevents the advancement of education in religion. 
The teaching-learning process in religion succeeds in yielding 
understanding when the process is an initation of students into 
a personal and creative experience. (This conception of teach- 
ing is well presented by W. C. Bower in Character Through 
Creative Experience, Chicago, 1930.) When the teaching-learn- 
ing process is a creative experience it is a powerful stimulus to 
religious growth. 

When a person has been strongly conditioned early in life 
by a teaching-learning process in religion which has not been 
creative and in which the religious content has not been sub- 
jected to modern criticism, and when that person grows up 
with an increasing body of critical knowledge concerning other 
areas of life, except religion, one can expect such a person, who, 


himself, has been betrayed, to be well fitted for betrayal of 
youth. In this case betra-yal breeds betrayal. If this person 
has developed intellectual integrity which prevents his acceptance 
of beliefs on a basis of subjective need or personal advantage, 
the traditional religious beliefs of his childhood must be sub- 
ject to the same rigid testing as the others or he suffers from 
the development of a divided mind and a divided self. We 
have here the paradoxical situation in which religion which is 
supposed to make life whole has produced the very opposite 
effect. It is therefore an evil kind of religion. Failure to 
receive any knowledge of or appreciation for any religion more 
mature than the uncriticized kind experienced in childhood 
causes him to develop a kind of "righteous indignation" which 
would gladly drive "religion" out of existence. Others, feeling 
that their early religious conditioning was very unfortunate, 
succeed in suppressing it and in removing it from their con- 
scious living. This condition is the basis for much mental 
and emotional illness which now exists among men. Some 
who think they are liberated from all religion look with pity 
upon those who "need" it to endure the harshness of this life. 
They assume its value for men is like crutches for the crippled. 
Still others see the tremendous importance of religion, struggle 
valiantly with its problems, but are baffled and do not see 
their way through. 

In addition to all these pathological and weaker efforts, 
there are those who study religion fearlessly by subjecting its 
historical data to the socio-historical method; its literary data 
to textual and higher criticism: and its psychological, socio- 
logical, philosophical, and methodological data to the empirical 
method of observation and reason. Use of these well-known 
and commonly accepted methods by scholars in the various 
areas of religion has produced a great body of knowledge which 
serves as the foundation for all religion regardless of traditional 
sectarianism and present divisions. It is the use of these ac- 
cepted methods developed and refined in recent decades by the 
arduous labors of highly disinterested scholars which makes it 
possible for us to teach critically, objectively, constructively, 
and appreciatively in the field of religion. If we emplov 


teachers who have secured the available knowledge and who 
have developed the skills for getting further knowledge by use of 
these methods, they will not betray youth by failure to initiate 
them into an honest, enlightening, personal and creative ex- 
perience through study of religion. 


Even though there are those who hold that religion and the 
study of religion are already well established in education we 
cannot find the evidence necessary to support their views. After 
years of careful study of this issue, Dean Luther A. Weigle 
of the Divinity School of Yale University concludes: 

"Yet when all is granted that may be affirmed of the 
influences making for sound character and religious faith 
in the best of our public-school systems, the fact remains 
that religion and education are rather sharply divorced 
in most American communities, and that we have departed 
far from the early American conception that religion should 
be an integral part of public education." (Address, Public 
Education and Religion, International Council of Religious 
Education, 203 North Wabash Avenue, Chicago, Illinois. 

This departure is our fundamental betrayal of youth, deeper 
than our military betrayals and also our moral betrayals, but 
even this fundamental betrayal cannot destroy youth's most 
deeply rooted drive for connection with some Greatest, for "The 
great social ideal for religion is that it should be the common 
basis for the unity of civilization. In that way it justifies its 
insight beyond the transient clash of brute forces." (White- 
head, op. cit., page 221.) The youth of the present and the 
youth of tomorrow, the youth that is healthiest and cleanest 
and best in the history of man, will rise in its strength with a 
new vision of God to serve him with laughter and love. 


By Mary E. AndreuJs 
Goucher College, Baltimore, Maryland 

"In practice, if not in theory, criticism and interpretation are 
inextricably intertwined. It is as dishonest as it is silly for any 
historian to claim that he approaches his sources and makes his 
reconstructions without prepossessions or assumptions." The 
truth of this statement from a recent book is authenticated when 
scholarly work on the parables of Jesus is subjected to careful 
scrutiny. We have long been familiar with homiletic license 
in the use of parables and with its ancestor, the allegorical 
method. We expect popular presentations to make practical 
and edifying application of the parables, and many seem to lend 
themselves to broad generalization. But we expect the scholar 
to be more objective, less bound to the temper of his own time 
or to the claims of his own theory. Such at least is our hope. 

The parables are of perennial interest. A number of books 
on that subject have appeared within the past decade, with 
differing claims to scholarly recognition. This paper attempts 
a brief survey of how four outstanding scholars of the century 
1842-1942 interpreted the parables of Jesus. The scholars 
chosen are F. C. Baur, Albert Schweitzer, C. H. Dodd, and 
Martin Dibelius. 

F. C. Baur, founder of the influential Tuebingcn school, 
marked the beginning of constructive criticism defined as "the 
attempt to attach the New Testament writings to their true 
historical background." One hundred years ago his greatest 
works were still unwritten: his study of the caronical gospels, 
his work on Paul, and his church history. Solid works in 
history of dogma, in gnosticism and in other fields had appear- 
ed, and in his study of the party of Christ in Corinth (1831 ) 
he had worked out the formula by which he was to chart the 
course of early Christian development. Baur found his key 
to interpretation in the philosophy of his contemporary, Hegel, 
with its well known thesis, antithesis and synthesis. With char- 


acteristic thoroughness he applied this formula to the literature 
of the New Testament. He found that the conflict necessary 
to condition advance lay in the opposition of the Petrine and 
Pauline elements in early Christianity which in turn found 
their synthesis in the ancient Catholic church. Baur was not 
without his prepossessions and assumptions. The Hegelian 
formula became a Procrustean bed, and one of the greatest of 
New Testament critics paid the price of his own subjectivity and 
over-confidence in a contemporary system. 

Baur does not concern himself to any great length with the 
parables, but it is clear how the Tuebingen interpretation is 
based on the presupposition of a Peter-Paul or Jewish-Gentile 
Christianity. To Baur, Matthew was the gospel of Jewish 
Christianity and Luke that of Pauline univcrsalism. With 
these assumptions the parables must fall in line. Two parables 
are directed against Jewish Christianity, those of the Wedding 
Feast and the Rich Man and Lazarus, the latter peculiar to Luke. 
In both gospels the former parable teaches that the heathen 
are entitled to membership in the Messianic kingdom, and 
through the unbelief of the Jews they become its main members. 
Matthew adds the feature of the wedding garment which sym- 
bolizes the necessity of equal preparation by the Gentiles or 
probably a pledge that they will observe the Law. Luke gives 
the parable a different turn and admits the poor instead of a 
chosen few with the rest cast into outer darkness. 

In the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, Zeller, a 
notable disciple of Baur, interpreted the rich man as the symbol 
of those who are rich in divine revelation; the poor represent 
the salvation-hungry heathen who look to the Jews as dogs 
who catch the crumbs. Interpreted spiritually, the offensive- 
ness disappears. The Jews, satisfied with legal revelation go 
without salvation; the heathen, craving to be fed from the 
riches of the Jews, attain it. Schwegler, another of Baur's 
disciples, saw this parable as anti-Jewish. The rich man who 
has Moses and the prophets is a symbol of the Jewish People, 
who in the fulness of divine blessing, remain hard and un- 
believing toward the predicted salvation; the poor are the 
symbol of the heathen world. Baur saw the conclusion of the 


parable as a picture of the relation of the Jews to Christianity 
after the death of Jesus. The hypothesis of the parable has 
been realized: Jesus had risen from the dead; still they did not 
believe him to be the Messiah — they did not listen to Moses 
and the prophets- — and above all, in their worldliness, they had 
no desire for a Messianic salvation destined only for the poor. 

In the story of Martha and Mary Judaism and heathenism 
or Jewish and Pauline Christianity stand over against each 
other. Mary is the Pauline pistis; Martha represents the weari 
some doing of the works of the Law, and turns away from the 
real salvation. 

Other parables revealing later party relationships are those 
of the Pharisee and the Publican, of the Two Sons (Mt. 
21:28-31), and par excellence the parable of the Lost Son. 
The Tuebingen group all agree that this last parable applies to 
Jews and Gentiles in their relation to the Messianic kingdom. 
The younger son, who after wasting his inheritance, after 
silencing his wretched hunger with the food of pigs, returns to 
his father, represents the heathen world. The elder son who 
always stayed at home and served his father, boasting that he 
had transgressed no command, is an excellent picture of the 
Jewish people. The party relationships of the later time come 
out in the envious, jealous attitude of the elder brother, com- 
plaining about the father's favoritism to the younger. This 
is typical of the conduct of Jewish Christians toward Pauline 
Christianity. Brotherly fellowship to them meant a limitation 
of their own privileges. Here the theme is the comradeship 
of the Messianic kingdom as equally justified for both Gentile 
and Jewish Christians. God is the God of both Jews and 
Gentiles (Rom. 3:29). Gentile Christianity is ready to come 
joyfully to the Father, but Pauline Christians must have op- 
portunity to meet the breach which threatened to disrupt the 
fellowship through the distrust and envy of the Jewish Chris- 
tians. Paul had tried to convince the Jewish Christians that 
both groups shared the Messianic salvation and that there was 
no injustice. "Son, you have been with me always" is effec- 
tively conciliatory, and the picture of the Pauline conversion of 


the sinner as the calling back to life of one who had been dead 
is very effective. 

It can scarcely be maintained that Baur's interpretation of 
parables is without prepossession or assumption. And yet he 
was very certain that he had the real historical method. 

Albert Schweitzer, the many-sided genius, who at the begin 
ning of the century made cschatology the center of scholarly 
discussion in New Testament circles, did more than any other 
scholar to change the trend in New Testament research. He 
lived in a period which saw the culmination of the so-called 
"historical" school of gospel research. Oskar Holtzmann 
brought to fruition his scientific Life of Jesus based upon Mark: 
Harnack's Jesus of history was a pleasing portrait of a figure 
that fitted perfectly into the liberal picture inspired by the con- 
ception of a world evolving gradually into the Kingdom of 
God, a figure that was divested of most of the features of first 
century Palestinian thought that were offensive to modern 
Christians. Johannes Weiss had challenged this type of think- 
ing about Jesus in his The Preaching of the Kingdom of God 
wherein he pictured Jesus as an apocalyptist and not as a modern 
man, the kingdom as wholly future and not as a product of 
evolution. In a word, he defined the eschatological problem 
which through the work of Schweitzer was to shock the 
scholarly world. The "historical" picture was attacked from 
another angle by William Wrcde whose book The Messianic 
Secret appeared the same day as Schweitzer's Secret of the Mes- 
siahship. There was nothing left of the "liberal" nineteenth 
century Jesus. Wrede attempted to demonstrate the historical 
unreliability of the Gospel of Mark, Schweitzer to defend it. 
Schweitzer's acceptance of it was linked with his acceptance of 
Weiss's consistent and thoroughgoing eschatology. Jesus be- 
comes a new and strange figure. No longer the prophet of 
righteousness, but the consistent eschatologist who considered 
himself the Messiah, expected the coming of an otherworldly, 
supernatural kingdom of God in the near future. Man could 
only await this kingdom, he could do nothing to hasten its 
coming. Schweitzer saw Jesus completely dominated by this 
idea, and therefore his religious and ethical teachings were 


valid only for the interim period and utterly without value for 
the modern world. No wonder that the transition from the 
Harnackian Jesus to the eschatological Jesus was something 
of a shock. 

How did Schweitzer interpret the parables? The view he 
combated had stressed the parables which seemed to show the 
gradual growth of the kingdom and had passed lightly over the 
apocalytic ideas Schweitzer, having accepted the gospel of 
Mark in toto as historical reliable, had to face the problem of 
Mark's interpretation of Jesus' use of parables as intended to 
conceal truth and which many scholars including Baur had 
felt was distortion of historical truth. Wrcde had drawn 
Mark's view of parable into the framework of the dogmatic 
theory of the Messianic secret. Schweitzer boldly accepted the 
dogmatic element as the historical element, which Wrede had 
denied on the ground that it was opposed to the essential nature 
of parable. 

If the dogmatic element is the historical element because it 
arose in an atmosphere saturated with eschatology, if Jesus is 
dominated by this dogmatic idea, it follows that it is doubtful 
if Jesus even thought of himself as a teacher. This is indicated 
in the express purpose of his parables to conceal truth. Sch- 
weitzer is not sure that this can be applied to all of the parables 
but he considers it noteworthy that it applies "as if by some 
higher law" to those parables having the kingdom as their 
center. Schweitzer is driven to the acceptance of predestination 
as the reason for Jesus' use of parables. Jesus knows that those 
whom God has chosen will win their salvation. All that goes 
beyond the simple phrase, "repent, for the Kingdom of God is 
at hand" must be publicly presented only in parables so that 
those who possess predestination by having the knowledge 
necessary to understand the parables may receive the more ad- 
vanced knowledge which is imparted to them in a measure cor- 
responding to their original degree of knowledge. Predesti- 
nation and eschatology go together. "Many are called but few 
are chosen." 

The point in the parables of the growth of the seed is not 


the idea of development, but the absence of causation. This 
is not to emphasize the natural but the miraculous. Just as 
a man believes in the harvest because he sowed the seed, so he 
can believe with the same confidence in the kingdom of God. 
It is not to be earned, it is God's gift. Schweitzer sees Jesus 
as confident that the kingdom will come with the ripening of 
the harvest already in the fields, and the reason for its coming 
lies in the power and purpose of God. 

By the time Schweitzer has carried through his analysis 
of Mark's Jesus on the basis of consistent eschatology, he is 
forced to the statement, "The historical Jesus will be to our 
time a stranger and an enigma." 

Schweitzer's bias is even more marked than Baur's with 
reference to the teaching of the parables. To the latter they 
reflect the period of the composition of the gospels and the 
immediate problems of party relationships in situations of con- 
flict, to the former they reflect the inscrutable purposes of God 
to enlighten only the elect. Objectivity seems to be at a dis- 
count in both interpretations. 

Baur and Schweitzer discuss the parables rather incidentally. 
Their special interest lies elsewhere. But their interpretation 
of parables clearly illustrates these major emphases. Our next 
scholar, C. H. Dodd of Cambridge, is the only one of the four 
men selected for interrogation who has written a book on the 
parables. Professor Dodd has the enviable distinction of being 
the only Protestant biblical scholar to be honored at the Harvard 
tercentenary. He is the successor of the distinguished scholar, 
F. C. Burkitt, who, deeply impressed by the work of Schweit- 
zer, wrote the Introduction to the English translation of the 
latter's Von Reimarus zu Wrede, the book which under the 
title The Quest of the Historical Jesus set the scholarly world 
agog as few books have done. 

Although Dodd has written a number of books including 
the excellent commentary on Romans in the Moffatt series, he 
has drawn most fire from his advocacy of what he calls "realized 
eschatology." This is a modification of Schweitzer's position 
of "consistent eschatology" in which Jesus is seen to have pic- 


tured the coming of the kingdom of God in the near future, 
into that of "realized eschatology" in which Jesus is interpreted 
as teaching that the kingdom of God had already come, that it 
was present in his ministry, and that the next step was the 
eternal Beyond. This view is based upon Dodd's own trans- 
lation of two Greek verbs, a procedure that has been vigorously 
combated by other scholars to the point of successful refutation. 
In spite of the fact that this view is based upon forced and un- 
natural interpretation of two key verses, Dodd clings to the 
possibility that these verses may be thus understood and then 
goes blithely on to assume the correctness of his interpretation, 
carrying it over into a subsequent book. History and the Gospel. 
Here is strikingly present another clear case of a scholar's as- 
sumptions and prepossessions dictating interpretation, another 
weapon in the arsenal of those who feel that theological impli- 
cations hamper historical study. 

Dodd accepts the present form of the parables as colored 
by the needs and interests of the early church. In this he 
agrees with contemporary form critics. But Dodd finds it fairlv 
easy to reconstruct the original setting of the parables in the 
ministry of Jesus. His method is to strip the parable of all 
interpretation that has accrued between the time of Jesus and 
that of the early church, and to find a plausible interpretation 
in the earlier period always in view of the fact that Jesus believed 
that the Kingdom was already present, rather than that it was 
soon to come. 

Dodd begins with those parables that most clearly belong 
to the period of Jesus' ministry: the Hid Treasure and the 
Costly Pearl. These demand a situation where the idea of 
sacrifice for a worthy end is prominent, and that situation is 
the realized presence of the kingdom of God in the ministry 
of Jesus and his calling men to come into its possession. The 
Tower Builder and the King Going to War teach that men must 
be prepared to take great risks. The Children in the Market- 
place is designed to show the folly of childish behavior in the 
presence of the supreme crisis of history. Nor do the sons of 
the bridechamber fast in a situation where joy is the appropriate 
mood. The Patched Garment and the Old Wineskins simi- 


larly indicate that Jesus' teachings is not a reformed Judaism, 
but something altogether new. 

Another group of parables centers around the contrast of 
"publicans and sinners" versus the "righteous." These too 
have a reference contemporary with Jesus. The Lost Coin 
and the Lost Sheep illustrate the concern of Jesus for the de- 
pressed classes. "In the ministry of Jesus the Kingdom of God 
came; and one of the features of its coming was this unprece- 
dented concern for the lost." This same contrast is seen also 
in the parables of the Two Sons and the Great Feast, and 
Dodd's translation "Repent, for the Kingdom of God has drawn 
near" corresponds to the words of invitation to the great ban- 
quet, "Come, for all is ready." Matthew's addition of the 
wedding garment is an early church addition to guard against 
the too easy reception of Gentiles. 

The Strong Man Despoiled, in its setting of Jesus' exor- 
cism, points to the ministry of Jesus as an eschatological event. 
The defeat of evil is something that is actually being accom- 
plished in the ministry of Jesus. 

Dodd's powers of parabolic transformation reach their 
height in his interpretation of the parable of the Wicked Hus- 
bandmen which he sees as natural, realistic and on no good 
grounds to be denied to Jesus. Most scholars have seen this 
parable as an allegory of the early church which saw the death 
of Jesus in retrospect. Dodd sees the impending climax of the 
rebellion of Israel in the murder of the successor of the prophets. 
"We know that Jesus did regard His own ministry as the cul 
mination of God's dealings with His people, and that He de 
dared that the guilt of all righteous blood from Abel to Zecha- 
riah would fall upon that generation." 

Dodd believes that two motives, the "homiletic" and the 
"eschatological" were at work during the gospel-making period 
and he supposes that these motives worked in the earlier period 
of the oral tradition. He finds traces of this in certain parables. 
The parable of the Defendant advised to settle his case out of 
court was applied by Jesus to the situation which he saw as 


the supreme crisis of all history: "the kingdom of God has 
come upon you." 

The homiletic motive is illustrated in the savorless salt or 
something good wasted, and refers to the condition of Judaism 
during Jesus' ministry. The Light under the Bushel is a piece 
of folly best interpreted by the conduct of the Jews who had 
the light but who shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. 
In the parable of the Money in Trust the unprofitable servant 
is the pious Jew who has made his religion a barren thing by 
a policy of selfish exclusiveness. 

The parables of Crisis as we have them refer to the second 
advent of Jesus, but Dodd sees the parables of the Faithful and 
Unfaithful Servants as belonging to Jesus' ministry where the 
latter refers to the Jews. The servants waiting for their master 
is also early. "We know that he saw in his own ministry the 
supreme crisis of history" and the parable therefore enforces the 
necessity for alertness in a crisis now upon them. The parable 
of the thief at night illustrates that the kingdom has come — ■ 
unexpectedly, incalculably — and Israel was taken by surprise. 
Similarly the Ten Virgins originally was along the same line. 
Dodd sums up his view of the parables of crisis thus: 

"They were intended to enforce his appeal to men to 
recognize that the Kingdom of God was present in all 
its momentous consequences, and that by their conduct 
in the presence of this tremendous crisis they would judge 
themselves as faithful or unfaithful, wise or foolish. 
When the crisis had passed, they were adapted by the 
Church to enforce its appeal to men to prepare for the 
second and final world-crisis which it believed to be ap- 

Under the title "Parables of Growth" Dodd lists The 
Sower, The Tares, The Seed Growing Secretly, the Mustard 
Seed, the Leaven and the Drag-net. The predominant in- 
terpretation is that these parables refer to the future history of 
the Kingdom of God in the world. The Seed Growing Secret- 
ly, seen in the light of the idea that to Jesus the Kingdom of 
God was a present fact, shows Jesus as the reaper standing ready 


to put the sickle to the crop. He marks the fulfillment of the 
process. The sowing was the initial act of God, the "pre- 
venient grace" which is the condition of anything good happen- 
ing among men. The present crisis is the climax of a long 
process which prepared the way for it. 

The parable of the Sower teaches that the crop is abundant 
in spite of hindrances. The Tares in the original setting at- 
tests the fact of many sinners in Israel and that the kingdom 
which came in spite of them is itself a process of sifting, a judg- 
ment. Similarly the parable of the Drag-net emphasizes the 
principle of selection, which selection is the divine judgment. 
The parable of the Mustard Seed is an appeal to sinners and 
outcasts. The Kingdom of God is here: the birds are flocking 
to find shelter in the shade of the tree. The Leaven illustrates 
the power of the present kingdom working mightily from with- 
in to permeate the dead lump of religious Judaism in Jesus' 

These parables of growth, says Dodd, are susceptible of 
a natural interpretation which makes them into a commentary 
on the actual situation during the ministry of Jesus, in its 
character as the coming of the Kingdom of God in history. 
They illustrate no long development of human history. The 
eschaton is here, having come, not by human effort but by an 
act of God, not by catastrophic intervention but as the harvest 
follows growth. Having come, the Kingdom calls for human 
effort. The harvest waits for reapers; in this light Jesus sets 
his own work and that to which he calls his disciples. 

Dodd sees his interpretation as rigidly historical. One may 
have no quarrel with the premise that the parables did have a 
definite setting in Jesus' ministry and yet not be willing to 
assume that the exact discovery of that setting is possible. If 
Dodd is correct in his interpretation of those parables to which 
he attributes antithetic Jewish reference one would then have 
to discount some important other conclusions that bear upon 
the problem of research into Jesus' life. Through the work 
of Moore, Herford and others, we have come to a deeper ap- 
preciation of legalistic Judaism than was prevalent heretofore. 


The recognition that the gospels took shape in a period charac- 
terized by hostility between church and synagogue has done 
much to put the hard sayings of Jesus about the Jews and Juda- 
ism in a truer perspective. Not that all conflict between Jesus 
and certain leaders of his day is necessarily wiped out — an un- 
necessary inference in the light of the difference of temper be- 
tween institutionalists and prophets — but certainly the picture 
is highly "touched." 

Careful study of Dodd's interesting book The Parables of 
the Kingdom leads to the conclusion that the theologian has 
hampered the historian. Because "crisis theology" is promi- 
nent in the modern period is no compelling reason for reading 
it back into that of Jesus. Because the liberal picture was one- 
sided is no reason for a complete swing of the pendulum, and 
because "consistent eschatology" was equally or more one-sided 
is no guarantee that the truth is "realized eschatology" which 
demands a unique translation of two Greek verbs for the sup- 
port of the thesis. "Realized eschatology" is based on unveri- 
fied assumptions. 

The eminent Heidelberg Professor, Martin Dibelius, has 
been chosen as the fourth scholar in this study because he is the 
best known of contemporary German form-critics. He is much 
better known to American readers than his contemporary, 
Rudolf Bultmann, since only a short time now elapses between 
the German and English editions of his books. He is also less 
radical in his conclusions. 

Where Dodd, accepting form-criticism, nullified its major 
thesis by going behind it and presentng hypothetical interpre- 
tations of the parables in the light of his own theory, Dibelius 
frankly says that the original interpretations of many parables 
are lost to us. "We must often reckon with the fact that those 
who made use of the parables often extended and edited them. 
But certainly a decision is not possible because as a rule we do 
not know to what situation these parables were originally fit- 
ted." Dibelius sees the possibility of a Jewish reference in the 
parable of the Talents — ignorance of the Jewish people on how 
to use the precious heritage entrusted to them — but he is quick 


to point out that "in any case we must reckon with the fact 
that we do not know the original references of numerous par- 
ables." Dodd is far more certain of the original reference 
than Dibelius' method allows him to be. 

Dibelius has no extended treatment of the parables of Jesus. 
In his From Tradition to Gospel we have the main work in 
English on Form-criticism by a recognized master of the 
method, a method which seeks to explore the tradition before 
it became crystallized in Mark or Q. It is not a new method. 
More than a century ago Schleiermacher conceived of numerous 
anecdotal narratives rather than a continuous narrative as em- 
bodying the earliest tradition. F. C. Burkitt in England and 
B. W. Bacon in America were not far from form-critical con- 

Dibelius' major presupposition is that the content of the 
Synoptic gospels was determined by those elements in the tradi- 
tion that best served the preaching function of the early church. 
That tradition is analyzed into its separate units according to 
the criterion of form. Some types are more authentic than 
other types, for example, sayings versus miracle talcs or pious 
legend. Naturally the method has been variously received, 
from whole-hearted acceptance to varying degrees of skepticism 
on its alleged results. It is not to be denied that the form- 
critics are as certain of the correctness of this method as was 
Schweitzer of the reliability of Mark for the historical outline 
of Jesus' life. Schweitzer found himself with a "stranger and 
enigma to our generation" on his hands, the form-critics with 
a first century figure to be understood mainly as a creation of 
the early church from a genuine sub-stratum of tradition. 
Both see the importance of Mark, but the form-critics are nearer 
the skepticism of Wrede as to its historical reliability than to 
Schweitzer and his confidence in it. 

But Dibelius, at least, is remote from that type of modern- 
ization that reads back into the gospel ideas cherished in the 
twentieth century. He is less influenced by the present crisis- 
theology than is either his English contemporary. Dodd, or his 
German contemporary Bultmann. A modern writer in a well- 


balanced appraisal of form-criticism says of Dibelius, "In his 
case the minutiae of criticism with the discovery of propagandist 
and Christological motives in the documents, do not obscure, 
but rather clarify, the figure of the historical Jesus. 

What then are Dibelius' conclusions about the parables of 
Jesus? He sees Mark editing the parables, sees also Mark's 
view that ability to understand the parables was a matter of 
God's grace. Here is Schweitzer's predestination, but Dibelius 
applies it to the interpretation of the evangelist, not to that of 
Jesus himself. He sees Mark synthesizing the tradition through 
the theory of the Messianic secret and the parables as mysteries. 
In fact Dibelius sees the Gospel of Mark as a book of secret 
epiphanies dominated by the salvation motif. 

In the very illuminating chapter on "Exhortations" which 
deals with the transmission of Jesus' words, we find Dibelius' 
treatment of the parables. Like the sayings they became trans- 
formed often with complete misunderstanding. The eschatol- 
ogy of the early church was a determining factor in the trans- 
formation. Dodd recognized this and then sought to go be- 
hind it. 

It is certain that primitive Christianity felt a need of gather- 
ing together the words of Jesus. Mark seems to have known 
this teaching and gives selections from it. But this material, 
Dibelius thinks, was subject to a different law from that which 
governed the gathering of Mark's material. We find whole 
sections of primitive Christian exhortation in Paul's letters, 
teaching material of a very general; even stereotyped nature. 
The "words of Jesus" were gathered for hortatory purpose, for 
their use in Christian preaching. Jesus' words became norms 
of conduct for the community. 

Certain parables also have this hortatory tendency: that of 
the deceitful steward becomes doctrine and warning to the early 
church: that of the salvation for the disinherited as completed 
by the Wedding Garment, the sign of the subject of the King- 
dom. The Defendant on the way to court became a parable 
of warning not to delay until divine judgment. 


Naturally in line with the emphasis on form, Dibelius 
applies this category to the parables and finds the following 
forms: (1) the comparison in the present (mustard seed) , (2) 
comparison in the past (leaven in the dough) , (3) short didac- 
tic narrative (the house on the rock and on the sand), (4) 
detailed comparative narrative of tale-like character comprising 
the great parables, particularly those of Luke. These parables 
are popular compositions in which the epic laws of folk-poetry 
can be observed. These laws are repetition, antithesis, and the 
number three. This fits right in with the form-critics' con- 
ception of the unliterary character of the early tradition and 
the community basis of its origin. 

A second category of differentiation between parables is 
that of content: (1) what is commonplace (leaven in dough), 

(2) what is typical (the complaining children, the Sower), 

(3) what is extraordinary, (4) imaginary cases. The material 
of the parables is racy of the soil, and reflects the agrarian inte- 

Research previous to that of the form-critics, notably that of 
Juelicher found criteria for interpretation of the parables on the 
differences in application such as ( 1 ) where the parable itself 
contains the didactic thought as in those of the Good Samari- 
tan and the Pharisee and the Publican, (2) where the "story" 
clothes the leading thought as in the Tares in the field — here 
is allegory, and (3) where the story exists by its own right. 
This latter is the true nature of the parable. Parables tend to 
become half-allegorical due to the tendency of the church to 
derive as much exhortation as possible from the words of 
Jesus. Apparently the homiletic use of parables began a long 
time ago. 

The selection of four such outstanding names in the field 
of New Testament criticism was intentional. When scholars 
of their caliber can be caught in the meshes of their own as- 
sumptions what hope have we for developing high standards 
of objectivity in New Testament research? Can New Testa- 
ment criticism be objective? Or is it subject to the same limi- 
tations that characterize the social sciences in contrast with the 


precision obtaining in the exact sciences? One certainly would 
not care to defend the thesis that there has been little advance 
in this field, that we move hopelessly in circles with little gain. 
As long as we can look back over the past and see in a new light 
the hypotheses that once seemed so tenable, so reasonable, and 
also see the progress that has been made in spite of the hamper- 
ing effect of cherished opinions, there is hope that the most 
glaring excesses of enthusiasm for any particular view in the 
present will be held in check by those who do not share it. 
In the light of the ease with which assumptions and preposses- 
sions may be traced through even the most important contri- 
butions, and in view of the vigor with which unwelcome con- 
clusions are received, scholars of any period do well to ponder 
two statements of the master critic: the familiar story of the 
mote and the beam and the briefest of all parabolic utterances, 
"Physician, heal thyself." 



The fourth annual gathering of the Florida Religious As- 
sociation was held on April 20 and 21, 1942, at Florida South- 
ern College in Lakeland. The meeting conviened at six 
o'clock on Monday evening, April 20, in the University Club, 
where the Association was given a complimentary dinner by 
the College. Dr. Anna Forbes Liddell, president of the As- 
sociation, presided and Dr. Charles T. Thrift, Jr., represented 
the College. Following the dinner Dr. Shirley Jackson Case, 
Dean of the Florida School of Religion, delivered an address 
on "The Religious Meaning of the Past." Then there fol- 
lowed a lively discussion led by Rabbi Morris A. Skop of 

The general theme of the meeting on Tuesday, both morn- 
ing and afternoon, was "Character Education." The subject 
was presented ,and its discussion conducted, by Dr. James Flem- 
ing Hosic, Professor Emeritus of Education in Columbia Uni- 
versity and formerly director of extension work in Teachers 
College. There was general participation in the discussion that 
proved both interesting and profitable. 

The annual business session of the Association was held 
at 1 1 : 15 a. m. on Tuesday, April 21. The official transcript 
of the minutes of the business meeting follows: 

Minutes of the fourth annual meeting of the Florida Religious 
Association, held at Florida Southern College, Lakeland, 
Fla., April 20 and 21, 1942. 

The minutes of the last year's Association meeting 
having been published in the magazine "Religion in the Mak- 
ing," it was moved, seconded and unanimously passed that they 
be accepted as published. 

The report of the Treasurer, Mr. Johnson, of Gaines- 
ville, was as follows: 


Balance on hand April 1, 1941 $39.84 
Dues received since that date 14.00 

Pd. to Mr. Chindahl for money ad- 
vanced (50.00) for Mr. Harri- 
son Elliot's tour 39.84 

Balance on hand 14.00 

Unpaid bills 

Due to Mr. Chindahl, balance 

on above 10.16 

Due to Orange Press, Winter Park, 
for printing programs and 
envelopes 18.00 

Stamps and Post cards 7.50 


Further dues paid 1.00 

Contribution from Mr. Chindahl 5.00 

Total cash on hand _ 20.00 

Deficit to be paid 15.66 

35.66 35.66 

Mr. Johnson reported that there are 38 members on the 
roll, many of whom have not yet paid their dues. 

The retiring President, Dr. Liddell, spoke in appreciation 
of the services of Mr. Chindahl, in keeping the organization 
together and for his generous loan to- make possible the coming 
of Dr. Harrison Elliot last year. 

The invitation from Mr. Johnson for the meeting to be 
held next year at Gainesville was accepted unanimously, with 


The question of how to increase the membership was dis- 
cussed. Mr. Chindahl reported that 256 announcements of 
this meeting were sent out to persons who might be interested 
in attending. This list included librarians, and school superin- 
tendents of this district. 

It was urged that each member make every effort to interest 
his friends and colleagues to become members and attend the 
next year's meeting. 

It was suggested and unanimously agreed that the Associa- 
tion make "Religion in the Making" the journal of this 
Association. Dr. Case suggested that an additional 50c to 
the annual dues might make it possible for every member to 
receive the magazine as part of his membership. If the Society 
could pay this 50c per member, this could be done; however 
with the present deficit, it was felt that each member should 
subscribe on his own. 

Dr. Case suggested that several research projects in the his- 
tory of the Florida Churches were already under way, and that 
their reports would be of interest to this Association in their 
annual meetings. 

A Roman Catholic History has already been written, and 
might be read as one of the papers next year. 

It was suggested that P. T. A. leaders should be invited 
to attend our annual meetings, for they have definite interests 
in religious education in Florida. 

Dr. Liddell suggested the possibility of an Institute on 
Religious Education for Sunday School teachers in Tallahassee 
next year, sponsored by this Association. It was left to her 
to work this out in consultation with local teachers and church 

It was moved, seconded, and passed that such projects be 
placed before the Board of directors, with power to act as they 
saw fit. 

The nominating committee brought their nominations be- 


fore the meeting, and the names nominated were voted unaii- 

For President: J. E. Johnson, Gainesville 
Vice-President: Morris A. Skop, Orlando 
Secretary: Janet W. Daugherty, Winter Park 
Executive Secretary: George L. Chindahl, Maitland 
Treasurer: Charles T. Thrift. Jr., Lakeland 

Executive Committee: 

A. Buel Trowbridge, Jr., Winter Park 

W. B. Meredith, Bradenton 

Myrtle Williamson, Clearwater 

R. Ira Barnett, Lakeland 

Dr. Anna Forbes Liddell, Tallahassee 

The following resolution was presented by the committee 
on resolutions and unanimously and enthusiastically adopted. 

"Be it resolved that the Florida Religious Association here- 
by registers its gratefulness to Florida Southern College for 
its gracious hospitality during this annual meeting. 

That our thanks be extended to Dr. Shirley Jackson Case 
and Dr. Hosic for their services and stimulating leadership, 
and also to Dr. Liddell and Mr. George L. Chindahl for their 
untiring work in planning and carrying out this program." 

Respectfully submitted, A. R. Mead, A. F. Chicoine and 
C. T. Thrift, committee on resolutions. 

A. Buel Trowbridge, Acting Secretary 


The Nature of the Early Church. By Ernest F. Scott. 
New York: Charles Scribncr's Sons, 1941. 240 pages. $2.00. 

The term "church" may bo defined in various ways. One 
may think of it as the elaborate historical institution that has 
grown up to serve the Christian cause. In that event one takes 
note of a wide variety of characteristics in polity, ritual and 
dogma. All of these features belong to the historic church 
in its diversified manifestation. But this variety is perplexing, 
and efforts have been made to simplify the definition of 
"church" by selecting one or another of its diversities as the 
essential mark of the true church. Sometimes this is thought 
to be the perpetuation of an ecclesiastical hierarchy (papal or 
episcopal) , or a technique for administering salvation through 
the sacraments, or the witness to a particular formulation of 
doctrine, or the guardian of a specific type of baptismal proce- 
dure, or whatever else looms foremost on one's horizon. 

Thus a definition of the church may be comprehensive in 
type, or it may be highly selective. Professor Scott follows the 
latter course. He thinks to find the essential meaning of the 
church, not in terms of polity or ritual, but in an idea pro- 
mulgated by Jesus. The church arose as a consequence of 
something unique in the message of Jesus regarding the King- 
dom of God. After the death of Jesus the first disciples 
banded themselves together as the brotherhood of those who 
live for the Kingdom. This was the formative idea with 
which the church originated and it still remains the essence of 
its true nature; it is the brotherhood that waits on earth for 
the Kingdom of God. We arc not to think of the church as 
a historical development. Rather, it consists fundamentally 
of this static idea, which may be entertained in different forms 
by various people in successive ages, but has to be restored in its 
original simplicity in order to comprehend the correct meaning 
of the church. 


One may well question the propriety of thus subordinating 
the functional significance of the church as a historical institution 
to an abstract idea of "waiting for the Kingdom of God." Is 
it not, rather, an instrument devised and employed for bringing 
the Kingdom to realization? Even in the case of the first dis- 
ciples the purpose of the fellowship would seem to have been 
quite as much the strengthening of their missionary courage 
as the evidence of their "waiting.'' Believing as they did that 
the Kingdom would not come until the number of the elect had 
been gathered, they associated themselves together for aggressive 
purposes. If we were to speak of the church as inspired by any 
"formative idea," it would seem more correct to define it in 
terms of activism rather than passivity. It was an instrument 
of aggression rather than an asylum for the world-weary. But 
disagreement with the author's theoretical position is only a 
minor consideration in a book that studies thus minutely the 
actual process by which the church crystallized into an institu- 
tion during the early centuries. The pertinent facts are here 
set forth with clarity and accuracy by one whose knowledge 
of the subject is entirely adequate to the task in hand. 

The Kingdom of God and the American Dream. By Sher- 
wood Eddy. New York and London: Harper and Brothers, 
1941. 319 pages. $2.90. 

This is a thought-provoking and illuminating study of 
spiritual forces in American history. The subtitle is "The 
Religious and Secular Ideals of American History." For many 
years there was a tendency on the part of historians to ignore 
religious ideals as social factors. Many recent books of history, 
especially those prepared primarily for use as texts in college 
and high schools, are evidence that this conspiracy of silenc 1 
has not ended. Sherwood Eddy approached the data on Ameri 
can history to find whether religion did not have a great deal 
to do with American development, and he finds that it did. 

This book covers an exceptionally wide range. Indeed, 
the range is so great that the author is able to do little more 


than suggest certain possibilities. The pattern which deter- 
mines the fundamental structure of the treatment is constructed 
of these three ideas: the first colonists in America had a high 
religious purpose which has continued, with many changes, to 
influence deeply the development of the nation; parallel with 
this, they had a high secular aim which, in spite of lapse and 
digressions, guided them toward a democratic society; but there 
was also a negative element of selfish individualism and crass 
materialism which hindered the full fruition of the other two 
and sometimes threatened to frustrate them. American his- 
tory is the interplay of these three elements. The author traces 
the development of the ideal of the Kingdom of God and the 
Dream of Democracy from pre-colonial days to 1932, resisting 
the challenge to lay "the New Deal alongside of the Old 

In the weaving together of the many strands of incident 
and personality, the basic pattern of forces is not lost. Some- 
times it is obscured by the introduction of much detailed ma- 
terial that might well have been omitted. One may feel that 
there are too many brief biographies, but these may be justified 
on the ground that the part played by religion is best indicated 
by showing how or whether it influenced important characters. 

This is an informing book. It enhances the prestige of 
religion by showing how potent a force it has been in the 
development of our culture. The Kingdom of God and the 
American Dream deals with a theme in which interpreters of the 
trends of our national life are now intensely interested. It is 
to be hoped that this volume will provoke others to explore 
this neglected aspect of American history. 

An Enlightened Conscience. By Irl Goldwih Whitchurch. 
New York: Harper and Brothers, 1941. . 281 pages. $2.50. 

The author writes in the interests of Christian morality, 
which he thinks has too often been subordinated to a concern 
with Christian doctrine. Morality has too generally been made 
a secondary interest, as though it were merely the fruit rather 
than the root of religious faith. So widely has this attitude 


prevailed that even after two thousand years Christianity still 
lacks any consistent analysis of its moral basis. Theology sup- 
plants ethics. Worse still, the church has become the victim 
of burdensome immoral theological ideas in its theories of sal- 
vation and atonement. The result is a misunderstanding of 
the nature of Christianity, as though it were ultimately a body 
of doctrinal formulas rather than an embodiment of the majes- 
tic moral personality of Jesus. The prime essential for relig- 
ious living is an enlightened conscience. It is not merely a ques- 
tion of making conscience our guide; the more crucial problem 
is that of keeping conscience awake and growing and hence a 
worthy norm for conduct. 

The bible is found to be the source of moral energy, but t<i 
make the scriptures an arbitrary authority and to insist that 
belief is more essential than conduct tend to dull the moral 
sense. The bible is a record of peoples' striving at ethical at- 
tainment; it is not a treatise on ethical theory. Yet moral 
personalities do not emerge without human reflection and 
effort. We need an intelligent ethical theory. This is found, 
however, to be more than a mere custom. Yet it is emphatical- 
ly affirmed that morality is social, and that the kingdom of 
God on earth must embody the highest social good. Moreover, 
moral ideals grow with experience and develop with the exi- 
gencies of social life. The attainment of goodness is a task 
calling . for continued and strenuous effort. But there is 
also a transcendental factor in the process by which ,man is 
possessed of the power of moral discernment: there is an un- 
conditional moral imperative which men may choose, or refuse, 
to follow. 

While morality is thus a human attainment, it may avail 
itself of superhuman sanctions. These come not as rules for 
conduct but as inspiring incites to better living and as sensitivity 
to ethical ideals by which the motives for conduct are purified 
and clarified. Christian morality must be an attainment rather 
than a donation. Readers who take these pages seriously will 
receive therefrom a mighty stimulus toward more urgent ethical 
endeavor. But at the end the tension is relieved by shifting 
the responsibility for creative moral attainment from man him- 


self to another external norm. To imitate the moral perfec- 
tion of Jesus is said to be the ultimate goal of endeavor. Have 
we not thus reverted to an authoritarian ethics? 

And Great Shall Be Your Reward: The Origins of Chris- 
tian Views of Salvation. By Paul S. Minear. New Haven: 
Yale University Press, 1941. 74 pages. $1.00. 

This brochure is a reworked doctor's dissertation which 
investigates the belief about future rewards entertained in the 
Judaism of New Testament times, in Hellenistie thought, 
among Jews of the Dispersion, and in early Christian teaching. 
The characteristic outcome of the Jewish philosophy of history 
is found to be the eschatological hope of divine intervention to 
establish God's Kingdom in the future. Hellenistic thinking 
moved in a different circle of ideas, represented by Stoic apathy 
or the hope of individual immortality nourished by the mystery 
religions. Hellenistic Jews are thought to have partially come 
to terms with both the Stoic thinking and the teaching of the 
mysteries. Jesus had espoused typical Jewish eschatological 
expectations, but Paul had attempted a synthesis of Jewish 
apocalyptism with the individualism of the mysteries. The 
treatment is extensively documented by reference to original 
sources and modern literature. 

The Origins of The Bible. By Theodore Gerald Soares. 
New York: Harper and Brothers, 1941. 277 pages. $2.50. 

This volume is excellently well suited to the needs of the 
intelligent layman who wishes to learn how the books of the 
Bible were produced out of the social experience of the Hebrew 
and early Christian communities. The author adopts the con- 
clusions of modern scientific scholarship but avoids afflicting 
his readers with any of the technical process of research. In- 
stead, he dramatizes the story of how each piece of literature in 
the Bible probably developed out of the actual life situation 
in which it arose. The entire field is covered from the earliest 
days when the wandering Hebrews began to tell stories around 
their camp fires down to the close of the second century A. D. 


when the books of the New Testament began to be assembled 
into a new canon of scripture in Christendom. 

While this method of presentation invites a rather free use 
of the imagination, it has not been pressed so far as to result in 
the writing of a religious novel. A reader will easily recog- 
nize where fiction is employed to make more attractive and 
realistic the probable historical facts. By a skilful selection 
of chapter headings the evolution of the literary process and the 
different aspects of the expanding religious interest have been 
clearly indicated. Thus we have not simply another "In- 
troduction" to the Bible, but a distinctly new picture of the 
way in which its several parts arose out of the religious ex- 
perience and struggles of the actual people who produced, col- 
lected, and preserved the various books of which the Bible is 
composed. Specialists may disagree among themselves on many 
matters of detail, but these debatable matters have been wisely 
ignored to serve the purpose of this volume. 

Jesus as They Remembered Him. By Chester Warren 
Quimby. Nashville, Tennesseee: Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, 
1941. 220 pages. $1.50. 

This book contains twelve edifying essays dealing with 
different aspects of the life and teaching of Jesus. Each essay 
might well have been a sermon or an address designed to heigh- 
ten appreciation of Jesus and inculcate greater reverence for his 
personality. The treatment is fresh and vigorous. Critical 
questions about the reliability of a gospel passage as representing 
the actual words of Jesus are never allowed to interfere with the 
adorable picture which the author wishes to paint. Any tradi- 
tion that attests the uniqueness of Jesus is thought to be depend- 
able irrespective of its place in the gospel record. And, guided 
by this principle, one's pious imagination may be used rather 
freely to fill out blanks in the gospels. By pursuing this 
method of enlarging upon the historical records a detailed, and 
perhaps rather too elaborate, portrait of Jesus is painted under 
the several captions: His environment, his heritage, his body, 
his experiences, his mind, his emotions, his motives, his unpopu- 
larity, his distinctive qualities, his perfection, his gospel, his 



achievements. The value of the bcok lies in its sincerely de- 
votional atmosphere rather than in any attempt to pursue a 
rigid historical inquiry. 

An Introduction to the History of Early New England 
Methodism, 1789-1839. By George Claude Baker, Jr. Dur- 
ham, North Carolina: Duke University Press, 1941. 145 
pages. $2.50. 

This is not the history of New England Methodism during 
the half century indicated: it is merely the "introductory essay" 
for the not yet written history. Mr. Baker's study traces the 
development of Methodist churches and circuits in New Eng- 
land, the attitudes of the Methodists toward such social ques- 
tions as war and temperance, and the part which they played 
in bringing about the disestablishment of the New England 

A few Methodists had preached in New England before 
1789. John Wesley himself had preached one sermon in 
Boston before he became a Methodist. By 1789 there were, 
it is estimated, over 40,000 Methodists in the United States with 
eleven conferences and a national organization. However, it 
was not until the appointment of Jesse Lee in 1789 that the 
Methodists made any inroads upon the established order of 
New England. This study makes available an organized body 
of materials for inquiries into the significance and function of 
Methodism in the cultural life and institutions of the region 
under investigation. During the period under review the new 
Republic was establishing itself. The Western migration open- 
ed the frontiers of a vast country into which many of the New 
Englanders went. The railroads and factories offered new 
opportunities and problems. The many missionary activities 
of established churches in America were launched. The last 
vestiges of established churches in America were overcome. The 
Congregational theology, which had long ruled New England, 
was adapted to a new type of society. What Methodism 
contributed to this transformation is the task to which this 
"introduction" addresses itself. 


This essay is carefully documented and almost entirely 
dependent on direct source materials. One of the most valu- 
able parts is the bibliography, which contains more than fifty 
pages of information about source materials on New England 
Methodist history. 

On Guard. By Joseph R. Sizoo. New York: The Mac- 
millan Company, 1941. $1.00. 

This is a very timely book of devotional readings for men 
in the armed services. It is intended primarily for chaplains 
and "trainees," but it would go a long way toward creating 
and maintaining a morale among those outside the military 
and naval circles. 

This intensely practical little book contains a reading for 
each day in the calendar year. Each reading is- brief, but a 
unit in itself. Suitable articles are provided for special days, 
such as Christmas and Mother's Day, and for such special 
occasions as birthdays and anniversaries. The book includes 
a brief but important selection of prayers and a subject index 
for convenience. On Guard offers much helpful, practical read- 

Who is My Patient. ? By Russell L. Dicks. New York: 
The Macmillan Company, 1941. 149 pages. $1.50. 

Protestant hospitals have always known that it is religion 
which makes them distinctive. They have tried, and usually 
with success, to give the best medical care available. In addi- 
tion they have accepted their obligation to do something more — ■ 
to provide Christian care for the patient. However, more than 
a Christian atmosphere is needed if a hospital is to represent the 
whole Protestant heritage. That is the distinctively religious, 
or pastoral, ministry of the hospital. A recent survey reveals 
the fact that only about half of the Protestant hospitals have 
chaplains and that of this number only about five per cent de- 
vote their entire time to this work. Few of the general hos- 
pitals have any provision whatever for a chaplain. 


Who is My Patient? has been prepared as a guide for nurses 
who may be called upon to supplement the pastoral ministry of 
the hospital. The book first discusses the close relationship 
of physical and spiritual problems and outlines the religious 
needs of average patients. It points out just when the patient 
may wish to see a minister, priest or rabbi and how the nurse 
can be truly helpful in this regard. It then discusses simple 
nursing ministry where no clergyman is available. The book 
is filled with useful information and practical methods with 
helpful illustrations. It is an ideal religious manual for nurses. 

Pastoral Psychology. By Karl Ruf Stolz. Nashville: 
Cokesbury Press, 1941. 284 pages. $2.50. 

This revised edition Dean Stolz's well-known book intro- 
duces some new material and amplifies and clarifies some por- 
tions of the earlier work without changing it in any essential 

Among the numerous books in this field this is one of the 
best. It embodies much practical wisdom and offers many 
helpful suggestions. The treatment is generally descriptive and 
didactic rather than attempting to discover the underlying prin- 
ciples involved in many of the problems with which it deals. 

Windows on Life. By Carl Heath Kopf. New York: 
The Macmillan Company, 1941. 255 pages. $2.00. 

This is a collection of informal papers written by the 
minister of the Mt. Vernon Congregational Church in Boston. 
The author says that they are "more personal by intention than 
philosophic or sermonic." He characterizes them still more 
as "essays and parables" for people who think they have lost 
interest in religion. Most of the essays have been used in a 
radio program entitled "From a Window on Beacon Streeet." 

Windows on Life is written with real understanding and 
insight. It comprises a keen and helpful group of trenchant 
observations on the problems and joys affecting the everyday 
lives of a great majority of American men and women today. 
This book is unusually helpful due to its use of a multitude of 


illustrations with practical applications. Here is an extremely 
interesting and helpful approach to the persistent problems of 
every reader, and a valuable source of sermon material for the 

The Religious Function of Imagination. By Richard 
Kroner. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1941. 70 pages. 

This booklet contains two lectures delivered at Kenyon 
College on the Bedell foundation. The first deals with 
"Thought and Imagination" and the second with "Imagination 
and Revelation." The general aim of the lecturer has been to 
affirm that imagination is more reliable than reason or science 
as a means of ascertaining religious truth. Imagination is 
credited with superior significance on the alleged hypothesis 
that it is kind of intuition or experience of God. In the second 
lecture this postulate is justified on the ground that the intuition 
is inspired by divine revelation. The verification of revelation 
is found in the bible culminating in the person of Jesus. 

This Christian Cause. By Karl Barth. New York: The 
Macmillan Company, 1942. $.75. 

This small volume contains three letters of Karl Barth of 
Basle, Switzerland, with an explanatory introduction by John 
A. MacKay. The first letter was written to the French Protes- 
tants in December, 1939; the second was addressed to the same 
group in October, 1940: the third was composed in response 
to an invitation from Christians in Great Britain, and sent in 
April, 1941. Together they represent Barth's present attitude 
toward the war against Hitler. Although Barth was formerly 
a pacifist, he now regards it a God-imposed duty of Christians 
to resist Hitler. It is interesting to note how characteristic 
Barthian positions about the complete transcendence and "other- 
ness" of God, the absolute inability of man to do anything to 
bring in the Kingdom of God and the worthlessness of natural 
law and reason as sources of revelation, are fitted into the new 
idea of participation in war as a Christian obligation. The 


urge to resist evil is not allowed to stem from any natural or 
spiritual human impulses, nor is it inspired by obedience to the 
teaching or example of the earthly Jesus. Rather, it was by 
his resurrection that Christ assumed lordship over history, and 
chose the state as the medium for exercising this lordship in 
resisting anarchy and the demonic destruction of civilization 
which Hitler would accomplish. It is the duty of Christians to 
resist with all their might this evil force. But one is not to 
suppose that this is a war of religion or an effort to bring in 
the Kingdom of God. That will be accomplished only by God 
in his own time and way. 

One easily perceives how the practical experience of Barth 
has compelled him to alter his former opinions, while at the 
same time he strives by the methods of dialectic to maintain 
intact a set of theological presuppositions. 

No Sign Shall Be Given. By Hugh S. Tigner. New York: 
The Macmillan Company, 1942. 198 pages. $1.75. 

The author of this readable and edifying book belongs to 
that wide circle of modern religious leaders who are sorely 
oppressed by the troubles of the present world. In proposing 
a corrective he advocates a revival of faith in the church and the 
acceptance of the tradition for which it has so long stood. He 
pleads for the continuity of the Hebrew-Christian tradition 
with the perpetuation of its basic beliefs as essential to the con- 
tinuity of culture. He feels that the problem of social unity 
will remain unsolved unless we maintain faith in the divine 
authorship of the moral law revealed in the scriptures. Demo- 
cracy can retain its saving values only when its true source is 
recognized as deriving from the Old Testament. We are told 
that the colleges can't educate the youth of today because educa- 
tion is so much concerned with the quest for information that 
it has lost its urge for authoritative indoctrination. For much 
the same reason, the church fails and remains unattended. 

If the world can be saved only by the reassertion of tradi- 
tional religious authority expressed through the church then 
it would seem that one ought to return to Roman Catholicism. 


It remains unrivalled in its claim to authoritative validity. But 
our author is unwilling to follow through to this conclusion. 
To escape the dilemma he posits for Protestantism an ideal 
church, to be differentiated from all existing concrete churches, 
and assigns to it a super-authority. Such an ideal church can- 
not be concretely known and so one may make claims for it 
without being compelled to verify them in reality. 

When Egypt Ruled The East. By George Steindorff and 
Keith C. Seele. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 
1942. 284 pages. $4.00. 

The late Professor Breasted published his monumental 
History of Egypt in the year 1905. Ever since it has been the 
best book on the subject. But since that date extended excava- 
tions in Egypt have brought to light a vast quantity of addi- 
tional information about the history of that land. This new 
volume, which supplements rather than supplants Breasted's 
History, presents a survey of the new knowledge made available 
by the more recent discoveries. 

Attention is directed mainly to the five centuries of Egypt's 
golden age when, after the expulsion of the Hyksos, the Egyp- 
tian power dominated the eastern Mediterranean world. A 
wealth of new light has recently been shed upon this period by 
the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun, and now for the 
first time the new information thus made available has been 
presented with measurable fulness for English readers. Not 
only the political and economic aspects of the history, but also 
the manner of life and the cultural developments, have been 
depicted. Chapters on "Egyptian Hieroglyphs," "Egyptian 
Religion" and "Art of the Egyptians" are especially informative 
and interesting. The book is magnificently printed and con- 
tains over one hundred splendid illustrations. Occasionally 
quotations from the original sources not previously accessible 
to English readers introduce one to the literary achievements of 
the Egyptians. If one were planning a visit to Egypt this vol- 
ume should be read in preparation for the journey, and in a 
state of the world where travel is impossible this book may be 
read as a fairly satisfactory substitute for personal observation. 


The Lambeth Conferences. By William Redmond Curtis. 
New York: Columbia University Press. 355 pages. $4.00. 

In the year 1867 a voluntary assembly of bishops of the 
Anglican communion from different parts of the world met at 
the Lambeth palace under the presidency of the Archbishop of 
Canterbury. The meeting was without precedent and lacked 
legal authority, but it served as a place of discussion for prob- 
lems that were of general interest to the church. Its function 
was only deliberative and advisory, and not legislative. It 
was repeated in 1878, after which it became an established 
institution planned for each succeeding ten years. The present 
study is undertaken to shed light upon the English technique 
for devising institutions as a voluntary procedure such as has 
more recently emerged in the British commonwealth of Nations. 

The present volume deals mainly with the conferences of 
1867 and 1878. Two lengthy preliminary chapters deal with 
"the framework of the Anglican communion in 1867" and "the 
necessity of Pan-American organization, 1850-1867." These 
chapters furnish a background for one who is unfamiliar with 
the history of the English church at this time and provide a 
setting in which to understand better the significance of the 
first conference. Its activities are set forth in detail, as are the 
actions of the next conference in 1878. The remaining five 
conferences are treated together in a final chapter. They exhib- 
it interesting evidences of growth showing how the voluntary 
assembly has developed and functioned without changing in any 
essentials the character of the institution. 

Francis of Assisi, Apostle of Poverty. By Ray C. Petry. 
Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press, 1941. 197 
pages. $3.00. 

Many books have been written about Francis of Assisi, 
and his devotion to poverty is one of his best known character- 
istics. But Professor Petry believes that heretofore no study 
has done justice to the full significance of poverty for the con- 
duct and thinking of Francis. This book aims at a more com- 
prehensive treatment of the subject. 


First, the notion of total renunciation is traced from the 
time of Jesus until that of Francis. For him poverty was not 
an end in itself, but an essential means of surrendering himself 
completely to Christ in service for humanity. Francis' pursuit 
of his ideal is then studied in relation to the actualities of his 
life. The manner in which he applied his ideal to social prob- 
lems is also carefully expounded. His use of the bible, his 
belief in the early end of the world, his loyalty to the church 
and Catholic orthodoxy, the strain of mysticism in his experi- 
ence, and the ideal of poverty as it bore upon the Franciscan 
community and its apostolic mission to the world, are the fur- 
ther topics of study. 

The volume is an admirable piece of exact scholarship. Its 
statements are carefully documented by both original sources 
and modern literature. The opinions expressed are amply sup- 
ported by evidence and the author exhibits not only a thorough 
familiarity with the data involved but also a lively sense of 
reality and interest in the person of Francis. Thus the book 
is both informing and interesting. 


In the Making 

Volume II 
November, 1941 — May, 1942 

Published by 


Lakeland, Florida 



Andrews, Mary E., Scholars and the Parables 323 

Bernhardt, William H., An Analytic Approach 

to the God-Concept 252 

Bower, William Clayton, Creative Religious Education .... 5 

Case, Shirley Jackson, Christianity and 

Cultural Evolution 67 

Clark, Elmer T., The Psychology of Small Sects .... .... 241 

Derwacter, Frederick M., The Samaritan in the 

New Testament Tradition 236 

Hazelton, Roger, The Two Humanisms 20 

Hyde, Floy S., The Jewish Setting in Which 

Christianity Arose .. 290 

Johnson, Roy H., The Language Missions 135 

Mathews, Shailer, Keeping Sane in a World Like Ours 101 

Meland, Bernard E., The New Language in Religion. 275 

McCasland, S. Vernon, Are the Exorcisms of Jesus 

Folklore? 55 

McNeill, John T., The Reformation's Debt to the 

Renaissance . 207 

Minor, William S., Betrayal of Youth 308 

Otto, M. C, Religion in Our Times 197 

Petry, Ray C, Some Basic Conceptions of Christian 

Social Thought to the Reformation 120 

Rist, Martin, "Love" As An Ecclesiastical Term 

in I Clement 222 

Shepherd, Massey Hamilton, Jr., Protestant Worship 

and the Lord's Supper 39 

Stroup, Herbert H., The Attitude of Jehovah's 

Witnesses to the Roman Catholic Church .. 148 

Switzer, Gerald B., Naziism and the German Church 107 

Bainton, Roland H., The Church of Our Fathers 176 

Baker, George E., An Introduction to the History of 

New England Methodism 348 

Barnett, Albert E., Paul Becomes A Literary Influence .._. 180 

Barth, Karl, The Christian Cause 35 1 

Bennett, John C, Christian Realism 167 

Boylan, Marguerite T., Social Welfare in the 

Catholic Church 183 

Bradshaw, Marion J., Philosophical Foundations 

of Faith — 169 

Curtis William R., The Lambeth Conferences ______ 354 

Dicks, Russell L., Who is My Patient? „_ .___ 349 

Dobson. J. O., Worship ._. 181 

Edman, Irwin and Schneider, Herbert W., Landmarks 

For Beginners in Philosophy _______ 177 

Eddy, Sherwood, The Kingdom of God and the 

American Dream 343 

Fosdick, Harry Emerson, Living Under Tension 191 

Gilson, Etienne, God and Philosophy 170 

Hewitt, Arthur Wentworth, God's Back Pasture 189 

Holt, Arthur E., Christian Roots of Democracy 

In America — . 186 

Kierkegaard, Soren, Concluding Unscientific Postscript 179 

Kirkland, Winifred, Are We Immortal 1 84 

Kopf, Carl H., Windows on Life 350 

Kroner, Richard, The Religious Function of 

Imagination — 351 

Link, Henry C, The Ret urn to Religion _ 184 

Melcher, Marguerite Fellows, 1 he Shaker Adventure, 

An Experiment in Contented Living 188 

Minear, Paul S., And Great Shall Re Your Reward 346 

Nottingham, Elizabeth K., Methodism and the Frontier: 

Indiana Proving Ground 175 

Oxnam, G. Bromley, The Ethical Ideals of Jesus in 

A Changing World — - 1 82 

Petry, Ray C, Francis of Assisi 354 

Porterfield, Austin L., Creative Factors in Scientific 

Research ____: 190 

Pratt, James Bissett, Can We Keep the Faith ___ 172 

Quimby, Chester W., Jesus as They Remembered Him.^ 347 

Scott, Ernest F., The Nature of the Early Church 342 

Sizoo, Joseph R., On Guard _. 349 

Soares, Theodore G., The Origins of the Bible . 346 

Steindorff, G. and Seele, K. C. When Egypt Ruled 

the East 353 

Stoltz, Karl Ruff, Making the Most of the Rest of Life._^ 187 

Stoltz, Karl Ruff, Pastoral Psychology 350 

Tigner, Hugh S., No Sign Shall Be Given ______ 352 

Walker, J. B. R., Comprehensive Concordance to the 

Holy Scriptures 1 84 

Whitchurch, Irl G., An Enlightened Conscience 344 

Wieman, Henry N., Now We Must Choose ____ 184 


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