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Head Resident 1894-97 

Member of the Board of Trustees 1900-58 

Dean 1927-45 

Dean Emeritus 1945-58 



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Beginning Again! 

E. S. Ames 

The autumn leaves are falling but it is a time 
of new zest rather than of melancholy. We are back 
from fishing, travelling, visiting, and resting. The 
old tasks v^e take up have a crisp, new air and a 
promise of better things. At least our hopes always 
offer brighter hues even to the commonplace days. 
This is one reason the times ahead allure us. 

It is a new and attractive view that meets the 
eyes of the officers of the Institute and the staff 
of The Scroll. Year after year, for half a century 
we have cherished these dreams and they have not 
lost their charm and appeal. We know that we are 
associated in a good cause and that the possibilities 
of greater achievements are in our hands ^nd hearts. 
To make them real and manifest we only need clos- 
er cooperation, better understanding, and serener 
faith. The annual meeting last July was well at- 
tended and all reports of the program show an 
expanding and deepening grasp of the problems 
and opportunities. A fine group of younger lead- 
ers has arisen and they are equipped with better 
education and wider experience. Many of them 
held responsible places during the war, and many 
saw wider worlds at home and over seas and in 
the upper air, than any generation of patriotic, re- 
ligious youth ever saw before. They are seasoned 
and sobered by struggle, danger, and victory. They 
make clearer assessment of facts and theories, and 
they are ready to work out together both the means 
and the ends of intelligent and practical religion. 

We are about to join great numbers of Disciples 
in Cincinnati to celebrate a hundred years of or- 


ganized cooperative work in the growing and mani- 
fold interests of a great, young, adventurous 
Brotherhood. We have had notable success in de- 
veloping a new religious movement in a free, demo- 
cratic country, where the masses of men and women 
have better education, greater freedom from old 
creedal beliefs and popular superstitions, and more 
incentives to think, for themselves, than in any 
country of the world. There never has been such 
a challenge to ministers and laymen alike to re- 
think and restate their honest, enlightened religious 
faith in plain terms and in a constructive spirit. 

The Editor of The Scroll is eager to make this 
little magazine great and vital not so much by its 
size and circulation as by its timely treatment of 
the ideas and problems which are confusing and 
distracting thoughtful and sincere people. Free 
and open discussion among the members of the 
Campbell Institute is a fruitful method for stimu- 
lating and directing their thinking. The editor con- 
ceives it as his task to help this process and to se- 
cure as wide a participation of the members as 
possible. Short papers are desired in order to 
have more contributors and more give and take 
in exchange of views. 

It seems scarcely necessary to state once more 
that all the work done on this publication is done 
without monetary remuneration, and that only a 
very gentle censorship is exercised over the con- 
tents. The circulation might be greatly extended 
by publishing more controversial and propagandist 
articles but the object is to obtain as much light 
and fellowship and spiritual refreshment as possi- 
ble. The Institute membership is scattered through- 
out this country and is not partial to any area, 
educational center, or class. It is a free fellowship 
for all who share its ideals and purposes. 


The 1949 Annual Meeting 

W. B. Blakemore, Secretary 

The annual meeting of the Campbell Institute was 
held at the Disciples: Divinity House Tuesday, July 
26 through Friday, July 29. The weather was hot, 
which only led to an appreciation of the fellow- 
ship and to intellectual vigor. This annual meeting 
was attended by the largest number of persons at 
any annual meeting for the past several years. 
Ninety-five different persons attended one or more 
sessions ; the largest number at any session being 50. 

The meeting opened with a panel report of the 
Minister's School on the Church and Economic Life 
held at the University of Chicago during the first 
term of the summer session. Seven Disciples were 
members of this school : Clyde Evans, Joe Belcas- 
tro, Ramon Redford, Lewis Deer, Monroe G. 
Schuster, Arthur A. Hyde and Ralph E. Bennett, 
The panel was presided over by W. W. Sikes of 
Indianapolis, Indiana. Preliminary reports of the 
school were presented by Mr. Cameron Hall of the 
Federated Council of Churches of Christ in Ameri- 
ca, Victor Obenhaus, dean of the School, and a 
member of the Federated Faculty of the University 
of Chicago, and W. B. Blakemore, Dean of the Dis- 
ciples Divinity House. The central theme of the 
report was the problem of the operation of the 
church in the midst of labor-capital-management 
disputes, which are carried on primarily through 
pressure and power blocs. 

The evening session on Tuesday was based upon 
the book by Harold E. Fey entitled The Lord's Sup- 
per: 7 Memiings. Mr. Fey gave a short account of 
how the book came to be written indicating that 
its origin was a paper which he prepared originally 


for a Thursday evening program at the Disciples 
Divinity House some years ago. S. Marion Smith 
of Butler University presented a paper dealing with 
the problem of the origins of the Lord's Supper. 
He reviewed a wide range of New Testament schol- 
arship indicating that Dr. Fey's interpretation of 
the origins represents a central rather than an 
extreme view of the subject. In the course of his 
presentation Professor Smith succeeded in giving 
the Institute something of a refresher course in 
methods of New Testament criticism. 

The communion service for the 1949 annual meet- 
ing was held at 9:30 P.M. in the Chapel of the 
Holy Grail. It was conducted by Dr. Kenneth 
B. Bowen, minister of the Morgan Park Church, 
Chicago, Illinois. The theme of the service was the 
consecration of the ministry to Christ. Organist for 
the service was Howard Smith, talented young or- 
ganist of the Orchard Street Christian Church, 
Blue Island, Illinois. 

On Wednesday and Thursday afternoons at 4 
P.M. Dr. Myron T. Hopper, College of the Bible, 
Lexington, Kentucky, presented lectures on the 
Contemporary Controversies in Religious Educa- 
tion. C. B. Tupper, Vice President of the Institute 
presided at these meetings, which were character- 
ized by vigorous discussion. On Wednesday eve- 
ning, J. J. VanBoskirk, Executive Secretary of the 
Chicago Disciples Union, gave the 1949 Presidential 
Address opening up problems relative to present 
dissensions in the brotherhood. The discussion was 
continued on Thursday morning following brief 
presentations by Burrus Dickinson, President of 
Eureka College, Eureka, Illinois, and W. B. Blake- 
more, Dean of the Disciples Divinity House. 

On Thursday afternoon at 2 P.M. Dr. S. C. 
Kincheloe of the Federated Theological Faculty of 


the University of Chicago gave a lecture on the 
Church in the Expanding Town. His attention was 
centered primarily on towns in the range from 
25,000 to 100,000 and typical factors in the ex- 
pansion process were noted. Mr. Donald Fein of 
Owensboro, Kentucky, Monroe Schuster of Ander- 
son, Indiana, and William Smith of Evansville, 
Indiana, presented case studies of their own city 

On Thursday evening the session was based upon 
Alexander Campbell and Natural Religion by R. F. 
West. Exceedingly able papers were presented by 
two men who have done doctoral research upon as- 
pects of Alexander Campbell's thought. S. Morris 
Eames, Professor of Philosophy at the University 
of Missouri, presented a paper which dealt with 
problems of metaphysics, epistemology and value in 
the thought of Alexander Campbell. Dr. Harold 
Lunger of Oak Park, Illinois, dealt with the ethical 
issues, stressing the importance of biblical thought 
in the development of Campbell's ethical theories 
and socio-historical views. 

On Friday morning the Disoiples of Christ: A 
History by W. E. Garrison and A. T. DeGroot served 
as the basis of discussion. The first paper wasi pre- 
sented by Dr. H. E. Short, Professor of Church 
History, College of the Bible, Lexington, Kentucky. 
He outlined particularly problem areas for histori- 
cal research among the Disciples of Christ, nam- 
ing ten areas in which further work is definitely 
needed. R. M. Pope, Dean of the School of Re- 
ligion at Drury College, Springfield, Mo., presented 
a paper on the problem of interpreting Disciple 
history. He propounded the thesis that we are a 
distinctive body with a witness to contribute to 
Christendom at large; this witnessi including the 
practice of immersion as expression of Christian 


faith (though not as a requirement for church mem- 
bership) and the necessity of an inquiring and 
enthusiastic lay ministry. 

The final session on Friday afternoon centered 
upon the book by C. C, Morrison Can Protestantism 
Win America. The main thesis of the book was 
reviewed by C. B. Tupper and commented upon by C. 
E. Lemmon, Columbia, Mo. It was pointed out that 
such books, as those written by Dr. Morrison and 
Mr. Blanchard, have elevated the controversy be- 
tween Catholicism and Protestantism from the level 
of irrationality to that of considerate discussion 
in the light of facts. 

On Tuesday and Wednesday evenings a dinner 
wasi served in College Hall of the Disciples Di- 
vinity House. On Thursday evening a picnic with 
all the fixings, including watermelon, was enjoyed 
upon the lawn immediately back of the House. 

The final session adjourned at 5 P.M. 

Alexander Graham, Vice-President 

Richard L. James, Dallas, Texas 
When the American Christian Missionary So- 
ciety was organized in Cincinnati in 1849, an in- 
fluential preacher from Alabama was present and 
was elected one of the vice-presidents. Alexander 
Graham was a prominent figure in the formative 
years of the "restoration" in Tennessee, Alabama 
and Illinois. As a lawyer, school teacher, editor, he 
used all of these avenues as means of proclaiming 
the faith wherever he happened to be. 

Graham was born near Hartsville, Sumner Coun- 
ty, Tennessee, November 29, 1811. His educational 
background is a good example of the breadth of 
learning and experience which characterized many 
of the first generation preachers in the new move- 


ment. His attendance upon the schools was often 
made possible by teaching to help defray the cost 
of tuition. Under Dr. Ring of Gallatin, Tenn., he 
istudied Greek and Latin, continuing his teaching 
as a means of support. His biographer reports that 
he learned to read Greek, Latin and French with 
the greatest of ease, and taught them many years. 
He also read with a fair degree of ease Hebrew, Ger- 
man, Itahan and Spanish. By 1839, he had studied 
sufficient law to pass the bar examination, and ac- 
cordingly made his initial speech before the Ca- 
haba Bar, Shortly after he was assigned the duties 
of the Solicitor's Office in Marion, Ala. 

Graham's religious experience is also of interest 
in (Showing the progress of an enlightened mind 
in search for a religious faith in keeping with its 
mental powers. He had joined the Baptist church 
at the age of eighteen. Shortly thereafter he had 
an opportunity to preach his first sermon in the 
Baptist church in Sumner County, Tenn,, when the 
minister. Elder John Wiseman, was absent. He 
was asked if he would not say a word in order 
that the congregation should not go away from the 
meeting without instruction. Taking his Bible, he 
read a chapter and made what his biographer terms 
"a speech which would not have been a discredit 
even in more advanced life." He continued to ap- 
pear in public addresses with Elder Wiseman for a 
time after that incident. 

In 1832, he had an academy near Paris, Tenn., 
and did regular preaching in the neighborhood. It 
was about this time in his life that he became 
acquainted with the "reformers," He found that 
he was very much in harmony with the teachings 
of the "Campbellites," However, he did not leave 
the Baptist church until 1834. 


On March 3, 1834, with a Doctor Anderson and 
one lady, Graham formed a worshiping congrega- 
tion near Gallatin, Tenn. The principle upon which 
they were organized was that "they agreed to drop 
all party names, to unite as a body of Christians 
on the word of God alone, forsaking and abjuring 
all Creeds and Confessions of Faith." Of this oc- 
casion, he wrote, "I was once a worldling, then a 
Baptist; but I now discard every other name but 
that of Christ, of whom I am a Disciple." As prepa- 
ration for this event there had been a period of 
five or isdx years of Baptist ministry. During this 
time he had prepared for his use a kind of Con- 
cordance to the Scriptures, a synopsis of Ancient 
History, of the reigns of different Roman Em- 
perors, Jewish Rulers and a -geography of the 
countries mentioned in the Old and New Testaments. 
In these works, Pinckney B. Lawson, his biog- 
rapher, asserts that there is no evidence that Graham 
had any first hand acquaintanceship with the works 
of the Campbells except what had come to him 
from the enemies of the "reformers." However, on 
June 1, 1834, Graham preached at Second Creek, 
where he had been a member of the Baptist Church, 
a sermon from the eighth chapter of Acts of Apos- 
tles which shows "how clear were his views of 
the Scriptures at this early age of his change of 
faith, how perfectly in accordance with all his sub- 
sequent preaching and also with what kindness he 
treated those who had been and whom he still wished 
to be his brethren. . . ." 

Having been set upon by many of his friends 
for having changed his faith, Graham came to Ala- 
bama in 1835 where he met James A. Butler in 
whose home he remained during the following year. 
Butler was interested in the Campbell movement 
and they came to be fast friends. In 1836, the two 


of them began what to my knowledge is the first 
magazine of our faith to be published in Alabama. 
They called it The Disciple. In its introduction, the 
purpose of the publication was to aid the "refor- 
mation" chiefly in the State of Alabama. Declar- 
ing that they looked not to a sect for support, but 
solicited "the attention of the intelligent and liberal 
wherever found." We could stand reminding that 
a hundred years ago, the appeal of the "reformers" 
in Alabama, as no doubt elsewhere, was to the 
intelligent and the liberal. This paper lasted two 
years under the editorship of Graham. In 1839, it 
re-appeared under the direction of James H. Curtis 
and James A. Butler for one year. Like so many 
of our magazines of that era, it passed out of 
existence. Few copies of it are in existence today. 
The two copies with which I am acquainted are in 
the possession of Dean Joseph Todd, and C. C. 
Ware. I shall appreciate information concerning 
additional copies. 

In Marion, Ala., Graham studied law in order 
to earn a livelihood. In 1839 he received his license 
to practice and made his maiden speech before the 
Cahaba Bar. Those who heard it acclaimed it a 
success. Shortly after, he was given the duties 
of the Solicitor's Office, and received an income 
of $2,500 the first year. During this time he 
wanted to continue his lecturing and preaching but 
the "sectarian spirit" manifested by other churches 
in the vicinity would not allow him the opportunity 
to speak before their congregation or use their 
buildings for his own purpose. So, in 1846, he erect- 
ed a neat little building at the cost of some two 
thousand dollars to himself and an additional five 
hundred which was raised by others. That year, 
S. A. Townes in The History of Marion wrote, "The 
new, respectable and ever increasing denomination 


of Christians, called Disciples or Campbellites, have, 
under the superintendence of Mr, Alexander 
Graham, a convenient church in the progress of 
completion." From this congregation some of the 
leaders for the founding of many other congre- 
gations were to be produced. 

In 1842, Graham became principal of Marion 
Female Seminary. This institution had been or- 
ganized by the Society for Promotion of Education 
among the Baptists. The Baptists withdrew their 
support in 1838 and the stock and management of 
the school passed into the hands of William E. Jones 
in 1841. Under Jones' management, Miss P. Max- 
well was appointed principal and the following year 
Graham was elected to take her place. He served 
one year. Miss Maxwell resumed the principalship 
for a number of years. When fire destroyed the 
buildings in 1849, Graham set about to raise funds 
for the reconstruction of a new seminary and suc- 
ceeded in procuring comfortable buildings and 

There is an interlude in his life which he spent 
in Illinois. During this time he served as a preach- 
er, teacher and editor. The First Christian Church 
of Springfield, had been organized in 1833 by 
Josephus Hewitt. Alexander Graham served as the 
second pastor of this church. Here, also, he went 
into the publishing business again and issued a 
monthly magazine called The Berean, at a sub- 
scription of $1.00 per year. This effort again met 
the fate of the previous publication and was dis- 
continued. Graham then returned to Alabama and 
became a member of the editorial staff of The Bible 

Perhaps the greatest single thing of lasting im- 
portance which Graham did for Alabama was his 
visit to Cincinnati in 1849 to attend the Christian 


Convention at which The American Christian Mis- 
sionary Society was organized. He was elected 
one of the vice-presidents of the Society. Due to 
his influence, following this convention, "Co-oper- 
ation" meetings in Alabama increased in frequency 
and the agitation for a state organization was 
stronger than ever. Due very largely to the efforts 
he gave to this cause a state society was effected 
in 1886. 

In Marion, Graham had married Miss Mary 
Cathey in 1836. She remained a faithful helper 
in his many activities until his untimely death at 
the age of thirty-nine years. He had been a member 
of the Masonic Fraternity and the Sons of Temper- 
ance, making frequent speeches at the meetings 
of these organizations. P. B. Lawson, who knew 
him intimately and who was his biographer, de- 
scribes him as a man of "small stature, but well 
proportioned, indeed remarkably symmetrical, of 
easy, uniform, dignified and graceful carriage. He 
had been dyspeptic all his life, had weak eyes, which 
had been greatly increased by continued reading. 
... He was unusually modest and humble in his 
pretensions." He spoke without notes or written 
manuscript. Quoting Lawson further we can say 
that "He was the first standard bearer of the cross 
among the ranks of "The Disciples of Christ" in 
the South, and the Bible, and that perfect system 
of religious and human conduct revealed through 
its pages." 

T. W. Casky, pioneer preacher of Alabama and 
Texas remarked that "Graham had the mind of a 
giant and the heart of a woman. The most pro- 
found logician I ever heard, and yet as tender 
in his feelings as John, the beloved disciple; a ripe 
scholar, and yet you might hear him preach for 
years and never learn from his preaching that he 


knew any other language than his mother tongue. 
With all his greatness, he was as unassuming as a 
child, as near a faultless man as I ever knew." 

With the convention going to Cincinnati again 
this fall for the celebration of a hundred years of 
co-operative work among our churches it is well 
for us to examine the character and habits of the 
men who assembled in that first convention and 
gave birth to our united efforts. Many have for- 
gotten that these pioneers considered themselves 
"liberals" in religion. Others have ignored the 
fact that they were constantly interested in the edu- 
cational approach to religion and organized and 
taught schools themselves. Some have become so 
busied with a study of the scriptures that they over- 
look the fact that these men were also scholars 
in other fields as well as in biblical scholarship. We 
would do well to keep these in mind and seek to 
develop in our leadership the well rounded scholar, 
who by his wider acquaintanceship with the ex- 
periences of man's history will be better capable 
of interpreting the will of God as contained in 
the Scriptures. 

You have asked me to contribute a little squib 
occasionally for The Scroll. Apropos the present 
discussion of International Convention programs 
I recall that after one such convention a group of 
follows were having breakfast together and com- 
menting upon the length of convention programs. 
One thought there were "too many speeches," an- 
other "Not too many; but too long," whereupon a 
third sapiently observed, "It would be fine if we 
could have fewer speeches, but more said." Could 
that possibly happen at Cincinnati in October? — 
F. W. Burnham. 


Growing Free Traditions 

Reported by W. B. Blakemore 
John E. McCaw, director of student work for the 
United Christian Missionary Society, in complet- 
ing the work for his B.D. degree which was granted 
at the Spring, 1949, convocation of the University 
of Chicago, has written an important dissertation. 
It is entitled "Formula and Freedom Among the 
Disciples of Christ." 

Mr. McCaw's thesis is that the founders of the 
Disciples recognized that there could be no ef- 
fective religious life apart from formulations of 
faith, practice, and church organization. In this 
respect they were not antinomian or libertarian. 
On the other hand, they realized that all formula- 
tions are human devices and therefore must be con- 
stantly subject to re-examination and revision. In 
this respect they were not legalists or dogmatists. 
Mr. McCaw sketches the prolific years during which 
our earliest leaders worked out the first formula- 
tion of our brotherhood. In other words, begin- 
ning with a group that was as yet unorganized, 
they set to work to develop an organization for it. 
This work of organizing had to be done at all 
three of the levels of religious expression : thought, 
worship, and church organization. It took a quarter 
of a century, from 1809 till the late 1830's, before 
our early leaders felt that they had made a good 
start on this very considerable task, but by that 
time a "first formulation" had been worked out. 

Mr. McCaw then penetrates through to the atti- 
tude toward that formulation on the part of the 
men who made it. That attitude was one of tenta- 
tiveness, of constant willingness to re-examine their 
views, a thorough recognition that what had been 
developed was characterized throughout by a quality 


of human devising. Their attitude might well be 
described as that of having arrived at a "practical 
absolute," to use a term later invented by Dr. E. 
S. Ames. -In other words, they felt that their for- 
mulations of belief, worship, and organization were 
as good as they could achieve at the moment and 
therefore were good enough to adopt for the time 
being. They certainly expected their formulation 
to be improved. It was not put forth with the decla- 
ration that "This is it," not forced upon other men. 

In this respect it should be pointed out that 
there was one serious defection from this attitude. 
In 1835, when Alexander Campbell published the 
first edition of The Christian System (the original 
title was Christianity Restored) he did write a 
preface which says, in effect, "This is it." But to 
the second edition he wrote a preface which was 
a return to the more humble — and more liberal — 
attitude which was the general trait of the Disciple 

The Christian System, The Messiahship, even 
The Gospel Restored, were not published as dogma. 
They were set abroad to provoke the discussion 
of important issues, not to end it. This attitude 
is particularly evident in most of the doctrinal 
essays in The Christian Baptist and The Millenial 
Harbinger. These essays were invitations to dis- 
cussion. The most important evidence that this 
was the case is provided by the openness which 
characterized the pages of these two journals. Alex- 
ander Campbell's policy was that of the "open 
column." He was probably the first religious jour- 
nalist to adopt that policy. His significance in this 
matter has recently been strongly pointed out in 
R, Fred West's book on Alexander Campbell and 
Natural Religioyi. 

In the second stages of his dissertation, Mr. Mc- 


Caw examines the attitudes of the second genera- 
tion of Disciples to the formulation which had been 
worked out by the first generation. A definite shift 
in attitude had taken place. The second generation 
adopted toward the work of the first generation 
an attitude which the first generation itself never 
adopted toward its own work. The second genera- 
tion began to treat the work of the first generation 
as a perfected and completed project. Where the 
first generation had envisioned its work as a process 
whose end was nowhere in sight so far as they 
could see, the second generation looked back upon 
the ideas of the preceding generation and said, 
"This is it." They became legalists and dogmatists, 
and any hint of tentativeness was looked upon as 
antinomian, libertarian, as "making shipwreck of 
the faith." 

What the Disciples need to do is to recapture 
the mind of our forefathers. We must understand 
that there is a third position between legalism 
and antinomianism, and that it was in this third 
position that our movement was born. 

With respect to the formulations of religion, 
whether they be in the realm of doctrine, of wor- 
ship, or of church organization, three attitudes 
are possible. On the one hand are those who say 
that the outward formulations of religion are sacred 
and immutable, and have been given and fixed at 
some point in history. On the other hand there are 
those who say that all formulation of religion is 
wrong, and we can get along without it. In be- 
tween, and above these two points of view, stard 
those who recognize that form and order are 
necessary, but who refuse to deify any particular 
form. They recognize that as life develops, the 
forms of life must develop. As religion moves 
along through history, while the fundamentals of 


religion remain stable, the formulations and ex- 
pressions of religion change from age to age. The 
function of these outward forms is to lay hold 
of the age and time in which they appear, and the 
outward aspects of religion must constantly be 
reconstructed in order to do their constantly new 
work in every new generation. This is why the 
work of creating religious society and culture is 
never finished. Every generation has freedom to 
work out, with fear and trembling, its own for- 
mulation for carrying on the work of the Kingdom. 

The Institute at Cincinnati 

During the Centennial Convention the Campbell 
Institute will hold four meetings. Two of them 
will be held in the Victory Room of the Gibson 
Hotel, Fifth and Walnut Streets. 

Tuesday, October 25, Victory Room, Gibson 
Hotel, Dr. E. S. Ames will present a brief paper 
on. The Basis of Our Persisting Loyalties. Richard 
M. Pope, President Elect of the Campbell Institute 
will preside, and open the discussion in which all 
present will be invited to participate. 

Wednesday, October 26, Victory Room, Gibson 
Hotel, Dr. Lin D. Cartwright, Editor of the Chris- 
tian-Evangelist, will speak on, "Problems of Pub- 
lishing a Brotherhood Newspaper." Ronald Osborn 
of Northwest Christian College, Eugene, Oregon, 
will preside. 

On the evenings of Thursday and Friday, Oc- 
tober 27 and 28, there will be informal public meet- 
ings of the Institute beginning at 10:30 p.m. The 
place of these meetings will be announced later. 


Sleep and Damnation 

Hunter Beckelhymer, Kenton, Ohio 
In a recent visit with Dean Ames our conversation 
turned to the fact of people's indifference to the 
Church. The writer suggested this as a problem 
worthy of the mettle of the Campbell Institute, and 
the Dean agreed by suggesting that I write an 
opening article on the subject for The Scroll. 
Readers will note that there is plenty of room be- 
tween the writer's position and the tree where 
some sawing may be done, and also that there are 
plenty more limbs where other writers can make a 
stand. The bluntness of the assertions in this article 
are solely for the sake of brevity, and belie the 
writer's doubts and questionings, and eagerness for 
light from others. 

The problem is reflected in that utterly defeated 
feeling a minister has after an indifferent pa- 
rishioner has smilingly told him that "I will sur- 
prise you some of these days by coming to church," 
or "I'll try to get started before long," or (in winter 
or spring) "I'll get around when the weather gets 
a little warmer," or (in summer and autumn) "when 
the weather gets a little cooler." For most non- 
church-goers will agree verbally that the Church is 
doing good work, that Christianity is the best way 
of life, that regular worship is important, and that 
people ought to go to and support the Church. The 
fact remains that around the periphery of every 
working church fellowship are the inactive, the 
inert, and the indifferent — not to mention the vast 
numbers who have had no contact with a church 
since they dropped out of the Junior department 
because they were the only boy or the only girl in 
their class. 

Many elderlj^ elders will shake their heads in 


nostalgia and say "People aren't church-minded any 
more." That's right, but why? And what can be 
done about it? 

Here is one reason. The Church is no longer the 
chief locus of education, social life, news, and rec- 
reation, that it once was in isolated rural areas. 
And it will never be these things again. There is 
no isolation today, and many of the Church's^ for- 
mer functions are now a public responsibility or 
a commercial venture. The Church as never before 
is, if anything, a community of faith and worship. 
Its program of teaching, social life, and recrea- 
tion, although on the highest plain, is always in 
desperate competition with a dozen other sources 
specializing in these functions. Note the terrific 
struggle to maintain a youth program during the 
school year, and particularly when the athletic and 
social season is in full swing. Notice how young 
people too will go to the movies down town on 
Sunday evening, even though a better picture is 
being shown at the church. The Church is over- 
whelmed by the competition in every area of life 
except that which is distinctively its own. There 
it stands starkly alone. 

Another reason is the inertia of habit. Very 
few adults now go to the church in which they 
attended Sunday School as a youngster, particu- 
larly in cities. Our population is increasingly mo- 
bile and fewer people are spending their lives in 
the communities where they were born. This 
means that the habits of church attendance, how- 
ever strong in earlier years, have at some time 
been violently broken by moving to another com- 
munity. Unless some alert pastor was on the job, 
the habit of attendance in the new community was 
not formed and we have another non-resident mem- 
ber who "used to go all the time in Podunk, but I 


just got out of the habit of going." Any event 
that breaks a person's good habits jeopardizes his 
soul. It often takes only a few weeks of unsettled 
conditions to lose a person from the Church for 
years. He develops another habit of sleeping, visit- 
ing the folks, or puttering around the house on 
Sunday mornings, and his churchmanship miay 
have thus ended "not with a bank but a whimper." 
I think it is only realistic to recognize that habit 
is often as strong or stronger than reason and will 
power, and persuasion is terribly ineffective 
against a habit of sleeping on Sunday mornings. 
On the other hand good habits are equally strong. 
A man's character is very difficult to distinguish 
from his habits. "From sleep and from damnation 
deliver us, good Lord." 

Another reason is shyness. Who of us has not 
married an eager young bride who is a good church 
member, and a groom who out of sheer timidity 
has frustrated her plans for anything but a small 
private wedding in the pastor's study? They don't 
show up for church, and the minister calls. The 
bride says that she wants to come but Hubert is 
terribly shy and "doesn't know anybody in the 
church." She is probably telling the truth. There 
are lots of Huberts for whom any social contacts 
other than those with a few cronies are painful 
and terrifying experiences, at church or anywhere 
else. And this same factor deters some who would 
like to join the church. "I hate to go down the 
aisle on Sunday morning." 

Another reason is class consciousness. Some of 
the members of the writer's church don't come 
because they feel that some of the church leaders 
and officers are beneath them socially. It is not a 
fashionable church. Strangely enough there are 
others who don't come for precisely the opposite 


reason that they feel the same church to be for 
the wealthy, well dressed, and high browed. It 
is a tribute to the church that both are in a measure 
right. For, indeed, people of both high and low 
estate are working side by side in the church. But 
the standards of success imposed on men by our 
competitive society do make barriers of class con- 
sciousness which the Church finds it difficult to 
overcome. Needless to say, this reason for non- 
attendance is seldom the one given the minister. 

Another reason is the abandoned concept so 
familiar to our fathers . . . "worldliness," currently 
known as secularism. It may be simply that the 
scramble for material success has completely pre- 
occupied a person's time and attention. It may be 
that a person has fallen into "recreations," busi- 
ness practices, or personal wea!knesses that he 
knows to be wrong, but which have not yet brought 
him their dismal harvests. He pays the Church a 
tribute by recognizing that such things are incon- 
sistent with Christian churchmanship, but is not 
ready to give them up. He has a certain integrity 
in his sinfulness. Some men may be gamblers, drink- 
ers, dishonest in business, or philanderers because 
they have never been churchmen. It is also true that 
some men are not churchmen because they are cur- 
rently enjoying gambling, drinking, dishonesty, and 

Now, what to do about it? The writer's boldness 
comes from a terrific sense of urgency, and not from 
any conspicuous successes as an evangelist. 

First: I believe that the Church should devote 
larger and larger portions of its energies to provide 
those things that simply cannot be had elsewhere — 
corporate worship, religious discipline, and the di- 
vine recklessness of Christian teaching. Social life, 
recreation, and the like (unless completely unavail- 


able elsewhere in the community) should become by- 
products of a church's religious life and not ends in 
themselves or, to put it bluntly, bait. This is not to 
circumscribe the scope of religion, nor to urge the 
compartmentalization of life. The Church's appeal 
should be the Christ lifted up, and other things nat- 
ural and spontaneous by-products. 

Second: We ministers need to be more alert to 
our own members who move to other communities, 
and newcomers from other churches into our own 
communities. We must strike while the iron is hot 
and see that the habit of church attendance is not 
broken in moving. Spencer Austin's program and 
materials for reaching non-resident members is fine, 
and deserves the effort that it requires. Both the 
pastor back home and the pastor in the new com- 
munity should concentrate hard on a member who 
has moved as soon as he moves. I also believe deeply 
in the importance of patient and persistent calling 
on the backsliders and the backslid, although the 
many disappointments of such work have in part 
prompted this article. 

Third: It was Andrew who brought Peter to 
Christ, and it is still members of one's family and 
his closest friends who can best introduce a shy per- 
son into the fellowship of the Church. The minister 
is fortunate who has laymen who will gently and 
persistently use their influence upon friends and 
relatives until these timid ones begin to feel that the 
Church is "we" instead of "they." 

Fourth : The very fact that most churches do have 
people of widely different economic and educational 
levels within their fellowship indicates that class 
consciousness can be and is transcended in Christ. 
Is it too great a concession to the devil, however, that 
in a visitation evangelism campaign the minister 
makes sure that a particular prospect is called upon 


by visitors with whom he will feel at home. 

Fifth : The minister is limited by his own ability 
to find an opening into the lives of his members and 
others. When "worldliness" or some secret sin is 
standing between a man and God, the minister will 
probably be told every reason except the true one 
why the man is away from the Church. It would be 
shameful indeed, however, if any sinner had the im- 
pression that the Church will make peace with evil 
to attract a new member, or that it will ever shut its 
doors to a man because he is an evil-doer. Our Lord 
came to seek and save that which is lost. 

This analysis is based upon the conviction that 
people's indifference to the Church need not be in- 
terpreted as a failure of the Church itself — although 
the problem can be approached from that angle. It is 
no reflection whatsoever upon Mozart, Prokofief and 
other great masters of music that their compositions 
were not appreciated when Artie Shaw ventured to 
play some of them in a New York night club recent- 
ly. Popularity has never been and never will be the 
standard by which true worth is measured. And 
every minister knows that despite his own enervat- 
ing shortcomings and those of his congregation, 
many people are finding within the fellowship of 
his church the bread of life. When two or three are 
gathered together in the Master's name he still is 
in their midst. 

Jonah — A Great Book 

W. J. Lhamon, Columbia, Mo. 

The book of Jonah is protest fiction, and thus 
quite in line with the fine little story of Ruth. Much 
of the Old Testament is written in story form, and 
this is one secret of its attraction for the people 


who read it — they like the stories. Some of the 
finest story tellers of all time lived back there, six, 
or eight hundred, or a thousand years before 
Christ. The unknown author of Jonah was one of 
them. The plot is perfect. Jonah was a grouchy 
prophet, and he never recovered from it. 

So here is the plot. 

1. The Lord tells him to go and preach to the 
Ninevites. But he hates those foreigners and starts 
off in the opposite direction toward Tarshish. 

2. A storm arises, a storm sent by the Lord, who 
takes this way to catch his wayward prophet. The 
sailors fix the blame on Jonah and cast him over- 
board. Such a big wind to deflate such a little 
prophet ! 

3. The Lord, now having his wayward prophet in 
hand, prepares a big fish to swallow him, and final- 
ly heave him up with a push toward Nineveh. To 
the chuckling story teller the creation of the big 
fish is no miracle; a few strokes of his quill pen — 
and the thing is done. 

4. Grouchy Jonah, the boyish runaway prophet, 
caught thus goes to Nineveh and preaches, not be- 
cause he wants to, but because he has to. 

5. And his sermon? A day long one as he marches 
into the city, crying, shouting, threatening — "Yet 
forty days and Nineveh shall be destroyed." Not a 
word of mercy, or forgiveness, or even of justice. 
The mad sermon of a mad prophet; no hope but 
only hell for the Ninevites! 

6. Did the Lord destroy the Ninevites to satiate 
his prophet's anger? No! He caused the city to 
repent. Even the King gave orders for repentance 
and fasting — no food, no water, no clothing but 
from torn old bags — repentance ! And a ragged city 
crying for mercy! 


7. Jonah on his hill top is in a rage. His prophecy 
has failed, and he wants to die. Then the Lord 
conciliates His mad little prophet with a gourd 
— of all things! And the Lord tells his babyish 
prophet that He has to have mercy on the city of 
six hundred thousand, in which there are a hundred 
and twenty thousand babies— AND MUCH CAT- 
TLE. Humor here! And keen satire! And above 
all a great, new thought about Jehovah — He cares 
for foreigners, at least as a herdsman does for his 

Here then is one of the "best stories ever told." 
As said above, it is protest fiction. The protest is 
against a small, sectarian, and merely national 
God. It strikes the note of internationalism. 

"What Does God Will?" 

Robert A. Thomas, St. Joseph, Mo. 

It may sound presumptuous to you that anyone 
should set himself to deal with the question, "What 
does God Will?" and yet "God's will" is a phrase so 
often on our lips, so clearly a part of our religion 
that this question must be dealt with. Jesus made 
it clear that his supreme purpose was to demonstrate 
the will of his Heavenly Father. He said, "I am 
come to do the will of him that sent me." He further 
made it clear that those who claimed to be his dis- 
ciples were to demonstrate it by doing the will of 

It is not everyone who says to me "Lord! Lord!" who 
will get into the Kingdom of Heaven, but only those 
who do the w'll of my Father in heaven. 

These are familiar statements of Jesus, and they 
are only two of many saying the same thing in dif- 
ferent words. "The will of God," or "the will of my 


Father," were phrases often on his lips. The prayer 
he taug^ht his disciples includes the words. "Thy 
will be done on earth as it is in heaven," and we 
pray these words in public prayer more than any 
others. Nearly everyone who leads a congregation 
in public prayer includes the idea that we want to 
know the will of God more perfectly, and petitions 
Him that we may do it better. 

A constant repetition of words or phrases, how- 
ever, does not mean they are used wisely or that 
we have any adequate understanding of them. 
Repetition sometimes breeds laxity and careless- 
ness, and this is true of our use of the term "will of 
God." Many of us have never questioned seriously 
what we mean by that phrase. We use the words in 
discussion and prayer, but they have no real mean- 
ing for us, or, more truly, they have a variety of 
meanings which do not hang together. That is, at 
one time we have one idea about it and in another 
situation or at another time we have a different 
idea. Our theological or philosophical thought is 
therefore mixed up and sometimes self-contra- 

You may not think this is greatly important, or 
you may believe that the preacher is stressing ab- 
stract ideas having little or no relation to our life 
problems. Not so ! Creative living, happy and satis- 
factory lives, depends on a unified approach to the 
problems of life. We have to be one person, and not 
two or three, if our lives are to count very seriously 
for anything. We cannot attain any real unification 
of our powers, our abilities, our talents without an 
honest unification of our basic concepts of religion 
and life. For a Christian this means putting some 
meat on the bones of the idea of the will of God 
because that idea is so important to our faith. We 
should never use the phrase "will of God" carelessly 


or without specific meaning. It is at the heart of 
the concern of Christ and Christianity. 

What does God will? Some persons think he wills 
everything that happens. As a matter of fact, the 
old Calvinist theology, which was dominant in 
Protestantism for some two hundred and fifty years, 
states that what happened had been determined by 
God from the beginning of time and could not be 
changed. That is, everything that happened was 
according to what God willed. For those who hold 
this view God is the great King, the all-powerful 
dictator. He is thought of as a manipulator of 
events. When this is the theological pattern man 
cannot do anything to help himself. He cannot 
do anything to assure his own salvation. He is pre- 
destined either to eternal salvation or eternal dam- 
nation and nothing he does can make any differ- 
ence. God seeks out certain ones to save and con- 
demns certain others to punishment. 

Some passages in the writings of the Apostle 
Paul have given the theologians their leads in this 
approach, but for the most part the conceptions of 
John Calvin came from the Old Testament rather 
than from the New. Whatever we may believe 
about this idea of the will of God determining every- 
thing, it is necessary to admit that it is a unified 
system. It has an answer for everything. It al- 
lows no exceptions. Every life is in the hands of 
God. Everything that happens is His will. 

I do not subscribe to this theological position 
for what I think are good reasons. Our forefathers 
in the Christian Church did not subscribe to it 
either. The Campbells, Scott, and Stone would have 
none of Calvin's pre-destination. Why? Simply be- 
cause they did not think it was Christian. They 
did not believe it was in accord with the teachings 
of Jesus, and their first principle was that being 


Christian meant being a disciple of Christ. They 
held that the Old Testament was not as important 
as the New Testament, and that in the New Testa- 
ment the teachings of Jesus were more important 
than other sections. In other words, they did not be- 
lieve in the Bible as a level book. It had, so to 
speak, ups and downs of inspiration. Parts of it 
were more important and more in accord with the 
will and revelation of God than other parts. 

They discovered that there are some things about 
the idea that God wills everything that is — that 
he is responsible for evil as well as good — that are 
not in accord with actual statements of Jesus and 
certainly not in accord with his general spirit. 
When persons came to Jesus for healing and were 
healed, he said, "It is your faith that has made you 
whole." He indicated time and again that persons 
could do something about their own lives — that they 
could of their own free will change their minds 
and their habits and their allegiances. He did not 
hold to the idea that men can do nothing of their 
own volition, but rather based his whole teaching 
on the belief that there is inherent in man the 
possibility of choosing to do God's will. 

Still more important, however, is the teaching 

of Jesus about God's nature. He spoke of God 

as the Loving Heavenly Father, who cared for 

His children above all other things in the universe. 

Look at the wild birds. They do not sow or reap, or 

store their food in barns, and yet our heavenly Father 

feeds them. Are you not of more account than they? 

. . . See how the wild flowers grow. They do not toil 

or spin, and yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his 

splendor was never dressed like one of them. But if 

God so beautifully dresses the wild grass, which is alive 

today and is thrown into the furnace tomorrow, will 

he not much more surely clothe you, you who have so 

little faith ?i 

1 Matthew 6:26-30 (Goodspeed translation). 


In the light of such teaching how can we attribute 
evil or suffering to God? If we are really disciples 
of Jesus — if we really believe that he is the clue 
to God, the revelation of God; if we really believe 
him when he said, "He that hath seen me hath seen 
the Father," then we cannot believe that He wills 
evil, but only good. 

If that is true, whence cometh evil? Why is there 
tragedy and suffering and sorrow in the world? 
Why is there anything but good? This is a problem 
that has bothered Christian thinkers thro'Ugh the 
ages. If God is good and God is all-powerful (omnipo- 
tent is the theological term), how can there be 
evil? The honest Calvinist simply said we have no 
right to ask such a question. What we are getting 
is better than we deserve. But the question has 
bothered Christians, and it has to be dealt with. 
It is the question which is on the lips of even good 
church people when they suffer the loss of a loved 
child, or a father in the prime of life. It is what 
people mean when they say to a minister, "Why 
did God do this to me?" or "What have I done that 
God should treat me like this?" or "Can God be 
good and just when he takes the life of such a 
one or causes such a tragedy?" It is a sad thing 
that Christians only rarely face this question before 
tragedy or trouble strikes at them, and thus have 
no acceptable and understandable and helpful an- 

We cannot here discuss the whole problem of 
evil, but only indicate some paths for your own 
thinking to explore. In the first place, many things 
which we call evil or tragic are not really so from 
any point of view except a selfish one. Can't you 
think back over the events of your own life and 
find such experiences — times when you felt a great 


tragedy had occurred, but which as the years have 
g-one by were proven not tragedy at all, but cre- 
ative and actually good experiences? In the second 
place, much of evil as we know it comes from our 
human ignorance. We do not know enough to pre- 
vent certain evils from plaguing us. Increasing 
knowledge will eliminate much of the evil that sur- 
rounds us in the present. But the most of evil we 
know comes because human beings are free, and in 
their, freedom choose the evil way. We do not do 
what we should do and what we know is best. And 
by our very freedom to choose either good or evil 
we may thwart the purpose and will of God. Thus 
it appears that God is limited. He is not all-power- 
ful. The creation of man with the capacity for 
choice and with freedom of will means the self- 
limitation of God, for God does not abrogate that 
human freedom of will. He does not take it from 
us, even when we use it for evil purposes. 

All of us as human beings, children of God, are 
in control of a bit of God's purpose and God's will. 
We can either determine to do it or not. We can 
block his purpose in our lives by choosing evil and 
disregarding God. We can hold up the establish- 
ment of the Kingdom of God by our refusal to ac- 
cept it within us. We can bring evil upon our- 
selves and destruction upon our civilization because 
of our wrong choices. The great proportion of evil 
and suffering and tragedy come about because we 
are not yet willing or intelligent enough to make 
the saving choices. 

This is all meaningless verbiage, you say? No, 
it is a real problem we are dealing with and basic 
to our understanding of Christianity and the deter- 
mination of the way we shall live personally. How 
shall I know what God wills for me? This is the 
crux of the vocational problem of serious-minded 


Christian youth. Many of them are convinced of 
the importance of doing the will of God and they 
are striving to find out what it is so far as their 
personal lives are concerned. 

If we are serious in believing Jesus, then God 
ivills that men he saved to His Kingdom. That is 
a simple statement, but its implications are broad, 
indeed. Being saved to the Kingdom of God means 
being saved in the present to a possession of God's 
hopes, purposes and dreams within us. It is a real 
salvation that lifts us from pessimism and despair 
and fruitless living — that enables us to find mean- 
ing and purpose in our daily lives — that gives us 
hope and satisfactions — that releases the creative 
energies of God which we have kept bottled up 
within us. 

For most of us it will mean keeping on with the 
same jobs and living with the same people in the 
same houses and attending the same church. But 
all those activities will take on new meaning and 
assume different levels of importance because we 
have begun to see our personal lives from the per- 
spective of God. 

For some of you young people, being saved to 
the Kingdom of God may mean the utter devotion 
of life and time and talents to bringing the saving 
Kingdom to others, and that may mean the mission 
fields of Africa or China or Japan ; or it may mean 
the field of political action and devotion to estab- 
lishing government that is just and righteous. 

God's will can be done only when we know the 
good news of Christ, as well as the present needs 
of men and submit our lives to his Kingdom. That 
will is for good, not evil. It is for creativity rather 
than destruction. It is for high values, not low ones. 
It is for purposeful living, not aimless living. It 
is for love, not hate. 



It was a pleasant summer at Pentwater, Michi- 
gan; hot but not so hot as Chicago. Among our 
neighbors were Willett children, Campbell children, 
C. C. Morrisons, Edgar DeWitt Jones and wife, 
the Atkins family for a time. Van Meter Ames and 
family just back from a year in France. Visitors: 
Mr. and Mrs. Wilhelm Pauck, Mr. and Mrs. Donald 
Williams, Mr. and Mrs. Julius Weinberg, Phil Rice, 
Mr. and Mrs. Bernadotte Schmitt. For brief calls: 
Louis Hopkins, Mr. and Mrs. J. J. VanBoskirk, 
Mr. and Mrs. Carter Boren, W. B. Blakemore, 
Charner Perry, Miss Jessie Watson, Miss Jessie 
MacLean, Miss Miriam Wilson, Mr. and Mrs. George 
Marsh, Mr. and Mrs. Jay Calhoun. 

We deeply regretted having to miss the visit of 
Dr. Albert Schweitzer in Chicago, but we were 
thrilled by many reports from those who saw and 
heard him. Many newspapers and magazines also 
brought delightful accounts of his one address at 
Aspen, Colorado, and of the Convocation ceremony 
at the University of Chicago where he received an 
honorary Doctor's degree, and later in the day played 
the great Chapel organ informally, to the delight of 
a select, private (?) company which filled the place! 
A luncheon for him was given by the Conference 
of Women's Clubs, under the management of the 
President, Mrs. Charles S. Clark which was at- 
tended by President Colwell of the University, the 
Mayor of the City, the Governor of the State, and 
many other distinguished citizens. Emory Ross of 
New York was his attendant and interpreter 
throughout his American visit. Everywhere Dr. 
Schweitzer made a profound impression by his 
simple, modest bearing, and by the sheer fact of 
his personal presence carrying the weight of great 
scholarship in many fields, his life-long mastery of 


the organ music of Bach, and his thirty-six years of 
heroic service as a medical missionary at his Lam- 
barene Hospital in the heart of Africa. His first, 
quick visit to the United States has given the vision 
of a saintly soul which has already stirred thousands 
of people to a new realization of what it is possible 
for one great man to do in this strange world, with 
no fanfare or a single false note in the symphony 
of his manifold genius. 

For the October Scroll we already have on hand 
an article by the new President of the Institute, Mr. 
Richard M. Pope; an article by Professor Howard 
Elmo Short, of the College of the Bible on "Needs 
in Research in Disciple History," an article by Dean 
Blakemore on "The Word of God"; and an article 
by Reuben Butchart, of Toronto, on "Religious 
Background of Josiah Royce." 

Mr. John O. Pyle, 8841 So. Leavitt St., Chicago, is 
undertaking a third printing of the book. Religion, 
by E. S. Ames. The book is now out of print but 
calls for it continue. Mr. Pyle now owns the plates 
from which the book was originally printed by 
Henry Holt and Company. Mr. Pyle's son is in the 
printing business and is helping his father in the 

The Centennial Convention in Cincinnati next 
month should be great in every good sense. Cer- 
tainly President F. E. Davison, of South Bend, Indi- 
ana, has done everything that travel and talk can 
do to promote attendance and a fine spirit of fellow- 
ship from every part of the country. His infectious 
smile will do the rest when we get together! 

Robert Thomas, who is succeeding C. M. Chilton 
in the St. Joseph, Mo., Church writes that the 
Church had a wonderful birthday dinner for Dr. 
Chilton, Sept. 21, in honor of his 82nd year. He 
says Dr. Chilton is lively in mind and body — plays 
golf three times a week — reads books that would 

tax the mind of anyone, and thinks clearly. 

We preachers would often be surprised to dis- 
cover how little people know or care concerning 
the things we think and talk about all the time. 
For instance, I met a man the other day who is a 
success in business, reads the papers, has opinions 
about politics and the money market, but had never 
heard of Albert Schweitzer. 

Leslie Kingsbury, after five years as pastor of the 
good church in Paris, Illinois, has gone to Edin- 
burgh, Scotland, to study with Dr. John Baillie and 
other famous men of that University. Mr. Frank 
Coop has come from England this autumn to carry 
on studies in the University of Chicago. 

Lewis Smythe writes from Nanking, China, that 
conditions there show some promise of the mission- 
ary work continuing with less disturbance and 

In the Black! 

How it delights the treasurer's heart to report 
that the Campbell Institute is in the black! It has 
been a rough year, and we could not possibly have 
come out except for large gifts by friends of the 
Institute. Being aware of this, the members at the 
annual meeting this summer decided to raise the 
dues to $3.00 a year. If as many members pay up 
as did last year we will be able to make ends meet 
without calling on our liberal friends for subsidy 
again. So now it's three iron men required instead 
of two. And we ought to be taking in more new 
members. That can only be done when every "In- 
stitooter" is a promoter. Send us names of men 
who ought to be in the Institute, and would ap- 
preciate receiving copies of the Scroll. Ye editor in- 
sists he's got lively articles up his sleeve (or some- 
where) , and the Scroll will be coming your way with 
lots of life and vigor. Send in your dues! Three 
iron men will pay you up! If in doubt don't write 
us a letter, send us a check! 

R. A. Thomas, Treasurer. 



A Rainy Day 

E. S. Ames 

This is a rainy day. A month ago when I sat down 
to write some reflections on our world, all was 
bright and warm with the beauty of early autumn. 
Now the sky is overcast with clouds and a chill is 
in the air. But no matter how mixed the weather, 
life goes on. Food is eaten, the morning paper comes 
with the record of strange events, some tragic, and 
some with promise of new remedies for old ills. 

The paper tells of the burning of the buildings of 
the sanitarium at Martinsville, Indiana, where our 
long-time friend O. B. Holloway used to go every 
spring to get the baths and play cards with Jewish 
cronies he came to know there. One year my wife 
and I went there and enjoyed the rest, the waters, 
and the excellent meals. In one night the place was 
devastated by fire. 

This morning's mail brought other clouds. Two 
were bills, one from the Bowman Dairy for the 
milk they brought last month, one for electricity 
which lighted our cottage at Pentwater during the 
summer. One letter came from an old friend with 
a check for nine dollars to pay for The Scroll, 
partly in advance. Another letter from a dear 
friend telling of heart-breaking sorrow, not by 
death or accident or malice, or loss of faith. It was 
the sorrow from circumstances the like of which 
was never told me before. 

And then there was a beautiful letter from the 
daughter of Lawrence Lew, acknowledging a little 
gift for her wedding day and enclosing a clipping 
from the Peoria paper about the wedding. Lawrence 


is teaching economics in Bradley University which 
has developed into an institution of thousands of 
students and of good standing. The report of that 
wedding carried the impression of the genuine, 
rich culture of the Chinese people. It reflected in- 
telligent, sensitive, and seasoned qualities from the 
long traditions of a high civilization with no in- 
timations of the terrible wars and depressions that 
have harassed the Chinese nation. 

One telephone call was from an electrician to 
tell me what it would cost to install an electric con- 
trol on the thermostat of our gas furnace. In the 
old days, many years ago, we had a coal furnace 
which heated the house by hot air. But the air 
seldom was really hot, and it never was an even 
Jieat. Frequently the man of the house had to 
be away from home, and the unpleasant duty of 
shoveling coal fell to his already over-burdened 
wife. Sometimes she would jokingly remark that 
she "ran the furnace." Finally, in a burst of de- 
termination, we installed a gas furnace, with hot 
water heat. It was regulated by a clock which 
has to be wound once a week, and she winds it. 
We chose Sunday, on our arrival from church, as 
the time to wind that clock. That was a great ad- 
vance over the old method of shoveling coal, but 
she, with a bit of mischief, still says she "runs the 
furnace." Sometimes we do not get back home at 
the established hour for winding that clock and 
once in a while the heat does not come on at the 
proper hour, or it comes on when the heat is al- 
ready rolling! So when I realized that it is possible 
to have an electrically controlled thermostat, I de- 
cided to get one, not only to relieve my wife of 
the responsibility, but more especially to avoid 
her having to explain to neighbors and friends the 
servitude which she gaily confessed when she re- 


peated that old incriminating remark, "I run the 

In, The World's Great Religious Poetry, edited 
by CaroHne Miles Hill, on page 403, is a line which 
[ have read devoutly for many years, but never 
more so than this year. The line reads, 

"0 God in Heaven, vouchsafe to cure my leg! 
Matter burst from it yesterday." 

This quotation is used with considerable poetic 
license, but the poem in which it occurs, "The 
Church," is printed to illustrate the decadence of the 
Church which encourages personal petitions over 
trivial things. The poem continues : 

"My God, 
Vouchsafe to fill my shop with customers! 
— Help me to find out if my servant John 
Is robbing me ! — God cure my sore eyes ! 
— Save me, my God, from being drunk so often ! 
— Lord, let my son pass his examination! 
He is so shy. Thou shalt have a great candle. 
— Help me to make her fall in love with me. 
I will put ninepence in St. Anthony's box. 
— My God, if only I could get some work!" 

Two of the depressing facts about our Chicago 
churches. One is that the Jackson Boulevard Church 
has had to see David Bryan leave as its pastor for 
Sedalia, Mo., while the Church faces a very un- 
certain future. Fundamentally it is the great shift 
in population to which the "West Side" has been 
subject for years, and the influx of colored people. 
The other fact is the uncertainty of the future of a 
good congregation built up through many years of 
sacrifice and devotion. It will not die but it has 
suffered serious internal disturbance. 


Tomorrow will be another day. It will bring its 
own weather, cooler, probably brighter. Through 
it, too, the pressures of human interests will be felt 
and new plans and hopes will emerge. Meantime, 
blessed are they who keep a clear vision of the way 
ahead, lighted by the stars. 

Religious Background of 
Josiah Royce 

Reuben Butchart, 27 Albany Ave., Toronto 
In probing human personality Religion should 
not be neglected as a live source. Josiah Royce, 
professor of the history of Philosophy at Harvard 
University (obiit 1916) has received acclaim as 
one of America's best loved philosophers, and has been 
placed amongst a brief list of names of the world's 
greatest thinkers. His interest in religion is testi- 
fied to by at least his "The Problem of Christianity" 
and "Sources of Religious Insight" (Scribners, 
N. Y., 1914). The writer's purpose herein is to 
trace the sources of some religious influences that 
affected the youth of one we may call Josiah 
Royce III. 

His grandparent, Josiah Royce I, was born in 
Leceistershire, Eng., Nov. 28, 1779; whose wife, 
Mary Curtis, from same shire, was ten years young- 
er. These as parents emigrated with a small family 
to Canada, arriving in 1816. Two were sons, Rob- 
ert the elder, and Josiah II, born in 1812. Their 
journey's end was Dundas, at the west end of L. 
Ontario. There, in his home, a Baptist church 
was set up on October 11, 1834. He died in 1847, 
leaving a religious heritage to his family. The son, 
Josiah II, was baptized and received into the Bap- 
tist church at age 22 {Year Book, Dundas Baptist 


Church, 1930). Later years reveal him as well as 
one possessing personal piety, also a high sense of 
responsibility for the cause of Christ. While the 
son Robert remained to farm in Wellington County, 
the younger Josiah II, after some years, settled 
first in New York State and later in Iowa. From 
a village in that State on April 30, 1849 he left 
his home, with a wife and infant child, and entered 
upon the long trail of the Forty-Niners in search 
of gold in California's hills. The saga of that ad- 
venturous journey is worth reading. His wife's 
journal was the basis of "The Frontier Lady," 
New Haven, Yale Univ. Press, 1932, and Katherine 
Royce, wife of the philosopher, contributed a fore- 
word. The journey encompassed real dangers from 
famine, . thirst, Indians, and snow in the Sierras. 
The trail was strewn with wrecks. The Royce 
wagon got over the mountains just in time to escape 
a snowfall that would have ended their pursuit and 
they descended to Nevada County, California, and 
settled at the mining town of Grass Valley. Severe 
trials during a long residence in the State awaited 
Josiah Royce II. Some of them are revealed in 
letters to his brother Robert, in Ontario, which are 
extant amongst the family. A son was born on 
November 20, 1855, Josiah III, and a family of 
three others taxed the father's resources to main- 

Josiah Royce II came to California as a Baptist, 
"but the little Baptist church he entered became 
almost broken up about 1857 because of the removal 
of a number to other parts. Nearly at the same 
time, a Christian Church (Disciples is meant) was 
organized in which Josiah Royce and his family 
made their home. This preference he retained 
throughout life." The source of the foregoing is 
the Ontario Evangelist, in November, 1888, report- 


ing the death of Josiah II on June 22, 1888. This 
was copied from the Los Gatos, Calif. News. Quo- 
tation from the long obituary would establish that 
Royce was a sincere Christian and acted accord- 

From here we pass to a nearer range towards 
Discipledom influences. In the writer's research 
for his book, published in August, "The Disciples 
of Christ in Canada Since 1830," he received from 
Nova Scotia chronicles that some of the Hants 
County Disciples emigrated to California in early 
days and entered into the work at Grass Valley. 
One of these, Levi Sanford, of Sacramento, Cal. 
wrote to the Pacific Times, May 15, 1912 with ref- 
erences to his religious experiences there. He was 
a pioneer member of Hants County churches. In 
the year 1832 he removed to California, accompa- 
nied by a wife and a sister and reports that "we 
three began to keep house for the Lord at Grass 
Valley." Our jiumber increased to about forty 
... I assisted in building up Churches of Christ 
in Grass Valley, Pleasant Ridge, Franklin and 
Sacramento." Here is plainly a church begun in 
a home and ending in a small organization. It 
establishes the fact of a Church of Christ (Dis- 
ciples) at Grass Valley. In that group Josiah 
Royce II and family had their religious home. 

The obituary notice quoted bears heavily upon 
the deep religious character of Josiah Royce II. 
Amidst his financial struggles and lack of health 
with which to labor for his family, he wrote to his 
brother Robert in Ontario, and in it discussed the 
apparent backwardness of the cause in Ontario as 
compared with California. His letters reveal a 
tender regard and responsibility for his family. 
With such facts can we think of him as omitting to 
lead his greater son toward, if not to, the Christ 


he tried to serve? I cannot report whether the 
works of Josiah Royce, the Harvard philosopher, 
show any heritage from our Church of Christ 
sources, but I feel that they may well be there. The 
early religious experiences of even a philosopher 
may well color his later thinking. Herein lies the 
seemingly inevitable conclusion that Josiah Royce 
ni was influenced by Disciple views in early Hfe, 
even if he may not have adopted them. 

Report of the Commission On 
Restudy of Disciples of Christ 

0. L. Shelton, Chairman 

W. F. ROTHENBURGER, Secretary 

The Commission on Restudy of Disciples of 
Christ expresses appreciation for the privilege of 
these years of fellowship in study and discussion, 
and for the interest manifested in the reports which 
have been made from time to time. It expresses 
the hope that they have contributed to a better 
understanding of some of the problems of our 
brotherhood, and that they will foster the spirit 
of unity and fellowship among us. 

We submit the following resolutions: 
I. Whereas, the San Francisco Convention passed 
a resolution giving us the task of preparing a docu- 
ment for publication containing the Reports of the 
Commission to the 1946, 1947 and 1948 Conven- 
tions, with appropriate introduction, conclusion 
and bibliography, 

We herewith submit such a document to this con- 
vention with the hope that it may be used widely 
for study and discussion, and that it will serve 
to foster understanding, relieve tensions, and pro- 
mote unity in our brotherhood. 


n. Whereas, the Commission on Restudy of Dis- 
ciples of Christ feels that, although its work is not 
fully completed, more might now be accomplished 
by inaugurating a period of study and discussion 
throughout the brotherhood with the view to pro- 
moting understanding and fellowship, and to give 
full opportunity for such a program, 

Be it resolved that the present Commission be 
dismissed at such a time as a Restudy Extension 
Committee has been appointed, and conference held 
with the present Commission on Restudy. 

III. Whereas, the Commission on Restudy of Dis- 
ciples of Christ feels that the results of its study 
and discussion should be more widely disseminated 
through such study and discussion groups as may 
be deemed advisable. 

Be it resolved that a carefully selected and wide- 
ly representative Committee — "A Restudy Exten- 
sion Committee" — be appointed by the Executive 
Committee of the International Convention, after 
counsel with recognized divergent groups among 
us, to give guidance in planning and fostering study 
and discussion groups, and implementing such plans 
and methods as promise the greatest good to our 
brotherhood. The Commission has made some sug- 
gestions as to certain means which, in its 
judgment, might be helpful. However, these sug- 
gestions are made with no thought of limiting the 
procedures of the Committee, but only to share 
our experience and express our concern for the 
extension of the studies in which we have been 
engaged, and our confidence in the spirit and under- 
standing that will grow ©ut of such a program. 

IV. Whereas, it appears that a representative 
Commission for reference and resource concerning 
the phases of faith and doctrine in the various pro- 
posals looking toward unity among Christians, and 


in the realization of the Kingdom of God among 
men, would be of much value to our churches and to 
our various boards and agencies, 

Be it resolved, that the Commission on Restudy 
of Disciples of Christ, recommends to the Interna- 
tional Convention of Disciples of Christ, that the 
Convention, through its Executive Committee, ap- 
point and issue a call for the first meeting of a 
Commission on Christian Doctrine, consisting of a 
widely representative group known for its fa- 
miliarity with and interest in theological studies, 
drawn from all geographical areas at home and 
abroad in which we have churches, and inclusive 
of all the several emphases of thought under which 
we have sought to present our witness ; 

And further, that this Commission at its first 
meeting organize itself under a Chairman and such 
other officers as may be needed, forming themselves 
into convenient regional sections to insure active 
and economical participation, the sections in turn 
providing themselves with officers for their work; 
and the sections further providing for the expira- 
tion of the term of one-third of their number in two 
years; one-third in four years, and one-third in six 
years; thus insuring continuity in each section by 
staggering the terms of service which shall there- 
after be for six years; 

And further, that this Commission shall study 
the significance of various statements of faith and 
doctrine, of theologies, polities, and practices in 
general Christian life and order as these subjects 
may relate to our movement and to New Testament 
Christianity; may pursue as it may deem advisable 
joint studies with similar bodies; shall serve as a 
body of reference and resource for those who may 
desire to avail themselves of its labors; and shall 
issue from time to. time findings and statements in 


Reports to the Convention and in such other form 
as the Convention may advise. 

We close our Report, and our work, with the 
fervent prayer that God may so grant to us the 
riches of His grace, that our concern for the salva- 
tion of those who are without Christ, and our wit- 
ness for the unity of all of God's people, may be 
as a shining light radiating the perfect light of 

Concerning the Disciples 

Richard M. Pope 

It is becoming increasingly plain that the twenti- 
eth century, for the Disciples as for many another 
religious body, is a time of testing, and a time for 
grave decision. Living as we do in a time of un- 
paralleled danger, we cannot afford the luxury 
either of running away from decisions that must be 
made, or of concerning ourselves with trivial mat- 
ters. The time has come when we must re-think our 
position in the Christian world, and see if we have 
something significant and unique to say to the rest 
of Christendom, and if we have, to say it clearly 
and distinctly that men may hear, and if we haven't, 
to lose ourselves as quickly as possible in the 
churches from which we came. 

This summer it was my good fortune to read The 
Disciples of Christ; A History, by W. E. Garrison 
and A. T. DeGroot (St. Louis, Mo., The Christian 
(Board of Publication, 1948). Reading this book, 
and reflecting upon the story of our people, I, for 
one, came to the conclusion that the Disciples do 
have a heritage and a message that is worth preserv- 
ing and preaching, something precious that must 
not be lost. 

The Disciples have had two great themes — Chris- 



tian unity and the restoration of New Testament 
faith and practice. Garrison and DeGroot point out 
that the present tension between our conservative 
iand liberal elements is largely a matter of which of 
these two main themes they think most important — 
the conservatives calling primarily for the restora- 
tion of the New Testament church, and the liberals 
emphasizing the principle of unity. 

The first and undoubtedly the more important of 
our themes has been the desire to restore the unity 
of the Church. Now, to be united, it is necessary to 
be united about some great loyalty. The center of 
this loyalty for Christians, as their very name would 
imply, has always been, and remains, Christ. But 
how do you learn about Christ? You learn about 
Christ from the creeds, the denominations had said. 
It is to the credit of Thomas Campbell, and to those 
who came after him, that they were among the first 
to see, and to say, that Christians could never be 
united by creeds. Subsequently history has vindi- 
cated that insight. How do you learn about Christ? 
From the Church, some said, especially through the 
supernatural wisdom that is given to her clergy. 
The founding fathers of our movement knew enough 
church history to know that the Church in general, 
and the clergy in particular, have made too many 
tragic mistakes, and been guilty of too much evil, 
ever to suppose them to be the final interpreters of 
Christ. The Holy Spirit, others claimed, will reveal 
to the individual all that he needs to know about 
Christ. Again, our leaders rejected the principle 
of personal experience as a final way to knowledge 
and unity in Christ, believing that it led to the fur- 
ther fragmentation of Christianity, rather than its 
unity. There was left the New Testament, and this 
was seen as our earliest and best source of informa- 
tion about the center of Christian loyalty and unity. 


Our first theme, then, has been unity in Christ — ^the 
Christ, not of the creeds, or of the Church as an 
ecclesiastical institution, or of personal religious 
experience, but the Christ of the New Testament. 

This is an everlastingly true insight. In his ex- 
cellent book. The Man Christ Jesus, John Knox says 
that — 

"The Christian community carries the mem- 
ory of Jesus deep in its heart. It carries much 
else in its heart, but nothing more certainly 
than that . . . Indeed, one might almost define 
the church as the Community which remembers 
To define the church as "the Community that re- 
members Jesus" is an ideal congenial to Disciple 
thought, /et it does not go quite far enough. For 
there is always the danger that the Church may not 
remember the true Jesus, but a figment of its own 
imagination. It is not difiicult to show that this 
has actually happened, — during the days of the In- 
quisition and its horrors, or the preachers who pre- 
sented arms in such ridiculous fashion in World 
War I, for instance. The final check on these tragic 
lapses of memory must be the New Testament. It 
can be misconstrued, no one person perfectly inter- 
prets it, everyone reads into it something of their 
own experiences and desires, but it remains as the 
best standard of measurement of what is true to 
Christ that we have. It is significant that we have 
been a "Bible people" — and rightly so, not because 
we worshipped or idolized the Bible, but because 
the Bible told us about Christ. This can be seen 
in the simple confession of faith that we have made 
requisite for Church membership — faith not in the 
Bible, but in the "Christ, the Son of God," which 
the Bible tells us about. It may be also seen in our 
popular slogan, "No creed but Christ." Some have 


objected that this slogan is too creedal, and that it 
involves theological speculation. If so, it is a kind 
of irreducible minimum of creed and theology that 
is necessary as a basis for Christian unity and fel- 
lowship. The experience of the ecumenical move- 
ment would seem to bear this out, as the World 
Council of Churches of Christ has adopted as the 
basis for their constitution a similar confession of 
faith. In this, they were simply echoing what our 
backwoods preachers were saying along the Ameri- 
can frontier over 100 years ago. Dr. Garrison, in 
the book mentioned above, says — 

"They had not begun with the desire to be a 
distinct religious body and become a 'great 
people' but with the purpose of uniting all 
Christians upon the basis of loyalty to Christ."^ 
It is quite possible that we were the first church to 
make this simple plea. Certain it is that to find 
unity in personal loyalty to Christ is a part of the 
New Testament message which had been neglected 
for centuries. And it seems certain, too, that this 
idea is even older than the New Testament, for- 
before there were churches, or a New Testament, 
before there were creeds or sacraments, there was 
a supreme loyalty to Jesus as the Christ. This is 
the only necessary basis for Christian fellowship 
and unity. And the Church cannot give this up. As 
Dr. Knox has said, it would be like denying one's 
birth. To do this would be to cease to exist as a 
Church. It is possible, and even desirable, to have 
fellowship with all kinds and conditions of men,— 
agnostics, skeptics, and atheists, as well as members 
of other religions (and it might well be a rich and 
rewarding fellowship), but it would not be a Chris- 
tian fellowship without a faith in Christ at its heart. 
Thus we have tried to show that the first part of 

^W. E. Garrison and A. T. DeGroot, The Disciples; p. 420. 


our great plea — to restore the lost unity of the 
church by calling for unity in Jesus as the Christ 
is still relevant and valid. 

The second major theme of the Disciples has been 
the restoration of the faith and practice of the New 
Testament. There are several things that may be 
said in a very negative way about this idea. First, 
it most certainly was not a new idea. In fact, it is 
practically impossible to find a protestant denomina- 
tion that didn't begin with the desire to restore the 
New Testament church. Wyclif, Hus, the Anabap- 
tists, Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, Knox, and Wesley all 
thought that they were being true to the New Testa- 
ment. Second, our founding fathers were undoubt- 
edly wrong in assuming that men are going to agree 
on what the New Testament says. They shared in 
this mistaken notion with most of the great Re- 
formers. Luther at first was confident that the 
Bible, the open Bible, was all that was necessary to 
liberate men from error in religion, and was amazed 
and shocked to discover the doctrines that men could 
apparently find in the Bible. To explain this phe- 
nomenon is not in the province of this paper. Let 
it be sufficient to point out that Eastern Orthodox, 
Roman Catholic, Anglican, Calvinistic, Methodist, 
Lutheran, Baptist, and Pentecostal churches all 
quote Scriptures to show that they are practicing 
the ordinances and sacraments of the New Testa- 
ment church, and the Quakers apparently quote 
Scripture to show that ordinances and sacraments 
were not important to the early Christian fellowship ! 

Nevertheless, when all of this has been said, I 
want to take my stand with those who say that our 
devotion to the New Testament and our desire to 
recapture its message and spirit has not been a 
mistake. The New Testament tells a story that 
cannot be matched for beauty, or power, or truth, in 


he writings of any other religion or culture any- 
.v^here on the face of the earth. One can see this 
, bjectively in the influence of the Bible on any 
^■iulture in which it is read and studied, and one can 
prove this subjectively in the laboratory of his own 
inner life. And there remains the plain historical 
fact that the Bible is our primary source of informa- 
tion about Christ. It is impossible to separate 
loyalty to Christ from loyalty to the New Testa- 
ment, because in its words, and behind its words 
we dimly perceive, as through a glass darkly, the 

"The Word of God" 

hy W. B. Blakemore, Chicago, Illinois 

Some months ago, I wrote that one of the errors 
of fundamentalism is the misidentification of the 
term "Word of God" with the Scriptures, whereas 
the term is rightfully identified with Jesus Christ. 
Mr. Lloyd Channels of Flint, Michigan, wrote that 
he would appreciate some further discussion upon 
this matter. To enter upon such discussion is to 
resurrect an old debate within our movement, a de- 
bate quiescent for a generation. But the issue is 
fundamental. From my own point of view, the per- 
sisting tendency among our people to equate "The 
Word of God" with the Bible is not a benign error, 
but a malignant one. The roots of the Disciple 
tendency to misidentify the "Word of God" with 
the Bible lie in the popular Protestant usage of the 
last three hundred years. The expression, for most 
Protestants, has usually meant the Scriptures. 
However, time after time, critically minded Protes- 
tants have pointed out the error of this popular 
usage. Despite their admonitions, the customary 


habit of speech has remained. Only occasionally 
within the annals of Christian thought, has i 
prominent leader condoned, and even encourage* 
by what he wrote, this popular tendency. Such a 
one was Alexander Campbell. This is an unfortu- 
nate fact for the Disciples. At this point, Camp- 
bell not only stands in contrast to the bulk of criti- 
cal Protestant thought; he even stands in contrast 
to the Bible itself. The worst aspect of Campbell's 
error is that with full consciousness of the fact that 
it is not scriptural usage to identify the Word of 
God with "the Scriptures" he proceeded to express 
himself in terms which condone that usage. He 
who would argue that equating Bible and Word 
of God is an error cannot look to the Sage of Beth- 
any for much support. 

The Biblical meanings of the term "Word of God" 
are four or five. The most primitive of these seems 
to be the meaning that lies behind such a state- 
ment as, "And God said, 'Let there be light,' and 
there was lieht." The primitive conception of deity 
was one in which there was no hiatus between God's 
utterance and the accomplishment of his will. What 
God says is from this point of view, that which 
God acco^Tiplishes is equal with his words; God's 
acts and his utterances are equally expressive of his 
will and intention. The second meaning of the term 
"word of God" is those statements of a prophetic 
nature which were said to be uttered by God to 
certain men at different moments of history. In a 
sense they were equally actions because the given 
words of God were accomplished. Thirdly, and this 
is the central meaning, the Word of God is that 
which God has done supremely, and that which 
he has sunremply done is the sending of the Christ. 
The best illustration of this usage of the term is 
to be found in the prologue to the gospel of John. 


"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word 
was with God, and the Word was God . . . and the 
Word became flesh and dwelt among us." A fourth 
meaning of the term is "that which God has prom- 
ised," or "the promises of God." The "active" 
meaning, which is fundamental to the term, has 
here taken on a future sense, but it still refers to 
that which God accomplishes, or will accomplish. 
The fifth meaning of the term is "the gospel," or 
the good news about what God has done through 
Christ. What is here meant by the term "gospel" 
is not the record about Christ as written according 
to one or another reporter, but the fact itself. How- 
ever, since the term "gospel" may mean either the 
fact itself that is good news, or the recording of 
that fact as given by Matthew, Mark, Luke, or 
John, it is possible to slide into the habit of equat- 
ing the term "Word of God" with both these mean- 
ings of the term "gospel," whereas it is properly 
to be equated only with the first. 

The tragedy of our Disciple situation is that Alex- 
ander Campbell understood all these distinctions. 
But he allowed the last mentioned thing to happen ; 
he allowed his readers to elide the two meanings 
of the term "gospel" with the term "Word of God" 
and confirmed their tendencies to uncritical bibli- 
cism. But let the words of Campbell himself reveal 
him in this regard. 

In the third issue of the Millenial Harbinger, Vol. 
I, No. 3, pp. 124-128 Campbell published his essay 
entitled "The Voice of God and the Word of God : 
The Gospel Now the Word of God." Following are 
some sentences from the essay : 

Words and phrases which, in the Jewish writings, were 
used in a more general sense, are, in the New Institu- 
tion, used in an appropriated sense. Thus, while the 
term Christ was generally applied to all the anointed 
ones in the Jewish age, it is in the apostolic writings 


exclusively appropriated to the Saviour. The phrase 
"Word of God," is used in a like restricted sense in 
the apostolic writings. From the ascension of Jesus 
it is appropriated to denote the glad tidings concern- 
ing Jesus. This is its current acceptation; so that out 
of thirty-four times which it occurs, from Pentecost 
to the end of the volume, it thirty times obviously re- 
fers to the gospel. On three occasions it is applied to 
the literal voice of God at Creation and the Deluge, 
and once to him who is in his own person the Word 
of God. But What I wish to note here is that it is never 
applied to any writing or speech from the day of Pente- 
cost but to the gospel or proclamation of mercy to the 
human race. The previous writings given to the Jews 
are not called the word of God now, because this 
phrase has in it the idea of the present command and 
will of God. . . . 

. . .The voice of God spoke the universe into being 
from the womb of nothing. The same voice recreates the 
soul of man, and the same voice will awaken the dead 
at the last day. 

There is no possibility of arguing against Camp- 
bell's position that in its New Testament usage the 
term "Word of God" refers most frequently to "the 
gospel." But against Campbell it must be pointed 
out that in New Testament usage the term "gospel" 
never meant the New Testament or some part of 
it — how could it when none of the New Testament 
books were yet written — but meant Christ and the 
news about him. In apostolic times, the term gospel 
pointed, not to a group of writings, nor even to the 
literal voice of God, but to "him who in his own 
person is the Word of God," to use Campbell's own 

The main contention of Campbell's argument de- 
pends upon the idea that the spoken word of God 
(The Voice of God) has now been replaced by a 
written (the Bible) Word of God. The fantasy of 
this way of thought lies in the fact that there never 
was a literally spoken (uttered by a voice) Word of 


God in the first place which could be replaced by 
a literally written (pen to paper) Word of God in 
the second place. The Word of God was not origi- 
nally a speech, much less a document; it was an 
enactment in history. The ancient Hebrews looked 
upon the Exodus as something that God had ac- 
complished and called it a word of God. The 
Christians looked upon Jesus Christ as the decisive 
action of God, and called HIM the Word of God. 

In our own day there have been several move- 
ments of thought which have sought to recapture 
this New Testament meaning of the term "Word 
of God." Such an effort has been one of the values 
of biblical criticism, and it is preserved in both 
liberalism and neo-orthodoxy. The neo-orthodox 
are quite helpful at this point. Those who feel that 
this movement is just a sophisticated fundamental- 
ism should become familiar with their discussions 
of the Word of God. For them, the Bible is no long- 
er the infallible point of reference. They turn to 
Christ. Several of the neo-orthodox slogans seek to 
make this point clear. Hence they speak of Christ 
the "the Word within the word." The second "word" 
in this phrase refers to the Scriptures — in line 
with popular Protestant usage — but the important 
point of reference is the Word, the Christ who is 
reported about in the Scriptures. But it is not the 
report which is all important. For neo-orthodoxy, 
the Scriptures must be subjected to all possible and 
relevant criticism in order to make sure that we 
get behind the written words of Scripture to the 
Living Word which is Christ. 

Why did Campbell state the case as he did? It 
must be remembered that Campbell was writing in 
a particular moment of history, seeking to combat 
certain religious abuses of his own time. Among 
those abuses was that kind of spiritualism, or re- 


ligious enthusiasm, indulg-ed in by men who claimed 
that they had been vouchsafed an individual and 
special "word of God." In seeking to combat this 
individualism and the divisiveness inherent with- 
in it, Campbell sought to restrict the norms for a 
Christian to some objective and immediately avail- 
able reference. For this purpose he selected the 
Bible. He wanted to deny the possibility that any- 
one could claim a special visitation from the Holy 
Spirit. Consequently he developed his well known 
theory that the one and only agency of the Holy 
Spirit today is the Bible, the Bible read or preached 
so that men might hear and believe. He went so 
far as to say that the Spirit never acted apart from 
the Word, by which Tie meant that the Spirit acts 
only in, through, and by the Bible. All of this was 
consistent with his Lockean philosophy with its 
sensationalist epistemology, but it was not true to 
the religious experience of Christianity. Camp- 
bellites were still debating the matter at the turn 
of the century — and now we raise the issue again. 
The fundamental error in Campbell's point of 
view is one instance of a general type of error. It 
consists in mistaking one of the expressional forms 
of Christianity for its central fact. The central fact 
of Christianity is Jesus Christ. By virtue of the 
historic stimulus provided by that central fact a 
religion develops. Like all other well developed re- 
ligions, Christianity expresses itself in four major 
types of formulation : ecclesiastical societies, ritual, 
writings, and a moral code. To mistake one of these 
four for the central fact is to mistake an outward 
form for the invigorating activity of God. To as- 
sert that the church is the one form which gives 
true expression to the central fact is to adopt ec- 
clesiasticism. To assert that a particular way of 
worship is the adequate expression of the initial 


fact is to adopt ritualism. To assert that some par- 
ticular morality does it is to espouse moralism. To 
assert that a particular group of writings, namely 
the Bible, is the entire, adequate and infallible ex- 
pression of the central fact of our religion is to 
adopt biblicism. As between these four errors there 
is little choice in the long run. Protestant biblicism 
in its earlier days may have corrected the errors 
of Roman ecclesiasticism. But after a while the 
errors of biblicism work their havoc and have to 
be corrected. During the last century there were 
two popular alternatives to Protestant biblicism. 
One was the ritualism represented in such a move- 
ment as Anglo-Catholicism ; the other was a moral- 
ism which won considerable popularity in America, 
the Ethical Culture Society being its finest expres- 
sion, though it typified also much of Unitarianism. 
The Disciples were not much affected by either of 
these movements, popular as they were, but per- 
sisted by and large in their Campbellite biblicism. 
Biblicism of the type into which Alexander Camp- 
bell and many of his followers fell is ultimately just 
as reprehensible as papalism or ecclesiasticism, or 
ritualism, or moralism. None of them suflfice to give 
expression to the fulness of Christ, to the Living 
Word of God which is operative in history now — 
and has been from the beginning. Let him who 
would truly identify and understand the idea of the 
"Word of God" return to the prologue of John's 
gospel and ponder it until its perfectly plain lan- 
guage has become crystal clear to him. 


Our Needs in Research 

Howard E. Short, The College of the Bible 

Our Needs in Research as Pointed up by the 
Garrison-DeGroot Book 

I want to throw out some suggestions of fields for 
research that are apparent, in the light of what 
has been done in this book. Some of them may 
be day-dreams. You can be the judges about that. 

One never knows how much unexplored territory 
there is, until he gets lost a few times. The only 
way it will all be charted is for individuals to parcel 
out the lot, and spend a lifetime on small areas, 
probably as a hobby. (At least I wouldn't count 
on retiring on the royalties, just yet.) It must be 
a directed and purposeful hobby. Sometimes we 
can throw out suggestions and get takers. Semi- 
nary professors especially, ought not to be too 
fearful of casting their pearls before swine. It's 
surprising what results you get sometimes. 

1. State Histories. 

We have already referred to the dearth of prima- 
ry source materials in this field. Some things are 
being done. We all await Henry Shaw's work on 
Ohio, the manuscript of which looked fine several 
years ago. I have a student working on Northeast 
Georgia. A fellow in Texas is working on the whole 
of Georgia. Last summer I sent another student 
to the Christian Board to work on some Georgia 
material they had, to try to get it ready for show- 
ing. Something will come out of all this. Mac- 
Donald out in Liberty, Missouri, has the Phares 
diary from Mississippi, and ought to work on the 
interest which he now has. There must be many 
other cases. There is room for an interpretative 
history of the work in many states, on the same lines 


of the Garrison-DeGroot book. 

2. The Churches of Christ. 

Here the material is even more illusive — and the 
scope is fast becoming the whole world. My inform- 
ant this week told me that there are "thriving" 
congregations in Munich, Frankfort, Berlin, and 
Rome. In Texas they are building "everything from 
plain, modest little $10,000 chapels, to $400,000 
buildings." I attempted a study on "The emergence 
of the Churches of Christ out of the general reform 
movement instigated by Alexander Campbell and 
others," for my B.D. thesis. It was lots of fun, for 
I had just completed the American church history 
course and neither the Disciples of Christ nor the 
Churches of Christ were even mentioned in class 
lectures ! 

When the authors remarked that the Churches 
of Christ are not completely written off (p. 406) , 
they also said that the reader could reflect about 
the matter. By letting me do that, they let me 
differ from their conclusion, for my conclusions 
after twenty years of casual study are, that if the 
language is to be taken in its normal usage and 
the situation viewed in the customary way, then 
we are completely separated — as separately as we 
are from the Baptists. Well, what I started out to 
say was, that most any research about the Churches 
of Christ is a needed addition to church history. 

3. The Independent Movement within the 

About three decades, or maybe a little more, have 
gone by now since this situation became tense. If 
I understand the genesis of American denomina- 
tions, something very familiar is going on in our 
ranks. Again, I would like to be purely historical 
about it, if that were possible. Now is the time 
to be collecting materials and information. In an- 


other quarter of a century, our historians will have 
to record what has happened. And unless we make 
better progress at it, we won't have anything to 
work with, in the way of materials. Tentative 
studies, short papers, even B.D. theses ought to be 
written in increasing numbers. If students could 
be discouraged from writing so many apologetics 
in the field, and urged into straight historical re- 
search, we would get some more studies like a few 
that have been made, 

4. The Real Relations of James O'Kelly, Abner 
Jones, and Elias Smith to our Movement 

This may be one of my dreams. Every one of 
our histories starts out with them or soon gets to 
them. In varying degrees they point out their in- 
fluence upon, or relation to, our movement. I've 
had a notion for some time that their relation to 
us was largely that of the general church scene, 
and that although we had some ideas in common, 
they are hardly ancestors of ours. They belong to 
that portion of the Christian Convention in the 
United States (now a part of the Congregational- 
Christian church) which was beyond our range, to 
the East. 

I know research is needed in this matter — for 
what we have hasn't settled my mind, and I have 
a right to more information! 

5. The Influence of Later Camp Meetings on our 

This may be a dream, too. But we usually find 
Stone visiting the camp meetings in the Green 
River country; coming back and sponsoring the 
Cane Ridge revival; then we drop them from the 
story. A fellow was telling me last week that he 
had found that camp meetings had considerable 
influence in Missouri in later days. Maybe some- 
body could waste away his idle hours on this. 


6. A History of our Missionary Movement. 
No sketch of this work in a general history can 

suffice now. Neither is the working material put 
out by the Board staff sufficient. A history (in the 
ordinary connotation of that word) is now needed. 
Remember our foreign missionary enterprise is 
a hundred years old, too. 

The "Survey of Service" has now become of age, 
having been published in 1928, and it would wel- 
come a little brother — or son. It is essentially a 
handbook anyway, not an interpretative history. 

7. The Period of Adjustment. 

A friend has set me to thinking. He pointed 
out that a biographical study of the times of J. H. 
Garrison and Isaac Errett would be a great con- 
tribution to our literature, because we haven't given 
ample study to that generation. Even now, it's 
often a case of the twentieth century looking back 
to the founding fathers — and overlooking the years 
of adjustment, roughly 1866-1906. I think there is 
something valid here; but don't let anyone take 
off on a study of it — for I may want to do that 

8. The Ministry. 

Here, I can't quite explain what I mean, except 
by telling you what we have been doing. As a 
project in statistical correlation and in personal 
biography, I have assigned various periods of time 
to students, and asked them to study the College 
of the Bible graduates in that period. One man 
studied our class of 1922 (the class of Hampton 
Adams, Lawrence Ashley, John Barclay, A. C. 
Brooks, Ernest Ford, Benton Miller, and several 
other famous men). He charted their wanderings 
as recorded in the year books, and a score of other 
factors. I haven't time to explain how interesting 


it really was. Another man studied all the men 
who had come from Georgia to us, and all who went 
to a Georgia pastorate. Think of the questions that 
can be answered — if it were possible to do this long 
enough, to make it national in scope, and covering 
a half-century or more. I believe we Disciples know 
less about the past, present and future of our 
ministry than any group I know. I think history 
could teach us some valuable lessons if we would 

9. Autobiographies. 

It must be because I have passed forty, but I 
like personal reminiscences more and more. What 
if they are "colored," either by a lack of modesty 
or by too much modesty. They give us historical 
materials that nothing can duplicate. The men are 
still living who know and have participated in our 
ups and downs of this century. Think what it would 
have meant, if H. O. Pritchard would have left 
an extended account of his friendship and con- 
versations with Daniel Sommer. But he didn't. 
Think of the rise of the independent movement, 
the Louisville Plan, the beginnings of the Federal 
Council, the birth and death of the College of 
Missions, the beginnings of comity and union work 
in Asia, the heresy trial in Lexington. Do you think 
anyone ever scratches the surface, when he writes a 
"history" of these events? 

In this matter I am performing a definite task — 
partially by refraining from writing my own biog- 
raphy, but mostly by keeping after Dr. Stephen J. 
Corey to write his. (I threaten to write his biogra- 
phy every once in a while, and that starts him off 
again.) Really, if he will write like he can talk 
to our students, calmly, without anger or boasting, 
just telling details about committee meetings and 
correspondence, which could never get in print 


otherwise, it will be a great historical contribution. 
Needless to say the picture of his life would be 
prized, beyond its historical value. 

10. Ecumenical Biography. 

It is time for some more study on the relation 
of our leaders to this vast twentieth century under- 
taking, from Peter Ainslie, F. D. Powers, and J. 
M. Philputt, down to our present representatives 
to the World Council. A study of our relationship 
to this movement specifically, without including 
all our early thoughts about unity, would be worth- 

This is a list of ten proposals. Do with them 
what you will. 


Now for a few words of conclusion, and I think 
I can be finished in less than the time allotted to 

There are two little things that I must say, that 
just wouldn't fit anywhere. One is, that all the 
Atlantic Christian students that we get at the Col- 
lege of the Bible keep complaining to me because 
their institution isn't mentioned in the book. It 
is queer that that is the only one of the institutions 
that escaped all of us. I remember looking on the 
galley-proof to be sure that Eureka, Hiram, and 
the College of the Bible were well displayed! 

The other matter is that I want to commend 
Dean Blakemore's review of the book in the Janu- 
ary issue of the "Scroll". I hid it so I wouldn't be 
copying too much. I do remember one thing I 
wanted to disagree with; perhaps that's why I 
mention it at all. Dr. Blakemore commended the 
authors for not having any footnotes. I charge 
them with gross neglect ! That's the frosting on the 
cake, footnotes. Don't you just revel in Principal 
Robinson's footnotes, in the "Biblical Doctrine of 


the Church". It sort of permits the "student" to 
share the secrets of the author's mind, while the 
hoi polloi just race along, reading the text. 

This is a great book, and I hope my sprawling 
around over it hasn't dimmed your resolves to 
return to it over and over again. Having finished, 
I turn back to the Christian^Evangelist of Decem- 
ber 29, 1948, and notice that my opinion has 
changed regarding the state histories a little bit. 
But I still agree with the lead sentence: "This is 

Theology^s Scylla and Charybdis 

(Continued from September 1948 Scroll) 
By Oliver Read Whitley, New Haven, Conn. 
The danger of making generalizations is apparent. 
Recognizing this danger, I am bound to say that I 
cannot agree that "the basic issue raised by neo- 
orthodoxy is the problem of religious knowledge," 
and that differences in view about "the nature of 
God, man, sin, salvation, and the like might be 
resolved if it were not for the differences at this 
point."^ In the discussions which I have heard and 
participated in, and in the representative literature 
on the subject which I have read, the problem of 
religious knowledge has not assumed the paramount 
place in the argument. Many differences in em- 
phasis might be straightened out if the two groups 
could agree on this question of knowledge; but I 
doubt very much if all of them would be resolved in 
this way. The place of temperament in this picture 
cannot be over-emphasized. 

Personally I am impatient with both parties to 
this dispute. I have heard neo-orthodox adherents 
sneeringly remark about the fact that John K. is 
a liberal — always talking about ideals, and drool- 
ing sentimentally about the kingdom of God. I 

5 IHd, pp. 23-24. 


have heard liberals disdainfully remarking that Dick 
N, believes in neo-orthodoxy — you know, all that 
stuff about original sin and total depravity; he 
can't possibly have any ideals because he thinks it 
is futile to try to do anything about social problems. 
Much of the discussion that is bandied back and 
forth in this vein does not deal with differences of 
view about the sources of knowledge; it has to do 
with the differences between "once-born and twice- 
born temperaments," between optimistic and pessi- 
mistic outlooks, and between renaissance and refor- 
mation attitudes about man's purposes and God's 

There are values in both approaches, which can- 
not be vitiated by building semantic bon-fires under 
thinkers whose view we do not share. To be told, 
for example, that the liberal is naive, full of illusions, 
has too much faith in reason and science, and is 
still dominated by the eighteenth century idea of 
progress, is somewhat annoying. To a certain ex- 
tent, this description is true, but as an attempt to 
discredit the liberal approach it is not, and can 
never be successful. The real liberal is not neces- 
sarily naive and sentimental. Professor Perry has 
pointed out this fact. "Men will never be," he says, 
"so innocently hopeful as they were at the close of 
the nineteenth century. They will never again ex- 
pect Utopia to be the instant and spontaneous effect 
of a cult of reason, or of the advancement of the 
physical sciences, or of the adoption of constitutions. 
They are unlikely to put their trust in a providential 
entity called Progress."® 

The argument that the liberals are too naive and 
sentimental seems to miss the real point. What 
they are after, it seems, is to keep alive man's sense 
that he has a great responsibility for much that 
happens to him, that he cannot throw everything 

guard Press, 1944). 


into the hands of God and rest upon his laurels. 
They seem to be telling us that freedom and re- 
sponsibility are intellectual and moral necessities; 
that if there is a Creator behind this human ad- 
venture he intends for us to discover and realize 
certain purposes and values. The liberals continue 
to remind us, through such voices as that of Mar- 
garet Mead, that our sojourn on earth is in part 
characterized by the goals and purposes which we 
set for ourselves. "In most of the civilizations of 
which we have record, man had an alibi for not 
using his mind ; the world was as God had made it 
and willed it to be ; balances were righted in heaven ; 
Fate or Chance or the order of the universe were 
responsible. . . . Only in those societies which shifted 
success from heaven to earth . . . could we have a 
type of character in which it became a virtue to 
do the kind of thinking that lies behind invention, 
... to set problems and solve them."^ 

The liberal temperament is a needed weapon in 
the fight against fear and despair. People are con- 
fused and bewildered ; they need so desperately to 
believe that human life has possibilities beyond 
those which have been revealed in atomic bombs 
and bacteriological warfare. They need to recover 
from the shock of finding out once again that man 
can be bestial, that he can kill and steal and lie, 
and maim. Some light must be made to shine in 
the darkness. Some way must be found to get be- 
yond our realization of the depths of depravity of 
which the human soul is capable. We have heard 
enough of war; perhaps it is time now to talk of 
peace, and love, and forgiveness; of cleaning up 
the ruins of the world, of rebuilding factories, 
homes and cathedrals. The liberal points to some- 
thing real and vital when he insists that man, 
no matter how depraved he is must in some sense 
assume a mature responsibility for his own prob- 
lems. Turning them all over to God is much too 



simple. For what we have done there is scarcely 
any excuse; and we stand in need of God's grace 
in this respect. But this is no reason for washing 
our hands of the matter. The need of GocT s mercy 
ought to lead us to a prayerful assumption of re- 
sponsibility, and not to childish excuses. 

The controversy between liberalism and neo- 
orthodoxy places us between Scylla and Charybdis. 
There are things to be learned from both sides of 
the issue ; each points to valuable insights. But be- 
tween sentimental illusions, on the one hand, and 
enervating pessimism on the other, there is little 
to choose. Liberalism, in its extreme form, leads 
easily to premature disillusionment, when a man 
discovers that his dreams do not come true; neo- 
orthodoxy, carried to its logical conclusions, leads 
to inertia and do-nothing-ism, on the grounds that 
it is useless to try. Our most pressing need in re- 
ligious matters is to find a middle-ground. 

The Pious Unimmersed 

From Garrison's and DeGroot's History 

Here in brief and impartial statements are in- 
teresting facts about this question. It appears that 
this question has been with the Disciples from the 
first. See page 389. "The Brush Run Church of 
1809 had few immersed believers — and had a hu- 
man creed." "Alexander Campbell, in his reply to 
the Lunenburg letter, insisted that the unimmersed 
were Christians and later demonstrated a consistent 
willingness to commune with them." 

"In the August, 1945, issue of the Millennial 
Harbinger, Dr. Hook of Georgia reported six ad- 
ditions, one a Methodist Protestant, whom he did 
not immerse. Nothing seems to have been done 
about this recrudescence of the earlier practice of 
Barton W. Stone." 


"Dr. L. L. Pinkerton in 1869 emerged as the first 
true 'liberal' among the reformers, arguing not only 
for the admission of the uniramersed but also against 
the prevailing doctrine of the inerrancy of the 
Bible." P. 390. 

"J. S. Lamar wrote in the Christian Quarterly 
for April, 1873, on, 'The Basis of Christian Union,' 
contending that actual fellowship and union would 
have to be 'formed irrespective of our differences,' 
because as a consequent of Christian union, agree- 
ment may be reached; a^ its antecedent never." 
P. 390. 

"W. T. Moore seems to have been the first to 
make definite church membership provisions for 
the uhimmersed." Christian Quarterly (New Series, 
1897-1899) P. 391. 

"J. A. Lord, later editor of the Christian Stand- 
ard, argued before the Missouri Christian Lecture- 
ship of 1885 in favor of the program of W. T. 
Moore." P. 392. 

In 1948, the authors estimate "that about 500 
churches practice open membership openly or quiet- 
ly. In addition, a number of churches near colleges 
and universities (14 may be fairly accurate) re- 
ceive the unimmersed as student members." P. 440. 

"Even among those ministers who do not practice 
open membership, there is a very large number of 
those who are restrained from it by considerations 
of expediency only, not by conviction." P. 440. 



Persistent Loyalty 

E. S. Ames 

(For Campbell Institute. Night Session. Cincinnati. 
October 25, 1949.) 

We face today the most confused world we have 
ever seen in the 53 years of the history of the Camp- 
bell Institute. Our own members have been influ- 
enced by the cross currents of liberalism, humanism, 
neo-orthodoxy, ecumenicity, and practical activities 
which tempt us to side-step all doctrinal issues. 

The Disciples of Christ once had a "plea" which 
all of us knew by heart and proclaimed with con- 
fidence and zest. But our college and seminary 
graduates have become less certain of the old slogans, 
and are much more hesitant in declaring "the true 
faith" in union meetings and in the presence of 
other faiths. Even O'ur advocacy of Christian union 
seems to become inconsistent when we try to present 
the familiar five-finger exercise of Walter Scott. The 
third finger, or whichever one it is that stands for 
baptism, seems to have suffered paralysis, and some 
have therefore concluded that the whole hand of Dis- 
ciple doctrine has lost its punch. 

I do not share this conclusion nor this tendency. 
Perhaps it is fitting on this centennial occasion to 
indicate some of the strong points of the Disciple 
position today in spite of many changes in biblical 
scholarship and in the religious climate of all 
protestant churches. Changes in biblical scholarship 
may be illustrated by improved translations, and 
by more adequate dating of the writings of both the 
Old and New Testaments. The changes in the climate 
of religious thought may be seen in the widespread 


concern in all kinds of churches for cooperation and 
other experimental forms of union. 

The first and most important point of Disciple 
teaching has always been the exaltation of Jesus 
Christ to the central object of faith. All churches 
make faith in him and love for him supreme as the 
first condition for sharing their fellowship. The Dis- 
ciples have been unique in this, since they have in- 
sisted that no other belief or action is of equal im- 
portance. It has always been regarded as not re- 
quired or allowed to demand of a candidate for 
Christian fellowship that he declare his thoughts 
or convictions on any creedal doctrines. The can- 
didate might be free, and feel free, to declare 
his ideas about any of the familiar doctrines usu- 
ally given in the well known creeds and confessions 
of faith, but it was not demanded. 

The Disciples have always held that the new con- 
vert's faith in Christ, and understanding of him is 
necessarily limited and imperfect. He is a "babe in 
Christ" and must grow in appreciation and compre- 
hension of the goodness and greatness of Christ. 
What the candidate shall believe about Christ is not 
so much a question of his humility and docility as 
it is of his capacity and instruction. The usual pro- 
cedure of all churches of the traditional types, from 
the Roman Catholic through Protestantism, is to 
set up elaborate doctrines and definitions of the be- 
ing and nature of Christ as the forms through which 
initial confessions of faith are to be made. Even 
where siuch formal confessions are not required it is 
expected that the substance of the faith will be 
expressed. Catechetical, and less scholastic methods 
intended for the same end as the catechism, are em- 
ployed to shape in advance the character of the 
confession to be made. 


The common practice of the Disciples from the 
beginning has been to receive persons on their pro- 
fession of a heart-felt desire to become followers of 
Christ. In evangelistic meetings it has been common 
to receive the confession of very young children, 
often less than ten years, of age. Many times it has 
been obvious that children of that age or younger 
were more influenced by the example of the children 
and by the emotional impulse created by the general 
excitement of a revival. It has been my observation 
that these small children have seldom been refused, 
or if some delay were effected in individual cases, 
it was thought the souls, of these individuals were 
not in the least in jeopardy since they were already 
safe because of their innocence in their tender years. 
In other words, children and others were welcomed 
because of their love for Jesus Christ, and not be- 
cause of the correctness of any theological opinion 
about Christ. 

Much the same attitude has prevailed among Dis- 
ciples concerning more mature converts. They have 
been accepted when they have been drawn to Christ 
by his love, by his sympathy for needy souls, by 
his outreaching compassion for all in distress, and 
by his friendly counsel and encouragement for all 
who cherished dreams of heroic ideals and unselfish 
service. The Disciples have never made the sense 
of sin a primary requisite for joining the company 
of Christ, though it has always been made clear 
that whoever, in the presence of Christ, felt him- 
self to be a sinner, would be impelled to renounce 
his evil ways and consecrate himself most sincere- 
ly and wholeheartedly to the better things made 
manifest to him in Christ. The Disciples have 
never taught the doctrine of original sin, or of 
human depravity. They have held to the presence 


of good in human nature, and to the possible de- 
velopment of more goodness in all of us. They have 
believed in the dignity and possibilities of human 

They have believed in the freedom of the will, 
or the freedom of personality. The call of Christ, 
"Come and follow me" is presented to all ages and 
conditions of men as if they could arise and follow 
him. There is no hint that they are unable to do 
so. There is no suggestion of a Calvinistic fate, 
or doctrine of election, paralyzing their first step. 
It is the challenge of an urgent and persuasive call 
to action. It is as elemental as withholding the hand 
from flame, or seizing food to eat. Every day says : 
"See, I have set before thee this day life and good, 
and death and evil . . . therefore choose life." 

The Disciples have grown up, as a religious body, 
in circumstances which have led them to place 
great stress on this attitude of voluntary choice. 
It is part of their inheritance socially, politically, 
and religiously. On the frontier in pioneer days, 
they were schooled to enterprise, initiative, and in- 
dependence. They believed that the Lord helps those 
who help themselves. In these and many other 
things they stood in striking contrast to the prevail- 
ing types of religion that were brought to America 
by other churches. They could not be good Calvin- 
ists. They were not docile conformists to any of 
the old rituals or ecclesiasticisms. Loyalty to Jesus 
Christ was the vital center and heart of their re- 
ligion. And this loyalty was not shaped by any one 
of the current religious moulds. This sense of per- 
sonal and moral freedom in their interpretation 
and practice of Christianity did not presuppose any 
humanly formed tradition, any more than did their 
political life, or the scale of their economic life. In 


the older societies of Europe and Asia, occupations 
were largely decided for individuals by inheritance. 
Similarly marriage was predetermined within 
narrow ranges by birth and station. 

The idea of progress. Another common-sense 
conviction of the Disciples — not yet "debauched by 
metaphysics" is that some progress is possible in 
the affairs men set their hearts on, including mat- 
ters of religion. The farmer normally believes that 
seed will grow from good soil, and that it will bear 
fruit after its kind if properly cared for. Whole- 
some teachers lead children and youth into greater 
knowledge and wisdom. Salesmen are convinced 
that progress can be achieved in creating a demand 
for a useful article by clever and insistent adver- 
tising. Every magazine and newspaper is alive 
with invitations to you to improve your health, 
your comfort, your efficiency. Religious, ethical, 
cultural publications show ways and means of help- 
ing to make better human beings. The sciences and 
arts have made amazing headway ini the last three 
centuries. These gains to be sure, are in specific 
lines, but a single invention, like the printing press, 
or the steam engine, affects beneficially large areas 
of life at once and for good. 

It seems strange to be arguing these things be- 
fore intelligent and practical persons, buit there 
are intelligent and clever people in class rooms, 
theological seminaries, and pulpits, who have heard 
so much professedly learned talk about the futility 
and vanity and perversity of human nature that they 
have lost faith im progress and are confirmed pes- 

Such persons often assume that the defender of 
progress holds that progress is automatic and in- 
evitable and that it leads to perfection. Certainly 
progress is not automatic. It has to be planned. 


worked for, and paid for in many ways. Read the 
lives of Marconi, Edison, Pasteur, or Madam Cur- 
rie, to see what their success cost. You will read 
there also how tenuous and precarious the results 
seemed through long periods of search and experi- 
ment. Neither is perfection necessarily implied in 
any forward moving progress. Athletes do not 
compete to make perfect records. Their ambition 
is much more modest and simple than that. They 
are content "to break the record." Perfection is 
more likely to be a claim of salesmanship rather 
thaju of sober statement of fact. I have had great 
fun for many years with the manufacturer's label 
on the oil burner of a hot water heater. The label 
on that oil burner was. "Perfection number 62." 
The label implied an acknowledgment that the 
progress of the manufacturer had not reached per- 
fection. It was only number 62, but it felt so good 
that he called it New Perfection. 

Implicit in this problem of progress is another 
test question, and this the question whether human 
nature can be changed. The psychologist, the edu- 
cator, the salesman, and the advertiser and pro- 
moter say it can be changed. "Change" is a trick 
word here. A tree, going through the natural stages 
of its cycles may be said to be moving from one to 
another stage of its being, but it keeps its nature 
as a tree. A man does not lose his human nature 
in becoming a Christian. He may lose some traits of 
character which have long embarrassed him, and so 
far he is changed, but he is likely still to pass for 
the same person, the same man, the same citizen. 
When the study of the psychology of religion be- 
came a subject of inquiry at the beginning of this 
century, much attention was given to the nature 
of conversion. Some held it to be a sudden change, 
while others saw it as gradual growrth. The difR- 


cuity in such a controversy is not so much with the 
facts as with the theories with which the facts are 
approached and assessed. The prevailing opinion in 
theological circles is that human nature cannot be 
changed except by an act of divine grace. In other 
words by a miracle. The Disciples, in contrast, 
have believed that the heart could be changed by 
reason and suasion. This does not mean that 
changes can be made equally easily in all beliefs or 
doctrines, or in morals and social habits. 

In general, it may be said that certain systems of 
culture are more subject to change and progress 
than others. Religion is apt to be more rigid than 
politics, and styles of dress and manners are usually 
more flexible. Change in itself is not always desir- 
able, but the willingness to consider what seem to 
be useful changes, and to experiment with them in 
practical ways is important. As man becomes more 
experienced at the level of literacy and of technol- 
ogy, he attaches more importance to experimenta- 
tion. Civilization may be thought of as including the 
readiness to criticize prevailing ideas and methods 
of social behavior, and to undertake new ways which 
such reflection suggests. By such means it is 
thought possible to attach flexibility and adjust- 
ment to new conditions which seem conducive to 
growth and vital progress. In the religious world 
at the present time there are groups who conscious- 
ly seek growth through wisely controlled change, 
and there are groups which as deliberately and sin- 
cerely resist all efforts at change. 

This is the simple growth which the Disciples 
proclaim. The central fact is loyalty to Jesus Christ 
and his spirit. It assumes the freedom of human 
beings to follow him, and to adapt their attitudes 
and behavior to his way. It assumes the possibility 


of progress through continuing discipleship in spite 
of humaji imperfections. 

The fruits of this simple, common-sense religion 
have been among the religious marvels of the past 
century. It has gathered to itself vast numbers of 
searching hearts vi^ho welcomed its release from 
wornout, unintelligible theological systems into the 
freedom and peace of reasonable interpretations of 
the scriptures and of the religious life; who were 
inspired by feeling the opportunity and inspiration 
of working with Christ to draw men into his way, 
and who felt the thrill of vigorously making con- 
verts, building churches, establishing life-long 
friendships through their labors in extending 
through new ideas and methods a more satisfying 
and vital expression of the Christian religion. They 
believe that this undogmatic, creedless religion 
could bring new life to old churches, could vitalize 
the missionary cause of all peoples of the world, and 
could promote the cause of Christian union in the 
minds and hearts of all who entered into its spirit 
and participated in its practical works. 

The times in which we live are auspiciously ripe 
for a new and widespread appreciation of this sim- 
ple, yet profound interpretation of the religion of 
Jesus Christ. It seems to me particularly incumbent 
upon college men among Disciple ministers and 
laymen to make a new assessment of the resources 
and ideals of their religious position in relation to 
the conditions in which we live. It is amazing to 
witness the efforts of the traditional orthodox faiths 
endeavoring to satisfy the minds of modern men. 
How can the old orthodoxy or neo-orthodoxy hope 
to appeal to intelligent, educated Americans. Those 
orthodoxies are grounded in medieval conceptions 
of religion and philosophy. They spring from Euro- 
pean backgrounds which were never really aware 


of the philosophy of the Renaissance and the En- 
lightenment, that is, of 17th and 18th century- 

For those who are seeking reliable guidance out 
of the confusions arising from the old dogmatic sys- 
tems of Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, and 
modern purveyors of neo-orthodox paradoxes, I 
recommend the little book of Professor Whitehead, 
called Science and the Modern World, especially the 
ninth chapter on. Science and Philosophy. This 
book is on sale in all book stores and on news stands 
for 35 cents. It is a readable, critical, and illuminat- 
ing discussion of philosophy and religion in the main 
streams of human thought through the centuries 
down to the present time. Here one of the greatest 
minds shows the fallacies of scientific material- 
ism and the emergence of a vital religious faith 
for modern man. 

For all the distraught, yet wistful souls of our 
time, I also recommend as a tonic for courage and 
faith the work and writings of Albert Schweitzer. 
Turning from assured success in the several fields 
where he had already won distinction in Europe, 
he followed the call of Christ and human needs and 
buried himself in equatorial Africa to be a physician 
among the suffering natives. For thirty-six years 
he has stuck to his little hospital at Lambarene 
under most forbidding circumstances. After days 
of severe and exhausting toil with his patients, he 
regularly turned to his studies of Civilization and 
other profound problems affecting mankind. Pro- 
fessional and business correspondence grew upon 
him to burdensome proportions, but he never 
shirked the exhausting load. The story of his 
staggering, self-imposed duties seems incredible. 
His visit to Colorado last July to give the address 


on the 200th anniversary of Goethe's birth made Al- 
bert Schweitzer a Hving force and personality to 
hundreds of thousands of people who had scarcely 
heard of him before. From that visit great influ- 
'ences are radiating into every home, school, and 
church in this country from this unique, Christ-like 
missionary, so great and so humble. 

Every Disciple minister should feel obligated by 
the stream of thought to which he is most indebted 
to make himself aware of the background of the 
ideas which are put before him in much current 
theological writing. It would, of course, be absurd 
to refuse all consideration to any idea simply be- 
cause it comes from the far past, but it is equally 
absurd, and often more dangerous, to accept what- 
ever comes in the name of some great name of the 
past. It should put us on guard against some names 
that are most frequently found influential in cur- 
rent religious literature. We Disciples are fairly 
secure against John Calvin who made his system 
400 years ago, and against Martin Luther, also of 
the 16th century. Existentialism is a new name 
for a point of view which is claiming widespread 
attention among intellectuals today. This point of 
view is influenced by the Danish philosopher and 
literary light, Soren Kierkegaard, who lived from 
1813 to 1855. Other names often cited are Martin 
Heidegger (1889-) and Edmund Husserl (1859- 
1938), the founder of Phenomenology. The chrono- 
logical dates of these men are modern but their 
ideas are most strongly influenced by Aristotle, the 
Scholastics, Kant, and thinkers of that type. These 
thinkers cannot rightly be ignored but they are not 
likely to be so vital to Disciples in this twentieth 
century as would be Francis Bacon and his suc- 
cessors in English and American thought down to 
and including Alfred North Whitehead. 


The Disciples are not and never have been prima- 
rily interested in metaphysics nor in theology which 
is only a poor relation of metaphysics. The Dis- 
ciples have been most of all a biblical people. There- 
fore biblical history, with its varied imaginative 
literature has been a very vital concern which has 
often tempted them into misleading literalisms 
and legalisms. One of these conspicuous tempta- 
tions has been to try to make the book of Revela- 
tions a literal prophecy of the coming ages and of 
the end of the world and the final judgment. Bibli- 
cal history, the free flowing story of human aspira- 
tions, struggles and defeats in the endeavor to find 
fulfillment of hopes and alluring ideals. The one 
recurring figure hovering over Hebrew prophets 
and peoples has been that of a coming ruler, a 
mighty king, a prince of peace. Isaiah cries out! 

Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, 

And princes shall rule in justice. 

It was into this picture of a prince of peace that 
the personality and life of Jesus were fitted, not by 
metaphysical argument but rather by love and de- 
votion. He won his place on the heights of moral 
and spiritual grandeur by acclamation and affec- 
tion, rather than by intellectual analysis and cal- 
culated proofs of perfection. The greatness of Jesus 
was of the order of the power of the allegiance of 
the heart, and not of the order of mathematical mag- 
nitudes, or of logical demonstration. The greatness 
and grandeur of Jesus Christ can only be measured 
by the quality of love, not by the quantative scales 
of geometrical size and force. The beauty of a rose 
cannot be impressed upon a spectator by any dis- 
cussion, or dialectical argument, concerning its 
origin, or its habitat, or its age or its lineage. The 
beauty of the rose is grasped and understood only 
in the living experience of aesthetic love of beauty 


and fragrance. The same is true of the beauty 
of the Rose of Sharon, and the beauty of a white 
and noble soul. 

The fruitful use of the intellect is teleological or 
practical, not general or abstract. That is, it serves 
values or ends. These values or ends arise in the 
field of desire or will. Values are the ends sought 
by the will, and consist of the purposes, plans, hopes, 
and objects sought in the life process. They indi- 
cate the direction of action, of faith, of hope. It is 
the desire to find out the purposes of Christ and 
the means of realizing them that gives the drive 
to the Christian life, and sets the general problem 
for the thinking of a Christian. For the individual, 
the problem is how to be a better Christian. For 
society, or for the society called the church, the 
problem is to learn how to be more Christlike. Thus 
knowledge is a means, never an end in itself. 
Knowledge arises in the quest for grasping what 
should be done, and the best way to do what is 
needed to serve the ends desired. Knowledge is 
important in the Christian life, but it is not knowl- 
edge in itself or for itself. It is because so much 
of metaphysics and theology is concerned with ab- 
stract knowledge that it is impractical and useless 
for the religious life. This religious life is primarily 
a life of action directed by loving faith in Jesus 

It is at this point that the Disciples of Christ 
have made their victorious plea. They have mag- 
nified devotion to Jesus Christ as the center and 
height of their preaching to those not professed 
Christians, and the basis of their appeal to those 
already Christians in profession, to work for the 
union of all Christian people in the one great cause 
of advancing the highest possible realization of this 
practical devotion to Christ throughout the world. 


The Disciples have been seriously devoted to the 
quest for knowledge but it has been for knowledge 
of the scriptures and for knowledge of Jesus Christ 
and of his qualities of mind and heart. They have 
not concerned themselves with theology because 
they have thought other kinds of knowledge con- 
cerning the Christian life were more vital and ap- 
pealing to enlightened, thoughtful people than 
theology is or possibly could be in this modern age 
of science and democracy. It seems to me that this 
loyalty to Jesus Christ, beyond all the dogmas and 
doctrines of the traditional theology, is the source 
of the great success and strength of the Disciples 
in the past century, and the promise of their con- 
tinuing success and strength in the future. 

The Convention 

It was very appropriate for the Disciples to have 
this year's convention in Cincinnati where their first 
missionary organization was effected 100 years ago. 
From that beginning many types of societies have 
been developed in the century of cooperation. This 
fact is significant because the idea and practice of 
cooperation came slowly and against much serious 
opposition. It was thought by many to involve 
dangerous innovations, not provided for in the New 
Testament. And that was true. It would lead to 
some sort of ecclesiasticism. And that has happened. 
It would lead to the development of a degree of 
authoritanism among a free, informal, and very 
democratic people, and that danger has appeared. 
But nevertheless organization has brought certain 
efficiency and power, whatever the cost. Every one 
agrees it was a great convention. It was great in 
numbers. It was great in cost (possibly a million 
dollars, counting the expenses of travel, hotels, rental 


of halls, hats, taxis, booths, dinners, and amuse- 
ments) . Let us hope it was also great in ideas pub- 
licized, in good loyalties generated, and in the 
demonstration that the desire for Christian unity- 
has grown more vital in a hundred years. It seems 
too bad that there was not an interpretation in the 
daily papers of the way in which the Disciples, in 
a hundred years, have passed beyond the doctrine 
and the spirit of the Christian Standard and the Cin- 
cinnati Bible Seminary ! Now that so much organ- 
ization has been achieved by the Disciples it seems 
unfortunate that there is not more attention given 
to informing news about this great religious move- 
ment. Probably the most conspicuous item in the 
news was the talk of union with the Baptists ! 

Perhaps the most important and promising 
feature of the convention was its emphasis on edu- 
cation. The pageant of the colleges, faculties, stu- 
dents, growth, and outlook for the future, gave im- 
pressive evidence of grounds for substantial and 
solid assurance of strength. The loyalty and enthusi- 
asm of the alumni of the various schools in their re- 
unions were prophetic of greater days to come. 

One of the most stirring sights of the week was 
the recognition and consecration of new mission- 
aries destined for foreign fields. Even more mov- 
ing was the presentation and applause for the veter- 
ans of years of service in far countries of the world. 
New recruits are still coming in spite of all that the 
experienced men and women on mission fields have 
learned and told in these hundred years. An im- 
portant fact about the new recruits is the more 
careful training they receive. Apparently they are 
better prepared than are students for the ministry 
at home. They must pass physical and psychological 
tests, and meet other aptitude requirements that 
show them qualified to perform the labors and en- 


counter the problems that arise among strange lan- 
guages, customs, religions and cultures. On the 
whole, the missionaries are more mature, broader 
minded, and more genuinely religious, than are their 
class mates who have spent their lives in religious 
work at home. 

Among the more imponderable values of a great 
convention are the renewal of friendships and the 
exchange of experiences which life has brought. In 
one respect this convention was too great. It could 
not allow time and opportunity to see all those pres- 
ent with whom even a few words would have been 
so informing and rewarding. No wonder many have 
come to feel that it is better to sit in a booth by 
a thoroughfare through the exhibits and hale old 
friends for a heart warming chat. The time so 
spent is not wasted as the time may be when sitting 
in a regular seat in an auditorium where the am- 
plifier is out of order or inadequate! Anyway, it was 
a great Convention after a hundred years ! 

A Haunting Memory 

A Sermon for Armistice Day 1949 

by IRVIN E. Lunger 

I was six years old at the time — almost six and a 
half! I knew there was a war going on. My brother 
was older and read the headlines of the WiUiamsport 
Su7i to me each evening. We discussed in uneasy 
voices the lists of names — printed in bold face type 
under a caption 'Casualties' — which appeared reg- 
ularly. We saw our parents and our neighbors stop 
in to console the people down the street when the 
name of their son appeared in one of these lists. 

I saved my pennies for the long line of pennies 
we would form each week on the sidewalk outside 
our school — pennies for war bonds. I had more than 


one nightmare — from which I awoke in a cold sweat 
with terrifying memories of German soldiers chas- 
ing me. Yes, I was only six years old at the time — 
but a boy of six is older for his years when they are 
war years. 

Then the siren sounded at the fire-house a few 
blocks away. Bells on churches and schools began 
to toll. An excited neighbor fired a shotgun from 
his attic window. A lady — three doors down the 
street — ran onto her front porch with an American 
flag wrapped about her, weeping with joy. The 
armistice had been signed ! 

A parade formed quickly. It moved — with blaring 
bands and waving flags — down Fourth Street. With- 
out asking permission of anyone, I raced toward 
the noise of music and shouting, I watched the pa- 
rade pass by and joined in the crowd that surged in 
its wake. Ahead of me, dangling crazily from a gal- 
lows on the tail-board of a wagon was an effigy of 
the Kaiser. Perched precariously upon a truck was a 
great box — upon which was scrawled, "The Kaiser's 
bones." People milled about — waving flags, singing, 
slapping each other on the back, laughing, weeping. 

I was only six years old at the time — ^but I will 
never forget November 11th in 1918! 

I remembered it vividly when, nineteen years la- 
ter, I stood in the railroad car in which the armistice 
had been signed. The French countryside we 3 quiet 
and peaceful. The First World War seemed remote. 

Then Robert Southey's poem, "The Battle of 
Blenheim," crowded its way into my mind. And I 
recalled how old Kaspar told his two grandchildren 
of that famous battle. He gave a graphic account of 
the battle — with its horror and death. When he had 
finished, little Peter asked simply, "But what good 
came of it at last?" Old Kaspar thought a moment, 
then replied, "Why that I cannot tell but 'twas a 
famous victory." 


As I left that historic railroad car, my heart was 
heavy. For I had been in Germany, Austria, Italy 
and France then for nine months — and I felt the 
chill shadow of impending tragedy. Conversations 
and events were continually recalling memories of 
November 11, 1918 — they had become haunting 

During the remaining months of my travels in 
France and England, I found myself confronted 
again and again with little Peter's question, "But 
what good came of it at last?" and I could find no 
other answer than that of old Kaspar, "Why that 
I cannot tell but 'twas a famous victory." 

The armistice ended late in the summer of 1939 
— or had it ended earlier? At any rate, we knew in 
1939 that the world was again at war. Millions of 
men were once again straining every nerve and 
sinew to win another famous victory. 

Memories of the First World War became alive. 
Tragic events transpired and I had the haunting 
feeling that they had happened before. Dates, bat- 
tles and names were new — but the heartache and 
tragedy were the same. 

Then came the end of war again — in 1945. There 
was — thank God — no Armistice Day. There was a 
V-E Day and then, later, a V-J Day. It seemed to me 
that they were different. Perhaps it was just that I 
was older. Yet it seemed to me that there was a 
soberness in 1945 which had been lacking in 1918. 
It was as though the memory of November 11, 1918 
laid a heavy hand upon our shoulders. Our service 
of thanksgiving and dedication in the Rockerfeller 
Memorial Chapel in 1945 was no wild demonstration 
of frenzied joy. It was a time of sober gratitude. 
We had no conviction that victory had brought us 
peace. We rejoiced in victory but our hearts were 
honestly troubled — by the haunting memory of past 



failure and by the task which we knew lay ahead. 
In 1945 we sensed that winning the war had been 
perhaps a less arduous task than the one which 
awaited us — that of establishing a just and endur- 
ing peace. Nothing is more unmistakable evidence of 
this awareness than the fact that we have made so 
little of the anniversaries of V-E Day and V-J Day 
in these four years since 1945. I suspect that, while 
everyone knows that November 11th is Armistice 
Day, few can remember today the exact date of 
either V-E Day or V-J Day. 

Our unrestrained celebration and amazing opti- 
mism on November 11, 1918 are a haunting memory. 
We seem content — chastened by it — to hold up the 
designation of a day to signalize the victory in World 
War II until we feel more confident that the ulti- 
mate triumph has been secured in peace. 

I am glad that we cannot forget Armistice Day. 
I am glad that it haunts us in moments of easy opti- 
mism or careless indifference. I am glad that the 
memory of November 11, 1918 keeps us from pre- 
mature celebration in these crucial years since the 
end of the Second World War. 

We are more realistice today in our endeavors 
for peace. We are more honest in our evaluation of 
movements and problems in the world. We are more 
patient in our peace-making. We know, all too well, 
that it could happen again — this tragedy of war. 

I know that there is much to chasten us in mo- 
ments when we are prone to optimism yet I feel that 
the world is much closer to peace today than it has 
been in the recent past. Because we were too ready 
to read the portents of hope after November 11, 1918, 
we are now all too cautious or lacking in faith and 
hope to read rightly the signs of these new times. 

I would not minimize the dangers which lurk in 


our world. There are powers which, unrestrained, 
could surely destroy our civilization. The atomic 
bomb now is theoretically capable of destruction 70 
to 100 times greater than in 1945 — a single modern 
bomb, scientists warn us now, could wipe out an area 
of 75 to 100 square miles. Certainly this is no time 
for easy optimism. 

Peace treaties with Germany, Austria and Japan 
have not been concluded. Small wars continue to 
erupt. Civil strife impedes reconstruction. Tensions 
abound. And armament budgets sky-rocket. Further- 
more, two-thirds of the world's peoples are inade- 
quately nourished and one-half are improperly 
housed. Vast numbers of folk still wander from 
place to place — seeking a home, searching for fami- 
lies separated in the chaos of war. 

All too many Chicagoans — to look closer home — 
while deeply concerned about justice in distant lands 
and wiiile disturbed by the failure of certain nations 
to solve domestic problems short of violence are in- 
different to perplexing problems of race and class 
which confront them and permit disgraceful acts 
of violence to occur in their midst. 

Yes, there is much to warn us against undue opti- 
mism. However, there is basis for hope^ — and it is 
to be found, too, in the realities of our present world. 
No picture is complete without the inclusion of these 
signs of promise. 

The nations are making progress in the struggle 
for peace. The discovery that Russia has the secret 
of atomic bomb production is certain to make for 
better understanding and more realistic dealing 
between the United States and the Soviet Union. 
When men respect each other's swords, they are cer- 
tain to be more ready and reasonable in dealing with 
their problems. 


The slow progress of the United Nations cannot 
be underestimated. Despite its many obvious weak- 
nesses, it is providing a meeting place for the nations 
and the thorny problems of our time are being 
brought before it. While the successes may not be as 
dramatic as the failures, they are none-the-less real. 
In such a world as ours, it is not evil that men test 
and try each other — short of battle. Where else can 
this be done, with greater promise, than in the 
United Nations? 

With the growing awareness of the interdepend- 
ence of our world, there is emerging a new recog- 
nition that — one world or twc' — all men and nations 
are now joined in a common fate or a common 
destiny. This is reason for grim hope. 

Finally, and most important, the temper of our 
times is changing. The note of ''emptiness and bit- 
terness, negation and exhaustion" is fading. The old 
gospel of despair, never too appealing, is steadily be- 
coming less attractive. Cynicism and pessimism, so 
closely allied to defeatism, are gaining few new 
converts. There is a new atmosphere of hope. As 
Assembly President Romulo declared recently, "This 
session of the United Nations coincides with a turn- 
ing-point in the post-war international relations." 
The mood today is affirmative — hopeful ! 

We need the faith — and it is increasing, not di- 
minishing — that men, the makers of war, can be 
the makers and sustainers of a just and durable 

The memory of November 11, 1918 — which has 
haunted us so long — need not be an enemy of our 
hope. In fact, the memory of past failures is man's 
greatest teacher. Some say man will never learn. 
Were this true, he would have long since destroyed 
himself and his civilization. Man has learned — and 
will continue to learn — from the failures which 


haunt his spirit and will not permit it to rest until 
they have been rectified. 

Men know today that peace is not automatic — any 
more than is progress. They know that there is no 
more warrant for "business as. usual" in the decades 
of peace-making- than there was in the time of war- 
waging. They know that, while they seem destined 
to live amidst uncertainty and turmoil, they can con- 
tribute mightily to the coming victory of peace if 
they will keep the faith with courage, with honesty 
and with patience. 

We — as Christians and as Americans — may con- 
tribute to the coming victory of peace. To do so, 
we must resist the assumption that war is inevitable 
and declare our faith that peace is possible. We 
must do all we can to sharpen the sense of moral obli- 
gation and to sustain our people in the steadfast 
exercise of ever growing responsibilities. We must 
strive ever to keep alive a sense of the inclusiveness 
of mankind, thereby guarding against the interests 
of race, class or nation which threaten to limit 
freedom or opportunity. We must declare our faith 
that the exercise of armed might can never deter- 
mine the rightness of a cause. We must be resolute 
and intelligent in opposing all who, unwittingly or 
with evil intent, increase the tensions of our world 
by hysteria and hatred, F'inally, we must strive 
earnestly and humbly to deserve the confidence of 
the peoples of the world in our endeavors at home 
and abroad. 

Until we have dedicated ourselves — in good faith 
— to these things which make for peace within our 
community and our nation and our world, Novem- 
ber 11, 1918 will remain a haunting memory. Indif- 
ference to these things on our part labels us betray- 
ers of those who won this opportunity for us, trait- 
ors to man's highest hopes. 


We may feel that the atomic bomb is the greatest 
power on earth — a power too great for us to cope 
with. We would do well to remember the words of 
an American who visited Hiroshima and declared, 
"The greatest force on this earth ... is the will to 
live and the will to hope." Bound up with this is 
the faith that men can and will live beyond fear — 
in peace. 

May November 11, 1918 haunt you — give you no 
peace — until you win release from its spell through 
faith and noble works! 

People - Places — Events 

By F. E. Davison 

It was October 7 last and I was in Parkersburg, 
West Virginia. Having arrived late at a Crusade 
Luncheon I was just being seated and informed that 
my Crusade address would be called for in a few 
minutes. Then a message was brought me which 
left me completely stunned. It was this : "Your 
friend, Milo J. Smith, is being buried this after- 
noon." Thoughts came thick and fast — "Why didn't 
the message reach me sooner?" "Could I take a 
plane and reach Berkeley, California, in time for 
the memorial services?" "How can I carry on with- 
out my friend Milo?" but the immediate question 
was "Shall I tell the presiding officer that I am ill 
and cannot speak?" 

During the flash of moments there came the de- 
cisive answer to my questions. The answer came 
through other questions — "Did the Disciples during 
the past fifty years ever have a Crusader like Milo 
Smith?" "Where could I be closer to his spirit than 
standing before a Disciple audience and urging them 
to rise to new heights of Christian stewardship 


for Kingdom purposes?" I could hear him saying 
"Forget about my memorial services, Davy, carry 
on and give them both barrels." 

I stand willing to defend my thesis that the Dis- 
ciples never had a Crusader like Milo J. Smith. 
When I first knev^^ him forty years ago he vv^as a 
mighty Crusader for the temperance cause. ''The 
brevi^ers' big bosses" were never able to run over 
this orator, fighter, and strategist. It is significant 
that his last meeting was that of a temperance 
board where following a vigorous speech he had 
his fatal heart attack. 

Milo was also a Crusader for evangelism. In 1910 
during my beginning days he held a revival for me 
in a small village church. During the first three 
or four nights the audience had remained small and 
there had not been a too enthusiastic reception of 
Milo's biblical but philosophical sermons. About the 
fourth night Milo stopped in the middle of his 
sermon and told everyone to go on home. He drove 
every person out of the church. I was heart-broken 
for I knew my days were over as pastor of that 
church. After all were gone, Milo said "Now Davy- 
keep your shirt on for we will have a house full 
tomorrow night." The next day the village was 
buzzing v/ith rumors about the evangelist but the 
next night the house was full. Before the two weeks 
were over we had increased the church membership 
by one-third. 

This mighty Crusader for Kingdom causes was 
himself the most generous soul I have ever known. 
He had few possessions but he and his good wife 
have given literally thousands of dollars to the 
church and church projects. This made him an in- 
valuable aide in money raising campaigns. Many 
of us feel that Milo never received the recognition 
he deserved for his work among the Disciples. Per- 


haps, a partial recognition came when he was elected 
vice-president of the San Francisco convention. This 
position he filled with credit to himself and his 

Milo Smith was a Crusader for world peace and 
social justice. A book could be written about his 
work in that field. He was a Crusader for inter- 
racial goodwill. When I was with him for a week 
last July his major interest was a Negro church 
which he was then serving as pastor. I preached 
for him one night and saw in what affection he was 
held by the members of that good church. I am told 
that two officers of that church helped to carry his 
body to its final resting place. 

This good man was misunderstood by many. In 
fact it was only the Inner Circle that really knew 
and appreciated his true worth. Outwardly he some- 
times appeared harsh and dogmatic but some of us 
came to know that inwardly there was a heart as 
big as a barn door. Galen Lee Rose said at the 
memorial service "Milo was a non-conformist and 
by this time Heaven must know that it is dealing 
with a non-conformist." At this remark the family 
joined with the rest of the audience in a hearty 

No proper appraisal of Milo Smith could be made 
without mention of his wonderful family. The four 
girls and two boys were all home with their families 
a year or so ago. They all went to church together 
and filled the family pew — in fact several pews. 
After church their picture was taken on the steps 
of University Christian Church. Their number was 
then 25 but it has increased since. After he sent me 
one of those pictures I wrote Milo that he looked 
as proud as a peacock but that most of us knew 
that the credit for this remarkable Christian family 
went to Mrs. Smith instead of him. 


Milo knew world affairs and was able to argue 
with the best informed. He was a philosopher and 
although he held no degrees in that field he could 
hold his own in discussion with E. S. Ames or Rein- 
hold Neibuhr. I suppose no one would have ever 
accused Milo of being a poet for he did not often 
use poetic language to get his ideas across. How- 
ever, after he realized that the death stroke had hit 
him he apparently slipped into his study and wrote 
on the back of three envelopes his final message 
which to his friends is like blank verse from celestial 
regions. It reads : 

"In a last hour what would a soul write if it 

had hands? 
A word to wife and children, my friends of the 
Great Fellowship, the Church of the Living 
The things yet you would like to do — how great 

the number 
It may be that can continue 
Life is majestic and rewarding, when God keeps 

vigil with the soul. 
Tomorrow is always bigger and better and Hope 
abides as the morning breaks Eternal bright 
and fair. 
To all of you who have been in my heart — 
"Carry On!" 

Mr. John 0. Pyle, a layman in the University 
Church, Chicago, has undertaken the third print- 
ing of the book. Religion, by Dr. Ames. He thinks 
it is a good answer to Orthodoxy, Neo-orthodoxy, 
Fundamentalism, Existentialism, Atheism, and Ag- 
nosticism. The book is reprinted from the plates 
used by Henry Holt and Company in the first edition. 
It may be obtained from Mr. Pyle, 8841 So. Leavitt 
St., Chicago, at the original price of $3. 


From J. R. Ewers 

Babson Park, Florida 

Mr. R. A. Thomas, Treasurer: 

I have just read every word of the latest SCROLL. 
Seeing that you have raised the price to $3, I hasten 
to send in that amount. I graduated from Chicago 
in 1905, joined the Institute at once, feeling it a 
great honor to be admitted, after my degree; and 
have always enjoyed the TONIC effect of the fellow- 

After 37 years in Pittsburgh, at the East End 
Christian Church, I came down to my home here. 
We have secured more land on Crooked Lake, Bab- 
son Park, and have enlarged our home. I have a 
most beautiful knotty-pine study, looking out over 
the lake to the Bok Singing Tower, Orange trees 
and flowering shrubs are all about us. 

I have been asked to become pastor as of Jan. 
1, of the Community church here, a small but 
choice group of people. Dr. Sam Higginbottom is 
one of our elders and we have a happy fellowsjhip. 
This summer the buildings have been completely 
repaired, and future improvements are in mind. 
Also a number of people have joined us. The people 
are "sermon-tasters" and keep me at my very best. 

Many of the "denominations," down this way, 
are rather narrow, but, I must say, they do busi- 
ness! We, also, have our social problems, the lines 
being tightly drawn. The "Railroad track" runs 
right down through our little parish! But people 
are kindly. Please know, then, that The Scroll 
helps tie me to your group. Here's check. 
Oct. the 14, 1949. 


J. R. Evers 


From Margaret Garrett Smythe 

27 Hankow Road, Nanking, China 

Oct. 11, 1949 
Dear Friends : 

I am afraid it has been several months since you 
have had any direct word from us. But now that a 
little mail is beginning to slip through the blockade, 
I want to try to get a brief letter off to you. 

No doubt China has been much in the news dur- 
ing recent months. I hope you have had a fair 
account of the happenings here. It is now nearly 
a year since the time when it became evident that 
this part of the country would undergo a change in 
government. And each of us had to make our de- 
cision as to whether we were willing to stay and 
take our chances under the new regime. Most of 
the missionary community decided in favor of stay- 
ing, and I have not heard anyone say he regretted 
that decision. We personally have been tre- 
mendously glad that we've had the opportunity of 
being here during the stirring events of the recent 

The turnover of the city when it actually came 
on April 24th was relatively peaceful. We went to 
bed on Friday night with the old government in 
control. For several days we had been hearing the 
sound of heavy artillery from across the river, but 
there had been nothing that sounded very close. Be- 
fore daylight on Saturday morning we could hear 
sounds of hurrying feet on the little road past our 
house and we knew something was breaking loose. 
At nine o'clock when I went to the hospital for my 
usual morning schedule, I found it impossible to 
cross the main street. The Nationalist army was in 
full retreat and there was a solid mass of humanity 


moving southward. We had one day of lawlessness 
and looting which was ended on Sunday morning 
when the Peoples Army marched in and took over. 
Since then they have been in full control and, what- 
ever one thinks of the Communist ideology, one must 
admit that their soldiers have won a great deal of 
respect here in Nanking by their simple living, good 
behavior and fair treatment of the common people. 

We westerners have been very courteously treat- 
ed. The only restriction is that we have not been 
allowed to go outside of the city wall, and the 
only hardship has been the cutting off of home mail 
by the nationalist blockade. We have been allowed 
to move about the city freely except for the first 
few days. We have never missed a Sunday at 
church or a day at school or hospital because of 
any restrictions imposed upon u?. The hospital and 
University have been having some labor troubles 
and difficulties in reorganization, but these have 
been largely internal. The University opened this 
fall with 700 students which is about up to prewar 
standards. The Tuberculosis Center is carrying on 
under the new government with the same staff and 
they have just helped us complete X-ray exami- 
nations of all the new students. We found about 
5 % suffering from tuberculosis, which is lower than 
last year. We have spent the last several weeks 
since school opened trying to get these students 
settled in hospitals or on rest programs in their own 
homes. There are always a number of heart-break- 
ing problems which seem impossible of solution. As 
yet our sanatorium facilities in China are pitifully 

Our own family is all well. Peggy went back to 
the States in January and is now a freshman at 
Hiram College. Joan is studying at home with us 


here in Nanking this winter. We are trying to live 
more simply this year in keeping with the new 
regime, but no restrictions have been imposed from 
without. We do not know just what the future will 
bring but the immediate prospect for the Christian 
program in Nanking seems very hopeful. As one 
of our young Chinese Christians said, "We must 
find ways of outdoing the communists in good 
works !" 

We hope you will begin writing us again now 
that a few letters are slipping through. Ordinary 
mail with a five cent stamp seems to be best. All 
you home folks have been much in our thought dur- 
ing these shut-in months and we have missed hear- 
ing from you. 

Our very best personal wishes to each of you. 

Margaret Smythe 

I News 

These paragraphs will bear news for all readers, 
though not all the items are equally new to all. Some 
things here may seem old today but may become 
new tomorrow. Have you ever noticed how your esti- 
mate of people and events changes with time and 
circumstances ? Your mind is somewhat like an opera 
gla.£s. If you reverse it, the perspective changes. 
Things near and large become small and remote. 
This is one kind of relativity. Practice it and beware 
of it! 

Basil Holt, in far-off Johannesburg, Transvaal, 
P. O. Box 97, publishes the South African Sentinel. 
Or you may address him through the UCMS, In- 
dianapolis. In the issue of last July, he offers proof 
that David Lloyd George was a Disciple. There is 
also an interesting account of Virgil A. Sly's recent 
trip to South Africa. 


Now look through the glass at John Dewey, who 
was ninety years old last month. He is undoubtedly 
America's greatest philosopher and still growing. At 
the Convention in Cincinnati his book, Reconstruc- 
tion in Philosophy was recommended (though not 
from the main platform) as a book every good Dis- 
ciple should read. This book helps to understand 
what the Disciples have been doing in the recon- 
struction of religion. It is too bad Albert Schweitzer 
does not know this book and also Dewey's, A Com- 
mon Faith. 

Hiram College is preparing for its Centennial 
celebration which began October 22 and will 
continue through June, 1950. James A. Garfield 
worked as a janitor while a student there. The Li- 
brary has a room for memorabelia of Vachel Lind- 
say, our most famous Disciple poet. A history of 
Hiram has been written by Mary Bosworth Treudly 
of Wellesly College. She is a sister of Mrs. E, M, 
Bowman of Chicago. 

Bishop Oxnam gave the third series of lectures on 
Christian Unity for the Disciples Divinity House, 
November 14 to 17. These are the Hoover Lectures 
for which the Disciples House has an endowment 
fund of $50,000. As Dean Blakemore remarked in 
his introduction on the first night, it will be interest- 
ing to note the tone and direction of this lectureship 
in the coming years. 

My friend, Henry C, whose elite address is 
Indian-Queen-On-The-Patomac, advised against put- 
ting in an electrically controlled thermostat. That 
was very surprising to me because Henry is scien- 
tific, and he is accustomed to the experimental 
method. He fears the electricity might go off and 
leave the house cold and dark. I remember forty 
years ago when electricity was put in my house, 
some of the old gas pipe fixtures were left in the 



walls for fear we might have to return to gas if the 
electricity should fail ! My conviction is that we must 
go forward with science even at the risk of some- 
times being cold and dark. Then we have a better 
chance to be warm and to live in the light! 

On October 23, at four o'clock, an unprecedented 
event occurred in the great Rockefeller Chapel. It 
was the first Choir Festival of all the choirs of 
Disciple Churches in the city. The place was full 
to the last seat. Never have so many Disciples sat 
together in one place in Chicago. There were 300 
singers in the chancel. When they marched in, three 
abreast down the long aisle, wonder grew on the 
faces of all present. The musical selections were of 
a high order and were masterfully directed by Mr. 
Fred Mise, and the great organ was played by Mrs. 
Hazel Atherton Quinney who has given many re- 
citals there. Selections were from Bach, Elgar, Men- 
delssohn, and others, including Handel's Hallelujah 
Chorus from the Messiah. Credit for initiating this 
very successful program goes to the City Secretary, 
J. J. Van Boskirk. 

Safety first — a golf story by Kenneth B. Bowen, 
pastor of the Morgan Park Church: "It happened 
on The Summit Hills Golf Course near Covington, 
Kentucky. The foursome were : Warren Grafton, 
Ray C. Jarman, Wolcott Harsell, and Kenneth B. 
Bowen, — all members of the Cloth. It was a blue 
Monday. We were on the teeing ground for the 
fourth hole. All had driven except Wolcott Harsell. 
As usual, he was the last man. In enthusiasm for the 
game he had no superiors, but his skill was far from 
that of Bobby Jones. For sheer wit he was the life 
of the party. On this occasion Walcott teed up very 
carefully. In due and ancient form he addressed 
the ball in great style. At last he swung with savage 
vengeance, but completely missed the ball and 


dropped his club! While standing there looking at 
the ball in deep humility, a little insect crawled 
up on the 'white pill,' and Harsell said eloquently: 
'Little bug, little bug, — for you that is the safest 
place in the universe' !" 

Mr. W. L Schmerhorn, the tallest and the wealthi- 
est man in our Church has passed away, and was 
buried last week in Kinterhook, New York. He was 
a self-made man, if there is any such, and achieved 
the distinction of becoming a millionaire. He was 
85, and he and his wife, almost the same age, had 
lived alone and in a modest way for persons in their 
circumstances. She loved to do the housework, but 
found time for much reading. She was wise and 
witty. They sustained the great loss of a young 
daughter, their only child, many years ago. After 
his wife's death, about a year ago, he has bravely 
borne his loneliness and increasing suffering. His 
stalwart soul seemed never to give up hope of re- 
covery. He received his visitors, almost to the last, 
with the same clear mind and friendly interest al- 
ways so characteristic of him. He was a devoted 
member of the Church for almost forty years and 
was a regular attendant and a faithful member of 
the finance and other committees. He made an im- 
posing figure in the costume of the King at the 
Christmas Pageant, and enjoyed the spirit and com- 
radeship of the dinners and parties with youthful 
zest, and, with appreciation of the important phase 
of religion which they expressed. He and his wife 
gave several thousand dollars for a Youth Chapel 
which is yet to be built for the Church. Both of them 
were very friendly souls and quietly helped many 
individuals and causes. They will be sorely missed 
but their long and faithful service will be long re- 
membered and will bear good fruit through a long 


Mrs. Mabel Waite Cress, a sister of Claire 
Waite, well known to members of the Institute, 
died November 17. Services were held in Universi- 
ty Church and burial was in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 
where the family lived before coming to Chicago. 
Mrs. Cress had been a very successful kindergarten 
teacher in the public schools until her retirement 
three years ago. She had a fine understanding of 
little children and won them to her and to the happy 
life of her school room, with her natural grace and 
charm. She had been a loyal and enthusiastic mem- 
ber of the Church for forty-three years, and espe- 
cially of the Woman's Business and Professional 
Club. It was particularly sad to see her wasting 
away through the months of her iUness, but her 
many friends will always think of her in the years 
when her spirit was so vivacious and irresistible. 

C. E. Lemmon On High Religions 

Reported by W. J. Lhamon 

Dr. Lemmon of the First Christian Church has 
presented to his congregation a series of sermons on 
the general theme of "High Religion." He said in 
effect that there are good religions and evil ones. 

In His sermons Jesus utterly discarded nine tenths 
of the Old Testament. Gone from his sermons and 
parables is the whole of the Old Testament sacramen- 
talism. No longer the blood of rams and lambs, and 
doves and pigeons, and red cows and scape goats for 
the atonement of sins. When Jesus forgave he did 
so simply on the condition of repentance — and that 
is both logical and psychological. The teachings of 
Jesus hold a tremendous insurgence against a vast, 
mistaken, and even magical past. 

Three Dollars Are Due 

Many appreciations of the Scroll have come 
into the office, 1156 East 57th st., Chicago. One 
says: "I subscribe to at least forty-five leading 
magazines, among them. The Nation, Christian 
Century, Freethinker now called Common Sense, 
The Liberal, The Humanist, and Progressive World 
and I enjoy none more than The Sbroll. . . . Best 
wishes, and for an increasing number of leaders 
who are not afraid to think." 

Others also send friendly notes and commenda- 
tions with their checks for $3, to which it became 
necessary to raise the price at the annual meeting 
last summer. All subscriptions become due July 
first, which is the beginning of the fiscal year. 
Every member of the Institute and every subscrib- 
er should cooperate by voluntary remittances to 
save labor and expense in the office. Last year we 
accumulated an ugly deficit by the end of the year, 
but we are out of the red now and can stay out 
if all our readers will "have a heart" and help 
promptly. Checks may be made out to The Scroll, 
and sent to 1156 East 57th st., Chicago. 



The Church Office 

By Orvis F. Jordan 

Once the preacher lived in a study; now it is an 
office. The change is ominous. However, for some 
men an office will save enough time that he may 
have a study also. 

Well do I remember nearly fifty years ago seeing 
the picture of Dr. H. 0. Breeden, of Des Moines, in 
a magazine. He had an office! He ran his church 
like a business man runs his business ! The reaction 
in the ranks of the clergy was decidedly unfavorable. 
But since then a lot of ministers have developed 
an office. For this there is no pattern. It would hard- 
ly do any good for a department of practical theology 
in a divinity school to set up some kind of ideal office 
that a minister must have or he is no good minister. 
An office must grow around a set of parish activities. 
I have had four parishes, one in a village, another 
in a factory city, still another in a university town 
and the last in a metropolitan suburb. The same of- 
fice would not do for all of them. But perhaps the 
same equipment might. 

The other day I heard Dr. Morrison say sadly 
that he had never learned to run a typewriter. His 
voluminous writings were done with a lead pencil. 
He has gotten more done than most men do, but 
he has worked too hard to do it. I might almost be- 
lieve that a man should show a divinity dean that he 
is proficient on a typewriter before he is admitted. It 
will save the student a lot of work and save even 
more time for the man who has to read his essays. 

Church offices have notoriously bad typewriting 
machines. They are often the junk that nobody 


else wants. In a fifty year ministry I got my first 
brand new machine two years ago. That also has 
been a waste of time. 

Most ministers now days discover early how im- 
portant the mail is as a publicity medium. The hek- 
tograph is soon discarded as a messy and inade- 
quate duplicating device. Perhaps the cheapest 
mimeograph is then secured. A cheap machine us- 
ing cheap mimeograph sheets often turns out jobs 
hardly legible. The customer labors through the 
letter if he is a lot interested, but more often he 
does not. It is love's labor lost. The best is not 
good enough. The church office which sends out 
better duplicated letters than the business men send 
out elevates the social standing of the church. 

However, the most important thing about a 
church office is its records. The young fellow with 
a church of a hundred members can carry nearly 
everything in his memory. Once I could have called 
off the street addresses of all my members. But to 
what purpose? The memory should never be clut- 
tered up with the less essential. 

My record system grew this way: I first began 
carrying file cards when I called on new people. 
After I left the house, and when I was in the car, 
I wrote down the most important information that 
I had secured. This made m^e more careful to lead 
conversations around to the essentials. The card 
soon showed the age of the children, the occupation 
of the father, the churches the family had been in 
and the skills that they possessed. It indicated the 
progress I had made in securing new members. Back 
to these cards we have gone for a lot of things. Do 
we want to enlarge the choir? The card file tells 
us where to go. Do we want to improve the Sun- 
day school, here are the people who have once been 
teachers, or still are. Do we want new members? 


Sometimes with the card file before me, I have got- 
ten a good class together with the telephone. 

In my office is a route list. I do not very often 
canvass right down the street for my rule is never 
to ring a door bell unless I have an important rea- 
son to disturb the people within. I long ago quit 
making calls just "to fix up my fences." 

However, my finance committee wants just such 
a file, and right now in our buiding drive it is the 
heart of the business. Sometimes I use it to organ- 
ize an afternoon's work the best, locating near-by 
families through the file. 

We card index four thousand individuals. The 
cradle roll superintendent has an index of over a 
hundred babies and little children. The mother of 
the baby gets a list of the books in the public li- 
brary that might make her a better mother. The 
baby gets a greeting on each birthday and in the 
same envelope the mother gets information as to 
the stage of mental development to be expected of 
the child at a certain age. How I wish we were or- 
ganized to render this service to every department 
of our church school. We know the school grade of 
every child, six hundred of them. From the files 
it is easy to make a mailing list of children twelve 
to fourteen when we organize the pastor's' class each 
spring to prepare children for church membership. 
Though over half of our Sunday school children 
are from families that have no members with us, 
we now secure about ninety per cent of our children 
as members while they still attend Sunday school. 

For a long time Sunday schools have had class 
books that recorded the attendance of children and 
then we have done nothing with these records. An 
inadequate teacher loses a whole class, and then we 
wake up too late. A child is sick all winter, and 
no one from the church ever calls. A child that 


does not adjust isi lost. Many schools enroll a hun- 
dred new pupils every year, and are the same size 
at the end of the year. The front door is wide open, 
but so is the back door. 

There are card indexes for special problems. One 
for the aged makes us aware of shut-ins and strang- 
ers who have come to live with their children. In 
this list are people that are alone, and about to 
run out of money. Nowhere in Protestantism is 
there an adequate facing of the problem of the aged. 
But we are going to try. 

There is an index for college students. These 
hear from us, and show up at church when they 
come home. They come around for vocational coun- 
selling or other kinds of advice. We get them to- 
gether Christmas week for a breakfast and recre- 

The counselling requires more than a card. My 
doctor uses a card, and can tell me what my blood 
pressure was ten years ago. He would need a file, 
if he went all over me. In my file is the story of 
five delinquent youths that have fallen afoul of the 
law this month. Here is the story of a dissatisfied 
wife who came around last week to get my ap- 
proval for a contemplated divorce. The file tells 
what dissuaded her. All of these were in church 
this morning with a new look in their eyes. I have 
a file with so much dynamite in it that it is kept at 

In a big cabinet are a lot of files on special prob- 
lems. If a problem is too big for me — that happens 
a lot — I write a half dozen ministers to ask what 
they do about this. When the replies come in, as 
they usually do, I do not need to plow a field that 
is already plowed. I write experts in schools and 
colleges for ideas on my problems. They have 
been good to me. 


When I went into the ministry, J. H. Gilliland 
at Bloomington, 111., was a great success without 
an office and without any parish calls. One has to 
be J. H. Gilliland to run a church from a pulpit. I 
know I could never do it. My office grew like Topsy, 
and just the other day I asked a business man to 
overhaul it. 

Left to the last is the most important aid in a 
church office, and that is a secretary. Long before 
there was any money in the budget, I used to ask 
the Women's Circle for volunteers who would help 
a day a week. Women liked to do this, as they re- 
tained skills they did not want to lose. I told the 
Circle that such a woman was worth a lot more to 
her church than she would be making aprons for the 
bazaar. A half dozen new members to a church is 
worth far more even to the budget than any bazaar. 

My secretary keeps me from forgetting appoint- 
ments and reminds me of duties that I only half 
discerned. I refer to her some of my policies to 
get a common sense lay reaction to them. She keeps 
me from making the worst mistakes. That is the 
reason I have been able to stay a long time with one 

From Willis A. Parker 

209 Chestnut Street, Asheville, N. C. 

While reading the article by Reuben Butchart in 
the October issue of our small magazine it occurred 
to me that I, for one, should know something worth 
saying of the religious backgrounds of Josiah Royce. 
I was his pupil for the period of 1909-12, and ex- 
cept for one semester, had one of his courses. He 
was ill and absent from the University from Janu- 


ary till June of 1912. I wrote my thesis for him, 
mostly during the period of his convalescence. 

Professor Royce was not an effusive person, but 
was agreeable, kindly, humorous, tolerant and en- 
couraging toward pupils disposed to question him 
and his never-easily-comprehended positions; and 
to the fact that I never wholly accepted his Absolute 
Idealism, I probably owed his choice of me as one 
of his small circle of assistants. He labored to be 
understood. But never, to persuade another to his 
own position. 

Soon after my arrival at Harvard in the fall of 
1909 he spoke to me of a letter he had received from 
his former pupil, Professor J. E. Boodin of the 
University of Kansas, who had encouraged me to 
go to Cambridge. He knew I had been a minister; 
and when I told him I was soon to take leadership of 
one of our small churches in Boston he brightened 
and said we would get on well together, because 
he had been brought up in a home of Disciples. He 
repeated with a bashful smile several of the fa- 
miliar cliches of our early ministers, "A church 
unique in not being unique," "distinct in not being 
distinctive" and others I do not recall. He gave me 
one counsel, which was "not to underestimate the 
strains and exactions of the task I was assuming" 
in competition with keen minds ten years younger 
than my own. I found it necessary to give all my 
energy to my studies during the third year; for 
because of his absence I did most of the work upon 
my thesis without his counsel. I learned during that 
first interview that Professor Royce's parents had 
been devout and active in a near-by rural church, 
accustomed to entertaining the itinerant ministers 
upon whom they were chiefly dependent for their 
church leadership. He told me his love of logic origi- 
nated in the home discussions with these ministers. 


an experience as familiar to me as to him. I cannot 
tay anything of his participation in the worship of 
any church. He did not attend the daily chapel serv- 
ices on the Harvard campus, except upon occasions 
when the preacher was his guest. In my time Har- 
vard students made most of their devotions in pri- 
vate; paid singers and faculty members comprised 
most of the daily congregations. 

Royce was religious or not, according to defi- 
nition. Like Spinoza. The true concept of Reality 
was God, or Ultimate Being; the triumph of Good 
over Evil, which were the two essentials (and con- 
trast-effects) of moral experience. He would h^ve 
agreed with his younger colleague, Santayana in 
calling religion "the head and front of everything." 
But for different reasons. 

But like Santayana he veiled his meaning with an 
arabesque of confusions that would have perplexed 
his parents as it often did his pupils. While I toiled 
over my thesis upon a subject he proposed, after my 
rejection of three subjects he tentatively suggested, 
he was writing his own masterful treatises on two 
of the three I had declined. The two were "The 
Incarnation" and "The Atonement"; and for Royce 
they comprise the heart of "The Problem of 
Christianity." When I demurred at both, because of 
their lack of appeal, he suggested, of all things, 
"The Christ-Myth." Apparently he was probing for 
the outer depths of my skepticism. Again I was 
silent, because to me the Historic Christ had never 
been a problem. 

Like many others who are permitted such ex- 
alted and exciting moments among great men and 
great issues, I was too anxious and fearful and 
aw^are of my limitations, to make memorable and 
definite and clear, what my mentor strove so pa- 
tiently and reverently to open up for me. In his 


small study in Emerson Hall he stood silent, while 
I gathered courage to propose a metaphysical prob- 
lem I had had the temerity to press upon him dur- 
ing and after his lectures. It was Pluralism. I re- 
call with what eagerness he welcomed the idea, and 
with what patience he cut it down to proportions 
that one man and one lifetime could contain. Was 
I thinking of atoms or of persons of Democritus or 
Leibniz? of the conflict between Morality and 
Monism, which for nearly three years had intrud- 
ed into our every class-room discussion or Kirk- 
land Avenue walk? 

When I proposed "Pluralism from Leibniz to 
James" he replied, "Why not confine yourself to 
James? then added "and include Irrationalism with 
Pluralism." So it was settled, and I found he had 
his wish; I was over my head in Mysticism, Moral- 
ity, and every aspect of religion. So it happened 
that I wrote the longest and the poorest thesis ever 
accepted up to that time at Harvard, for the doctor- 
ate. Cushman of Tufts college challenged me on 
both counts; later he admitted I was right as to 
length, but claimed the honor as to the other di- 
mension! Upon reading his, as he did mine, we 
agreed to share that honor between us. Professor 
James had died in 1910 nearly two years before. 

Avoiding the critiques of such minds as Boutroux, 
Bertrand Russell, and Harvard's own Ralph Barton 
Perry, my efforts were monumental as to both valor 
and incompetence. 

When later I saw Professor Royce and told him 
I felt many of my criticisms of James were point- 
less, he smiled and said he had admitted the same 
to be true of his own thesis) written for Professor 
Lotze on Kant. It was like him to be gracious, and 
understanding. He did what he could to have me 
feel like a philosopher. 


I have small space to help Mr. Butchart with his 
question of what Royce owed, if anything to his 
Disciple heritage. He surely did not stress the Chris- 
tological element as do the Disciples. He wrote in 
the Preface to "The Problem of Christianity" what 
amounts to the acceptance of the Pauline concep- 
tion, which I associate with Harnack, with doubt 
as to whether I can trust my memory of the issue 
in all respects. In the "Sources of Religious In- 
sight" he makes what I regard as the most decisive 
statement of his distrust toward the New Testa- 
ment sources of our knowledge of Christ. 
• On the other hand, Royce's doctrine of the Church 
as a metaphysical and moral unit of Loyal Spirits, 
whose Cause he conceives as a unity of causes, each 
lesser fulfilled in a larger unity, appears to have 
been suggested by what in that earlier time of our 
religious history was often the theme of our minis- 

Professor Royce was fond of Biblical figures of 
speech, especially those that portended a triumphant 
outcome for the struggles of mankind toward a just 
social order. 

The best statement of that aspect of his thought 
is perhaps found in his last essay, "The Hope of 
the Great Community." To my knowledge he de- 
livered it twice, to convocations of philosophers. 
Therein, he bared his heart to the threat of world 
war I to the truth of his Ethics — whereof he had 
often employed the social and political orders of 
Germany and Japan as illustrations. Loyalty, he 
had made his concept of excellence, defining it in 
two ways, or in two degrees of its fulfillment, as 
devotion to a cause among causes, whose several 
rivalries are resolved by the insight that reconciles 
them in a common and higher concord. The glow of 
his emotion awakened in me the memories of meet- 


ings and sermons followed by the sound of multi- 
tudes singing "Shall we gather at the river," or 
the Te Deum Laudamus, intoned by a concealed 

It seems proper here to say that Royce was no 
other-worldly philosopher but a man of social pas- 
sion. He equated his philoisophy with the actual 
triumph of earthly causes. Unlike Spinoza he did 
not think of escape by the logical subterfuge of 
invoking a conceptual ladder to sub specie aeter- 

I make my profound acknowledgement to Mr. 
Butchart for his paper, revealing what I failed to 
learn of the background of my incomparable master 
in metaphysical teaching. While so doing, I am 
reminded, what a study in backgrounds is afforded 
by the contrasting origins of all four of those men 
of genius. Palmer, Santayana and Royce, who for 
three decades, "were of one accord in one place" 
for a reason of such spiritual significance. Palmer, 
seventh generation from original puritan ancestors, 
Peabodys, Palmers, and other Mayflower families, 
whose land titles came directly from the Indians; 
James, firstborn of that half-rationalist and half- 
mystical father, the elder Henry James, and Irish 
Mary Walsh, with a quaint but soon-to-be eminent 
Yankee R. E. Emerson for a sort of god-father; 
Royce, named Josiah the III, with pietism and ra- 
tionalism united in a ruggedly individualistic strug- 
gle for existence in a rural frontier; and Santayana, 
whose Spanish-Scotch-American inheritance is such 
a web of tangled tendencies that only so able and 
patient a mind as his own can bring meaning out 
of it. 

All three of his colleagues acknowledge Royce 
as a kind of Nestor and Master. Santayana, the only 


survivor, has paid him two tributes worthy to be 
noted. One is in Persons and Places. The other, 
an extended essay, is in "Character and Opinion." 
In the latter is stated with incomparable art, the 
way one truly great mind views another he does 
not wholly understand. Lesser minds will be ad- 
monished by such a chaste example, that sometimes 
it may be better to admire or wonder than to com- 

The faults of Royce's philosophy have nowhere 
else been so clearly seen nor so mildly stated. 

I find in their analysis no diminution of the stature 
of the man described. Rather, his height increases 
as I in my heart admire one so much greater than 
his philosophy itself, by whom, more than any other 
I learned that for me, at least, my ovvti philosophy 
may sustain me as truly as one more adequate may 
bear a weightier load. I cannot doubt that he who 
taught it to me was religious. Nor that he was in- 
debted for his greatness to those social inspirations 
he remembered and identified with his home and 

Gadgets, God,-And . . . THE DEVIL 

Benjamin F. Burns, Waukegan, III. 
{In response to a query by the Editor of The SCROLL) 
Gadgets have religious value! A wise preacher- 
philosopher from Ohio, Paul Hunter Beckelhymer, 
indicated as much in a recent statement: "How 
quickly the v^^heels of the Kingdom of God would 
grind to a stop if it were not for A. B. Dick." His 
observation is supported by a young Jewish educator 
who reported that the home deep freeze unit is keep- 
ing many Jews closer than ever before to their tra- 
ditional religious observances. Formerly in commu- 
nities where the small number of Jewish families 


made obtaining and keeping Kosher foods imprac- 
ticable, many Jews neglected the faith. Now the 
preservation of food and faith is made easier by 
home deep freeze units. 

My own experience in daily work and relaxation 
supports these sages and I say, "Gadgets have re- 
ligious value ! Gadgets are for God." When my type- 
writer is spelling out in legible, impressive-looking 
characters my own meditations so that others may 
read them I say, "Gadgets are good." When the 
A. B. Dick 90 is quickly multiplying a sermon so that 
it may be read in every home of the church, "Gadg- 
ets are wonderful." When my Dodge '42 is saving 
my feet and tripling my calls to hospital room and 
home sick bed, "There is religious value in gadgets." 
And space (and the Editor) would fail me if I told 
of radio and television; of telephone and wire re- 
corder ; of pop-up toaster and automatic coffee mak- 
er; of Electroliner and DC-6. 

Certainly gadgets are for God ; they have religious 
value. These bring transformations for the better 
in man's life and remake his society. These cre- 
ations of man's imagination, reasoning power, and 
mechanical aptitude moulded by science set man 
free from unnecessary labors. They endow him 
with time and energy for religious thought and the 
service of God and man. Gadgets extend his eyes 
to see blue hills, green streams, snow-capped moun- 
tain majesties; sensitize his ears to hear the heart- 
beats of God's children beyond the seas and over the 
boundary lines; extend his hands that they may 
heal the sick afar off, build new homes for the home- 
less wayfarer, harvest the crops for the hungry. 
Certainly gadgets have religious value ; they are for 

"What you really mean. Burns, is that gadgets 
are for the devil. Gadgets have not religious but 


demonic value. They are worshipped. They become 
God-replacements. They destroy human beings. Re- 
member how that typewriter refused to operate and 
you spoke in tongues not of good men or of angels. 
Recall how both you and Beckelhymer almost joined 
that unnumbered army of the Devil's household who 
have been converted through the ingenuity of the 
Devil's chief of resident inventors, A. B. Dick. As 
for Jewish faith, could anyone but the Devil himself 
devise so perfect a resting place for it — a deep freeze 
unit? The Dodge on zero mornings, the radio and 
television starving out church meetings, the tele- 
phone in the middle of meals. . . . The devil knows 
a good thing when he sees it. Gadgets have demonic 
value; they are for the Devil." 

Let's see now, where was I before that interrup- 
tion? Oh, yes, gadgets have religious value. Their 
mechanical faults and structural defects are but 
temptations of the persistence and spirit of man. 
Certainly temptation is of God to develop strong 

"What you really mean, Burns, is that temptation 
develops CHARACTERS. All right. Look a little 
deeper and see that gadgets promote demonic well- 
being. Are not the mimeograph and the telephone 
and the radio and the wire recorder coming between 
you and your friends in the church ? Don't they pro- 
vide an easy out from personal visitation and friend- 
ly calls for you and others? Are you not building 
up a dependence on them? Aren't you getting proud 
of that Dodge '42 now that it has run without re- 
pair for 3 months, and isn't it making you lazy and 
taking your health? Radio and television: setting 
men free or making them slaves and giving them 
"televisionitis" and producing a generation of dis- 
torted Milton Berles or neurotic, anxious, jackpot- 
hopers? Electronic gadgets are carrying atoms and 


biological warfare. Convinced? Well listen to the 
great prophets of theology in your own tradition — 
the Protestant faith! Science and reason are the 
parents of most of our gadgets but if you have read 
any 'respectable' theologian of today you would 
know that these two are no longer esteemed. They 
are now cast out of any religious discussion. Gadgets 
are for the Devil; they have demonic value." 

As I was about to say, gadgets have religious 
value-potential. When they are directed by Chris- 
tian commitment to set men free from unnecessary 
toil, to sensitize and increase man's understanding 
of his universe and his fellow man, to implement 
and extend his outreach of love — gadgets are for 
God. They have religious value-potential! 

"We are now agreed. The word 'potential' is high- 
ly regarded among us. It is our favorite gadget of 
the Devil himself. He says it makes things much 
easier for him. But one request, Burns, make sure 
that your article gets printed. You see printing is 
perhaps the very, very topmost gadget we have. 
Highly organized. Has its own archdemon — the 
Printer's Devil." 


le - Places - Events 

By F. E. Davison, South Bend, Ind. 
The picture before me must be our Notre Dame 
National Champions but the heading says "Past 
Presidents At Centennial Convention." What a group 
of champions they really are! Since the waterboy 
has now been made a part of the team I look upon 
them with even greater admiration. My radio is 
on. What is that I hear? 

"This is the game of the century being played this 
afternoon by the Disciple Presidents vs. the W. F. 
D's (The world, the Flesh and The Devil). What a 
team and what a world. Get ready while I give 


you the starting line-ups of the two teams. Word has 
reached me that the W.F.D's are playing under- 
cover and I am not allowed to give you names of 
their players. However 'The Presidents' are out 
in the open. During this first quarter world-famous 
Edgar Jones will handle the hall at center — there he 
is in a brand new suit. At ends will be that great 
pair known as Rafe and Abe. Steve Fisher and 
Andy Harmon will play the tackle positions. Those 
noted guards (true guardians of the faith) known 
as Jake Goldner and L. D. Anderson will be in the 
starting lineup. Homer Carpenter and his long time 
friend E. S. Jouett will alternate at quarter calling 
the signals. Of course thorough-bred Alonzo For- 
tune will be at full-back and on either side of 
him those plunging half-backs Bill Rothenberger 
and Nat Wells. 

"Coach Graham Frank is giving final instruc- 
tions to his team. The W.F.D.'s will kick off. 
There goes the referee's whistle and the game is on. 
It's a high kick and the ball goes to Rothenberger 
on The President's' 10 yard line. He takes the 
ball and is on his way up the field. That shifty 
boy dodges three tacklers but is brought down on 
his own thirty yard line. Carpenter is calling sig- 
nals. There goes a quick line up — a shift. The ball 
goes to Fortune and Andy Harmon opens up a hole 
for him so he makes eight yards in an off tackle 
play; This time an end run is being attempted 
by Nat Wells but Rafe Miller fails to get his man 
and Nat is thrown for a loss of three yards. Now 
Carpenter is dropping back to make a pass — it's a 
long, long pass to Abe Cory. It looks like it is good. 
No just as Abe was ready to catch it 'Greed' 
knocked the ball out of his hand. The pass is no 
good. The Presidents will have to kick now and 
Coach Frank is sending in Fred Kershner known to 


many as 'Golden-Toed Freddie.' There goes the 
kick and what a boot it is^almost to the opposing 
goal line. The player catches the ball — it looks like 
"Indifference." He starts back up the field but 
fleet-footed Rafe Miller is down there and with a 
flying tackle he brings him down the 20 yard line." 

Here my radio went bad and I couldn't get a 
word until sometime later I heard the announcer 
say "We are about ready to start the third quarter 
of this game. That first half was a honey. It looked 
like a draw when in the last two minutes Roger 
Nooe who was playing end took a pass from Jouett 
and ran thirty yards for a touchdown. 'Golden-Toed' 
Freddie kicked the goal making the score 7 to in 
favor of The Presidents. 

"Coach Frank is sending in an entire new back- 
field — Bill Shullenberger at quarter, Harry McCor- 
misk at full-back, "Hefty" Lemmon and "Speedy" 
Sadler at the half back positions." 

Again the rad'o went bad and the next time I 
heard the score it was still 7 to but The Presidents 
were marching down the field. Then I heard the 
announcer say, "The W.F.D.'s are sending in a new 
player — he must be seven feet tall and he looks like 
he might weigh a ton. My spotter tells me his name 
is "Mars." The W.F.D.'s have the ball. Signals are 
being called. The ball is handed to Mars. That big 
boy wade~ right thru the line. Shullenberger gets in 
his way but he steps right over Bill. Lemmon throws 
his two hundred pounds at him but Mars leaves 
Lemmon gasping for breath. On he goes. McCor- 
misk tries to get to him but fails'. 'Speedy' Sadler 
is after him but all to no avail. Mars crosses the 
goal line. Now he is kicking the goal and the score 
is again tied at 7 to 7." 

What wouldn't I give for a new radio! Now I 
guess I have it working again. The announcer is say- 


ing- "There is but two minutes to play. TKe score is 
now 13 to 7 in favor of W.F.D.'s. The Presidents 
have sent 'Shorty' Adams in to play quarter-back 
and 'Lanky' Snodgrass has replaced Cory at end. 
Adams is calling signals — and Shorty is back for a 
pas?. He spots Snodgrass who reaches high to get 
the ball on his own 35 yard line and those long legs 
are going places. The safety man may get him. No, 
Lanky has straight-armed him. Snodgrass is in the 
open but 'Materialism' and 'Secularism' are hot 
on his heels. He crosses the 30 yard line, the twenty, 
the ten, the five — but he is tackled. It looks like he 
may have fallen across the goal line. Yes, the referee 
signals a touch-down. But it looks like Snodgrass has 
been injured on the play. Captain Adams signals for 
Doctor Cook and the waterboy. Now 'Lanky' is up. 
He was just out of breath from that 65 yard run. 
There is no need for the waterboy or the doctor. The 
Presidents kick the goal. There is the g^un. The 
game is over and The Presidents win 14 to 13. Three 
cheers for the Presidents." 

Why did I g-o to sleep reading a great paper like 
the Christian Evangelist? I promise you "Lin" I 
will never do it again. 

Campbell and Empirical Religion 

Morris Eames, University of Missouri 
(Concluding pages of paper at Campbell Institute, 
July, 19i9) 
Campbell's ethic was based upon his view of human 
nature which thought of man as possessing a body, 
a soul, and a spirit. Because of his origin, his nature, 
his relations, his obligations, and his destiny, which 
are all involved in the moral process, man seeks the 
greatest happiness for himself and for society. 
Campbell presupposed freedom of the will and the 
doctrine of responsibility as being necessary for the 


moral line. The object of goodness in his philosophy 
is not momentary happiness, but prolonged human 
happiness. It is always increasing and never sta- 
tionary; it is always multiform, but not uniform. 
The individual's happiness must be in harmony with 
the happiness of all other people, that is, an indi- 
vidual's happiness must not be built upon the mis- 
use of personality for selfish ends. The degrees of 
utility in moral principles places the physical on the 
lowest, the intellectual on the comparative and the 
moral on the highest levels men can aspire to in 
their affections. 

This brief and inadequate treatment of the leading 
ideas of Campbell's philosophy is admitted. I have 
intended only to sketch his ideas on Hume's scepti- 
cism, the four powers of acquiring knowledge such 
as instinct, sense-perception, reason, and faith; the 
role of the human intellect and the human will ; the 
operations of the inductive method, the view of se- 
mantics as accepted from Bacon; how this theory 
of knowledge is wedded to revealed religion ; some of 
the main metaphysical ideas he assumed and how 
this theory of knowledge and ideas of revealed re- 
ligion are coupled with an utilitarian ethic. 

I would like now to point out what I think some 
of the implications of this system are: 

1) This view takes too naively the certainty of 
sense-data, for sense-data themselves must be 
checked and their conditions rationally justified. 

2) It does not do justice to the mental operations 
of man in ascertaining truth, and it makes the most 
certain truth the immediate sense-data of which any 
man is aware. Thus, it narrows the meaning of the 
term "idea" to the point that ideas are really non- 
operative in human conduct. 

3) It makes truth "correspondence with fact," but 
it does not make room for any consistency in our 


empirical knowledge. Consistency on this view can 
only be contained in deduction. 

4) It contains the sciences within a very narrow 
orbit and limits their growth. Locke's theory and 
Campbell's theory too would never give us scientific 
knowledge of the predictive sort — for it is nominal- 
ism without any place for universal propositions. 

5) The legical implications of this nominalism 
leads to an individualism which sets up rights with- 
out duties in the strictly logical sense. 

6) It gives a very vague and confused notion of 
the self, which appears to be assumed without much 
critical acumen. The individual is a self -inclosed en- 
tity, and thus, all the problems of man's sociality 
which the utilitarians faced are evident here. 

7) It stagnates the religious experience of man 
and really confines such experience in the discovery 
of the experience of those of Bible times. 

8) It makes for legalism and literalism of the 
greatest possible sort by limiting the religious cul- 
ture of people to the faith and practice of Bible times. 

9) It limits the operations of God, that is, of hig 
creative life, and it is hard to see in just what re- 
spect there is a living God, and it puts Campbell clos- 
er to the deists than he thinks, a minimal sort of 

10) It leads to ridiculous views about the origin 
and nature of other religions, of the origin of lan- 
guage and of the treatment of miracles. 

11) It unites legalism with a utilitarian ethic, 
either of which does not do justice to the moral life 
of man, for both of these taken singly or together 
limits the free play of intelligence in the discovery 
of the good. 

12) It negates the whole cultural continuity and 
struggle of the church from the close of the book 
of revelation to the present. 


What is the logical outcome of empiricism for re- 
ligion? I do not mean for this to be a loaded ques- 
tion, for surely, if we are trying only to limit empiri- 
cism today, those who want to take the side of re- 
vealed religion and develop what they may call a 
true Campbell faith are free to do so. The neo- 
supernaturalists might have a field day here. But 
my purpose is to discover what experience as under- 
stood, analyzed, and criticized today presents us in 
the way of a religion, and I frankly admit my in- 
terest in empiricism. 

Today we have empiricists who give narrow and 
broad interpretations to experience. The narrower 
types have stripped off any sub-stratum, any super- 
natural operations, any transcendental self, and have 
interpreted natural law in terms of probability. On 
this view, description and analysis is the sole func- 
tion of philosophy. Religion and value theory are 
reduced to a feeling state or emotion, but most of 
the time this school, designated by the term positiv- 
ism, does not even take up the subject of religion 
and value theory at all. Some of these men emphasize 
the nature of words even to the neglect of the nature 
of things and the nature of thought. 

A fuller critique of experience involves the nature 
of things, the nature of words and the nature of 
thought. In this interpretation the relation of our 
scientific beliefs to our beliefs about value becomes 
the primary problem of contemporary academic and 
practical life. The broader interpretation does not 
lodge value in the self nor does it think of value 
stored away in a Platonic heaven. Experience can- 
not be reduced to a matter-stuff or a mind-'Stuff but 
involves a continuity of body, words and mental 

Above all things it seems that religion deals with 
value, and value is lodged in experience in the broad 


sense of that word. Equating empiricism with ex- 
perience, and not limiting it to the narrow portion 
of sense-data as did Locke and Campbell, I 'believe 
that an adequate description and explanation of ex- 
perience today, as far as religion is concerned must 
take account of : 

1 ) a scientific description of life and of the world 
as expressed in such fields as psychology, physics, 
chemistry, anthropology and sociology; 2) a view of 
God growing out of this the empirical approach ; 
3) an ethic based upon a scientific view of man and 
his social life; 4) organized ideals that grow out of 
purposive behavior of individuals and group life; 
and 5) dispositions to respond or attitudes which ac- 
company selection-rejection behavior. 

With these former contentions in view let me 
state that I believe that empiricism in the broad 
sense discovers a quality in experience which we may 
call religious; a God that is not subjective, but sub- 
jectively-objective, that is, imbedded in the experi- 
ence of man ; a God that is Value, and a Value that 
is stable yet changing. I believe that the moral 
values imbedded in experience can be scrutinized by 
the same methods that apply to other "facts" of ex- 
perience. I do not wish to spin out a whole philoso- 
phical view here, but merely to point out that em- 
piricism need not negate religion or relegate it to the 
realm of emotion or designate it as a realm of in- 
tersubjectively held ideals. 

Alexander Campbell had his place in his age in 
the search for the good life, the meaning of religion, 
and the nature of human knowledge. But I am quite 
certain of the fact that if we try to return to Camp- 
bell, as we have to the Biblical church, that we shall 
suffer grave consequences. Our direction lies, I be- 
lieve, in re-thinking and re-evaluating empiricism 
and its outcome for religion. 


^^American Transcendentalism'' 

Richard L. James, Dallas, Texas 

The recent translation into English of The Bhaga- 
vadgita by S. Radhakrishnan and published in a 
volume with notes dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi re- 
minds us of a cycle of influences which have been 
exchanged between this country and the Orient. The 
"Gita" is a poem in the larger work of Sanscrit liter- 
ature known as the Mahabharata, which along with 
another, the Ramayana, are two of the most impor- 
tant pieces of work among the Upanishads, Brah- 
manas and the Megahaduta. The publication of this 
recent edition, dedicated to Gandhi, who in turn, ex- 
pressed a great admiration for Thoreau calls atten- 
tion to that movement in American thought known 
as American or New England Transcendentalism. 
This group of literati at Concord composed of Thor- 
eau, Emerson, Alcott and Whittier were to set forth 
on the American soil a revival of the older thoughts 1 
of the Orient. 

Perhaps this movement in American life can be 
dated to have begun with the organization of the 
Asiatic Society of Bengal in 1783. Sir William Jones, 
noted scholar and linguist contributed no less than 
twenty-nine papers to the first four volumes of the 
society's "Transactions." These works were read and 
discussed by the New England transcendentalists. 
The examination of Whittier's library revealed that 
there were copies of Algier's, Poetry of The Orient, 
Child's, The Progress of Religious Ideas, Stoddard, 
The Book of The East and that he had read the jour- 
nals of the Asiatic Society of Bengal. 

Arthur Christy made extensive studies in the sub- 
ject of the effect of this mysticism on American 


thought. Says he, "No one Oriental volume that ever 
came to Concord was more influential than Bhaga- 
vadgita. This is evident from the manner and fre- 
quency in which the Concordians spoke of it." 

The poem, Bhagavadgita is composed of eighteen 
chapters and tells the story of the struggle of the 
human soul over the question of the rightness of kill- 
ing in battle. Arjuna, hero of the Pandu hosts con- 
verses with Kristna concerning his indecision. The 
Kurus and Pandu foemen are ready to engage in 
warfare over a fatal feud. The leader of the Kurus 
hosts is a kinsman of Arjuna. This complicates mat- 
ters. Respect for one's kinsman is also involved. 
Arjuna is in doubt whether he should kill his foe 
under such circumstances. Krishna, the divine in- 
carnation of the Vishnu deity, finally overcomes Ar- 
j Una's doubts by a long discourse on the duty of the 
warrior. He tells Arjuna that the warrior must be 
utterly devoted to the Supreme Spirit. Krishna 
speaks thus, telling Arjuna to go and kill the foe in 
battle : 

". . . the man of perverse mind who, on account of 
his untrained understanding, looks upon himself 
as the sole agent, he does not see truly. He who 
is free from self-sense, whose understanding is 
not sullied, though he slay these people, he slays 
not nor is he bound by his actions." (Chapt. XVIH, 
vv. 16-17) 

Previous to this discourse on the duty of the war- 
rior, a vision of the god had appeared in the form 
of the Charioteer Krishne who explains to Arjuna 
the nature of Vishnu. In this description of omni- 
presence, Arjuna sees Vishnu as follows: 

"Time am I, world destroying, grown mature, en- 
gaged here in subduing the world. Even without 
thee, all the warriors standing arrayed in the op- 


posing armies shall cease to be. ... I am the ritual 
action, I am the sacrifice, I am the ancestral obla- 
tion, I am the medicinal herb, I am the sacred 
hymn, I also am the melted butter, I am the fire 
and I am the offering. I am the father of this 
world, the mother, the supporter and the grand- 
sire. I am the object of knowledge, the purifier. I 
am the syllable Aum and I the rk, the sama and 
the yajus as well. I am the goal, the upholder, 
the lord, the witness, the abode, the refuge and 
the friend. I am the origin and the dissolution, the 
ground, the resting place and the imperishable 
seed. I give heat: I withhold and send forth the 
rain. I am immortality and also death, I am be- 
ing as well as non-being, Arjuna." (Ch. XI, v. 
32; Ch. IX, vv. 16-19). 

Emerson himself said that it was useless for him 
to put away the book. "If I trust myself in the 
woods or in a boat upon the pond, nature makes 
Brahmin of me presently : eternal necessity, eternal 
compensation, unfathomable power, unbroken si- 
lence, — this is her creed." Indeed, it was Emerson 
who gave the most concise synopsis of the thought 
of the "Gita." In his lines of "Brahma" he shows 
real kinship to the Oriental thought : 

"They reckon ill who leave me out; 
When me they fly, I am the wings ; 
I am the doubter and the doubt. 
And I the hymn the Brahmin sings." 
In his essays "Self-Reliance," "Compensation" and 
"The Over-Soul," Emerson develops more fully the 
ideas he has gleaned from Oriental thought. 

Whittier's influence from the Sanscrit writings 
will be seen by even a casual reading of his poems 
such as "Miriam," "The Preacher" and "The Over- 
Heart." The kinship is readily seen in 
"Each in its measure, but a part 


Of the unmeasured Over-heart." 
Whittier maintained that the gospel was not ren- 
dered any less precious because one may recognize 
in it bits of ancient truth. 

''We come back laden from the quest, 

To find that all the sages said 

Is in the Book our mothers read." 
If this gospel record contains echoes of ancient 
truth for Whittier, the Bhagavadita also contains 
thoughts which seem most appropriate to the life 
of "Miriam." In that poem, Whittier paraphrases' 
a part of the Sanscrit poem to illustrate Christ's 
forgiveness : 

"He who all forgives. 

Conquers himself and all things else, 
and lives 

Above the reach of wrong or hate or fear. 

Calm as the Gods, to whom he is most dear." 
"New England Orientalism," says Arthur Chris- 
ty, "was the result of a synthesis between old ideas 
and the new civilization of the nineteenth century 
America, which was anything but one of quietism, 
of stagnation and uniformity, or of finding in Nir- 
vana the summum bonum. Orientalism had long 
thought it majestic to do nothing. The modem 
majesty consists in work." (American Literature 
Magazine, Nov. 1933.) There are many respects, 
of course, in which the American transcendentalists 
were blind to the extreme contrast between the 
Christian concept of forgiveness and the desire- 
less striving for Nirvanna of the Brahmin. For- 
giveness in the Christian sense implies a ruthless 
facing up to the facts of the present situation and 
doing something to set at right the wrongs involved. 
The Oriental, on the other hand, turns away from 
all striving in the present to a realization of the 


subjective state of Brahma. A Brahmin might say 
"I can do nothing," whereas a Christian would 
repeat with Paul, "I can do all things, through 
Christ who strengtheneth me." 

It is interesting to observe that Emerson's first 
book, Natm^e, was published in 1836, the year of 
the six volume of The Millennial Harbinger. Emer- 
son and Alexander Campbell were contemporaries. 
They had more in common than just the years of 
their activities. They were both revolutionaries 
in religious thought. Both were trained for the 
ministry. Both had difficulty with the prevailing 
ideas relating to the observance of The Lord's Sup- 
per. In 1832, Emerson gave up his position as first 
assistant to Henry Ware at old Second Church, Bos- 
ton, because he could not conscientiously observe 
the communion as prescribed for Unitarians. But 
they are singularly alike in that the revolution 
against creeds of religion which was waged by the 
Campbells found expression in Emerson as a revolu- 
tion against creeds of thought. In the "American 
Scholar" he called attention to the fact that Ameri- 
cans had too long listened to the "courtly muses of 
Europe," but went on to declare, "We will walk 
on our own feet ; we will work with our own hands ; 
we will speak our own minds." This revolution of 
the scholar enunciated by Emerson in the realm of 
education had been voiced in politics by Jefferson 
from Monticello and was being proclaimed in re- 
ligion west of the Blue Ridge by the Campbells and 
Barton Stone. Of course, not all that any one of 
this trio wrote or spoke was completely consistent 
with their main revolutionary thought. Many things 
which Jefferson said were not in keeping with his 
great principles ; same with Campbell. 

It is important for members of The Disciples of 


Christ today to see both the kinship as well as the 
antipathies which these men bear for one another. 
On the frontier, the new "restoration" movement 
was able to grapple with problems in the manner 
in which Emerson declared they ought to be done. 
But Emerson, bound by conventionalism and the in- 
fluence of the Orient could not cut himself sufficient- 
ly free to become empirical in this thought. "Camp- 
bellites" have not been overly given to yogi-like 
meditation and communion with the spirit God. 
They have drunk from European waters rather than 
Oriental. The influences of rationalism were upon 
them rather than mysticism. In rereading the new 
edition of Bhagavadgita one is brought face to face 
with the strangeness of this Oriental expression in 
comparison with the thought expounded from the 
average pulpit of the Disciples of Christ. 

Merry Christmas 

By E. S. Ames 
We send, my wife and I, our warmest greetings 
to all our friends and beg them to take these greet- 
ings with as much appreciation as if we had bought 
elegant cards, autographed them, and paid post- 
age besides. Of course our good wishes may be 
delayed until after Christmas but we beg you not 
to be so literally minded as to miss the spirit of the 
occasion because of a few days' difference by the 
calendar. If the very day is essential to making 
the wishes valid, what shall we do with the cards 
we have already received ten days before the ap- 
pointed time? One of the joys of editing The Scroll 
is that the readers seem never to mind when par- 
ticular issues arrive if they feel reasonably sure 
they will receive ten issues of The World's Greatest 


Reli^ioits Monthly Magazine bearing the names of 
the months from September to June inclusive. The 
efficient Secretary of the Disciples Historical Society- 
is the only person who has been at all troubled by 
some difficulty he has found in trying to arrange 
all the issues of The Scroll from its beginning, 
forty-seven years ago, in definite and consistent 
chronological order. 

In the same friendly vein, we also wish you a 
Happy New Year! What a miracle it is that we 
shall soon be writing 1950. I count myself fortu- 
nate that my life has run in even decades which 
makes it much easier to compute one's age. I notice 
that those born in odd years often hesitate longer 
when asked their age because they have to make a 
more complicated computation. Already specula- 
tions are rife as to what this New Year will bring 
at home and abroad. The newspapers have sensi- 
tized us to events in the whole wide world, and the 
atom bomb can never be far below the threshold of 
consciousness. It requires faith of a different mag- 
nitude to give and to receive sincere wishes for a 
Happy New Year this season. But it is of the 
very substance of life and religion to keep wishing 
and hoping for the best, and to go on working for it. 

In the last SCROLL — November 1949 — my article 
on "Persistent Loyalty" presented a very idealistic 
conception of our Christian religion. The central 
principle is Love, but I am aware that it is not 
sufficient simply to repeat that great word. We 
must learn how to develop the attitude of love in 
individuals, and how to "implement" love as a work- 
ing principle in all relations of life. This is what is 
needed to make Christmas real, to make it more 
than an occasion of bright lights, tinsel, and wist- 
ful music. Yesterday I found in my files a state- 


ment from my friend, Henry C. Taylor, that bears 
upon this problem. Mr. Taylor is an Agricultural 
Economist, and as an authority in that field was a 
member of the distinguished commission that went 
to various countries a fev/ years ago to study con- 
ditions in missionary work. Professor W. E. Hock- 
ing wrote the published report of the Commission. 
A few sentences from Mr. Taylor's letter will show 
how material his thought is to this question of 
vitalizing religion. 

Farm Foundation, Chicago. November 17, 1938. 
Dear Edward: 

I listened with great interest to the discussion 
Monday evening. I feel sure that some of the per- 
sons present who participated in the discussion 
received a new inspiration. Their interest in the 
church and in religion as a means of improving 
human relations in the business and social world 
of which we are a part was greatly enhanced. On 
the way home, the young man who was walking 
with me said, "I realized a deep religious experi- 
ence this evening while sitting at the table listen- 
ing, thinking, and talking about the way in which 
the work of the church can be so focused as to wield 
an influence upon human relations." Thus, I feel 
that much good came out of the meeting for those 
present — this clearly aside from any suggestions 
you may have gotten with regard to how to proceed 
with your work as minister. 

While listening to the discussion, I put down a 
few notes which I now have before me and which 
may or may not have some value to you. I am send- 
ing my notes to you because I promised to write you 
a letter in which I would hand to you such sug- 
gestions as I might have made Monday evening had 
I not felt that on that occasion I was playing a 
better role by listening than by speaking. You know 


that in a democracy, those who will listen well are 
often more rare than those who will speak well 
and that those who are ready to lead are often 
more abundant than those who will give equal 
energy and care to being good followers of good 

The thoughts which I jotted down on a little 
slip of paper have to do with, religion and states- 
manship. I think I said something about religion 
and statesmanship before, perhaps at a meeting of 
the Campbell Institute more than a year ago, but 
there was no evidence that anyone understood what 
I was trying to say. I shall therefore narrow my 
audience down to you personally and see if I can 
say something on religion and statesmanship that 
may be understandable. 

As I see the whole problem of human life, religion 
may play a role not only in the adjustment of the 
relation of the individual to this environing world 
but also in the development of higher forms of 
culture in that world of human relations. Accord- 
ing to rough estimates made by a student in the 
U. S. Department of Agriculture, 90% of the pro- 
ductive energy of mankind is devoted to the sup- 
plying of food (40%), clothing (20%), shelter 
(20%), and transportation (10%) ; and only 10% 
to education, research, government, health, religion 
and the cultural arts. It is also pointed out that 
through increased productiveness of the various 
agencies having to do with the providing of food, 
clothing, shelter, and transportation, a smaller and 
smaller percentage of the people are required to 
supply the demands for these staples; furthermore, 
that the demands, particularly for food and cloth- 
ing, are relatively inelastic, whereas the potential 
demands for those goods and services of a cultural 
character which relate to the building of the high- 



er civilization possible to mankind, may be highly 
elastic. In this field which relates to the beautify- 
ing of our surroundings, a tremendous expansion of 
activities may take place. The associating of the 
esthetic with the satisfying of the basic wants for 
food, clothing, and lodging is very important in the 
building of a higher civilization. 

The religious leader may well start by pointing 
out the higher goals of life — those goals of man- 
kind which rise above the goals of animals, and by 
pointing out the pathway which leads to the attain- 
ment of these goals. When the subject has once 
been introduced, it may be broken down into many 
subdivisions for special treatment. 

I think you see that in all of these matters, I am 
interested in having religion perform a large 
fuction in improving the qualities of men in order 
that we may have a more ideal form of political, 
economic, social, and individual life. 

Campbell Out--Campbellited 

W. B. Blakemore, Chicago 

Some months ago there came to the Disciples 
Divinity House, as a gift from Seabury-Western 
Seminary, a copy of the Hale Lectures for 1947. 
The lectures were given by Alec R. Vidler, an 
Anglican theologian, and are entitled Witness to the 
Light: F. D. Maurice's Message for Today (Scrib- 
ner's, 1948) . I marked the book for perusal, but 
took a long time to get to it. Consequently, I have 
been six months late in adding to my vocabulary the 
most succinct statement of our Disciple position that 
I have ever read in my life. I have found Campbell 
out-Campbellited because a nineteenth century Angli- 


can succeeded in saying with magnificent precision 
exactly what Thomas and Alexander never quite 
succeeded in saying so clearly. Here are Maurice's 
words : 

The Church is a body united in the acknowledge- 
ment of a living Person; every sect is a body united 
in the acknowledgement of a certain notion. 

This quotation is from Maurice's Kingdom of Christ 
(1838), Vol. n, p. 338, and appears on p. 209 of 
Vidler's book. 

"The Church unites around a person ; a sect unites 
around a notion." Was there ever a more accurate 
way of stating just what the Campbell's wished to 
say. The next best statement is "No creed but 
Christ," followed by "In essentials unity, in non- 
essentials liberty, in all things charity." Far less 
precise are "Not the only Christians, but Christians 
only," and "Where the Scriptures speak we speak; 
where the Scriptures are silent, we are silent." None 
of these statements are as full roundly explicit as 
Mauric's words. I wish Campbell had said them, or 
had known Maurice so that he might have adopted 

Maurice was among the most beloved of nine- 
teenth century Anglicans. In the midst of High, 
Broad and Low church parties he stood above the 
tides of doctrine and grasped the essence of the 
unity of the church in the person of Jesus Christ. 
His insight is applicable far beyond the bounds of 
Anglicanism. It is an insight that is universal in its 




The Head and Front of Everything 

Van Meter Ames, University of Cincinnati 
It is a kind of violence to put off what should be 
done, and I am badly shaken by it, by the accident 
of obligation, by the avalanche of duties interfering 
with all that matters. But the rain takes time to 
drip, the trees are patient and the silence remains. 
It is easy to be busy and perhaps to be lazy, but who 
is wise? The surprising thing is that I have known 
at least four wise men myself. When I think of this 
I am ashamed not to be more like them, for I am 
no longer young. Indeed I am much older than 
they when they were enlightened and living in a 
way that was clearer than their teaching. Yet I 
have students and I have children who want to learn 
from me. 

I must pause to realize, instead of straining for 
I know not what, as if the good were ever eluding 
me. The good is here, even in this ghastly century. 
The dead are not in need of comfort. The needy 
I cannot help much. Science will. Science and 
decency we must insist on. Then there will be an 
end of war and poverty and cruelty. Then the great 
demand for philosophy Will begin. For people will 
have leisure, and the only joy, the only safety in 
leisure is wisdom. 

Food and drink and games will not fill the void. 
Building a house for everyone will take some time. 
Making each house a thing of beauty will take longer. 
Learning to paint and model, to play an instrument, 
to sing and to make paragraphs will be important, 
though not so urgent as to plan meals and days for 
children, or to think what to tell them when they 


want to know what we will not know unless we find 
out for ourselves. 

When I was little I waited for my father to come 
home. I climbed up on his lap and said, "Now tell 
me all about God, because Mother doesn't know." 
I wish I could remember what he said, but it does 
not bother me very much that I have forgotten. To 
be sure, I recall what he said on later occasions, and 
I can read what he said in his book on Religion 
which was so absorbed in its time that it practically 
disappeared. Fortunately one who fully appreciated 
it has just now had it reprinted so that I can give 
it to each of my children, with an inscription by their 
grandfather. In a way that lets me out. For there 
it is in black and white, as clear as it was in the first 
place. Yet his words are less to me than the fact 
that he said them, that he could say them to a child 
in such a way that he would cherish the experience : 
the sense of being held close by words about God. 

I had a great teacher who did not talk about God 
but who spoke of the Generalized Other, the values 
of all other people as sought by the fully developed 
self. He showed how the self developed from the 
organism through the process of stimulus and re- 
sponse in relation with other selves, until the roles 
of the others were formed into an inner forum, and 
a personality appeared which could call upon itself 
and find itself at home ; yet could not be entirely at 
home in the actual world and reached out to the ideal 
toward which it would work with others. The ex- 
citement of this outreach is still to be found in 
George H. Mead's Mind, Self and Society. 

Santayana has spoken of religion as "the head 
and front of everything." He has also considered 
religion as poetry, "as a work of human imagina- 
tion." But this is not an objection, since to him 


only the works of imagination are good. He says 
that, though not literally true, they are symbolic of 
truth, and one must live by one imaginative system 
or another. 

Impressive in these three sages is their calm, 
their humor, their silence. Their pauses borrov^ed 
from what they say, but that is edged by what they 
do not say. And when I ventured further geograph- 
ically and intellectually to meet the heir of China's 
wisdom, Fung Yu-lan, I was struck again by the 
twinkle, the poise, the pause. I am glad that Mac- 
millan has recently brought out his Short History of 
Chinese Philosophy. There is the gist of what he has 
to say, and the rest is at least suggested. He begins 
by saying that the important thing is philosophy 
rather than religion, because he identifies religion 
with the superstitions that have claimed that name 
in his country. Also he cannot think of God as the 
highest, because in his tradition and in his logic what 
cannot be named is higher than what can be named 
or personified. The highest for him is not a person 
or a place or anything but the abstract conception 
of the great whole. To think of it gives the intel- 
lectual satisfaction, so to speak, of having made 
the grand tour. It gives the sense of "crossing the 
boundary," which is not a crossing at all, not a 
passing to another region but a negation of reason 
by the ultimate use of reason. This means that a 
man reaches the highest sphere of living, and it 
means a change of attitude so that he can return to 
the ordinary world with fresh appreciation and 
realize that there is nothing better than serving the 
family and society, improving them spiritually. This 
is the "open secret" by which all the ideal value 
that could be claimed for the supernatural is found 
and cultivated in daily living. 

Fung Yu-lan puts together the mysticism of Tao- 


ism and Buddhism with the social idealism of Con- 
fucianism, and would add all that can be learned 
from the logic and science of the West. In terms 
of western thought he told me that he would com- 
bine Dewey's social philosophy with Santayana's 
sense of the metaphysical or logical background of 
life. I think my father would say that what is 
lacking here is the idea of God, at least as felt in 
terms of the personality of Jesus. And perhaps the 
sense of the importance of personality in general is 
lacking, and the kind of interest in it which led to 
the social psychology of Mead. Also perhaps the 
merging of the individual with the family, with 
society, and in turn with nature and the void beyond 
being, has something to do with the vast patience and 
stamina of the Chinese. 

At any rate it was a "happy excursion" to meet 
a thinker who knew our culture (being a Columbia 
Ph.D.) without being imbued with it, so that he 
was not sure a Thanksgiving dinner would be on 
Thursday or a Christmas party on the twenty-fifth. 
When I think of a Chinese scholar's calligraphy, 
delicate appreciation of poetry and painting, avoid- 
ance of this-worldliness and otherworldliness, devo- 
tion to human values and subordination of them to 
a cosmic perspective, I wonder whether his appar- 
ent lack of interest in the personal is not simply a 
great refinement. In fact the quality of his friend- 
ship convinces me of this. But it was not reticence 
which kept him from talking about God. He was 
clear about that. 

i had mentioned the difficulty of explaining God 
to a child. He looked at a book I had thought might 
help, telling something of different faiths held in 
the West, attractively illustrated. He observed that 
such a book would naturally make children wonder 
about God. "Well," I said, "what do people say in 


China when children ask about God?" His reply- 
was, "They don't ask." 

I remember my father's remarking on how far 
one can go with religion without saying anything 
about God ; and that to bring up this question too 
early is likely to confuse the issue; whereas if it is 
left until later the idea of God will be relatively easy 
to understand in terms of everything else. His 
objection to theology follows, because it emphasizes 
what cannot be made clear in itself, and what di- 
vides people even when they are looking for a basis 
of agreement. 

My Chinese friend does not think Christianity 
will ever make any real headway in China. This 
makes me think that if religion is the front of every- 
thing, or the philosophy which takes its place, we 
should not hope to promote peace by crusading for 
our own. Rather we should seek what agreement 
there may be in the different religions and world- 
views, as a basis for international understanding. 
A thing I think it important to teach our children 
is that the white race is a small minority on this 
planet, and that every fourth child being born is 

My father says on the last page of his Religion 
that the task now is "to reinterpret religion . . . but 
the principle upon which it may be accomplished is 
clear, and this is to discern the moral and spiritual 
values in the daily life and social relations of normal 
human beings, and to enhance and beautify them 
. . . There are new perspectives of history in which 
the great spiritual drama of the race may be dis- 
played ... in a world-wide brotherhood of divine 
power and measureless riches." 


A Three Day Week 

G. Curtis Jones, Richmond, Va. 

John L. Lewis is one of the most discussed men 
in America. I suspect he is also one of the most 
cursed men in our country. As President of the 
United Mine Workers, an organization aggregating 
some 480,000 men, whose individual daily wages 
average approximately $15.50, he wields tremendous 
po\yer. Recently, the nation waited with bated 
breath the outcome of the threatened strike. Mr. 
Lewis assumed the roll of silence; to many it was 
as perplexing as it was irritating. The coal strike 
lasted but a few hours. Mr. Lewis ordered the men 
to return to the pits for a three-day week. His 
strategy is obviously discernible. 

It shall not be my purpose to discuss the relative 
merits of the miners in their scrimmage with the 
operators nor the position of the operators in this 
pathetic philosophy of economics. There is an angle 
in this situation, however, that stimulates my imagi- 
nation. The idea of a three-day week ! What would 
happen to our general economy should similar basic 
industries follow a kindred policy? How long could 
the average man live on a three-day week income? 
However critical you may be of the Coal Chief's 
three-day week, irrespective of its far reaching con- 
sequences, has it ever occurred to you it is still ahead 
of the Church's one-day week? The question I want 
to raise is, when will the church reach even the level 
of a three-day week operation? Generally speaking, 
the church has been satisfied with a good building, 
an annual fellowship, a yearly revival, a Hallowe'en 
party for the kiddies, a Thanksgiving celebration, 
a Christmas tree for the Sunday School, and a young 
Foisdick as its pastor. These are all good, but not 


enough! If miners cannot furnish enough coal for 
our country on a three-day week operation, quite 
obviously the church cannot hope to furnish spiritual 
energy and power on a one day a week operation. 

Now, Mr. Lewis' strategy may be more of a sign 
of things to come than a study in stubbornness. We 
are living in a highly technological society. We can 
hardly realise the industrial accomplishments within 
the last half century. Many changes are forthcom- 
ing and among them a still shorter working week. 

Harvard's brilliant economist, Sumner Slichter, 
writing in the November issue of the Atlantic Month- 
ly, ventures to predict that by 1980, a generation 
hence, our national productivity will virtually double 
and that the value of goods produced by 1980 will 
probably be in excess of 550 billion dollars annually, 
as compared with last year's 246 billion dollars. 
This will be accomplished, he believes, on a thirty- 
hour week, with the per capita income estimated at 
$3,252 as compared with $1,684 in 1948. All of 
which means that modern man is having and is 
promised more leisure time than ever before. What 
will he do with this extra time? Where will he in-- 
vest it? And what can the church expect of this 
efficiency ? 

Workmen Unashamed 
The Apostle Paul, in writing to Timothy, ad- 
monishes him to be a steward of excellence, "A work- 
man who has no need to be ashamed ..." (H Tim- 
othy 2:15 R.S.V.) A workman soon leaves the 
scene but the scene remains. Work, blessed work, 
is more nearly a panacea for life's troubles than any^ 
thing else in the world. There is nothing quite so 
pathetic as a person out of work, unless it is a person 
who feels he has worked enough. 

Carlisle said, "Give me the man who sings at his 


work." Dean Brown of Yale says, "We have too 
many people who live without working, and we have 
altogether too many who work without living." 
Samuel Butler puts it this way, "Every man's work, 
whether it be literature or music, or pictures, or 
architecture, or anything else, is always a portrait 
of himself, and the more he strives to conceal him- 
self, the more clearly will his character appear in 
spite of him." 

Jesus spoke supremely when he said, "I must work 
the work of Him that sent me while it is yet day, 
for the night cometh when no man can work." (John 
9:14). The Master also declared that by one's 
fruits he would be known. Our work reveals us as 
we really are. 

What then is the work of the church? England's 
H. S. Whales maintains, "A living church lives : first 
to regenerate individual lives; second, to judge and 
redeem the society and political order which is the 
environment of those lives." The work of the church 
is to bring the mind and will of God into local focus. 
The church seeks to reveal God to man. The church 
is a sort of liaison between God and man. It points 
to Christ as its head and points up his teachings as 
the way of life. 

Worshipers Unashamed 

The church has always sought to provide worship. 
This is the central responsibility of the church. The 
reconditioning of its members, the tuning of its own 
faith, is a cardinal must with the church. In worship 
we have a cluster of magnificent reminders that 
God is spirit and that we must worship Him in spirit 
and in truth, and that He is a rewarder of those who 
seek Him. 

Phillips Brooks warned, "When all your faculties 
go up to the sanctuary to praise the Lord, do not 
leave your intellect at home to tend to the dinner!" 


The Bishop was quite right in remindinig us to bring 
our whole beings to worship, for whether it is a 
private or corporate act, it is the surrendering of 
self to God, it is seeking renewal and strength, it is 
unrobing the soul before its Maker. 

In talking with Joseph Smith, one of our mission- 
aries, just back from China, he told me that when 
the Communists were planning to take Wuhu the 
members of his church went to daily worship at 6 : 30 
every morning, and that when the Communists 
finally came they were at church. Why did they go? 
There was no parade of personalities. It was not 
a ceremony, but a conscientious quest for spiritual 
stamina in a desperate situation. 

Society canmot be saved on a one-day week ob- 
servance of worship, nor can it be salvaged with a 
three-day week program. We must become wor- 
shippers who have no need to be ashamed. 
Witnesses Unashamed 

The work of the church is to bear witness, 
"... you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and 
in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth." 
Like John of old, we are not the light but we are to 
bear witness of the light. Like the moon, we must 
become romantic reflectors, so by day and night 
men may see and know that our work is of Him 
who sent us. 

I shall never forget the impression Dr. George 
Washington Carver made on me as a college student. 
I cani see him yet, simply dressed, graciously answer- 
ing questions. His benign face was haloed with 
humility. To reflect on his life is to recall the strug- 
gles that made him strong. He was born of slave 
parents in Missouri. He was sold with his mother 
to a family in Arkansas. His mother disappeared. 
Bought from his owners for $300, Carver was re- 
turned to Missouri, where he found work and even- 


tually went to college. At last he emerged an emi- 
nent educator, scientist and Christian. Once when 
a distinguished visitor was trying to pay Dr. Carver 
a compliment he said, "You have made a great con- 
tribution to your race." Calmly the great soul an- 
swered, "My son, God and I have done this work 
together. We have mot had in mind a race ; we had 
in mind the needs of humanity." 

We cannot all bear witness as did Carver, but we 
can bear witness as laborers, as housewives, as 

The late Dr. Sparks Cadman was a very erudite 
preacher. On one occasion he was called to a humble 
home in a grey section of New York City. Oni the 
bed lay the diseased body of a dying woman. She 
had served as sister and mother to a large family. 
She was distressed because as a member of the 
church she had not borne witness as she felt she 
should. Dr. Cadman patiently listened to the story 
of travail and toil. He noticed her love-calloused 
hands. At last the plaintive voice asked, "When I 
stand before God what will I have to show him for 
these years?" Whereupon, the thoughtful preacher 
reverently replied, "My dear, show him your hands." 
Show God your hands ! 

Witnesses who have no need to be ashamed. 

Winners Unushamed 
Evangelism is not an extra curricula activity of 
the church. It is at the center of its work. Without 
the spur of evangelism few would become Christians 
and fewer still remain Christians. Contagious evan- 
gelism is more than corraling people ; it alsoi includes 
keeping believers in union with Christ. 

An evangelist is a herald of good news. News, 
good or bad, is difficult to keep. Evangelism is God's 
desire for men to win men. It is the cure of souls. 
It is the news that God is love. It is the news of 



mercy and forgiveness. It is the declaration that 
service is more honorable than self. It is the news 
that life is more valuable than property. It is the 
personal promise that when life is properly condi- 
tioned it is an eternal force. Such a concept of evan- 
gelism lifts it from the annual revival to a perennial 
pilgrimage. Evangelism thus becomes a therapy; 
in saving others we save ourselves. 

A scintillating story comes out of Texas. It con- 
cerns a prosperous Disciple layman. His preacher 
had tried to interest him in daily Christian projects 
but he was always too busy. The pastor was per- 
sistent. At last the minister succeeded in taking 
his friend with him one evening to make some calls 
— visitation evangelism we call it. The layman's 
eyes were opened and his heart was touched. He 
saw the church as never before. He saw it in the 
hearts of men. He saw needs higher than sales! 
What did he do? The next morning he called his 
business to say, "I will be out of my office for five 
days. I am engaged in big business." What was 
he doing? Giving five straight days to his church. 
From a one to a five day concept of the church ! 

"A workman who has no need to be ashamed ..." 

The Crusade for a Christian 
World Speaks for the Colleges 

By President Henry Harmon, Drake University ' 
Education is the natural child of the church. It 
is a foster child of the state. The church has found 
it necessary to share its parental responsibility with 
secular organizations, but there are certain func- 
tions and responsibilities that the church cannot 
ignore or delegate if it is to achieve its historic goal 
or render its holy purpose. 


When the Crusade speaks for Disciple institutions 
of higher learning, it presents the case of the Board 
of Higher Education, junior colleges, senior colleges, 
universities, seminaries, Bible foundations, and re- 
ligious chairs, all represented on this platform to- 

In speaking for the colleges, the Crusade's voice 
is that of more than 1,300 faculty members and 
30,000 students. The schools included represent 
$61,000,000 of assets, campus, buildings, etc., more 
tham $24,000,000 of permanent endowment, and a 
total annual operating expenditure of more than 
$12,000,000. It is obvious that higher education is 
a large enterprise with the Disciples, but not large 
enough for its task or equal to the enlarged services 
demanded of it by society and more especially by 
the advances incident to our Crusade for a Christian 

You are aware of the phenomenal postwar increase 
in collegiate enrollments. In 1940 it was 1% million. 
Last year it was 2i/2 million, an increase of 43 per 
cent, with more than one-half of them in church- 
founded schools. During the last three years the 
national increase was 20.5 per cent, while in our own 
schools it was 127 per cent, more than six times the 
national average. 

Since 1940 the cost of offering a collegiate credit 
hour has nearly doubled. Because giving to our 
schools has not increased proportionately, the church 
now furnishes only $3.68 of every $100 expended by 
the colleges. The churches' stake in this cause is 
greater, far, far greater than three per cent. If 
we are to meet the challenge and opportunity that the 
world and this Crusade places before us, the support 
of our churches and many of their members must 
be substantially greater. 

The Brotherhood has founded 292 educational in- 


stitutions during the last century and more than 
two-thirds of them are dead, largely through starva- 
tion. The 60 remaining are sorely needed. They 
constitute one of the strategic forces without which 
this Crusade and its struggle for a Christian world 
cannot succeed. 

The colleges' portion of the financial goal is $5,- 
000,000. None of this can be used for debt retire- 
ment, or endowment. Every cent of the fund is to 
be used for expansion. It is to be dedicated to the 
fulfillment of the Crusade, that is, the realization of 
a continuously crusading force. 

There are now in our colleges training for the 
ministry approximately 2,000 men and women. The 
Crusade will add 3,000 persoms to be trained for full- 
time Christian service, a glorious increase of 150 
per cent. Their training is your responsibility and 
ours. Others will not and cannot do it for us. 

From our own schools now come and will come 
our Christian lay leaders and our ministers. Never 
forget that according to a survey made by our Board 
of Higher Education, one out of every three Disciple 
students now enrolled in our own institutions is in 
training for full-time Christian service. One out 
of every three ! From our halls come our servants 
and His servants. As a Christian people, we must 
be quick to this responsibility. 

"How shall they call on Him in whom they have 
not believed? And how shall they believe in Him 
whom they have not heard ? And how can they hear 
without a preacher? And how can they preach ex- 
cept they be sent?" And in a modern society, how 
can they either believe or preach unless they are, 
first trained? 

The Crusade speaks for those institutions that, 
will train them. That is, the Crusade speaks for 
the colleges. 


An Original Rift 

W. B. Blakemore, Chicago, III. 

The body of Christians known variously as "Dis- 
ciples of Christ," "The Christian Church," and 
"Churches of Christ" is currently suffering an in- 
tense discord within its own ranks. Such discord 
has periodically been the fate of this body, and has 
resulted in at least one substantial schism in the 
past. Whether or not the current disturbance will 
result in so serious a consequence remains to be 
seen. It is not the purpose of this essay to prophesy 
the future, but to indicate one aspect of the cause 
of the difficulty. 

Articles which appeared in the April and May 
issues of the Scroll for 1949 have given a character- 
ization of one party to the dispute. That party was 
denominated a "new Fundamentalism." The asser- 
tion that it is new depends upon the fact that the 
particular constellation of ideas and practices that 
characterizes the body has emerged within relatively 
recent times. However, as the earlier articles point- 
ed out, the present party is only the current mani- 
festation of a general type which has earlier mani- 
festations within this body of Christians. The pur- 
pose of this essay is to ask the question, "Why {&• 
it possible for this general type of party to emerge' 
recurrently within the Disciples of Christ?" 

A full scale examination of the question would 
enter into psychological and sociological causes. In' 
every instance of the development of schism, such' 
causes are to be found. But the deeper question 
which must be asked is whether there is an original 
fracture within Disciple thought which tends to aug- 
ment rather than to alleviate the psychological and 
sociological sources of division. The thesis of this 
article is that there is such a rift. It is a rift which 


became apparent so early in the history of this 
religious movement that it is virtually possible to 
state that it was there from the beginning. 

The tragedy of the Disciples of Christ is that they 
began with two distinct and contradictory definitions 
of church membership. One is the definition of 
church membership expressed by Thomas Campbell 
in 1809. The other is the definition of church mem- 
bership expressed by Alexander Campbell as of 
1839. The first is the definition of church member- 
ship to be found in the Declaration and Address; 
the second is the definition to be found in The Chris- 
tian System. In the minds of most Disciples of Christ, 
these two documents tend to be taken as earlier and 
later expressions of the same point of view. But 
they contain a fundamental difference which is no- 
where more clearly seen tham in their differing defi- 
nitions of church membership." 

The Declaration and Address contains its defini- 
tion of church membership in the famous first prop- 
osition and repeats it in the eighth and ninth prop- 
ositions. The first proposition reads, "That the 
church of Christ on earth is essentially, intentionally, 
and constitutionally one; consisting of all those in 
every place that profess their faith in Christ and 
obedience to him in all things according to the Scrip- 
tures, and that manifest the same by their tempers 
and conduct, and of none else as none else can be 
truly and properly called Christians." The signifi- 
cant point of this definition which is to be brought 
into contrast with the definition of The Christian 
System is in the clause, "that profess their faith in 
Christ and obedience to him ..." In this clause, 
the verb "profess" governs both the predicate nouns, 
"faith," and "obedience." In other words, thoise 
are Christians who have professed faith in Christ 
and who have professed obedience to him. The pro- 


fession is not of faith alone, but of faith and obedi- 
ence. The "obedience" is a professed obedience. 
This does not mean that the profession of obedience 
is insincere; on the contrary, it is obviously a sin- 
cere profession that is meant. But it does mean 
that it is the one professing who judges whether or 
not, and in what sense, he is obedient to Christ in all 
things according to the Scriptures. It is not those 
who hear the profession who make that judgment, 
though they obviously have the right to judge upon 
the sincerity of the profession by watching for its 
expression in terms of the professor's temper and 
conduct. In other words, the profession of obedi- 
ence and later conduct must have integrity, but the 
content of both is to be decided by the professor in 
terms of what he believes obedience to Christ to 

What has here been reported from the first prop- 
osition of the Declaration and Address is to be found 
again in these words from the eighth and ninth prop- 
ositions, "... their having a due measure of scrip- 
tural self-knowledge respecting their lost and perish- 
ing condition by nature and practice ; and of the way 
of salvation thro' Jesus Christ, accompanied with 
a profession of their faith in, and obedience to him, 
in all things according to his word, is all that is abso- 
lutely necessary to qualify them for admission into 
his church. 9. That all that are enabled to make such 
a profession, and to manifest the reality of it in 
their tempers and conduct, should consider each 
other as precious saints of God . . . Whom God hath 
thus joined together no man should dare to put 
asunder." These words are quoted to emphasize 
that the position of the Declaration and Address is 
that the "faith" and "obedience" are both matters of 
profession. Thomas Campbell persists in this man- 
ner of speaking throughout the "Appendix," whence 


several quotations, particularly from the last eight 
pages, might be drawn with equally explicit language 
as that exhibited above. 

In contrast to the position of the Declaration and 
Address which bases church membership in a single 
action of profession is the position of The Christian 
System which makes two disitinct actions requisite 
to church membership. These two actions are a 
profession of faith and submission to a ceremony. 
The position is most clearly stated in The Christian 
System within the essay on the "Foundation of Chris- 
tian Union." This essay first appeared in Christian- 
ity Restored, published in 1835, but we call it the 
position of 1839 since that seems to be the year in 
which Alexander Campbell adopted the term SYS- 
TEM. The crucial sentences in the essay are these : 
"The belief of one fact (that Jesus is the Christ) , 
and that upon the best evidence in; the world, is all 
that is requisite, as far as faith goes, to salvation. 
The belief of this one fact, and submission to one 
institution expressive of it (baptism by immersion) , 
is all that is required of Heaven to admission into 
the church." The definition of church membership 
here given is precise enough; it has two distinct 
requisites; one in the nature of a profession of faith, 
and one in the nature of submission to a rite. Just 
as precise was the definition of 1809 with its single 
requirement of a profession embracing both faith 
and obedience. 

Did Alexander Campbell recognize that he had 
defined the terms of church membership in a man- 
ner different from that of the Declaration and Ad- 
dress? This is a question that cannot be answered. 
He probably thought that he had stayed within the 
definition of 1809. But he must have felt some 
necessity of stating certain parts of the first prop- 
osition in a new way. In The Christian System, in 


the chapter on "The Body of Christ," Alexander 
Campbell presents fourteen propoisitions, the second 
of which is obviously a re-writing of the first prop- 
osition of the Declaration and Address. Alexander 
Campbell's version of the proposition runs thus: 
"The true Christian church, or house of God, is com- 
posed of all those in every place that do publicly 
acknowledge Jesus of Nazareth as the true Messiah, 
and the only Saviour of men; and, building them- 
selves upon the foundation of the Apostles and 
Prophets, associate under the constitution which he 
himself has granted and authorized in the New 
Testament, and are walking in his ordinances and 
commandments — and of none else." This re- writing 
seems, upon casual glance, to repeat the original 
statement of 1809. But on close examination, it 
allows the introduction, under the terms of associat- 
ing according to a given constitution, of the dual 
requirement of a profession and a submission. 

Thus it is that the Disciples of Christ inherit, 
virtually from their origins, a fundamental rift. 
They can appeal in their heritage to either one of 
two different definitions of church membership. In 
the terms! of one, he is a member who professes faith 
and obedience, his own judgment as to whether he is 
truly obedient according to the Scriptures sufficing. 
In the other definition, he is obedient who professes 
faith and submits to immersion. 

Contemporary Disciples will have to face the 
fact that here isi a fundamental issue. It is a root 
of difficulty which constantly feeds into rather than 
takes away from the tendency to division which lies 
in more contemporary psychological and sociologi- 
cal forces. Beset by such a tendency, men can line 
up behind one or another of these definitions of 
church membership, and, by claiming historical sup- 
port, find their division increasing. 


The present writer takes his own stand unequiv- 
ocally with Thomas Campbell and the first proposi- 
tion of the Declaration and Address. It is only by 
accepting each other's professions of faith and obedi- 
ence as sincerely as they are made that we can have 
the sense and the reality of belonging to one body. 
The position of the Declaration and Address does 
full justice to both the subjective and objective poles 
of our religion. The subjective pole is fully recog- 
nized in the fact that our profession alone is re- 
quired. The objective pole is equally fully recog- 
nized in that it is in and to Jesus that faith and 
obedience are professed. 

In his later life, Alexander Campbell bemoaned 
that his own movement which he had hoped might 
lead to Christian unity wasi itself becoming torn 
by dissensions. The cause of these dissensions, he 
said, was the sinfulness of men. Was not Alexander 
Campbell himself the chief sinner? The sixth and 
seventh propositions of the Declaration and Address 
had asserted that systems are useful, necessary, and 
when properly derived "may be truly called the doc- 
trine of God's holy word ; yet they are not binding 
upon the conscience of Christians further than they 
perceive the connection (to Scripture)," and can- 
not "be made terms of communion, but do properly 
belong to the after and progressive edification of 
the church." But Alexander Campbell wrote just 
such a SYSTEM. And from that system he took 
a systematic definition of church membership. The 
supreme assurance of his own righteousness in this 
regard is to be found in the preface to the first edi- 
tion of The Christian System : "We flatter ourselves 
that the principles are now clearly and fully devel- 
oped by the united efforts of a few devoted and 
ardent minds ..." When men flatter themselves 
they are likely to be mistaken about the values of 


what they have accomplished. Four years later, in 
the preface of the second edition, Alexander Camp- 
bell wrote in more humble vein, "We speak for our- 
selves only; and, while we are always willing to 
give a, declaration of our faith and knowledge of the 
Christian system, we firmly protest against dog- 
matically propounding our own views, or those of 
any fallible mortal, as a condition or foundation of 
church union and co-operation." But the damage 
had been done. The first edition of The Christian 
System had published abroad a definition of church 
membership which, standing beside that given in 
the Declaration and Address, constitutes at the be- 
ginnings of our movement a rift whose consequences 
are so tragically present today. Alexander Camp- 
bell performed many great services for the Disciples 
of Christ. His failure to appreciate and preserve 
the 1809 definition of church membership is a signal 
mark of his limitations. 

As Many As Will Be Brotherly 

Claude E. Cummins 

Some of us have been deeply troubled by not being 
able to be brotherly with certain individuals and 
groups. While we never cease to keep open the gate- 
way to fellowship over which we personally have 
control there seems to be nothing we can do about 
the gate which is closed against us. We need how- 
ever, to be sure that our lack of brotherly contact 
with these individuals and groups is a result of an 
exclusive circle drawn by them. We need contin- 
ually tO' draw the circle that takes them in. 

Some time ago I received a copy of the Bulletin 
issued by the Kentucky Female Orphan's School of 


Midway, Kentucky. This school is far more than a 
rescue mission for orphans. It is one of our great 
educational ventures and operates a Junior College 
which constitutes a part of the fellowship of our 
Board of Higher Education. In this bulletin the 
pastor of the Midway church used an expression 
which intrigues me. He spoke of "A Brotherhood 
of Christians." How inclusive is our "Brotherhood 
of Christians?" 

When the average man among us speaks of "Our 
Brotherhood" he has in mind something precisely- 
comparable with what a Methodist means when he 
says "We Methodists." On the other hand "A 
Brotherhood of Christians" can be something far 
more inclusive. It can bridge many gaps. Among 
Disciples of Christ it can make possible rich and 
enriching fellowship across lines of possible separa- 
tion drawn by different methods of work, local 
church practices, and the training of men for the 

Do we not also see a "Brotherhood of Christians" 
in the coming to our communities of councils of 
churches? Is not the meeting together of Christians 
of various groups (denominations) in ecumenical 
gatherings such a brotherhood? Will not the con- 
tinuing of such brotherhood bring about much that 
we seek by organization, resolutions and discussion? 
The principle involved is that of an agreement to put 
the great realities of the Christian faith above party 
differences and to resolve to keep the bonds of 
brotherhood in spite of separate differences. 

But I must still admit that I can't open the other 
fellow's gate. He must open it and let me in. I must 
be always ready toi open my gate. 
Pittsfield, Illinois 
Dec. 28, 1949. 


From Lewis Smythe 

Nanking, November 19th, 1949 
"New Democracy" is the magic word in China 
now. On the first of October the People's Republic 
of China was inaugurated in Peking. In Nanking, 
student workers and government workers paraded 
with big pictures of Mao Tze-tung. A few days later 
they paraded again in honor of recognition of the 
People's Republic by Soviet Russia. But no parade 
has reached the high point of enthusiasm that the 
students had last April 1st. That may be because the 
most enthusiastic leaders are no longer here, having 
joined the military campaign in the southwest. 

Eighteen delegates went from Nanking to the 
People's Political Consultative Conference that set 
up the new government. Two of them were Chris- 
tians : Dr. Yao Keh-f an of Nanking Central Hos- 
pital (municipal government hospital now) and Dr. 
Wu Yi-fang, President of Ginling College. Three 
Christian leaders from Shanghai also attended : Dr. 
Y. T. Wu of the National Christian Council, Mis'S 
Cora Teng of the Y.W.C.A., and Dr. T. L. Shen 
of Medhurst College. Everybody came back enthusi- 
astic over the spirit and attitude of the leaders in 
Peking. But at this early stage, the new govern- 
ment admits only friendly political parties to par- 
ticipation. There is more of a democratic spirit be- 
tween workers, peasants, and intellectuals than of 
formal, representative government as we know it 
in the West. 

It was admitted in Peking that the biggest prob- 
lem would be to carry out their plans in all parts of 
liberated China, that the economic diflficulties would 
be tremendous until the fighting could be ended, and 
that good leadership would take time to train. Other 
visitors from the north report that the ravages of 


last summer's floods are still bad. (If only some 
of America's surplus wheat could be made available 
to these flood suiferers, as was done in 1931. ) Taxes 
of all sorts, that are very high to support the mil- 
itary campaign, delay the resumption of full pro- 
duction in business lines. Delay in adjustment of 
labor disputes interferes with production in fac- 
tories where other conditions permit operation. So 
while hopes are high the diflSculties this coming year 
are tremendous. 

Economic difficulties are upon us again, today 
reaching panic proportions. A drive for buying up 
scrap iron by the government has; recently been 
leading to pilfering of manhole covers, iron, gates, 
and anything else made of iron. And the unemployed 
are still with us. 

Bible Institutes and Colleges 

The newly formed Accrediting Association for 
Bible Institutes and Bible Colleges requires in its 
constitution that its member institutions shall sub- 
scribe annually to the following doctrinal statement : 

1. We believe that there is one God, eternally 
existing in three persons: Father, Son, and 
Holy Spirit. 

2. We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the 
only infallible, authoritative Word of God. 

3. We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, 
in His miracles, in His vicarious death and 
atonement through His shed blood, in His 
bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the 
right hand of the Father, and in His personal 
and visible return in power and glory. 


4. We believe that man was created in the image 
of God, that he was tempted by Satan and fell, 
and that, because of the exceeding sinfulness 
of human nature, regeneration by the Holy 
spirit is absolutely necessary for salvation. 

5. We believe in the present ministry of the Holy 
Spirit by Whose indwelling the Christian is 
enabled tO' live a godly life, and by Whom the 
Church is empowered to carry out Christ's 
great commission. 

6. We believe in the bodily resurrection of both 
the saved and the lost; those who are saved 
unto the resurrection of life and those who 
are lost unto the resurrection of damnation. 

Query. Is it possible that there are any institu- 
tions among the Disciples of Christ, or the Churches 
of Christ, or the Christian Churches, that subscribe 
to this statement? It is bad if any of them do, be- 
cause they should not subscribe to any "creed," and 
certainly not to this one, in this year 1950 ! Please 
send information concerning any such institutions 
thus "accredited," to The Scroll. 

Coe On Schweitzer 

Nothing that I have come across in the new mate- 
rial on Doctor Schweitzer seems to shed any light 
upon the contradictions in his personality to which 
letters of mine to you have referred. There may 
well be new light in material that I have not read. 
The limitations of my eyes necessitate restrictions 
upon my reading. Irwin Edman's review of 
Schweitzer's Philosophy of Civilization (New York 
Times Book Review, October 9) finds a gap between 
Schweitzer as philosopher and Schweitzer as hu- 
manitarian saint, but Edman does not perceive the 
dominant presence of contrary motivations. On the 


whole, it seems to me that there is more rather than 
less justification for my claim that some unsatisfied 
want has driven him in opposite directions, and 
then induced a set of non-logical rationalizations to 
make it appear that he has attained a unified per- 
sonality. If he were not the multiform genius that 
he is, nor the saintly medical missionary, perhaps 
the cleft in his personality would be publicly recog- 
nized. A halo like his is bright enough to prevent 
seeing things ! 

The capacity of my eyes is insufficient to permit 
me the reading of Schweitzer's new book. But Ed- 
man's review makes clear that Schweitzer persists 
in asserting what he has said before, that civilization 
is an offshoot of philosophy. We are only as good 
morally as our metaphysics is rational; nay, we are 
bound to be good if our metaphysics is rational! 
i^ou can guess how this sounds to persons who have 
some familiarity with the psychology of valuation. 
If I seem to be too persistent in my attempts to pene- 
trate Schweitzer's riddle, please consider how his 
attitudes, and the glamor of his fame, support the 
evasions of current religion, which relies, as he 
does, upon having the right philosophy. 

I am tempted to compare rationality a la Schweitz- 
er with rationality a la our ninety-year old Dewey, 
but I desist. 


Reconstruction in Philosophy by John Dewey. 
265 pages. $2.75. Published by the Beacon Press, 25 
Beacon St., Boston. Readable, believable, indispen- 
sable for Disciples. 

Old Paths Book Club, 5646 Rockhill Road, Kansas 
City, Mo., is publishing an amazing array of old Com- 
mentaries by Moses E. Lard, and old debates by Alex- 


ander Campbell at unreduced prices ! 

E. E. Beckelhymer, Trenton, Mo., writes: I am 
enclosing a money order which I hope will put me 
up to date until July 1. Just today I read Dr. Ames' 
address for the Institute members on Oct. 25th. It 
is a fine article for Christmas or aiiy other date in 
the year. 

Charles Lynn Pyatt, The College of the Bible, 
Lexington, Ky. I did greatly enjoy reading your 
article, "Persistent Loyalty" in the November issue 
of The Scroll ... I am inclined to believe that many 
Disciples have an inferiority complex in trying to 
face this confused world. 

/. A. Lollis, Bowling Green, Ky. I would like for 
this card to convey to Dr. Ames my immense grat- 
itude for his series of articles on Schweitzer. I re- 
cently shared with a club member a program based 
on Schweitzer's Life and Thought. My file of The 
Scroll saved my part of the program. 

C. C. Ware, Wilson, N. C. I am getting ready to 
bind my file of The Scroll ... I will have bound the 
entire two years, 1949 and 1948, into a beautiful 
volume, which I wish you could see as it is put up 
on theishelf with a lot of other volumes of The SCROLL, 
making a very handsome set covering a goodly num- 
ber of years. 

F. W. Wiegmann, Irvington, Indianapolis. To 
keep The Scroll coming to my desk is worth more 
than the three dollars due, so here's the check. 

Harold W. Dauer, Chicago. Here is a check for 
$3.00 for my dues . . . The articles in The Scroll are 
most interesting and inspirational ... I am partic- 
ularly interested in Dr. Ames' article, "Persistent 
Loyalty" and Rev. Jordan's article, "The Church 
Oflftce." I am a business man and Cubmaster of the 
Cub Scout Troop 3710 and find these articles ap- 


0. Blakely Hill, The Christian Temple, Wellsville, 
N. Y. I am enclosing my dues for the current year. 
I thoroughly enjoy The Scroll and am proud of my 
membership in the Campbell Institute. P.S. Why 
don't the members of the Campbell Institute work 
for a basis of real union among the Disciples and 
other Communions in getting our Brotherhood com- 
mitted to open membership? 

William F. Clarke, 1853 Wallace Ave., Duluth, 
Minn. I am an octogenarian. Half a century ago 
I spent six years studying (at Butler) in college 
classes with other young men the Bible from the 
Greek and Hebrew texts. Since then I have spent 
many years in public education. But though that 
may help explain' my religious ideas, it does not 
establish their truth. Some years ago Ames pub- 
lished an article of mine on "Ipse Dixit Religion." 
A thing is not true because the Pope or some other 
person has said so . . . The minister of the Presby- 
terian church I attend has been preaching a series 
of sermons on the Ten Commandments. I have con- 
tended with him that there is no room for command- 
ments in God's service. 

L. Dee Warren, Director of Publicity, U.C.M.S., 
222 Downey Ave., Indianapolis. The foreign divi- 
sion of the U.C.M.S. announces the transfer of Dr. 
and Mrs. George Earle Owen from the Argentine 
Mission to the Philippine Mission. Dr. Owen was 
born in Virginia, graduated from Bethany College, 
received his M.A. from the University of Chicago 
through the Disciples Divinity House, the B.D. from 
Union Seminary in New York, and the educational 
doctorate from Columbia University. Dr. Owen is 
at present serving on the staff of A Crusade for a 
Christian World until June 30, 1950. 

Loivell Earnest Cantrell, 589 Tremont St., Boston, 


Mass. I have just read the November Scroll with a 
great deal of pleasure for the most part. I was 
impressed with the article, "Persistent Loyalty" as 
an up to date apology for the Disciples of Christ . . . 
More and more I find myself appreciating my Dis- 
ciple background. It is something to be proud of 
when one confronts the highly sophisticated apathet- 
ic kind of Christianity that is found in many New 
England Congregational churches today. I certainly 
can't agree with your lack of love for metaphysics 
and theology. Neither can Albert Schweitzer whom 
you seem to appreciate! ... I want to continue to 
receive The Scroll. I also want to thank some one 
for sending me the unpaid for copies I have received 
this year. They have not gone unread. 

(It would be interesting to have Mr, Cantrell, or 
anyone else, show that Albert Schweitzer is appre- 
ciative of theology! E.S.A.) 

A. C. Garnett, University of Wisconsin. In an- 
swer to the question. Does the typewriter have spir- 
itual value? My answer to your question would be 
as follows : Either the term "spiritual" in the ques- 
tion given is meaningless, or there is a distinction 
between spiritual and non-spiritual values. If such 
a distinction is drawn, then the mere leisure and 
absence of worry due to the typewriter could not 
be classed as an intrinsic value, for it is merely 
negative, presenting an opportunity for spiritual 
expression or non-spiritual. So presenting an op- 
portunity it might be classified as an instrumental 
value, but whether instrumental to spiritual or non- 
spiritual values would all depend on how the oppor- 
tunity is used. Best of good wishes. 

Emory Ross, 156 Fifth Ave., New York. Dr. and 
Mrs. Albert Schweitzer put foot again on Lambarene 
soil in Africa on Friday, November 18th. They have 
written at once, even before unpacking their bags, 


to express the deep gratitude in which so many of 
their American friends, new and old, are held for 
the various kinds of support which have been given 
to their lives and work. Dr. Schweitzer has recently 
required $3,000 for local needs of the hospital at 
Lambarene. Friends have made it possible to send 
this to him. At his request we are now ordering 
$2,000 worth of drugs in this country. 

Harvard's Way 

E. S. Ames 

Nothing has come to our desk concerning religion 
that is more significant than the prospectus issued 
recently by the President and Fellows of Harvard 
University on "A New Center of Religious Learning 
— at Harvard." A carefully appointed commission 
has been studying the problem for three years, and 
now invites suggestions from alumni and friends 
of this greatest of American universities. The in- 
quiry is based upon the conviction that a profound 
crisis is upon our civilization. "The world has 
achieved brilliance without wisdom, power without 
conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and 
ethical infants. Man is stumbling blindly through 
a spiritual darkness while toying with the precarious 
secrets of life and death." 

The crisis is moral and religious even more than 
it is political, economic, or technological. Education 
is not the answer, knowledge is not enough, and 
morality alone is not enough. Some signs of hope 
are that church membership is increasing faster 
than the population, and that there is a steady growth 
of the church unity movement. But there is need 
for the study and teaching of religion at the uni- 
versity level. State institutions are not permitted 


to teach religion, and denominational schools lack 
the resources and vision to adequately train the 
ministers and scholarly teachers of religion needed. 
There are less than a dozen schools of religion con- 
nected with universities that are either non-sec- 
tarian in constitution or inter-denominational in 
practice. Those at Chicago, Harvard, and Yale, 
with Union Seminary at Columbia are the type de- 
sired. But Harvard admits that at the present time 
it is not equipped to do its part toward the great 
need felt. 

Emphasis is given to the period when religious 
philosophy — not theology — was represented by 
Palmer, James, Royce, Santayana, Perry, Hocking 
and Whitehead. That tradition in religious philqs- 
ophy it is vitally important to continue. It is esti- 
mated by the commissioners that the school of re- 
ligion contemplated would require a staff of 21, and 
endowment of approximately $6,000,000. "We be- 
lieve that Harvard should continue to fulfill its own 
heritage as the first institution to educate for the 
ministry in this part of the world ; to carry out its 
national responsibility as a great university; and 
tO' accept a role or responsibility to Western Chris- 
tendom, by aligning itself vitally and wholeheartedly 
with the religious life of the community, the nation, 
and the world. Surely Harvard is not indifferent 
or unresponsive to the world's desperate need of 
moral leadership and spiritual guidance." 

I was happy to send my hearty approval of this 
statesmanlike survey of Harvard's opportunity and 
ability to make a magnificent contribution to vital 
religion on a scale, and in a spirit, in keeping with 
Harvard's Way in its effective leadership in so many 
phases of learning and human life. 

Also, I responded to the request for suggestions, 
that I hoped the name of this great institution would 


be, "The Harvard School of Religion," and not the 
"theological" school, or the "divinity" school. I 
have deep seated reasons for objecting to the word 
theology and its derivatives. Theology belongs to 
the era and to the state of mind that gave us "astrol- 
ogy" and "alchemy" with "numerology" and other 
terms that have become meaningless. "Philosophy 
of Religion" stands to theology as astronomy to 
astrology, and as chemistry to alchemy. The falla- 
cies and foolishness of astrology are well- shown in 
what Life Magazine for January 2, 1950, page 4, 
reports as to an astrologer's prognostications con- 
cerning Baby Shaw, first born of the 20th century ! 

Review by W. E. Garrison 


Religion. By Edward Scribner Ames. Third 
printing. John 0. Pyle, 8841 Leavitt St., Chicago 20, 
$3.00. This very important study of the fundamental 
characteristics and concepts of religion, and of its 
place among other human interests, has been out 
of print for several years. It was first published 
(Henry Holt & Co.) in 1929. The present reprint is 
from the original plates. Dr. Ames has the advan- 
tage of viewing religion from two standpoints. When 
the book was written he had been for nearly 30 years 
the minister of a thriving and growing church and, 
simultaneously for that entire time, a professor of 
philosophy in the University of Chicago. Further, 
his early teaching and researches in psychology and 
the writing of his Psychology of Religious Experi- 
ence had carried him also into the field of cultural 
anthropology. His point of view is that of a non- 
super naturalistic interpretation of man and the 
cosmos. It is fairer to call it that than to call it either 
naturalistic or humanistic. The author rejects the 


concept of a two-story universe in which the natural 
and the supernatural are sharply separated except 
as the supernatural has occasionally broken through 
into the world of natural law and science. But the 
"natural" and the "human" are, for him, so rich 
in spiritual significance and potentiality that the 
connotation of those terms is not bounded by their 
dictionary definitions. This does not mean that 
there are no sharp issues between Ames' views and 
those of most orthodox theologians. There are 
plenty. Even those who differ with him radically 
will be, or should be, glad to have this work in print 
again, for there has been no better statement of the 
position which it represents, none that includes such 
an appreciation of the values of personal and insti- 
tutional religion, and few with such charm of style. 


(Written circa A.D. 842, by Po Chii-I, when he was 


Dear friends, there is no cause for so much 

I shall certainly manage from time to time to 

take my walks abroad. 
All that matters is an active mind, what is the 

use of feet? 
By land one can ride in a carrying-chair; by 
water, be rowed in a boat. 

— From "Translations from the Chinese*' 
hy Arthur Waley, puh. by Knopf. 

Jacob H. Goldner, pastor of the Euclid Avenue 
Christian Church in Cleveland from 1900 to 1945, 
passed away suddenly on December 31, 1949. He 
was 78, a graduate of Hiram, and was called to 
Euclid Avenue after two years in the Disciples 
House, Chicago. He was a loyal member of the 
Campbell Institute. His was a great and fruitful 



The Times Are Ripe 

E. S. Ames 

In the south window of our breakfast room we 
planted some bulbs in flower pots three weeks ago, 
and now O'ut of what seemed just black earth 
miracles are happening-. Within a week, from the 
buried bulbs green sprouts appeared through the 
black soil. Every morning we noticed with delight 
that they had pushed upward through the night, and 
yesterday, at a foot in height, the green stems of 
the narcissus plant bore beautiful white flowers, 
delicate, fragrant and spotless. Our hopes were ful- 
filled, and new life radiated through the room. The 
other bulbs are repeating the miracle of life. 

Three hundred years ago there began a new move- 
ment in the soil of human thought. It sprang from 
seed sown centuries ago by the great teacher who 
gave the parable of the Sower. From the tireless 
processes of sowing and reaping, new growths 
flowered and enriched the earth. Some seeds were 
transplantd to the rich, virgin soil of this new conti- 
nent of America. Eager souls watched for signs 
of the awakening of the new ideas which might 
spring from the transplanted stock. In the new 
environment many striking developments appeared. 
Old bodies, long confined to the same habitat, put 
forth novel branches. Others burdened by dead and 
tangled limbs, fell under the weight of confus- 
ing winds of doctrine and the prunings of free 
thought. The energy of a different climate, and 
freedom from old restraints, contributed to unac- 
customed forms of institutions and beliefs. 

Thomas Campbell, and the husbandmen who 
worked with him in the newly discovered vineyard. 

I.asi iiKiiitli's issue slimild have lieen No. 5. 


were thrilled with expectations of unprecedented 
developments. Little congregations were budding 
promises of a new order of religious life. They 
sought to preserve and strengthen whatever was 
essential to the growth of the plant that grew 
from the parent seed, and to uproot and discard 
whatever was alien or inimical to that growth. It 
was not long until their faith was rewarded by the 
sight of growing groups of happy men and women 
conscious of unfettered freedom, in a free state 
and in a free fellowship. There was no compulsion 
in the faith they professed. It was the spontaneous 
faith of love for Jesus Christ. The power and gen- 
tleness of their faith made them one. That was the 
flower they desired, and they believed it could be 
cultivated in any group that would plant the seed 
of it in their hearts and faithfully tend and care 
for it. 

That was their first great religious discovery. 
No significant group had ever tried it before, at 
least not in this modern world. In the ancient 
world, under the impact of the warming sun that 
shone upon them, multitudes felt themselves to be 
brothers and comrades because they were brothers 
and comrades of Christ. But the simplicity of 
that faith, and the union that arose from it, was 
lost because men did not fully trust it. Instead 
they undertook to force conformity. They devised 
pathways for thought, patterns for devotion, and 
limits for imagination. Spontaneity was inhib- 
ited. The child mind, with its freshness and 
promise was suspect. Fiction and drama were 
dangerous. A straight gate and a narrow way alone 
could give safety and direction. The idea of a natu- 
ral, happy love of Jesus as the unifying influence 
among his devoted and isincere followers seemed 
lax and divisive. To the conventionally orthodox 


mind, it was necessary to have laws and rules 
drawn from the highest authority to attain unity 
and religious efficiency. If men were given free- 
dom of thought in matters of citizenship, society 
would lose order. That was the judgment the old 
monarchical systems passed upon American de- 
mocracy. It seemed to lack all structure because it 
did not depend upon external authority and upon 
severe punishment for transgression of that au- 
thority. It was the same attitude in religion that 
made adherents of the old denominations regard 
the Disciples as a dangerous latitudinarian, or even 
as an antinomian, group that could not hold togeth- 
er without more rigid bonds of doctrine and dis- 

Not all Disciples clearly grasped the attitude of 
Thomas Campbell, nor do they today. There was a 
"rift" even in the mind of his son Alexander who, 
at times, slipped into the old legalism from which 
he so nearly freed himself. His answer to the fa- 
mous "Lunenberg Letter" is the often quoted evi- 
dence of his real emancipation. This answer should 
be familiar to every Disciple, and especially to every 
student for the ministry. It shows the resurgence 
of the mind of Thomas Campbell. He saw that the 
only basic and saving principle in the teaching of 
Jesus is love, and love is not a doctrine but an 

The attempt to enforce unity is divisive. The per- 
mission of differences is unifying. Differences 
conscientiously held in a spirit of goodwill give 
promise of growth. They do not portend dead uni- 
formity. They are indications of active, searching 
inquiry for light. Human spirits, like plants, seek 
light, and the light brings flower and fruit in the 
course of nature. In this process emerges a mar- 


velous variety of beauty, in form and color, in 
substance and vitality. 

In our cooperative thinking these principles have 
received new emphasis and clarity. Dean Blake- 
more, in the April SCROLL, 1949, revealed an im- 
portant difference between the Old Orthodoxy and 
the New Fundamentalism. Both made faith in 
Christ essential to membership in the Church, but 
the former required no definition in doctrinal terms 
of that faith, while the new fundamentalism did 
demand that the candidate explain in what sense he 
regarded Jesus as divine. Dean Blakemore says: 
"Originally, as our founders recognized, the fellow- 
ship of the Christian church was based upon per- 
sonal loyalty to Jesus expressed in the simplest 
terms. . . . During the early centuries of Christi- 
anity, another basis of membership developed with- 
in the churches and finally became universal. Church 
membership was based upon conformity to a state- 
ment of belief, a creed. The genius of the Camp- 
bells and Stone lay in their recognition that this 
procedure, which had become classical in Protes- 
tantism, exactly reversed the original relationship 
between fellowship and belief. They effected a 
'Copernican Revolution,' and restored the primitive 
way. ... If we will give primary allegiance to the 
Christian fellowship and only secondary allegiance 
to our own interpretations of doctrinal matters, we 
can exist in Christian unity. . . . Doctrinal matters 
can be fruitfully discussed only after the establish- 
ment of Christian fellowship, and within the at- 
mosphere which it affords. The original and con- 
tinuing promise of this insight was Christian unity 
and release from centuries of division arising out 
of differing creeds and beliefs. This recognition 
that the whole doctrinal apparatus of the church 


belongs after the establishment of fellowship was 
the thing that made us from the start a non-sec- 
tarian body." 

Another approach to an understanding of the non- 
dogmatic position of the Disciples of Christ is set 
forth in an interesting article by Dean A. T. De- 
Groot of Texas Christian University, in the Chris- 
tian-Evangelist of January 25, 1950. The subject 
is, Slavery is a Matter of Opinion. There could 
scarcely be a more crucial subject on which to make 
a test question as to how much liberty of opinion 
was allowed by the Disciples without breaking the 
bonds of church membership. "The Disciples of 
Christ were the only church people of large num- 
bers in the United States who were not divided in 
any formal way by the slavery issue and the Civil 
War." They had at the time of the War, 829 churches 
in the South and 1241 in the North. Their political 
loyalties were strong in both camps. "Into the caul- 
dron of growing bitterness between North and 
South, Alexander Campbell repeatedly poured the 
soothing slogan compounded of Scripture, historic 
insight, and common sense. Slavery is a matter of 
opinion," he asserted. 

It is a curious fact that the Disciples came to 
accept human slavery as a matter of opinion over 
which they should not divide but at the same time 
could not generally enough leave organ playing in 
church in the realm of opinion, and thus prevent 
the separation of the Churches of Christ (half a 
million or more) from the Disciples of Christ (con- 
tinuing with more than a million) . Here is a para- 
dox too tragic to accept complacently ! 

The second half of Dr. DeGroot's article opens 
problems of the gravest sort for the Disciples to- 
day. He interprets the slogan about slavery being a 



matter of opinion, if I understand him, that "ethics 
is a matter of opinion in Christianity." He says, 
"Is Pacifism, or atomic bombing of civilian popu- 
lations, a matter of opinion? The answer is Yes. 
Consecrated Christians are honestly divided on the 
issue. The New Testament has no dogmatic teach- 
ing about participation or non-participation in 
atomic-age war. This being the case, pacifists have 
no right to refuse fellowship to honest militarists, 
and the latter equally may not disfellowship the 
former. Is capitalism or socialism the Christian 
economic program? The answer is a matter of 
opinion. . . . The same answer must be given to 
fundamental queries in methods of penology, segre- 
gation of races, organization of labor, equal rights 
for women, and other serious issues in our society." 

Dr. DeGroot does not think this leaves us moral- 
ly bankrupt or without guidance. But the applica- 
tion of tolerance, and maintenance of church fel- 
lowship in spite of differences is not easy. He says : 
"We miust face the full implication of this historic 
slogan. It would mean, for example, that should 
■a man become convinced today that human slavery 
is the will of God and should be reinstituted, his 
opinion must be respected as far as fellowship in 
the church is concerned. This is the necessary 
chance that an open and changing and growing 
society must take. The new claimant of slavery, how- 
ever, himself must recognize the opinion status of 
his belief — and be willing to take the consequences 
under the law for his new belief. So it is with the 
pacifist, the advanced economist, the feminist, and 
all other cells on the growing edge of the plant that 
we call Christian society." 

Thoughtful readers will raise questions about 
this position. One of them will likely be, If the Dis- 




ciple position that slavery is an opinion "compound- 
ed of Scripture, historic insight, and common 
sense," is Scripture ever independent of historic 
insight, and common sense? Is opinion, when care- 
fully guarded by Scripture, historic insight, and 
common sense, the ultimate authority? Is this the 
principle to which the author refers in the last para- 
graph of his most interesting article when he says : 
"The glory of this principle is that, honestly re- 
spected, it will make of the church the 'blessed 
society' indeed, the goal of sober men's fond hopes, 
a colony of heaven in the midst of earth and its flux. 
This slogan (slavery is a matter of opinion) may 
prove to be the most original of all that the Resto- 
ration Movement has contributed tO' Christian 
thought." This enthusiasm seems to mean that by 
attaining this position, the Disciples of Christ have 
reached a secure basis of union and irrefragible 
fellowship. So be it! 

There are two historic positions by which a valid 
basis of union has been sought. One is that Christi- 
anity may be kept free from concrete, specific 
social problems. Let the church be the church is 
its injunction. That seems to be what Benjamin 
Franklin meant when he said, "One of the most 
sublime evidences that Christianity is from God, 
is found in the fact of its non-interfering spirit 
with any of the secular institutions, civil govern- 
ments and administrations of any country in the 
world, whether good or bad." The other position 
is that of "taking sides" but allowing that the other 
side may be taken in good conscience without break- 
ing fellowship. In this way the unity of forbear- 
ance, patience, and much practical cooperation 
may be maintained. Neither method is simple in 
application but those who have advocated and fol- 
lowed liberal social opinion have paid the higher 


price in suffering ostracism, and misunderstanding. 

This discussion leads eventually into the question 
of truth and authority. The tendency has been in 
practically all denominations to regard it essential 
to set up standards of belief and conduct as absolute 
and 'unchangeable. That has given rise to "heresies" 
and divisions. The Disciples have been relatively 
free from both of these blemishes on the church. 
They have been "practical" and experimental peo- 
ple. Progress has been achieved by an experi- 
mental method, notably with reference to the organ, 
missionary societies, education, church architec- 
ture, social reforms, politics, economics, recreation, 
marriage and divorce, church membership, and in- 
terdenominational cooperation. They have sought 
to be "reasonable" in these things, not on the basis 
of abstract reason of some fixed authority, but 
rather by means of a reasonableness of experience 
and Christian good will. "By their fruits," acts of 
this kind of reasonableness are known, more than 
by logical demonstration in the usual sense of logic. 

The Times Are Ripe for this kind of religion. 
It is symbolized by the growth of flowers in the 
window ledge, and in the garden and field. Think 
of the miracles that have been wrought by this 
method in the development by Burbank of the 
chrysanthemums, by Charles Darwin, De Vries, and 
Mendel, in their specialties! There are abundant 
illustrations of the principle in child care, medicine, 
psychology, in missionary work and religious edu- 
cation. There are signs that the Disciples are com- 
ing to clearer consciousness of their unique place 
in the unfolding of a vital, reasonable, unifying, and 
appealing, empirical interpretation of Christianity. 
The Times Are Ripe for its reception, and it is 
obligatory upon all who discern the signs of the 



times to share in the processes that really make for 
the growth of union in the hearts of all men. The 
great need is not so much for numbers, or wealth, 
as for understanding and a right spirit. 

The Crisis Theology 

W. M. Forrest, Cuckoo, Va. 

"The harvest of a quiet eye" has brought me of 
late a rich store. Such is part of the reward of 
retirement after years of busy activity; a garner- 
ing in of the fruits of other men's toil in fields 
whereon one has spent no labor. Theology is a 
field in which a life time of study and teaching of 
matters religious has taken me for only scant and 
occasional gleanings. Hence it seemed that some 
time spent on the New^ Theology that has been re- 
ceiving large attention especially since the latest 
great war might be interesting. That is where "a 
quiet eye" has been unobtrusively observing. 

Picking up an amateur knowledge of what such 
new theologians as Kark Barth, Emil Brunner and 
Reinhold Niebuhr were doing with the teaching 
of their distinguished forerunner S. A. Kierke- 
gaard (1813 to 1855) was not difficult. It was not 
astonishing to find that they were like all meta- 
physical thinkers from the dawn of human history 
in finding deep mystery, seemingly insoluble prob- 
lems, and apparent paradoxes in the universe. Nor 
was it strange that their most devoted studies and 
honestly declared conclusions brought them into 
conflict, not only with the teachings of the old 
theology, but also with many of the findings of their 
fellow travelers in the new paths they were all seek- 

One refreshing thing soon apparent in the con- 
flict between the champions of the neo-orthodoxy 


and of the old order was the general courtesy and 
judicial fairness with which they treated one an- 
other. Gone were the bitterness and scurrility that 
characterized, for instance, the controversy of the 
early years of the Protestant Reformation. Martin 
Luther and Sir Thomas More could bawl at their 
opponents like London fish-wives, seeking to defend 
the pure and shining truths of the gospel by plaster- 
ing one another with the nauseous filth of the 
gutter. There seems to be no disposition among 
them to subject their opponents to the penalties 
visited upon heretics in the Puritan colonies, nor to 
revive the horrors of the Spanish Inquisition, nor 
kindle anew the fires that the great Oalvin was 
content to have consume Servetus merely because 
of a difference between them respecting the Trinity. 

On both sides of the profound questions dealt 
with by different schools of theology there are deep 
convictions, and a willingness to "contend earnest- 
ly for the faith." But as distinguished from the 
temper of the ancients, and from the vituperation 
of modern emotional champions of fundamentalism 
there seems to have been a happy deliverance. True, 
there is not perfection in this respect. Where is 
there in human relations? Barth and B'runner not 
only make charges against each other, though both 
of the new school, they and others sometimes speak 
in apparent anger of opposing thinkers. But the 
new world of serious scholars has learned the way 
of the Lord more perfectly than the contenders of 
the old order knew it. John Stuart Mill, "On the 
Liberty of Thought and Discussion" has stated with 
profound wisdom the rules of proper controversy. 
He concludes that noble treatise with words that 
every Christian debater should observe, and adds: 

"This is the real morality of public discussion ; 

and if often violated, I am happy to think that 


there are many controversialists who to a great 
extent observe it, and a still greater number 
who conscientiously strive toward it." 

A second discovery made in my study of the new 
theology was not so comforting. It seemed to hark 
back to an ancient and hoary tenet of theology that 
finds classical expression in the Genesis account of 
the Fall of Man and the consequent universal 
doctrine of original sin. Perhaps the biblical story 
may be to them, or some of them, not history but 
fable conveying a profound truth. But even as 
treated by Niebuhr in his excellent "Faith and 
History" (Scribner's 1949) he seems to over-em- 
phasize the effects that both ancient and recent 
heredity play in hum'an sin. Is there not in the 
new theology generally a denial of the possibility 
of normal human advance because of original sin? 
Only by some such miracle as was to meet eternal- 
ly condemned sinners at the mourner's bench, it 
would seem that they could be snatched from doom 
by the Holy Ghost. Despite all the inheritance of 
our animal nature, and the all encompassing evil 
of our environment is it not true that the will to 
salvation can make possible its attainment. Or 
are we doomed to perpetual failure if no individual 
miracle comes in answer to our piteous crying to 
God to relent? 

Which leads to a third and closely related matter. 
One of the characteristics of democratic revolutions 
has been a firm belief in human perfectability. It 
stands out prominently in the writings of Thomas 
Jefferson and our whole school of the writers of 
his period. Given a fair chance free from political 
oppression, men were to advance higher and higher 
towards perfection. With the marvelous develop- 
ment of science and technology our scale of living 


in our own democracy seemed to confirm that be- 
lief. The Church as well as secular society held 
that humanity was on the march spiritually as 
materially. Day by day in many ways, if not in 
every way, the world was getting better and better. 
Human history would eventuate in a world wherein 
dwelt righteousness. The kingdom of heaven was 
on the way. If advancement seemed at times to be 
going in a circle bringing it back to barbarian evil, 
it was actually moving upon a spiral, mounting 
ever higher and higher. 

Then came total war not only sweeping away the 
material advancement of millions of people, but 
unleashing in a highly cultured race demonic savag- 
ery that seemed to prove a delusion all the dreams 
of perfectability. The chaos and despair resulting 
plunged into a slough of pessimism the children of 
light. Loudly has been proclaimed the death of 
liberalism. All the dreams of spiritual and moral 
attainment in the victorious march of man have 
been supposed to vanish. That has led to an in- 
tensifying of superstition, emotional religion, 
notions of adventism, and apocalyptic cataclysms 
that are never dead in the world. Its apostles hold, 
and convince many supposedly intelligent people, 
that salvation is not to come from the stable forms 
of Christianity with their learning and power, but 
from a sort of crazy fringe of minor sects whose zeal 
and phrensy will bring to earth a divine conqueror 
to destroy the hated liberals and lead the righteous 
to glory. 

There is nothing astonishing in all that so far 
as the relatively unlearned are concerned. The amaz- 
ing thing is that the highly intelligent advocates of 
the new theology champion similar views. Read 
Niebuhr's "Faith and History" and see. It is a 
notable book, containing much truth, finely and 


thoughtfully expressed. But it repudiates all hope 
of a happy outcome of the course of history. It 
walls man in with despair except as he is to give 
up all effort of his own to escape the consequences 
of the inherited disease of sin and be cured by the 
miracle of grace. 

That such teaching plays into the hands of all 
opposers of an enlightened liberalism is unfortu- 
nate. But, worse than that, it threatens to cut the 
cord binding man to belief in human freedom of 
the will and moral responsibility. Independent stu- 
dents of the new theology have repeatedly called at- 
tention to the relation of its teaching to ethics. Es- 
pecially has H. D. Lewis, Professor of Philosophy, 
University College of North Wales, dealt with it 
admirably and succinctly in his, "Morals and the 
New Theology" (Harper and Brothers). As the 
"Manchester Guardian" puts it, "This is a power- 
ful and closely reasoned attack on the ethical views 
of some of the best known theologians of the day, 
particularly Barth, Brunner and Niebuhr." If we 
are to go back to the helplessness of the sinner as 
stripped of all power of initiative both in good and 
evil and therefore of all responsibility that could 
really make him a sinner, we better leave our 
new guides and return to the mourner's bench. 

There remains now for notice the most extra- 
ordinary feature of the neo-orthodoxy. It is the 
revolt against reason, claiming the right to ignore 
rational principles. Here one needs to tread softly 
if not fully initiated into its method of procediire, 
and more especially if one is like myself in being 
only a novice in any system of theology whatever. 
In all fairness it must be freely admitted that ration- 
alism has often been a foe to faith, that reason 
may exalt itself in vain-glorious pride against God, 


and that even Paul, the most rational of all the 
New Testament writers, registered a powerful pro- 
test against the vaunted wisdom of his- day both 
as manifested in pagan philosophy and in Christian 
speculations. That, however, is far from justifying 
the setting of faith and reason in irreconciling op- 
position to each other, and claiming faith to be true 
in proportion to its contradiction of reason. To 
the extent that the Barthians challenge the com- 
petence of reason to deal with faith they make un- 
intelligible any system of theology whatever, since 
none can be fashioned nor understood save by 
rational study. It is something like the old saying, 
"When Berkeley says there is no matter, then it 
is no matter what he says." 

This phase of the new theology has been so fairly 
examined, so clearly stated, and so ably answered 
in Harold DeWolf's, 'The Religious Revolt Against 
Reason" (Harper Brothers 1949) that everyone 
interested in the movement to any degree should 
read it. In all the record of religious controversy 
it would be difficult, if not impossible, to find a 
finer example of objective treatment of opponents 
than Professor DeWolf's. With no rancor or biting 
sarcasm, and almost a leaning over backwards in 
stating the teachings from Kierkegaarde to Nie- 
biihr, an example of fairness is displayed that would 
be a reason for reading the book if there were none 
other. As DeWolf's former teacher. Professor 
Brightman, has said, "Your treatment to Soren 
Kierkegaard is so objective as almost to convince 
even me that he is right." The charges against rea- 
son, reason's defense, objections to irrationalism, 
and reason and faith are set forth in a series of 
chapters thus designated. This gives a treatment, 
both negative and positive, of the new movement 
that it merits by reason of its devotion to its task, 


and the large influence it is wielding in a world 
desperately seeking guidance in its present crisis. 

The statement I have made that neo-orthodoxy's 
revolt against reason is the most extraordinary 
thing about it, can best be justified by recognizing 
the revolters as amongst the most highly educated 
and the most keenly rational defenders of their po- 
sition in the modern world. In theory they repudi- 
ate reason as a means of finding God or faith in 
him, and then they resort to reason to prove they 
are right. Such repudiation is not new among the 
religious who are illiterates in philosophy, theology, 
science and history, as well as among the strictly 
unlettered. But in the end, when Christianity ceases 
to command "a reasonable service" however en- 
thusiastic, or its devotees no longer can "give a 
reason for the hope" that is theirs however emo- 
tional their answer, or God's children no longer re- 
spond to the call, "Come, let us reason together," 
humanity has reached an ultimate bankruptcy. 

True, the perfectability of humanity may be over- 
stressed ; true, the believers in an automatic 
progress that would soon land all men in a Utopia 
has met a rude shock ; true, that liberalism has been 
overtaken by inherent faults ; true, that faith comes 
by revelations to its seers. But the hope of a king- 
dom of God on earth is still possible to thoie 
who seek to "go on to perfection." And the faith 
that God's great plan in history will be worked 
out is a tenable belief. And we need but to seek 
with all our powers of will and mind the God who 
"has not left himself without witness" in every 
generation. His revelation is always available to 
man and nations according to their capacity to re- 
ceive, and not dependent upon God's favoritism or 
caprice, nor upon irrationality or sycophancy. 


The new theology like the old has its virtues and 
its faults. Let us "prove all things and hold fast 
that w^hich is good. Ponder this last w^ord which is 
De Wolf's, "Faith without reason is at best fanati- 
cism and at worst insanity." 

Edward McShane Waits 

Perry Gresham, Detroit, Mich. 

The library of Edward McShane Waits tells a 
story of diverse interests and broad culture. His 
easy friendship with the literati included such op- 
posites as Plato and Irvin Cobb. Few men have 
committed to memory as much worthy poetry. Vast 
sections of Browning, Tennyson, Milton or Mat- 
thew Arnold would appear in his public addresses 
with such facile quotation that the President be- 
came the incarnation of the literature he loved. His 
phrasing had a poetic turn. His words lured the 
imagination of his hearers to distant scenes, bright 
landscapes, human concerns and moral ventures. 

His salient success as President of a growing 
college through its most difficult depression days 
resulted largely from his character, his capacity for 
friendship, and his inveterate purpose. When in- 
come from endowments diminished alarmingly just 
at the time when some other so'urces of revenue 
vanished the stout integrity and self-sacrificing 
attitude of the leader held the faculty together ard 
kept the institution at a respectable academic level. 
His friends among the leaders of business, industry, 
church and agriculture generously supported the 
recovery which came with surprising rapidity. In 
the darkest hour when salaries were slashed ard 
projects' were abandoned a frightened colleague 
queried, "What shall we do?" The skipper made 
brave answer in the lines of Tennyson, 


" my purpose holds 

To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths 
Of all the western stars, until I die. 

Though much is taken, much abides; and 

We are not now that strength which in old days 
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, 

we are, . . . 
One equal tem.per of heroic hearts. 
Made weak by time ar.d fate, but strong in will 
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield." 
No wonder one of his most able faculty mem- 
bers, Rebecca Smith, quoted a student as saying, "We 
just took him. fcr granite." 

He was a genius at companionship. Counsel from 
his deans, professors, students or constituents was 
always welcome. There was no ego involvement to 
make him touchy. He never yielded to the defen- 
siveness of insecurity or the pretense to om- 
nisc'ence. He was equally at home with a Pan- 
handle freshman or Julian Huxley who was a per- 
sonal friend. He regaled his guests with engaging 
conversation brightened with humor. He was de- 
lightfiily detached and yet vitally concerned. He 
could "see life steady and see it whcle." 

The city of Fort Worth honored him as its out- 
standing citizen and wrote his name in the city's 
Bcok of Golden Deeds. His colleagues of the minis- 
try honored him with high offices in the church and 
cherished his genial presence at all the conventions. 
His tall Texas tales made him a sensation at the 
sports as-emblies and gridiron banquets. He fol- 
lowed the athletic conquests of TCU from coast to 
coast. He had the complete confidence of the men 
of business and industry who gave guidance to 


the fabulous economy of the Southwest. His fellow 
educators held him in affectionate regard. He knew 
how to give and receive friendship. 

Stories of his high good humor and massive in- 
tegrity will linger. The annals of the school to 
which he gave his life are replete with references 
to his pioneering. His brilliant English Professor 
daughter renews his influence by speech, pen and 
presence. Those of us who knew and loved him re- 
flect his personality. The reasonable and practical 
religion which he lived and taught has been given 
to history and a myriad "lives made better by his 
presence." By God's grace the excellent is the per- 
manent ! 

Where Lincoln Looks 

Arthur Azlein, Hyattsville, Md. 

It was a hot, moist, late summer night in Wash- 
ington, the nation's capital. A brief, but violent 
thunder storm had crashed through the city, trying 
every window, every door, and demanding homage 
from every tree. 

As I stepped from the doorway of my hotel and 
looked up at the dark sky, silent flashes of lightning 
spread their warning on the clouds. Were they 
the rear guard of the passing storm, or the portents 
of one yet to come? I could not tell. But the city 
was chastened. Its feverish activities were tempo- 
rarily subdued and it was cleansed. Its wet pave- 
ments glistened under the street lamps. 

I got into my car and rolled down the windows. 
A drive in the damp night air would be refreshing. 
I started the motor, turned on the' lights, and eased 
away from the curb. I had no destination. I would 
just ride for a little while down this broad, quiet 
street and turn back when I felt like it. 



But presently the street ended abruptly in one 
of those curious, peculiarly Washingtonian traffic 
circles that make such excellent depositories for 
huge statuary and baffle the uninitiated motorist. 
I remembered that someone had told me these 
circles were planned to aid in the defense of the 
city. Cannon pivoted in the center of the area could 
command all the streets that converged upon this 
hub. I grunted my disapproval of such an an- 
achronism in the Atomic Age and stretched my neck 
in an attempt to read the street markers set high 
on the lamp posts. "Pennsylvania Avenue." This 
would do as well as any other. Somewhere along 
this broad avenue was the White House and beyond 
that the Capitol. It might be interesting to see them 
at night, freshly washed by the rain. 

Traffic was returning to its normal volume after 
the storm, and the tires of passing cars hissed on 
the slippery street. The gongs of street cars sound- 
ed their impatient warnings. 

I came upon the White House suddenly. To my 
surprise, the building was totally dark, the win- 
dows naked and hollow. Then I remembered. The 
White House was closed for repairs. The President 
and his family were living in Blair House. (That 
must have been the brightly lighted house I had 
just passed and failed to recognize — the house 
with the long canopy stretching from the curb to 
the doorway, and uniformed guards standing by) . 

I turned into the street along the east of the 
White House and followed it down to the Elipse 
Beyond, through the trees, was the flood-lighted 
base of the Washington Monument set upon a rise 
of ground. I drove toward it. 

From the top of Washington Monument, I am 
told, one can see to the farthest limits of the city 


and its sprawling suburbs. One can see how huge 
this great center of government has become, spill- 
ing over its older boundaries and still expanding 
rapidly. And one can see the three buildings that 
symbolize the basic institutions of American govern- 
ment: the Capitol, the White House, and the Su- 
preme Court Building. Up there the scene is whole; 
down here on the street the forest of buildings, 
large and small — but all presumably subordinate 
in importance — blocks and confuses the view. 

I stopped the car and looked - eastward toward 
the Capitol. It was not dark like the White House! 
From dome to foundation it was flooded with light. 
But it, too, was undergoing repairs. The faint out- 
lines of scaffolding and derricks were visible above 
the Senate Chamber .and the House. The Congress 
of the United States was getting a new roof, new 
ceilings ! 

I turned toward the west. There, beyond the 
long reflecting pool stood the quiet Lincoln Me- 
morial. I drove toward it. Amongst all these mon- 
uments and symbols of a great nation, it is some- 
times difficult to avoid seeing symbolism in even 
the most prosaic things. And as I proceeded toward 
the Memorial I could not dismiss the thought that 
there was a special significance about the repair- 
ing of the White House and the Capitol. A new 
roof, new ceilings on Congress, but a complete 
overhauling of the White House on stouter foun- 
dations ! Was the nation pinning its hopes on a 
stronger executive and a more limited Congress? 
Was the rapid growth of the Capital the result of 
the expansion of the legislative branch of the gov- 
ernment, or the judicial, or the executive? 

As I parked the car near the Memorial, I saw 
the sharp flashes of lightning from a new storm 


approaching- the city. At this season, I was told, 
one must expect many sudden storms in Wash- 

Behind the tall, fluted columns of the Memorial, 
the giant statue of Lincoln was bathed in a serene, 
quiet light. What would Lincoln think of this swollen 
city, this troubled nation, if he could see them 
now? What would he say to a people who strength- 
ened the foundations of the White House and put a 
new roof on the Capitol? 

I looked up to the marble figure seated in the 
flag draped chair. Above him the lightning grew 
brighter as the storm drew nearer. And Lincoln 
looked calmly, thoughtfully, hopefully toward the 

People — Places — Events 

"Disciples Poet-Laureate" 
F. E. Davison, South Bend, Ind. 

The time was yesterday — the place a restaurant 
in Chicago Loop — the people were preachers and 
wives — the event was the gathering of these 
people to do honor to the poet-laureate of the Dis- 
ciples of Christ. However, you cannot build a fence 
around this distinguished gentleman for if a poll 
should be taken across our land concerning the most 
popular living poet the name of Thomas Curtis 
Clark would stand at the top. 

A New Year's Luncheon is an annual gathering- 
of Disciples in Chicago but this year the occasion 
had special significance because poet Clark had 
promised to be present and read some of his poems. 
His great humility and his busy career have made 
him a hard man to line up for such an occasion. 
He could always find a good reason for refusing 
to be present if he thought the spotlight was to 


be turned on him. Since he is now in semi-retire- 
ment he finds a little more time for social functions. 
Dr. Kenneth Bowen, master of ceremonies, in in- 
troducing the speaker of the day stated that Mr. 
Clark has been writing poems across many decades 
and although during this time we have had two 
world wars this poet has never written a pessi- 
mistic poem. Previous to the presentation of the 
speaker Mr. Bowen presented the poet's wife. Mrs. 
Clark stated that when they were married in 1910 
the officiating minister said to Mr. Clark, "Tom 
your poetry writing days are over." Mrs. Clark 
then gave the amazing story of the hundreds of 
poems written and the many anthologies which her 
husband has produced since 1910. This proves that 
one minister was a false prophet but it also proves 
that the gracious lady has been an inspiration and 
co-partner in all these achievements. 

In informal fashion Thomas Curtis Clark told of 
his boyhood days when he disliked poetry — of those 
years spent in Indiana University and the Uni- 
versity of Chicago — of his experience as a teacher 
of high school Latin — of his four months as a 
singing evangelist — of his call from J. H. Garrison 
to join the staff of the Christian Evangelist — and 
of his more than a quarter of a century on the edi- 
torial staff of the Christian Century. 

It is Mr. Clark's conviction that good poetry not 
only carries a message but the message sticks in 
the mind much longer than the same message writ- 
ten in prose. He facetiously explains that it was the 
shortness of his poems that made them popular. 
He says they have been used by the Christian 
Century and other publications because the poems 
were just the right length to fill a required space 
in the paper. Even though their publication may 


have been quickened by their brevity, many of us 
know that these poems have lived because they con- 
tained a vital message for mankind. 

It is interesting to know that this poet's most 
quoted poem was written during a cold winter when 
the family was compelled to live in the kitchen for 
several weeks. It was also a time when the poet 
was in great mental stress due to the illness of 
his father. It was at such a time that Thomas 
Curtis Clark gave us "God's Dreams." During World 
War I an airplane flew over the battle front of 
Europe to drop on American soldiers copies of one 
of Mr. Clark's poems. Another poem of his found 
its way into Australian text books and created quite 
a controversy among the newspapers and people 
about the social implications of that poem. 

Mr. Clark eschews the vario^us systems of theol- 
ogy but thinks he perhaps has a theology all his 
own. He called upon Dr. Charles Clayton Morri- 
son to read one of his poems "The Prayer of Praise." 
When Dr. Morrison had finished with the read- 
ing no one had any doubt about the theology of 
the poet. Not only every line but every word over- 
flowed with the message of "The majesty and good- 
ness of God." Dr Morrison's reading brought to a 
fitting climax this delightful event. 

Thomas Curtis Clark is the product of the manse. 
He gives much credit for his success to his preacher 
father and his 'preacher's-wife' mother. (His mother 
is living and is far in her nineties.) While Tom 
Clark would deny being a preacher yet where is there 
a Disciple minister that has spoken to more hearts 
than has our poet-laureate? Down through the years 
to come his poems will go singing on their way and 
our pathways will be made brighter by their singing. 
God be praised for great souls like Thomas Curtis 
Clark. v. 


Harold Lunger Leaves Chicago 

J. J. Van Boskirk 

Harold L. Lunger, for eleven years minister of 
the Austin Boulevard Christian Church, Oak Park, 
will close his ministry there March 12 to take up 
a new work with the First Christian Church of 
Tucson, Arizona. His is the third longest ministry 
on record in that church, being exceeded by that of 
}* . E. Davison who served the congregation 15 
years, and that of George A. Campbell who was 
minister for 12 years. 

The health of his family was cited as the prime 
reason for the move. Mrs. Lunger has suffered 
attacks of rheumatic fever, and recently the chil- 
dren have shown susceptibility to it that led the 
family doctor to advise that they seek a dry climate. 

However, the Tucson church offers an opportu- 
nity for significant service. The city is a thriving 
winter resort and the church is regarded by some 
brotherhood leaders as one of the most desirable. 
Its newly dedicated building has been written up 
in architectural journals as an outstanding example 
of modern church architecture. It is only a few 
blocks from the campus of the University of 

During the ministry of the Lungers in the Chi- 
cago area the church has made significant advance. 
Receipts have more than doubled — from $8550 to 
$21,573 per year. Cortributions to missions have 
increased from $546 in 1938 to $4,659 in 1949. Other 
achievements include the securing and use of the 
latest audio-visual education equipment, emphasis 
upon leadership training, the modernization of of- 
fice equipment and procedures, the increase in mem- 
ber-participation through the establishment of a 
functional church board. 


John Dewey at Ninety 

On October 20, 1949, a distinguished company of 
scholars and leaders in many spheres of life, and 
of various nationalities, gathered in his presence, 
at a dinner in the Commodore Hotel in New York, 
to celebrate his ninetieth birthday, and the remark- 
able achievements and influence of his long life. 
The League for Industrial Democracy had charge 
of the dinner as part of the three-day celebration 
and has published a full account of that great event, 
attended by 1,500 men and women, described as 
"the most important dinner ever tendered to a pri- 
vate individual in the United States." The program 
of speeches was begun by presenting to Dr. Dewey 
this message to him from President Truman: "Dear 
Mr. Dewey : Blessed is the man who arrives at four 
score and ten rich in the wisdom of experience and 
the love of friends — and endowed with the uncon- 
quered and unconquerable spirit of youth. To you 
a happy birthday full of cheerful yesterdays and 
confident tomorrows." 

President Harold Taylor, toastmaster , declared 
that the evening was being given over "to the cele- 
bration of the human mind, and in honor of one of 
the greatest of contemporary minds." 

Presideyit Eisenhower, of Columbia, unable to be 
present, was represented by former Acting Presi- 
dent, F. D. Fackenthal, who said Professor Dewey, 
during his service at Columbia from 1904 to date, 
"brought the world to Columbia and carried Colum- 
bia to the world." 

Justice Felix Frankfurter, "Dewey's thinking is 
too persuasive to be confined within a cult or to be 
in the keeping of a possessive school of disciples." 

John Huynes Holmes-, "Running over the Dewey 
literature on my library shelves, I encounter his 


famous book, entitled, A Common Faith, and am 
reminded that this great thinker has written one of 
the outstanding religious books of modern times. 
So he belongs to religion as well as to philosophy 
and education, and to none of these so much as to 
the great field of public affairs." 

David Dubinsky, Ladies Garment Workers' Union 
(A.F.L.), "Our future is brighter, our thinking is 
clearer, our movement is sounder, because we have 
him in our midst." 

Walter Reuther, President of United Automobile 
Workers (C.LO.), "I bring the greetings of a lot of 
working people whose lives have been enriched by 
John Dewey ... In the troubled world in which we 
live, men's minds are filled with doubts and their 
hearts are heavy as they search for the answers as 
to how they can organize a free society in which 
men can achieve economic security and material 
well-being without sacrificing any basic human 

Ralph Barton Perry, Professor Emeritus of Phi- 
losophy, Harvard. "Between them James and Dewey 
broke the spell exercised by the reigning philosophy 
of the 19th Century, and liberated the minds of the 
younger men who are now the older men . . . For 
this we have to thank William James and John 
Dewey — whose names I like to link together as the 
prophets of the new freedom in American philos- 
ophy. James died forty years ago. Dewey keeps 
that spirit alive today . . . There is a peculiar satis- 
faction in paying tribute to a man who does not ask 
for it, and who has not already bestowed it on him- 
self . . . Never was a man of like superiority more 
free from the airs of superiority. He does not feel 
obliged to live up to his reputation ; to be impressive, 
witty, eloquent, or even interesting; he simply says 
what he thinks. His character and his mind are 


pervaded by a quality of complete sincerity." 

Irivin Edman, Professor of Philosophy, Columbia. 
"It still surprises some people that at the age of 
seventy — when he was very young — John Dewey 
should have written a big book on art. 'What is 
going on here?' some people asked. They suspected 
the answer, 'A pragmatist in a China shop.' . . . The 
value of intelligence lies in rendering life less opaque, 
dislocated and confused. Art is experience in ex- 
celsis, imagination is life fully lived, and life fully 
lived is individual creativeness such as art and the 
experience of art illustrates." 

William Heay^d Kilpatrick, Professor Emeritus of 
Education, Teachers' College, ''Whence came 
Dewey's greatness? Partly from native ability, 
partly from his mother's fostering care, partly from 
education at Vermont and Johns Hopkins, but 
mainly from the response of his 'fundamental dispo- 
sition' to the challenging situation of the world of 
thought as he faced it." 

Joy Elmer Morgan, Editor, Journal of National 
Education Association: "John Dewey had a deep 
appreciation of the American free public school and 
its significance as the foundation of democracy. It 
was his belief that what the wisest and best parent 
desires for his own child, that must society want for 
its own children." 

Hu Shih, Former Chinese Ambassador to the U. S. 
"We are grateful to you for having been our teacher, 
the teacher of young China for forty years. You 
have influenced the life and happiness of millions 
of Chinese children in our schools." 

Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Minister of India. "I 
met Dr. Dewey for the first time two or three days 
ago. But there are few Americans with whom I 
am better acquainted and who have exercised so 
much influence on my own thinking and, I suppose, 


consequently on my action." 

William Pepperell Montague, Professor of Philos- 
ophy, Columbia and Barnard : **You have revitalized 
philosophy by showing it as a vision of the basic 
potentialities in human experience. You have show^n 
that the world of nature is not alien to human nature 
but the home and source of all human possibilities. 
You have taught us the supreme importance of the 
organized use of intelligence in reconstructing the 
itutions of our common life so that the lives of 
all of us may be enriched and fulfilled." 

John Deiveij, from his response : "Of the various 
kindly and generous, often over-generous, things 
that have been said about my activities, on the occa- 
sion of my ninetieth birthday, there is one thing in 
particular I should be peculiarly happy to believe. 
It is the statement of Alvin Johnson that I have 
helped to liberate my fellow-human beings from 
fear. For more than anything else, the fear that 
has no recognized and well-thought-out ground is 
what both holds us back and conducts us into aim- 
less and spasmodic ways of action, personal and 
collective. When we allow ourselves to be fear-rid- 
den and permit it to dictate how we act, it is because 
we have lost faith in our fellow-men — and that is the 
unforgivable sin against the spirit of democracy. 
Many years ago I read something written bj^ an 
astute politician. He said that majority rule is not 
the heart of democracy, but the processes by which 
a given group having a specific kind of policies in 
view becomes a majority. That saying has remained 
with me ; in effect it embodies recognition that de- 
mocracy is an educative process. 

"The educational process is based upon faith in 
human good sense and human good will as it mani- 
fests itself in the long run when communication is 
progressively liberated from bondage to prejudice 


and ignorance. It constitutes a firm and continuous 
reminder that the process of living together, when 
it is emancipated from oppressions and suppressions, 
becomes cr.e of increasing faith in the humaneness 
of human beings ; so that it becomes a constant 
growth of that kind of understanding of our rela- 
tions to one another that expels fear, suspicion and 
distrust ... I am happy to be able to believe that 
the significance of this celebration consists not in 
warming over of past years, even though they be 
four-score and ten, but in dedication to the work 
that lies ahead. The order of the day is, 'Forward 
March'." , 

A message from Clement Attlee, Prime Minister 
of Great Britain. "The impact of your writings 
and teachings have reached thinking men and 
women throughout the English-speaking world, 
showing them the true meaning of democracy and 
thereby strengthening their faith in the democratic 
way of life." 

A message from Henri Bonnet, Ambassador of 
France to the U.S. "Many years ago John Dewey 
gave voice to a prophetic warning when he said : 
'Physical science has for the time being, far outrun 
Psychical ... we have not gained a knowledge of 
the conditions through which possible values be- 
come actual in life, and so are still at the mercy of 
habit and hence of force." 

The John Dewey 90th Anniversary Fund has been 
incorporated to raise $90,000 for presentation to Dr. 
Dewey during his 90th year, for distribution to those 
causes which he wishes to support. A sizeable por- 
tion of this fund has already been raised. Checks 
are being sent to the Fund, 9 Rockefeller Plaza, 
New York 20, with the expectation that the whole 
amount will be secured in 1950. 



Yale Disciples of Christ is the title of an interest- 
ing article in the Yale Divinity News for January, 
written by Joseph M. Smith, who was stationed at 
Wuhu from 1947 to 1949. He and his family are 
now living at Mission House, Yale Divinity School, 
and he is engaged in field work for the U.C.M.S. 

The University of Wisconsin Press announces a 
new book by Professor A. C. Garnett, on Freedom 
and Planning in Australia. The price is $4.00 and 
that indicates the book is of high "instrumental 
value," especially just now in face of the impending 
elections in Great Britain. "After a discussion of 
the early history of Australia, Professor Garnett 
examines and explains the working of those political 
institutions for which Australia has become famous : 
the system of industrial arbitration and conciliation, 
the political Labor Movement and trade unions, the 
special methods adopted to meet the depression of 
the thirties, the policy of full employment, public 
ownership of utilities, and other experiments in state 

In the South African Sentinel, P.O. Box 97, Jo- 
hannesburg, Transvaal, Bousil Holt, the Editor, gives 
interesting news of his missionary work. In a 
recent article on David Lloyd George, he gives a 
colorful account of the boy, David, in the local Na- 
tional School, dominated by the Anglican Church. 
The squire, the parson, and other local gentry were 
present. David secretly bound all the other young- 
sters to join in keeping silence when called upon to 
answer the catechism questions. The schoolmaster 
mustered his pupils, eager to display the results of 
his teaching. He put the familiar questions. There 
was no response. He commanded. He pleaded. 
The youngsters stared, wooden-faced. At last he 


called on them to join in repeating the Apostles' 
Creed. His distress at their silence grew painful — 
too painful at last for little William, the ring-leader's 
young brother, a gentle, peace-loving scul who was 
devoted to his master. His treble began to pipe the 
familiar words. The spell was broken, and the 
others took up the refrain. David was left alone 
in defiant silence and in due course suffered a rebel's 
penalty. But if the battle was lost the war was won, 
and the practice of forcing Nonconformist children 
to repeat the doctrines of the Establishment was 
thereafter abandoned. 

Elster M. Haile, 1800 Alden st., Belmont, Cali- 
fornia. "Please find check for $3.00 as per request. 
My main occupation is that of farmer in Texas 
which requires much time for commuting between 
the northern California address and our Texas farm 
lands. It usually takes deep plowing to grow tall 
plants, but I do most of this work by proxy and 
remote control. Much of my deep thinking and tall 
philosophical conclusions are the works of others, 
too, which is a way of saying I find reading of The 
Scroll quite beneficial." 

J. Barbee Robertson, Alhambra, California. "It 
was good to hear you again at Cincinnati. The pre- 
ceding year was rewarding with its books by Garri- 
son and DeGroot, and also West. While we regret 
the loss of DeGroot from California, it was real jus- 
tice to see his recognition by the call to the Graduate 
School at T.C.U. Raymond and Betty Mills, mis- 
sionaries to Asuncion, Paraguay, are members of the 
Alhambra Church, Raymond's old Church in boy- 
hood days. In February they leave us to return to 
Asuncion. On January 18, we had a dinner honor- 
ing them. We gave it some California glamour and 
renamed the social center there, 'Fi-iendship House.' 
Two hundred persons were at the dinner. Dr. Arthur 


Braden was our guest speaker. The net amount for 
the project was $3,540. This added to our previous 
Crusade giving makes our total a few dollars over 

Grace M. Lediard, Owen Sound, Ontario. "For 
the past number of years, about ten, during which 
time I was the editor of the Canadian Disciple, I 
have been privileged to receive as exchange The 
Scroll. I have greatly enjoyed and benefitted by 
this little magazine and have no doubt that I have 
received much the greater profit from the exchange, 
for which courtesy I sincerely thank you. I have 
found it necessary to give up this work and a new 
editor has been appointed ... I am enclosing cheque 
for $3.50 for which please send the paper to me 
here. I know that the subscription price is $3.00 
but believe there is exchange to be considered. You 
will perhaps believe from this that The Scroll has 
been a real pleasure to me and I want to continue 
that pleasure for at least the current year." 

Ben H. White, 2572 Maple Ave., Dallas, Texas. 
"Thanks for The Scroll and the refreshing articles 
each month. This is one of the few extra-curricular 
periodicals that I am fortunate enough to read, and 
I appreciate its continuous emphasis on scientifically 
examining all our ideas and applying religious prin- 
ciples to all O'ur investigations and vocations. My 
best regards to all the Comrades." 

Edward S. Jouett, Louisville, Kentucky. "I am 
forgetful about subscription expirations and don't 
know just how I stand with The Scroll, which I 
have taken and enjoyed for many years, but am en- 
closing check for $3.00 for a year's subscription. 
If I happen to be in arrears please advise me and 
I will gladly send a check to cover same. It is the 
most unique, and one of the most attractive, of many 
periodicals I take. In passing I would thank you for 

your editorial, 'Persistent Loyalty' in the November 

An old friend in California. "Just how long, do 
you suppose, I should permit ycu to send The Scroll 
without paying for it? Considering that I have really 
read all of your own articles and a goodly proportion 
of the others — although in general I seem to manage 
to read so little — I should say that I owe the com- 
pany a year's subscription anyhow. Please there- 
fore find herewith enclosed $3.00 and thank you. 
Your article *A Rainy Day' almost made me home- 
sick. There is a quietness and sense of detachment 
from the outside activities of this world created by 
the gloom of a rainy day which we too seldom get 
in this land of sunshine. Then, too, out here one 
has to worry about the trees and the forest fires, 
and the small creatures panting for life in this semi- 
desert paradise. However, we did have a real rain 
last week, a great blessing." 

Monday, February 13, 1950 
in Chicago 

E. S. Ames 
Snow came last night, silently, and covered the 
city with a beautiful blanket of white, symbol of 
what we would like to have our world be but isn't. 
Now, this morning, nature has given us an extra 
and special blessing of beauty. The temperature, 
having moderated a bit, she has hung jewels on all 
the trees and shrubs. With little shining pearls nad 
diamonds she has decorated all the streets and by- 
I ways and made a fairy land for our wonder. This is 
a gorgeous reward, without money and without 
price, for staying home in the winter months. This 
is something California and Florida cannot afford, 
whatever is paid for transportation, seaside resorts, 
or the restless desire to escape inclement weather. 
When some hard working friend salutes us on a cold 

day and inquires with surprise why, in our blessed 
retirement we are here and not in some far clime, 
we only smile and say we like the variety which hard- 
ens us and makes us feel at home. We grew up in 
Iowa and saw snow over the fences and the ther- 
mometer sometimes far below zero. But we survived 
and now remember those days with a sense of old 
pioneer life which make nostalgic dreams for those 
who have lived through wide ranges of cold and 
heat, storm-bound and summer-simmering extremes. 
Good furnaces in winter, and cooling fans and Lake 
breezes in July and August give the realization of 
man's mastery of his environment. This is some- 
thing to talk about and tell to the children. People 
always make conversation out of the weather, but 
how drab and routine the conversation becomes for 
those who can only repeat the same observations day 
after day under changeless skies and trees scarcely 
shaken by the wind. Here the beauty-laden trees 
sway in the breeze and make graceful obesiance to 
the encompassing mysteries. Yesterday, Sunday, 
was Lincoln's birthday, and this is another day given 
us in loyal appreciation of him. A grand picture of 
him from the bulky newspaper of yesterday says 
more to our hearts than all else the reporters could 
gather from all the marvelous stories of the chang- 
ing scenes at home and abroad. Above it all Lin- 
coln's face is so calm and strong. How comfort- 
ing to believe that this human face is looked upon by 
millions of citizens of this great land as the embodi- 
ment and symbol of what gives meaning and hope 
beyond the fears and confusion which beset man- 
kind. A preacher recently touched the soul of it 
all when he told the story of the little boy who was 
afraid of the dark when his mother was putting him 
to bed. She said to^ him, "But you know God is al- 
ways with you." "Yes," he said, "but I want some- 
one with a face." 


VOL. XLVII MARCH, 1950 No. 7 

"\n Essentials Unity, In Opinions 
Liberty, In All Things Charity/' 

Robert A. Thomas, St. Joseph, Mo. 

This is a nice-sounding motto. It rolls off the 
tongue pleasantly. It gives one a good feeling of 
being liberal, tolerant, Christian. It is the essence 
of democracy, and breathes of the democratic spirit 
of freedom and toleration. All Christians believe 
it. Everybody believes in loving the brethren, in 
allowing for great freedom of opinion. The trouble 
comes when the essentials are defined, and defined 
they must be if the slogan is to have any real 
meaning. Among the Disciples there were some 
who used it to grant great liberty, and others who 
used it with the idea that they had evidence of the 
essentials and everybody would have to grant the 
validity of the evidence. 

Before 1832 when the Stone and Campbell move- 
iments united at Lexington, Kentucky, there oc- 
curred a process of getting acquainted and a time 
of discovering the principles and ideas held in com- 
mon. Both believed that Christ alone was the object 
of faith, both rejected creeds as tests of fellowship, 
and both insisted upon liberty of opinion on all 
matters of doctrine that were not unmistakably 
revealed. But considerable difficulty lay just there. 
The "Christians" (Stone's group) held that baptism 
was a matter about which there should be great 
liberty. They argued that since different views of 
baptism were held by persons who earnestly sought 
to do the will of Christ as revealed in the New 
Testament, the question must manifestly be one of 


human interpretation of the divine commands, and 
Stone repeatedly defended this position. He wrote 
articles in which he insisted that the un-immersed 
are Christian and that immersion, not being neces- 
sary to salvation, was not necessary to church mem- 
bership. His group, for the most part, acquiesced in 
the Campbell group's demands for the rite of immer- 
sion as the only method of baptism and church 
membership. One cannot help but wish that Stone's 
more tolerant and Christian view had become the 
view of the new movement, nor can one help but 
wonder how much different the history of our 
people might have been had we not got lost in 
arguments and endless debate© and sectarian con- 
troversy over this matter. What a marvelous posi- 
tion would now be ours in taking the lead in a united 
Church of Christ. A more tolerant view of baptism 
would have given a unity and cohesion to our move- 
ment which it does not possess even yet. Its legal- 
ism about baptism does not jibe with its attitudes 
toward anything else. But what is important for us 
to see here is that immediately at its beginning 
there was a difference over the so-called "essentials" 
of the new movement for the union of Christendom. 

This difference continued and still continues. 
That's what makes the slogan so nice-sounding, and 
at the same time, so worthless. Isaac Errett wrote 
in the Christian Standard for June 20, 1868, "Let 
the bond of union among the baptized be Christian 
character in place of orthodoxy — right doing in 
place of exact thinking; and, outside of plain pre- 
cepts, let all acknowledge the liberty of all, nor 
seek to impose limitations on their brethren, other 
than those of the law of love." Now, here is a fine 
exposition of the slogan, but again weasel words, 
unexplained, not defined, "outside of plain pre- 


cepts," What one man regards as the plain pre- 
cepts, another regards as not so plain. What one 
man regards as essentials, others regard as matters 
of opinion. The whole history of the Disciples of 
Christ can be written around this problem of de- 
fining the essentials. When we have divided (and 
we did in spite of Lard's exclamation of joy!) it 
has been over the question of what is essential. 

Now, it must be remembered that this motto was 
the motto of a group that had as its main business 
the union of the divided Church of Christ. It really 
is a statement of means. It should be considered 
in connection with the idea of the restoration of 
the essentials of primitive Christianity. Restora- 
tion was not the end product sought by the early 
reformers. They were not interested in restoration 
per se. They were devoted to the conception of a 
united church — one in Christ. They were opposed 
to the divisions and strife of the denominational 
groups within Christendom. They believed that 
restoration of the essentials of the primitive church 
would make possible the union of Christendom. I 
heard Mr. Basil Holt describe this idea of restora- 
tion one time as a tail on a kite. The Disciples 
movement started off with a rush into the air, only 
to be pulled back to earth again by a tail that was 
too heavy. The whole conception of restoration has 
been as ambiguous as the motto we are discussing. 

The founders of our movement, and this includes 
them all, believed that what was essential in the 
earliest days of Christianity was still essential in 
their time, and that these essentials could be found 
if men would only study the records of the early 
church in the New Testament. This sounds like a 
simple process, and for them it was. They were 
surprised and hurt when they discovered that most 


of the folk of the "denominations" did not agree 
with them as to the essentials in primitive Chris- 

In the second place, the founding fathers believed 
that Christians are divided — not by the things that 
make them Christian — but by their variant opinions 
about doctrines and practices which neither make 
them nor prevent them from being Christian — 
"about things in which the kingdom of God does 
not consist," as they put it. The historic position of 
the Disciples of Christ rests on this distinction be- 
tween faith and opinion. But even within the group 
— to say nothing of its relation® to outsiders — there 
have been differences in the application of these 
insights and in the interpretation of their terms. 
What are the essential and permanent elements in 
primitive Christianity and in the practice of the 
early church? To what extent do the churches of 
the first century, in respect to what they did and 
what they did not do, constitute a pattern to be 
copied, a "blue-print" by which the church is to be 
reconstructed? The Disciples have had every pos- 
sible degree of strictness in the interpretation of 
these questions and the answers given. 

Let us back up a little to take a look at Thomas 
Campbell's Declaration and Address, Dr. Douglas 
Horton's address at the International Convention 
Communion Service placed this document as one of 
the greatest in the Christian union movement. He 
said that it originated the will to unity now so 
strong in the American Churches. Its assertion 
of the sinfulness of division threw down the first 
challenge to the consciences of his contemporaries. 
There are three main emphases in the Declaration 
and Address : 

(1) Each man's right of private judgment in 


the interpretation of Scripture; (2) a peaceable 
unity will come among Christians with the universal 
recognition of this right; (3) there must be an 
exact conformity of the church to "the express letter 
of the law" as laid down in the New Testament. 
In the recent Garrison-DeGroot history it is pointed 
out that these main emphases rested on three as- 
sumptions; (1) that the Scripture is an authority 
so absolute that the individual Christian's right of 
private judgment is limited to his right to interpret 
Scripture for himself wherever Scripture speaks and 
requires interpretation; (2) that there is a "whole 
form of doctrine, worship, discipline, and govern- 
ment, expressly revealed and enjoined in the word 
of God," and, (3) that this complete system is within 
the "express letter of the law," which requires no 
interpretation and to which the right of private 
judgment is therefore not applicable. 

In short, Thomas Campbell (and he was cer- 
tainly the least legalistic of our founding fathers, 
with the possible exception of Barton Stone) be- 
lieved that it is possible to define a simple, evan- 
gelical Christianity, with a definite body of doctrine 
and a definite program of ordinances, worship, and 
government for the church, all infallibly derived 
from the infallible Scriptures and completely un- 
contaminated by "human opinions." When it is 
understood that all our early leaders, or practically 
all of them, had just such a belief, then we may 
understand what they meant when they said, "In 
essentials lunity, in opinions liberty, in all things 
M- It was easy enough to say that opinions should 
never be made a test of fellowship and that only 
belief in the revealed truth about Jesus Christ and 
obedience to his commands should be the criterion, 
but in actual practice it worked out that the Dis'- 


ciples could not exclude human opinion from their 
program of faith and practice any more than other 
groups. Some of them announced that they had 
read the Scriptures aright. They believed the church 
policy and ordinances they set up were the essen- 
tials — the unmistakable commands of Christ — and 
that no element of human opinion entered into the 
picture. From the point of view of modern his- 
tory, and on the basis of our present understand- 
ing of the Bible, it is apparent that they were 
wrong. Fallible human judgment was present in 
their thinking and in their interpretations of the 

On the basis of what we know of the origin and 
nature of the Scriptures the whole idea of restora- 
tion becomes impossible. It is apparent that there 
were the beginnings of a variety of forms of church 
government at the time the New Testament was 
coming into being, and that the New Testament 
itself is the deposit of the early church, rather than 

The whole "proof-text method," so popular with 
our early debaters and preachers, goes by the board. 
It becomes apparent that some of the things we 
have long considered essentials are not essentials 
at all, and that the Disciples of Christ are not 
assuming the place they might have in the modem 
world because we are afraid to tackle this issue 
boldly and move forward with a free religion and 
a united front. 

I am in agreement with the founding fathers in 
that I believe that what was essential for the early 
Christians is still essential for Christendom, and 
I believe, with them, that the things which divide 
Christians are not the things that make them Chris- 
tians — ^they are "things about which the kingdom 


of God does not consist." I do Tiot believe that it is 
possible to define a simple Christianity with a defi- 
nite body of doctrine and a definite program of 
ordinances, worship and government from an in- 
fallible Bible uncontaminated by "human opinions." 

This slogan can have meaning for us today only 
if we are definite in our understanding of the es*- 
sentials of the faith, and admit that practically all 
the matters of doctrine and theology and philosophy 
and church policy are in the realm of opinion. Where 
does this leave us? Is there anything essential, 
and if so, what is it? 

The greatest contribution of the Disciples of 
Christ to the religious life of America is the con- 
ception of a non-creedal fellowship — the unity of 
Christendom on a non-creedal, non-doctrinal basis. 
We have not done all we ought in the propagation 
of this idea and sometimes we have been afraid 
of its implications, but we have perhaps gone far- 
ther than any other group in the right direction, 
and we have had a considerable influence on the 
religious world. It was the feeling of the early re- 
formers that creeds caused division. Luther be- 
lieved that "the Holy Spirit is the all-simplest 
writer," and that it would be perfectly simple to 
compile from the statements of Scriptures an au- 
thoritative system of doctrine and polity upon which 
all right-thinking men could easily agree. How 
close this idea was to that of Thomas Campbell and 
the early reformers! They came out at a different 
place, and they didn't write their creed down, but 
they had the same assumption. My point is that 
the idea of bringing about the unity of Christendom 
on the basis of a common creedal statement is a 
mistaken notion. Creedal and doctrinal statements 
create division rather than unity. 


And the reason is simply that Christ means dif- 
ferent things to different men. The Holy Spirit 
speaks in different ways to different individuals — 
depending on their past experiences, their full dedi- 
cation, their mental and spiritual attainments. Our 
forefathers recognized this to some degree and said 
that if a creed said less than the Scriptures it said 
too little; if it said more than the Scriptures it 
said too much, so a man-made creed was useless 
anyway. And just here I am anxious that the Dis- 
ciples of Christ carry on. Our early preachers said 
"No creed but Christ." This is still a common slogan 
among us. The trouble is that we have failed to 
come to agreement with regard to what is essential. 
Some among us have insisted that "no creed but 
Christ" means that Jesus was miraculously born of 
a Virgin; performed untold miracles by the power 
of God ; was resurrected in the body from the tomb ; 
was, in fact, God himself on earth. 

So far as I am concerned the one essential is 
loyalty to Christ, allowing all sincere men complete 
freedom in their interpretation of that phrase and 
all individual churches freedom in their common 
interpretations of it. It seems to me that this would 
be carrying the Protestant Reformation to its logi- 
cal conclusion and that it would be the true un- 
folding of the historic plea of the Disciples of 

Personal creeds have been written and published 
by individuals among us, but such personal creeds 
have never been adopted by the church, and were 
never expected to be so adopted. There have arisen 
groups among us recently who are writing creeds 
and attempting to get churches to adopt them, but 
this is completely foreign to the history and tenets 
of our Brotherhood. The freedom of a non-creedal 


fellowship allows for varieties of opinions about 
everything. It makes possible the creative work 
of God among men because of the differences that 
cause thought and tension — intellectual and spiritual 
tension, I mean — not divisiveness. The main stream 
of our movement has demonstrated that such a fel- 
lowship is possible. Within any of our local churches 
there are vast differences of theological opinion. 
It would be impossible for most of you men to write 
a creed which would be accepted by the people of 
your churches. Among us here there are great dif- 
ferences of opinion, I presume. Our personal state- 
ments of faith would vary greatly. I do not believe 
this is bad. I believe it is good. It gives us different 
points of view. It provides nourishment for our 
spiritual and intellectual lives. It makes us' do 
some thirking and thus makes our religion our 
own in a particular sort of way. It develops minds 
in our young people which are critical of form for 
form's sake, critical of ritual for the sake of ritual, 
critical of half -thought-through and intellectually in- 
defensible religious concepts. It develops honest 
minds, used to grappling with the basic issues of 
religion and the problems of life. It develops an 
understanding of the real Jesus and of what loyalty 
to him means, and makes every individual respon- 
sible for his own decisions. This is the hard way, 
but it is the only way to church unity. The Disciples 
of Christ, at their best, have demonstrated that it 
is possible within local churches and within larger 
groups, and what is possible within our groups we 
believe can come to pass throughout Christendom. 
Unity can come in freedom and loyalty to Christ. 
It we can understand this principle ourselves and 
help to propagate it throughout Christendom it will 
be our major contribution to the whole Church of 


The Old Jerusalem Church 

F. W. BuRNHAM, Richmond, Va. 

In studying the Sunday School lesson for Febru- 
ary 19th, (Acts 15:1-35) a question has arisen in 
my mind which had not troubled me before. It 
relates to the basis for the decision reached by the 
members of the Jerusalem Church about the matter 
submitted to it by the church at Antioch. 

As noted in the text discussion was had in which 
Barnabas and Paul presented the liberal view and 
practice of the Antioch church. They were opposed 
by Jerusalem members who were Christians of Phar- 
isee inheritance. After much questioning Peter re- 
lated his experience at the home of Cornelius of 
Caesarea and his own interpretation of that event. 
Then James, the brother of Our Lord, gave his 
opinion supported by reference to a passage from 
the Old Testament. This seemed to sustain the posi- 
tion taken by Peter and led to a compromise pro- 
posal. After this comes the official document in 
which it is asserted that "It seemed good to the 
Holy Spirit and US," etc. 

Now my perplexity is this. How does it come 
that in the deliberations of this Jerusalem Church, 
presided over by a brother of Jesus, a group in which 
Jesus' mother was, or had been a member, when 
attempting to reach a decision of major importance 
to the further priogress of His gospel no reference 
whatever was made to the teaching or the spiritual 
attitude of Jesus Himself? 

Of course I remember that, according to John 
7:5, Jesus' own brethren did not, at first, believe 
in his mission. But here is a church founded upon 
His gospel after His resurrection, of which His 



own brother is the reco^ized head ; but from which 
His words and attitudes are excluded. Can it be 
that thus early ecclesiastical supremacy has tri- 
umphed ? Is this the attempt to set up an hereditary 
Caliphate in the family of James ? 

It was something like a third of a century before 
the church seemed to consider it worth while to 
collect memoirs of Jesus' sayings and acts, and 
even then it was' not the church; but interested in- 
dividuals who undertook that sublime mission — 
one of them a gentile. 

"It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and US." 
Is that the pattern set by the Mother Church for 
deciding the great issues of the Kingdom? If so, 
should churches still settle matters of faith and 
practice by the same process without regard to the 
teaching of Jesus? It would seem that many de. 

Are we right, or all wrong, in holding that Christ 
Himself is the one and only head of the church 
and that every major issue is referable to His teach- 
ing and spirit? I'm not ready to surrender our 
historic slogan "Back to Christ," but I'm puzzled 
about the conduct of that Old Jerusalem Church, 
with the Lord's brother at its head. Perhaps we 
ought to give up the idea of the "Old Jerusalem 
Church" being our ecclesiastical progenitor and rec- 
ognize the fact that real Christianity originated in 
Antioch, where the disciples were first called Chris- 

Since the Church at Antioch was not founded by 
any Apostle — Peter, James, or Paul — ^but by Chris- 
tian laymen,, in accepting it as our "Mother Church" 
we are delivered from any dogma of Apostolic 


Religion As Personal-Social Values 

- W. W. Wasson, Christian College at the 
University of Georgia 

The growth and progress of any civilization could 
very well be written in terms of what was conceived 
to be the most abundant life. Nations have destroyed 
and built, people have fought and loved, leaders have 
prayed and worshipped in the everlasting search 
for the highest and noblest life possible. 

While the eternal quest for the abundant life has 
had common features throughout its history, each 
generation and each cultural milieu, however, has 
interpreted its meaning and significance in terms 
of its own problems and needs that well up within 
its own ongoing experience. As each past generation 
of every cultural tradition was at one time exist- 
ing in the present, using the resources of its prede- 
cessors and drawing upon the intelligence of its 
contemporaries to further the good life, so we in 
the present generation renew that continuous search 
for the abundant life. We draw upon the funded 
experience of the past as well as the creative forces 
of the present. 

In determining what is the good and abundant 
life one must begin with the experience of living 
people in interaction with a living, dynamic, chang- 
ing world. When this is done several factors which 
determine this kind of life must be considered. Each 
of these factors should be thought of as interrelated 
with all the other factors and not as independent, 
mutually exclusive segments. 

The fulfillment of man's basic drives and urges 
such as hunger, thirst, and sex are one of the 
determinants of the abundant life. Much of man's 
life is given to satisfying these ever recurring urges. 



His religion has often dealt primarly with these 
functions. But does the total meaning of life con- 
sist in finding satisfaction for these desires only? 
Does man live by bread alone? Do not these func- 
tions become significant and wholesome only as 
they are related to other aspects of the total mean- 
ing of the good and enriched life. It is when these 
desires are placed in the larger framework of per- 
sonal and social goods that one realizes that man 
does not live by bread alone. 

Another determinant of the abundant life is that 
of the desire for recognition. From the very be- 
ginnings of the development of the child on through 
adulthood there is present the desire to be recognized 
as a significant and important member of the group 
and its activities. It is the wish for dignity, worth, 
and status; it is the desire to be respected and 
loved. The negative of this is a feeling of loneli- 
ness and isolation; a feeling of not being wanted. 
The urgency of this desire is oftentimes shown when 
many, in order to gain "attention" or recognition, 
will resort to various forms of anti-social behavior 
or become members of some sensational, marginal 
group. As one professor used to say, "He would 
rather be damned than ignored !" Can the popularity 
of dogs as pets over that of cats be accounted for 
on the basis of their apparent willingness to recog- 
nize their masters in a more receptive and ingratia- 
ting manner? One would gather from the state- 
ments of a number of modern theologians that the 
worst sin of all is that of "pride." Is this not, how- 
ever, a condemnation of the deep desire for recogni- 
tion? The wish for recognition — a fulfillment of the 
sense of worth and dignity — is fundamental to the 
development of a wholesome, religious personality. 
If this be sin, a more critical definition of sin seems 
to be in order. 


Closely connected with the desire for recogni- 
tion is that of approval of others. Man does not 
live in a vacuum. He seeks the approval of his 
fellowmen; a great deal of his developing self is 
an expression of what others think of him ; his life 
is much concerned with the favorable reactions of 
his comrades and associates; he avoids their dis- 
approval. It is the exceptional case of the lover 
continuing to woo the fair lady who shows' no in- 
terest. Although we all have moments when we 
suspect the solicitations of the "hail-well met" fellow 
as insincere, there is, however, the feeling of being 
"somebody" when met in such a responsive mood. 

Another factor or determinant of the abundant 
life is the desire for new experience. Normal living 
is never an identical repetition of the same experi- 
ence although the lives of many are similar to that 
of an applicant for a teaching position in one of 
the public schools. Asked by the superintendent if 
she had had any experience, she replied, "Twenty 
years," whereupon one who knew her quipped, "Yes, 
the same experience for twenty years!" 

New experiences may be found in many ways, 
and not all new experiences are necessarily contribu- 
tory to the enrichment of life. Do those experiences 
in which one indulges in dangerous exploits, or 
seeks the stimulation of alcohol and drugs contribute 
as much to the abundant life as those in which one 
might attempt to destroy the cause of diphtheria or 
to alleviate the impoverished condition of workers; 
or to create the conditions whereby all may have 
the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happi- 
ness? The experiences that would mean most to 
an enriched and good life are those that are char- 
acterized by significant challenge, vivid imagina- 
tion, and creative action. One can find them in great 
humanitarian causes or in the pursuit of knowledge; 


in the smell of a rose or in the clasp of a friend's 
hand; in beholding the face of the Nazarene or in 
Handel's "Messiah" ; in the preparation of an appe- 
tizing meal or in building a house. New and crea- 
tive experiences are as numerous and varied as life 
lived in actuality and in imagination. No task is too 
simple or cause too great that the inherent possi- 
bilities of creative experience cannot be found. 

Although the "warp and woof" of life is consti- 
tuted largely of changing experience, the abundant 
life cannot be one of a series of independent, atom- 
istic, unattached experiences. There must be run- 
ning through the entire mosaic of experience a sense 
of stability or a feeling of security. To the philoso- 
pher it might be the feeling of being "at home" in 
the universe; to the religious mystic it is to experi- 
ence the depth of "oneness" with the "Other"; to 
the psychologist it could be the absence of frustra- 
tion; to the sociologist it might be adjustment. To 
mention these various concepts of religion, philoso- 
phy, and the social sciences does not mean that they 
are radically dissimilar in content; it means that 
these are attempts to formulate the deep long- 
ing and urge for security on the part of human 
nature. A constituent part, then, of the abundant 
life will be the relative fulfillment of the desire 
for security. 

Probably the most important determinant of the 
good and abundant life is that of co-operative liv- 
ing. The social and co-operative forces that bind 
men together in common causes and ideals are com- 
ing more and more to be seen as the creative and 
truly enriching aspects of the abundant life. The 
Darwinian concepts of "struggle for existence" and 
"survival of the fittest" have undoubtedly been over 
emphasized and misrepresented as to their influence 


in the biological and social growth of the person. 
The significance of these concepts to the history 
and growth of Western civilization were possibly 
exaggerated as man was more and more coming 
out from under the autocratic political and religious 
systems of the medieval period. The habit of think- 
ing in term.® of the struggle for existence and the 
survival of the fittest even among the students of 
the biological sciences is giving way to the principle 
of co-operation as the most important factor in 
the survival of animal groups. Summing up the 
modern point of view, one of the most distinguished 
workers in this field, Warder C. Allee, writing in 
Science in 1943, says: "After much consideration, 
it is my mature conclusion, contrary to Herbert 
Spencer, that the co-operative forces are biologically 
the more important and vital ... If co-operation 
had not been the stronger force, the more com- 
plicated animals, whether arthropods or vertebrates, 
could not have evolved from simpler ones, and there 
would have been no men to worry each other with 
their distressing and biologically foolish wars." 

On the social level the desirability of co-operative 
living is readily seen. Rather than selfish competi- 
tion and egoistic assertiveness being the most im- 
portant factors in the creation of the good life, it 
appears that the factors of mutuality and co-opera- 
tion have been the more decisive. Is it true that 
civilization has shown greater progress when these 
factors were operative? Are not what we call cul- 
ture and civilization built on these activities? As a 
matter of fact it is difficult to conceive of any ac- 
tivity in the modern world that is not the result 
of co-operation. The food that we eat daily is 
brought to us and prepared through the combined 
efforts of farmers, truckers, and storekeepers'. The 
clothes we wear are the result of huge co-operative 


enterprizes that extend geographically over thou- 
sands of miles. The family is made possible by mu- 
tually shared values. The church is a group of 
individuals working in voluntary co-operation to 
create the best life possible. Recreation is made 
possible by conforming to the rules of the game 
that have been agreed upon through shared discus- 
sion and participation. Municipal, state, and na- 
tional governments function at their best through 
co-operative deliberation and action. The way of 
life known as democracy is a co-operative affair of 
individual freedom and responsibility in a shared 
corporate society. The method of science, which 
has done so much towards the advancement of the 
abundant life, has not been the result of one per- 
son's endeavor. It is the expression of the co-opera- 
tive efforts of many men of varied backgro'unds who 
have attempted to solve the riddles of the universe 
and to make the earth a more habitable place. 

M. F. Ashley Montagu, writing in a recent issue 
of "The Saturday Review of Literature," has stated 
the case for co-operation as the "law of life." I 
mention some of his concluding remark's: "Co- 
operation is the law of life for the group as for 
the individual . , . Co-operative social behavior is . . . 
as old as life itself, and the direction of evolution 
has, in man, been increasingly directed toward the 
fuller development of co-operative behavior. Co- 
operative behavior clearly has great survival value. 
When social behavior is not co-operative it is dis- 
eased behavior." 

The upshot of this discussion is that the ideal 
experiences of the good and abundant life are 
synonymous with the religious life. Those per- 
sonal-social experiences which contribute to an en- 
riched life are religious experiences. Religion is 
therefore integral to the total meaning of life. It 


is not an entity detached and independent of the 
experiences of living people. It is as vibrant and 
real as life lived at its best. Living in terms of the 
highest values capable of being experienced is living 
the religious life. It lives in deed® and not in years ; 
in feelings and not in dead formula; in noble ac- 
tions and not in words. It is concerned with the 
primary sources and creative forces of life — food 
and clothing, the dignity and worth of the individual, 
challenging and imaginative causes, peace of mind, 
a shared life lived in communion with the high 
values of love and goodwill. These personal and 
social values are religious values, and to live religi- 
ously is to live in terms of the highest personal and 
social goods. 

From Samuel Guy Inman 

Pondville Court, Bronxville, N. Y. 

In sending greetings for 1950, please allow me to 
enclose copy of our WORLDOVER Press Release 
in its new form and ask your cooperation in this 
non-profit effort to .improve reporting of interna- 
tional news. 

I have just returned from a quick trip to study, 
on the ground, the problem of Internationalization 
of Jerusalem, which was thrown into greater con- 
fusion by the December 9th vote of the United Na- 
tions. Nine days in Palestine, and two days each 
in Paris, Rome and London, gave me an opportunity 
to interview parties on all sides of the question, 
which strangely enough, seems to involve not only 
world religious, but world political, economic and 
ideological struggles. Like the previous trip to Cen- 
tral America in November at the invitation of the 
Costa Rican government, the latter began on three 
days' notice, meaning 20,000 miles travel across 


America, Europe, and the Near East, with only a 
brief time at home during Christmas. 

The recent debates in Lake Success seem to reveal 
primary interest in sustaining a dying British im- 
perialism, and American advantage in its cold war 
with the Soviet Union, a new Near-East zone of 
influence for Russia, and a new sub-capital for the 

My first and overwhelming impression was that 
the Holy Places have become the football of inter- 
national politics. I went to Jerusalem primarily 
interested in the protection of the Holy Places. I 
returned overwhelmingly interested in the people 
for whom Our Lord lived and died, a people who, 
even today, are among the most exploited and mis- 
understood in the world. These people — Arabs and 
Jews — seem to love and respect the Holy Places in 
the same way that Christians do. The Moham- 
medans have a record of protecting them for cen- 
turies. The new State of Israel seems as completely 
in favor of the protection of these places as is the 
Archbishop of Canterbury or the Holy Father in 

The historic Holy City, which I entered every 
morning for three weeks in 1928, with Bible and 
Baedeker in hand, and reverently visited the sites 
of Solomon's Temple, now the Mosque of Omar, 
Herod's House, Church of the Ascension, and other 
universally recognized holy places, plus the birth- 
place of Jesus in Bethlehem, and the Jew's most 
sacred place, the Wailing Wall, are all today Arab 
territory, into which no Jew under any circum- 
stances, is permitted to go. But this is a war meas- 
ure, not a religious question. 

From inquiries on the spot, I suggest: (1) No 
solution will be permanent that is worked out on the 
basis of world balance of power, rather than consid- 


eration of actual situation among the inha/bitants 
involved. (2) The present armistice between Israel 
and Trans-Jordan must be changed into a permanent 
peace treaty, which will settle pecuniary, territorial 
and cultural problems — including complete free ac- 
cess to the Holy Places. (3) Instead of forcibly 
internationalizing all Jewish and Arab Jerusalem, 
let the United Nations negotiate with Israel and 
Trans- Jordan an agreement (which both govern- 
ments declare they are willing to make) that a 
U.N. body, with headquarters in Jerusalem, is au- 
thorized to supervise the Holy Places. Such a Com- 
mission housed in its own building could act as head- 
quarters of the United Nations in the Near-East and 
be a dominant influence in solving some of the 
world's most difficult political, racial and religious 

In London the Law Faculty of the University of 
London entertained me at a luncheon, made me a 
member of the London Institute of World Affairs 
and invited me to contribute a volume in its series, 
The Library of World Affairs. Before preparing 
such a volume however, I hope to give major atten- 
tion to a book interpreting the Mexican Social Rev- 
olution, and redeeming other literary promises. With 
cordial greetings and hoping to hear from you. 

People - Places - Events 

F. E. Davison 
It was back in 1915. The place was New Haven, 
Conn. The occasion was a celebration of the fact 
that mid-term exams were over. The Griggs' and 
the Davison s' started down town to take in a show. 
On the way down we passed a Negro Baptist church 
where a good friend of ours was pastor. A large 
sign stated that revival meetings were in progress. 


We decided that as students at Yale Divinity School 
we needed religion worse than we needed enter- 
tainment. We therefore entered. 

The pastor, a Divinity student, was not conduct- 
ing the revival. A few days later he explained to 
us that the evangelist had been called in at the solici- 
tation of some of the deacons. The evangelist was 
tall, very dark, but not very handsome. He was 
well groomed with a Prince Albert coat and detach- 
able cuffs. The cuffs rattled properly and came down 
half way over his extremely long fingers. 

This preacher announced his subject as "Seven 
Women Hanging on one Man's Coattail." His text 
was in Isaiah where reference was made to the time 
when seven women shall cleave to one man. He 
said "Before I begin the discourse of the evenin' 
I want to know whether or not dere am any sinners 
in the house. If there are any sinners I want you 
to come and sit in this front row where I can speak 
at you directly. All you sinners come right on now. 
That's right my sister you come and sit right here. 
Now everybody's come what says they are sinners 
does anybody know of any sinners here tonight? 
If so, just point 'em right out — just point 'em right 
out. Somebody's pointing at you brother come right 
along and sit right here — somebody's pointin' at you 
my sister. You come up here with the rest of the 
sinners. Just point 'em right out wherever they 
are. Of course, I don't have reference to our white 
friends that are here. We glad to have dem with us." 

During the course of his sermon which never 
did get back to his text, he would stop and say to 
each one on the front row: "Do you believe that 
my brother — do you believe that my sister?" He 
did this several times and finally he stopped, put 
his thumbs in his vest pockets, leaned back, and with 


a loud laugh said to the people on the front row: 
"Bless your hearts youall's in the Kingdom right 
now and don't know it. You have answered all the 
questions I have axed you affirmatively — all excep- 
tin' this boy here and he aint answered nothin no 
time. Young man I'll ask you a few questions per- 
sonally." He tried several questions on the lad -but 
the boy made no response. It was then the evangelist 
paused, reached in his coat-tail for his large silk 
handkerchief, mopped his brow and then shouted: 
"Brothers and sister I spent four long month down 
in the city of New York a studyin and a specializin' 
how to appeal to people with reason. I can appeal 
to folk what's got reason but I cant appeal to no- 
body what aint got no reason. But, I'll get him. 
I'll git that there boy before I get out this town." 

The evangelist then turned his attention to Mrs; 
Brown who sat on the end of the front pew. He 
said, "Now here is Mrs. Brown what's come to take 
membership wid this church. She comes from — 
let's see, Sister Brown, what church is it you've 
been a member of?" To which Mrs. Brown replied: 
"I aint no member of no church I come to join this 
church." With great emotion the preacher said: 
"I thought you was a member of a church. Brothers 
and sisters, wherever you are in the house I want you 
to look this way. If you are not settin where you 
can see, just move over. I want youall to see a 
good honest sister. Here is a good honest woman 
who might have just slid right into this here Baptist 
church without ever bein' baptized but she wouldn't 
do it." 

Sometime later the evangelist said, "Now we 
want to invite youall back tomorrow night and the 
concludin nights of this week. Tomorrow night I 
will address you on the subject "A Heavenly Vision 
Seen By A Mule." 


The Trumpeter of a New World 

Kenneth B. Bowen, Morgan Park, Chicago 

It was back in 1934, while a student in the sum- 
mer school of Union Theological Seminary in New 
York, I called up Edwin Markham on Staten Island 
to ask permission for a group of his admirers to 
visit him. Quick as a flash he replied, — "Yes, come 
right out — glad to see y^u !" Twenty-five of us made 
the trip, and the poet met us at the door and gave 
us this warm greeting: "Come in, ladies and gen- 
tlemen, this is complete and unconditional sur- 
render; the house is yours, make yourselves at 
home." Mrs. Markham, whom he called "The Ma- 
donna," was equally gracious as a hostess. During 
the visit we sat in a circle on the floor while Mr. 
Markham told us of his life, and how he wrote his 
poems. To hear him repeat his own works is a memo- 
ry that will go with all of us into eternity. 

Our theme is, — "A conscript of the mighty 
Dream." This is a paper on Edwin Markham who 
wore the "Shoes of Happiness" through the "Gates 
of Paradise" and belonged to: 

"The company of souls supreme, 

The conscripts of the mighty Dream." 

In presenting this poet we are greatly indebted 
to him personally, and even more to his biographer, 
Dr. William L. Stidger, for source materials. With- 
out any remorse of conscience, in a world of "real- 
ists," I want to be numbered with those who give 
thanks for: 

"Souls sent to poise the shaken Earth, 
And then called back to God again 
To make Heaven possible for men." 

If we regard Kipling as the poet of imperialism, 


we must think of Markham as the singer of de- 

In the first place, Edwin Markham was a trum- 
peter of non-conformity. No matter how critics 
may rate his poetry, and his literary contribution, 
no one can deny that this poet was the impassioned 
protagonist of a new world. During his whole life 
he proved the validity of Emerson's words: "Who 
so would be a man must be a non-conformist." He 
who gives hostages to the status quo, and becomes 
the mere echo of his master's voice, exchanges his 
birthright of divinity for the rusty chains of slav- 
ery. One of the "Rules For the Road" is, said Mark- 

"Be strong, 

Sing to your heart a battle song. 

Though hidden foemen lie in wait. 

Something is in you that can smile at Fate." 

At all times a true non-conformist smiles at the 
"slings and arrows of outrageous fortune." 

When Edwin was a lad of seven, his father died, 
but his mother kindled in her son's soul a flame of 
non-conformity which a hostile world could never 
extinguish. All the darkness in the universe can- 
not put out the light of a single candle. In a one- 
room country school house, he came under the in- 
fluence of a "tall, gaunt-faced, Lincoln-like teacher" 
whom he called "The Enchanter or Sorcerer of 
Song." Of him the poet sang: 

"He opened to us lyric doors 

Of the deeper world that waits. 
Throbbing behind our skies and shores. 

Pulsing through lives and fates." 

But no one can understand Edwin Markham's 


background without mentioning his religion. His 
mother belonged to an ultra non-conformist group 
known then as "Campbellites," and now as "Dis- 
ciples of Christ." 

In a short poem called, "The Nail-torn God," 
Edwin Markham gives us a conception of deity and 
of Christ that is truly breath-taking. In these 
words, his cosmic and theological non-conformity 
reaches a mighty climax: 

"Here in life's chaos make no foolish -boast 

That there is any God omnipotent, 

Seated serenely in the firmament. 
And looking down on men as on a host 
Of grasshoppers blown on a windy coast. 

Damned by disasters, maimed by mortal ill, 

Yet who could end it with one blast of Will. 
This God is all a man-created ghost. 

But there is a God who struggles with the All, 
And sounds across the worlds his danger-call. 

He is the builder of roads, the breaker of bars, 
The one forever hurling back the Curse — 

The nail-torn Christus pressing toward the stars, 
The Hero of the battling universe." 

"The company of souls supreme, 

The conscripts of the mighty Dream." 

In the second place, Edwin Markham was a 
trumpeter of social justice. 

One April afternoon, about four o'clock, back 
in 1886, Edwin Markham saw a copy of Millet's 
picture, "The Man With the Hoe." At that time he 
was thirty-four and for several years, he had been 
reading on the question of social justice. The 
picture was just the necessary match to the powder 
which ignited the fire of genius. In an old black 


note book he wrote these words : 

"Bowed by the weight of centuries he leans 
Upon his hoe and gazes on the ground, 
The emptiness of ages in his face 
And on his back the burden of the world." 

In 1898, at the home of Mrs. William Crocker, 
Oakland, California, Edwin Markham saw the 
original picture of "The Man With the Hoe." Of that 
experience he wrote: "The original of this great 
painting enchanted me even more than the copy I 
had seen thirteen years before. I sat for two hours 
before it, lost to the world. The terror of its im- 
port and the majesty of its ruin stunned my soul. 
I went away from that place half in air and half 
on the earth. I flew to my home rather than rode. 
That Saturday afternoon, about five o'clock, just 
before supper, I wrote the second verse of the 
poem." Said John Drinkwater, "Genius is a wild 
flower that blossoms in strange crannies." 

Thus verse by verse, in a crescendo of dramatic 
interest, the poem grew until these world-shaking 
lines appeared: 

"O Masters, lords and rulers in all lands. 
How will the Future reckon with this Man? 
How answer his brute question in that hour 
When whirlwinds of rebellion shake all shores? 
How will it be with kingdoms and with kings — 
With those who shaped him to the thing he is — 
When this dumb Terror shall rise to judge the 

After the silence of the centuries?" 

Before leaving this division of our paper, at 
the risk of anti-climax, we wish to mention other 
and shorter poems by Mr. Markham on social 
justice. In his poem of four lines, "Even Scales," 
the poet points out that the curse of injustice 


brings all, exploiter and exploited alike, to the 
same cosmic fate: 

'The robber is robbed by his riches, 
The tyrant is dragged by his chains; 

The schemer is snared by his cunning, 
The slayer lies dead with the slain." 

Truly, one end of a slaves chain is fastened to the 
owner, and the two march to fate abreast, — either 
to destruction or world brotherhood. What hap- 
pened to Simon Legree was much worse than the 
slavery of Uncle Tom. The universe is made on 
the cosmic principle of "Even Scales" — with what 
measure we mete it shall be measured unto us. Both 
God and Christ, also, the universe, are always 
against injustice and for justice. 

In another quatrain, "The New Trinity," Edwin 
Markham summarizes his slogan of life : 

"Three things must man possess if his soul would 

And know life's perfect good — 
Three things would the all-supplying Father give, 

Bread, Beauty, and Brotherhood." 

To the "Hoe-man," at least, this New Trinity of 
Bread, Beauty, and Brotherhood has, perhaps, a 
much deeper meaning than the old trinity of The 
Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. 

In 1920, Mr. Markham wrote his poem, "Man- 
Making." Far beyond most of his contemporaries, 
he saw what this mechanized, machine age of mass 
production was doing to people made in the image 
of God. In these lines he sensed the drift toward 
economic slavery: 

"We are all blind until we see 
That in the human plan 


Nothing is worth the making if 
It does not make the man. 

Why build these cities glorious 

If man unbuilded goes? 
In vain we build the world, unless 

The builder, also, grows." 

In the third and last place, Edwin Markham was 
a trumpeter of the eternal ecstasies. He carried in 
his bosom the gift of the morning star. Up to this 
point we have presented the poet, more or less, as a 
Moses thundering laws on Mt. Sinai, or a non-con- 
formist Amos calling for justice to roll down like 
waters and righteousness as a mighty stream. No 
matter what the risks of persecution may be, the 
true prophet is wrathful when he sees the righteous 
sold for silver and the needy for a pair of shoes. 
Even Socrates was a gad-fly to sting his people 
when they closed their eyes to the time-honored 
principles of freedom and justice. 

At the front of his biography of Edwin Mark- 
ham, Dr. Stidger gives us a striking picture of the 
poet, and beneath it a statement from this singer 
of a new world: "Come, let us live the poetry we 
sing." In every sense he did live the poetry he 
sang, and few writers have had a finer sense of 
Christology. "Genuine Christianity," said he, "is 
the final religion, resting upon the impregnable 
rock of the humanitarian principle. I became a 
believer in the person and politics of Jesus. And 
now I see in him the supreme Statesman and Law 
giver of nations. His words are all in the logic 
of the universe. They are the indices of the uni- 
versal wisdom of the Father." 

In a little poem of four lines — Markham is fa- 
mous for his quatrains — "No self to serve," the mys- 
tical influence of Jesus on every generation is strik- 


ingly explained: 

"Why does He make our hearts so strangely still, 
Why stands He forth so stately and so tall? 

Because He has no self to serve, no will 
That does not seek the welfare of all." 

As a true Disciple of Christ, following the lead 
of Alexander Campbell and Barton W. Stone, Mr. 
Markham was a man of the Book, memorizing the 
gospels and The Sermon on the Mount, and he re- 
jected all man-made creeds. In keeping with the 
best theology of our people, the poet expressed his 
religion in these familiar lines : 

"Here is the truth in a little creed, 

Enough for all the ways we go; 
In Love is all the Law we need; 

In Christ is all the God we know." 

Not only did Markham see poetry in every work 
of nature, he sensed the eternal ecstasies in the 
whole cosmic order. Yes, in one bird's nest, near a 
boy's window, he viewed that which made "God 
glad" and the "World sweeter." 

Even far greater, however, is the poem Edwin 
Markham wrote about his son who discovered the 
bird's nest, called "Child of My Heart": 

"Strong child ! 
Song child ! 
Who can unravel 
All your long travel 
Out of the Mystery, birth after birth — 
Out of the dim worlds deeper than Earth? 

Mad thing! 
Glad thing! 
How will Life tame you 


How will God name you? 

All that I know is that you are to me 

Wind over water, star on the sea. 

Dear heart! 

Near heart! 
Long is the journey, 
Hard is the tourney: 

Would I could be by your side when you fall — 
Would that my own heart could suffer it all." 

But the poem Mr. Markham loved next to "The 
Man With the Hoe," or, perhaps equally with it, 
or even more, was "Lincoln, the Man of the People." 
If the former was the high- water mark of his social 
views, the latter represented the zenith of individu- 
al values. Every time we mentioned Lincoln, dur- 
ing our visit in his home, the poet's rugged face 
seemed to light up with a wistful halo, closely akin 
to the Shekinah face of Moses when he walked with 
God on the mountain peak. 

In much the same spirit as one would place a 
nickel in a slot at the automat, a committee from 
The Republican Club of New York, near the end 
of 1899, asked Mr. Markham to write for them a 
poem on Abraham Lincoln. 

The "Babylonian feast" was held at Delmonico's, 
and the plates were twenty-dollars a piece. What 
an incongruous way to honor the "Rail splitter" 
from Kentucky! The presiding officer for this 
sumptuous occasion was Chauncey M. Depew who 
sneered at the mere mention of the poem, "The 
Man with the Hoe." However, at a late hour, after 
they had absorbed much food and drink, Mr. Mark- 
ham, dressed poorly, with the poverty of Lincoln, 
his daily portion, was introduced. He arose and 
read these words: 



"Sprung from the West, 
The strength of virgin forests braced his mind, 
The hush of spacious prairies stilled his soul. 
Up from log cabin to the Capitol, 
One fire was on his spirit, one resolve — 
To send the keen ax to the root of wrong, 
Clearing a free way for the feet of God. 
And evermore he burned to do his deed. 
With the fine stroke and gesture of a king; 
He built the rail-pile as he built the State, 
Pouring his splendid strength through every blow. 
The conscience of him testing every stroke. 
To make his deed the measure of a man. 

So came the Captain with the mighty heart; 
And when the judgment thunders split the house 
Wrenching the rafters from their ancient rest, 
He held the ridge-poll up, and spiked again 
The rafters of the Home. He held his place — 
Held the long purpose like a growing tree — 
Held on through blame and faltered not at praise 
And when he fell in whirlwind, he went down 
As when a lordly cedar, green with boughs, 
Goes down with a great shout upon the hills. 
And leaves a lonesome place against the sky." 

This poem was the finest possible way to begin 
the new century. The concluding figure of this pro- 
duction has been called by Alfred Noyes, "The most 
impressive climax in English poetry." Of this same 
work the late Henry Van Dyke declared that "Ed- 
win Markham's 'Lincoln' is the greatest poem ever 
written on the immortal martyr, and the greatest 
that will ever be written." As long as man lives 
on this planet he will read, with a lump in his throat, 
and sorrow in his heart, this last line, — "And leaves 
a lonesome place against the sky." 

Then he drew two circles, the Muse returned, and 


he wrote his most famous quatrain, — "Out witted" : 

"He drew a circle that shut me out — 
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout, 
But love and I had the wit to win; 
We drew a circle that took him in." 

When the poet reached the age of four score years 
he brought out a volume of poetry called, "Eighty 
songs at Eighty" — think of it — still singing at 
eighty ! One of those lovely songs he called "Araby," 
and this is the way it goes: 

"Oh, there is waiting for my heart 

A fountain and a friend, 
I'm off to-day for Araby, 

Where all the rainbows end. 

I'm up and off for Araby, 

A-carrying my pack; 
And all the stars of Heaven are in 

The bundle on my back." 

With all the "stars of heaven" on our back, let us 
all travel the road to Araby "where all the rain- 
bows end!" 

Just now the whole world is confused, frustrated 
and fearful of the future. Let us close this paper 
on "The Trumpeter of a New World," "A Conscript 
of the Mighty Dream," by using his poem on "The 
Look Ahead" : 

"I am done with the years that were, quits: 

I am done with the dead and old, 
They are mines worked out; I delved in their pits; 

I have saved their grain of gold. 

Now I turn to the future for wine and bread: 

I have bidden the past adieu, 
I laugh and lift hands to the years ahead : 

'Come on: I am ready for you'!" 


VOL. XLVII APRIL, 1950 No. 8 

Nothing Is Necessary 

E. S. Ames 

Years ago I preached a sermon on this subject, 
"Nothing Is Necessary." I still hear reverberations 
from that speech, especially from my wife, who said 
then and continues occasionally to say, "I think you 
would not say that it is not necessary to have dinner 
ready when you come home tired and hungry!" My 
answer is that food is necessary to satisfy hunger, 
but why is it necessary to satisfy hunger ? In order 
to live, you will say. And why is it necessary to live? 
Millions of people are dying of starvation in China, 
and other parts of the world. If it is necessary for 
them to live, why does the good God let them die? 

We think things are necessary because we desire 
them. We must have a car, a house, a spouse, an 
income, friends, books, new clothes, power, and 
praise. These are necessary because they would 
make us happy, give us status among our neighbors, 
and before our children. To have them is to live. 
Not to have them is to be nothing, to be forgotten, 
to suffer, to be lost. Even if we have all the creature 
comforts, and knowledge, and goods to give to the 
poor, we may be in despair for the lack of a clear 
conscience or a heart of love. Without that one 
thing a person may be empty and hollow, and sound 
like a tinkling bell or a raucous cylinder of brass. 

A question much discussed in these pages of late 
is, what is essential. The dictionary says essential 
means "indispensably necessary." But it does not 
tell what is the end or object for which anything 
is necessary. It is the Bible and not the dictionary 
which gives the answer. The Bible makes life itself 
the end for which certain means are necessary. Re- 


ligion holds up to view the good life, for which faith, 
repentance, forgiveness, charity, integrity, sincerity, 
and other virtues are necessary. These are neces- 
sary IF we want to realize this good life. If persons 
do not care for this good life, or for any part of it, 
in any relationship, then even these virtues are not 
necessary. Nothing is necessary to such persons 
because they do not care. If a man is thoroughly 
careless as to whether he goes to jail, and to hell, 
nothing is necessary to him ! 

Taking essentials as what are "indispensably 
necessary," what are the essentials of religion? 
Theoretically, all enlightened persons will agree that 
the qualities that constitute a pure heart, a noble 
soul, a righteous life, are necessary conditions to be 
cultivated toward the high end sought. But in the 
search for the means essential to success in this 
quest, many secondary and unnecessary things have 
been emphasized. The New Testament clearly reveals 
the difficulties that arose for the early Christians 
in making valid distinctions between essentials and 
non-essentials. Some thought it was necessary to 
avoid eating meat that had been offered to idols; 
some thought it was necessary to observe certain 
days and places of worship. Some thought circum- 
cision a necessary rite, some believed ceremonial 
washings, like baptism, necessary. Some held tith- 
ing essential. Jewish Christians thought it essential 
to believe in one Divinity, while Gentile Christians 
considered it necessary to believe also in the Divinity 
of Christ. 

One thing that hinders the growth and spread of 
reasonable Christianity is the confusion of what is 
im'portant with what is necessary. It is quite human 
to assume that what is important to me should be 
equally important to others, and that what is op- 
tional to me should be optional to others. It is 


extremely difficult to avoid attaching estimates of 
highest value to matters that are quite incidental, 
such as manners, correctness of speech, table eti- 
quette, family or racial connections, occupation, 
financial status. College education is important but 
not necessary to success or happiness. It may be 
a detriment, a cause of snobbishness, a source of 
deadly pride, an enemy of democracy, and a foe 
of genuine religion. 

One of the hardest lessons to learn in this life is 
the great variety that exists within the good, the 
wide range of differences of standards, of perform- 
ance, of excellence, of aspiration, and of mastery. 
There is no perfection in life or in religion. There 
is only quest and striving and partial attainment. 
There is bitter force in the idea that every person 
has the defects of his qualities, the limitations of his 
achievements. The sensitive artist or scholar may 
lack the rough and ready ability to struggle with the 
practical conditions of competition and preferment. 
Popularity feeds conceit. Humility invites imposi- 
tion by driving administrators. Power begets blind- 
ness and vanity. The obverse of this fact just illus- 
trated is that each quality brings its own compensa- 
tions, rewards and satisfactions. There is no single 
fixed pattern of success or failure. Our spiritual 
profiles are as various as photographs of our 

What kind of unity is possible for such diverse 
personalities? For one thing, it cannot be a union 
stated in creedal uniformity without allowing for 
individual interpretations. Since such varying in- 
terpretations are sure to occur, it may be better to 
acknowledge them at the outset, and emphasize 
goodwill and a spirit of generous cooperation as the 
essentials. Then the two enduring phrases of our 
favorite slogan would be, "In opinions, liberty; in 


all things, charity." 

"Nothing- Is Necessary" in and for itself. Any- 
thing becomes necessary only in relation to an end 
desired. Uniformity in doctrine concerning the big 
and the little things of religion is impossible. The 
effort to attain union among Christians on a doc- 
trinal basis has often caused divisions, and always 
will. Such union tends to dictatorships, to man- 
agerial power, to external superficial success in the 
way of organization, numbers, and financial magni- 
tudes. "Not by might, nor by power, but by my 
spirit," saith the Lord. The kingdom of heaven 
cannot be taken by violence. The meek shall inherit 
the earth, strange as it sounds to us in our day! 

The Christian Remnant in Japan 

Wm. H. Erskine, Hyattsville, Md. 
Our silence is now broken and people are asking 
us to tell about Japan and the Christian work there, 
since this is the time for the study of Japan in the 
Missionary Circle. The Japanese and the American 
propagandists had lied about Kagawa, the most 
Christ like of the living Christians. This tender 
and loving servant of Christ, was accused of recant- 
ing, of turning his back on Christianity, at the same 
time he was praying in prison, not for himself but 
for peace. Allow me to quote a part of a poem as 
translated by Mrs. Lois Erickson in her book, "Song 
of the Dawn," Friendship Press : 

You were bold and brave 

In plundering, 

Falter not now, but face 

Your mightier task, 

And build Japan again. 

Youth of Sunrise Land, 
Almighty God would use 


This cruel war 
To teach and train you ; 
If you fail to learn 
His lessons, 

You will prove yourselves 
Unworthy to be called 
The sons of dawn. 
Again Kagawa speaks of "The Living Christ" : 
Why should we speak 
Of "Christianity" 
As though it were 
Dead doctrine? 
Jesus is not dead; 
Still as of old, 
1 He seeks His sheep. 

I Children of Japan, 

Dumb in defeat. 

Struggling to live, 

Wipe, wipe away your tears, 

Look at the living Christ; 
He stands 
Here at your side. 
Another great praying soul through the war is 
Miss Utako Hayashi. Often the writer has intro- 
duced her as the Jane Addams of Osaka on account 
of her activities for Social Purity in Japan. A suc- 
cessful teacher in a Christian school, was asked to 
marry the widower of an orphanage. She refused 
him but did agree to marry the orphanage, and took 
the children under her care and with prayer and 
suffering she built the exceptional orphanage in 
Osaka. In her "Morning Prayers" : 

I waken in the early dawn 

And softly pray 

That I may find and do the work 

God has for me this day. 


In her book, **A Song of Daily Life" : 
Again today, Lord, 
Let me write 

In characters of sweat and tears 
Words that will bring 
Thy children to the light. 

And faith and hope and love 
Will be 

The warp and woof 
Of fabric gay 

That I would weave for Thee 
A great soul sent of God to the poor and outcast, 
whom you should know as among the Christian rem- 
nant, is Col. Yamamuro of the Salvation Army. Re- 
jected by Christian groups because he was unpre- 
possessing, unprepared, he goes out on the roof of 
his house in a rain storm, and prays: 

"0 God, I trust in Christ for salvation, 
Baptize me with the pure water of heaven." 
Graduated from Doshisha University and greatly 
influenced by Pres. Joseph Niishima, and aided in his 
education by the saint of the Disciples, Rev. Yoshida 
who held off his own education. As great a soul 
winner as Kagawa, and also writer of the Common 
People's Gospel. In speaking of salvation in Christ, 
he says: 

His salvation comes 
Not from man's wisdom 
Nor the lore of books. 
But to those born again. 
Whose hearts are made anew, 
Be they but toilers, traders, 
Peasants, poorest of the poor. 

The grace of God 
Is never limited 


Remembering that long ago 
Jesus of Nazareth 
Daily carved His wood, 
[ And planed his long, hard boards. 

So let us hold 
His will for us 
Deep in our hearts, 
And labor on and on. 
General Yamamuro has passed on to his reward, 
but his wonderful daughter is carrying on, Miss 
Tamiko Yamamuro, a woman in her forties with 
the faith and zeal of her father. Cast into prison 
she vt^rites, "War" : 

And the heavy hand, of Thought Police 

Upon our band. 

Because we call ourselves an army 

And proclaim that Christ is King ; 

Our possessions seized. 

Our papers searched; 

Our soldiers persecuted ; 

Leaders thrown in jail. 

We prisoners 

Smitten on one cheek, 

Must turn the other — 

Yet it gives us joy 

To suffer thus for Christ. 

In these dark days of weakness 
I am comforted to know 
Brave women long ago 
Followed our Lord to Calvary, 
While strong men fled. 
And I remember Mary Magdalene 
Who was first to greet Him 
Li that Easter dawn! 


And so I fixi my mind 

Upon^the power of God. 

Then hope comes back, 

Hope for our own jailers 

And this poor land 

I love. 
The prisoners of war on both sides learned the 
Lord's Prayer by heart, with its great words, Our 
Father, Thy Kingdom come. Give us this day our 
daily bread. Forgive as we forgive. A REMNANT 

""Love Is Not a Doctrine, 
But An Attitude'' 

Don Wilson Fein, Owensboro, Ky. 

How important it is to understand the above 
stated truth, can be realized only through experience. 
Regardless of the words or phrases man may use to 
define love, he can not define it adequately. The 
poets' never ending lines on it, may stir its presence 
within one's heart and soul, but cannot say just what 
it is. The endless line of sermons preached about it, 
has not been able to plant it in men's hearts. Nor 
shall the world be assured of its reality in men's 
lives until we experience it as an attitude. 

If it were a doctrine and could be put into men's 
lives by command or legislation, surely we would 
have been living under its sway for many centuries 
now. And who would not have it so. "Love the 
Lord Thy God with all thy heart, mind, soul, and 
strength; and thy neighbor as thyself." We hear 
it. We say it. We do it not! 

We say that God is Love. Love is of God. Be 
ye rooted and grounded in Love. If it were possible 


to teach man to love, then here are more teachings 
and doctrines, that should accomplish this end. But 
such is not the case. Again the command, "Love 
God, because He first loved us." A further statement 
•of doctrinal truth but still not sufficient to cause 
man to love. Indeed Love is not a doctrine, but an 

One may teach doctrines, but attitudes must be 
developed. It is only as one develops attitudes 
through constant application of his knowledge 
gained through experience that he can grow into 
any measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. 

Herein, I believe, lies the whole crux of our mid- 
century confusion : We are still trying to learn how 
to love, as we learn how to "obey" the ten command- 
ments. Whether our world grows into a "century 
of hope" or declines into a "century of despair" will 
rest solely upon the attitudes men have developed in 
their lives, most important of which is this attitude 
of love. 

When one loves fellowman, he can not hate. He 
can hate the act of his brother, but not the brother 
himself. If one's attitude is to love all men, there is 
no place then for hate which leads to envy, strife, 
jealousy, war. Likewise on a personalized level, 
the absence of such an attitude causes misunder- 
standings, frictions, tensions, jealousies, and murder 
(of the body, or of the spirit, and of times both) . 

On my way down to the church Sunday morning, 
I heard Dr. Ralph Sockman on The National Radio 
Pulpit. He was discussing the "Marks of a Chris- 
tian." The only mark I heard him speak of was 
"Love." "By this shall all men know, ye are my dis- 
ciples. That ye love one another." This was ertough 
for me. If one bears the mark of Christian MLrove 
which can be seen in his attitude toward life, then 
he has "The Marks of a Christian" about him. The 


love of which Jesus spoke was an attitude, not a 

Dr. Albert Schweitzer is a noble example of what 
can happen when love grows into an attitude of 
life. I was privileged to see and hear him at The 
University of Chicago Convocation this past summer 
and it made me eager to secure his 'Thilosophy of 
Civilization." I read it recently. Love as an atti- 
tude is clearly revealed in his "reverence-for-life" 
philosophy. Indeed, some might be led to feel he 
carries such thought to an extreme. Yet, who could 
command such an outlook into being? Who could 
teach it as a doctrine ? How could one ever legislate, 
so that man might thus learn to live? "Reverence- 
for-life" philosophy grows when one bases his love 
upon the fact we are here discussing — that it is an 
attitude, not a doctrine! 

Not long ago, a community called a young man 
as Director for The Community Chest and Council. 
He was aggressive and eager, but he was baffled 
and retarded in his work by the indifference and lack 
of vision among those with whom he worked. He 
was finally dismissed. Disillusioned, and suffering 
from a deep sense of failure, he made this statement, 
"I only want them all to know, I do not hate them 
for this act. I trust I shall leave the city with no 
enemies, and with them realizing that I still love 

One cannot live this way, nor love this way, until 
love is an attitude of life. 

Thank you Dean Ames for pointing up this im- 
portant fact. May you and others who have given 
themselves to this sort of thinking about life, realize 
there is a generation of "those who come after" who 
are striving to maintain this belief: "Love is not 
a doctrine, but an attitude." 


An Epitome of Theology 

Wm. F. Clarke, Duluth, Minn. 

I am an octogenarian. Half a century ago I spent 
six years studying in college classes with other young 
men reading the Bible from the Greek and Hebrew 
texts. Since then I have spent many years in public 
education. But though that may help explain my 
religious ideas it does not establish their truth. A 
thing is not true because the Pope or some other per- 
son has said so. Accordingly Paul's concept of the 
origin of the Universe is not true because he set it 
forth. But it is worth serious contemplation. 

The origin and existence of a God is humanly in- 
explicable. But equally inexplicable is the origin 
and existence of the Universe without a God. 

In his letter to the Ephesians Paul sets forth an 
explanation for the origin of the Universe. Accord- 
ing to him there were certain persons in the spirit 
world out of harmony with God. To convince these 
persons that He was both powerful and wise and 
thereby win their adoration, God devised a great 
project. He would create a great universe with man 
its central figure. He would start man a weak and 
ignorant creature and develop him into a being with 
the characteristics of saintliness and blamelessness 
in His sight. For the accomplishment of this pur- 
pose He would constitute man and the universe in 
such a way that man's life in the universe would 
develop in him the characteristics of saintliness and 
blamelessness in His sight. Thus life would become 
for man a school of righteousness. Paul may have 
derived this concept from the story of Job. Job 
was a righteous man in God's sight and God is repre- 
sented as calling Satan's attention to Job, apparently 
in the hope that Satan would imitate Job and become 
a friend of God's. This procedure is in line with 


Paul's concept. 

This concept of Paul's deserves more attention 
than has been given it by those professing themselves 
servants of God. Its adoption by theologians would 
bring about profound changes in current church 
dogmas. For example, currently there is wide-spread 
insistence that God has prescribed for His service 
a relatively few activities of no particular advantage 
in normal life which are to be gone through with 
at stated times in a certain prescribed way. Those 
familiar with the ideas of Christ know that this is 
what he denounced as hypocrisy. According to Paul 
instead of a certain relatively few acts apart from 
life, God has provided for man a life of infinite ac- 
tivities, all of which are essential to his well-being 
and all of which must be gone through with in a 
certain way to insure this well-being. As a part of 
man's education God arranged that man would have 
to discover through his experience with life just how 
to live life as God designed for it to be lived. It is 
thus that man discovers God's will. And it is by 
reverently and gratefully living in accord with this 
will that man becomes righteous in God's sight. 

Frank Garrett 

Wallace R. Bacon, Ft. Smith, Ark. 
Dr. Frank Garret died at his home near Harrison, 
Arkansas, on March 8, 1950, apparently as the re- 
sult of over exertion in fighting a fire that was 
sweeping through his timber and threatening his 
home. The funeral service was held at the Christian 
Church in Harrison, Arkansas, at two o'clock, on 
March 11, 1950. The pastor, L. L. Rudolph assisted, 
and Wallace R. Bacon of Fort Smith, Arkansas, com- 
mented on Dr. Garrett's life and work and spoke 
of the Christian attitude toward life and the inci- 



dent of death. His comments on Dr. Garrett's life 
and work were as follows: 

Frank Garrett was born at Camp Point, Illinois, 
in 1868 and lived 82 years. He was the son of Mr. 
and Mrs. Silas Garrett. He graduated from Drake 
University in 1896 and was a member of Drake's 
Gamma chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. His Master's 
degree was from Columbia University. In 1914 
Drake conferred on him the honorary degree of 
Doctor of Divinity. 

Mr. Garrett married Miss Ethel Brown and they 
went to China in 1896. To this union were born 
two daughters and one son. After Mrs. Garrett's 
death, Mr. Garrett married Verna Bryan Waugh 
in 1914. 

Frank Garrett's life was spent as a missionary 
to China under the United Christian Missionary So- 
ciety of the Disciples of Christ. He had a large part 
in developing Christian communities in China. 
Every phase of the mission program benefitted from 
his life and service, but his special interest was in 
the field of Evangelism and Education. 

For seven years he taught in the Nanking Union 
Theological Seminary and was its president. Many 
Mission buildings were constructed under his per- 
sonal supervision. These include seven mission 
residences, three school buildings, two churches and 
a large educational plant. He was one of the found- 
ers of Nanking University and served as member 
of its board of directors. He was a leader in many 
cooperative Christian organizations. While carry- 
ing a full load in the regular station program, he 
also served as chairman of the Administrative Com- 
mittee of the China Mission for thirteen years. He 
was an indefatigable and eflficient worker both on the 
field and when at home on furlough. 

Frank Garrett was a great Christian gentleman. 


His compassion for the needy was inclusive and 
unlimited. His quiet courage was tremendous. His 
joy, good cheer and understanding and hopefulness 
were outstanding. The bulwark of his life and work 
was his faith that God's will can be done. 

In 1907 the Chinese government awarded him 
an Imperial Medal for his service in famine relief. 
It is not pleasant to work in the midst of typhus. 
The Empress Dowager's government was moved by 
the Christian compassion of a man who would turn 
from his regular duties to minister to famine suffer- 
ers of another race, and paid him this special tribute. 

To me, one of the remarkable demonstrations of 
his courage was the occasion in 1911 when alone 
he rode out of the East Gate of the City of Nanking 
into the face of revolutionary troops entrenched on 
Purple Mountain and facilitated the surrender of 
the city, without the holocaust of bombing and de- 
struction. He put his own life in the greatest jeop- 
ardy but thereby he saved life and property for hun- 
dreds of thousands of persons inside the walls of 
the city of Nanking. 

He was an understanding person and his heart 
went out to the men and particularly to the youth 
of China. Because of his personal character and 
service he was highly esteemed by the Chinese people 
among whom he lived for so many years. He was 
the senior missionary in the station at Nantung- 
chow and every younger missionary who worked 
there feels a great debt to Dr. Garrett for his under- 
standing and counsel and guidance. 

With all the exacting demands made upon him 
as a missionary on the field, Dr. Garrett kept up on 
his study and reading. He was informed and 
thoughtful. And his ideas were as fresh as youth. 
He kept informed on recent developments in China 
and his confidence in the ability of the Chinese peo- 


pie to achieve something constructive out of these 
troublous times never wavered. This was evident in 
his last conversation with me. 

Upon his retirement from the mission field, Dr. 
Garrett served as associate pastor of the Central 
Christian Church at Denver, Colorado. Later he 
moved to Miami, Florida, and while there was active 
in the work of the church. Since coming to the 
Harrison community he has been a benediction to 
the churches in this area. 

In a Great Tradition 

W. B. Blakemore, Chicago 

A Review of G. W. Allport, The Individual and 
His Religion 

Fifty years ago, Harvard's Professor of Psychol- 
ogy, William James, turned his attention to the 
varieties of religious experience. For nearly fifty 
years his famous book succeeded in holding the re- 
ligious mind of America open to the fact that re- 
ligious experience is intensely personal and conse- 
quently various in its expression. William James 
broke the shackles of an age-long presumption that 
uniformity of religious thought and expression is 
the end to be sought in religious endeavor. 

By the 1930s, James had been gone long enough 
that a new mood of orthodoxy could afford to con- 
sider his point of view ''old-fashioned," "subjec- 
tive," and "anti-intellectual." The presumption once 
again arose that vast uniformities of doctrine and 
ritual, while not achievable in our own day perhaps, 
were none the less the ends towards which the re- 
ligious enterprise should work. 

Now, once again. Harvard's Professor of Psy- 
chology — this time it is Gordon Allpcrt — has written 
a book about individual religion. Like James he has 
nourished his mind upon the great classics of religion 


as well as upon contemporary science and philos- 
ophy. And once again the fundamental outlook of 
James comes alive — the conclusions and sentiments 
of mature personal religion are as various and as 
unique as personality itself. This viewpoint is up- 
held by the latest understandings of personality, and 
stated with a charm that rivals that of James him- 

Once again the theme is the diversity of form that 
subjective religion assumes. "Many different desires 
may initiate the religious quest . . . Men show a 
varying capacity ... to evolve a well differentiated 
mature religious sentiment. There are many de- 
grees in the comprehensiveness of this sentiment 
. . . There are different styles of doubting, differert 
apperceptions of symbols . . . There are innumerable 
types of specific religious intentions. How the indi- 
vidual justifies his faith is a variable matter, and 
the certitude he achieves is his alone." 

Here is no simplicist theory of the origins of the 
religious quest, no finding its essential ground in a 
"feeling of absolute dependence," or a "sense of 
the holy," or in the "sense of security and longing," 
or "sex-repression," or "the unconscious." Subjective 
religion, when well formed, is essentially simple, like 
white light, but like it a composite into which have 
been blended both organic and psychogenic drives, 
individual temperament and the pursuit of rational 
explanations, and a response to the surrounding 
culture. When mature, this blend forms a religious 
sentiment (both emotion and reason are in it) or 
master motive which, despite its origin in more 
elemental drives and ego-centricity, now takes pos- 
session of them and becomes their control and guide. 
In the life economy of the individual, the religious 
sentiment differentiates into critical interests in 
church, the divine, world brotherhood, good and 


evil, social relationships, etc. By successive discrim- 
ination and continuous reorganization maturity of 
personal religion is achieved. The guidance of a 
life by such a mature religious sentiment is con- 
tir.uous and comprehensive, not sporadic and partial. 
It is integrative in that it weaves the elements cf 
personality together on behalf of ideal ends of life. 
Finally, it is sure without being cock-sure, engender- 
ing certitude without clamoring for certainty, dis- 
covering that theoretical scepticism is not incom- 
patible with practical absolutism. "To the gen- 
uinely mature personality a full-faced view of reality 
in its grimmest aspects is not incompatible with an 
heuristic-commitment that has power to turn des- 
peration into active purpose." 

A chapter on ''Conscience and Mental Health" de- 
scribes the transition from childhood's introjected 
super-ego to maturity's conscience based on the 
values affirmed by the religious sentiment. The 
psychological understanding of integration is en- 
lightened by the realization that the comprehensive- 
ness of mature religious idealism is the best possible 
agency for the maintenance of personal wholeness. 
The role of the minister in contrast to both the psy- 
chologist and the psychiatrist is indicated. Two 
firal chapters on doubt and faith describe the varie- 
ties of ways in which men do their doubting, and 
validate their faith. Over and over again, Allport 
underlines the energizing power of "the probable." 
Certainty is not required for our deepest strivings. 
We "believe" the "probable," and sometimes a low 
degree of faith, such as we may now have in the 
United Nations, being the only hope we can have, 
is sufficient to win our backing with all O'ur might. 
Among the modes of validation of faith are imme- 
diate religious experience, convincing to oneself 
though not as a rule to others, and pragmatic deci- 


sions, choosing the more productive "option." 

"From its early beginning to the end of the road 
the religious quest of the individual is solitary. Lack- 
ing as he must, tests of absolute certainty, his own 
mode of validation is not necessarily convincing to 
others. But it may be deeply convincing to him. 
Though he is socially interdependent with others in 
a thousand ways, yet no one else is able to provide 
him with the faith he evolves, nor prescribe for him 
his pact with the cosmos." 

The intention of this review is not to argue with 
certain specific points of Allport's presentation, nor 
even with one of his major concepts — and there is 
one which this reviewer feels is an erroneous con- 
cept. At the moment, it is much more important to 
call the attention of this book to every member of 
the Campbell Institute. For it is a great book, in 
a great tradition within which the editor of The 
Scroll himself stands. 

Jorge and Jorgelina 

George Earle Owen, Ashtabula, Ohio 

(Ttvo outstanding Argentine Disciples of 

Christ leaders) 

Jorge is the form for George and Jorgelina is the 
way one says Georgina or Georgia in Spanish. This 
is a biographical note on two of O'ur Argentine 
friends, both of whom have visited this country, 
Jorge Wenzel and Jorgelina Lozada. Both are 
products of Disciples of Christ mission work and 
both are members of the Villa Mitre (one of four 
churches in Buenos Aires) Christian Church where 
Mrs. Owen and I held our membership for five years. 

Dr. Jorge Wenzel is a graduate of Colegio Ward, 
one of the outstanding private schools in Argentina, 
in which Methodists and Disciples of Christ coop- 
erate. His law degree is from the University of 


ia Plata. He is at present the Executive Secretary 
of the Confederation of Evangelical Churches of 
the River Plate region (Argentina, Paraguay and 
Uruguay) : the expression of Christian fellowship 
and cooperation, for nineteen Protestant Commu- 
nions and their affiliated institutions, e.g., Semi- 
naries, etc. He gives three-fourths of his time 
(officially one-half) to the Confederation of 
Churches and half time to a legal department of the 
city of Buenos Aires (population 3,000,000). He 
was the official delegate to the World Council of 
Churches in Amsterdam. He is a distinguished 
Christian layman, one of the vice presidents of the 
World Convention of the Disciples of Christ. Keep 
your eye on him. 

He has been invited and should attend the sessions 
of the World Sunday School Convention and the 
World Council of Christian Education to be held 
in Toronto, Canada, August 10-20. Needs on the 
field being what they are the cost of the trip (approx- 
imately $1,000) is too much to be provided by the 
local budget. However, the importance of this gath- 
ering to him and his work is great. If anyone would 
like to help make his trip possible please write to 
me at 2604 Walnut Blvd., Ashtabula, Ohio, before 
June 30. 

Jorgelina Lozada is one of the very few ordained 
woman pastors in Latin America. She is one of the 
prominent church leaders in Argentina. At the 
great world missionary conference in Madras, India, 
and at the World's Sunday School Convention in Rio 
de Janeiro she was one of the delegates selected to 
represent her own and sister Communions. She is 
the pastor of the Villa Mitre Church which she has 
developed from its infancy. This year marks her 
twenty-fifth year in Christian service. Her kinder- 
garten and health clinic, her counselling with the 


people of the community are all a part of her splen- 
did ministry. The Social Service department of the 
city of Buenos Aires has recognized her social serv- 
ice work in more than one way. She serves on the 
Board and has taught in Union Theological Semi- 
nary. She served for several years before Dr. 
Wenzel as the Secretary of the Confederation of 
Evangelical Churches. One of the high points of 
her visit to the United States was her contact with 
the Disciples House and Dr. Ames. She is endeavor- 
ing to build a social center and community building 
right next to the church and needs lots of help 
financially. It takes so many more Argentine pesos 
now to buy anything. The congregation's building 
fund is worth just half what it was five years ago. 
Miss Lozada was selected to attend the conference 
on Life and Work of Women in the Church in 
Geneva, Switzerland, sponsored by the World Coun- 
cil of Churches and has come from there to Cuba, 
where she is a member of the Curriculum Commit- 
tee on Latin America. She is one of ten selected to 
represent all of our Latin American Republics. She 
will be at the World Sunday School Convention and 
World Council of Christian Education to be held in 
Toronto this August. She will be in the United 
States from June 10 to July 22 working largely in 
young people's conferences. 

People — Places — Events 

"Disciple Humorists I Have Known" 
F. E. Davison, South Bend, Indiana 
Recently I heard Halford Luccock give a series 
of lectures on "Preaching" at Butler School of Re- 
ligion. What a delightful humorist he is ! He uses 
his humor to drive home his messages. Every- 
body likes good humor. While Dr. Luccock was 
speaking I saw sophisticated professors, eager stu- 


dents, pastors and pastors' wives, conservatives and 
liberals all enjoying the addresses and occasionally 
bending double with laughter. 

Halford Luccock is a Methodist and not a Disciple 
but he started me thinking about humorists I have 
known in our own brotherhood. Many of us try to 
do a bit of "wise-cracking" now and then but the 
list of Disciple humorists is not long. I am not try- 
ing to find a match for Dr. Luccock. His like cannot 
be found in all Protestantism. 

As a boy I always went to church or the lecture 
hall if I knew that A. W. Conner was to speak. I 
was certain there would be good humor scattered 
thru his message. He came to be known as ''The 
Boy's Friend" and he did much for the boys of his 
day. His wonderful sense of humor won the affec- 
tion of thousands of boys and their parents. 

At Terre Haute, Indiana, there lived a beloved 
Disciple minister by the name of Oscar Kelly. He 
was a popular speaker during the first two decades 
of this century. Upon his approach many of his 
friends would start singing "Has anybody here seen 
Kelly?" He always had a humorous and cheerful 
word for private conversation and public address. 

Allen B. Philputt was a great humorist of another 
sort. He was knov^n as a literary man and was a 
close friend of James Whitcomb Riley. The only 
time I ever met Mr. Riley, Dr. Philputt introduced 
us. In a set address Dr. Philputt did not indulge in 
much humor but in an informal speech he was a riot. 
He was chief speaker at my church one day when 
we were dedicating a new community hall. The 
"Hustling Hundred," a men's organization of the 
church had taken the lead in building this hall and 
they were much in evidence on dedication day. When 
Dr. Philputt arose to speak he said "After seeing 
here what a "Hustling Hundred" can do I am going 


back to my church and organize the "Thundering 

Harry Pritchard was a rare story teller. Harry 
so greatly enjoyed his own stories that it became 
contagious with everyone around him. A few days 
before his passing I sat by his bedside and he related 
an experience which had come to him a few nights 
before when he believed he had caught a glimpse 
of the other side. We talked calmly and naturally 
about immortality. However, before I left Harry 
used some of his fast fading strength to tell me his 
latest story. 

Did you ever hear Harry Peters let loose in one 
of his humorous addresses? If so, you would want 
to list him among Disciple humorists. He was my 
state "bishop" for several years and I have seen him 
break strong tensions with an apt and humorous 
story. His was a sort of an Abe Lincoln type of 
humor and he carried it with him wherever he went. 

It is doubtful if any person ever started more 
people laughing than Clark Cummings. This great 
soul could pass quickly from the role of a clown to 
that of a philosopher or of a saint. I do not think 
Clark used much humor in his addresses but I am 
certain he should be listed among Disciple humor- 

The above mentioned have had their names in- 
scribed on the immortal tablets of the yesteryears. 
It is much more difficult to name our living humor- 
ists. At the risk of omitting some I rush in. 

The hearty laugh of Fred Heifer is medicine for 
body and soul. In the pulpit, Fred is clothed with 
dignity and sweetness. Among his many friends he 
is a "kidder" with a remarkable ability of making 
his humor contagious. I attended a state conven- 
tion last May where Fred was president. By the 
end of the first day the whole convention caught his 
spirit of friendly good humor. 


Among our younger humorists, Perry Gresham 
perhaps heads all the rest. Humor is scattered like 
saving salt throughout his messages. On College 
Night at the Cincinnati convention he kept that great 
audience in the hollow of his hand. He did it not 
alone by humor but by that rare ability of humor 
plus brains. 

Should a vote be taken among Disciples concerning 
our greatest humorist I feel certain the crov^n vv^ould 
go to Graham Frank. Graham is the best story 
teller I ever heard. I had the pleasure of hearing the 
original telling of the Mary Simpson story. Some 
of the details of that story cannot be published but 
most Scroll readers will know that it was the great- 
est hoax ever experienced in Discipledom or in any 
other religious body. When I heard Graham tell 
that story he did not reveal that it was a hoax until 
the very end. He took twenty or thirty minutes to 
tell the story in a Denver hotel lobby. Some 25 
preachers and secretaries gathered around and lis- 
tened intently. Many who thought themselves 
psycho-analysts broke in from time to time to give 
their appraisal of Mary Simpson. When the climax 
was reached a great howl went up and there were 
some red faces among us would-be detectives. 

A Time to Bark 

Fred S. Nichols, Walton, Ky. 
No more is freedom of speech the inalienable 
right of man than is barking the inalienable right 
of a dog. But freedom in each instance, as we well 
know, is often abused. The freedom of bark, for 
example, should be delimited by man's right to 
sleep. Not only has a dog limited barking rights, 
but as a watch dog it is his duty to bark. A good 
watch dog, however, will have a timely sense of 
barking. It was such timely sense that sent my 


next door neighbor into ecstacies over his new dog, 
which he had bought upon recommendation as a 
watch dog of blue ribbon qualities. He climaxed 
his summarization of the dog's virtues by saying, 
"He never barks at the general, it is always at 
the particular." There you have the superlative 
mark of a good watch dog; and thereby hangs an 

During the progress of an annual revival, the 
two preachers were at the home of a deacon for an 
evening meal. It was just at the time when the 
St. Louis Cardinals and the Brooklyn Dodgers were 
battling it out at the close of the season for the 
National League pennant. Naturally the table con- 
versation turned to this contest. Said one of the 
preachers, whose position, I admit, would not be 
shared by large numbers of his area countrymen — 
said he, "We who were born south of the Mason 
and Dixon Line know why we are for the Cardi- 
nals," as if it would be hard to guess the three 
reasons to be Jackie Robinson, Campanella, and 

That night the sermon dealt largely with human 
brotherhood, and all the wonders pertaining thereto. 
Only to carry out the figure, it is fair to say the 
barking was ineffective because it was a barking 
at the general, with the preacher forgetting that 
general barking that overlooks the particular, is apt 
to be a tinkling cymbal. 

Genuine prophets bark at the particular. 

No one is ever crucified for barking at the general. 

An Open Letter to 
Dr. F. W. Burnham 

By W. J. Lhamon, Columbia, Mo. 
Dear Dr. Burnham: I notice your article in 


The Scroll relative to the Old Jerusalem Church. 
You say that you "Are puzzled about the conduct 
of the Old Jerusalem Church, with the Lord's 
brother at the head of it." And you "Wonder wheth- 
er we should give it up as the progenitor of the 
Church of Christ, and turn to Antioch, where "The 
disciples were first called Christians." 

Allow me the following suggestions. The Old 
Mother Church was strictly a church of Jews. It 
was tribal, petrified, — in short a cult. It had no 
outreach toward the Gentile world. Such an insti- 
tution tends more and more to become a fossil, en- 
closing itself against all living things. That was 
not what the world needed, and providentially two 
things happened. 

First: The Apostle Peter was spiritually (should 
one say miraculously) led to the home of the Gentile 
Nobleman Cornelius, to whom he preached, and 
whom he baptized together (it seems) with his 
household. Thus Cornelius the first Gentile Chris- 
tian became the logical, fine and beautiful type of 
Gentile membership in the Church — and that really 
means world membership. When Peter made his 
avowal (Acts 10-28) "You yourselves know that it 
is unlawful for a Jew to associate with or to visit 
one of another nation : but God hath shown me 
that I should not call any man common or unclean," 
he gave utterance to a new, democratic, and world 
view of humanity. It was revolutionary! And was 
it not providential? There are times when, 

"God moves in a mysterious way 

His wonders to perform." 

The second thing that happehed, and that changed 
the whole situation of the ecclesiastical conditions 
of that day, including the Old Mother Church, was 


the conversion of Saul of Tarsus. Saul was a mem- 
ber of that Old Mother Church. It was the Jewish 
state church, and Saul was born in it just as he 
was born a Jew. That was what made him so fierce 
as an antagonist. Heresy was rebellion, and Stephen 
(Acts Ch. 7,) had denied the national synagogue 
faith, and therefore he should die. So Saul, the 
born leader of the group, "held the clothes" of the 
men who stoned Stephen to death. And he did it 
"in all good conscience." It should be recalled that 
much later in life when he as a Christian missionary 
was on trial, he cried out before the Council, 
"Brethren, I have lived before God in all good 
conscience up to this day." (Acts 23-1.) 

As a leading persecutor, "even to strange cities," 
Saul was on his way to Damascus with his retinue, 
his bodyguard of camel drivers and their luggage 
of food and other necessities for that tedious jo^rney 
of a hundred and fifty miles over a rough and 
mountainous road. Under these conditions says Dr. 
Farrar in his "Life and Work of St. Paul," . . . 
"Paul was forced to go up into the tribunal of his 
own conscience, and set himself before himself." 
Thus he pressed on under the high noon of the Syrian 
sun, till he was smitten by a light more fierce and 
terrible than that of the sun — a light that awoke 
in him a new conscience, and made of him a "New 
Man." So Saul the persecutor became Paul the 

Was not this a miracle? It was a miracle in the 
realm of the Spirit, above and beyond the realms of 
matter, time and space. By this miracle Saul of 
Tarsus forfeited his membership in the Old Jeru- 
salem Church, and took his place of leadership 
in the lasting church of the Gentile world. It was 
an age of providential change. Even Paul, formerly 


Saul and ardent defender of the faith, and search- 
ing for heresy "from house to house," and loyal 
to the ancient rite of circumcision, had come to the 
place where he could say, as in his Galatian letter, 
"Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision availeth 
anything, but faith working through love." Indeed 
the whole Galatian letter is a tremendous, and 
revolutionary attack on the old Jewish regime. When 
Paul was aroused in a great cause he was a great 
fighter. And this made him the greatest figure in 
the ancient world — aside from the great Master him- 
self. And his stature has not diminished with time. 
His letters live. Galatians, Romans, first and second 
Corinthians, and others. His panegyric on Christian 
LOVE lives. (1st. Cor. 13.) And He lives both in 
our conscious and subconscious minds, since we can 
hardly think in a great Christian way without lean- 
ning on themes where He has gone before us. Canon 
Farrar, after considering various hypotheses, possi- 
ble and impossible, says, "One fact remains, the 
conversion of St. Paul was in the highest sense of 
the word a miracle, the spiritual consequences of 
which have affected every subsequent age of man- 

Dear Mr. Ames : I am offering you the above for 
publication in The Scroll — if you find it worthy of 
a place among your crowded pages. I trust that you 
are well. You seem to keep going strong. I manage 
to keep my feet under me and my head on me at 
not far from 95, Deii gracia. But — "the sands of 
life" are not running as freely as once they did. 
Sooner or later we m^ust go "the way of all flesh," 
and I feel that I am ready when the Good Father 
calls — not boasting : only thankful. 


Mrs. 0. F. Jordan 

Mrs. Ida Kinsey Jordan, wife of our beloved 
pastor of the Park Ridge Community Church, on 
the northwest side of Chicago, died January 29, 
1950. She was eighteen when she went to India 
with her aunt, Mrs. Ben N. Mitchell. After serving 
six years as a missionary, she came home on fur- 
lough, and entered Butler College for further edu- 
cation. There she met Mr. Jordan, and they were 
married at her parents' home in Portland, Indiana, 
August 6, 1900. In churches in Rockford, Evanston, 
and Park Ridge, Illinois, they had long and notable 
pastorates, and have been wise and efficient partici- 
pants in the organized work of the Disciples in Chi- 
cago. She is survived by three sons and four grand- 
children. She continued all her life active in club 
work and missionary work with the women of the 
churches and comm^unity. A great company of peo- 
ple gathered in the Community Church in Park 
Ridge on February 1, for the service in her memo- 
ry. Dr. W. B. Blakemore, who was a student as- 
sistant to Dr. Jordan while studying in the Disciples 
Divinity House, preached the sermon and gave an 
impressive interpretation of her spirit and work. 
Among many other notable things, he said: "She 
was a church woman in the best sense of the term 
for she believed in the importance of organized re- 
ligion. But one may be a churchwoman without be- 
ing very religious. On the other hand her faith- 
fulness was not primarily a matter of elaborate de- 
votional life. She was as unimpressed by intricacy 
in religion as she was by intricacy in any other 
area of life. While active in the church she was 
never overcome by busyness about it. While given 
to regular worship she never made a parade of 


faith. While suffusing her home with a Christian 
character she never strained after rehgion nor 
sought to impress the visitor with the fact that she 
was devout. The maintenance of her faith did not 
require extravagance as a support. On the contrary, 
she had at all times an immediate sense of the pres- 
ence and overarching care of God for all his children. 
She was a Protestant in the fundamental sense of 
the term in which all Christians are Protestants: 
she witnessed for God, she spoke on his behalf, she 
testified of him through her life." 

Mrs. A. W. Fortune 

Mrs. Fortune died on April 4. She would have 
been 74 on April 12. She was a student in Hiram 
College, and married Dr. Fortune in 1912. She 
was a member of the Central Christian Church 
in Lexington, and was active in the Church School 
and missionary society. For 35 years she was a 
member of the Board of the Kentucky Woman's 
Missionary Society, and had served on the boards 
of the Community Chest and the Travelers Aid 
Society. She was one of the organizers of the 
Woman's Club of Transylvania and the College 
of the Bible. She was a member of the Daughters 
of the American Revolution and the Women's 
Christian Temperance Union. She is survived by a 
son. Dr. Carl H. Fortune, a physician in Lexing- 
ton, and by a daughter, Mrs. Jesse K. Lewis, wife 
of a Lexington attorney. There are two grand- 
children. Services were conducted in the Central 
Church in Lexington by Leslie R. Smith, Hayes 
Farish, and Stephen J. Corey. 

While Dr. Fortune was a patient in Passavant 
Hospital, in Chicago, for the very delicate and 
serious operation on his eyes, she was constantly 


by his side, hopeful and courageous through all 
those trying weeks. One who saw her often mar- 
velled at the spirit and cheerfulness with which 
they faced the ordeal. It was clear in those dif- 
ficult days what a strong and comforting com- 
panion she had been to her gifted husband through 
all the years of his many and fruitful activities. 
The deepest sympathy of his comrades of the Camp- 
bell Institute go- out to him, with their sincerest 
admiration for his strength of spirit and unfalter- 
ing trust during the years of his arduous labors, 
and now in this crucial bereavement. 


E. S. Ames 

Robert Wilkerson sends us the first number of his 
Church "Visitor" at Gurnee, 111. It is well done 
and reports plans for new hymnals, and for an 
electric organ. 

Professor J. Clark Archer, after teaching 35 years 
in the Yale School of Religion, will retire next June. 
He has held an important place of leadership among 
the Disciples, and in retirement we hope he will 
be free to do still more. Men in retirement are sup- 
posed to have much free time! 

W. E. Gordon^, veteran missionary in India, is now 
in Canada serving churches without pastors. His 
address is 332 Bloor St. W., Toronto 5, Ont. He is 
one of the great souls of our Disciple and Institute 

Charles E. Sherinan writes from Atlanta. He is 
Secretary for the southern area of the Y.M.C.A., and 
travels throughout ten southwestern states. He was 
recently in Nashville for religious emphasis week 
at Fisk University, and at A and I College where 
Wm. Fox is chaplain. His travels bring him contacts 
with many other Y. men and with University of Chi- 


cago men he knew when a student here. He men- 
tions having lately seen J. Fred Miller, Woodrow 
. Wasson, Dennis Savage, Parker Rossman, and Bob 
Tesdell. "All DD House men are making good rec- 
ords." "Your two articles (February Scroll) gave 
me an inspiring lift. I particularly liked 'Monday, 
February 13, in Chicago.' " I trust some persons in 
California will note this who were apparently dis- 
turbed by that iveather report from Chicago! 

Edgar DeWitt Jones says he is all but through 
with writing his book on the Yale Lectures on 
Preaching. He is at Yale this month of April to 
attend this year's series and to check up on the 
manuscript of 90,000 words ! He will be ready for a 
real vacation at Pentwater in the summer, we hope. 
His son, Willis, and bride are to be there, too. 

Owen Livengood sends his check for $3 for The 
Scroll and calls it "the best brain fusser-up that 
has come to my attention. Being soon at the 75th 
milestone of my life, believe me, I need this fusser-up 
for my fuzzy brain. It does the trick. This is my 
50th year in the ministry. I'm on the retired list 
but am quite busy in ad interim pastoral work. Wife 
and I have very fine health, and we are enjoying to 
the full our work. We are just now serving the Fire- 
stone Park Church of Christ, Akron, Ohio. This 
Church has just extended a call to Wm. F. Saye, at 
present pastor of the Worcester (Mass.) Christian 
Church. He will take over the work soon after 
Easter. In the past few years we have served 
churches in Akron, 0., Johnstown, Pa., Hamilton, 
0., and Huntington, Indiana. My address now will 
be 32 E. Wilbeth Rd., Akron 19, Ohio." 

Hallie G. Gantz, President of the Yale Campbell 
Club Fellowship sends word that Harry Baker 
Adams, President of the Club, announces a special 


dinner for Dr. and Mrs. Archer at the Danbury, 
Connecticut, Church, Friday evening, May 5. All 
Yale men are asked to contribute to a fund to pur- 
chase a gift for that occasion, contributions to be 
sent to George Oliver Taylor, 357 Downey Avenue, 
Indianapolis 19, Indiana. Let all of us Yale men 
have a part in this fine tribute. * 

James Carty, now^ associated with Kring Allen 
in the Okmulgee, Oklahoma, Church, writes that 
"Bill" Alexander has gone to court to change his 
name officially to Bill so that he could put it on 
the ballot that way. "Once a guy named Rogers 
changed his name to Will, so that people would think 
he was the comedian and he got a lot of votes in 
Oklahoma. So a law was passed that only the official 
name could be used on the ballot." Readers of Life 
Magazine must have noticed that Bill was riding 
the elephant in a street parade, signifying his sud- 
den conversion to the G.O.P. His chances of being 
elected to the Senate are getting brighter, Carty 
thinks. It is difficult for a monthly magazine like 
The Scroll to keep up with the rapid developments 
of an ambitious Disciple minister who takes to 
politics in Oklahoma, 

The notable celebration of the Centennial of 
Hiram College has begun and will be continued 
through Commencement. Many great names are on 
the program, beginning with Chancellor Hutchins of 
Chicago, and concluding with Governor Dewey of 
New York. 

The pamphlet on the Disciples of Christ, by E. S. 
Ames, has been reprinted and is available in any 
number at ten cents per copy to cover cost and 
postage. Order through the office of the Disciples 
Divinity House, 1156 East 57th St., Chicago. 

It was gratifying to open the Christian Courier 
for April and see the faces of so many pastors in 

Dallas whom I know and to read of the success of 
their churches. A personal visitation campaign was 
conducted in all the 19 churches of Dallas before 
Easter. Richard Jamies, of the Oak Cliff Church, re- 
ceived 98 new members, with 48 more signing "de- 
cision cards" indicating their purpose to join soon. 
Dean Harrison, of the Rosemont Church, though just 
now handicapped by meeting in a theatre until fall, 
reports 99 decision cards signed. Wayne Selser, of 
the Irving Church, Dallas County, says, "Our recent 
Crusade meeting has been the most moving and pro- 
foundly transforming experience in the life of this 
Church." During the campaign which began Febru- 
ary 26, 1457 were added to the 19 churches! 

Mrs. Cromwell Cleveland writes that they are hav- 
ing a busy time with the Church in Newport News, 
Virginia. They had to have duplicate services on 
Easter at 9 :30 and 11 :00, and had a Cantata at 5 :00. 
She says, "Cromwell recently gave a sermon on, 
'The Power of the Tongue' which should be delivered 
in the Senate." 

Miss Eva Jean Wrather, Nashville, Tenn., is keep- 
ing up her long-time, keen interest in the biography 
of Alexander Campbell. She hopes I may achieve 
my "near-lifetime ambition of seeing AC in print" 

E. S. Ames wishes to acknowledge the receipt of 
many letters of congratulation on reaching his 80th 
birthday on the 21st of this month of April. It 
seems to him just another of those incredible things 
that do actually happen. But the letters are very 
real and warm and heartening. Thank you all, and 
especially for the wishes for "many more." 

Institute Program, July 24-28, 1950 

Richard Pope, President 
(Names marked by asterisks have not yet replied 
to invitation to give papers. "Validity" is the key 
word in each subject.) 

Monday night "The Church" 

Lloyd Channels and Lester Rickman* 

Tuesday a.m "The Church in the City" 

Tuesday afternoon "Preaching*' 

Hunter Beckelhymer 

"Baptism and the Lord's Supper" . W. J. Jarman 

Tuesday evening — "Disciple Ideas". .Robert Thomas 

"Disciple Organization" . W. Barnett Blakemore 

Wednesday a.m.. ."The Church and Economic Life" 

Wednesday afternoon "Liberalism" 

Wm. L. Reese Jr.* 

"The Ecumenical Enterprise" Harold Fey 

Wednesday evening — "Religious Education" .... 

T. T. Swearingen 

"The Church on the Campus". J. Robert Moffett 

Thursday a.m "The Institutional Chaplaincy" 

Wm. R. Smith, Harold Elsam, Robert Preston 
Thursday afternoon — "Church and State" 

"Religious Values in Modern Culture" 

Chris Garriott 

(Annual Dinner at 6 p.m.) 

Thursday evening "Presidential Address" 

Richard Pope 

The Annual Meeting will be concluded Thursday 
evening with a Service of Communion in the Chapel 
of the Holy Grail. J. J. Van Boskirk and Benjamin 
Burns will preside. 


VOL. XLVII MAY, 1950 No. 9 

At Eighty 

E. S. Ames 

The recognition of my 80th birthday by so many 
friends came as a real surprise. Then it became clear 
that the occasion of it was a letter sent from the 
office of the Disciples Divinity House to the list of 
students and to many readers of The Scroll. The 
response to me from hundreds of persons, near and 
far, moved me to many reflections, and deep ap- 
preciation. One was that it is a mystery how so 
many years could pass without my becoming aware 
of them until eighty had accumulated. That is 
one reward of a busy life. Attention has to be con- 
centrated on the daily tasks, and every one knows 
that time flows faster when occupied with interest- 
ing and what seem important matters. Then, one 
day, we are told that on a certain date 29,200 days 
will have passed which count up to eighty years! 
That announcement invites greetings, congratula- 
tions, and comments. For days, the postman silent- 
ly unburdens his pack at the door, wondering per- 
haps what has happened here! 

The messages are scanned and laid aside for a 
quiet hour when they can be read and enjoyed. 
All are friendly, many are affectionate, and some 
narrate incidents of kindness, of help from letters, 
of insight from sermons and books which have dis- 
pelled some cloud or haze from religion's skies. 
The great generosity a:!nd fine courtesy of the 
human heart in times of such celebrations has sup- 
pressed all qualifications, criticisms, and restraints, 
and bathed the soul of the octogenarian in a fountain 
of youth and zest. Realization of the exaggerations 
that love may compass, and that gratitude may be- 


get, cannot assert itself in the warm glow which 
these greetings create. So I have taken them as 
they came, without question or discount, letting the 
joy of the moment be the beautiful truth. What a 
wonderful experience that can be, in spite of dread- 
ful danger of inflated conceit and deadly pride. 
After all, the eightieth birthday comes only once, 
and it will pass, and become a blessed memory, still 
sweet, though chastened. My impulse has been to 
write a real letter of appreciation to every indi- 
vidual who has remembered me in this glorious 
month of April, but I can only thank youi and say, 
God bless you ! 

Many of these congratulatory letters have 
thoughtfully and graciously included my wife. We 
are almost the same age. In fact, she is eighty and I 
am eighty, too! We have traveled along the same 
path from the day we met, sixty-three years ago, 
when she entered Drake University as a freshman. 
I was then a sophomore. She was Mabel Van Meter, 
of DeSoto, Iowa, the daughter of a miller who came 
from a pioneer family from Indiana and Kentucky, 
staunch Disciples. We took much the same courses, 
though we happened to be in only one class togeth- 
er, and that was in mathematics, analytical geom- 
etry, in which she got a higher grade. We both 
studied Greek, and for years read the Greek New 
Testament. For graduate work, I went to Yale, and 
she to Wellesley. We met occasionally on week- 
ends in Boston! We were married at her home in 
DeSoto, on the sixth anniversary of the day we 
first met. We came to the University of Chicago 
for the third year of my graduate work in philoso- 
phy 1894-1895. We were fortunate to be present 
when the Disciples Divinity House was organized 
and were charter members of the Hyde Park 
Church. Herbert L. Willett was the leader in both 


the Church and House. For two years I did some 
teaching in the University, and was the pastor 
of the newly organized Church in Evanston for one 
year. As an "instructor" in the Disciples House, 
my chief task was to raise money to purchase the 
land where the Church and House were later built. 
In the autumn of 1897, I went to teach philosophy 
in Butler College, where we spent three very happy 
years. In the summer of that third year I was 
invited to become minister of the Hyde Park Church 
of Christ in Chicago, and accepted, remaining in 
that relation for forty years. No connection with 
the University of Chicago was then contemplated. 
It was only gradually, through many years, and 
through slow advancement, that a permanent two- 
thirds time appointment was offered me. From the 
point of view of the University, the work in the 
Church was regarded as "outside" work and did not 
contribute to my official rank as a teacher. Those 
were lean, hard years financially, and I mention 
them here to emphasize the unflagging devotion and 
heroic labor of my wife through all those years. A 
son. Van Meter, and three daughters, Damaris, Ade- 
laide, and Polly were bom to us. The care of them, 
and the house in which we still live devolved upon 
her, with only the help of a cleaning woman two 
days a week. I leave the rest to memory and imagi- 
nation. How was it all possible ? Some of the answer 
is understandable but much of it is incalculable. 
All of us had good constitutions, good luck, good 
friends, cheerful dispositions, good faith and good 
courage. Facing some new and unexpected item in 
the cost of living, my wife would say, "I don't"see 
where we are coming out," and I would answer, 
"Well, my Dear, we can't see where we have come 
out!" What a blessing this companionship has been 
and continues to be. How understanding my friends 


are who emphasize, in their greetings, the im- 
measurable debt I owe to this quiet, faithful, tal- 
ented, comrade of all my dreams and labors. 

The thoughts that crowd in upon the mind at 
eighty are beyond expression. One is that age is 
different when lived than when only contemplated. 
For one thing, eighty is not so unique as formerly 
it was. Medicine, hygiene, pure food, recreation, 
elimination of fear and worry, have contributed to 
longevity. Persons of eighty and more are no 
longer so exceptional as to be curiosities. To be 
ninety or a hundred is interesting but not miracu- 
lous. John Dewey and Bernard Shaw, in their 
tenth decade, are still writing and going forward. 

Ministers, as a class, are the best risks of insur- 
ance companies. They are blessed with poverty, 
frugality, idealism, and friendly social groups. 
Their sons achieve high rank in the learned profes- 
sions, in positions of responsible leadership in busi- 
ness and social enterprises, and in religion. It is 
a tragic misfortune that churches are so short- 
sighted about more adequate training for ministers, 
and so quick to judge preachers "too old" at forty 
or fifty. This is partly the effect of the dominance 
of business methods and of the prevalent demand for 
"salesmanship" and promotional work. "Campaigns" 
and "crusades" call for that kind of leadership more 
than for didactic and inspirational preaching, 
touched by poetry and art. 

One of my most vital interests continues to be 
the Campbell Institute and its organ, the SCROLL. 
Many of my friends do not understand why this 
is so. But the Institute was organized fifty-four 
years ago by a few young ministers and teachers 
who were deeply interested in the new-world re- 
ligious movement of the Disciples of Christ. It 
was as free from old forms of religious thought and 


ecclesiasticism and authority, as the experiment in 
government in this country was free from imperial- 
ism and feudalism. The Institute seeks to serve the 
Disciples and the larger religious fellowship by 
cooperating inj developing union, biblicism, and 
ecumenicity through scholarship, discussion and 
experimentation. Much has been achieved in these 
directions in the last half century. The Disciples 
are less individualistic and more collectivistic, but 
there is a kind of individualism that needs to be 
developed with collectivism. Church people must 
draw closer together in fraternity and practical 
good works, but they must also allow greater free- 
dom of thought and personal independence. The 
Institute, in its years of free fellowship, has de- 
veloped both freedom ayid fellowship, and that is 
the kind of growth which enriches and rewards all 
who participate in it. It seems to me that this is 
a profoundly worthy object for our united efforts, 
and if vigorously and unitedly sought, will bring 
us into increasing realization of our hopes for a 
more vital, sane and satisfying religious life. 

Philosophy As Process 

Willis A. Parker, Asheville, N. C. 
A report on Dewey's Reconstruction 
A volume of essays, entitled "Creative Intelli- 
gence" (if I can trust my memory) was printed 
in 1908, as a testament of honor to William James, 
upon his retirement from teaching at Harvard. 
John Dewey was active in assembling the materials, 
and contributed one essay thereto which brought 
from James a letter, appreciative of the tribute, 
and also of the quality of Dewey's thought, and 
that of others recorded in the volume. The letter 
is dated August 4, 1908, at Rye, Sussex, the home 


of Henry James in England, and ends with the fol- 
lowing exuberance: "that it" (the essay and the 
volume) "is the philosophy of the future, I will 
bet my life." (Letters of Wm. James, Vol. H, p. 

James's "Pragmatism" had been published the 
year before. It was supplemented by the essays to 
produce the impact which all will remember who 
were confused by it — as I was — or who were en- 
lightened as were others better prepared in philoso- 

The death of James in 1910 left to Dewey the 
preeminence in the new orientation, which already 
— despite certain differences — seemed assured, and 

One who dissented from Dewey and adhered to 
James — succeeding in some degree to his prestige 
at Harvard, became mentor to me during my resi- 
dence in Cambridge — so far as the James tradition 
went. He helped me to distinguish two tendencies 
in Pragmatism; and these he has pointed up in a 
recent article in honor of Professor Dewey, in The 
New Republic of October 17, 1949. I refer to Pro- 
fessor Ralph Barton Perry, and cite his essay and 
others in the same issue, that comprise the most im- 
pressive tribute that I remember. I owe the honor 
of this assignment, doubtless, to my reference to 
that symposium in a recent letter to Dr. Ames. 

My unfitness for this task could hardly be more 
obvious. My career in teaching philosophy was 
brief, ending in 1919, the year before the Recon- 
struction was published. My acquaintance with 
Professor Dewey was casual, and non-professional. 
I know him as I did his great contemporary White- 
head through his books and pervasive influence. My 
debt to his ideas — chiefly in Ethics — is beyond esti- 
mate. His "Influence of Darwin" was an illumina- 


tion — as were also "Democracy in Education" and 
"Experience and Nature." But as a practicing 
sociologist for twenty years, Dewey's spirit was to 
me that of "guide, philosopher and friend." 

I venture one comment upon my earlier reference 
to Professor James. Nothing in Dewey's- writing 
indicates any ambition to be known as the philoso- 
pher of the future. Rather, he appears to share the 
opinion of Whitehead that philosophies are valid in 
proportion to their adequacy to their own scene and 


The Reconstruction in (or of) Philosophy lives 
up to its title. More even than did Pragmatism it 
disconcerts the reader with its simple and direct 
approach. Unlike the weighty Historians, Ueber- 
weg, Windelband, or Weber, who begin with defi- 
nitions, Dewey stages the scene of early man 
fumbling his way toward the simplest secrets of 
tribal survival in a manner to make the Seven Wise 
Men and their Ionian disciples seem modern by 
contrast. In its origins. Philosophy is not intellec- 
tion but the fateful contest between reverence for 
myth and respect for practical wisdom and de- 
veloping social values. We may infer this to be 
its perennial pattern and essence. Shall one trust 
the insight or the omen? One catches the fish; the 
other holds the tribe together. Which is better is 
a debate, an ordeal, a quest for what is constant 
and underneath all varying determinants the per- 
sistent^earth, water, air, fire, space, number, 
nous, — or the flux itself. Whatever the goal may be, 
what is constant is the quest, the search, the process. 
"Process," writes Dewey, . . . "the most revolution- 
ary discovery yet made." (Cf. Introduction to New 
Edition, xiii). 



What requires application is laborious ; but fancy 
lightens art. To sharpen a tool is drudgery; to 
decorate its handle is play. So art rates above and 
precedes science, poetry prose, drama the factual 
narrative. Decisive moments are magnified in 
memory; heroes deified; natural forces personified 
to create for life a background of transcendant 
meaning. A kind of order in nature implemented 
by signs and wonders, preempts the world of ob- 
servation, elevates fiction above fact. Man becomes 
humane by his slow escape from this enveloping 
emotionalized aura of half-dreaming, achieving 
coherent factual speech, skills, social ties, shelter, 
loyalty to persons, places, routines, and derives 
meaning from events in ordered sequence. (Text, pp. 

Two kinds of knowledge arise, distinguished as 
knowing and knowing how. The first relates to 
leisure, the latter labor. Theory rates above prac- 
tice, privileged above common, by right of associa- 
tion with the ancient, the venerable, which gives 
laws to practice and acquired ways permitted by the 
older mores, which in turn look backward to the 
emotionalized authoritarian past. 

It is by no means simple to make clear the func- 
tions of myth and of opposing practical wisdom in 
the long pre-philosophical or pre-scientific periods, 
which were without the arts of writing or preserv- 
ing. It is assumed that practical wisdom authenti- 
cated itself suflficiently to stand-up-to and to com- 
pel self-modification by what assumed the authori- 
tarian role in early society. In such a time and 
situation Greek philosophy had its origin. The two 
fields were not clearly opposed; each was some of 
the other. In fact Socrates was accused from two 
directions, from one of being irreverent, from the 


other of being too visionary to have his feet on 
the ground. It seems he aimed at both the reform 
of the myth by purifying and unifying the concept 
of it and at making practice and utility conform 
to intelligent functional use. He sought to reconcile 
two divergent outlooks, one by those who denied all 
unity and order, and the other by those who denied 
variety and change. His aim was evidently to har- 
monize two levels by having one motivate and so 
govern the other. 

In short, Socrates sought a Reconstruction in or 
of Philosophy. The imminent decay of the Greek 
States lent support to the ideas of contemplation 
and escape. His own rejection and death furthered 
that solution. Transcendental Idealism became the 
pattern of Western thought for both Ancient and 
Medieval mankind, secured first by becoming the 
framework of the new Christian Religion, and 
second, by having the institution for the propaga- 
tion of that religion become wedded to the most pow- 
erful authoritarian state. As Santayana observed, 
"the dice were loaded" by events. Whitehead re- 
marks the decline of Mathematics from Archimedes 
to Copernicus. Justinian closed all doors of dissent 
in his decree of 529. What ensued was mostly a 
"climate of opinion" adverse to the empirical pur- 
suit of knowledge — a term which Dewey defines as 
"cultural habits that determine intellectual as well 
as emotional and volitional attitudes." (Text, Int. 

Experimentation and inquiry did not disappear 
•but were subordinated, and lost prestige. Both 
would revive as religious protest, as logical dissent, 
and especially with mathematical revival by astrono- 
my and optics, and the theory of "Celestial Revolu- 
tions" by Copernicus, in 1543 A.D. the effect of 
which upon every aspect of thought was revolu- 


tionary and creative. Here as always, the function 
of mathematics was two-fold : it was both deductive 
and inductive, authoritarian and empirical, proceed- 
ing from general to particulars and back again. Its 
principles were long esteemed to be Universals, like 
the Ideas; perhaps by most who employ them still 
enjoy that distinction. But inventions within the 
field such as algebra, new geometries, and the two 
calculi were applied to observation, measurement, 
and the experiments that overturned the authority 
of presumption wherever employed. Modern Philos- 
ophy would come slowly; but its heralds were just 
around the corner. 


Modern Philosophy, usually dated from Francis 
Bacon and Descartes, might be called another ef- 
fort at Reconstruction. For all its frustrations, it 
records the slow recession of its preponderantly 
authoritarian form. Earlier empiricism survived 
in it, and grew in importance, though rationalism 
outweighed and long retarded it. 

The concurrent emphasis upon deduction in 
Mathematics by the great triad of Rationalist phil- 
osophers Descartes, Spinoza and Leibniz, added to 
the prestige of Newton and Galileo tended to over- 
shadow the labors of these men themselves as em- 
piricists, as well as the inventive achievements of 
the less spectacular who half-doubted their own 
successes while they wrought. Induction is tedious, 
slow, and unsure. 

There were other hindrances. Even Bacon's con- 
tribution, owing to the excitements of the time was 
as much romantic as practical. Travel, discovery, 
and expectation of change do not suit the mood of 
inquiry. Religion and Rationalism courted and re- 
quired the mood of certainty. Even the Cartesian 
doubt was short-lived, apologetic and timid. 


In Britain, the empiricist movement began with 
better prospect by reason of diminishing religious 
restraints, as well as the prestige of Bacon, Harvey, 
and the vindication of the Newtonian hypotheses. 
B'ut one disability of historic empiricism was in- 
herited, the presumption of inanimate nature, 
which Hobbes espoused and labeled materialism. 
Locke evaded the problem by assigning metaphysics 
to Revelation, and Berkeley by denying matter's 
existence. Hume by the same dogmatic error denied 
the existence of mmcf-reducing ideas to impressions 
of atoms, vortices, motion, solidity, opacity, resist- 
ance and repellance, with no order, causal or neces- 
sitous save co-incidence — his world was a "billiard- 
ball" concept of independent entities, as presump- 
tive as the Rationalism he rejected. Even worse, 
for the latter provided an explanation of order, how- 
ever dogmatic. While no world at all could be co- 
herent comprised of units as arid, rigid and sterile 
as the atoms which materialism conceived. 

English experimental science had no choice there- 
fore save to ignore Hume or to rely upon faith in 
an order it could not prove ; unless a new approach 
to the nature of the physical ivorld was made. And 
for that, ideas long held in abeyance, but not yet 
integrated, were at hand. 

Aristotle had called units of living matter "or- 
ganic," but they remained dualistic — and without 
the telos, inert. Bruno and Leibniz had conceived of 
units as "monads" which the latter called "window- 
less" or unseeing, but responsive to the call of the 
perfect. Both lacked immediacy, adaptation, plas- 
ticity, — in short the inherent qualities of life and 
growth. Mathematics would supply continuity, biol- 
ogy fluidity and motion, and insight the conception 
of possible experience by a world in process of be- 
coming by gradations aware. What was "matter" 


might be called a stream of being. What was alert 
within it, might be called "the stream of consciotis- 
ness" conditioning and being conditioned by its 
mobile environment. 

Consciousness arises by intercommunication be- 
tween unit and environment, irritable protoplasm 
responding to stimulus by reactive adjustment. Re- 
peated stimuli develop reaction-patterns, or mean- 
ings, which become the categories basic to all ex- 
perience. In brief, experiences repeated become 
Experience, which becomes conceptual and norma^ 
tive to later experiences. Experience becomes the 
Reality whereof Reason was the presumption. The 
generalization follows : Science is philosophy in the 
making: and philosophy is science in its ever- 
tvidening applications. (Text, Ch. IV. esp pp 87-88.) 

The foregoing which is amplified elsewhere, in 
the "Psychology," "The Influence of Darwin," "Ex- 
perience and Nature," "Human Nature and Con- 
duct" and in the "Ethics" of Dewey and Tufts, is 
Dewey's synthesis and simplification of what this 
writer esteems the most laborious effort at intel- 
lection he has found; it is the critical ordeal of 
Immanuel Kant. 


As everyone knows, Kant solved the riddle of 
"Order in Nature" in his original conception of 
Experience — an inner world of phenomenal exist- 
ence of which external nature provided the material 
and understanding the order. Like all earlier philos- 
ophy which affirmed the existence of order at all 
he sundered matter and meaning apart, but joined 
them partly and fitfully in the half -real inner world 
of dialectic understanding, a deduction requiring, 
in my text three hundred twenty-two pages. To re- 
duce the latter as Dewey did to the limits of the 
former paragraph was a good day's work! 


My own guide and mentor in the same undertak- 
ing was Josiah Royce. With what reverent defer- 
ence toward the great Koenigsburg genius this 
gentle master dissected the antinomies of time, 
space, causality and necessity, by procedures often 
more nebulous than the problems themselves, until 
dimly a light shone in darkness — tho the darkness 
comprehended not — such solutions as the infinity 
complex, the continuum, and the like. Contradic- 
tions between logic and metaphysics did appear ; as 
did the justification of another realm of experience, 
the Practical-so-called, wherein freedom would take 
precedence over order. The Categories established 
only "that experience is a construct, not a trans- 
cript of the world" and that "reality involves both 
the world and the individual experience thereof." 

Here I am happy to have confirmation by Pro- 
fessor Perry, for my judgment, that Dewey's epis- 
temology is — for all his renunciation of the trans- 
cendental mildly Kantian, and idealistic. His re- 
nunciation of Kant seems complete except for the 
a priori element; he appears to admit that while a 
first stimulus is non-cognitive, for a second, the 
first may be the conditioning required to give it 
meaning. So remembered stimuli give unity to ex- 
perience. Two cautions; a — 'priority to Dewey is 
functional; and knowledge at any level is possible 
only to an organism of germane competence. (For 
Perry, see citation above) (For epistemology, see 
Experience and Nature, and Logical Theory.) (Also 
text Ch. IV and V, "reason derived from experience 
is functional to all experience.") 

Dewey owes to Darwin (see citation) the signifi- 
cance of variation as the correlate of identity in 
evolution, and hence the importance of "differ- 
entia" in conception; also probability and relativity 
of proof in scientific observation and logical defi- 


nition. This insight is also authority for the cor- 
relation of identity and change in social inheri- 
tance. And this correlation led to the concept of 
that farther-reaching insight of the "inheritance of 
environment" which has lent such normative im- 
pulse to social work. 

Coincidences of outlook and method suggest also 
a debt by Dewey to Auguste Comte, in two specific 
ways. One is Positivism and its explanation of the 
transcendental as outgrown rationalization. The 
other is the social generalizations which led to the 
concept of Culture as a growing and continuing mag- 
nitude having spiritual significance: a defined ob- 
jective for the religion of Humanism. Comte was 
historically the first of that fellowship of humani- 
tarians including Mill, Durkheim, Spencer, and 
Lester Ward, whose generalizations led to the 
founding of the science of Sociology, whereof Pro- 
fessor Dewey has become by general recognition, 
expositor and prophet. His late volume, "A Common 
Faith" is his own outline of a self-realizing spiritual 
order, which borrows from every earlier aspiration 
and precedent. 

One Mephistophelian, incorrigibly naturalistic 
essay on Dewey's "Naturalistic Metaphysics" is by 
his eminent contemporary Santayana, which com- 
bines some fault-finding with high good humor. 
(Journal of Phil. Dec. 3, 1925, XXII, pp 673-88. 
Also in the author's "Obiter Scrip ta"). The critic 
doubts that one can be both a naturalist and a 
metaphysician. He analyzes "Experience and Na- 
ture" calls the method 'immediacy' and hints at 
Mysticism, which for some reason Western philoso- 
phers resent. Thus I have, without malice, brought 
from two of my masters at Harvard, two oblique 
accusations against the subject of my sketch. But 
how could such revered forms of philosophy as are 


idealism and mysticism fail to be almost all-perva- 
sive? And how could a mind so tolerant and under- 
standing be deemed the most versatile and repre- 
sentative of its time, and yet bear no trace of their 
influence ? 

Disciple Loyalty and Union 

Benjamin F. Burns, Waukegan, III. 

"The religious world today is very different from 
what it was a century ago. Science has given us 
a different conception of nature and of the uni- 
verse. Biblical criticism has changed, for most of 
us, our view of the Bible, making it not a less, 
but a more valuable book for the student of re- 
ligion. This increase in light is evident in every de- 
partment of human knowledge. Is it possible that 
all these changes do not require any readjustment 
in the matter and method of a plea for unity in- 
augurated more than a century ago?" (J. H. Gar- 
rison "The Christian-Evangelist," April 11, 1929; 
quote in Garrison and DeGroot, The Disciples of 
Christ, St. Louis: Christian Board of Publication, 
1948, p. 569. 

J. H. Garrison's question after 21 years haunts 
the Disciple quiz programs today. It is still unan- 
swered. Time has added to the new scientific knowl- 
edge and the Biblical criticism listed by Editor 
Garrison, another change — compelling factor. It is 
the ecumenical movement — ^the fervor for Christian 
union arising among "the sects." Every preacher 
and program chairman has mastered the pronuncia- 
tion of "ecumenical" and is now mouthing it in 
solemn tones reminiscent of those formerly reserved 
for "home," "du - - uty," "mo-oo-ther," and THE 
AMERICAN WAY OF LIFE. Is it possible that the 
new ecumenical fervor does not require any read- 
justment in the matter and method of a plea for 
unity inaugurated more than a century ago? 


Let's face it. The most active and effective preach- 
ing of the plea for Christian union is being done by 
"the sects" not by the "true faith." Architects of 
the most widely circulated plans for Christian union 
are non-Disciples. Churches uniting and pressing 
for unions are not overwhelmingly our churches. 

No longer are we the most eloquent pleaders for 
Christian union; nor are we its planners. We are 
the uncomfortable auditors of other pleas and plans. 
We sit applauding with the finger tips "the ecu- 
menical movement"; seconding "sotto voce" the 
call for a meeting of union-interested churches ; and 
reading with knit brows the proposals for federa- 
tion, organic union, or congenial marriages among 
the denominations. 

Uncomfortable auditors are we because we have 
to listen when there is even a whisper of union. 
But what we hear about the shape of union is not 
exactly what we have heard from our fathers. 
Faced with specific proposals from large segments 
of the Church of Christ on earth we find our loyalty 
to what has been traditional among us tested. 

At least four areas bother us. The first is the 
necessity of a creed or minimal statement of faith 
for cohesive fellowship. Have we not heard "no 
creed but Christ" ? Second is the plan for ordination 
or reordinaion or investiture of the clergy. Have 
we not heard "no distinction between clergy and 
laymen"? Third is the necessity of a representative 
or delegated central authority for the efficient co- 
operation of the individual groups. Have we not 
heard "the autonomy of the local congregation"? 
Fourth is the equal participation of non-immersed 
believers in the union. Have we not heard "one 
baptism — that is, immersion." (Note: the oversim- 
plification so obvious here is an occupational disease 
of preachers of which the writer hopes to be one.) 


We can no longer stay spectators to growing 
Christian union because we are caught uncomforta- 
bly on the two hooks — ^belief in the necessity of 
union and loyalty to Disciple tradition. Our tra- 
dition has in it the demand for demonstrative action. 
We have never been mere pleaders. Active exempli- 
fication in preaching, church organization, and con- 
gregational practices of the unity we espouse is 
part of our tradition. We m^ust now practice the 
unity we preach. 

In our local churches can we demonstrate a 
strongly-knit cohesive fellowship responsive in 
loyalty to the total body of Christ and based not 
on creed, theology, or statement of faith but on 
simple loyalty to Jesus? Can we demonstrate a re- 
sponsible laity sharing with a responsible clergy in 
vital Christian worship, work, and witness so that 
distinction is not desirable or realistic? Can we 
demonstrate a functioning, efficient cooperation 
among our churches without any representative 
delegated authority and produce good works com- 
mensurate with our resources and Christian re- 
sponsibility? Can we demonstrate brotherhood 
with all followers of Christ in one family and insist 
on "in-law" status for the un-immersed? 

Not only do we squirm under the demands of 
these questions, we are uncomfortable about the 
spirit of union. Disciple tradition is marked more 
by a spirit than by a body of general ideas about 
union. That spirit is one of simple evangelical 
Christianity and it faces a liturgical, theological, 
methodological constellation. That spirit is one of 
Disciples — learners — open minded and reasonable 
in the approach to problems and it faces fundamen- 
talists, traditionalists, modernists. We are tem- 
pered by modern thought and speak in today's sym- 
bols in language and art; we face medieval and 


ancient patterns and hear language of the past as 
the pattern for union worship. We are practical, 
flexible people demanding that our schemes and 
organizations produce fruit or be changed; and we 
face formalists, traditionalists whose ways of doing 
have become confused with or congealed into mat- 
ters of faith. We are unlimited unionists and will 
not be content to stop short of complete and total 
unity 5 we face "practical," and "limited" operators 
in the field. 

Fortunately our loyalty to the spirit of Disciple 
tradition is more sorely tested within our brother- 
hood than in the ecumenical movement. That means 
we have room to demonstrate the spirit of union 
we demand by working on material close at hand. 
Can we demonstrate the spirit of union in our 
churches so effectively that we will convert our own 
Disciple brethren who have skipped the spirit and 
settled for the stereotype of the plea? A stereotype 
is cold lead in religion as it is in typography. 

The 21 year old question of J. H. Garrison de- 
mands an answer now ! The answer may not be giv- 
en by commissions or committees. The answer must 
be given by local churches renewing their procedures 
and practices so that they may be demonstrative 
witnesses of the sprit and shape of Christian union. 

The Low Estate of Our Literature 

A. T. DeGroot, Fort Worth, Texas 
A religious body cannot long attract to its fel- 
lowship representative leaders from the skilled oc- 
cupations while it neglects one of its duties as the 
voice of man at his best. The upward looking crea- 
ture lives in a world lapart from the beast, no matter 
how far or close their cousinship, and the chief ve- 


hide that gives record and permanence to his con- 
templation and awareness is the printed word. Song 
and the drama add color and tone to the story, but 
the fruit of the writing form is the surest test of the 
creative life and promise resident in a social group. 

The years in which a new society moves atremble 
with the vividness and urgency of newly discovered 
"truth," its gospel, may be excused for non-produc- 
tivity in the arts of men. The fresh, green shoot 
would betray its purpose should any of its life be 
diverted to the fashioning of a woody stalk. But, 
if the fellowship is not to be utterly out of this 
world, if it is to serve the varied needs of many 
people, it must prepare a diet for many tastes. If 
the group elects to be only puritanical (and there 
are periods when puritanism is much to be desired) , 
and to disappear when its chosen protest has be- 
come so effective as to be no longer needed, atten- 
tion should not be diverted to normal occupations. 
But, if the company believes it has a message for 
the ages, a program that will bring health to society 
across the range of centuries and amid the flux of 
our social flounderings, it is obliged to be judged 
by certain outward marks of a responsible company. 

High in the rank of benefits flowing from the 
life of the church is its guidance for man in the 
form of books. Not only from the privileged leisure 
for thought accorded the minister have come ser- 
mons in prose and more subtly in poetry, but also 
under the tutelage of the blessed community men 
and women have been led to assume leadership in 
all the avenues of thought and skill native to the 
race. Proudly the church has shown its concern for 
the whole man, — in all his arts and labors. Christi- 
anity has a just pride in its men of learning who 
have also been sons of religious faith. 

The Disciples have reached an age in their cor- 


porate life when they will be judged, in some de- 
gree, by the products that are expected of mature 
minds in social groups. Such an estimate by others 
is inescapable. If the religious body is a sober, 
contributing portion of the whole, it will partici- 
pate in all its cultural ideals. 

Judged by their production of literature in the 
major categories, the Disciples are in a low estate. 
No one has risen to take the high position of Vachel 
Lindsay, so fervently aji evangelical Protestant 
and so clearly a genius in verse. Thomas Curtis 
Clark gives them representation in poetry today, 
but avoids the epic and other major forms. Some 
lag, some lack hinders the poetic urge in their 
ranks. There is a host of Disciples in California 
today, as over against their numbers when Edwin 
Markham struck off his lines, — but most of them 
do not even know his name, his spirit, or his church 

In bulk (J. Breckenridge Ellis), popularity (Har- 
old Bell Wright; Peter C. MacFarlane), and imagi- 
nation (John Uri Lloyd; James Lane Allen) the Dis- 
ciples sounded a small yawp in the world of novel- 
ists. Few outside their ranks knew of D. R. Dun- 
gan's On the Rock, the amazing numbers of which 
set something of a publishing record in the field 
of church forensics. Burris Jenkins has no pastor- 
novelist followers. Where are our story tellers? 
Only in children's literature, which is a growing 
business, are Mabel Niedermeier and occasionally 
others to be seen. 

A direct responsibility devolves on a group 
claiming maturity to give some guidance at least 
in the field of religious thought. The Willett-Ames- 
Morrison-Garrison quartet produced books read 
outside the ranks of their brotherhood origin, and 
saved them from obscurity. Abroad, Wm. Robin- 


son has upheld their distinction alone. Important 
contributing names in this area are F. D. Kersh- 
ner, W. C. Bower, W. S. Athearn, and A. Campbell 
Garnett. Will the spark be found in Charles F. 

Edg-ar DeWitt Jones has reflected a steady light 
in sermonic brilliance; Cynthia Pearl Maus is a 
sensitive researcher in the worship arts; Margaret 
Harmon Bro uses more than one medium. Who else 
among Disciples can command ready publication 
from major houses? 

A newer avenue of public influence is the movie, 
stage, and music field. Only a few names can be 
added here. Hoagy Carmichael's creative work may 
be the most important among Disciples in this field 
for recent decades. The King's Men were the quar- 
tet while at Chapman College, and have been busy 
in radio without interruption. Ava Gardner attend- 
ed Atlantic Christian College, Sally Rand attended 
Christian College, Columbia, Missouri, — but per- 
haps we had better hasten on. Burl Ives has claimed 
in magazine interviews that he is a "Campbellite," 
but, when I asked him about it, he said, "They're 
a kind of Methodist, aren't they?" Ronald Reagan 
is easily Discipledom's number one screen star. 
Gale Storm upholds the honor in the pulchritude 
department. She and her husband Lee Bonnell are 
among the most appreciated active members of the 
Hollywood-Beverly Christian Church, However, 
others do the writing for these people, whose art is 
more graphic, interpretative, and only partly cre- 
ative. No names have been cited here for music 
or the stage. 

The common cry of the world-be Disciple author 
is "my pastoral duties (or teaching, or administer- 
ing, etc.) make it utterly impossible for me to com- 
mand the leisure to write." There is no such leisure. 


One makes time for it; it emerges as the product 
of a belief that printed words are important. The 
anticipated end (even the probable collection of 
rejection slips!) must hold room in the forefront 
of the mind among first things. Only a wealthy and 
very stable society can give leisure to precocious 
units of the flock for the pursuit of pure artistry, — 
and such a method is often disappointing in its out- 

However, the promising workmen can be encour- 
aged. As educational institutions move away from 
the daily threat of disaster, and stability ensues, 
means can be found to aid the creative urge. Pub- 
lishing houses responsive to brotherhood needs can 
help, by giving more attention to this phase of larg- 
er outreach. Individuals of moderate wealth can 
help by means of publishing subsidies. Who knows? 
— ^they might even have books dedicated to them! 

The fact remains that, at the moment, the Dis- 
ciples are in a low estate as concerns the use of 
the printed page. Few imprints of major publish- 
ing houses are seen below their members' names. 
Perhaps, however, there are works in process which 
will deliver them from this parlous condition. Who 
knows ? 

Are We An Irresponsible 

W. B. Blakemore, Chicago 
The most frequently affirmed definition regard- 
ing the relation of district, state, and international 
conventions to the churches of Disciples of Christ 
is that these conventions are "purely advisory." 
The conventions cannot speak for the churches, nor 


for individual Disciples. Through them, like-mind- 
ed Disciples can make resolutions which are then 
publicized, and through them we do manage to carry- 
on a considerable amount oi cooperative work. 
Nevertheless, in the long run, nearly every Dis- 
ciple of Christ rests back on the proposition that 
"Nobody can speak for the Disciples of Christ as a 
whole." Certainly, any Disciple would be very loathe 
to admit that any organization or agency in the 
"brotherhood" can speak for him. He wants to 
speak for himself! In fact, when any group or in- 
dividual amongst us seems to be indulging in the 
presumption that it may represent the brotherhood 
we are very prone to announce loudly to the public, 
"Let any man who makes utterance about what the 
Disciples stand for realize that he speaks only for 

Why don't we face up to the corollaries of this 
"advisory" attitude. I suggest that there are two 
corollaries: 1. Nobody can talk to us. 2. Probably 
we cannot talk to each other. These corollaries 
might be restated in this form: The Disciples of 
Christ are an irresponsible brotherhood because you 
cannot get a response from the brotherhood as a 
whole; you can get a response only from individual 

Responsibility has two aspects. It contains first 
the element of responsiveness. It contains secondly 
the element of standing fast to the response made. 
But how can anyone get a response regarding some 
issue from "our brotherhood"? It is very dou-btful 
that he can. An outsider may correspond with the 
officials of the International Convention. But any 
such correspondent should realize that he is deal- 
ing with a "purely advisory" body. In other words, 
the officials of the Convention can respond to an 
inquiry, but there is question whether they can give 


a represenative response for the brotherhood. If 
the question is then asked, where can an outsider 
get a representative response from the Disciples, 
the answer is "Nowhere." As a brotherhood we 
have not yet solved the problem of whom we shall 
designate as our responsible representatives. The 
attitude of the Disciples is not "No representation 
without responsibility," it is "No representation 
at all." 

If the Disciples of Christ are a Christian brother- 
hood we have a community of mind, a oneness of 
purpose, and a shared core of Christian faith and 
practice. If we have these, they are expressible, 
though getting a commonly accepted expression of 
them may prove difficult. Neverthless, the possi- 
bility of such a shared expression is there and should 
be sought out. Then as a brotherhood we should be 
responsible for those expressions. This means on 
the one hand that we stand by what we have said, 
and on the other hand that any outsider can get an 
answer to the question, "Where do the Disciples 
stand?" At the present time, anyone who thrusts 
this question at us must feel that his query lands 
in the middle of a pile of feathers. He gets no firm 
response and only stirs up a feathery flight of indi- 
vidualistic opinions as each Disciple tries to state 
where he stands. In this day and age, all sorts of 
overtures and gestures are coming to our brother- 
hood on behalf of a greater 'unity than we have 
alone. If these overtures are to be encouraged we 
must be able to respond to them when they are 
made, and to respond to them in a practical way. It 
is not practical nor expedient for the outsider not 
to be able to carry on a responsible conversation with 
some group of men who truly represent what we 
Disciples believe about the deep things of the spirit. 

Our inability to give a firm response must be 


annoying to the outsider. But the further question 
is whether it is not really very irritating to our- 
selves. Do we really know who we are unless we 
have discovered who may be regarded as our true 
representatives. Personally, I am growing not 
only a little weary, but a little ashamed of those 
words, "purely advisory." We have made too much 
of them, we have cherished them too fondly. Do 
those words "purely advisory," and their corollary, 
"No one can speak for me, no sir" mean some of 
the following things : Do they mean that every far- 
off Asiatic pleading for bread and the gospel has 
to place his case before me individually ? Must every 
churchman who wants to talk about Christian unity 
come to me personally for a chat before I will unite 
with him? Must every single good cause in the 
world win my specific response as an individual, 
and get the same kind of response from every other 
Disciple (a million and a half of us), before the 
Disciple brotherhood can respond? Such practical 
procedures would be impossible. The implication 
tied up in them is preposterous. If such is the case, 
any outsider should come to the conclusion that 
it is better to pass the Disciples by than to waste 
time getting an answer from them. 

"Purely advisory," and "No one can speak for me, 
no sir" are more expressive of bad manners and dis- 
courtesy than they are of the doctrine of the rights 
of the individual conscience. One of the rights of 
the individual conscience is certainly that it may be 
represented by some one else when the work of 
effecting reforms which an individual conscience 
calls for requires representative procedures. As a 
brotherhood we prize the procedures of direct de- 
mocracy with respect to our internal operations. 
But the efficiency of direct democracy is limited, and 
it is most limited at the point of maintaining re- 


lationships beyond our brotherhood. The proce- 
dures of direct democracy tend to put us in a box 
and isolate us when it comes to the area of extra- 
Disciple activities. 

The situation is not, actually, as bad as I have 
painted it. De jwre we tend to legislate "purely 
advisory" clauses. De facto we have more sense 
than that. We are allowing our agencies and even 
our conventions to operate in truly representative 
ways. But our legislative procedure lags behind 
our social reality. We are a brotherhood, and we 
behave as such. But ideologically we preserve the 
fiction of "No representation" and ever and anon 
it rises to bedevil us and to weaken our Christian 
witness in the world and our owni sense of solidarity. 

How have we overcome, so far, the atomism that 
is implied in our usual way of interpreting our- 
selves ? It has come when we have had a wide-spread 
tendency to bestow some element of representative 
spokesmanship upon those few in O'ur midst who 
know how to generalize our diverse responses into 
a fundamental accord. Such men arise among us 
from time to time. They are men who have thrown 
aside the shibboleth "Only I can speak for myself," 
and have adopted as their inward rule: "When I 
speak I must remember that I speak as a Disciple. 
I must say that which truly represents my brethren 
at their best. I must reflect our brotherhood in 
every utterance." The first step of the way out 
from responsibility is a general concern through- 
out the brotherhood to speak representatively. This 
means that our speech should seek always not mere^ 
ly to reflect the individual's particular concerns, 
but the way in which he understands his concerns 
to be related to our brotherhood life and purposes. 
A brotherhood is not made up of individuals and 
individual agencies. It is made up of these in 


responsive relation to each other. This responsive- 
ness cannot exist without adequate structural chan- 
nels for communication. These the Disciples have 
sadly lacked. However, in the present moment of 
our history there are evidences that the situation 
is being markedly improved. The International 
Convention, by its reorganization has been given 
a form which will enable it, if the churches so 
choose, to be representative of us. If, as is pro- 
posed, that Convention comes to be held bi-ennially, 
while the Committee on Recommendations meets an- 
nually for its deliberations, those discussions, built 
up in their significance, may become the major 
avenue for the sharing of our brotherhood ideas. 
Thirdly, at the present time there is in existence a 
Council of Agencies. It has been called into exist- 
ence to do a specific piece of work. It has already 
held one meeting. On that occasion, for the first 
time in history, the executive heads of some eighty 
agencies of our brotherhood were assembled to- 
gether for the common consideration of the prob- 
lems and goals. For the first time, the plans of 
these groups were examined with an eye to co-ordi- 
nating them. The meeting was therefore historic. 
Although the Council of Agencies has not been 
placed upon a permanent basis, the question that 
arises is whether we can have a brotherhood pro- 
gram unless there is a continuing process of dis- 
cussion and integration of plans on the part of 
our various service organizations. 

The theme of the Centennial International Con- 
vention was "One Hundred Years of Co-operation." 
The theme emerging in the present year is "Beyond 
Co-operation to Brotherhood." This theme is well 
taken. Cooperation does not in and of itself imply 
fundamental accord. Cooperation can come and go 
on a purely expeditious basis. But brotherhood is 


more profound. It designates a fundamental accord 
at the base of things. But we will never know what 
that brotherhood is unless we find ways of giving 
its bases a representative and responsible expression 
so that we may all measure ourselves against it, and 
others can get an answer to the question, "Where 
do the Disciples stand ?" No one is more aware than 
am I of the dangers with which a frozen structure 
threatens dynamic brotherhood. "Ecclesiasticism" 
is still a word that brings me out fighting against 
what it stands for. But no one is more aware also 
that, unless a dynamic brotherhood can discover a 
flexible and dynamic structure which will express 
and preserve that brotherhood, it was not much 
of a community to begin with. Personally, I am giv- 
en to the proposition that "The Disciples are a 
Christian brotherhood." I am therefore given also 
to its corollary, "That brotherhood can work its 
way through to structures and organizations that 
will enhance and nourish its life and enable the 
Disciples themselves, and others, to know who the 
Disciples are and for what they stand." 

People - Places - Events 

F. E. Davison, South Bend, Ind. 

The time of the events to be described covers the 
past quarter of a century. The place includes Oak 
Park, Chicago, 111., Portland, Oregon and points 
West. The person is a Disciple layman by the name 
of Dr. Paul J. Raver, who now lives in Portland, 
Oregon and commutes to Washington, D. C. Too 
often great Christian laymen are unnoticed and un- 
sung by the religious body of which they are a part. 

When I first knew Paul Raver he was working 
for the Chicago Street Railway Company and tak- 


in night classes looking toward his Master's de- 
gree. I saw him receive that degree following many 
months of hard work. Soon he was appointed in- 
structor on the faculty of Northwestern University 
and also given an opportunity to work on his doc- 
torate, in the field of economics. Many of us were 
present a few years later, when the University 
granted him the Ph.D. degree. O^ur pride was un- 
bounded because we knew the untold hours of 
struggle with language requirements and later with 
a comprehensive thesis. 

Dr. Raver not only became a full professor in 
Northwestern, but he was also employed as coun- 
selor by the Illinois Commerce Commission. While 
serving in this capacity, he also served on innumer- 
able committees and was at one time editor of two 
important economic journals. So efficient did this 
young man prove himself that the Governor of the 
State appointed him head of the Illinois Commerce 
Commission. While serving in this capacity he be- 
came a pioneer leader in the important work of 
Rural Electrification. 

During all this time, Paul Raver was an enthusi- 
astic layman in his local church, serving as deacon, 
elder, finance chairman, and with Mrs. Raver as 
sponsor for the young people's work. For at least 
two years he was president of the Chicago Dis- 
ciples Union grappling with the religious problems 
of a great city. 

To some of us at least, it was no surprise when 
Dr. Raver was asked by the Secretary of Interior 
to become the administrator of the Bonneville 
Power Administration. That was some ten years 
ago, and the achievements of that Power Adminis- 
tration in the great Northwest read like a fairy 
story. Despite almost vicious opposition by private 
utility companies. Dr. Raver has gone forward win- 


ning friends for public power and at the same 
time rendering great service to several million 
people. Recently, a number of communities sur- 
rounding Portland have held significant celebra- 
tions on which occasions Dr. Paul J. Raver was 
the guest of honor, and received the plaudits of 
business and professional men as well as the general 
public. He is in constant demand throughout the 
West for addresses before important groups, on 
subjects within his field. 

All these honors and his intimate acquaintance 
with a host of our national leaders, has not changed 
this Christian layman in the least. He is an elder 
in the First Christian Church of Portland, and was 
chairman of the pulpit committee that called Dr. 
Myron C. Cole to the pastorate of that progressive 

The Disciples of Christ did well at Cincinnati to 
elect this outstanding layman to serve as a member 
of the executive committee of the International Con- 
vention. He was also a delegate to the recent Detroit 
Conference on "The Church and Economic Life." 
It is doubtful if there is another layman among us 
who has a better practical understanding of the 
field of economics or one that could render more 
service in such an important Christian conference. 

Here is a churchman that is not carried away by 
every new ideology that comes along, nor is he the 
kind of business man who looks under his bed every 
night to see if some one is there who is going to 
disturb the status quo. The church of today should 
say "Thank God" for sane, progressive, courageous, 
consecrated laymen like Paul Raver. 


Reuben Butchart, 27 Albany Avenue, Toronto 
Dear Dr. Ames: Again The Scroll you unroll 


with its piquant enquiries and stimulating answers, 
in its April issue, 1950. Here are some 'reactions' 
(American?) from a former reader lagging behind. 
In spite of what you write, "Nothing is Necessary," 
I offer a few crumbs, which I am told are also bread. 

On the Table of Contents I was almost alarmed 
when I saw dear brother Lhamon was writing his 
dear brother (and mine) Dr. F. W. Burnham. AN 
OPEN LETTER. Just what could F. W. Burnham 
have done now — and did it contain any reference 
STUDY? Relieved to find that he is only puzzled 
by the Old Jerusalem Church's real position. I 
thought as a layman that our preachers had settled 
that question long ago. Wonderful that a non- 
agenarian can write with so much that is apposite 
to the Truth and not opposite to it. I hope he is 
able to add yet another contribution. 

F, E. Davison's article on Disciple humor gets to 
me readily. Page 251 and there is A. W. Conner 
again speaking, after sixty years of silence. He 
came to Toronto 'and taught the first layman's ex- 
pansion class, unfolded with humor how to deal with 
Boys and be one — literally our first Boy's Work man. 
In his pulpit he strongly avowed that a man could 
not hide his light behind a bushel, or a half-bushel 
either. He knew the sizes of men. Another of his 
gems was recounting at an American convention 
where accommodation was scarce. He, a tall, thin 
man, was put to sleep in the camp on three kitchen 
chairs. In the morn when asked if he was "rested" 
his reply was "Yes, in sections." 

Yes, James Whitcomb Riley visited us, many dec- 
ades ago. He won me completely by "Out to Old 
Aunt Mary's" and when the corn is in the shock — 
you know what I man. Meeting him afterwards I 
felt he was the material out of which good amiable 


Disciples are made. 

As to who has told the best Disciple story I'm not 
going to allow Dr. E. DeWitt Jones to be thrust off 
the map easily. His classic on the invitation of the 
various church bells is irrepressible. First, the 
Episcopalian with its cathedral tone calls "Let us 
worship"; then the Presbyterian bell peals "Come 
to Our Church," and thus through the denomina- 
tions, with rhythmical timing. Lastly, the little Dis- 
ciple bell rings "Come and hear the truth." The 
humor rings true. 

But, listen to this, from away near the Atlantic 
tides in Canada, and many years ago, and names 
withheld and it, with other juicy passages of human 
nature when half-touched by grace had to be left 
out of our national religious history only recently 
published. A certain maritime church was plagued 
by the habit of a visiting Baptist brother who, Sun- 
day after Sunday, roused the worshippers by his pub- 
lic queries. This went on for so long that a band of 
four men (c.f. Acts 23:14) bound themselves in a 
pact that if Archie offended the next Sunday they 
would carry him out of the sanctuary. Well, the next 
Sunday he persisted in his questions to the elders; 
the four then seized him. On the way out Archie ad- 
dressed the folks, saying, "Our Lord was carried in 
triumph through Jerusalem seated on an ass, but I 
am borne of four." I read this in a reputable old 
Christian magazine, published in Canada. 

I wish to congratulate Bro. Ames on his 80th 
birthday on April 21 — just two days from the bard 
of Avon's natal day. I know a man in the Lord 
who was 87 on April 22 last and still hoping for 
more leisure time. May I conclude with Lizette 
Woodworth Reese's "Old Age." 


VOL. XLII JUNE, 1950 No. 10 

The Run of Attention 

E. S. Ames 

Psychology is one of the most important subjects 
for a minister to learn early and to cultivate as 
long as life lasts. It is the key to the understand- 
ing of people, and one's self. I do not mean 
psychiatry, or psychoanalysis, though these are im- 
portant in their place when based upon normal psy- 
chology. It was mjy good fortune to teach elementary 
psychology for many years and the psychology of 
religion many more. William James is still, after 
more than forty years since his death, about the 
most interesting and illuminating writer in this 
field. His small text-book, made as he says from his 
large, two-volume work "with scissors and paste," 
has insight, wisdom, facts, humor, and unforgettable 
illustrations. His philosophy is good, but his psy- 
chology is better. "Attention" is one of the important 
subjects he illuminates so well. 

Preachers, teachers, and salesmen need to know 
how to get and hold attention and direct it to good 
use. The questions of 'free will', of leadership, and 
of self-development, involve understanding and con- 
trolling attention. A very fruitful phrase in the 
vast literature of theoretical and applied psychology 
is the one I have chosen to write about today. I pro- 
pose to bring it home to practical matters. It is at 
the heart of the phenomenon of "stimulus and re- 
sponse" which plays so great a part in the condi- 
tioning of individuals in the social process. But 
caution is important here, not so much not to get 
the cart before the horse, as to know whether either 
one comes before the other. A moving organ, like 


the hand or eye, creates both stimuli and responses 
as it moves. A baby, exuberant in its spontaneity, 
active in many directions, makes many contacts. 
There is a tendency for the observer to simplify 
the situation and to report events that seem to him 
linear, but another observer may credit initiative 
and radiation in a different order. There is as yet 
no general agreement as to the priority of the hen 
or the egg. Probably there never w^ill be, except by 

It seems obvious to say that the run of attention 
in an individual follows interest. In the complexity 
of any person's life during one day, attention shifts 
within a great variety of impulses, drives, and pos- 

This is a beautiful June morning, with a gentle 
breeze blowing through the trees and coming in the 
open windows. I am seated at my typewriter and 
wondering how to go on from the last page. My left 
foot complains a little of the warmth of the old 
slipper. So I kick it off. I remember that a glance 
at the morning paper told me it will be hot and 
go to 90 degrees today. If I do not finish this piece 
and get some more copy for The Scroll in the one 
delivery of mail within an hour or so I am sunk, 
because we are getting ready to go to Pentwater 
within a week. The printer has to have time to set 
the type, correct the proof, and send the galleys back 
to me to make up the dummy, and be sure all the 
dots and commas are in place. If all these things are 
not done correctly the searching eyes of some read- 
ers will be offended and their attention will be di- 
verted from important ideas. If the job is delayed, 
it will spoil some of the pleasure of the first precious 
days of vacation,. That would involve other members 
of the family and lead to more complications. Any 
moment the telephone or the door bell will ring and 


break off this train of thought for an hour or a 
whole day. So I must hurry, but that creates nervous- 
ness and the kind of strain which tends to discom- 
bobolate everything. Yet if certain people do not call 
or come, some needed things will not get done and 
troubles will pile up to ruin this quiet moment. How 
can it be managed, the last letters be written, the 
books packed, the errands done, the electrician, the 
carpenter, the tin-smith, instructed and the bills 

Bing! An idea popped in my own mind. It was a 
phone call remembered. Why did it have to bob up 
just then? But it was a call to be made for my wife, 
and she was out of reach just then, and I had to take 
the risk to everyone concerned to accept the doctor's 
terms for an appointment at ten o'clock tomorrow 
morning. The date is imperative, and I shall have 
to go along. I tried to arrange that matter yester- 
day, but he tells me that he is never in his office on 
Wednesday. Thus there goes another precious morn- 
ing hour. But if the little bell of memory had not 
jingled in my head at that instant it would have 
been just too bad ! Thus all of us mortals edge along 
day by day and we have to do the best we can with 
pressures from without and from within. The de- 
mands upon attention seldom cease and can never 
be met once for all till death! 

Unfortunately many persons seldom escape these 
numerous and mixed calls upon their attention. Even 
in a well ordered society and family, individuals 
scarcely move on the same schedules, and if graphs 
were made of their day, there would be great vari- 
ation. Periods of fatigue, and of intense application 
to a task, succeed one another, or are broken off 
irregularly. But in what we call "normal" condi- 
tions, life has its rhythms, and the "run of attention" 
is more dependable. One of the important things 


of school is its schedule, its routine, providing- a 
time and a place for selected activities. The routine 
comes to have moral qualities, promptness, regular- 
ity, a time to begin and a time to finish. Here is one 
of the great lessons of life. It has to be learned, 
either through the happy acceptance of the customs 
of one's society, or through the order and discipline 
required by teachers and parents. Even games have 
rules, and we must give attention to these rules to 
realize the fun in the play. 

The run of attention in any particular person may 
be said to show itself at different levels. A boy, or 
man, may be so geared to professional baseball that 
the first thing he looks for in the paper is the score 
of his favorite team. He delights to talk about it, 
feels his fortunes wax and wane with the record of 
the team without any wagers laid. Every popular 
sport receives this kind of devotion. But there are 
people who never read the news of sports. Others 
watch the stock market, and others, who never 
travel, like to note the movements of ocean liners. 
Politics, art, religion, money and love, are major cen- 
ters of attention. Every normal person is supposed 
to share in these matters but the depth and range 
of response is amazing. It is possible to go to ex- 
perts and get a reading of your mind which will 
show the range of your attention in terms of sub- 
jects and in terms of intensity. The schools, from 
kindergarten to special graduate training, assess 
the capacities and vocational fitness of their stu- 
dents in various ways. Candidates for missionary 
work are required to take examinations to show 
and measure their aptitudes. These examinations 
and tests may also indicate how individuals may be 
educated and trained in the development and range 
of attention for particular fields of ministerial work. 


The inefficiency of scholarly men in "putting over" 
their ideas with normally intelligent and responsive 
persons is often lamentable and tragic. Is there a 
correction for this? 

There has developed in recent years a pastoral and 
teaching evangelism which has broadened the appeal 
for joining the church. It magnifies the greatness of 
the church as the fellowship of sincere men and 
women who seek to make the most of their own 
lives, and to extend the influence of the noblest ideals 
to their children and to their community. Such 
churches cooperate through their educated members, 
their teachers, members of the professions, social 
workers, and devout souls, to make their fellow- 
ship interesting, morally wholesome, and inspiring. 
Religion may then fuse the best things of life into 
powerful, rich and intelligent comradeship in the 
name and service of Jesus Christ. The mission of 
the church then takes on the inclusion of all that is 
good, without concern for the old creeds and dogmas. 
It becomes a "cell," a comradeship, an organization, 
concerned with the inner depths of its own life but 
aware that it is not isolated but is bound up with 
all spiritual realities far and near, to realize through 
Christian sympathy and enterprise a greater meas- 
ure of the divine kingdom of love. What is most 
needed in all churches is the realization that the 
great realities of the religious life are within us 
if we are devout believers, and that these realities 
are within reach of all humble, sincere followers of 
the spirit of Jesus Christ. 

We are deeply enmeshed in a marvelous age of 
machines and gadgets, and everyone is wondering 
whither it is leading us. But the machines are docile 
in the hands of those who know how to guide and 
use them. Attention is running toward power, 
through organization, and money, and military 


might. But there are greater things than these — 
intelligence, fellow feeling, sympathy, ancient wis- 
dom of sound proverbs, and the undimmed vision 
of noble souls whose gifts of faith and heroism of 
devotion give us armor against despair and "failure 
of nerve." Some day there will come a profound 
awakening when mankind rejects the outward, 
metallic, measure of the good, and finds the faith and 
courage to follow the gleam of love and mercy. May- 
be the greatest nation in the world is learning now 
in what its own real greatness consists, and is in 
training to find the path to genuine democracy and 
Christ's Way. 

Liberty and Union 

W. E. Garrison, 7417 Kingston Ave., Chicago 
Recently I was in Nashville, giving three lectures 
on "The Quest and Conditions of a United Church," 
and I have passage engaged to go to England short- 
ly to meet with the other members of Faith and 
Order's "Theological Commission on the Church" at 
Cambridge, August 15-23. In Nashville I was con- 
sorting with Disciples, Methodists, Congregational- 
ists. Southern Baptists and (as much as I could) 
with members of the Churches of Christ. In Cam- 
bridge my colleagues will be largely Anglican and 
Continental theologians and ecclesiastics. The cen- 
tral theme of discourse will be essentially the same 
in both places. 

What chance is there of forging any kind of link 
between these extremes? It is a great act of faith 
even to try, but I propose to keep trying. If the Nash- 
ville audiences and the Cambridge commissioners 
could meet together, it would open their eyes to the 
difficulty of the problem of union, but also to the im- 
portance of solving it, for each group would per- 


ceive the Christian worth of the other. But they 
would be even more puzzled than they are now about 
how to bridge the ecclesiastical distance between 
them. Can it be hoped that there can ever be found 
any "basis for union" between Europe's high church- 
men, state church men and stiff creed men (includ- 
ing some in America who follow the European pat- 
tern) and America's free church men, fierce defend- 
ers of local church autonomy and ardent advocates 
of a specific "New Testament model"? 

The Churches of Christ are the largest "denomina- 
tion" in Nashville. They have more members than 
the Southern Baptists, Methodists or Disciples of 
Christ. They have 72 churches in Nashville and its 
county. Several of these are very large and most 
of them are flourishing. Some have fine new build- 
ings costing up to a quarter of a million dollars. If 
I were picking a church to attend on the ground of 
simple architectural beauty and good taste, I would 
choose one of the new Churches of Christ that dot 
the roadside along some of the highways leading 
out of Nashville. Don't think of these people as 
victims of a cultural lag. The Churches of Christ 
are a going concern, at least in that community, 
which is their capital and metropolis, and doubt- 
less elsewhere. Their people are friendly, but the 
churches do not fraternize with anybody. For ex- 
ample, they will have nothing to do with the city 
Council of Churches. They are waiting for every- 
body else to come to their position — but waiting with 
evangelistic energy. 

These Churches of Christ will be much in my 
mind while I am confering with Anglo-Catholics and 
Continental Lutherans in Cambridge. I shall favor 
no "terms of union" with the latter (if we should 
get so far as to face that question, as we probably 
shall not) which the former could not accept with- 


out violating their consciences. Probably neither 
group would, at least in my time, accept any terms 
of union that I favor, but I think I know the terms 
that they could accept without giving up anything 
they cherish — except their separateness. 

The solving principle is liberty within the church. 
It took about 1800 years of Christian history to 
achieve liberty as against the policy of compulsory 
conformity, pressed by the church and enforced by 
the state. When freedom of dissent and separation 
was won, the denominational system inevitably ap- 
peared, because the churches still held to the notion 
that there must be conformity and uniformity in 
each church, even if there could not be in the whole 
nation. Religious liberty was only the liberty to 
get out and start a new sect if one disagreed with 
the tenets and procedures of the sect one was in. 
That is what keeps the sects apart now. That is 
what makes them sects. What is needed is liberty 
within each church. When that is recognized, 
churches can unite. 

In my judgment, the churches can never unite on 
any other terms, for differences of doctrine and 
practice will not disappear. They have always existed 
except when they were suppressed by authority 
backed by force. The Inquisition was an essential in- 
strument of the "medieval synthesis" and the "Cath- 
olic unity." Neither the world nor the church will 
any longer pay that price for any general unity of 
conformity. But the churches still go on trying to 
get the same kind of unity within their several com- 
munions by the more humane method of screening 
candidates and rejecting dissenters. That makes for 
denominational solidarity, but it is an effective bar- 
rier to Christian unity. 

If, when, and as the church is ever united, there 


will probably be as many kinds of Christians in the 
world as there are now. Unity will not come by com- 
promise or surrender, but by the realization that it 
is not necessary to have a separate church for every 
different kind of Christians. 

This is what I was telling them in Nashville, in 
much detail, and it is what I intend to tell them in 
Cambridge. To most of the theologians and 
ecclesiastics, it will seem fantastic. It will be hard 
for them to believe that I really mean it. But I do. 
I wouldn't mind being a member of a Great Church 
in which some congregations practice the reserva- 
tion of the sacrament and some sing gospel hymns 
without an organ, if there were liberty in that same 
church for the congregation of my choice to com- 
mune by a simple breaking of bread and to worship 
with the aid of Bach occasionally. 

Down From the Mountain 

Robert A. Thomas, St. Joseph, Mo. 

The Gospel according to Mark may be divided into 
two sections ; the first half tells of Jesus' mission and 
the second tells of the story of tragedy. Following 
the announcement of his intention to go up to Jeru- 
salem, Jesus spent several days in the neighborhood 
of Caesarea Philippi preparing for the coming trials. 
At the end of that week occurred one of the most 
striking and important events of his life — what we 
have come to call the Transfiguration Experience. 
The story is told by all of the evangelists except 
John, and in Mark it is the beginning of the tragedy. 

Jesus took three of his trusted disciples with him 
up on a high mountain. Peter, the zealous one and 
James and John, "The sons of thunder" — all three 
enthusiastic followers of the Nazarene. Scholars 


agree that it must have been Mount Hermon; for 
that is the only high and isolated mountain in the 
neighborhood of Caesarea Philippi. It is said that 
the triple peaks of this great mountain dominate the 
entire land — being visible as far south as Jerusalem. 
It was toward evening that the four men approached 
it, and Luke indicates that Jesus was going there 
to pray. That would be in accord with all his habits. 
The solitude and serenity of mountain scenery ap- 
pealed deeply to him, and often when he would be 
^lone he fled to the mountains as to a natural sanc- 

From time immemorial Hermon had been a sacred 
mountain, not only to the Jew but to the Phoenicians 
and the Greeks before them, and to the more primi- 
tive groups who had preceded them. On its lower 
slopes were many shrines and temples — sometimes 
crowning rocky steeps, sometimes hidden in deep 
ravines. It was not long before Jesus and his three 
companions had made their way above the regions 
of the shrines and temples and found for themselves 
the quiet and solitude they sought. The fact that the 
disciples were tired and "heavy with sleep" would 
indicate that it was surely night-time by now with 
the stars shining and perhaps the moon enveloping 
all in its white glow. The three disciples wrapped 
themselves in their cloaks and lay down to rest, 
leaving Jesus alone. When they awoke sometime 
later they saw Jesus in a new guise — transfigured 
before them and his garments "glistening." In their 
vision they seemed to see Moses and Elijah speak- 
ing with him, the one representing the Law and the 
other the Prophets. The talk was about Jesus' com- 
ing exit from the earth and they, because of their 
extraodinary experiences, understood that an ap- 
parently shameful death was to be in reality a tri- 
umphal victory over death. 


Tradition had it that Moses and Elijah had each 
had his exodus from the range of hills to the east 
of the Jordan, and it was thought that their spirits 
still haunted the hills. Small wonder, then, that 
Peter and the others saw them with Jesus. Jesus' 
vision of himself as the Messiah and his previous 
announcements to the disciples about the necessity 
of his suffering, brought visions to the disciples also. 

Peter's imagination led him to propose that they 
set up "three tabernacles" — one for Jesus, one for 
Moses, and one for Elijah. Perhaps this suggestion 
v/as prompted by the shrines and tabernacles which 
were so common on the slopes of Hermon, though it 
was apparently Peter's wish to prolong the delight- 
ful experience as long as possible. He saw Jesus 
as the successor of Moses, the great lawgiver, and 
Elijah, the great prophet. Jesus was the long-awaited 
Messiah — the "Anointed One" — who was to bring 
in the Kingdom. With the aid of miracles like to 
the deeds of Elijah, yea, even greater, he would ful- 
fil the ancient dreams ! 

The first evangelist tells this story in such a way 
that the previous insistence of Jesus that the Son 
of Man would meet opposition, treachery and death 
and that his disciples would suffer also, is softened 
and turned into a message of triumph. The three 
disciples that night saw the radiant glory of the 
Son of Man in the presence of God. To them it was 
an apocalyptic event of the highest order. It was 
a sudden breaking forth of the glory of the New Age 
for which they had long prayed. It gave them an 
unprecedented sense of the dignity and glory of their 
Lord. Possible regret over a difficult fate was lost 
in glorious anticipation. 

One finds a great variety of interpretations of 
this event. It is apparent that no story, other than 
the passion narrative was more important to the 


early church. We should remember that the account 
of the Transfiguration was told by the early preach- 
ers again and again before it was ever written down 
as one of the proofs of the Messiahship of Jesus. 
No matter how we may regard it from the stand- 
point of modern experience, it is evident that the 
story has some basis in historical fact. The gospel 
authors differ with regard to some of the details, 
but for the most part there is substantial agree- 
ment among the various accounts. 

It is the author of the third Gospel who tells us 
that the original purpose in going up to the moun- 
tain was to pray. Jesus' mind had been pre-occupied 
with the thought of the suffering and death awaiting 
him in Jerusalem. His decision had been made, but 
he needed assurance from God, and strength to face 
the coming trials. In the Transfiguration Experi- 
ence, whatever its nature, the need was met. We 
are reminded of the later event in Gethsemane where 
once again according to the records, Jesus was think- 
ing about his death; heavenly beings were in at- 
tendance, and the disciples were asleep. A moun- 
tain in Galilee is the scene of the one; a garden in 
Jerusalem is the scene of the other. 

The conversations Jesus had with his disciples 
after the Transfiguration, indicate that the experi- 
ence impressed on his mind that suffering was in- 
evitable but that this suffering would be the means 
whereby the people would be led from the bondage 
and servitude of sin into a life of liberty and free- 

There are some who accept the accounts of this 
experience of Jesus and the disciples quite literally 
and materially. Others of us believe it to be largely 
symbolic and embellished by the imaginations of 
the early preachers and teachers, according to their 


understanding- of the nature of Jesus and his rela- 
tionship to Judaism, as well as influenced by their 
understanding of the nature of the universe in which 
they lived. 

Whichever interpretation we make there are three 
things which the story of the Transfiguration makes 
clear : that prayer exercises a transfiguring influence 
on life and character; that Jesus is the culmination 
of the revelation of God ; and that moments of high 
exaltation must be converted into a means of serv- 
ing one's fellows. 

A. The purpose of Jesus was to withdraw to a 
place where he might meditate and pray. He did 
that often. And whenever possible the withdrawal 
was to the mountains where he might be above the 
ordinary, outside the busyness, beyond the noise of 
life and alone with God. Every account of such a 
withdrawal indicates that he came back to his teach- 
ing and ministry refreshed, renewed, transformed. 

If Jesus found it necessary and advantageous in 
the comparative quiet and peace of ancient Palestine 
to withdraw a while for meditation, how much more 
we who live constantly in the midst of excitement 
and noise and hurry. Bombarded on every side by 
the noise-makers of modern life trying to get us 
to want more so we will buy more; caught in the 
swift currents of community life which sweep all 
in their way; jostling, pushing, running to and fro, 
modern man needs peace and quiet for meditation 
and prayer. Up in the "mountains" we may find 
the detachment which will make possible a true 
evaluation of life and so direct our purposes and 
activities. Prayer is only prayer when it exercises 
a transfiguring power. It doesn't change God; it 
changes us. 

Dr. Henry Wieman writes that prayer is "not 


primarily operations of the throat causing vibra- 
tions of the air to reach a superhuman ear and thus 
inducing the superhuman mind back of that ear to 
change its purposes. On the contrary, effective 
prayer to God is essentially an attitude of personal- 
ity. It is an attitude so adjusted to God that God 
responds in such manner as to bring into existence 
further goods that could not have been attained 
without the prayers ... It is the attitude of appeal, 
sensitivity, and self -commitment." It is our human, 
creaturely endeavor to see things from the point of 
view of God, or as Emerson said, "Prayer is the con- 
templation of the facts of life from the highest point 
of view." It always exercises a transfiguring influ- 
ence on life and character. 

B. Another important teaching of the transfigura- 
tion experience is that Jesus is the culmination of 
revelation. The Law and the Prophets, represented 
symbolically by Moses and Elijah, were fulfilled by 
Jesus. Nay, more, they were superceded by him. 
Henceforth men were to concentrate their thought 
on the message he gave rather than on the message 
of the Law or the Prophets. The early Christians 
had a difficult time learning this lesson. Our New 
Testament records are replete with illustrations of 
the problems incident on Christianity's breaking 
with Judaism. But the old wineskins would not hold 
the new wine! Christianity could not be confined 
in the legalism of Judaism. It would not remain a 
sect of Israel. The church at Jerusalem died. After 
the destruction of 70 A.D. it is heard from no more. 
The church in Europe lived, and largely because 
the apostle Paul and others like him acted as propa- 
gators of a universal religion, servants of a Master 
whose teachings knew no bounds of time or place 
or nation. 

Our people have been right when they have in- 


sisted on the supremacy of Jesus, when they have 
said, "no creed, but Christ." They have been right 
when they have spoken of "a new dispensation," 
and understood the message of the New Testament 
to supercede that of the Old. But we have not gone 
far enough. When we are ready to make Jesus our 
touchstone — to make our judgments about every- 
thing past and everything present according to his 
teachings and his spirit, then we will have accepted 
the fact that he is the culmination of the revelation 
of God. And our way will certainly be brighter^ — 
not easier, perhaps, but brighter. 

C. A third lesson in the story of the transfigura- 
tion is that the moments of high exaltation must be 
converted into a means of serving one's fellows. 
Sharp and sudden in the transition after the Trans- 
figuration, "from the harmonies of heaven to the 
discords of earth," as one writer has said. Peter 
had thought it would be good to remain in the peace 
of heavenly surroundings, but they must not. The 
earth life and its troubles were calling. They must 
come down from the mountain. And as they came 
down the long slope of Hermon, they heard disturb- 
ing sounds; the noise of a crowd, sharp voices, 
scornful words. They came upon the disciples silent 
and confused and heard the taunting of the scribes. 
An excited man from the crowd threw himself be- 
fore Jesus and cried out, "0 Master, I beseech thee 
look upon my son, for he is my only child." And then 
poured Out the pitiful tale of an epileptic boy, who, ac- 
cording to the theory of the time, was possessed by 
an evil spirit which threw him into fire and water. 
"And I besought Thy disciples to cast it out and 
they could not." Such a poor, spiteful, pitiful busi- 
ness in contrast to the sweet vision of heavenly 
things last night! Jesus asked, "How long has he 
been thus?" And the father rephed, "He has been 


so from a child. Master, if thou canst do anything, 
have compassion on us !" "Cannot you trust me more 
than that?" And the father cried out with tears, 
"Lord, I beheve, help thou mine unbelief!" 

From the heavenly vision to the healing of an 
epileptic boy! Down from the mountain to love and 
serve, to bring lessons in humility and kindness, 
to take the road to Calvary. 

Here is the trouble with us. We are so ready 
to follow Jesus up to the mountains, and so slow 
to follow him down. We like our comfortable 
churches, our lovely worship services, our beautiful 
music, our cushioned pews. We enjoy the fellow- 
ship and inspiration of our conventions, and we like 
to count our blessings as a people. We ministers 
love the great books and the quiet hours of medita- 
tion and study, as well as the exhiliration of theolog- 
ical disputations with our brethren. We love the 
mountain-tops. We are always glad to follow Jesus 
there. Our people like them too. They enjoy emo- 
tional songs and emotional stories and the so-called 
"spiritual" experiences. The popular religion is 
"mountain-top" religion. And we have built taber- 
nacles and shrines to keep Jesus there. But you 
can't keep Jesus in a church. As George Buttrick 
says, "Enshrine Him, ritualize Him, cloister Him as 
you may, He will not stay only in the church." No, 
he walks the meanest avenues of life and leaves be- 
hind hope and strength. Wherever need is, there 
He is. 

If we could only follow Jesus down from the moun- 
tain to the concerns of unhappy, distraught and 
fearful men ! The condition of that father and that 
epileptic boy is the condition of much of our world. 
The contrast between what Jesus found at the foot 
of the mountain and his experience on the summit, 
is the contrast we must find, too. The moments of 


high exaltation have rio ultimate meaning unless 
they are converted into a means of serving our fel- 

What would happen if the church came down 
from the mountain? One thing is certain: it would 
be moved out of its complacency because it would 
see the needs of men as it never has before. It 
would suffer. Another thing is possible : it might 
save the world. It might win the victory through 
suffering and serving. For it would be following 
Jesus, and his victory came through a cross. 

A Toast to E. E. Stringfellow 

A. D. Veatch, Drake University, May 16, 1950 

I am the most unfortunate speaker on this oc- 
casion in that my eyes and my voice are as old as 
I am. 

A thinker has no choice; he thinks as he has to 
think. Facts and logic compel him. What is herein 
written has been foreordained and inspired by facts 
that have occurred during the past forty years or 
more. I am not responsible for the fact that a young 
hayseed by the name of Erwin Edward Stringfellow 
gained the good graces of a county superintendent 
and began teaching in the public schools of Iowa 
at the early age of sixteen. Nor am I responsible 
for the fact that this identical same lad later came 
tc Drake University, shunning all snap courses of 
study, and enrolled in the Latin and Greek classics, 
and was shortly doing the drudgery of correcting 
Greek test papers for Professor Kirk. Had he the 
gumption, he might have saved himself infinite trou- 
ble, but no, he must go on to learn Hebrew, and soon 
found himself in a strange new world. 

But perhaps we should be more serious. The noted 
Samuel Johnson said that a maker of dictionaries 


is a common drudge. Professor Stringfellow is pre- 
eminently a linguist and a maker of books, and 
therefore a drudge. 

The Bible is an ancient book, written in the unsci- 
entific ages of the world, and difficult for the modern 
scientific mind to appreciate. It is an oriental book. 
The logical and rhetorical processes of the East are 
not those of the West, and to translate the New 
Testament into a modern tongue Professor String- 
fellow had to be expert in oriental and oxidental 

It is to be doubted whether a perfect translation 
of the Bible into a modern language is a human pos- 
sibility; and Professor Stringfellow would be the 
last to claim that his translation of the New Testa- 
ment is final. But while the Earth produces men 
of intelligence, energy, and ideals, the supposedly 
impossible will be attempted. 

These are some of the reasons why President Har- 
mon and the Board of Trustees are having more trou- 
ble to find a young man to fill Professor String- 
fellow's place than the Tibetans did to find a suc- 
cessor to the Dalai Lama or the miners will have to 
find another Lewis. 

But Professor Stringfellow is more than a 
linguist and a student of the Bible. He is an artis- 
tic and scientific gardener. Of necessity, that good 
health might continue and he attain some of the 
ideals of his heart, he allotted to himself definite 
hours of physical toil out in the open. He subdued 
his portion of the earth, and made it more alluring 
than the Garden of Eden. 

"A worthy woman who can find : Her price is far 
above that of rubles. The heart of her husband 
trusteth in her, and she doeth him good, and not 
evil, all the days of her life." 


Mrs. Stringfellow is the mother of two sons and 
two daughters ; she made for them and her husband 
a lovely home; their tasks, their joys, and their sor- 
rows were hers; she shared in the social activities 
of the University, the church, and the community. 

In addition to all this, when she perceived that 
her husband was in need of a typist, she learned that 
art and came to his side. None will ever know how 
much of her life has gone into his literary work. 

When the Professor went out into his garden of 
delights, she followed him there ; and what a pleas- 
ure to receive from her hands a box of the finest 
berries grown in Iowa, clean, perfect, overflowing 
the box; and to receive from the Professor twelve 
ears of corn, fresh and wholesome as were ever 
pressed between human teeth. They two formed a 
joint stock company of equal shares. 

Erwin and Myrtle: by your noble and upright 
lives you have endeared yourselves to Drake Uni- 
versity and her friends around the earth, to the 
great brotherhood to which you belong, and to the 
lovers of honesty, righteousness, and goodness 
wherever your name may go. 

And so tonight, I crown you with halos of glory; 
and in the phraseology of the Latin poet Horace, 
when speaking of his Lyrics, I declare that you have 
erected monuments to your good names more en- 
during than brass and higher than the regal sum- 
mits of the Pyramids. A great part of you will 
never die. 

The Campbell Institute 

Richard M. Pope, President 

In the first line of a famous American poem Robert 
Frost wrote "Something there is that doesn't love a 


wall." I suppose that no one has exactly the same 
idea about the Campbell Institute, but to me it is 
an organization that doesn't love walls. It breaks 
down the walls that divide Disciple ministers and 
brings them together in such a way that they can 
freely and easily discuss the problems and oppor- 
tunities that confront them. It is no small thing to 
be able to speak your mind honestly and openly, 
to listen while others do the same, and to discuss 
your differences and your agreements with your 
brethren. Perhaps no institution has so many walls 
around it, and in it as the Church, and no calling 
has so many galling restrictions and restraints as 
the Christian ministry. The Minister, most of all 
when he does his work best, is a lonely figure. More 
than anyone else he feels the tension between the 
ideal and the actual. Yet there are very few places 
where he can actually speak his mind, without caus- 
ing misunderstanding, hurt feelings, and bewilder- 
ment. Free men crave the rough and tumble of an 
open forum where ideas can clash, and meetings 
where currents of thought can flow without hin- 
drance. A minister is always in the market for 
new ideas, and he needs a place where old ones can 
be taken out and over-hauled from time to time. 

It would be foolish to say that the Campbell Insti- 
tute fits the above description, or that this ideal 
should exhaust its purposes. Even so, I do not know 
any other organization among the Disciples that so 
well fulfills the purpose of providing frank and open 
discussion. It is true that "good fences make good 
neighbors" yet there is "something that doesn't love 
a wall," and I like to think that that something 
among the Disciples is the Campbell Institute. 


Sartre's Existentialism 

Van Meter Ames, University of Cincinnati 

The long slow effort of man to understand his 
world and himself, to establish decency and hap- 
piness, has met with such severe defeats in our time 
that the temptation of pessimism has arisen anew. 
Existentialism is a new name for some very old 
ways of feeling and for refusing to think rationally 
or optimistically about the human situation. To be 
pessimistic is to believe in value, to believe that some- 
thing counts or would count. But the existentialist 
is so shaken about the normal natural values that 
what he comes to emphasize is nothing that any 
ordinary mortal in his right mind would set his heart 
upon. He aspires to a nameless dread identified 
with a negation of all that would seem to count or 
even to be: a void, a nothingness. The Christian 
existentialist regards the realization of this abyss 
as transitional to the experience of God's grace. But 
Christians have not always believed God's grace to 
be attainable by human effort or at all available to 
most of mankind. And Sartre's existentialist move- 
ment renounces belief in a God from whom grace 
might be expected even for a few. At the same 
time there is rejection of faith in reason or science. 

An interesting fact is the extent to which the 
atheistic existentialist sounds like some famous 
Christians, except for leaving out God. In reading 
Sartre we can hear Pascal (1623-1666) asking, 
"What is man in the infinite?" He is equally in- 
capable of understanding the nothing from which 
he comes and the infinite in which he is swallowed 
up. Man himself is a nullity, midway between 
nothing and everything. Pascal strikes the note of 
absurdity and of dread : "I am frightened and aston- 


ished to find myself here rather than there ; because 
there was no reason why here rather than there, why 
at present rather than some other time !" Because we 
cannot bear the thought of our dreadful state we 
cheat ourselves with diversion. 

Leopardi (1798-1837) is another forerunner. He 
felt that only the mind's feeling of emptiness kept 
it from being one with absolute non-existence. The 
difference between the living and the dead is that 
the dead do not feel their nothingness. 

Schopenhauer (1788-1860) also expressed the 
worthlessness of human life and its irrationality, 
and said the only real salvation was the flight into 
nothingness. He was disgusted with Hegel's ration- 
alism and the whole idea that the world is governed 
by purpose or wisdom. For Schopenhauer intel- 
ligence is secondary to will and all activity is futile. 
He was attracted by the ancient pessimism of the 
Upanishads and he kept an image of Buddha in his 

Nietzsche (1844-1900) rejected quietism and ex- 
ulted in the will. But he was equally opposed to the 
rationalism of Hegel, because he felt it ruled out 
the possibility of real becoming for individual life, 
and omitted the problematic, dangerous character 
of it which he gloried in as something absurd. He 
hated the illusion that thinking can reach to the 
abyss of being. He felt that everywhere on the 
periphery of science man stares at the inexplicable. 
He said : Logic can only coil round itself at these 
limits and bite its own tail. What is needed is a new 
tragic perception. 

Kierkegaard (1813-1855) was like Nietzsche in 
his subjective passionate way of writing. Kierke- 
gaard also pitted the importance of the individual 
self-conscious existence against abstract thought, 
and refused to be a paragraph in Hegel's system. 


He could not breathe except in a world of possibility 
and freedom. For him existence is a subjectivity 
and truth is subjective, partial, passionate, rather 
than impartial and objective. He said: There is a 
passionate dialogue between the individual and God. 
Any existence is sin before God. Sin is irrational, 
it cannot be thought. Yet the estrangement from 
God is at the same time an approach to God, for 
it is through sin that we enter upon religious or 
authentic existence. But there can be no certainty. 
We are not passionate about a sure thing but about 
what is a risk, a constant danger. There can be 
no proof or disproof about the things that matter. 
There is continual anguish because we are always 
in the presence of the unknowable, the insoluble. 
Doubt persists in belief. Faith is a union of certi- 
tude and incertitude. 

Dostoyevsky (1821-1888) was equally torn by con- 
tradiction, passion, anguish, in the face of ultimate 
questions. If there is no God, is everything permis- 
sible? as Ivan suggests in The Brothers Karamazov. 
Ivan also argues the absurdity of belief in ,an all- 
powerful and compassionate God, taking his stand 
on the senselessness of the suffering of children. 
Absurdity would seem to be the outcome, either with 
or without God. And another existentialist idea 
is stressed in the condemnation of the Grand In- 
quisitors' condemnation of Christ for preaching free- 
dom of choice. 

Gide (1869- ) carries freedom of choice to 
the absurd degree of the gratuitous act. An act is 
not really free, not a genuine act unless it is entirely 
unmotivated, unjustified and not to be explained. 
This is the fascination of the Greek myths for Gide : 
the great unreflective initiative of the demi-gods 
and heroes. In Theseus he admires "the defiance 
of rule, nature, morality, laws." 


In Kafka (1883-1924) the absurd, the contradic- 
tory, the gratuitous reach the proportions of a night- 
mare. Even what seems to be most banal and com- 
monplace becomes fantastic. It is the impossibility 
of what happens, because it is contradictory, that 
Sartre admires in Kafka, as in Dos Passos and 
Faulkner. For, Sartre says, "beauty is a veiled con- 

While the philosophical antecedents of existential- 
ism are European, especially German, we should not 
think of this movement as wholly foreign to us, for 
the influence of American novelists has significantly 
entered in. This is evident in the novels of Sartre, 
and admitted in his essays. He admires the violence 
and desperation of the characters in American 
novels : breaking the conventions of life, uncovering 
absurdity, and getting a second wind in the most 
extreme situations, like the hunted Negro in Faulk- 
ner's Light in August who realizes that when neither 
religion nor pride nor anything can help him, then 
he needs no help. But Sartre says: "What has 
touched us in the Americans is not their cruelty 
cr their pessimism. We have recognized in them 
people overwhelmed, lost on too big a continent, as 
we have been in history ; and who have tried without 
tradition, with frontier equipment, to express their 
stupor and their destitution in the midst of incom- 
prehensible events. The success of Faulkner, of 
Hemingway, of Dos Passos . . . brought the defense 
reaction of [French] literature which, feeling threat- 
ened because its techniques and myths no longer en- 
abled it to face its situation in history, seized upon 
foreign methods in order to fulfil its function in 
new assumptions. Thus at the moment when we 
faced the public, the circumstances required us to 
break with our predecessors. They had preferred 
literary idealism and presented events for us 


through a privileged subjectivity. . . . They thought 
to give at least an apparent justification to the fool- 
ish enterprise of story-telling by constantly . . . 
bringing in the existence of an author. We hoped 
that our books would stand alone in the air and 
that the words, instead of pointing back to the one 
who traced them, would be forgotten, solitary, un- 
noticed: toboggans dumping the readers into the 
midst of a universe without witnesses; in short, 
that our books should exist in the manner of things, 
of plants, of happenings and not first of all as hu- 
man products. We wanted to drive Providence out 
of our works as we had driven it out of our world." 
(In Sartre's essay on What Is Literature?) 

That is to say that, in his art as in his philosophy, 
Sartre wants to present as starkly as he can the 
contrast between things which are just there and 
man who finds himself a consciousness in their 
midst. As there is no God, no scheme of justifica- 
tion to soften this contrast in reality, so there should 
be none in serious fiction : fiction which undertakes 
to show what the human situation actually is. Exist- 
ence precedes essence, the existentialist likes to say. 
That means that existence precedes explanation and 
can never be overtaken or covered by it. What 
each man is, and the world for him, is not some- 
thing that could be stated beforehand, because hu- 
man existence never quite is nor can it be what it 
was: it is always becoming. Each man determines 
by his life, by what he does, what his essence or 
nature will be, and that is never fixed so that it 
can be pinned down. We are what we become and 
we are always becoming as long as we are at all. 

For Sartre this is unsatisfactory, to say the least. 
For him the only thing that would satisfy men would 
be to achieve the full and arrived status of the in- 
human world, which he conceives to be perfectly 


and completely what it is. He even argues that 
temporality is human and subjective, introduced into 
the world by our uneasiness and striving, and not 
really there in the being we would like to unite with, 
in that unconscious block there is no purpose, in- 
tention or significance. Thus, if the end of fiction 
is to approximate it, no author should be evident, 
shaping it for his or any preference. Fiction should 
be a toboggan dumping us unceremoniously into a 
world not made for us, not suited to us, where we 
should feel lost and abandoned. If we can be shocked 
out of our conventional assumptions, perhaps 
through despair and dread we can approach the 
meaningless being in which our confused and dis- 
appointing efforts might be lost. 

But since being is all that really is, what separates 
us from it is a kind of non-being, and because it is 
nothing it cannot be crossed over. Thus the refusal 
to be alienated is thwarted. Man cannot achieve 
the density of a thing. He recognizes that he must 
go forward, in disequilibrium, dissatisfied with him- 
self, but striving to advance with an utterly free 
will, accepting the responsibility, the guilt, the re- 
morse of doing so, in search of value, in the effort 
to create it. For there is none to start with, none 
is given, and none will be given. It must be created 
and achieved. But when man assumes this respon- 
sibility he is filled with despair. The consolation, 
such as it is in Sartre, is that somehow a truly hu- 
man life begins beyond despair. 

Since the only genuine value is to be found be- 
yond despair, by man's own creative career, Sartre 
rejects belief in God. He must reject God in order 
to liberate man. As for Nietzsche, faith in man 
requires the death of God. And even if God exist- 
ed man would still have to choose and act for him- 


self. The free act for Sartre is much like the gratui- 
tous act for Gide. Thus, in The Flies, Orestes does 
not kill Clytemnestra to avenge the murder of 
Agamemnon so much as to assert his freedom to as- 
sume the weight of guilt, without which he cannot 
feel that he is fully a man. He defies Jupiter, the 
god of flies and the dead, who appears as the creator 
of men and things but not of the free will which 
man must develop for himself. Orestes does not re- 
gret his crime, because he craves the remorse it 
brings. He does not pay for a misdeed through suf- 
fering, but buys with crime the right to suffer. So 
the flies, who are the furies, cannot frighten him 
because the worst they can do is good for him. 

Sartre maliciously insists that the ordinary per- 
son, the bourgeois, cannot understand existentialism 
without being converted. In his first novel Nausea 
the hero is sickened by the humdrumness of 
bourgeois life, and, in revulsion against it, feels 
some hope for himself. So far as there is social 
significance in Sartre it is in this sense of the un- 
satisfactoriness of much modern life as it is lived. 
But in his philosophical work it is life itself which 
is bad, any life that has not been transmuted by 
dread. The only way the non-existentialist reader 
can give him credit for social balance and sanity 
is to regard him as reacting violently against a per- 
version, an impoverishment of life, under certain 
conditions that might be altered. And sometimes 
Sartre seemxS to take the position of the reformer 
or the revolutionary, who finds man estranged and 
alienated by his time and place. The expression "to 
be alienated" was much used by Hegel. And Marx 
spoke of the worker as alienated or estranged from 
his work because it was not really his work or his 
life. And so Sartre feels that a bourgeois is alienat- 
ed if he likes his position and feels no longing to 


change it, like Matthieu's brother Jacques in The Age 
of Reason; although from the ordinary point of view 
Jacques is adjusted and successful. But to be ad- 
justed to the bourgeois life is to be alienated from 
authentic existence. Thus Matthieu, the chief char- 
acter in The Age of Reason and The Reprieve, in 
being demoralized and drifting, is better off, because 
this brings him to despair, the only gateway to real 

But after three or four volumes of fiction show- 
ing what genuine living is not, we begin to wonder 
whether the real thing is going to be revealed, and 
whether it is possible for Sartre to go beyond de- 
spair, even with unlimited freedom. 

But freedom will scarcely help him to go beyond 
despair, since freedom is what fills him with de- 
spair. His is not a freedom of rational choice. 
It is a horrible realization that there is no meaning 
to guide man, no basis or reason for one action 
rather than another. He is appalled by an ocean 
of possibility upon which it is impossible to steer 
a course. To become aware of freedom is in his 
view to face the cancelling out of choice among 
alternatives in an awful blankness. So man cannot 
be at home in the world. He is a stranger there, 
like K. in The Castle by Kafka, like Orestes in The 
Flies of Sartre, and like the hero of the novel called 
The Stranger by Camus. 

A Literary Bequest 

W. B. Blakemore 
This volume Eternal Values in Religion by, J. B. 
Pratt, has been published posthumously with an 
appreciative introduction by Willard Sperry. It 
constitutes James Bissett Pratt's final contribution 
to the legacy of psychological study of religion. 
While the whole book is good, the opening chapter 


is a "must." Thirty years ago in The Religious Con- 
sciousness, Pratt first distinguished between the 
subjective and objective factors in worship. In his 
first chapter "The Psychology of Religion" in his last 
book he returns to this theme and evaluates all sorts 
of Christian worship in the light of these concepts. 
The weakness of the more Catholic and the more 
Protestant forms are discussed. The positive signifi- 
cance of preaching and of hymns as they occur in 
Protestant usage is pointed out. The Protestant 
lack of adequate symbols is discussed. Most inter- 
esting, however, is Pratt's charge that the typical 
Protestant service allows virtually no occasion for 
truly individual prayer, and such prayer he believes 
is necessary to the Christian. On this score, he 
asserts that Roman Catholic mass, for all of its lack 
of corporate activity, provides adequately for the 
development through practice of true devotion by 
individuals. More real prayer, he says goes on 
during a mass, than during the typical Protestant 
service. Perhaps we have failed to recognize, as 
we might, the continuing value of the communion 
service in Disciple practice as the opportunity for 
truly individual, as well as truly corporate devotion. 
Several years ago, in the interest of giving expres- 
sion to "community" a number of our churches in- 
troduced the practice of simultaneous partaking of 
the elements. Pratt's line of thought suggests that 
after the initial corporate aspects of the communion 
service have taken place, the communicant should 
be left alone to commune with God as he sees fit, 
partaking of the elements in his hand at the moment 
when he feels himself to be most truly in communion 
by virtue of his own spiritual condition. It is truly 
refreshing to come across this voice asserting the 
significance of some degree of individuality within 
the form of Christian communion. 


The Annual Meeting, 1950 

W. B. Blakemore, Secretary 
The mid-century annual meeting of the Campbell 
Institute affords an appropriate time for summary 
and the projection of iadvancement plans. With this 
fact in mind, the program committee for the meet- 
ing, July 24 to 28, 1950 has arranged a program 
whereby we can get some sense of where we stand 
with respect to fundamental Christian issues. The 
themes of addresses for the meeting will be the 
Church, Preaching, Baptism and the Lord's Sup- 
per, Disciple Ideas and Organization, Liberalism, Re- 
ligious Education, Religious Values and Modern Cul- 
ture, etc. 

Our president, Mr. Richard Pope has promised 
that his presidential address will present a strategy 
for the Disciples of Christ. As indicated in the April, 
1950, issue of The Scroll, "validity" is the key word 
in each paper to be presented. In other words we 
hope that the papers will enable us to summarize our 
beliefs as of this year regarding the issues discussed. 
"Validity" is a fairly strong term. In adopting it 
the program committee did not intend that the term 
should carry also the sense of finality, as if we were 
in 1950 saying the last word upon the issues at hand. 
The committee was thinking rather in terms of the 
discernible values which give validity to institutions. 
However, if the term "values" alone had been used, 
the sense of summary which is implied in the term 
"validity" might not have been apparent. The 
program for this summer is, therefore, not to be 
looked upon as a consummation of a cooperative 
process of thought but as gathering together of per- 
spectives and viewpoints from which we can move 
into further cooperative discussion. Our aim will 
be not only to discover where we stand, but where 


we intend to go in the years ahead. 

The committee has selected for its topic men who 
are especially concerned with the areas assigned 
to them. S. Marion Smith is a professor in the biblical 
area. Mr. Lloyd Channels, one of the younger 
ministers in our brotherhood, has been particularly 
concerned in his ministry to the church at Flint, 
Michigan, to deepen the sense of community and 
discover the true basis for congregational life. Mr. 
Hunter Beckelhymer of Kenton, Ohio, who will 
speak on the validity of preaching, is well known 
among his fellows for the sensitivity and depth of 
his sermons. W. J. Jarman of Champaign, Illinois, 
among younger preachers in the brotherhood, com- 
bines unusual abilities of practical action and 
theological concern. Robert Thomas needs no intro- 
duction to readers of The Scroll who have had op- 
portunity to see some of the materials in which he 
has been thinking over our fundamental Disciple 
ideas. Dr. W. L. Reese, Jr. of the faculty of Drake 
University, is engaged in those long run contempla- 
tions of philosophical issues for which his mind is 
so adequately equipped. Those who are familiar 
with the publication projects of which he is in- 
volved have had a special opportunity to realize the 
extent of his intellectual growth as he has taken 
on his teaching duties. T. T. Swearingen is already 
widely known in the brotherhood for his abilities 
in the field of religious education and for his writ- 
ings. J. Robert Moffatt is one of our younger 
preachers who has already demonstrated his con- 
structive powers in the opportunities for religion in 
a University town, which he has found in his first 
pastorate at Fayetteville, Arkansas. Mr. Chris 
Garriott, who will speak on religious values in mod- 
ern culture, has published several articles in this 


area in the Christian Century. William R. Smith 
is at present engaged in chaplaincy to juvenile de- 
linquents in the Chicago area. Harold Elsam is on 
the staff of the Hines General Hospital at Hines, 
Illinois, and Robert Preston is a member of the 
staff of the Veterans Hospital at Topeka, Kansas. 

Institute Program, July 24-28, 1950 

Richard Pope, President 
Monday nigh1^-"The Validity of the Bible" 

S. Marion Smith 

"The Church" Lloyd Channels 

Tuesday a.m "The Church in the City" 

Tuesday p.m. — "Preaching" . . Hunter Beckelhymer 

"Baptism and the Lord's Supper". .W. J. Jarman 
Tuesday evening — "Disciple Ideas" . Robert Thomas 

"Disciple Organization ... W. Bamett Blakemore 
Wednesday a.m. . . "The Church and Economic Life" 
Wednesday p.m. — "Liberalism". . .Wm. L. Reese Jr. 

"The Ecumenical Enterprise" 

Wednesday evening — "Religious Education" .... 

T. T. Swearingen 

"The Church on the Campus". .J. Robert Moffatt 

Thursday a.m "The Institutional Chaplaincy" 

Wm. R. Smith, Harold Elsam, Robert Preston 
Thursday p.m. — "Religious Values in Modern 

Culture" Chris Garriott 

Christian Missions in a Post-Colonial World" . . 

Garland Evans Hopkins 

(Annual Dinner at 6 p.m.) 

Thursday evening "Presidential Address" 

The Annual Meeting M^ill be concluded Thursday 
evening with a Service of Communion in the Chapel 
of the Holy Grail. J. J. Van Boskirk and Benjamin 
Burns will preside. 



The Autumn Comes Again 

E. S. Ames 
The leaves are falling. They come drifting down 
from the trees in our yard, gently and quietly in 
the soft breeze, or scurrying in a strong wind as in 
a race to rest upon the good earth after long hot 
days and driving rains. They have given shade and 
shelter, and are ready now to make a blaze of color 
and a pillar of cloud against the sky for the garden- 
er or boy who burns them. Why should we regard 
these autumn days as "the saddest of the year"? 
We might better see them as the loveliest. They have 
greater variety of color. They bring banners of 
gold and brown and red on the background of green 
under skies of blue and grey. 

It might be a relief to many persons to realize 
that the sear and yellow leaf may be made the 
symbol of life's richness and beauty. Certainly, 
in a longer perspective, it is prophetic of growth 
and of coming vitality. The autumn, like all other 
phases of nature, gives back to us what our minds 
and hearts most dwell upon. It may be only some 
poet's fancy that has influenced us to allow yellow 
leaves to awaken melancholy thoughts of decay and 
death. And it may be wiser to say with the poet 
Carruth, Each in His Own Tongue: 
A haze on the far horizon. 
The infinite, tender sky. 
The ripe, rich tint of the cornfields, 
And the wild geese sailing high, — 
And all over upland and lowland 

The charm of the goldenrod, — 
Some of us call it Autumn, 
And others call it God. 


One of the very profitable books read during the 
summer was that of my friend and fellow-philos- 
jopher, Professor Overs treat, The Mature Mind. It 
is one of the "best sellers," and is a substantial, 
illuminating interpretation of every-day experi- 
ences in all stages of human life from childhood to 
old age. He shows that maturity is not just a 
matter of years but is the fruit of insight, intelli- 
gence and reflection. Maturity is not a gift of 
endowment, or the result of routine education. 
Too many college graduates are only beribboned 
adolescents. Even the three years of training for 
the professions of the ministry, law or medicine, 
or any number of years for the doctorate do not 
guarantee maturity. Too much of our "education" 
is wooden, without breadth or vision. 

A close friend who wanted to equip himself to 
be as useful as possible in the ministry once wrote 
me from the toil of his pursuit of the doctorate 
in a great eastern theological school, "I must get 
out and take a church to keep my soul alive!" He 
rightly knew that as a minister and pastor he 
would be in closer association with all classes and 
conditions of men, women and youth. The years 
.proved him right. Few ministers have been so 
successful. He grew into a rich and fruitful life. 
His words fed hungry multitudes, and returned 
him honor and love. 

Psychology is the key science of this century, 
and its achievements are already revolutionary 
with reference to human affairs. Psychology has 
been preceded by physiology, biology, chemistry 
and physics, and this has not been an accidental 
or arbitrary order but an order involved in the 
nature of the subject-matter itself. Psychology 
delves into the depths of our consciousness of our 
inmost being, and it is remaking our lives. "The 


time clock of science has struck a new hour." 
Within a half century the idea of psychological age 
has become more important than chronological age 
especially in reference to the most important and 
conscious human affairs. Chronologically a person 
may be an adult while psychologically a child. This 
fact often has far reaching implications. In many 
ways people are often not what they seem. There 
is the possible paradox of adult adolescents, as when 
a Congressman looks grown up but isn't. So a 
judge, a professor, a successful business man, may 
have an imposing appearance yet lack a really 
mature personality. 

The more balanced, flexible personality which 
should come with maturity is a development under 
various influences operating on the individual from 
childhood. Psychologists and psychiatrists have made 
real contributions to understanding this process. 
The child manifests many tendencies, some of 
which unrestrained and undirected, may lead to 
peevishness, selfishness, cruelty, and anti-social 
dispositions. Other impulses, under favorable con- 
ditions, lead to generosity, cooperation, and friend- 
liness beyond the narrow lines of family, class, na- 
tionality, and race. Wholeness is a favorite word 
with Overstreet, and it comes through numerous 
"linkages" incident to growing awareness of social 
relationships, and integration of various personal 

One of the best chapters in this book deals with 
the struggle for religious maturity. This struggle 
has been burdened with primitive and childish 
notions perpetuated by the arrested development 
of influential individuals who carried through life 
ideas and attitudes which their times accepted with 
no criticism or rational dissent. The wars of re- 
ligion and of the numerous sects within each re- 
ligion have sprung from immature minds, often 


shrewd and marvellously energetic. It is said of 
Augustine whose doctrine of sin was "so flagrantly 
a projection upon the whole human race of his own 
uncontrollable lusts" that through the institutional 
adoption of his doctrine Christianity was led to 
hopelessness and complete distrust of the natural 
man. Under this distrust, men had no independence 
to challenge the taboos imposed upon their childish 
minds. Modern psychological science is helping to 
break these old taboos, and to further the self 
respect and self reliance which Jesus taught. He 
taught them freedom through love, and through 
the kingdom of love which is within. 

Scientific study, that is, the mature study of the 
teaching of Jesus shows that he did not believe 
in original sin. He proclaimed a gracious invitation 
to all men to share in building a society of good 
Samaritans, of devout Publicans, of Prodigal Sons 
and Daughters, of rich men made poor through 
charity, of good men made better by listening to the 
meaning of the parables of the Talents, of the 
Wise and Foolish Virgins, and of the House upon 
a Rock. 

Religious maturing implies continuing growth 
through self criticism, scientific inquiry, the prac- 
tice of forgiveness, of selfrespect, of optimistic 
faith. Too much criticism of self and of others is 
expressed in final terms of good or bad, rather than 
in characterizations of tendencies and directions. A 
teacher's correction of pupils to be effective re- 
quires that the teacher have genuine sympathy for 
the r^uo^'ls ; a minister's denurciation of some ways 
of his flock will have little influence unless the 
flock knows that he loves them. Wholesale denuncia- 
tion of God and his world by a bitter atheist or mis- 
anthrope is childish. Mature men make judgments 
tempered by reasonable optimism and faith. 



S. Marion Smith, Butler School of Religion, 
President of the Institute 

According- to the record in the Gospel of John, 
two disciples of the Baptist were directed toward 
Jesus by this suggestion : "Look, the Lamb of God." 
They followed him and inquired, "Where are you 
staying?" Jesus said to them, "Come and see." 

It is interesting to speculate concerning the 
opinion which would have been formed concerning 
Jesus if these two men had not responded to his 
suggestion that they make a first-hand investi- 
gation. A great number of bitter dealings could be 
eliminated from human relationships if we would 
generally reserve judgment until we see the facts. 
Nothing is any more avid in my mind than the atti- 
tudes, into which I run many times a year, formed 
out of false or inadequate information. 

My earliest impressions of the Campbell Insti- 
tute included a group of capable leaders and think- 
ers, men committed to a great cause, men sensitive 
to truth, men who were "looking" men, part of a 
program that ever demanded alertness and a meet- 
ing of new facts and situations. But, also, all these 
men had "found"; they were not merely "seekers" 
never finding or coming to a knowledge of the truth. 
My personal experience with many of them over 
many years has revealed to me that they were and 
-Qre devoted to Christianity; to a great movement 
within the church; to the Bible, "rightly handled"; 
and to the meeting of human needs. 

In the Campbell Institute we are not called upon 
to agree, but we are invited to have fellowship in 
a faith and a quest. This fellowship through many 
years has been happy and fruitful and it is our 
hope that nothing will ever blunt our desire to be 


"Looking- ahead" is one of the features of our 
fellowship. This seems to me to be a feature of 
Biblical religion. The religion of the Old Testament 
had a forward look. It never felt itself to have at- 
tained. The prophets were looking forward to a 
better day making incisive observations and sug- 
gestions which would rig^ht wrongs, heal wounds, 
and establish justice. The New Testament has this 
same forward look. Even though the earliest 
Christians felt that they had something ultimate 
in Jesus Christ, they continued to look, and much 
of that look was forward. 

Again, another feature of our fellowship is "look- 
ing around." The ancient prophets wrote in histori- 
cal situations which not only colored their pro- 
nouncements but produced them. The Bible is a 
living book because it deals with living situations. 
Jesus taught in the light of the actual world around 
him. He saw human need and met it. Paul's letters 
reflect a mind that observed the existing social 
and religious realities of the day. 

The Institute's interest in at least a minimum 
of education grows out of this desire to "look 
about" and see what kind of a world it is in 
which we live. A study of history, philosophy, the 
natural and social sciences is essential to even a 
partially true perspective of our world as it is. A 
study of the other great religions of the world is 
essential to honesty in evaluating our own faith. 
Any intelligent and successful impingement of Chris- 
tianity upon its environment will issue only out 
of this impulse to "look around." 

Then, we are equally interested in "looking with- 
in." "What manner of man am I?" "Who and what 
is this being called man?" Much encouragement has 
been given to the study of psychology and an- 
thropology because of a desire to know the answers 


to these questions. An interest in the psychology 
of religion arises when we wish to relate these 
answers to the major emphases of our Christian 
religion. The impetus given to modern Christianity 
by Kant and Schleiermacher both reflect this "in- 
ward" look, one to the moral nature of man, the 
other to the inner feeling. ■ 

I suppose that the anxiety which arises in some 
circles over all of this seemingly endless questing 
is due to the fact that the rapproachment between 
the results of all this "looking," and the traditional- 
ly accepted articles of faith, is never quite satis- 
factory. The human equation, imperfect and in- 
complete experimentation, unauthenticated claims 
of dogma account for much of this fear. 

And one last suggestion — ^thls group is constant- 
ly "looking up." No group of , men anywhere is 
more conscious of man's dependence upon "an En- 
vironment," a "Power," or a "Being," in which all 
things consist, by which his welfare is determined, 
and which "makes for righteousness." There may be 
a difference in definition but. not in fact. A great 
humility pervades anyone who recognizes his own 
inadequacy and his great dependence. And yet, 
with the Psalmist the uniqueness and great estate 
of man make themselves felt upon us, and it is 
this that continues to drive us on to attempted and 
hoped for accomplishment, clear thinking, proper 
evaluating and continual "looking." All this, as 
Dr. Herbert Willett expressed to me in a personal 
letter nearly twenty years ago, under the Lordship 
of Jesus! 

The Campbell Institute is as weak as the men 
who make up its membership, but also just as 
strong and vital. With humility, yet great con- 
fidence, let us continue to "look." 


The Annual Meeting 

W. B. Blakemore, Recording Secretary 

A total of sixty attended the Annual Meeting of 
the Institute July 24 to 28, 1950, at the Disciples 
House in Chicago. The papers presented afforded 
an exceptional opportunity for discovering the mind 
of the Institute at mid-century. Presented largely 
by younger members, they revealed a firm convic- 
tion that the validity of the formal aspects of the 
Christian religion is to be found in their religious 

In terms of contrast, the papers by W. J. Jar- 
man and W. L. Reese, Jr., set the central philosophi- 
cal problem of the meeting, the nature of the object 
of our religious devotion and the relation to that 
object of the formal aspects of religion. Mr. Jar- 
man, starting with an emphasis upon the objective 
reality of God argued that the ordinances of Bap- 
tism and the Lord's Supper must in some way be 
appropriate to that reality. Mr. Reese, by a review 
of Disciple thought, demonstrated that the increas- 
ing tendency in our movement is to recognize all 
aspects of religion as symbolic in nature ; the crucial 
point in this latter position was raised when it 
was asked in discussion if this symbolic character 
applied also to Jesus and to God. 

The high point of the meeting with respect to 
practical affairs was undoubtedly the presidential 
address of R. M. Pope, "A Strategy for Disciples." 
Dean Pope insisted that we must beware of over- 
simplified suggestions that the divisions which 
hinder our brotherhood are to be explained in 
terms of economic or social class difference, and 
instead that the centre of the difficulty is a differ- 
ence in culture that comes about by real loss of com- 
munication between the parts. Dean Pope argued 


that the road to brotherhood lies not in insisting 
that our own point of view be understood, but that 
we come to understand and appreciate the religious 
significance of the point of view of other men. The 
possibility of unity within the brotherhood requires 
the creation of a new cultural apparatus — symbols, 
ways of expression, etc. — through which we can 
share in understanding each other. 

Other papers were presented by S. Marion Smith, 
Lloyd Channels, Hunter Beckelhymyer, Robert 
Thomas, W. B. Blakemore, J. Robert Moffett and 
Garland Hopkins. The scissions on the Church 
in the City and the Church in Economic Life were 
presented by those who studied in these five-week 
seminars of the University of Chicago. A signifi- 
cant review of chaplaincy ministries was presented 
by Robert Preston, William R. Smith and Harold 
Elsam. These men reported that some progress, 
but not enough, is being made by the general minis- 
try that these chaplaincy situations which are in- 
creasing in our time, are not a temporary and 
special part of the Christian ministry, but must be 
looked upon as an essential and continuing branch 
of the ministry. 

Several of the papers presented at the meeting 
will be published in The Scroll. Publication else- 
where of other papers will be given notice in The 

The order of the program of the Annual Meet- 
ing was varied from former years in that the Com- 
munion Service, condoicted this year by J. J. Van^ 
Boskirk and B. F. Burns came at the close instead 
of the opening of the meetings. 

The officers elected for 1950-51 were S. Marion 
Smith, Indianapolis, President; Harold Lunger, 
Tucson, Arizona, Vice President; Benjamin F. 
Bums, Oak Park, Illinois, Treasurer; E. S. Ames, 


Chicago, Editor of The Scroll; J. J. VanBoskirk, 
Chicago, Membership Secretary; W. B. Blakemore, 
Chicago, Recording Secretary. 

In the business sessions there was considerable 
discussion regarding the time of the Annual Meet- 
ing. It was suggested that it would be fortunate if 
the meetings could be held at a time when the en- 
tire Disciple House facilities for rooming could 
be at the disposal of the Institute. Those occasions 
however, do not seem to be advantageous times for 
the annual meeting. The Christmas vacation period 
did not meet with the general favor. The Spring va- 
cation usually coincides with the agency meetings 
held in Indianapolis. The third week in June con- 
flicts with too many conference and camp activities, 
and the month of September while a free one at 
the Disciples House is the period when ministers 
are launching their new programs. After lengthy 
discussion it seemed that the last week in July 
remains the best date in the year. The reaction of 
members to this matter of timing the meetings is 
very much desired by the program committee of the 
Institute and you are urged to write your own prefer- 
ence to The Campbell Institute, 1156 East 57th 
Street, Chicago, Illinois. 

People — Places — Events 

F. E. Davison, South Bend, Indiana 
It is August 1950 and the parson's vacation — a 
fitting time to visit new places, hear new voices, re- 
new old friendships and store up some new energy 
for Fall tasks. 

A week at Chautauqua, N. Y. is always an inspi- 
ration but some weeks are better than others. To use 
a term unknown to Scroll readers we hit the "jack- 
pot" this summer. To sit at the feet of men like 


Martin Neimoller of Germany; H. A. Overstreet of 
"Mature Mind" fame; Dr. Cannon, editor of the 
Christian Science Monitor; Dr. Carl Meneger, the 
eminent psychiatrist, Dr. Paul Sheerer, the famous 
preacher; and Dr. Eugene Beach, a dyed-in-the-wool 
Disciple is a fuill menu in any man's language. Add 
to that a half dozen symphony concerts, interesting 
book reviews, and a theatrical production of the Eng- 
lish play "Libel" and you certainly have a week-full. 

On the way home from Chautauqua R. Melvyn 
Thompson and I stopped for a brief visit with Dr. 
Pearl Welshimer at Canton, Ohio. He took time out 
to show us over the remodelled mammoth church 
building that ministers to more than 6,000 members. 
He inflated my ego by saying some nice things about 
my book which he had on his shelves. 

A few days in a cottage with my wife on the East 
bank of Lake Michigan gave opportunity to view 
sunsets and read books. What is more important it 
gave me opportunity to get acquainted with the Lady 
of The Manse. It is a good thing for a preacher to 
realize that his greatest inspiration comes not from 
the class room or the lecture platform but from the 
mother of his children — ^the lady that sits across the 
table from him three times a day (some days) . 

A two weeks' trip to Southern California enabled 
me to meet a brand new personality who gives great 
promise for the future. His name is Gary Lee Jen- 
sen and his mother happens to be our daughter. He 
weighed in two weeks before my arrival at nine 
poomds and one ounce but is already on his way to- 
ward becoming the world's heavyweight champion. 
His three year old brother. Tommy, will soon become 
his trainer and teach him the fine arts of fisticuffs. 

While on the West Coast I visited a couple of hours 
with my long-time friend C. M. (Ted) Rodefer, a 
laymen well known to Disciples. I stopped in Whit- 
tier for ten minutes to beg bread from Rush Deskins 


and saw his beautiful church. A telephone conver- 
sation with Owen Kellison assured me that all goes 
well at Champman College. One evening was spent 
with Dr. and Mrs. Warner Muir and a glance at the 
financial report of his great church on Wilshire 
Boulevard showed that during 1949 the church gave 
some $114,000.00 for Kingdom tasks. Warner is the 
newly elected president of the Southern California 

One Sunday I preached for the Peco Heights 
Christian Church, Los Angeles where Dr. Merle Fish 
Sr., is the pastor. The church is not large but alive 
and full of the sprit. I am told that Merle Fish Jr., 
is doing an outstanding piece of work with the North 
Hollywod church. Jimmy Fidler of Hollywood fame 
is one of the leading laymen in that church. 

A major portion of my time in the Los Angeles 
territory was spent with Dr. and Mrs. Earl N. 
Griggs. I ate their food, I slept in their bed, I rode in 
their car, and I preached in their pulpit — Central 
Christian of Pasadena. It is doubtful if there is a 
church among us that has a higher type membership 
and after listening to recordings of several of their 
services I would add that it is doubtful if any church 
hears more thoughtful or more thought provoking 
sermons than the Pasadena church. 

One memorable day and night was spent with the 
Griggs' in a shack out in the open desert 75 miles 
Northeast of Pasadena. Yes, it was hot during the 
day but with the setting of the sun came cool and 
refreshing breezes. A full moon painted a desert 
picture never to be forgotten. Even after the moon 
deserted us the stars came down to play with us as 
we walked on the sands among the sage bushes and 
the Joshua trees. 

"Ain't vacations grand? Now off to work we go, 
Heigh Ho! Heigh Ho! 


Secrets of Longevity 

W. J. Lhamon was 95, on September 16, 1950 
Dear Dr. Ames : 

This is to thank you for your letter of recent date. 
It is highly appreciated as always. And your "sign- 
ing off" phrase is especially appreciated. Namely, 
"My love to you, Old Man." 

You ask for the secret of my great age. That is 
hard to say. But if it pleases you I will make a stag- 
ger at it. 

First. So far as I can discover I am by heredity 
of the Pennsylvania Dutch tribe — a pretty tough set 
physically if not otherwise. That was several gen- 
erations ago, but it still seems to be "in the blood." 

Secondly. I was especially careful about my an- 
cestors. I took them in hand at a very early date. I 
even began with my mother. She passed away on 
the day after her ninety first birthday. Her father 
lived into his nineties, and drove his buggy round 
over the country on business trips. My father passed 
away at seventy one. He was a most wise and Chris- 
tian man, and he "foched me up in pretty stright 

Now back to my grandfather and great grand- 
father. My selections in both cases turned out to be 
both wise and well directed. Both went forward into 
their nineties. So the much disputed question of 
heredity has been decidedly in my favor "believe it 
or not." This is my best on the heredity question. 

Here however is another factor in the case. I have 
always loved my work. I became a teacher at seven- 
teen years of age in the one room school houses of 
Ohio, and I liked it. I enjoyed the youngsters and 
joined in their plays. Then very early I went into 
the ministry, and enjoyed my audiences and the re- 
sponses that I got from them — the psychic response 
between the speaker and his hearers. 


Then I have always loved to write in my humble 
way. Instead of summer vacations I took one or two 
of them to write my book under the title STUDIES 
OF BEGINNINGS. This work gave me something 
of a reputation for scholarship (really more than I 
deserved) so that when the trustees of the Bible 
College of Missouri looked round for a dean their 
eyes lighted on me. That put me again into the class 
room, which again I enjoyed till I retired at 65 years 
of age. Following that I went onto the lecture plat- 
form of the circuit chautauquas during a number of 
seasons, and once again I was a kind of pulpit man 
with usually great popular audiences — AND EN- 

I think that when the machinery is well oiled with 
pleasure and the cogs don't slip or grind, and the 
mechanism as a whole runs in a fine, smooth gear, it 
adds greatly to one's longevity. 

And one more pertinent point. I never have been 
a nicotine sponge in any way. That deadly drug 
shortens the lives of its addicts by some five to ten 
years. Nicotine is more deadly than strichnine, 
and it is a habit forming drug. The reason its addicts 
don't die sooner and faster is that they get relatively 
little of it in their cigar and cigarette smoke. 

This, my dear Ames is the best I can do in answer 
to your query unless I should write a book, which 
God forbid. 

Yours fraternally, 

W. J. Lhamon. 

Dr. Lhamon is now "the grand old man" of the 
Campbell Institute and is one of the most frequent 
contributors to The Scroll. Another article by him 
will appear in the next issue. His address is One 
Ingleside Drive, Columbia, Missouri. Write to him. 

E. S. A. 


Religion in Berlin 

[■ J OK'N Robert S ALA, Drake University 

On paper Berlin is 85% Evangelical (Lutheran), 
10% Catholic, and 5% what you will. In reality it is 
as pagan as any metropolis, with only one article of 
faith — a passionate love for the city itself. Not that 
religion is scorned. Rather it is viewed as the hal- 
lowed registry of birth, marriage, and death. 

The churches are supported through taxation — a 
four percent surcharge based on the net income tax, 
to be exact. One's name goes on the church roll at 
or near birth ; and it is quite a trick, bureaucratically 
speaking, to get it removed from the roll later on. As 
long as one's name is on the roll, the tax is paid to 
the city, and the city turns it over to the diocese. Al- 
most all Berliners pay the tax as a matter of course. 
This sounds as if the churches should be in clover. In 
reality they are near starvation, for a very large 
portion of the church's living standard came from 
income from properties. That was before the war. 

Oddly enough, the Soviets have never taken any 
drastic steps against the clerical order of things in 
Berlin. The Communists raised no voice against the 
church tax. Even more strangely, they have gone 
along with the ancient Berlin practice of teaching 
religion in the public schools. The new and progres- 
sive Berlin school law of 1948, which was the last 
major agreement of any kind between East and 
West, provides for two hours of instruction weekly 
in religion in the city schools. Children attend unless 
parents request exemption. Some classes are taiught 
by clerics who come in for the purpose. Others are 
taught as an additional subject by teachers certified 
by church authorities. The draft school law, later 
approved by the Allies, was written by the Socialists, 
and the Communists raised no objection to this 


agreement. These classes are scheduled for the first 
and last periods of the school day, however, and 
there is a great deal of absence. For all practical 
purposes, only the Evangelicals and Catholics profit 
from this program. The small groups — Jews, Ad- 
ventists, Christian Scientists, Freethinkers, and the 
like — do not have enough children in any school to 
form a class. 

Many of Berlin's landmark churches were roughly 
treated by the war. The great Dom on the Spree was 
battered, and its beautiful dome is sheathed in scraps 
of sheet metal to keep out the weather. It can be 
restored ; but the Soviets, who must look at it every 
time they have a big rally in the Lustgarten, seem to 
be in no hurry to let anybody do the job. The Kaiser 
Wilhelm Memorial Church, at the end of the Kur- 
fiirstendamm, is a battered mass of rubble out of 
which a jagged steeple bites the sky. The Soviets 
took down the Pauluskirche — "structurally insecure" 
— ^to the dismay of many Berliners. Many of the 
smaller, more modern churches and chapels in the 
suburbs were untouched. 

The Evangelical clergy in Berlin were hard hit by 
the de-nazification process. As a matter of fact, 
there was a great deal of reluctance on the part of 
the church authorities to carry out the sort of house- 
cleaning that was needed. There were all kinds of 
borderline cases. No doaibt many of the clergy had 
re-examined their consciences and undergone a sin^ 
cere change of heart. This undoubtedly influenced 
Bishop Dibelius to a reluctance to take purgative 
steps. In the schools and the churches the standards 
of political purity set by the American authorities 
were especially strict, since these two institutions in- 
fluence so directly the minds and hearts of the peo- 
ple. After lengthy review and negotiation the Amer- 
icans took a firm position, and dismissals followed. 
No doubt some injustic was done in the process, al- 


though any case was open to review at any time. 

The Soviets were willing to approve programs of 
religion provided they had no relationship in the 
"here." No religious conference could be held in 
Berlin until its program had been meticulo^usly scru- 
tinized and approved by the four Allies. The Rus- 
sians always refused to approve any topic which re- 
motely touched on the application of religion to 
everyday living. "That is not religion. That is 

Both Evangelical Bishop Dibelius and Catholic 
Cardinal Cou;nt von Preysing are men of great politi- 
cal acumen, high courage, and profound determina- 
tion. The Soviets are not trying to outfight them. 
They are trying to outwait them. 

Americans often ask whether the war affected 
vitally the spiritual life of Germany. The answer, by 
American religious patterns, would seem to be no. 
There is no revival, no great awakening, no gift of 
prophecy. Germans have long been too stunned, too 
hungry, too much intent perforce on scrouging the 
daily bread. Yet one senses a deep desire that life 
shall somehow make sense spiritually, and there is 
much preaching aimed at that. There is a quiet con- 
tinuum of ghostly ministration. It might be argued 
that in a disintegrating society the greatest work the 
church can do is just to go on. 

"\ Remember Danny'' 

Richard L. James, Dallas, Texas 
While visiting in Hampton, Virginia recently, I 
learned of the passing of Daniel Bartlett, for a gen- 
eration, intimately associated with the life of the 
Christian Church of that City. So closely was his life 
connected with all affairs of church life, that it is 
rather difficult to think of the church without re- 
membering him. 


Mr. Bartlett will be remembered for a number of 
thing's in his church. No doubt, many will call to 
mind the picture of a bald-headed, short, plump little 
man shaking hands with every person who attended 
church. He was not a member of the Welcome Com- 
mittee, or the Ushers, but just circulated among the 
brethren seeing that everyone was shown enough 
interest to make small talk for a few minutes. His 
jovial disposition and optimistic outlook were a tonic 
for anyone seeking the refreshment which Christian 
fellowship affords. No one appointed him to do these 
things. He was genuinely interested in the persons 
who came to his church. 

The official life of that church may remember Dan- 
iel Bartlett as the man who served for years (until 
ill health prevented) as the sexton of the church. 
His church was spotlessly clean and the temperature 
was well regulated. Being church sexton was his 
side-line. In addition to this work, he kept the gar- 
dens and shrubs of a number of families. On week- 
days his cleanly laundried overalls were a symbol of 
industry. He lived in a simple, one room house which 
he had built, and rode a bicycle about town. His 
whistling could be heard several blocks away as he 
rode down the streets and served as conversation on 
many occasions when prefaced by the remark, "Here 
comes Danny." 

Danny (he was called by his first name by young 
and old) will be remembered by a number of church- 
goers as the man who loved flowers enough to raise 
hundreds of Cana, Easter and Amarillis lilies for 
the joy of displaying them on the pulpit of his 
church. At Easter his church pulpit was a mass of 
white lilies raised for that specific purpose. At 
Christmas the red Amarillis likewise filled the pulpit 
and overflowed onto the church aisles. My earliest 
remembrance of palm trees was one Danny had 
reared and kept near the marble baptistry in the 



A goodly number of men will remember boyhood 
days' when Danny came on bicycle with a market- 
basket loaded with knick-knacks as remembrance of 
a birthday or other important events. During the 
time it was my good fortune to be in his boy's class, 
Danny never missed a birthday or Christmas with 
his collection of remembrances. His baskets con- 
tained fruit, nuts, candy, a toy, a book, some paper 
and pencils. It seemed that he worked on the prin- 
ciple that if he brought a sufficient variety of things 
there would be something which was certain to be to 
one's liking. 

I remember Danny in all the above mentioned ac- 
tivities, but I remember him most as one of the best 
teachers of young boys I have encountered in church 
life. Before the days when churches made much over 
the idea of visual aids, Danny had his own system of 
visual aids and rewards combined. He kept a siupply 
of colored post card size pictures of nature scenes on 
hand and every Sunday the boys would receive a card 
for being present in his class. Though the cards were 
given as a reward for attendance, there was some 
way in which the lesson for the day was connected 
with the picture. I am quite sure that my partiality 
for red roses has something to do with one of these 
pictures of an American Beauty rose which I re- 
ceived at that time. Since those days there has been 
a wonderful development in the use of a variety of 
visual materials. He certainly would have been happy 
in, using them to their fullest extent in connection 
with his teaching. 

I remember Danny's wholesome attitude toward 
recreation in connection with his class. While some 
I of the teachers of our church considered the task 
ended when church started on Sunday, Danny used 
every opportunity to be with the members of his 
class. I made the "Good Confession" with a group of 


boys of his class as we were sitting together. His pew 
on which ten boys could sit with him was an integral 
part of our church. But that was not the end of his 
interest. Every Sunday afternoon there was a bi- 
cycle hike. On my first hike with the group, I did not 
have a bike of my own, so I rode on an improvised 
seat with him. Later, when I had my own bicycle, 
another boy inherited my place to ride with him. 
There were few places in the county where we did 
not go. In the summer, many of these trips ended up 
at the swimming hole. But we were back at church 
for the evening youth group meeting, for Danny was 
also church sexton and had to be there to open up. 
It is interesting to speculate upon what he could have 
done with a gymnasium and a few other forms of 
equipment. On the other hand, it was not the equip- 
ment so much as the spirit of the man which counted 
for so much with so little. Danny was not an out- 
standing leader of boys. Many thought him rather 
eccentric. However, he loved persons and used the 
gifts with which he had been endowed to their full- 
est extent. 

I remember Danny as being loved by his boys. 
Several of us would take our lunches during the 
school recess period and go to his home to eat with 
him. He lived near the school and his yard came to 
be a gathering place for a few of us each day. When 
he was there we spread our lunches on his table and 
ate with him. When he was away we ate on his door- 
step. He always had a very simple repast, but with 
it would go the reading of some of his favorite poetry. 
He had a sister who was a missionary in China and 
frequently there would be the reading of some epi- 
sode in her life as she had related it to him. His 
actual travels probably ended with the two adjoining 
counties, but his interests were world-wide as evi- 
denced by his eagerness to talk about what his sister 
was doing. 


When Danny had a birthday, the superintendent 
of the church school would always ask him to give a 
recitation before the assembly. It most likely would 
be one of the poems which the boys had heard him 
repeating at the table while they ate together. Some- 
times they knew the poem as well as he. In the years 
when boys learn more through hero worship than 
through logic, the things which Danny loved made 
a great deal of difference upon his pupils. Some of 
us came to an appreciation of God's world thro^ugh 
Danny's cultivation of nature and a love for litera- 
ture through his simple recitation of a famous poem. 

I remember Danny as one who found a use in the 
church for everything he knew how to do. He used 
his "green thumb" to the glory and beauty of his 
church. He used all available resources to interest 
the group of boys entrusted to his teaching. He knew 
that lives were more important than lectures; per- 
sonality more than principles; Christ more than 
creeds, and growth more than grades. I remember 
that he believed that "the Sabbath was made for 
man" and practiced it to the fullest. I remember 
that Danny cared for each individual boy, remember- 
ing each significant event in their lives. I remember 
the eccentricities of the man, too, which remind me 
that none of us are free from peculiarities. 

Danny Bartlett reminds me of what God can do 
through a life which is thoroughly consecrated to His 
will. If God could use Danny to teach the things he 
taught me, how much more could he do with a person 
of greater abilities ! I am sure the key to his life was 
his genuine interest in the persons he met. I remem- 
ber Danny and am grateful that I had him as a 
teacher. Now that he has gone, I sincerely hope the 
present group of boys in his church will have one 
who takes a like interest in them as I remember 
about Danny. 


A Responsible Brotherhood 

W. E. Garrison, University of Chicago 

I am rather shocked by Dr. Blakemore's argument 
(in The Scroll for May) that the Disciples of Christ 
ought to become a "responsible brotherhood" by tak- 
ing on such a structure that they can make a firm 
"response" to all sorts of inquiries as to "where they 
stand" on various subjects. He says he is tired of 
hearing it said that there way of getting an of- 
ficial declaration that all Disciples can be expected 
to back up. Believe me, he might find himself getting 
a good deal more "tired" of being in the position of 
having to underwrite theological views and declara- 
tions of attitude and policy that he does not be- 
lieve in. 

It is very true that the Anglicans, Lutherans and 
others with whom we associate in ecumenical enter- 
prises may be annoyed, and somewhat dismayed, by 
the fact that it cannot be guaranteed that all Dis- 
ciples will stand hitched to any question that may be 
taken by their representatives or affirmed by vote in 
their conventions. Accustomed as they are to de- 
nominational solidarity, they have only the vaguest 
inkling of what it means for a religious body (like 
us) to have complete liberty of opinion and action 
within itself. They have advanced only slightly be- 
yond the stage of recognizing religious liberty as the 
liberty to get out of a church if one does not agree 
with its official pronouncements. That is the sec- 
tarian principle. It is not the road to any sort of 
unity that will not at once be cleft by fresh divisions. 
Any church or "brotherhood" that is inordinately so- 
licitous to let the world know exactly "where it 
stands" on a wide variety of topics, is just another 
sect playing the sectarian game under the old rules — 
or perhaps under the new rules which make possible 


intersectarian good will and cooperation but leave 
every sect a solid unit still standing just where it has 
always stood. 

In his own mind, though not explicitly in his ar- 
ticle — I am sure Dr. Blakemore distinguishes be- 
tween those kinds of things concerning which he 
wants the Disciples to be able to give firm and bind- 
ing responses and those other kinds of things con- 
cerning which he would resent any firm commit- 
ments for the whole brotherhood. He doesn't want a 
creed any more than I do. What he wants, I think, 
is for the brotherhood to be able to form policies for 
action with a reasonable assurance, within itself and 
before the world, that the whole brotherhood will go 
along. That certainly makes sense. There are scores 
of matters of practical procedure in promotional, 
missionary and benevolent activity concerning which 
there are many diverse judgments that had better 
be subordinated to a collective judgment formed by 
some group to which the power of decision has been 

For example : Certain agencies devise a Crusade 
and specify its objectives, and the Convention ap- 
proves it as a whole. Perhaps some of these specified 
objectives do not interest me and some items are 
omitted that I think important. No matter, I say; 
if that is what the brotherhood had decided on, by 
the best consensus it can get, that's what I'm for. So 
it is about a matter like cooperating with the Federal 
Council, or joining the World Council of Churches. 
If the brotherhood is for it, I'm for it. Or if our 
missionary agency decides to carry on work in coun- 
tries A, B, C and D, whereas I think A, C, X and Y 
would be a better choice, I support the agency's pro- 
gram and urge everyone else to do so, on the ground 
that one program strongly supported is better than 
a thousand different ones, even if some one of the 
thousand (mine, of course) might be a wiser plan. 


On things like these, the brotherhood should act as 
a unit. 

But the matters upon which the Disciples are 
asked to make "response" and thus to assume what 
Dr. Blakemore calls "responsibility" in the eyes of 
the Christian world, are not generally of this kind. 
They are theological questions. The Faith and Order 
Commission and its Theological Commission on the 
Church are asking such questions right now. They 
would like to have an "official" statement on the 
Nature of the Church. They would like, also, to have 
the Disciples give an "official" respone to the Report 
of Section I at Amsterdam. This covers a wide range 
of theological issues. Of course they can't get such 
official responses. There are wide theological dif- 
ferences among Disciples. Would we have it other- 
wise? Or do we want to give official status to one 
scheme of theology while allowing others to exist 
under its shadow? To ask such questions is to an- 
swer them. When it comes to telling "where we 
stand" on all these issues, the essence of our position 
is that each of us stands where his judgment bids 
him stand. We stand on that freedom. 

This may be puzzling to our associates in the 
World Council, but they will have to take us on those 
terms or not at all. We can give them descriptive, 
not normative, statements of the positions that are 
most generally held by Disciples of Christ, for we 
have our prevailing currents of opinion as well as 
our simple basic principles. But unless we keep tell- 
ing them — no matter how "tired" we get of saying it 
— that we have no compulsory and official answers 
to all the theological questions they keep raising, we 
shall not be giving them the "response" that they 
most need to hear. For actually, the most acute dan- 
ger that the movement toward a United Church faces 
is the one which is implicit in the effort (especially 
in Faith and Order) to arrive at a doctrinal con- 



sensus to be embodied in a symbol which, like the 
Nicene Creed in its time, will tell the world exactly 
where the whole Church stands on all moot questions 
of theology and ecclesiology. Such a symbol would be 
very neat — but very explosive. 

Philosophy and Process 

William Reese, Drake University 
It has long been a personal conviction, brought 
home to me once again by Willis Parker's excellent 
article — "Philosophy as Process" — that we can have 
Dewey and metaphysics at the same time; indeed, 
that Dewey implies a certain kind of metaphysics 
which takes one beyond his somewhat truncated sys- 
tem. Parker is, I think, right that "process" becomes 
the basic category; but what then is proc- 
ess"? The concept immediately involves the no- 
tions of "quality," "event," "relation," and most im- 
portant, "duration." The importance of duration 
means that the orientation of thought can no longer 
be lashed to a cross-section analysis of reality but 
must be directed to that lengthwise binding which 
involves the past and the future. I mean merely that 
every event involves future and past states as well 
as a present state ; and emphasis on "process" brings 
with it a need to concern oneself with the nature of 
the future and the nature of the past, neither of 
which is now open to observation; in this sense 
Dewey's emphasis raises a metaphysical question. 

To be very unphilosophic let us assert that the ad- 
mission of revelation and of mystic insight as means 
of gaining truth, as well as the positing of immater- 
ial-yet-actual beings, have all been ways of blunting 
the authority of the senses which reveals only a con- 
crete reality. The religious needs led in a former day 
to some formulation of the nature of the world which 
would lend significance to man beyond the observed 


rise and fall of the arc of life, which would preserve 
the value of life beyond its inevitable decay. The 
need is the same now as formerly, yet revelation, 
mystic insight, and immaterial beings have not — in 
the minds of many — answered this need with any 
convincirg view of reality. The scientific view, with- 
in its proper bounds, remains normative. But science 
is concerned with description (how is the world in 
this cross-section of its existence?), and prediction 
(how will it be in its next cross-section?) ; religion is 
concerned, I am convinced, with significance and 
destiny. The striking difference between the two con- 
cerns is that the first, science, emphasizes the cross- 
section analysis, while the second, religion, empha- 
sizes beccming: significance (what can I become?), 
destiny (what will become of me? or more generally, 
what will become of this or that bit of achieved sig- 
nificance?) Science has its ultimate interest in fact; 
religion has its ultimate interest in value. 

If "process" is the modem category of explanation 
it may well be that the concern of religion is not 
antithetical to that of science. If "process" requires 
notions of the nature of the past and future, as well 
as a notion of present actuality, it may be that scien- 
tific description and prediction subsum.e only one of 
the basic notions of process, that of present actuality. 
Even prediction is concerned with some present ac- 
tuality; it is really asking: what will the next ac- 
tuality be like? 

Quite apart from the question of religious need it 
seems inevitable that to explain process adequately 
one must grant (1.) that every actuality has certain 
possibilities relevant to it ; the future is to some ex- 
tent pre-figured by what is possible, this event being 
actual ; thus, a possible and abstract fringe fronts the 
actual world (2.) that every actuality emerges from 
certain antecedents; the present is to some extent 


conditioned by the past, and the past must be deter- 
minate; the past, while not concrete, is eternally 
fixed — the qualitative totality of all that process has 
thus far achieved. Certain of the general premises 
requiring these conclusions include the view that 
process is a movement from the indeterminate to the 
determinate, and that time is not a quantitative suc- 
cession of instants, but is rather a qualitative devel- 
opment. It is not my present purpose to argue this 
view cf process, but only to outline its main features. 

And the view does have some adequacy with re- 
spect to the religious notions of significance and des- 
tiny. It presents a universe open to development; in 
this sense it is "a cosmological theory of promise" ; 
barring sheer coercion any situation contains possi- 
bilities which may lead to greater significance. As to 
destiny, every quality of one's life is preserved as 
part of the determinate achievement of process ; not 
only so, but, if the past aids in conditioning the pres- 
ent, one's life will always be a factor in whatever 
existence emerges in the future, however remote. It 
is one's destiny to be eternal. It will have been ob- 
served that this reasoning has led to a view close to 
that of Whitehead ; the next step would be to suggest 
that the possible is related to the primordial nature 
of God, and the immortality of the past is related to 
the consequent nature of God. 

Rather than take this step suppose that the ques- 
tion be raised whether or not this is an important 
view of one's immortality. It is appropriate to note 
that what constitutes my individuality as distinct 
from yours is not so much bodily differences but 
mental differences; my individuality is made up of 
that cluster of ideas, impressions, loyalties, and be- 
liefs which together signify my self. Individuality is 
largely conceptual and abstract, and renders us 
qualitatively distinct from each other. If now the 
past contains all the qualitative distinctions of the 


actual world I cannot see but what this view makes 
us as immortal as any other proposed in history, as 
well as explicating the common feeling that once the 
arc of life has spent itself we will be subject to eter- 
nal rest. 

Of course, I am not arguing that Dewey would wel- 
come these statements ; but I am insisting that "proc- 
ess" as basic category requires some non-empirical 
judgments; and that these judgments, extending the 
notion of reality beyond the world of sense-experi- 
ence, likewise extend the notion of reality in a man- 
ner capable of affirming certain religious insights 
without the need for contradictory entities and what 
we once knew as "two-story" worlds. 

We Preach Religious Liberty, 
Not Religious Toleration 

By W. B. Blakemore, Chicago, Illinois 
It is religious liberty for which Modem Protes- 
tantism stands, and not religious toleration. The dis- 
tinction between the two should be kept clearly in 
mind. Religious liberty and Religious toleration are 
not synonymous terms, and any Protestant who al- 
lows him to think that they mean the same thing may 
discover, in dispute with some religious author- 
itarian, that his confusion has lost him half the 
battle against religious tyranny. 

During its four hundred years, Protestantism has 
adopted four successive attitudes towards the^exist- 
ence of diversity within Christendom : universal au- 
thoritarianism, national authoritarianism, tolerance, 
and liberty. The first three of "these attitudes rest 
upon authoritarian principles. Universal authoritar- 
ianism was shortlived in Protestantism. It was an 
initial hope, but never a realized one, that the Bible 
might replace pope or council as a universal author- 


ity by being accepted by all Christians in the same 
way. Such an indisputable authority of the 
Bible was never established. By its second 
generation, Protestantism had modified itself into 
a nationalistic authoritarianism. Recognizing the 
inevitability of some religious differences, Europe 
generally tried to adopt the theory that each political 
unit should adopt the religion of its ruler. Within a 
few years however, Protestants were at civil war in 
mary lands in order to see whether the formula could 
be reversed: in other words, to make the ruler sub- 
mit to the religion of his subjects. After a century 
of religious strife. Protestantism recognized that in 
mcst instances the ruler could not enforce his re- 
ligion upon all his subjects, nor could any single re- 
ligious party win a total following in any nation. The 
theory of religious toleration was then invented and 
widely adopted. 

The theory of religious tolerance is based in the 
assertion that only the religion of the party in power 
is true religion; all other religions are erroneous, 
but are tolerated in order to avoid civil strife. This 
toleration is looked upon as a compromise, and in all 
European countries the "sectarians" were placed un- 
der civil disabilities. In many countries of Europe to- 
day, these civil disabilities persist; while they have 
been modified from the harshness of two centuries 
ago, they remain as an irritation, and a sign that for 
most of European Christianity, the ideal situation is 
still considered to be one in which all the people of 
a ration accept the "established religion." The degree 
of establishment differs from country to country, 
and in most instances is now not more than a recog- 
nition of one particular church as the "state church." 
Eveoi in such circumstances, the inferiority of other 
religious groups within that nation is maintained in 
countless ways as they come into relation with the 


The theory of religious toleration is a modifica- 
tion, for expeditious political reasons within the 
framework of a fundamental authoritarianism. 
From this standpoint, the free inquiry of the indi- 
vidual soul for God is an evil, tolerated only on be- 
half of civil peace. The theory was worked out in 
the seventeenth century, and John Locke was one of 
its formulators. Locke argued that it was impossible 
anyway to convert a man against his will, and that 
the state had best look upon the "sects" as tolerable 
voluntary associations. While Locke would have been 
more tolerant toward sectarians than the British gov- 
ernment of his own day chose to be, he would none 
the less have argued for some restrictions in the 
religious area. John Locke had not moved on to the 
fourth position which Protestantism later discov- 
ered, and which has been largely an American con- 
tribution to religious thought and practice. Locke, 
in this area, was still essentially a medievalist. He 
was not arguing for the right of the individual soul 
to seek after God according to its own lights, but for 
a particular way of maintaining the peace when both 
true and false religion existed in the same nation. 

When American colonial life began, the colonies 
rapidly recapitulated the religious experience of 
Europe and in various forms, for brief times, adopt- 
ed both regional authoritarianism and toleratiDh, 
But the idea of religious liberty was establishing it- 
self, and became the accepted point of view by the 
time of the enactment of the Federal Constitution. 
While it has been the dominant point of view in 
American Protestantism, it has not yet become the 
dominant point of view in European Christianity, 
nor in some American denominations with strong 
European traditions. 

The doctrine of religious liberty does not rest upon 
the right of the state to grant religious freedom. It 
rests upon an inalienable individual right to religious 


freedom. This right the state dare not transgress be- 
cause it has been granted to the individual by God. 
The theory of religious toleration implies that the 
state may grant or remove religious freedom as it 
sees fit. The doctrine of religious liberty is that the 
state dare not remove religious freedom and that 
therefore, in this area, it has nothing to grant. In 
terms of the theory of religious toleration, the indi- 
vidual should not be free to seek his God ; he should 
submit to the religious "authorities" as defined by 
those who grant toleration. Since he will not sub- 
mit, he is tolerated rather than attacked. From this 
pcint of view, individual religious quests are tol- 
erated only to preserve peace. From the standpoint 
of religious liberty, individual religious quests are 
of fundamental religious value. From the standpoint 
of authoritarianism, toleration is granted pro tem- 
poy^e and is rightfully subject to revocation by the 
state. From the standpoint of modern Protestantism, 
religious liberty is an eternal as well as a universal 
right with respect to which the state has no jurisdic- 
tion whatsoever. Religious freedom is one of the 
four or five fundamental freedoms which no state 
dare transgress, but which it must guarantee. 

The modern Protestant must keep squarely in 
mind that the religious liberty for which he fights 
rests in the positive ground of the inalienable com- 
petency of the human soul to discover the salvation 
of God. The religious toleration which is granted by 
some, rests in the negative ground that it is political- 
ly expedient for the time being to be tolerant, but it 
would be better if it were not necessary. 

Unfortunately, the Protestant mind is so impre- 
cise that all too often the man who truly believes in 
religious liberty allows himself to be defined as one 
who believes in toleration only. For instance, in the 
area of race relations, there is a vast difference be- 
tween racial tolerance and racial brotherhood. Racial 


toleration implies that all races except one's own are 
i inferior and are tolerated only because they are in 
our midst. A further implication is that racial homo- 
geneity would be much more satisfactory for the 
world. Racial brotherhood, on the other hand, recog- 
nizes the equality of all races before God the Father 
of Mankind, believes that in the divine process racial 
variety has some positive value, and welcomes all 
races as brothers in the total community of man- 

In the religious area, it is unfortunate that by 
confusing tolerance and liberty, Protestants often 
leave themselves open to a devastating attack by 
Reman Catholics and other authoritarians. Upon 
">iore than one occasion, I have seen Protestants be- 
fuddled by the Roman way of arguing in this area. 
The Roman Catholic begins with the major premise 
that Protestants believe in religious toleration. He 
then proceeds to demonstrate that tolerance is an 
unideal and ulimately untenable position. He will 
point out that there are all sorts of conditions and 
practices in life that are evil and therefore intoler- 
able. Tolerance, he insists, can never be a funda- 
mental point of view. Therefore, he will wind up, 
the religious toleration which Protestants esteem is 
very shaky ground. The Protestant is often im- 
pressed by the firmness of the Catholic, and by the 
^.oral discrimination which seems to accompany his 
assertion that in the long run he must be intolerant. 
The Protestant is not usually won to the particular 
authoritarianism that the Roman represents, but he 
begins to feel a deep yearning for some authoritarian 
ground of his own. In other words, the Roman has 
sapped his morale for fighting for another man's 
religious freedom and set him thirsting instead for 
some authority to bolster himself. 

What the Protestant should have done was to 
agree with everything that the Roman has said about 

the limitations of tolerance as a fundamental atti- 
tude in life. But he should have stopped the Roman 
Catholic at the major premise and insisted that the 
Protestant position is not that of religious toleration 
but of religious liberty. The argument must then 
shift its ground from a consideration of the nature of 
toleration to a consideration of the Roman's author- 
itarian stand versus the Protestant assertion of the 
competency of the individual soul. The issue then 
becomes one of whether the Roman church, or any 
other organization or group of men can rightfully 
make their arrogant claims to possession of the en- 
tire religious truth, or whether we mortals must in 
all humility, persist beyond what we now know, each 
one of us, in the serious work of personal responsibil- 
ity for our religious thinking. 

Toleration and religious liberty are two entirely 
different conceptions. As Williard Sperry points out 
in the preface to J. B. Pratt's Eternal Values in Re- 
ligion (p. vi) „ "the whole idea of tolerance presup- 
poses authoritarian premises." It denies the indi- 
vidual's right to his own religious quest. Liberty as- 
serts that the questing of man for God is a funda- 
mental religious value, and for that we stand and 

Mr. Benjamin F. Burns was installed as minister 
of the Austin Boulevard Christian Church on Sep- 
tember 10, 1950. We welcome him also as the new 
bright hope of The Scroll, for he was elected Treas- 
urer of the Institute at the July meeting. His first 
gesture in this office is both a prophecy and a re- 
minder that all members owe dues as of this date, 
since the new fiscal year began July 1. He says: 

Your dollars, I mean. 

Must now start to roll 

To pay for The Scroll 

Or the last of it you have seen. 

E. S. A. 



The Campbell Institute at the 
International Convention 

W. B. Blakemore, Secretary 
Four midnight sessions of the Campbell Institute 
were held during the International Convention at 
Oklahoma City. The sessions were very well housed 
in the Hall of Mirrors within the Convention Audi- 
torium building. Unfortunately the length of the 
evening sessions of the Convention prevented an 
early convening of the midnight sessions, which 
for the formal discussions had to be reduced to 
about one hour. On the opening night of the Con- 
vention, Tuesday, October 10, T. T. Swearingen of 
Kansas City presented a plan for reorganization 
of the brotherhood. The essence of the plan was a 
simplification of structure with respect to the inte- 
gration of state and national work allowing for the 
autonomy of the various levels of local, state and 
national work. The paper was well received and 
written up at some length in the Daily Christian 
Evangelist. There was very great interest shown 
in the Wednesday evening session dealing with Euro- 
pean and Ecumenical Christianity in 1950. Reports 
were brought to this session by W. E. Garrison, 
Chicago, A. T. DeGroot, Fort Worth, Perry J. 
Gresham, Detroit, and Robert Tobias, Geneva, 
Switzerland. The Thursday evening session was a 
panel on the Chaplaincy lead by Ben F. Burns, Oak 
Park, 111. Participants included Fred Heifer of 
Baltimore, Roy Hulan, Hopkinsville, Ky., Theodore 
Leen, Indianapolis, and J. W. Lineback, Washing- 
ton, D. C. It was a most valuable session in clarify- 
ing the procedures for ministerial students and men 


in the active ministry relative to the chaplaincy. 
The closing session was held on Friday evening. 
After his major address in the Convention session, 
Ihr. Luther Wesley Smith, Chief Executive of the 
American Baptist Board of Publication and Edu- 
cation carried on a discussion period. The Ameri- 
can Baptist Board has in the past fourteen years 
developed an aggressive program with respect to 
Foundations, Colleges and Seminaries. Some of the 
features of that program are especially important 
for the Disciples of Christ. A fundamental distinc- 
tion between these two brotherhoods and their pres- 
ent attitude to higher education is that whereas 
the Disciples still tend to feel that initiative and 
responsibility for the schools should lie with those 
institutions, among the Baptists concern for their 
schools has come to be recognized as a fundamental 
responsibility of the churches and church members. 
The work of the Baptist Board is concerned not 
only to elevate the level of training of the ministry, 
but also to lift the general educational level of the 
Baptist brotherhood as a whole. The chief feature 
of this effort is an attempt to make higher educa- 
tion available to increasing numbers of young peo^ 

A Strategy for the Disciples 

(Excerpts from the Presidential Address of Richard 
M. Pope, at the Anrnuil Meeting of the 
Campbell Institute in July, 1950) 
Democratic churches, like democratic nations, are 
sorely tempted to rock along from year to year with- 
out any long range plans that might energize their 
forces and give direction to their struggles. But 
I am convinced that once a democratic people are 
aroused to danger, they can out-smart, out-plan, and 


out-fight any kind of hierarchical organization in 
which a few do the thinking for the many. The 
collective intelligence of a people is greater than that 
of any small group of individuals, no matter how 
select. What I mean is that the free churches in 
general, and our selves in particular, should formu- 
late a general strategy, — not too complicated or in- 
tricate, but simple and clearly stated, which every 
loyal church-member can, understand and work for. 
I propose a kind of strategy that would include 
ecumenical and missionary concerns but a great deal 
more besides. I propose for the Disciples of Christ, 
as their goal for the foreseeable future, a classless 

To some, the idea of a class-less church as a goal 
may seem offensive. It may smack too much of 
Marxist dialectic for their taste. There are others 
who would deny that we have classes in this coun- 
try. But if, for instance, we were to describe the 
typical Disciple layman, what would we say? Would 
we describe him as a factory-worker of Slavic an- 
cestry who likes beer and baseball and big fami- 
lies? Or would we say that he is a graduate of 
one of our great universities in the East, who reads 
Fortune, the New Yorker, and the WaU Street 
Journal, and dresses in tweeds and button-down 
collars? Is he a share-cropper with 2 or 3 years 
of schooling in a one-room country school, who 
chews tobacco, and wears overalls? Or would we 
describe him as, say, a small-town druggist who 
grew up on a farm in Indiana, finished high school, 
has two children, belongs to the American Legion 
and the Lions Club, plays the trumpet in the town 
band, and is proud of his bird dogs ? In recent years 
he has made a lot of money. He wants a preacher 
who is a good mixer, dresses neatly, who is safe, 
middle-of-the-road, a good worker with the young 


folks, and who will raise the social prestige of 
his church — ^but not too high, and who is withal 
religious, — ^but not too religious. Maybe I am not 
describing the typical Disciple. Certain it is that 
much can be said in his defense. I think I under- 
stand him. I am even proud of him. He is the 
backbone of our society. But the good society has 
to have more than a backbone. It needs flesh and 
blood, brains and sinew, hands and feet. And the 
Apostle Paul says that the true church has to have 
all kinds of people in it, people with a diversity 
of gifts, — it is like the human body, and has many 
parts, all of which are essential. 

When one can walk into a Disciples church, and 
not be surprised to hear the minister read the 
Scriptures with an Italian accent, or to see at the 
Communion table a banker offer the thanks for 
the loaf, and a labor-leader give thanks for the 
cup, and to note mechanics and lawyers, physicians 
and carpenters, among the deacons, then we may 
truly realize that we are no denomination, but a 
Brotherhood. For the ecumenical church is one 
where all kinds and conditions of men can learn 
to understand one another more perfectly. 

But as a matter of fact, that group of Christians 
known as the Disciples of Christ are rather com- 
pletely confined to Middle-class, Middle-western 
folk of rural background, with their racial antece- 
dents in northern Europe. 

I know of course that the ideal class-less church, 
where there is no respect of persons, where men 
of all races and conditions may be brought together 
in a deep and abiding fellowship can never be real- 
ized this side of heaven, where we are told that 
they shall gather from the East and the West to sit 
down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But an 
ideal is not something to reach, but to work towards. 
And if we could keep this strategy before us, we 


could make substantial progress. With the right 
kind of leadership, and over a period of years, 
some churches in our Brotherhood have already 
realized, to a remarkable extent, the ideal of a 
class-less church. 

Now if we were seriously to try, as a people, 
to follow this strategy in the future, it would 
mean specifically that we cultivate a deliberate 
concern for the laboring class, for the men and 
women who work with their hands in field and facto- 
ry. One can easily get the impression today that 
the average Disciple church has for its working 
strategy the ideal of becoming as thoroughly re- 
spectable and middle-class as possible. If this be 
so, then the strategy of working towards a class- 
less church would involve a fundamental re-orienta- 
tion in our life and work. Like the old time con- 
version experience, whereas we are all going in 
one direction now, we must turn and go in another. 
I do not mean that we should repudiate people of 
wealth and culture. But we already have the desire 
to climl) in that direction, almost every preacher, 
teacher, and layman has that in his bones. Without 
losing our desire to save the souls of rich suburban- 
ites, we ought to keep our eye on. the main chance, 
the winning of the masses. If what nice people be- 
lieve is religion, and religion is what nice people be- 
lieve, it is as in Whitehead's description of the 
Book of Proverbs, religion at low temperature. It 
is not the kind of religion that is likely to save 

We were once a people of little education whose 
main strength was rural. We still have a saving 
remnant of farm people in our membership. This 
element in our common life must be kept and 
strengthened, as they provide a prime source of 
renewal, both biologically and spiritually. Our 


urban churches, year after year, receive trans- 
fusions from this rural membership. But the great 
tragedy of the Disciples in the twentieth century 
is the way in which they have neglected their rural 
constituency, on the one hand, and have dismally 
failed, on the other, to reach in any effective way 
the city proletariat. The basic reason and the blunt 
truth is that we haven't really cared to include such 
people in our fellowship. The great half-pagan 
mass of people that makes up a kind of proletariat 
in our culture, and our neglected rural constitu- 
ency, can be reached and made a part of our life. 
But the initiative must come from us, not them. 
There are many concrete things that we might do 
towards the realization of this strategy, and I 
would like to sketch a few specific suggestions. 

First, we will need Christian colleges that are 
more democratic. Harvard has embarked upon an 
endowment program that will enable them to bring 
to their campus a cross-section of American youth. 
President Conant visualizes the American universi- 
ty campus as a place where boys from all levels of 
American society may work, study and play togeth- 
er. The campus would then be a melting pot, where 
ability, regardless of background, could come into 
its own. It is a noble vision. To accomplish this 
our colleges generally, and especially our Christian 
colleges will have to be less concerned about social 
prestige, and more about social justice. Even more, 
our churches will have to decide whether or not 
they really want Christian colleges, whether they 
will be willing to financially support a scholarship 
endowment program that will enable them to give 
the poor boy or girl an even break with youngsters 
from well-to-do homes. It should be plain that if 
our churches do not support our colleges they virtu- 
ally force them to turn more and more to the middle 



and upper classes for students and for money, thus 
making the Christian college in America the 
creature of wealth, privilege, and reaction. When 
this happens, we should not be surprised if the 
non-accredited Bible college begins to produce more 
preachers than our accredited colleges. 

Again our Seminaries must do everything in their 
power to enlist students Vho will devote their 
ministry to the rural or industrial church, and will 
catch the vision of a class-less church. It is hard 
to exaggerate either the difficulty or the importance 
of the Seminaries in this strategy. The problem 
is how to raise the educational standards of our 
ministry, yet have a ministry that is not snobbish 
and will endeavor to reach the working man. Poor- 
ly educated men normally reach only poorly edu- 
cated people. Only the well educated man is able 
to reach both the ignorant and the learned. But 
all too often his education has robbed him of "the 
common touch." But it does not have to be this way. 
Much depends upon the attitudes of the faculty in 
our Seminaries and Colleges. If they can sincerely 
honor and exalt, not the "big preachers" of the 
"big churches," or the great scholars, so much as 
the man or woman who can build churches that 
are centers of reconciliation in their communities, 
or who have been outstanding in rural or industrial 
pastorates, they will do well. This is not as vision- 
ary as it seems. It is a truism that youth responds 
to challenge. And the best youth often respond to 
the most difficult kind of challenge. 

Another area in which we might combat the ex- 
cessive veneration of bigness and wealth that af- 
flicts us all is in our district, state, and national 
conventions. Without going into detail, as it is not 
in the province of this paper, it seems to me that 
a delegate convention, on district, state, and nation- 


al levels — ^the delegates made up of the pastor and 
one lay delegate from each church, might help 
to restore balance in our councils, and make the 
smaller, and poorer elements feel their importance. 
It would force the big church and the wealthy 
church to court the favor of their smaller, poorer 
brethren, instead of that condescending concern 
that sometimes characterizes their relations. 

Even more important, if we would work toward 
the ideal of a classless church, necessity is laid 
upon us to avoid a break with the Independent or 
Conservative brethren among us, in every honor- 
able way open to us. My experience has not been 
extensive, but it has been intensive at times, and 
I think I know how provincial, arrogant and dog- 
matic such a group can be. But they are our peo- 
ple. Some of them are our kith and kin. Some of 
our best leadership of today has come out of this 
kind of background, and no doubt this will be a 
continuing phenomenon, if we can prevent another 
split. It must be recognized that some of the lead- 
ers of the "Independents" are genuine fanatics, and 
as such will always be dangerous to the peace and 
unity of the church. But I cannot believe that they 
represent more than a minority of a minority. 
And if as a whole this group may be characterized 
as having zeal without knowledge, it could with 
equal truth be said that the liberal, codperative 
wing of our Brotherhood is tainted with a kind of 
conventional respectability that has no depth. And 
much of the tension, between the liberal and con- 
servative in religion is more social than theologi- 
cal. If we could solve the social problem we could 
also solve much of the theological as well. Our in- 
dependent churches, generally speaking, repi'esent 
that segment of our Communion that is closest to 
the man in shirt sleeves and overalls. We must 


not allow ourselves to become hopelessly divided 
from them. We need each other. We belong to 
each other. I do not think that division is inevita- 
ble, and at the risk of being labeled foolish, or 
worse, I would propose that the Campbell Institute 
play some part in a new attempt to understand and 
appreciate the Independent point of view. 

There is one thing further, it occurs to me, that 
we can do in working towards a class-less church, 
and that is to create a unified Board of Education, 
perhaps located at St. Louis where it could work 
side by side with the Christian Board of Poibli- 
cation, and would plan a teaching and editorial 
service that would serve every age group from the 
cradle to the grave. A unified and coordinated Board 
of Education could be a powerful force in carrying 
out a strategy such as we have outlined in this 
paper. A strong adult education program might be 
especially significant in this respect. . . . A properly 
led adult education program might become just as 
important, if not more important, than worship, 
as a means of breaking down barriers and creat- 
ing fellowship and understanding among the people 
of a congregation. The Southern Baptists, who 
seem very successful in creating a loyalty to their 
church that transcends class lines, seem to have a 
very effective Sunday evening educational program 
in their Baptist Training Union. It can be done. 

In conclusion, then, I say again that our major 
strategy in the last half of this century should be 
to press towards the ideal of a class-less church, 
and that in particular this will demand a new ap- 
preciation of and concern for, the working class. 
Over the long haul, in terms of centuries, the future 
belongs with those who win and serve the com- 
mon people. But for us it should be more than 
a matter of human strategy. It should be a matter 
of simple obedience to our Lord and Master. 


What Do Bible Quizzes Reveal? 

W. M. Forrest, Cuckoo, Virginia, i 

In a recent article in the Christian Century , 
(September 13, 1950) Professor R. Frederick West,| 
recently appointed to the faculty of Atlantic] 
Christian College, Wilson, North Carolina, dis-i 
cusses some findings in a test of the biblical knowl-^ 
edge of college students. When such tests began to j 
be made in schools may not be definitely known. | 
They were certainly frequent and widely published: 
before this century began when I first noticed' 
them. They have always followed definite patterns,; 
and exposed ignorance, and led to common con- 

Usually they have consisted in questions sprung! 
upon groups of students fairly representative ofi 
our colleges, both Church supported, or State main- 
tained. Such students, male and female, might be, 
classed anywhere from freshmen to seniors, from; 
average homes of Jewish, Catholic, and Protestant 
affiliation. They were not at the time in college 
classes in the Bible or religion, unless as beginners. \ 
The tests called for identification of individuals 
prominent in Scripture such as kings, priests,; 
prophets, apostles, or for telling where persons,: 
places, and bodies of teaching are to be found in' 
the Bible. Also the names and numbers of biblical 
books, or groups of books, and their dates and 
authorship might be requested, as well as certain ^ 
facts in the history of the making of our English i 
versions. Quite popular was the giving of quo- 
tations from great authors containing biblical al-i 
lusions and asking the student to identify them. A i 
few pupils made high scores, some revealed a ; 
little knowledge, nearly all displayed general ig- : 


As reported by Mr. West the test he cites con- 
formed to the standard pattern except for the ap- 
parent omission of identification of allusions. The 
results also followed the usual groove. He reports 
in detail on a group of eighty-three students, but 
records some general conclusions drawn from ex- 
amining nearly 2000 students over a period of years 
in both church and non-church colleges. Summariz- 
ing the questions and the results, and attempting 
a classification, the following may be noted: Lo- 
cation of persons or teaching. Seventy-two could 
not name one book giving the Ten Commandments. 
Not one of the 83 could name two books giving 
the Commandments. No book recording "The Fall 
of Man" could be indicated by 56. The Beatitudes 
were assigned to the Old Testament by 34 and 
credited to Paul by 23. 

Facts of biblical history. Only nine could name 
as many as three kings of Israel; some guessed 
Abraham and Herod. Only a few could name one 
prophet but many listed David and Solomon. The 
"so-called forerunner of Jesus" could not be named 
by 53, but both Moses and Buddha were listed. 

Lack of information on the history of the make- 
up of the Bible. Seventy were unable to give the 
number of the books. Only two knew the mean- 
ing of the words Bible, and Testament, and Apocry- 
pha, although 55 knew the Koran was the Moham- 
medan Bible. Tyndale's version was assigned to 
600 B. C. and Wyclif's to 800 B.C. 

The ignorance revealed about the book, general- 
ly conceded to be the chief foundation stone in our 
democracy, and the primary source of the Hebrew- 
Christian heritage, so potent in western civilization, 
shows a serious fault in our educational system, 
both private and public, both Roman Catholic and 
Protestant. But certain observations need to be 
noted. First, it should be kept in mind that much 


of the information sought in such tests is related 
to rather unimportant facts. One might know the 
correct answers to all those questions arid remain 
abysmally ignorant of the essential spiritual value 
of the Bible. They belong mostly to the things that 
can be learned by rote in early childhood and 
catechetically repeated for years without the small- 
est influence upon character and conduct. "Who 
was the first man?" "Who killed his brother?" "Who 
was the oldest man?" "Who was the wisest man?" 
"Who were cast into the burning, fiery, furnace?" 
My grandmother learned from her mother long 
lists like this. Someone may feel embarrassed by 
missing the answers to such questions. The same 
might be the case regarding the characters in 
Mother Goose and Alice in Wonderland. 

It is obviously not of the highest importance to 
know the location in the Bible of the Ten Command- 
ments, the Beatitudes, or the Lord's Prayer. Their 
meaning is vastly more important than even a 
knowledge of who was their author, while the thing 
of supreme importance is to^relate one's life to them. 
Nor should it be forgotten that a spirit of reverent 
inquiry is essential to any worthwhile knowledge of 
the Scriptures. There may be an amazing ability to 
quote the Bible accurately as the absolute word of 
God "from cover to cover" with a bondage to the 
letter that will kill the spirit. To find the Ten 
Commandments in Exodus and Deuteronomy is in- 
teresting, to be able to quote them accurately is 
to possess a handy bit of information. The first 
commandment, however, can be best kept when 
recognizing that the God and Father of our Lord 
Jesus Christ cannot be the jealous God who visits 
the iniquity of the fathers upon their children to 
the third and fourth generation, and commanded 
the slaughter of the Canaanites, men, women, and 


children. Finding the Lord's Prayer in Luke as well 
as in Matthew, and also finding in both the Sermon 
on the Mount might be a thrilling experience for 
an earnest student. Who so largely expanded the 
latter by collecting the many things in Matthew that 
Luke has either left scattered or did not record at 
all? Which of the settings of the prayer is the cor- 
rect one? How did it pass from Luke's laconic form 
to the liturgical version in Matthew? Moreover, 
comparing the common text of it with the accurate 
modern forms, who added to Matthew's version 
the stately doxology ? And who put the second "ever" 
in the doxology after that earlier addition. These 
are not merely academic questions, since it is by a 
recognition of such developmenits that the true 
nature of the Bible may be realized and escape may 
be found from the letter that kills. 

Secondly, to the extent that the ignorance dis- 
closed by the examinations is deplorable, where is 
the blame to be placed? The college professors blame 
the primary and secondary schools. Obviously most 
of the factual knowledge demanded should be ac- 
quired in. childhood where learning by rote is both 
easy and lasting. There is little of such drilling 
today even in the homes that are rated Christian. 
But a high percentage of students quizzed are al- 
ways like the eighty-three of whom only three dis- 
claimed church and Sunday school relations. Sixty- 
eight of them were from Protestant homes. Through 
the half-century, and more, that such tests as this 
have been freqoient an impressive improvement 
in Sunday schools has been claimed. Physical equip- 
ment, literature, graded classes, prepared teach- 
ers, are common at vast expense. Yet so far as 
recent tests show the biblical knowledge is at a 
lower ebb than it was fifty years ago. 

Furthermore, in many States the Bible has been 
systematically taught to all public school children 


whose parents have not objected to released time or 
after-school classes for that purpose. For example 
the present writer was able to get the approval of 
the Virginia Board of Education for such courses 
and they were accredited towards high school 
graduation. After preparing the courses they were 
taught once a week by accredited teachers, and 
standard examinations were given which were sent 
me for grading. From 1916 to 1939 when I retired 
thousands of such papers were graded and the 
great majority of the pupils passed. That story 
has been repeated in many States. Today it is being 
continued, frequently under the auspices of the 
Council of Churches, beginning in primary schools. 
Where are all those young people when, examina- 
tions are set to test their scriptural knowledge 
while in college? Has it all faded out? Or are the 
tests so remote from valuable knowledge of the 
Bible that the teaching has not touched it? 

During the same half century Bible Chairs and 
Departments of Religion have multiplied in State 
supported colleges, or as extra-curricular schools 
adjacent to the colleges for the benefit of the stu- 
dents. Hundreds and thousands of young men and 
women have taken such courses. Could they pass 
the quizzes? Perhaps the professors of Bib. Lit. 
heed the scriptural injunction to "be wise as ser- 
pents." The tests are made before their students 
take their courses. What would be the result if 
the test given the eighty-three were suddenly pre- 
sented to a like number who had passed the col- 
lege courses after they had been out of college 
as long as the eighty-three had been out of school? 
That might prove embarrassing to professors as 
well as students. Personally I am not sure that 
my former students over a period of thirty-six years 
teaching at the University of Virginia, although 


included in the number there are eminent teachers 
and bishops, could pass such an examination with 
flying colors, when confronted by it without previ- 
ous notice or a refresher course. 

One such student when met a few years ago 
assured me he remembered very well at least one 
thing I said in a class lecture. Asked hopefully 
what it was, it proved to be the story of what 
happened many years before when I was a student 
in J. W. McGarvey's Old Testament course. The 
lesson dealt with Jehui, the furious driver in Israel's 
history. To impress the student with the way bibli- 
cal allusions get into general usage the professor 
asked what he would say if he saw a modern furi- 
ous driver. The young man hesitated and was urged 
to say, whereupon the boy responded, "I'd say he 
was driving like the devil." Well, I had never for- 
gotten it, and my student was sure he never would. 

There remains now the inquiry of why after a 
half century of Bible teaching in Sunday schools, 
public schools from primary to university, church 
schools and colleges, tests of students put them 
down as illiterates in biblical lore? Would that be 
true if students of literature, history, science, phil- 
osophy, were confronted with similar tests in those 
disciplines? Take a high school graduate who had 
a course in American history and studied it no 
more until as a junior in college he was suddenly 
confronted with an examination full of mostly in- 
consequential details. Or take aj professor and 
examine him on a course taken years earlier but 
alien to his specialty. Or take me and ask me to 
name and give the dates of the kings of Israel 
and Judah, even though it was in my specialty. 
Even people preparing quizzes may make slips. 
Note the question, "Which book gives the fruits of 
the Spirit?" A correct answer is, "No book of the 
Bible." Paul in Galatians says, ". . . the fruit of 


the Spirit is love, joy, peace," etc. Just as the fruit 
of an orange tree is round, yellow, fragrant, juicy, 
etc. That does not prove the professor is a biblical 
illiterate. Nor did it prove anything of the kind 
when an old gentleman who said he loved the 
Psalms and had read and reread them all many 
times was asked by a brash- young preacher whether 
he had read the third verse of Psalm 117, and an- 
swered yes. Many a person who has not "the root 
of the matter" in him may by catch questions con- 
fuse profound biblical scholars. 

The world is now in a state where the important 
truths of the Bible are desperately needed for the 
guidance of individuals and nations. Whether the 
Bible has 66 books, whether Christ coined the sec- 
ond great commandment, whether Genesis is the 
first book and Revelation the last, are matters of 
fact that can be determined in a few minutes by 
looking into the book. After all, there have been 
times when those who knew most about the Bible 
and taught it with the utmost zeal got little out of 
it for themselves or the world. The Jewish scribes 
would have been wonders at passing examinations 
on the number of its books, on the location of 
commandments, and even on the numbers of A's of 
their alphabet, and every other letter, it contained ,* 
on its longest and shortest, and middle book, the 
middle passage and even the middle letter in the 
Law, the Prophets, and the Other Writings, as 
well as of the whole collection. But they killed the 
prophets to whom they afterwards built monu- 
ments. When suddenly their long sought Lord and 
Messiah appeared among them they knew him not. 
The law which was their chief study and delight 
left them among the woeful who were so intent 
on tithing mint, and dill, and cummin that for the 
weightier matters of the law, justice and mercy 


and faith, they had no time, straining out gnats 
and swallowing camels, full of extortion and 

It is not too much to believe and hope that the 
thousands of Bible teachers and the myriads of 
their students today are doing better. Madhouse 
though the world may be, there are in it more 
people struggling with deep yearning towards the 
good life envisioned in- what the Bible means by 
the kingdom, or rule of God, than ever before 
in human history. 

Mr. West in the closing part of his article con- 
codes that modern students show a deep interest 
in religion and the responsibilities it puts upon 
man, He fully and ably recognizes the kind of Bible 
study and Christian living the age demands. The 
world is athrob with passionate hunger and longing 
for brotherhood and freedom. The truth that makes 
men free must be slowly learned, here a little and 
there a little, and slowly built into character. He 
who succeeds at teaching it and learning it may, 
or may not, be a marvel at passing biblical exami- 
nations. But if he has learned to do justly, to love 
mercy, and to walk humbly with God, he may be 
as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. 

The Saga of St. Paul 

W. J. Lhamon, Columbia, Mo. 
The conversion of St. Paul was a turning point 
in our human history. It was the capture of an 
enemy, and the winning of an advocate; it vras 
the turning of an imperial mind and will from a 
career of destruction to a majestic work of salva- 
tion. As Saul of Tarsus he had been a legalistic 
Pharisee ; as Paul the apostle he became a Christian 
saint. Among the creators of our human history 
Paul ranks highest with one exception — our Savior. 


His reach was a westward one, and its waves swept 
down through the centuries till they came across 
the Atlantic with the Pilgrims in their Mayflower, 
and with the Puritans as they sang a solace to 
their souls in the refrain, "Fairwell dear England." 
As an author Paul was creative and revolution- 
ary. He wrote half of the New Testament, which 
means for us — and for the human race — a new 
Bible. In his creative work he abandoned Judaism, 
raceism, traditionalism, and Old Testament legalism. 
Over against all this he cried, "For me to live is 
Christ ; to die is gain." Circumcision was the crucial 
test. It was a proud race distinction reaching back 
through unaccounted centuries. As the Apostle to 
the gentiles can Paul stand that test? Hear him! 
"In Christ neither circumcision nor un-cir- 
cumcision avails anything, but faith working 
through love." (Galatians Ch. 5). His flight from 
Mosaic legalism into Christo-centric freedom is 
summed up in one grand climax — a rapturous shout! 
For as many of you as have been baptized into 
Christ have put on Cl^rist. There is neither Jew 
nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there 
is neither male nor female, for ye are all one in 
Christ Jesus." 

To repeat — Paul wrote half of the New Testa- 
ment. His books cover his life and activities in 
a biographical way, disclosing that a chain of 
churches marked his pathway througjh Galatia, 
western Anatolia, and far off Macedonia; thence 
southward into Thessalonica, Berea, and Corinth. 
A partial list of these churches reads as follows: 
Iconium, Ahtioch, Lystra, Derbe, Thessalonica, 
Berea, and Corinth. Thus he was "a patient and 
singularly efficient builder of churches." As a 
pastor he preached a year and six months in Cor- 
inth. In Ephesus he was driven from the syna- 


I gogue. After three months he rented the hall of 
Tyranus, and continued "arguing daily" for two 
years, "so that all the residents of Asia heard the 
word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks." (Acts 
19-10). By this act Paul "stepped out of the syna- 
gogue into the world." 

A portion of Paul's evenings were spent at the 
loom earning his bread — perhaps accompanied by 
Aquila and Priscilla. But he found time to go 
from house to house visiting the sad and the sick, 
and such as were in need of spiritual comfort. In 
his pastorate "a great door, open and effectual was 
granted to him," as he afterward said of his work 
in Corinth. The list of his converts was large; 
many of them were Jews, but there were also 
gentiles. Never had he found so great an oppor- 
tunity; but he had to say, "there are many adversa- 
ries." He was destined to travel a hard road, but 
no complaint shadowed his triumphant soul. 

Paul abandoned the whole' system of Old Testa- 
ment sacramentalism, and that was a death blow 
to priestcraft, the craft that had made the high 
priests Annas and Caiaphas the millionaires of that 
day. No more peculation in doves and pigeons, 
rams, lambs, and bullocks. It was by this system 
that sins were atoned for — or carried away — dumb 
animals bearing the burden of human sins. But 
for Paul no more of this. On the contrary he cried. 
"We are justified by faith; we have peace with 
God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 6-5). 
This is a fundamental teaching with, Paul. He con- 
trasts it with the law, and comes back to it again 
and again. For him no more atonement by sprin- 
kling with the ashes of a red cow; no more salva- 
tion by blessing and killing two goats — a work of 
pure priestly invention. For him no more of the 
great altar in Jerusalem with its four fires smoking 


continually with the burning bodies of rams, lambs, 
and bullocks, plus a gallon of "fine flour as a meat 
offering." For him, "the faith that works through 

From the day of his conversion till his death Paul 
was an enraptured soul. The word rapture comes 
from the Greek, and its first meaning is to sow — 
to be stitched together — made fast, tied, devoted. 
It was thus that Paul was tied to his objective; and 
this objective was, "to know nothing but Christ, and 
him crucified." (First Cor. 2-2) The enraptured 
soul enjoys one feature of liberty, and is under one 
feature of restraint. As to consistency he has wide 
liberty, while as to restraint he must reach his 
objective. Paul was an impassioned orator: his 
thoughts rushed for expression with such rapture 
that Festus mistook him for a mad man, and cried 
out, "Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning 
has made thee mad." Paul's answer was quick and 
sure. "I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak 
the words of truth and soberness." And then a 
daring, rapturous appeal to the Roman ruler who 
at that moment was Agrippa. "King Agrippa, be- 
lievest thou the Prophets? I know that thou be- 
lievest." But Agrippa treated this appeal with his 
accustomed cynicism. "In short you exp«;t to make 
me a Christian!" But Paul undaunted, in the in- 
trepidity of his rapturous faith came back with a 
prayer. "I would to God that not only youi but also 
all who hear me this day were not only almost but 
altogether such as I am except these bonds." 

Paul's rapture appears in various ways, in his 
joy, in his sorrow, in the rapidity and abandon of 
his speech and his pen. As to his speech an ex- 
ample has been given above. As to his pen note 
the first chapter of Second Corinthians, in which 
he plays on the word comfort, using it over and 


over, his comfort, the comfort of God, comfort 
and salvation in Christ, and comfort in affliction 
even. Or note his rapturous thirteenth chapter of 
first Corinthians — ^his unparalleled psalm of Chris- 
tian love. Note again the third chapter of Second 
Corinthians in which he plays on the word splen- 
dour. Or again, note the eleventh chapter of Second 
Corinthians in which he in self defense plays on 
the word danger— danger from robbers, danger 
from rivers, danger from Gentiles, dangers from 
false brethren — and still others. These are but ex- 
amples of his rapturous pen. That rapture of his 
inner life is in every one of his letters. It is there 
clear as the sun to the eye that has been trained 
to see it. 

Convention Resolutions: 
A Case History 

Royal Humbert, Eureka, Illinois 
The Disciples of Christ in Illinois have been 
passing resolutions on social issues at their state 
convention more or less regularly for almost ninety 
years. A survey of this group's expressions on 
matters of social concern has historic significance 
in the year nineteen hundred fifty. Illinois Dis- 
ciples celebrated their centennial as a convention this 
fall. A special program interpreting one hundred 
years of co-operation was held at Jacksonville, 
September 17-20. 

The convention resolutions of a religious group 
such as the Disciples of Illinois reflect more than 
the social concerns of a single denomination. They 
are a representative sample of opinion on social 
issues in mid-West America. Students of religion 
and society have noted that this religious move- 
ment is as typically American in culture and prac- 


tice as any of the churches in the United States. 
The Disciples devetoped as a frontier people. They 
were among the earlier of the denominations in the 
state of Illinois. The first congregation of the Dis- 
ciples in the state was founded in 1819, only seven 
months after the admittance of Illinois into the 

This American religious movement is committed 
to the principle of the authority of the layman in 
ecclesiastical matters. As a result, convention pro- 
nouncements tend toward being kept within range 
of majority opinion in order to secure approval 
of a motion for acceptance from those in attendance 
at sessions. Doubtless many voting in favor of 
recommendations were too tired of speeches to pro- 
long the agony by disagreeing with sentiments ex- 
pressed in the statements. But regardless of mo- 
tives for assent or dissent, a resolution once passed 
becomes a moderately accurate reflection of public 

Our interest is to seek out trends on social issues 
of major concern during the period of the past 
eighty-six years. The sustained interests over 
relatively long periods of time have been the issues 
of (1) participation in war, (2) dealing with 
alcohol, and (3) labor and economic crisis. 
Attitudes Toward War 

The question of what should be the Christian's 
attitude toward participation in war was the first 
concrete issue faced by the convention. There 
have been some twenty-two resolutions oflTered on 
this issue in eighty-six years. Nearly twice as 
many of these pronouncements have been given in 
the last twenty years as were offered during the 
preceding sixty-five years. 

Since 1863 the attitude toward political action 
through the use of military power has gone through 
three stages. At the time of the Civil War the atti- 


tude was that of a rather uncritical acceptance of 
the authority of the state as a religious duty. The 
adjustment was made during the Spanish- Ameri- 
can and First World wars by accepting the strug- 
gle as a fight for the preservation of values. The 
attitude toward the Second World war was that 
of an isolationist pacifism forced finally to accept 
the war as a kind of inescapable fate. 

The Civil War was accepted by an almost unani- 
mous vote, on the basis of the concept of author- 
ity set out by the apostle Paul in Romans 13. The 
action of the south was considered an armed re- 
bellion subversive of the "divine injunctions" to 
obey "irulers as legitimate and essential parts of 
the divine revelation." Since Saint Paul taught that 
"there is no power but of God" and that "the 
powers that be are ordained of God," the rulers 
had the right to put down armed rebellion through 
the use of military power. The "soldiers in the 
field" were engaged in an act of "defence" and 
were "therefore entitled to our gratitude and sup- 
port." Obedience to rulers as ordained of God was 
held to involve the obligation to "constantly pray" 
that Grod would "give to our chief magistrate and 
all rulers, wisdom to enact and power to execute 
such laws as will speedily bring to us enjojnnent 
of a peace that God will deign to bless." 

The next two wars were not interpreted as in- 
volving any question of the relation of divine and 
human authority. Military power was seen in these 
struggles as a means for preserving certain values. 
The Spanish-American war and the First World 
war were seen as conflicts "in the interest of right- 
eousness." Identical resolutions in 1914 and 1915 de- 
plored the European war and commended all ef- 
forts being made looking toward peace. When war 
came, however, the memorial on the war which had 
been prepared by the Federal Council of Churches 


was accepted by the convention. This memorial 
said that "since, in spite of every effort, war has 
come, we are grateful that the ends to which we 
are committed are such as we can approve." These 
ends are summarized as the safeguarding of "the 
right of all peoples, great and small alike, to live 
their life in freedom and peace;: to resist and over- 
come the forces that would prevent the union of 
nations in a commonwealth of free peoples con- 
scious of unity in the pursuit of ideal ends." An 
amendment to this memorial, written for the con- 
vention, concluded with these words, "we unquali- 
fiedly endorse President Woodrow Wilson's utter- 
ances and we pledge our unflinching support in the 
task of making the world safe for a civilization 
which can be democratic only as it is Christian." 

During the years between the first and second 
World wars, the convention supported such move- 
ments as the Paris Peace Pact to outlaw war, 
efforts to secure international disarmament, the 
opposition to military training for civilians, and the 
entrance of the United States into the League of 
Nations. The investigation of the arms and muni- 
tion industries under Senator Nye received "hearty 

The years preceding America's entrance into the 
Second World war witnessed the development of a 
new perspective. The earlier feeling that war might 
help conserve moral and spiritual values in a de- 
mocracy was felt no longer. After 1936 we find 
a period in which the dominant mid-western mood 
of isolationism was combined with a mild form of 
political pacifism. 

From 1937 to 1941 the prevalent sentiment was 
in favor of keeping America out of war. The mot- 
to, "keep our country out of any war" was included 
in several resolutions. This spirit was congenial 
to the trend toward neutrality legislation. Though 


the resolutions do not clearly indicate it, the neu- 
trality legislation seems to have met with rather 
widespread approval. However, a resolution from 
the floor objecting to the trend in Congressional 
policy looking toward repeal of the neutrality pro- 
gram was not accepted due to the lack of unanimity 
on the question. 

By 1940, the negative program in favor of neu- 
trality was augmented by a growing concern with 
relief for civilians in the warring nations and an 
interest in post-war reconstruction. Seemingly, in 
order to maintain a spirit of neutrality and still 
act in a situation where war was going on, it be- 
came necessary to conserve the ideal of fellowship 
by emphasizing relief while at the same time post- 
poning realistic encounter with the immediate 
political situation by focusing attention upon a 
future beyond the war. The reasons given for ac- 
cepting this futuristic neutrality perspective are 
interesting. The assumption was that the nation 
could still act as a responsible political power with- 
out mobilizing military and economic power to re- 
sist fascism. America, it was thought, could make 
her best contribution by keeping out of war. As a 
nation, the resolutions challenged us to act by 
making adequate sacrifices to bring relief to 
civilians abroad. In addition, the recommendations 
suggest that we could create good-will by preparing 
to re-build after the war. And by not emphasizing 
huge military budgets we would not antagonize the 
sensitive nations of Europe. This approach assumes 
that moralistic ideals are an adequate substitute 
foir political realism. 

The basic issue assumed as crucial in these reso- 
lutions was that of the dangers of capitulation to 
the use of overt military force and the consequent 
destructiveness of war. The evil to be resisted 
was that of militarism and the violence of inter- 


national conflict. The issue of fascism was never 
even hinted at. The anti-Semitism and the racial 
arrogance of the fascist apologists did not seem to 
constitute any real threat comparable to that of the 
evils of war. 

Roland Bainton, in a study of the history of the 
attitude of Christians toward war^, suggested that 
a somewhat new attitude toward war appeared 
during the last war. He characterized it as an at- 
titude of critical and penitent participation. This 
may have been the feeling of many during this 
critical period. Biut the convention resolutions of 
Illinois Disciples do not give voice to this attitude. 
Instead, our participation in the war was. accepted 
as a kind of inescapable fate, an "unnecessary 
necessity." In 1939 it was affirmed that "in humil- 
ity and penitence we acknowledge our share of 
the world's sin and express our deep sorrow and 
disappointment that the forces of religion have not 
been able to prevent this great catastrophe." But 
the actual meaning of participation in the war for 
the Christian seems to have been to accept the in- 
evitable and finish with it successfully, "praying 
for those who are entrusted with the affairs of 

During the war there was a healthy, though 
perhaps over accentuated, emphasis upon keeping 
faith with the conscientious objectors. But the con- 
vention itself was never committed to the pacifist 
position officially. Nor did it state any basic rea- 
son, or rationalizations (depending upon one's 
point of view) why it accepted the mobilization of 
military and economic power by American political 
leadership for active participation in the Second 
World war. 

iBainton, R. H. "The Churchest and the War: Historical 
Attitudes Toward Christian Participation," Social Action, Jan- 
uary IS, 1945. 


People — Places — Events 

F. E. Davison 

Some twenty years ago it was my privilege to 
introduce Marguerite Harmon Bro at a large and 
important luncheon. In presenting this long-time 
friend of mine, I spread it on quite thick. I told 
of her illustrious father, Dr. A. D. Harmon, former 
President of Transylvania University — her mother, 
a talented teacher and lecturer — ^her learned hus- 
band, who is now President of Frances Shimer Col- 
lege — and her famous brother, who is the miracle- 
working President of Drake Univeirsity. I then ex- 
plained that the greatest distinction any of these 
people had was the fact that they were related to 
Marguerite Harmon Bro. 

When Marguerite arose to speak she told in 
dramatic fashion the story of the mother fly who 
went out in search of food for her starving daugh- 
ters. She said the mother fly found a piece of 
bologna lying on top of a glass case at a butcher 
shop. The mother fly at once filled her pockets and 
then ate all she could hold herself. So happy was 
the mother fly over her find that she just sat there 
and sang, and sang. The butcher heard her sing- 
ing, grabbed the fly swatter and wham! the fly 
was dead. Mrs. Bro added, "The moral of this story 
is — when you are full of bologna, keep your mouth 
shut." It was the first time I or anyone present 
had heard the story (I have heard it many times 
since.) The crowd roared and cat-called until I was 
compelled to get my handkerchief and run up the 
white flag of surrender. 

In 1933 the Davison family was entertained one 
afternoon and evening by the Harmon's and the 
Bro's at Cable, Wisconsin. Dr. and Mrs. Harmon 
have their home there on the lake, and the Bro's 
have their summer cottage next door. They were 


perfect hosts because everybody did what they | 
wanted to do and nobody interfered. Mrs, Bro was 
under compulsion to meet a deadline with a maga- : 
zine article. She spent the afternoon- pounding the \ 
typewriter while her two-year-old son spent most , 
of the time standing on the same chair and climb- ; 
ing over his mother's back. Their ten-year-old ' 
daughter stopped playing a record of Kipling's \ 
"When Earth's Last Picture is Painted" long 
enough to call downstairs, saying, "Mother, was 
Kipling a realist?" As the evening shadows gath- 
ered, we all found ourselves around a cheerful fire- 
place in the Harmon home. The only thing that 
was more cheerful than the blaze was the wisdom, 
wit and humor of the Harmons and the Bros. 

Why do I tell this story now? Because for the 
last two days Mrs. Davison and I have had as our 
summer guest "Sarah," who is Mrs. Bro's latest 
brain child. The visit of this fascinating young lady 
coming to us in book form has been the high spot of 
our summer vacation. This book is so free from 
Hollywood triangles, and yet so loaded with human 
interest and realistic drama, that it should be on 
the reading list of every American family. 

The book moves in those dozen years leading 
up to and through World War I. While centering 
upon the life of Sarah, a talented musician, it 
deals with the history, politics, customs, facts and 
foibles of those transition years. Sarah knew what 
it was to ride in the surrey and sleigh out on Grand- 
pa Duncan's Nebraska farm, but also she knew 
how to grace the Cadillac car of the Riveras. She 
knew the peace and quiet of her Minnesota village 
but was not unacquainted with the screech of the 
New York subway and the roaring noise of the 
battlefields of France. She loved music and a hand- 
some young man, but you will need to read the 


book to discover how she managed both. 

The writing style is different. Again and again 
as we read, we would stop to say, "Who but Mar- 
guerite could say it that way?" Through the the- 
ology and philosophy of Grandfather Vanderiet, 
the author gives to the world her own deep faith, 
her own social passion, and her own progressive 
interpretation of religion. I know it is last year's 
book but I just caught up with it. I don't suppose 
it has made "best seller" rating, but I have read 
best sellers that did not deserve to touch the hem 
of "Sarah's" garment. The book sellers tell me 
that Mrs. Bro has another novel coming off the 
press next Fall. Many of us have read her books 
of devotion and books of pyschology and books of 
social import, and have profited by every page. 
Some of us have heard her speak and have declared 
her to be the best platform woman in America. If 
the Lord lets me live another ten years I predict 
that I will then be telling my grandchildren, "I 
once had the privilege of introducing that great 
novelist" — and it won't be bologna! 

By the Finger of God 

S. Vernon McCasland, University of Virginia 
The above is the title of a new book of mine which 
the Macmillan Company has recently accepted for 
publication, at the same time taking an option on the 
sequel to it, upon which I am now engaged. Tenta- 
tively I am calling the next volume "The Messiah," 
but without giving a guarantee that its title will not 
be changed before I am through with it. As the Bis- 
hop who instructed me in the strait and narrow way 
and ordained me to the ministry, the Editor of The 
Scroll naturally feels concern whenever I begin to 
break into print. "Does the above title," he asks, 
"suggest a conservative or a progressive idea?" My 


arswer is, "Both!" The two volumes are a somewhat 
exhaustive study of one aspect of the personality of 
Jesus. For about thirty years several of the leading 
New Testament scholars of the world have been tell- 
ing us that Jesus did not consider himself the Mes- 
siah. This is one of the important steps in the re- 
pudiation of the historical trustworthiness of the 
Gospels, The old German Bruno Bauer over a cen- 
tury ago went so far in that direction as to deny that 
Jesus ever lived. There was a certain amount of 
logic in his position. A few others followed him. But 
few would take him seriously any more. My book is 
a study of Jesus as an exorcist from the point of view 
of similar phenomena in other ancient and modern 
cultures. It interprets demon possession as mental 
illness and the study is based on the concepts of mod- 
ern psychiatry. I believe that the book demonstrates 
the essential integrity of these aspects of the Gospels. 
Moreover, during the Persian period the Jews had 
come to think of the Messiah as one who could com- 
mand the demons ! ! 

To End All Parties! 

Charles Clayton Morrison 
In the Pulpit for August', 1950 
I am all out for a new party in the church — a party 
to end all parties! I would call it the "ecumenical" 
party. It would transcend the factionalism that be- 
devils Protestantism. It would transcend and em- 
brace the "liberal," the "conservative," the "funda- 
mentalists," the "neo-orthodox," and every other 
party of evangelical Christians that narrows its fel- 
lowship to those who pronounce its shibboleths. An 
ecumenical Christian would be one whose fellowship 
includes other evangelical Christians of all schools of 
thought and who is able to work with them in the 
same church for the advancement of the cause of 


Christ. An ecumenical minister would be one whose 
uinderstanding' of Christ is so profound that he could 
preach the gospel to people who hold views differing 
from his own without breaking up the church. No 
man with a party spirit can do this. He is likely to be 
more eager to win people to his party than to Christ. 
The ecumenical party would not put an end to our 
differences. That would mean stagnation! But it 
would put an end to the sinful breaking up of the 
Christian fellowship into sectarian and fractional 
huddles. In my early youth I was a conservative. 
Then though still young, I wore the liberal badge. But 
somewhere along the way I shed both these party 
labels, and now I think of myself as a liberal, con- 
servative, neo-orthodox, fundamentalist Christian ! 
"My word," youi say, "what a jumble of notions this 
man's mind must be !" I assure you it is nothing of 
the sort. I still have convictions ! And I like nothing 
better than a chance to defend them! But I cringe 
inwardly when anyone pins a party label on me. 
And I am in good company. The Apostle Paul be- 
longed to the ecumenical party. When he learned of 
the budding sectarianism in the Corinthian church 
he condemned it in the name of the ecumenical faith. 
"All are yours," he said, "and you belong to Christ, 
and Christ belongs to God." 

Free Movies 

E. S. Ames 
I and my wife who is eighty <dso now, often walk 
to the famous Midway, between five and six o'clock 
in the evening, and sit on a park bench to view the 
movies staged on the boulevards, on the lawns, in 
the air, and in the heavens. There are pedestrians 
with dogs, boys playing football, girls tense with 
their game of hockey, mothers wheeling babies, 
lovers strolling and making love as if unseen. On 


the highway flow the streams of cars in opposite 
directions on either side of the green basin. In tke 
west the setting sun burnishes the whole sky with 
beaut;^) and my wife often repeats the lines, Every 
Evening ApollO' doth devise new apparelling for 
western skies. As the twilight deepens, the stars 
take their accustomed places shining through the 
blue curtain that seems to hang over the immense 
vastness of space. And last week the new moon 
came a little later and a little larger each night, 
shedding her soft, mellow light over our world, 
while we, like the birds and myriads of natui*e*s 
children, turned to our place of quiet rest. But for 
a long time we could hear the speeding cars, with 
their white lights ahead and their red lights aft, 
vanishing into darkness and silence. Even the great 
airplanes over head, surging out of mysterious dis- 
tances with a threatening crescendo, passed through 
the fainter pulses of vanishing vibrations into 
oblivion. And all this grand movie is free! 

The Treasurer Pages 

At the well-attended midnight sessions at Okla- 
homa City many of you expressed your deep appre- 
ciation of The Scroll and The Institute. Some 
of you translated that appreciation into three nego- 
tiable cheers. Unfortunately two who most needed 
the cheers were not present and are fiscally a little 
deaf so that we need recruits for the cheering sec- 
tion to make the Editor of The Scroll and the print- 
er hear. 

Let's give three cheers for the Institute : 
Cheer for Sir Printer — patient, mute ! 
Cheer for Sir Editor — inspiring, astute! 
Cheer for Sir Fiscal — elusive, brute! 
Cheer$ Cheer$ Cheer$ 
Root$$ Root$$ Root$$ 
Let's give three cheers $$$ for the 
Institute I 



Democracy in Action 

E. S. Ames 

Election Day is always a high day in a live de- 
mocracy. November 7 was such a day in the United 
States of America. In our precinct in Chicago, the 
process of voting was highlighted by the use of 
machines for balloting. 

In our immediate neighborhood, the polling place 
was in the school building, just a block from our 
home. Herfetofore we have gone to the nearby Uni- 
tarian Church House and voted by candlelight in a 
private booth. This time my wife and I went to 
the spacious school building about three in the after- 
noon and signed up to vote, and were given numbers 
for places in the long queue of people waiting their 
turn to determine the fate of our country. It turned 
out to be a kind of gala occasion. We had to be in 
line about three hours, and no official provision was 
made for chairs or seats of any kind. A lame man, 
as well as a strong athlete, can get pretty tired stand- 
ing in line for three hours. But a kind friend wel- 
comed us in the gymnasium of the school building 
where we were to vote, and insisted on getting chairs 
for us on which we could sit and hitch along toward 
the new voting machine just under the basket used 
in basketball games. 

There were four precincts to vote in that one room 
and there are several hundred voters to each pre- 
cinct. All day there were long lines waiting, and 
the new machines were explained by little models 
carried around in the crowd to teach individuals 
how to do their duty. It was much simpler to pull 
the lever on the whole ticket at once, and that led 
to more "straight" tickets than usual. This gave 


rise to the suspicion that the party leaders had 
favored the use of the machines since people became 
80 tired standing in line they would not take the time 
and trouble to split their ticket. Some, because of 
fatigue and previous engagements, after standing 
in line an hour or two, concluded that one vote, more 
or less, makes so little difference they had better 
look after more pressing matters and let the voting 
go. It is really remarkable that so many persons 
held on till they could do their patriotic duty. 

It was a very mixed and interesting crowd. There 
were university professors, administrators, stu^ 
dents, janitors, clerks, authors, scientists, clergymen, 
housewives, mechanics, fine ladies, rich and poor, old, 
and young, brought to one common level, each per- 
son counting for just one. Before the election, one 
man might count for more than one by his influence, 
station, or money, but on this day and in this place, 
no one could count for more than one. That was 
one big reason for the machine. In this respect, 
it guarantees exact equality. There was some holi- 
day mood in the crowd. Old friends chatted as they 
found themselves united in an order, determined by 
no merit, or achievement, or personal importance 
except that of the time they had arrived on the scene. 

It was a kind of judgment day which would test 
individuals and democracy itself. How could the 
persons in those long lines know the merits of the 
candidates? Some were too young to know; some 
were too old to remember. Some would vote their 
family prejudices. Others had not so much as 
prejudices to guide them. They did not care, while 
others were tense with their sense of the impor- 
tance of the officers to be elected and of the issues 
to be decided. 

While the main concern of the day was the exer- 
cise of the franchise, it was obvious even to a casual 


observer that the presence of so many people, of such 
diverse backgrounds, education, wealth, made a 
social agglomeration, which had a variety of effects 
upon those who had but one thing to do in that 
place. Mostly the dress, both of women and men, 
was inconspicuous, work-a-day, sensible. But some 
persons could not avoid bearing in their appearance 
the marks of their occupation or profession. When 
one is both a minister and a professor, as several of 
the voters were that day, the garb worn may be 
ambiguous. Indeed the spirit of true democracy is 
fostered by encouraging individuals to feel free and 
independent in expressing their will with respect 
to the important issues of their social order. Not all 
countries of the world have yet achieved this demo- 
cratic procedure which allows each one to vote as 
he wishes, without fear or favor, responsible only 
to his own conscience. But this state of personal 
freedom in judging the affairs of public interest and 
welfare presupposes educational processes by which 
every mature citizen ha^ the ability and information 
to make up his own mind concerning the merits of 
the questions and the personalities affected by his 
vote. This is, of course, a large order, but it is the 
ideal of democratic elections. 

There have been signs of an unusual concern to 
arouse a sense of the importance and urgency of 
getting citizens to vote this year. It is the year in 
which many senators and congressmen are elected. 
This may lead to a balance of power more evenly 
divided between the great parties, and there is likely 
to be more careful and able consideration of the 
issues at stake. There are two questions uppermost 
in every appeal for votes this year. These are tax- 
ation and internationalism. How much can the 
United States produce? And how shall this country 
use its great wealth? Already it has been made ap- 


parent that the national resources are great enough 
to carry a debt greater than the statesmen of a 
few generations ago thought possible. Already a 
real revolution in ideas of these matters has taken 

The question of the national wealth is inseparable 
from the other question as to how ~ much can be 
done by this country for or against other countries. 
There is a natural disposition to cooperate with those 
countries that also have some sympathy for demo- 
cratic development, and powerful influences are at 
*work to give extraordinary support to that interest. 
There is also an unprecedented devotion of funds 
and men in opposition to those countries and ideol- 
ogies which oppose democracy. Of course this means 
unimagined sacrifices for war against conceptions 
subversive of human dignity and democratic values. 
The complexity of our world is such at the present 
time that these basic values that concern the peace 
and welfare of all persons press upon us every day 
and threaten the future of the whole race. This 
tension in our common life is deeper and more awe- 
some than it has ever been in the history of the 
United States. It has brought bewildering confusion 
into every aspect of life. It throws dark shadows 
over all plans, personal and social, until despair 
and pessimism are registered more widely than ever, 
especially in this young and powerful land where 
such sober, searching thoughts are unfamiliar and 
immeasurably devastating. Perhaps there should 
be patriotic music played as the voters wait their 
tuirn, to keep them tuned to the high purpose of the 
day. Or Lincoln's Gettysburg speech might be re- 
peated to sound the depths of right minded citizen- 
ship. That speech is beyond partisanship and so long 
as its spirit prevails nothing sordid or selfish can 
triumph in public life. 



My own most vivid experience in politics came 
when I was elected to the supremely important of- 
fice in democratic society, that of Precinct Captain 
cr Committeeman. Some readers may be tempted to 
smile at this magnification of the office of precinct 
committeeman, but after serving in it four years 
in the second greatest city in this country, I realized 
its importance. I served in this capacity one term 
of two years after appointment under the old caucus 
system. Then the direct primaries were established, 
and I ran for the office "on my record" and was elect- 
ed by the new process. That was forty years ago 
when Charles E. Merriam was running for Alder- 
man. After two terms in the Council he ran for 
Mayor as an Independent. A specialist in Political 
Science, and a Professor in the University of Chi- 
cago, there was great enthusiasm in the university 
community over the chance to elect an honest, tried 
and tested alderman to the great cffice of Mayor. 
So far as I know, no one criticized me for becoming 
a precinct captain. Politics was idealistic in those 
days and the election of a minister and a professor 
to office was a good omen. His duty was to lead his 
party at the ground level of democracy ^by getting 
acquainted with all the voters of his precinct, in- 
forming them of the issues of the campaign, and 
making sure that they went to the polls and voted 
on election day. The majority of the electorate for 
which I was in some measure responsible was Re- 
publican. It was important to see that all voters 
came out to vote. We sat by the polls, crossed off 
the names of those who voted, and sent messengers 
to all who did not voluntarily appear. There were 
forty precincts in our ward, and of course, forty 
precinct committeemen, led by a suave and experi- 
enced "ward boss." It was in the ward meetings that 
I saw the inner workings of democratic action and 


power. All those forty precinct captains except four 
of us, were office holders, and made most of their 
living by political jobs. They were in politics the 
year round. The four of us who were not dependent 
on the office were the danger spots for any "machine 
politics," because we could give warning of ques- 
tionable issues and have the support of some news- 
papers for any criticism we might make. When 
it was apparent that this important office led toward 
the need of professional politicians, I decided to 
withdraw from that line and concentrate on the low- 
ly .callings of philosophy and religionj! 

Reflections On the Convention 

W. B. Blakemore 
, The Oklahoma City convention was a particularly 
pleasant one. The physical facilities were of the best. 
The Municipal Auditorium is modern and com- 
fortable in every respect. It is located immediately 
adjacent to the business section of the city. It was 
easy to get back and forth to the hotels and the 
excellent restaurants of the city afforded exceeding- 
ly good food for the times that registrants were not 
attending the equally well-planned group dinners. 
The weather was warm and summery, providing 
an extra week of welcome sunshine for visitors from 
the Northern States. The spirit of the Convention 
was exceedingly harmonious. The distance towards 
unity which our own brotherhood has travelled in 
the quarter of a century was frequently remarked 
by those who had attended the last convention held 
in Oklahoma City. Even controversial issues were 
handled in the best spirit on both sides. The Time 
and Place Committee had a difficult decision in 
making a choice for the 1953 convention between 
Portland, Oregon and Tampa, Florida. The Com- 



mittee after a tie vote within itself was able to bring 
in a recommendation that the convention go to Port- 
land ini 1953. On the convention floor a very strong 
appeal on behalf of Tampa, Florida then arose, and a 
too evenly divided house necessitated the return 
of the problem to the Time and Place Committee. 
A resolution commending the service of the rail- 
roads to the ministry in the churches was presented. 
The question was raised on the floor as to whether 
such a resolutioni would not be looked upon by 
certain political forces in Europe as evidence of 
an economic dependence of the church upon the 
railroads. This argument first brought a vote from 
the Convention refusing the resolution. The next 
day the Convention reversed itself, passed the resolu- 
tion as an expression that should be made to the 
railroad industry. The real question which seemed 
to be involved in this situation is whether it is 
necessary to constantly modify our own actions in 
order to avoid the construction or misconstruction 
which may be placed upon them by protagonists of 
the socialistic point of view. The Convention in the 
end evidently cared to* act in sincerity regardless 
of the interpretation which might be put upon such 
an action elsewhere. One of the most crucial resolu- 
tions before the Convention was that whereby ad- 
mission to the International Convention was sought 
by the Christian Missionary Fellowship, a relatively 
new organization! of a somewhat "independent type." 
The Committee on Recommendations recommended 
tfiat the Christian Missionary Fellowship be not 
admitted and tliis recommendation was upheld on 
the Convention floor. The strongest argument made 
on the Convention floor against admitting the new 
Fellowship pointed to their by-laws. Article I of 
those by-laws assets that the Fellowship shall accept 
the Christian program as presented in the New 


Testament scriptures referring all matters of 
doctrii^ to these writings for final decision. All of- 
ficers and missionaries must subscribe to this doc- 
trinal position during their relationship to the Fel- 
lowship. The Second Article requires that each mis- 
sionary and mission of the Fellowship shall be strict- 
ly committed to the practice of closed membership. 
It was argued that these two articles verge upon 
the adoption of a creed which is certainly contrary 
to Disciple procedures and tend to imply criticism 
of other organizations now reporting to the Inter- 
national Convention. The Christian Missionary Fel- 
lowship was informed that refusal at this time diii 
not mean that application could not be made at a 
later date and that at a later date there would be 
evidence on which to base the efficiency and sincerity 
of the group. The Fellowship accepted the decision 
in good spirit and assured the Convention that it 
was most eager to have the attention of the brother- 
hood upon it as it goes forward with its work. The 
largest session of the convention was oni Thursday 
evening. The meeting was addressed by Toychiko 

The one general criticism of the Convention was 
that the evening sessions were too long. On each 
evening, except the first, three major features were 
included. On Thursday evening following Dr. 
Kagawa's address came the recognition of mission- 
aries; that in turn was followed by an address by 
Mrs. • Leslie E. Swain of the Women's American 
Baptist Foreign Missionary Society. The meeting 
was not adjourned until at least 10:30. On Friday 
evening a dramatic presentation by the NBA was 
followed by am excellent concert by the Jarvis 
College Choir. It was after 9 o'clock before Dr. 
Luther Wesley Smith was called upon for his ad- 
dress on Higher Education. On each of these eve- 


nings two major featureis would have been ample. 
The music of the Convention was of a high order, 
particularly the special presentations. The Okla- 
homa City Convention Choir with orchestra on the 
opening evening was as fine a musical presentation 
as the Disciples have ever enjoyed. It was a mag- 
nificent thing to see a dozen of our colored brethren 
in the great choir. Their presence there in a South- 
ern city gave added force to the words : "As He died 
to make men holy, let us die to make men free" 
during the singing of the Battle Hymn of the Re- 
public. The Phillips Uniiversity chorus and choir 
made significant musical contributions to the as- 
sembly and the appearance of the Jarvis College 
choir provided another moving musical experience. 

Revolt Against Authority 

S. Morris Eames, University of Missouri 
The occurrences of world wars, master depres- 
sions, increasing capital-labor conflicts, intense 
racial unrest, mounting human starvation, and dis- 
rupted moral and religious precepts have put liberal- 
ism on the defensive. Liberalism is blamed for 
our failure to solve international conflicts, for the 
breakdown of our domestic economic and social life, 
for our unwillingness in education to dogmatize 
certain specific principles into eternal authority, 
and for our complacency ini the moral and religious 
life. Furthermore, liberalism is accused of miscon- 
struing the nature and destiny of man, of misin- 
terpreting the scientific method, and of not recog- 
nizing that fact and value are two different orders 
or realms of experience. 

Undoubtedly, liberalism is a vague and confusinif 
term, an Idol of the Market Place, and one must be 
careful how he defines it. Recognizing that others 
may interpret it differently, I venture to say that 


some of the distinguishing features of liberalism 
are: 1) an aversion to dogmatic authority where 
beliefs are not open to doubt, revision and reproof ; 
2) a scepticism concerning any belief that cannot 
be brought under the scrutiny of reason and ob- 
servation or the empirical procedures of the scien- 
tific method ; 3) a belief in the capacities and powers 
of man to shape his life within limitations and to 
create a world for himself that is compatible with 
his nature and the nature of his environment; and 
4) a recognition that social institutions, creeds, 
and programs for living are man-made and that 
with sufficient intelligence he can manage these 
things for the good life. 

I think it should be pointed out that liberalism 
has undergone vast changes from its beginning. 
Historically, liberalism is a theme with variations. 
Certainly the liberalism of John Locke differs from 
the liberalism of Adam Smith, and the views of 
these men are very different from the views of 
recent liberals such as John Dewey. In the main, 
we say that there is liberalism old and new. The 
older liberalism stressed individualism almost to 
the exclusion of society, but the newer liberalism 
sees the fallacy of "rugged" individualism and in- 
terprets man in relation to the social matrix in 
which he lives. The older liberalism stressed free- 
dom at the expense of security, but the newer liber- 
alism sees security as the bases for freedom, for 
man is "free" to do many more acts when he is 
"freed" from the constant gnaw of food, shelter 
4nd clothing. The older liberalism believed in 
"laissez-faire" for the state, but the newer liberal- 
ism sees the state as one of the highest forms of 
cooperation, a means by. which the collective group 
gives the individual freedom and security, but does 
not strangle his creative powers. I have mentioned 


here some changes in political liberalism, but simi- 
lar changes have taken place in the liberalism of 
other areas of experience as well. 

Space does not permit a fuller critique of liberal- 
ism nor the rebuttals which may be framed to the 
criticisms which have been brought against this 
outlook. Herein I desire to limit the discussion 
to one point, namely, that the alternative to the 
liberal way is that of authoritarianism. 

I think a far better analysis than that which the 
critics of liberalism offer is the fact that the plight 
of modem man or the catastrophe of modern so- 
ciety can be laid at the door of a persistent authori- 
tarianism which has come for the most part from 
the middle ages and recurs in modem forms. One 
can hardly say that all life in the present is evil 
and that all evil is due to liberalism. In the age 
of ascendancy of liberal views came a whole galaxy 
of humane developments. The building of hospitals, 
clinics, schools, tender care of the blind, the deaf, 
the lame, the mentally disordered and deficient, 
and the thousands of charitable institutions that 
have arisen in our modem culture are expressions 
of the humanitarian spirit. Long before the neo- 
supematuralists began their tirade against liberal- 
ism many people had already developed a social 
sensitivity, an intense moral and prophetic aware- 
ness, and a vision of what life could be with applied 
intelligence. It is a one-sided analysis which over- 
looks these pertinent achievements in modem life. 

On the other hand, during the whole history of 
liberalism theories and practices of authoritarian- 
ism persisted and still persist. Some people in 
the field of education, distrusting the democratic 
process and the sharing of the mature in experi- 
ence with the immature, want to give the students 
something "definite" and "authoritative." The at- 


tack on progressive education for its failure is not 
really to the point at all, for the attack should 
be made upon the schools which still persist with 
the authoritarian methods. These are the schools 
which have really failed in modem society. The 
return tci authority in moral and religious life, 
whether it be a return to some obscure moral law 
or to some absolutistic principle reared above the 
experience of man, is really the old problem of 
the quest for certainty all over again. No better 
examples of authoritarianism in politics can be 
found than in fascism (Mussolini's type) and 
National Socialism (Hitler's type) where the corn- 
man man is viewed as not having sense enough 
to make decisions on the policies of his corporate 
life. The return to authority cuts across many 
phases of contemporary culture, making the issue 
a timely one and one on which liberals cannot take 
a free and easy attitude. 

The consequences of an authoritarian way of life 
can be easily seen. The teacher and the parent us- 
ing this method produce "puppets" with little abil- 
ity to frame independent and constructive judg- 
ments. The children mimic the answers they have 
memorized and they go through the actions they 
have had prescribed. New problems are ignored or 
approached with closed minds. Mental conflicts 
emerge, personality disorders abound, and more 
social and moral problems are created. We do not 
even know the extent to which mental institutions 
are filled with personality cases resulting from 
authoritarianism in childhood and later in absolutis- 
tic religious preachings. When fear is linked with 
authority, more disastrous effects can be noted. 

The method of authoritarianism must be judged 
by its consequences upon human personality, and no 
better examples of this can be found than'whmt 


fascism and national socialism did to the people of 
Italy and Germany. We may view the whole histo- 
ry of these movements as experiments that turned 
out to be overwhelming in their brutal effects upon 
the peoples concerned. Closer at home we may view 
the effect of authoritarianism in business where the 
"boss" tells the workers what to do or the labor 
union official dictates the policies of the union. The 
way of life wherein each person shares in the means 
and the ends of living in all phases of our culture 
is still a goal for which liberals must continue to 

The critics of liberalism, however, may correct 
many of the abuses and neglects for which liberals 
are to blame. Re-examining our attitudes and po- 
sitions, we may correct our tendencies to be dog- 
matic about our liberal views, the belligerent liberal 
causing more harm than he realizes. Perhaps we 
have been too free and easy with our approach, 
not realizing that every belief and action in our 
contemporary culture has had a history, a process 
of development, which needs to be understood with 
the best scientific psychology and sociology we 
can obtain. Just as the old-time gospel preachers 
implanted and sustained beliefs which have resulted 
in harm to human growth, we must be just as skill- 
ful in turning these beliefs about and in reinterpret- 
ing life in more creative channels. 

The orientation of a liberal mind is one of ad- 
venture and experiment. The liberal uses the best 
science he can obtain to live well and to give every 
person an opportunity to grow. His ideals are not 
static, but constantly they change to fit new needs. 
He appreciates his traditional heritage, but he does 
not worship it; he uses it to analyze, interpret, 
and extend experience in the present life situation. 
He is not radical, and thus fanatical, about the 


new without reason; he is not conservative, and 
thus devoted to the old because of tenacity. He seeks 
to be intelligent, thus being creative. To him life 
will always be as Walt Whitman put it: 

"The untold want by life and land ne'er granted, 
Now voyager sail thou, forth to seek and find." 

Convention Resolutions: Alcohol 

Royal Humbert, Eureka, Illinois 
The social issue which has evoked the most sus- 
tained response through the years has been the 
problem of beverage alcohol and its effects. If 
any resolutions dealing with matters of secular 
morality were introduced at all, one opposing some 
phase of the liquor traffic was almost certain to 
be included. In seventy-six years a total of fifty- 
one resolutions have been approved. 

A singleness of purpose and unity of mind reveal 
themselves in a comparison of the statements made 
since 1873. Almost from the beginning the goal 
had been some form of prohibition. No problem 
of moral behavior has equalled in persistence and 
zeal the desire to control the liquor traffic by law. 
A convention recommendation in 1928 claimed that 
"during the campaign for the adoption of a con- 
stitutional amendment outlawing the liquor traffic 
no body of people was more loyal" than the Dis- 
ciples of Christ in Illinois. In 1916, John R. Gold- 
en, then secretary of the state missionary society, 
resigned to run as a candidate for governor on the 
ticket of the Prohibition party. He came out fourth 
in a field of five candidates. Twenty-five years be- 
fore any indication of concern with the problem 
of economic justice had emerged, the evils of the 
consumption of alcohol had aroused an intense moral 

The development of a strategy to deal with the 


problem of beverage alcohol has gone through four 
stages in the past three-quarters of a century. Vari- 
ous tactics have been used during this period to give 
vent to the disgust felt toward alcoholic intemper- 
ance. The consistent element in this changing 
pattern of emphasis has been a loyalty to the prin- 
ciple of political control through the use of law 
and its coercive power. 

The expression of loyalty to this principle began 
with some twenty-five years of emphasis upon the 
desirability of action to control the manufacture, 
importation, and sale of liquor. From the begin- 
ning the convention felt it a "duty to seek unity 
of effort in all wise movements having as their 
object" the promotion of the technique of pro- 
hibition. This rather general commitment very soon 
became more specific. By 1899 the convention af- 
firmed that it would no longer give its "allegiance 
to any political party that does not use all honor- 
able means to eliminate" the evil of the liquor traffic. 

It was the coming of the Anti-Saloon League 
which channeled this growing consensus of opinion 
into a concrete program for political action. At 
various times for a period of thirty years, from 
1899 until 1929, the League was endorsed for sup- 
port by the churches. The League became a symbol 
for two types of action. On the one hand, it stood 
for a form of direct and dramatic action in meet- 
ing obvious pathological conditions. During the 
1920s the League spent nationally an average of 
$550,000 per year in agitation, education, and in 
political lobbying. On the other hand^ the League 
also symbolized a sort of realized church unity 
achieved in common secular action. Several resolu- 
tions expressed the desire that, "we renew our fel- 
lowship with the other churches of the state in the 
Anti-Saloon League." 


An intense religio-moral fervor entered into the 
support of the Prohibition cause. In 1917 the 
federal government ordered the distilleries "of 
Peoria and thei nation generally" to close their doors. 
That year was greeted as one which had known no 
peer in the battle against demon rum. A resolution 
declared, "The night is past. We have lived to see 
the day dawn." The holiness felt in the conquest 
of the whiskey business by legal control was ex- 
pressed in these words, "Over the distilleries, which 
at one time seemed unassailable, today we plant 
the banner of Christ." 

Though the crusade for legal control provoked 
exalted attitudes akin to religious fervor, the rea- 
sons given for the crusade had little if any basis 
directly in Biblical or traditional ethics. The cru- 
sade was considered almost entirely as a matter of 
citizenship in the American state. Fundamental 
reasons were given only once or twice. These reflect 
the idea that the use of liquor is a form of slavery 
and thus is "in direct conflict with the bill of 
rights of the Constitution whose avowed purpose it 
is to disenslave our citizens." 

From 1918 to 1933 the eighteenth amendment was 
in force. During these years convention resolutions 
show that allegiance to the principle of political 
control through the use of law and its coercive 
power was never relaxed. A resolution of 1920 
hints that the conviction ran deep. It was stated 
that loyalty to the Volstead Act was an expression 
of deeper loyalty to "the principle of moral law." 
The practical expression of this conviction was in 
voting only for political candidates endorsed by the 
Anti-Saloon League. Allegiance to control by total 
prohibition through law may be seen further in 
the conviction that the failure of Prohibition was 
due as much to inadequate enforcement as to unfair 


newspaper propaganda which failed to give the law 
a "fair deal." Improved enforcement under Presi- 
dent Herbert Hoover was commended heartily by 
the convention. 

Since repeal the emphasis upon control has been 
centered largely upon the necessity for developing 
citizens with inner resources adequate to cope with 
the temptation to drink. But the earlier tactic of 
total control through political power has not died 
out as a hope. Sometimes the twin emphases of 
temperance education and prohibition have been 
combined, as in 1935, when a resolution suggested 
that we must look forward to a "program of edu- 
cation which will lay the foundation that will wipe 
out our licensed liquor traffic." Usually, however, 
the feeling has predominated that scientific temper- 
ance education should make its own contribution 
and the method of legal control should focus on 
making existing laws work until better ones can be 
found. Since 1940 there have been several recom- 
mendations supporting bills in Congress to prohibit 
radio and television advertising of alcoholic bever- 
ages. The need for developing inner resources to 
cope with the problem was emphasized in 1948 
by suggesting that the churches become more aware 
of the services of Alcoholics Anonymous. In ad- 
dition, the resolution suggested that the whole ques- 
tion of alcoholism must be dealt with more realis- 
tically and consider "the underlying forces and in^ 
dividual frustrations which give rise to or ag- 
gravate the problem." 

A Full and Busy Life 

By Ethel Samuels, University of Cincinnati 
The preachingest librarian for many miles around 
is Dr. Edward A. Henry, chairman of the Board of 


Elders at Cincinnati's Walnut Hills Christian 
Church and University Librarian at the University 
of Cincinnati. 

There's hardly a church-gtoing Protestant in all 
of Cincinnati who hasn't heard one of Dr. Henry's 
sermons, and there are a good many who have seen 
his weddings. An ordained minister, graduate of 
the University of Chicago Divinity School, Dr. 
Henry has for years been doing supply-preaching 
in and around the city. Especially during the war, 
when so many ministers left their pulpits for the 
Army and Navy chaplaincy, Dr. Henry found him- 
self being interim pastor, sometimes for several 
months at a stretch. 

He's still pinch-hitting, especially through the 
summer months, replacing pastors on vacation, and 
often during the rest of the year when ministers 
are ill or out of town. Presbyterians, Evangelical 
Reformeds, Baptists, Methodists, Universalists, Uni- 
tarians, as well as Disciples — all have heard him 

At the Walnut Hills Church, in addition to his 
duties for the past 15 years or so as chairman 
of the Board of Elders, for the past 20 years he 
has been vice-chairman of the Official Board. For 
17 years he taught a Sunday School class at the 
church for young married people, but he had to 
give that up during the war when supply-preachinig 
became an almost steady duty. 

At the University, Dr. Henry directs and corre- 
lates the work of the main campus library and the 
specialized libraries scattered throughout the cam- 
pus. A total of 640,000 volumes are housed under 
his care. It was he who first advocated the use 
of micro-film in libraries, and it was his idea to 
train librarians in a graduate school. 

Widely recognized among librarians, he has the 


distinction of being elected to the Board of Directors 
of the Midw€ist Inter-Library Corp., which is plan- 
ning a $1,000,000 joint storage and loan center for 
libraries in the Middle West to be located in Chi- 
cago. He is a past president of the Ohio Library 
Association and for several years was chairman of 
the Committeei on Resources of the national Ameri- 
can Library Association. 

In addition to his library duties, Dr. Henry turns 
professor several hoiurs each week, teaching a course 
on biblical literature. 

For the past 22 years he has been a member of 
the Committee of Management for the Campus 
YMCA, and he is faculty adviser for the 1950 Re- 
ligious Emphasis Week program on the campus, an 
inter-denominational week-long return to religion 
among the students. 

His interests take him bej^nd the church and 
beyond the campus into the community. He is 
serving his twenty-first year as a member of the 
Board of Directors of the Cincinnati and Hamilton 
County YMCA and his fourteenth year as recording 
secretary of that Board. He is serving his seventh 
year as member and third year as president of the 
Board of Trustees of the City Gospel Mission, guid- 
ing its policies, helping with fund raising and fi- 
nancial management. He is a member of the Ad- 
visory Committee of the Cincinnati chapter of the 
American Bible Society and of a similar group for 
the local unit of the National Conference of Chris- 
tians and Jews. 

Dr. Henry lectures before club groups and around 
town on manuscripts, old books, and history of 
printing and the alphabet, Saracen civilization. And 
in his spare time he has deciphered a group of 
very old Arabic inscriptions, made a study of early 
newspapers in Kentucky during the period of 1786 


to 1860, compiled a check list of editions of Horace 
in larger libraries of America, edited two volumes 
of the College and Reference Yearbook, and edited 
five annual volumes of Doctoral Dissertations Ac- 
cepted by American Universities. 

When Dr. Henry finished his work at Hiram Col- 
lege in 1900 and entered the University of Chicago 
Divinity School, he planned to teach Hebrew and 
Old Testament, but before he finished his school- 
ing, (he received the B.D. from Chicago in 1907), 
Hebrew had been dropped from the curriculum of 
the colleges and even of most seminaries. Mean- 
while, he had served as student librarian at the 
Divinity School, and he stayed with library work 
there, rising to acting director of the University 
of Chicago Libraries before accepting his position 
at Cincinnati in 1928. 

Although he has the vigor and zest of a young 
man, in the spring of 1951, on May 11, Dr. Henry 
turns 70, which at the University of Cincinnati 
means obligatory retirement. Just what he will do 
at retirement, he isn't sure. Perhaps a pastorate 
of his own. Or a visiting teaching job on another 
campus. Or the two books which have been churn- 
ing through his brain and need to be written. What- 
ever he does, one thing is sure: Retirement for Dr. 
Henry won't mean what it says. It will be just a 
new phase in an already full and busy life. 

People — Places — Events 

F. E. Davison 

The hum-drum of life is often lighted up by new 
experiences. This Fall has not been without new 
experiences to the writer. If new occasions teach 
new duties then I shoiuld be a bit wiser. 

Awakened from a sound sleep by a long distance 


phone call one September night I was asked to be 
a guest-leader at a National Teaching Mission in 
Lafayette during the last week of October. Willing 
to promise to do anything that was six weeks away 
and anxious to get back to my bed I accepted the 
invitation. I had hoped that it would mean a week 
of vacation when I could catch up on my "readin, 
ritin', and rithmetic" — fond hopes! 

My assignment was to be guest-leader of the Fed- 
erated Church of West Lafayette where Doyle Mul- 
len and Arthur Anderson are co-pastors. This fed- 
eration of the West Lafayette Baptist Church and 
the West Lafayette Christian Church is only two 
years did. Already the church has outgrown its 
clothes and additional buildings are being planned. 

No sooner had I arrived in West Lafayette and 
was comfortably housed in the Mullen home than 
I was told that guest leaders and pastors were ex- 
pected to attend morning and afternoon seminars 
and then each evening impart to the local congre- 
gation all information learned during the day. One 
of the most interesting features for the guest-leader 
was to guide the church in a "Self-Study." By use 
of questionnaires the leaders of each organization 
of the church were required to score the organiza- 
tion on various phases of its work. When the scores 
were put on the local church chart it was easy to 
see not only where the organization was strong but 
also to compute the potentialities of that organiza- 
tion yet unrealized. Furthermore, by cross-refer- 
ence computing of all organizations of the church 
an observer could see where the total church life 
was strong also where the weak spots were. 

The religious census was carefully prepared for 
and quite successfully taken of the entire city. Most 
preachers with any gray hairs have suffered many 
things from many religious censuses. This was a bit 


different and even though the census was takem on 
Sunday afternoon every church had by Monday 
night a large stack of cards indicating preference 
for that church. Then followed two days of what 
was called "Fellowship Cultivation" which tried to 
set the pace for the church to follow up until all 
people on the responsibility list had been visited 
and invited to attend some organization meeting of 
the church. The guest-leader aside from giving lead- 
ership in these projects was also expected to give 
a written report on his observation of the church 
and make recommendation for program enlarge- 
ment. This I did and quickly jumped in my car and 
headed for home. 

It was a privilege to preach at the dual services 
of the Federated Church and to have fellowship 
with its people during the week. One is impressed 
by the high quality leadership of that church and 
the readiness of the people to cooperate with every 
plan. The co-pastors work with complete harmony 
and a definite understanding of division in labors. 

Another new experience came when I was invited 
to give the Reformation Day address at the union 
service in Kendallville, Ind. I have been on the 
receiving end of Reformation Day addresses for 
several years and have been rather critical of them. 
This assignment had a tendency to quiet my criti- 
cisms. I used as my subject "The New Reforma- 
tion" and I tried to nail five theses on the door of 
the present-day church. Apparently I did not m.ake 
as great a stir as Martin Luther but nevertheless 
the very next week after my speech the Pope felt 
it necessary to issue a Papal Bull and declare a 
new doctrine for the Roman church. 


AspectsOf Social Psychology 

Bif Ernest L. TALBert. {Privately Printed). 
Review by Van Meter Ames 

This selection of Professor Talbeirt's essays will 
eniable his loyal students and friends to enjoy a 
visit with him, and will make his wisdom available 
to a wider circle, despite his retirement from the 
U. of Cincinnati. He says these pieces are in his 
ivory tower mood. They are not topical, but neither 
are they withdrawn from reality. His social psy- 
chology or philosophy, as summed up in the Fore- 
word, is that men are not at the mercy of heredity 
and conditioning, nor are their minds independent 
of the environment. Their behavior is an inter- 
action between what the world does to them and 
their counter response. 

In the first paper he holds that primitive and 
civilized men have basically the same imagination 
and intelligence. In the second he shows how read- 
ing novels can broaden the mind. He holds that art 
and science call upon the same creative powers, 
though he adds that science is more objective and 
cooperative. The third paper deals with Francis 
Galton's view thai evolution has carried man to the 
point where he can in part determine his own 
future, and should see the religious duty of .apply- 
ing science to racial and social problems. The fourth 
essay is a psychological analysis of how St. Augus- 
tine found emotional and moral as well as intel- 
lectual balance; and suggests comparison with 
Amiel, whose mind is the subject of the final study. 
Amiel also disclosed himself in an introspective 
document but, unlike the author of the Confessions,^ 
was unable to achieve integration by giving him- 
self sufficiently to work or a cause, friendship or 
love. So Amiel showed increasingly the symptoms 
of failure. 


Professor Talbert is able to reach the common 
problems and responses of different kinds of men 
as much by his own humanity as by erudition ; and 
with a humor that is not devoid of tenderness or 

About A Word 

Robert Sala, Drake University 

What a problem you threw at me when you asked 
me to do something about the word "scrounge." 
(See Sept. p. 17. "Scrouging" substituted.) I have 
consulted not only my own wit but also the com- 
bined verbal skill of several of my colleagues here. 
The result is something less than satisfactory. 

All are agreed, however, that there is no* ade- 
quate synonym for the word. The best effort was 
some such phrase as "to obtain by hook or crook" 
or "to look high and low" for something. All of 
this is very pale stuff, however. To scrounge im- 
plies the application of imagination and a somewhat 
dim moral sense to the obtaining of something 
that for some reason seems highly useful to the one 
who obtains it. There is a touch of the per aspera 
ad astra, with the word astra especially apt, since 
the process is often most effectively pursued under 
cover of darkness. When the word is employed, 
it is considered bad form to probe the question of 
methods. The scrounger is as secretive about his 
deviousness as the cook about her pet recipes. 

The head of our Journalism Department gave 
this answer. "There is no other word that does 
the job. Why don't you suggest that the editor 
put the word in quotes?" 

That is the best I can do. I have a nagging sen- 
sation that Rabelais would have found a good word 
for it. 



E. S. Ames 

Ed. Henry. It is a pleasure to print an appraisal 
and appreciation of Mr. Henry while he is still very 
much alive. The Campbell Institute and The 
Scroll owe him a great debt. He served as Secre- 
tary several years in the days of our beginnings 
and we must credit him with getting out the Bul- 
letin which led to the publication of The Scroll. 
He has always been active in the Church and has 
served vital religion with reasonableness and en- 
thusiasm. '' 

Royal Humbert — Has done a valuable piece of 
research on the history of resolutions passed by 
the Illinois State Convention of Disciples in the 
last hundred years. His third article, next month, 
will tell about resolutions dealing with problems of 
labor and economics. He is a Professor of Econom- 
ics in Eureka College. 

Books. During the summer yacation I read some 
important books which I would be happy to share 
with those who have not read them. Some were 
books I bought, some were lent by friends. Here 
is the list of the more important ones : Lead, Kindly 
Light, by Vincent Sheean. This is a fascinating 
story of Gandhi, and the mysticisms of India. The 
Individual and His Religion, by Gordon W. Allport. 
An emphasis on the individual aspects of religion 
in contrast to the institutional and social. Reviewed 
by Dean Blakemore in The Scroll last April. In- 
credible Tale, by Gerald W. Johnson, being a review 
of the American political scene in the last half centu>- 
ry, with very favorable emphasis on the New Deal. 
Meaning in History, by Karl Lowith. This work pre- 
sents two contrasted views of history. One holds 
that history gets •meaning and continuity only when 


it is supematurally determined. The other claims 
that man influences the course of history but is in- 
competent to mold it to his will and is therefore 
always subject to frustration. A third view might 
be that the meaning of history is insoluble. Our 
Religious Tradition, by Sterling P. Lamprecht, Pro- 
fessor of Philosophy at Amherst, is a scholarly 
work of 93 pages. It holds that Judaism, Catholi- 
cism, and Protestantism pass from relatively primi- 
tive stages through institutionalized forms to more 
rationalized objectivity, much after the manner of 
ancient Greek religions. "The obvious means of their 
refinement is to infuse into them the insight of 

More Books. One of the hopeful signs of our 
times is the number of great books at low prices 
now offered on news stands. Science and the Mod- 
em World, is by the great scientist and philosopher, 
A. N. Whitehead. He answers the charge that sci- 
ence is materialistic and secular. 35 cents. Recon- 
struction in Philosophy by John Dewey. Chapter 2 is 
given largely to PVancis Bacon, "who as a prophet 
of new tendencies is an outstanding figure of the 
world's intellectual life." Here are illuminating dis- 
cussions of science, philosophy, logic, and reason. 
Many to whom philosophy is a dark subject will find 
common sense understanding here. 35 cents is the 
price. The Scientific Attitude, by C. H. Wadding- 
ton is a clarifying explanation of scientific pro- 
cedure and its implication for religion and practical 
life. 35 cents. Science and the Moral Life, by Max 
Otto, is in the series of Mentor Books, In the in- 
troduction to this volume Professor E. C. Linde- 
man says: "Some philosophers speak only to other 
professionals" . . . Max Otto, on th© contrary, speaks 
directly to 'consumers.' AH this for 35 cents, the 
four books for $1.40. 


Marvin 0. Smishury. He ia the mew President i«f 
tiie International Convention of the Disciples which 
is to be held in Ghicagro in 1952. He has been pastor 
of the University Church in Des Moines, adjoining 
Drake University, since 1939. He has been very 
successful in gaining accessions to the church every 
Sunday for years. This means constant scouting 
for new members and tiie systematic use of various 
methods of contacts and indoctrination. But it is 
the warm heart and ardent, persuasive religious 
zeal of the man which wins great numbers. When 
this zeal is accompanied with sane and attractive 
interpretations of the Bible and practical religion, 
it has a strong appeal to the educated and the 

Mr. and Mrs. Guy Sarvis, 434 College St., Macon, 
Ga. Mr. Sarvis retired last June from Wesleyan 
University in Delaware, Ohio, where he has been 
teaching Sociology for many years. It is difficult 
to realize that he is seventy, and he scarcely knows 
it himself since he is enjoying retirement so much, 
and at the same time is in demand for teaching. He 
is staying on a second year in Macon. He and Mrs. 
Sarvis have marvelous energy, keep up with their 
four children and many grandchildren from Florida 
to California. Last summer they spent in Mexico 
and Guatemala. It was in 1910 that the "Hyde 
Park Church, Chicago," now University Church, 
raised a fund to send the Sarvises to China to teach 
Sociology in the University of Nanking, and do 
cither things that Missionaries are supposed to do, 
such as famine relief work, preaching, writing, etc. 
All this and many other ta^s they did for fifteen 
years, when they came back to teach at Hiram Col- 
lege, and tiien at Ohio Wesleyan. It is a long, beau- 
tiful story which they should make into a book be- 
fore th«y are eighty I 


Samuel Guy Imnan. One morning recently, Dr. 
Inman telephoned me to join him and others at 
luncheon, and I was to telephone again whether I 
could arrange to meet him. Later, I could not reach 
him at his hotel or anywhere. It was a great dis- 
api)ointment to me because I like that man and 
always want to hear from him about the excitement 
he maintains for himself and others by moving 
around in Latin America and other mysterious 
places. I have some friends in those far lands and 
distant cultures. If he has the good fortune to see 
these lines I hope he will write an article for The 
Scroll, explaining everything! 

Ordination at the International Convention. Rob- 
ert Thomas, Minister of the St. Joseph, Mo., Church 
raises some questions as to the innovation of or- 
daining ministers at the Convention. He fears that 
it will appear to some that the Convention does it 
rather than the local churches whose representa- 
tives do the "laying on of hands." He also suggests 
that the local Church gains by the ceremony being 
held in the "home church" of the candidate. The 
most serious charge is that at Oklahoma City the 
questions were of a creedal type. Other questions: 
Who decided what questions should be asked and 
how they should be worded ? What would have hap- 
pened if one of the candidates had answered "no" 
to one of the questions? 

R. E. Elmore. Mr. Elmore asks for a statement 
giving the genesis, and purpose of the Campbell In- 
stitute. The Institute was organized at the Nation- 
al Convention in Springfield, Illinois, in 1896. There 
were 14 charter members, and there are now about 
600. The Scroll is the monthly publication (32 
pages) of the Institute and is available to any one 
interested. The purpose of the Institute, as the 
original constitution specified, is to cultivate 


"scholarship, fellowship, and the spiritual life." The 
organization has never undertaken to locate minis- 
ters, or teachers, or to elect officers of societies. 
It is not a secret society, nor a propagandist agency. 
Its meetings, writings, and records are open to 
inspection. Officers are listed in The Scroll every 
month. . 

A Family Reunion. On November 12, the Ames 
family succeeded in achieving a reunion of the par- 
ents and four children. Adelaide Schade came home 
for a visit after nearly four years in Copenhagen 
where her husband is an artist. Damaris Schmitt 
came from Alexandria, Virginia. Her husband, 
Bemadotte E. Schmitt is a historian: in the State 
Department. Van Meter is Professor of Philosophy 
in the University of Cincinnati. Polly Scribner 
Ames is an artist, living in New York, who has 
been for two years in Europe, mostly in France. 
She has been in Aix-em-Provence for several months, 
and found it difficult to get home as soon as the 
others. But she did get a sailing for the fourth of 
November and arrived in New York on the tenth. 
She flew to Chicago on the twelfth, and the reunion 
occurred that afternoon and evening. A photograph 
was taken at once as evidence that we did come 
together ! But Adelaide and Van Meter had to leave 
the next morning, Damaris on the thirteenth, and 
Polly the day after Thanksgiving! But it was won- 
derful and brought great happiness not only for the 
day but for every day. The old home where they 
all lived many years rang with their songs and 
laughter and still we hear the echoes! 

Word has jiist been received of the death of Mrs. 
Gertrude Gary Sutcliffe. She was a wonderful 
friend of the Disciples Divinity House, coming to 
its aid after the House was built. She provided the 
furni^ings, the Chapel, and about $750,000 of the 


endowment. On account of illness she has been 
cared for in Asheville, North Carolina, for the past 
eight years. Furttier particulars will be given later. 
Ed. Moeeley writes that he had two major chest 
operations last May and June to provide for a 
partial collapse of the right lung. He says he has 
made excellent recovery and hopes to be up and 
about again before too long. He adds, we take 
courage at the turn toward cooperation at the But- 
ler School of Religion. Dr. Shelton deserves real 
credit for what he is doing there. In time this may 
well become our outstanding seminary — aside from 
the D.D.H. of course! 

Where To Get a Sermon 

Benjamin F. Burns 
Where do you get a sermon when inspiration's 
lamp, like a rebellious cigarette lighter, fails to 
catch fire? Where do you get a sermon when that 
barrel (yours plus The Ptipit), like Old Mother 
Hubbard's cupboard, yields no bone? Where do you 
get a sermon when The Word, like, seed on rocky 
soil, falls on deaf ears? 

Turn then, preacher, to the people. The people, 
yes, they are unquenchable light ; they are the spirit's 
bread and meatr they are "living Word." And out 
of the intimate sharing of their lives, out of the 
comingling of your life and theirs with God's will 
flow eloquent preaching — compelling sermom 

For what Robert Frost said about a poem is just 
as surely true about a sermon: 

"A poem is never a put-up job. It begins as a 
lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesick- 
ness, a lovesickness."* 

*Robert Frost quoted in Louis Untermeyar, From Another 


Honoring W. E. Garrison 

Remarks of A. T. DeGroot in anrmal biisiness meet- 
ing of DCHS, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 
October 13, 1950. 

Mr. President: At the request of certain mem- 
bers of the Society, I want to give expression to a 
desire felt very generally within our membership. 
It is our conviction that we enjoy high good fortune 
in the monumental work and the long-time march of 
service on the part of one of our members. 

We are prompted to take some notice of this 
sentiment and satisfaction just now because of two 
anniversaries reached by this tireless worker dur- 
ing recent weeks, one being his 76th birthday and 
the other his 50th wedding anniversary. While I 
have not yet mentioned the person's name, I con- 
fess that these two achievements pretty well delimit 
the eligible parties present, and all of you will know 
that we refer to the current President of the DCHS, 
Dr. W. E. Garrison. 

There are several realms of work in which var- 
ious persons will recognize his outstanding achieve- 
ments. Some will recall (1) his great and growing 
shelf of books, each marked by painstaking scholar- 
ship. Others will remember (2) his perhaps un- 
matched sheaf of penetrating reviews of books by 
other writers, in which often the reviews are more 
clear outlines and chastely classical expositions of 
the contents than is true of the volume in question. 
His (3) addresses on a rich variety of cultural 
themes, his (4) competence as a musician, his (5) 
skill as a sculptor, and the delightful recollections 
we have of (6) his insight and humor shown as a 
raconteur, are grounds others would assign for his 
well established fame. In sum, his cultured bear- 
ing as a gentleman in all circumstances has brouight 


high regard to the entire brotherhood of churches 
in which he serves. 

We delight to honor and to felicitate this kind, 
courteous, patient statesman of learning to whom 
I owe so much in a personal way, our leading ser- 
vant — Dr. Winfred Ernest Garrison — and ask that 
this expression be spread upon our minutes. (Motion 
made and carried.) 

The Treasurer: "Eloquence" 

To persuade you. Scroll reader, that our sub- 
scription payments are vital to the life of this publi- 
cation requires far more eloquence than I command. 
Here then, is an eloquent reminder from O. F. 
Jordan, part of a letter (WITH ENCLOSURE) 
addressed to The Editor: 

"The Campbell Institute is not just a sentiment 
with me, but a real part of my life experience. When 
I write my autobiography for my children, as I 
hope to do some day, I shall speak of the courage 
it gave me to withstand those who would muffle 
free speech among us. It gave me guidance in the 
jungle of new books and some of the most wonder- 
ful friends any man ever had. There is a lot more 
to tell, but this is enough to let you know why a man 
who is a bit "Scotch" parts gladly with ten dollars. 
It is an installment on a debt." 

To which may be added those eloquent words of 
Jesus: the last four words of Luke 10: 37, RSV; 
and RSVP. 



The National Council of Churches 
in the U.S.A. 

E. S. Ames 

Tlie Christian Century did a remarkably piece of 
reporting in its issue of December 13 by giving such 
extended and detailed information concerning the 
organization of the Council in Cleveland, November 
28 to December 1, 1950. It is referred to by its ar- 
dent advocates as an epoch marking event in the 
history of Christianity. To those not in close touch 
with church movements in this country, and there 
are too many such, the work of these four days 
may seem hasty and drastic. But it must be re- 
membered that there have been many preparations 
through a long course of years toward this mo- 
mentous achievement. The idea of Christian union 
has been a growing hope in many groups for gener- 
ations, and organizations like the Christian Associa- 
tions, cooperative missions at home and round the 
world, developed into great interdenominational 
enterprises which have grown rapidly in recent 
decades. The Federal Council of Churches was one 
of the most successful in uniting the churches of 
America and leading toward this latest accomplish- 
ment. The International Council of Religious Edu- 
cation even more quickly attained great proportions 
and influence. 

One of the most interesting phases of the National 
Council relates to the place of Laymen in it. The 
Women of the churches have successfully organized 
themselves nationally into the United Council of 
Church Women, and this has led to a similar organ- 
ization for men, but the latter did not so smoothly 
reach the same status. Business men are more alert 


to the power and opportunity for effective associa- 
tion than are labor and agricultural men. One 
powerful, ultra-conservative business man, conserv- 
ative on practically all public issues, created a situ- 
ation in the conference at Cleveland which gives 
an example and a warning of undesirable develop- 
ments in what is intended to be a democratic and 
piously religious institution. A powerful man of 
money, with the most serious and genuine convic- 
tions, may feel conscientiously obliged to work for 
the promotion of measures which he thinks efficient, 
though to others these measures may seem authori- 
tarian and dangerously undemocratic. "The cooper- 
ative church movement needs the support of all 
Christians, the multi-millionaire as well as the wage 
earner, but it must be on guard against giving the 
impression of being too eager to cultivate the ap- 
proval of the former." 

Two-thirds of the members of American Protes- 
tant denominations are united to form the National 
Council. The 29 denominations have a combined 
membership of over 31 million persons. The con- 
stitution of the National Council indicates the real 
unity and oneness which is intended. These are the 
words of the preamble : "In the providence of God, 
the time has come when it seems fitting more fully 
to manifest the essential oneness of the Christian 
churches of the United States of America in Jesus 
Christ as their divine Lord and Savior, by the cre- 
ation of an inclusive cooperative agency to continue 
and extend the following general agencies of the 
churches and to combine all their interests and 

Each member denomination is allotted five mem- 
bers on the National Council and also one for each 
100,000 members. Each denomination elects its 
representatives in its own way. The National Coun- 


cil is our churches in their highest common effort 
for mankind. 

Obviously such a great body as the National Coun- 
cil becomes requires a well devised organization 
to enable it to care for all the interests and func- 
tions which it includes. The National Council is 
governed by a General Assembly meeting every two 
years. The General Board meets every two months 
and functions for the General Assembly when the 
latter is not in session. 

Then there are Divisions which are the function- 
ing bodies under the General Assembly and General 
Board. There are four of these Divisions, and they 
deal with Education, Foreign Missions, Home Mis- 
sions, Life and work. 

The Departments bring the operations of the 
National Council down to earth ! Joint Departments 
deal with work of more than one Division, — Family 
Life, Christian life service, stewardship, evangel- 
ism, religious liberty and promotion of benevolence, 
and missionary education. 

There is a third kind of department, namely. The 
Central Department of Services. These Central De- 
partments and Services serve the Council as a 
whole, the Divisions, the local and territorial co- 
operative organizations (that means state, county, 
and city councils of churches) and the agencies con- 
stituent to the Council. There are Central Depart- 
ments of Field Administration, of Publication and 
Distribution, of Finance, and other appropriate 
agencies (meaning Service Bureaus covering archi- 
tecture, broadcasting, and films, church world 
service, ecumenical relations, public relations, re- 
search and survey, American churches overseas, 
treasury and business management, and the work 
formerly done by the General Commission on Chap- 


E This is the organizational plan of the National 

Council. It probably will employ the services of 
800 to 1000 persons, clergy and laity. The report 
admits this machinery is complicated and confusing, 
but holds that there is every reason to expect it to 
-work, and work well. It says experience may simpli- 
fy it. 

The report candidly relates that the question of 
headquarters location brought the liveliest debate 
and finally led to referring the location to a com- 
mittee! Some wanted New York. Others argued 
that it should be near the center of population of 
this country. "The strength of the movement for a 
location near the center of population surprised 
everybody, including its advocates." This debate 
was regarded as having large significance. It served 
notice on the General Board that decisions may be 
taken out of its hands and referred to the General 
Assembly if necessary. It did more to create con- 
fidence that the National Council is actually the 
servant of the churches than anything that hap- 
pened at Cleveland. 

The report of the Christian Century was in every 
sense timely. It was published with surprising dis- 
patch, and competently furnished its readers a most 
interesting and objective account of these mo- 
mentous proceedings. It called attention tO' danger 
spots, such as that of the rich layman who boldly 
offered the influence of his "Lay Sponsors Commit- 
tee" as a standing Committee of the new National 
Council. Another danger it pointed out was that it 
requires so much machinery to operate such a vast 
society, "it may turn out to be nothing but ma- 
chinery, an intricate Charlie Chaplin phantasma- 
goria of wheels and gears grinding away supposed- 
ly to the glory of God but actually to the employ- 
ment of an army of organizational mechanics." A 


penetrating question then is raised : Can the voice 
of prophecy be kept alive in such a machine? The 
answer to this question is that it is vital that the 
voice of prophecy be kept alive ! As if a part of this 
answer, and challenging most serious thought, is 
this observation, "the best guarantee of a free faith 
in a free society is a strong local church, complete- 
ly sovereign, and close to the mind and heart of 
the people." 

Symposium on 
The National Council of Churches 


The organization of the National Council of 
Churches does not mean that American Protes- 
tantism has turned a corner but that it has ad- 
vanced another parasang along the road by which 
it was already travelling. It is an agency, or a co- 
ordination of agencies, for cooperation among the 
churches. Aside from such gains in efficiency and 
economy as may accrue from the merging of the 
various agencies, this closer organization among 
them should mean that each of them proceeds with 
more awareness of its place in a program larger 
than its own speciality. This should especially be 
true of such organizations as the Foreign Missions 
Conference, the Home Missions Council and the 
-International Council of Religious Education. It is 
highly important that the specialized operations of 
each agency be carried on with a full consciousness 
that each is a part of something larger than itself. 

The formation of the National Council of Churches 
of Christ in the USA carries to a new high the type of 
Christian unity most compatible with Disciples ideals 
and practice. It is a kind of unity which enables de- 


nominations and individuals to cooperate in a pro- 
gram of good works without prior allegiance to a 

Shailer Mathews long ago pointed out that there 
are two approaches to Christian unity: 1. The 
catholic method which seeks to unify the churches 
organically, and 2. the protestant method which ex- 
alts cooperation through federations and councils 
without respect to theology. Of course many protes- 
tants believe in the catholic method; others, espe- 
cially among the Disciples, are vaguely in favor of 
anything called unity, without critical considera- 
tion of method. 

The World Council is a fusion of the "Faith and 
Order" and "Life and Works" emphases. The 
National Council has little of the faith and order 
orientation. In fact, when a representative of a 
strict Calvinist group moved to substitute the ex- 
pression "Jesus is God" for "Jesus is Lord" in one 
of the official statements of the Council, the matter 
was referred to the committee to which such items 
are consigned "for study." 

Today Shailer Mathews sounds like the prophet 
that he was when we read in his book "New Faith 
for Old": "My experience has convinced me that 
there is developing a genuine desire to carry for- 
ward cooperatively the Christian task, but I see no 
reason for asserting that God's unity implies ecclesi- 
astical unity. Ancient issues which have separated 
Protestants are sinking back into their true perspec- 
tive. We are getting together by working together. 
. . . Christian groups hiave learned to cooperate with- 
out seeking to convert one another." 

It is always easier to have a display of unity 
on a national scale than on the local level, and the 
true value of Cleveland remains to be seen. One 
step in the right direction is the directive that the 


headquarters shall be near the population center of 
the nation. C'losely linked with this consideration 
is the fact that too much of the direction of the Coun- 
cil can come from the staff members of denomina- 
tional agencies. These men cannot be by-passed, 
but a greater responsibility should be put upon 
parish ministers and laymen. It is the desire to be 
near denominational headquarters that gives New 
York a claim to the general offices of the Council. 
Perhaps it should be added that denominations with 
offices in New York were not the worst offenders 
in this respect at Cleveland. I am indebted to an 
Anglican staff member of the World Council for 
this one : "If the ecumenical movement is ever going 
to be like anything other than a stage army which 
marches around and salutes itself in different po- 
sitions it must enlist the parish minister and lay- 
man to replace the professionals." 


To my mind, the Constituting Convention at Cleve- 
land was the most important religious meeting 
ever held in North America. If the fine spirit of 
ecumenicity manifested there, can take fire on the 
"grass roots" level, there will be a great new day 
for Protestantism. 

The meeting was held at a dramatic moment in 
history. Cleveland was in the throes of its worst 
blizzard. Nearly one million people were paralyzed 
by this natural catastrophe. The international situ- 
ation was dark and ominous. We seemed to live one 
hour at a time, hoping for the best, but spiritually 
prepared for the worst. In a sense, we recaptured 
the "first fine careless rapture" of the early church. 

On the day that we arrived, the Cleveland Plains 
Dealer carried a leading editorial on the theme of 


"interdependence." Every news bulletin received 
underscored this great word with ^ terrible urg- 
ency. We were like people living on the edge of a 
rumbling volcano. Every person present seemed to 
be convinced that Communism and Secularism are 
too strong for a divided church. 

Over the platform, in large silver letters, were 
(|ii these words : "This Nation Under God." The spirit 

of Gettysburg was present ;, and, once more, Lincoln 
seemed to "walk at midnight." Behind the altar, 
were some fifty flags representing the various nations 
of the earth. Above the altar was a large cross, 
and once more Jesus seemed to be hanging on it. On 
the altar was an open Bruce Rogers Bible, the most 
beautiful ever produced in this nation, and one 
of the four most important Bibles in existence. This 
Holy Book now belongs to the National Council! 

From coast to coast, from New England to Texas, 
we Disciples of Christ were there in great numbers. 
Ever since the days of our founding fathers we 
have been conditioned for this adventure of Chris- 
tian unity. The spirit of the late Pester Ainslie 
brooded over all our deliberations. We were true 
to our "plea" when we voted, as one of twenty-nine 
brotherhoods, to merge our eight cooperating agen- 
cies into The National Council of Churches, based 
on Christ as our "Divine Lord and Savior." 

This organization is not a communistic front, 
it has behind it many of the leading business men of 
our nation. It is not a super-church, but a voluntary 
attempt to work together in making "the inhabited 
earth" into "one household of faith." The press, 
radio, and television were represented in amazing 
numbers. When some thirty-two million church 
people speak on the great issues of our day, the chan- 
nels of information are wide open. Truly, the prayer 
of our Lord for unity is coming true. At long last. 


Protestantism is becoming "one flock, one shep- 
herd." In the spirit of Sinai, and the Sermon on the 
Mount, we announced to the whole world that, — 
"This Nation Under God . . . shall not perish from 
the earth!" 

My Search For What Is Most 


By George A. Coe, 

688 Mayflower Rd., Claremont, Calif. 

For what is "most" worthwhile. Many things are 
worthwhile that are not "most." Life has introduced 
me to a vast range and variety of agreeable experi- 
ences that seem to be reasonable. I am not an as- 
cetic. Nothing that I am about to say belittles the 
daily round or the satisfaction of simply occupying 
a place among my fellows. But I have discerned 
what seem to be ultimate values — ultimate in the 
sense that they are sufficient in and of themselves 
to be reasonable motives for conduct. I desire to 
identify and list such ultimates. 

My interest in so doing was partly expressed in an 
essay, "My Own Little Theater," nearly a quarter 
century ago. It was printed in Religion in Transi- 
tion, a book of composite authorship edited by Ver- 
gilius Ferm (London, 1937). Other phases of my 
search can be inferred from my intensive treatment 
of personality in What Is Christian Education? 
(New York, 1910.) 

In these productions, and indeed from my stu- 
dent days till now, my dominant ethical interest has 
concerned the nature, the functions, and the setting 
within the natural order qf the human personality. 


From the first, however, my approach was less 
through logical reflection than through decisions 
made when I had occasion to choose among com- 
peting values. This has involved the conscious ac- 
ceptance of risks ; I have taken as valid some things 
that as yet are beyond proof. I have enjoyed quot- 
ing to myself Goethe's "I'm Anfang War Die That." 
Nevertheless, in my youth I rather inconsistently 
endeavored to express to myself the meaning of 
my own personal selfhood by noting the isms that 
I accepted and rejected. As my years advanced I 
did so less and less. This does not signify a tend- 
ency to go over to any of the cults of irrationalism, 
but rather that no ism, whether it be philosophical 
or theological, means me or you. In each of us 
there is an overplus of all isms. It can be detected 
even in the conduct of theologians and philosophers, 
whatever be their views of the universe. Their 
choices are not mere applications of what they re- 
gard as proved or probable. Personality, in spite 
of the fact that it is partly problematical and partly 
subjected to hazards that it cannot endorse, goes 
on asserting by the functions it performs that it 
has in itself a validity that does not require proof. 
I am far from assenting to any of the traditional 
mystical philosophies which also affirm insights that 
are beyond proof, but some activities of some mys- 
tics do seem actually to leave all isms behind. A 
specimen of such activities will be mentioned in a 
later paragraph. 

This overplus in myself I recognize in leanings 
that are not the same as ideas or logical demands — 
leanings that repeat themselves, not growing old, 
time-worn, nor even commonplace. I take this to 
indicate that something there in the direction to- 
wards which I lean furnishes permanent support. 
This permanent support is directly related to the 


fact that personality is inherently interpersonal. I 
never become a mere individual. My thoughts, my 
desires, even my wilfulness are part expressions in 
me of the groups, large and small — domestic, politi- 
cal, economic, religious, etc. — within or among which 
I have lived. In order to know myself, then, I must 
look outward as well as inward, and my leanings 
can be mine only when they are more than spurts 
of arbitrariness. Indeed, I conduct myself most dis- 
tinctly as a person, and my leanings have in them 
the most of this element of apparent response, when 
I am least arbitrary, least impetuous, most inclined 
to pause and look around me. 

I recognize personality in another by noting signs 
that he not only has experiences, but also weighs 
them. A person might be described generally as a 
"confronter." When he is most himself he faces 
around towards the society whence he derives his 
culture; he faces round towards nature, whence his 
every breath and heart-beat proceed; he faces 
around towards the totality of being, which is called 
the universe. A person is not a "yes-man." Not that 
dissent is the core of personality, but that inquiry 
is at the core. 

I. A large part of the significance of personality 
has come to light in great questioners who, unre- 
strained and unafraid, look and see ; follow evidence 
whithersoever it may lead; subordinate so-called 
personal interest to the truth, and by cooperation 
of mind with mind create science, which is democ- 
racy of the intellect. I no more ascribe sainthood 
to the man of science than I ascribe competent ques- 
tion-asking to the saint. B'ut, in the victory of scien- 
tific method over its opponents I perceive a great 
jump in the recognizable value of a man. 

II. The significance of personality comes to light 
through philosophy also. I refer, not to anything 


that philosophy establishes by logical processes, but 
to the act of confronting the universe with questions 
that one's own mind has competently wrought out. 
This act illumines the inherent dignity of man, what- 
ever be the answers at which the philosopher ar- 
rives. I have witnessed the scrupulousness with 
which two associations of scholars — one an associa- 
tion of men of science, the other an association of 
philosophers — guard the right to ask questions. 
Each of the associations was aroused to a high pitch 
by the treatment a member had suffered because 
his conclusions were distasteful. But neither as- 
sociation defended the conclusion nor the reasonings 
of its member ; rather, each association defended the 
right to ask questions. On other occasion, when 
some professors in a great university had brought 
criticism upon the university itself, I heard the 
head of it say substantially this: "Some teachers 
in the university of which I am the head hold ideas 
and say things that I abominate, but they have a 
right to think them and to say them!" Obviously, 
the right here involved did not depend upon the cor- 
rectness of a conclusion, but upon the inherent 
worthwhileness of asking important questions. 

Theology asks much the same questions as philos- 
ophy, but after a fashion of its own. This fashion 
concerns both the way of arriving at questions, and 
the way of seeking answers for them. Both these 
points can be illustrated by a conversation I had 
some thirty or more years ago with one of the most 
distinguished theologians of my generation. I re- 
marked that his theology seemed tO' be substantial- 
ly the same as a philosophy of religion. He hotly 
maintained the contrary. He regarded theology as 
a self-sustained unfolding of truth that already has 
been grasped by one religion. Now, anyone who 
strictly follows this pattern subjects himself to a 


temptation to slight the context of the questions that 
he asks. Here is an example : The non-Christian re- 
ligions began to receive a reasonable amount of 
attention in the theological seminaries, less than a 
hundred years ago. In the next place, a mode of 
inquiry that starts with an assumption that one 
religion already has grasped the truth plants an 
answer within what has the form of a question. 
This I perceived when I was a young student of 
theology. See Religion in Transition, 97.f. 

Nevertheless, in theology, as in philosophy, the 
worth and dignity of personality have stood out 
in the act of inquiry. For increasingly theologians, 
sometimes to their cost, treat this or that dogma 
with freedom, and not a few theologians seem to 
forget entirely the authoritarianism that gave their 
occupation its name. Here is the very process of 
self-realization and self-fulfilment. To no small 
extent, moreover, the problems of the philosopher 
have been set for him by the theologian, and what 
holds philosophy to the grindstone is largely a kind 
of religious longing. The main contribution to our 
insight into the meaning of personality that comes 
from these two related quarters comes directly from 
the act of inquiry — ^the act of looking the universe 
squarely in the face without cringing. 

Do I actually hold that a procedure that may and 
sometimes does lead to denial of the existence of 
God can illumine the dignity and worth of man? I 
do. Inquiry into ultimates is one of the things that 
are most worthwhile. Religion speaks correctly of 
faith in God, for in logic the matter is hypothetical, 
as I have indicated in What Is Christian Edmca- 
tion?, 288. If we are not hospitable to inquiry and 
inquirers, hospitable also to all evidence against as 
well as for, how can we say that we share Jesus* 
unreserved belief in the worth, of a man ? Moreover, 


one might well ask whether we could reverence a 
God who was averse to having us sturdily inquire 
whether he exists — ^sturdily inquire, not as courtiers 
■who must curry favor. 

IIL In the next place, those among us who, by 
research and invention, transmute some energy of 
nature into power that can be controlled by persons 
fcr ends that are determined by persons exhibit 
another of the most worthwhile kinds of personal 
action. Even "gadgets" do not deserve the con- 
tempt in which some persons profess to hold them. 
Ai? for the already achieved major controls of natu- 
ral forces, particularly in the field of medicine, 
wlio can contemplate them without such reverence 
fox man as the Eighth Psalm puts into its great 
anthem? Activities of human beings are transmut- 
ing the very meaning of "nature." The occupations 
of nature are shifting before our very eyes. Nature 
do(3s the family washing; it produces hybrid com 
and seedless oranges ; it manufactures "appliances" ; 
it carries men and goods across continents and seas, 
and through the stratosphere ; it whispers the news 
in a closed room, and the whole world hears ; it mul- 
tiplies beauty through new varieties of roses. In 
the field of therapeutics the occupations of nature 
today are of kinds undreamed of when the phrase 
vis medicatrix naturae was coined, and they work 
effects equally undreamed of then. These are speci- 
mens only, a partial index of a vast mass of trans- 
mutations of natural energy into usable power. 
Moreover, the scientific imagination looks ex- 
pectantly for immeasurably greater transmutations 
than these. At all these points it is the human per- 
sonality that bestows upon nature a new competence. 

IV. In artists, likewise in the common enjoyment 
of the fine arts, I glimpse another aspect of what 
it is to be a person. When I have looked upon men, 


women, and children of New York City's working 
classes flowing in great streams through the galleries 
of the Metropolitan Museum on some holiday, I have 
lifted up my eyes towards the human personality 
as such. There is much in the fine arts of which I 
am unsure, though the art critic need not be. But 
competency as a critic is not a prerequisite to per- 
ceiving that the arts seem to add a new dimension 
to personality. They open the eyes of the mind ; they 
enlarge the scope of the emotions; they make the 
world more interesting, and they make one's self 
more interesting to oneself. Of course what happens 
is that capacities already there are brought into 
action and to notice. It is known that children 
often experience esthetic glow and exaltation by 
merely observing closely something in nature or 
in man that is entirely ordinary. A similar experi- 
ence is common among nature lovers, even those 
who are. lovers also of scientific precision ; it occurs 
among mathematicians and logicians who find beauty 
in the abstract objects of their daily study. The 
general failure of educational institutions to in- 
troduce students to the beauty in mathematics is 
one of the near-tragedies in education. 

That such esthetic experience is more than a 
species of enjoyment, even a kind of realization of 
something deeply real in ourselves and in the uni- 
verse about us, is an old doctrine. There is some- 
thing in it. Out of mere fiddles there springs cham- 
ber music! 

V. In the religious prophet I perceive further 
light upon my problem. Its ray are parallel to those 
that radiate from the great questioners who have 
been described. My main reason for naming the 
prophet is not my admiration for sympathy, clarity 
of moral insight, and courage, but the fact that he 


promotes the decay of ethically uncritical piety. 
This includes the exposure, as by the 8th Century 

1 prophets of Israel, of ethically uncritical worship, 

* and a summons to a more religious religion. Rare- 

ly is the nature of this contribution to real living 

I ; fully understood. Rdigion, of its very nature, re- 

quires prophets. For the elan that religions display 
at their outset lessens automatically and not im- 

|j: properly until it is spent; whereupon, — ^improperly, 

now — ^the forms, instrumentalities, and institutions 
of religion offer themselves as religion. What 
arouses the prophet is their lack of ethical sensitiv- 
ity. He can recall religion to its better self only 
by exposing and opposing the piety of his time 
and his people. He has to be a troubler of Israel, 
a disturber of the church. But in his personality, 
• and in the tombs that ultimately are erected in his 
honor, there is a glimmering of the truth that, if 
we are to be adequately personal, we must not be 
mere receptacles into which ultimate values are 
poured ; we must ourselves be fountains of ultimate 

The prophet discredits particular kinds of con- 
duct, not human nature. He is so far from doing 
so that an everpresent implication of his message 
is that human beings can right their own bad con- 
duct. Prophetism has no affinity with the doctrine 
of natural depravity; its affinity is with rigorous 
inquiry, in our time with sociological inquiry. That 
we come to ourselves partly by now and then re- 
versing ourselves is a fact, however. Repentance 
is a normal aspect of personal 'growth — repentance 
in the ethical sense of renouncing and turning away, 
I not in the sense of emotional eruption. It is a 

privilege in which to rejoice just as a researcher 
rejoices when he discovers and corrects an error 
of his own. 


I discussed this phase of my problem in The 
Motives of Men (New York, 1928), 246-251, in a 
manner that substantially represents my present 
thinking. The sickness of today's civilization would 
not have occurred if our culture had appreciated 
the privilege of this kind of repentance. There has 
been, and there is increasing a general clogging of 
the ducts of self-criticism. By "the ducts of self- 
criticism" I mean both inner processes of self-judg- 
ment, and outward agencies that express and pro- 
mote them, such as published organs of information 
and appraisal. 

VI. The qualities that we have found in men of 
science, philosophers, theologians, inventors, artists 
and religious prophets appear also in the great 
strugglers for civil liberties, political rights, sex 
equality, and full recognition of personality regard- 
less of color, national origin, religion, and political 
alignment. All these strugglers exalt personality. 
In this drea a temptation arises that is parallel to 
that of a parent who shrinks from the mental wean- 
ing of a child. Just as many an affectionate parent 
endeavors indefinitely to do and decide for his child 
instead of making him competent to do and decide 
for himself, many privileged individuals and groups 
that are generously inclined towards other races and 
classes undertake to do and decide for them instead 
of promoting in them competency and determi- 
nation to do and decide for themselves. In other 
words, a fallacious superiority complex is nourished 
by one's goodness ! Only by rising out of superiority 
complexes can men and nations, demonstrate what 
it is to be a person. 

VII. Being a middle-class intellectual, I might 
be expected to let these references to gifted person- 
alities suffice as my index to what is most worth 
while. But they are not a sufficient index. My at- 


tention has been attracted to our prisons ever since 
the first world war — increasingly attracted tO' them 
because they increasingly immure persons who ac- 
cept pain and ignominy rather than do disrespect 
to themselves as persons. I refer to conscientious 
objectors; to the "Hollywood Ten"; to eleven lead- 
ers of the Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee ; to 
Richard Morford, Executive Secretary of the Na- 
tional Council of American-Soviet Friendship; to 
others like these, and I do not forget that still 
others, not yet in prison, have exhibited the same 
determination to maintain the integrity of their per- 
sonality. I do not here pass judgment upon the 
social policies of any of these persons. But when I 
behold men accepting this cost of living as self-, 
respecting personalities, I stand in awe, and the 
smoothness of my own career humbles me. 

VIII. Is any light upon my problem to be dis- 
cerned in what is sometimes called the "mass man" ? 
"Your people, Sir, is a great beast," quofes Carl 
Sandburg from an early American aristocrat {The 
People, Yes, 28 f.).For years I have looked upon 
the labor movement as expressing more fully than 
anything else that is known to me what humanity 
is like when it does not wear its Sunday clothes. 
The labor movement below its surface is a mass 
movement towards a mass affirmation that human 
beings are persons. Over against all the crude con- 
duct that bestrews the history of the labor' conflict 
stands the indisputable fact that the movement is 
towards the extension of culture in the good sense 
of this term. The maintenance of the family ; the 
education of children ; security against the degener- 
ative influence of unemployment, and against the 
preventable ills of sickness and old age ; leisure, and 
participation in the determination of one's earthly 
destiny — ^towards all these the workers have been 


moving by virtue of powers within themselves. 
Moreover, they have given noteworthy support to 
universal education. The American Federation of 
Labor has a remarkable record for support of en- 
lightened, policies in our public schools. Though 
the American labor movement has been disinclined 
towards social philosophizing, it has all these charac- 

In parts of the world where social philosophy 
plays a considerable part in the labor movement, 
especially where the influence of Karl Marx is strong, 
production tends to be conceived as a function of 
society as a whole rather than as a function of 
parts of society that are required or induced to 
serve the whole. That every normal adult should be 
a producer; that leisure classes are parasitic, and 
that it is unmanly to belong to one of them; that 
the production of ponderable goods and the produc- 
tion of intellectual, scientific, and esthetic goods 
are properly inseparable from each other ; that recre- 
ation should be neither a flight from today's labor 
nor a march towards tomorrow's labor, but a prima- 
ry activity like the arts — these are developing 
phases of this view of production. Within the whole 
is an assumption that action as a person includes 
a mechanical factor. And it really does, a western 
tradition to the contrary notwithstanding. An act 
of thinking or choosing, considered as an event and 
not abstractly, includes motion-neural, glandular, 
and muscular. 

In these remarks about the labor movement I 
have not been straying from my theme. Labor, 
though it is regarded in Grenesis as a curse, has 
been one of the main humanizing, civilizing, and 
moralizing influences of all time. In what I have 
described I perceive this influence approaching one 
of its focal points. What is taken to be most worth- 


while is undergoing a partial reversal in many, 
many minds besides my own. To me it is obvious 
that this reversal gears in with the truth that per- 
sonality is inherently inter-personal; that un- 
restricted questioning by the inter-personal 
processes of science is an ultimate value; that 
the flow of ultimate values is through unrestricted 
revision of our valuations ; and that this self-in- 
society which is a society-in-selves is itself a foun- 
tainhead of ultimate values. This judgment of 
mine is not dependent upon either the economic 
theories of Marx or the political theories that his 
most vocal followers are endeavoring to put into 
practice. My conclusion is that among the things 
that are worthwhile is the experience of being a 
producer within an unrestricted fellowship of pro- 
ducers. Making private profits out of the labor of 
other men does not attain this level of valfte, and it 
never can, whatever improvement in standards of 
living it makes possible for any segment of the popu- 
lation. Production for private profit treats as 
separable in man what is inseparable. It is pro- 
duction for mechanical ends, the adding of material 
possessions to material possessions. This is hyper- 
trophy of the mechanical phase of personality. 

IX. Now I come to the sort of mysticism that I 
have referred to as transcending all isms. A short 
time ago, the American Friends Service Committee 
presented to the USSR twenty-five thousand dollars' 
worth of streptomycin, and the gift was accepted. 
These Quakers were following what they call the 
"inner light." Whatever the inner light may be or 
not be, it led them beyond the darkness that en- 
velopes the world today. . They emerged into the 
light of unqualified goodwill or ethical love, out- 
ward-acting as well as inwardly inspiring, free, un- 
restrained by public opinion, custom, and fear. 


These Americans conducted themselves as persons, 
and they assumed that Russians are persons. There 
is ground for a surmise that "they builded better 
and they knew" in that their political ideas were 
transcended and perhaps partly contradicted by 
their magnificent conduct. 

This going the whole length with respect, active 
love, and drive towards community is what makes 
Jesus irresistible. His thinking about nature, histo- 
ry, and God is not irresistible, and of course theol- 
ogies that are based upon it are not. But his love, 
even for enemies, adds to the value of life what 
nothing seems able to take away. When Paul says 
that love never fails I take his meaning to be that 
it never accepts any of its many defeats as final; 
that it never surrenders any ground, however long 
the full control of it may be delayed. The realiza- 
tion of self in and through such love of others is 
a realization of "the blessed community" of which 
Royce and Jesus speak. It is to experience what 
is most of all worthwhile. 

X. There is a relation between ethical love and 
conjugal love that determines one of the things 
that are most worth while. Human mating is a 
mating of persons. A person is not a bundle of 
desires and aversions, but one who, having desires 
and aversions, is capable, or can become capable 
of supervising them. The supervision of them by 
each of the mates in the interest of the personality 
in both of them, and in the interest of other persons, 
those yet to be bom included, can put sex interest 
upon the highest plane of satisfaction, and even of 
romance. On the other hand, desire to absorb an- 
other individual, or willingness to be absorbed; 
humoring or exalting one's own emotions or the 
emotions of another ; making spot-bargain decisions 
and trying to believe that they are for life — ^these 


make for defeat of individual and social ends that 
are of most worth. 

This is not an expression of nostalgia for the 
old ways. The old ways were the ways of sex in- 
equality, autocratic rule in the family, concealment 
of truth, and mis-education of the young. Now 
that we have all this tO' undo, a portentous propor- 
tion of our people are letting go the old ways with- 
out seizing the dazzling opportunity that our fathers 
missed seeing — the enrichment of affection at all 
its stages by making it an expression of one's own 
developing personality, and a help to personality 
development in the other. 

Imagined voices are asking whether communion 
with God is not the most worthwhile of all things. 
If this question refers to an experience that is sepa- 
rable from or independent of what I have described 
as most worthwhile, the answer is that I have had 
no such separate or independent experience. My 
upbringing and my immediate environment led me 
to look for such individualistic divine communion, 
and inner states that seemed to move in this direc- 
tion were cultivated. But the reliable residue of 
these procedures was confrontation by some of the 
very same values that I have pointed out in this 
essay. There was something about them that was 
self-sustaining, as nothing else in the experience 
was. A's I have said, my "leanings" remained fresh 
and unendingly renewable. They became for me 
the area in which the idea of God acquired its most 
satisfactory meaning. 

In "My Own Little Theater" {Religions in Transi- 
tion, 92-97), I have related how the Darwinian 
controversy started me in this conscious direction. 
I judge that the most significant turning point in 
my life, religiously considered, was this early turn- 
ing away from dogmatic method to scientific 


method. Devotion to truth ascertained by scientific 
method became a feature of my personal religion. 
As I review the "most worthwhiles" of the present 
essay, I realize that in describing them I have al- 
ready described my communion with God. 

Of course the meaning of God has changed for 
me, as it has changed for at least a large minority 
of those who are recognized as religious. How could 
the idea fail to become fluid when the e^tperienced 
values that give meaning to life have grown fluid? 
These values are "becomings," obviously so; they 
are capable of going on from more to more, or 
backward from less to less. They are reflected 
backward towards origins and forward towards 
destinies in any idea of the world order that we 
can entertain. The world order is a kind to bring 
forth these worthwhiles. It brings them forth with- 
in, and partly by means of processes some of which 
are otherwise valueless, and some of which inter- 
fere with and defeat values. How deep within the 
universe this contrast between values and non- 
values goes is one of the ever-living questions. One 
recent philosopher of religion expressed the idea that 
God is the personality-producing force in the uni- 
verse. Another philosopher of religion has taken 
the totality of our highest social values as the con- 
tent of the idea of the divine. The growth of values 
is taken by another as the divine reality. Still 
others conceive of the divine being as encounter- 
ing and presumably wrestling with a "given" some- 
what as we do, and at last the idea a growing 
God has arrived. All these views, together with 
views that contradict them, are to me of secondary 
importance. The overwhelmingly important thing 
is the performance of the distinctive functions of 
personality. Here are all the things that are most 
worth while. 


Convention Resolutions: 
A Case History 

Royal Humbert, Eureka, III. 

During the fifty years since 1899, the convention 
of Illinois Disciples has passed fourteen resolutions 
dealing with issues relating directly or indirectly 
to the struggle for economic power. This is a small 
number of statements compared with the rather 
continuous flow of resolutions on the liquor prob- 
lem. Perhaps the authors of a resolution in 1940 
had this in mind when they expressed "deep peni- 
tence for our neglect of the problem of economic 

The few statements made on Christian responsi- 
bility in an industrial society focus on two prob- 
lems. These are (1) the role of labor, and, (2) 
the working of America's capitalist economy. In 
the midst of moderate variations of emphasis in 
these areas, a common religious ideal tends to re- 
appear. This ideal is for the church "to present 
with renewed emphasis the ideals of Christ as a 
remedy for the ills of our social, political and eco- 
nomic life." 

In the attempt to combine this religious ideal with 
the realities of economic life an abundance of plati- 
tudes emerge and few fundamental encounters with 
basic social maladjustments take place. A tragic 
contradiction is seen in this set of resolutions. 
Where the "principles of Christ" are mentioned 
most, the specific problems needing the guidance 
of such principles are dealt with least. The con- 
trast between the intensive concentration upon a 
specific issue in the prohibition fight and the rather 
innocuous generalities set out on the economic situ- 
ation is rather glaring. This is probably a rather 


typical blind spot in the outlook of churches loaded 
with middle class attitudes and virtues. 

From 1860 to 1890 an acute issue developed in 
American life. It was that of the relation between 
a rapidly rising national income and the laboring 
man's share in this expanded wealth.^ During these 
thirty years, national wealth increased from six- 
teen billion dollars to seventy-eight and one half 
billion dollars. This increase was distributed un- 
evenly. Approximately three-tenths of one percent 
of the population controlled more than one-half of 
the wealth. During the 1870s real wages dropped 
twenty five per cent. The American Industrial revo- 
lution was creating wealth in amounts unheard of 
before. Industrialization was also producing a 
working class resentful of receiving only a poverty 
share of this new wealth. Labor organization, which 
had been a minority movement before 1860, began 
to expand in membership. In the state of Illinois, 
in the seven years from 1887 to 1893, there were 
725 strikes affecting over eight thousand business 
establishments. 3 By 1890 the American Federation 
of labor had become the functioning symbol of the 
working man's place in the struggle for economic 
power within a capitalist economy. 

What was the response which this situation 
evoked in the mind of Illinois Disciples? Response 
came only slowly. The" cultural lag between the 
period of the beginnings of the issue raised by or- 
ganized labor's emergence and the Disciples' recog- 
nition of labor's demands as of concern to the 
church was about thirty five years. One can hardly 
say that this religious group "pioneered" in the 
question of labor and equality rights in the eco- 

2Yinger, J. M. "Religion In the Struggle for Power," 132. 
^Bogart and Thompson, "The Industrial State," vol. 4, 
The Centennial History of Illinois, 509. 


nomic sphere. However, once labor had begun to 
make an effective and responsible bid for recog- 
nition as an organized body, a significant response 
w^as made by the church. 

In 1898, Samuel Gompers, first president of the 
Federation of Labor, said: "My associates have 
come to look upon the church and the ministry 
as the apologists and the defenders of the wrong 
commited against the interests of the working peo- 
ple." A considerable number of the established sects 
and churches had been opposed to what appeared 
to be the irreligion and lack of respect for tradition 
which characterized some phases of the new labor 

A resolution, adopted unanimously at the Dis- 
ciple convention in 1899, almost sounds like an at- 
tempt to show organized labor that the truth in 
Gompers' charge did not need to apply to all re- 
ligious groups. The text is rather unique, since it 
was the first declaration made concerning the 
struggle for economic justice at the annual meet- 
ing of Illinois Disciples. 

"It is the sense of this convention that it 
would be advisable for our ministers and 
church officers throughout the state to invite 
the accredited and creditable representatives 
of organized labor to occupy our pulpit at 
proper times, that we may hear of their needs 
and that we may assure them of our Christian 
interest in them. Moreover, that next year a 
prominent place on our program be given to a 
prominent representative of the labor interest 
so that we may have a full and free discussion 
of the great questions of labor and capital that 
are now agitating our society." 
This declaration initiated and expressed a trend 
which lasted for about fifteen years. During this 


time, the church was challenged at infrequent in- 
tervals to make known a genuine interest and af- 
filiation with the needs and aspirations of the work- 
ing people. This theme set a pattern which, how- 
ever, tended to fade out later. The realism of these 
resolutions at the turn of the century consisted in 
the fact that they were concerned with concrete 
problems and avoided moralistic generalities. When, 
for example, tension between workers and owners 
developed into a major strike in the southern Illi- 
nois coal mines, the convention of 1902 approved a 
statement deploring the "loss of life, the suffering, 
and the destruction of good-will" resulting from 
the strike. In addition, the resolution condemned 
"the action of the operators in refusing to submit 
the question involved to arbitrators for settlement." 

During the twenties and the thirties recommen- 
dations frequently became motivated more by con- 
cern for "principles" and less with the realities of 
the struggle for power. Most of the statements dur- 
ing these decades went little beyond affirmation of 
the applicability of Jesus' principles directly to the 
social situation. The problem of creating a political 
and economic organization adequate to handle the 
emergency is conspicuous by its absence. There 
is no realistic encounter with the need to create 
social mechanisms necessary in the achievement of 
justice. One cannot escape the conclusion that a 
basic wrestling with the problem of justice tended 
to be dismissed by premature appeals to the prin- 
ciples of Jesus and the good intentions of individu- 
als. Twice during the thirties, however, the col- 
lapse of the American and world economy was faced 

At the beginning of the depression, the problem 
of the stability of a capitalist economy forced itself 
into prominence. The convention approved a 


prophetic response to the crisis. The annual assem- 
bly in 1931 declared that it should accept 

"responsibility for the churches of our broth- 
erhood to insist upon industrial and political 
leaders, with the aid of Christian statesman- 
ship, to challenge to its ultimate a social sys- 
tem whose normal working has inevitably is- 
sued in cyclic periods of poignant distress, 
through the deprivation of labor to millions seek- 
ing employment and starving in the presence 
of vast stores of foodstuff." 
The principles guaranteed in the Wagner Labor 
Act of 1935 were accepted tardily some two years 
after the act had become national law. A resolution 
said that since the church believed in "no favori- 
tism to class or group," the "right of labor to or- 
ganize and bargain collectively" should be recog- 
nized, adding that all disputes ought to be settled 
"without violence." This may be interpreted as a 
mere general endorsement of any principle of or- 
ganization and bargaining. Or, as seems more like- 
ly, it is a veiled acceptance of the National Labor 
Relations Act which guaranteed to employees "the 
right to self-organization," and to "bargain col- 
lectively through representatives of their own 

During the past decade the convention has passed 
no resolutions dealing with labor or the economic 
situation. The Labor Act of 1935 apparently re- 
ceived some degree of support. We do not know 
what the attitude of the convention may be toward 
the more recent labor legislation, the Taft-Hartley 
act of 1947. Neither the problems which are sup- 
posed to have given rise to the new act nor the 
legislation itself have been mentioned. One can- 
not judge as to whether this silence symbolizes that 
the whole area of economic relations is becoming 


the victim of complacency or whether a growing 
maturity of experience is making a decision on such 
matters less easy. 

A recommendation passed by the convention in 
194D suggests that some have felt the area of labor 
and economic relations has been neglected. The 
statement was made that the church membership 
needed to be awakened in order to seek "to learn 
the facts of our economic life." This emphasis upon 
study of the facts was continued during the war, 
without, however, committing the convention to any 
point of view. During the nineteen-forties three 
recommendations suggested that the individual 
churches study the materials then available on "A 
Just and Durable Peace." No data is available on 
how many churches took advantage of the opportu- 
nity to give serious thought to this material. The 
lack of even a mildly prophetic series of pronounce- 
ments on the issues of the post-war world would 
make it appear that any effect the use of these 
materials may have had was rather negligible. The 
convention did endorse, however, the development 
of the program looking toward the formation of the 
United Nations. The denominational war-time serv- 
ice fund received unanimous acceptance. 

This raises the question of the relationship of Illi- 
nois Disciples to the resources available in the 
studies on the economic order made by the ecumeni- 
cal conferences at Oxford in 1937 and at Amsterdam 
in 1948. Has this religious brotherhood iii the mid- 
dle west been affected to the extent of taking these 
ecumenical studies seriously? 

In 1949, a member of the committee on resolu- 
tions for the state convention hammered out a rele- 
vant and concise statement examining "accumula- 
tions of property in the light of their social con- 
sequences." This is one of the basic tasks which 


Oxford said the churches need to do. The resolution 
presented to the convention reflects something of 
the "middle way" in economic relations set out at 
both Oxford and Amsterdam. These ecumenical con- 
ferences refused to be committed to either the fal- 
lacies of communist economics or the promises of 
traditional capitalist thought. The 1949 convention 
resolution was presented but a vote was never 
asked from those in attendance. This tactic was 
accepted by the committee because some of the mem- 
bers felt the recommendation would not reflect ac- 
curately the opinion of the convention. 

The tabled resolution of '49 "on the economic 
order" points out the inequalities resulting from 
a system "based upon private ownership of means 
of life and organized for the production of private 
profit." It suggests that the motivation resulting 
from the struggle for profit corrupts "political 
democracy, generates a secular view of man and 
property, and precipitates a devastating cycle of 
inflation, depression and war." These contradic- 
tions of God's law of love and the essential unity of 
man as His creature cannot longer be met, the reso- 
lution suggests, by the church proclaiming merely 
the virtue of charity. The church must also pro- 
claim "the necessity of justice whereby the eco- 
nomic and political institutions of man's life be- 
come the instruments of God's purpose." The practi- 
cal implication suggested to be drawn from this 
perspective is to "commend the continuous growth 
of economic democracy in the development of a 
working compromise between free enterprise and 
public ownership, through consumer cooperatives, 
the larger sharing of profits and responsibilities 
between labor and management, and all favorable 
legislation consistent with Christian principles and 
democratic processes." 


Points of view worked out by democratic and 
representative groups such as these at Oxford and 
Amsterdam need to be taken seriously by Disciples. 
For by their origin in history the Disciples are com- 
mitted to the unity of the body of Christ. The offi- 
cial reports of the views on economics and Christi- 
anity published by the recent ecumenical assem- 
blies represent a type of authority congenial to 
churches related to the congregational tradition of 
church government. These reports offer a practical 
norm for guidance and conscientious self-criticism 
without being considered infallible in the Roman 
Catholic sense. The process of arriving at con- 
clusions in the conferences was through democratic 
discussion and the personnel in the discussion 
groups represented a significant cross-section of the 
inhabited areas of the globe. 

The church in the world today is called to live 
in the midst of the East-West conflict. Deeply in- 
volved in this tension are the cultural perspectives 
of capitalist and communist thought. The church 
seeking to proclaim a gospel adequate for the times 
cannot avoid coming to grips v^dth the issue stated 
at Amsterdam. 

"Communist ideology puts the emphasis 
upon economic justice and promises that 
freedom will follow automatically after 
the completion of the revolution. Capital- 
ism puts the emphasis upon freedom and 
promises that justice will follow as a by- 
product of free enterprise."^ 
The church cannot hope to remain neutral in re- 
gard to the cultural perspectives in the East-West 
conflict. An outlook on the issues implied in these 
ideologies acceptable to Christianity has not 
achieved adequate clarification among a large pro- 
portion of Protestants. The fact that Illinois Disci- 
ples, as one segment of Protestantism, have not as 


yet developed any statement representing a con- 
sensus of opinion on these issues may be one proof 
of this lack of clarification. The Amsterdam report 
on "the disorder of society" declared that "it is the 
responsibility of Christians to seek new, creative 
solutions which never allow either justice or free- 
dom to destroy the other." This can hardly be real- 
ized unless Christianity in mid-west America un- 
derstands what justice and freedom mean in the 
context of the present world situation. 

4 Symposium, vol. Ill, the Amsterdam reports, "The Church 
and the Disiorder of Society," 195 


The Symposium on the National Council will be 
continued by Edgar DeWitt Jones, President M. E. 
• Sadler, Hampton Adams, Benjamin F. Burns and 

others. Contributions on this important subject are 
solicited, and should reach the editor by the twelfth. 
The Campbell Institute and The Scroll have the 
greatest opportunity of their fifty years and more 
of history at the present hour. Let us all help to 
promote in our churches, in political matters, and 
I \ in personal lives, understanding, sanity, and faith in 

1 "what is most worthwhile." 

Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year ! 


The muse must be mute — 

She does not inspire! 

Or the old Institute. 

Has no poets afire. 

The treasurer's mail has in it no verse — 

(In it, in fact, is no mail; which is worse.) 

So write all ye poets, sing all ye bards. 

Send me your poems and songs* by the yards. 

And to guarantee fame everlasting and worthy 

Send also three greenbacks — negotiable, earthy. 

The Treasurer 



Symposium On The National 

E. S. Ames. Nothing in the total area of practical 
religious life has awakened more hope of advance- 
ment than the organization in Cleveland on the 
first of last December of the National Council of 
Churches. The report of this event in the Decem- 
ber Scroll, based on the account given in the 
Christian Century of December 13, 1950, should 
be studied by all ministers and laymen. It is the 
most complete achievement of Christian Union on 
so large a scale that Christianity has ever seen. 
It practically ignores theology as a basis of union, 
and leaves theology to the peculiarities of such 
groups as cultivate it. It recognizes the reality of 
the Christian character and works of all who sin- 
cerely seek to be Christians. This is a practical 
plan of union for interdenominational work and 
for any local church. The comments of so many 
leading Disciples in the Scroll symposium express 
this meaning of the National Council. We want 
to extend this symposium by hearing from others. 
Write your own impressions of the National Coun- 
cil on a postal card or in a brief letter and send 
promptly. Do not wait for special requests. Show 
your interest by voluntary response. This is a 
great, popular, democratic cause, dear to^ all true 
Disciples, and one in which every loyal individual 
should express himself. If you really believe in 
Christian Union, speak now! 


Riley B. Montgomery. The formation of the 

National Council of Churches of Christ in the 
U. S. A. is a long and courageous forward step 
for the Protestant churches. However, it is pos- 
sibly not a bolder step than the many steps which 
led to it. In fact, it is a natural culmination of a 
long process of cooperation. It is the consolidation, 
of various cooperative work which had grown up 
within Protestantism. The merging of these or- 
ganizations into a larger and single body gives 
emphasis to the growing spirit of unity and evi- 
dence of an increasing confidence which Protestant 
bodies have in each other. 

Underlying this move is the tested experience in 
fellowship that has led the denominations to feel 
they have little or nothing distinctive to lose through 
cooperation. On the positive side, there is clear 
evidence of the recognition that an over-all stronger 
Protestantism is to be achieved only through co- 
operation. Likewise, that each denomination will 
find itself more effective in its work against the evil 
forces in society, if it works in the fellowship of 
other bodies. 

The birth of the Council is an encouraging 
achievement when viewed from most any angle. 
One thought that intrigues is that this larger co- 
operative fellowship opens a door to new experiences 
in thought and for the discovery of greater unity. 
With the purpose and the will to stay together, to 
work together, and to think together, over common 
concerns, there will inevitably result a growing 
together through understanding, appreciation, con- 
sideration and agreement. 

The National Council is purely a cooperative or- 
ganization in purpose and goal. It does not seek 
to achieve organic union among its constituent 
member bodies. It will have interest in and good- 


will for union mergers of any of its denominational 
members. However, by its very nature and func- 
tion it cannot give active leadership in this direc- 

The Council has an intricate but sound organiza- 
tional set-up with which to begin work. Experi- 
ence will likely bring adjustments, modifications 
and refinements that will increase its effectiveness. 
There are a number of pressing and serious prob- 
lems varying in nature and kind that face the new 
Coiuncil now and which must be resolved as rapid- 
ly as possible if it is to fulfill its great Christian 
mission and responsibility. We have confidence 
that the experience, the faith, the vision, the good- 
will, and the consecration possessed by those who 
have been designated to its leadership will direct 
its course safely through all situations and lead 
it courageously in serving Christ and humanity. 

W. B. Blakemore. The large number of Disciples 
who made their way to Cleveland seemed to feel 
very much at home in the midst of this new enter- 
prise in Christian Unity. They seemed to feel that 
the concerns of the new National Council were 
"their game," and that the new era in Protestant- 
ism which was brought in would be "their day," 
not in the sense of theirs alone, but in fulfilling 
much of what the Disciples have stood for during 
a century and a half. 

The principal value of the processional and pag- 
eantry of the Constituting Convention was that 
it conveyed the feeling that the participants were 
at last beholding "the Church Visible." As Sam- 
uel McCrae Cavert expressed it, the National Coun- 
cil provides a vision of the church in its wholeness. 
It is to be hoped that this character of the Cleve^ 
land meeting was conveyed in the radio, television, 
news reels and news reports. While there were 


only five hundred delegates in the convention, they 
represented millions of church members. Differ- 
ent delegates had been elected to the Convention 
in different ways by their various communions, 
but once there, the delegates all stood on an equal 
footing. They represent a tremendous consensus 
within American Christianity. Several times dur- 
ing the Convention, as I watched the proceedings, 
the thought came, "For the first time, I am seeing 
the Church — not in its perfection perhaps, and not 
yet complete — but the Church visible in propor- 
tions many times greater than I have ever seen it 

Since the National Council represents the church 
in its wholeness, it is also big. But it is not the 
bigness that is fundamental or to be gloried in. 
Just as it is not the bigness of the nation, but its 
spirit and unity that are ultimately precious, so 
it is with the National Council. Its comprehension 
at last makes possible a sense of strategy for 
American Protestantism as a whole. Many place 
emphasis upon what this means for the external 
relations of the churches, their influence upon poli- 
tics and culture. Perhaps even more important is 
what it can mean, under wise and intelligent leader- 
ship for the inward strengthening of the churches. 

Several times I heard the comment, "How can 
all this be brought home to the grass roots?" This 
question impresses me as platitudinous. In this 
day of advanced means of communication and vis- 
ual presentation, the question is no longer a techni- 
cal one. It is only a moral question. The grass 
roots will come to know the National Council if 
those in the various denominations who are re- 
sponsible have the will to carry the story to the 
grass roots. 

The decision of the United Lutheran Church in 


America to join the National Council was a mat- 
ter of great rejoicing before the Constituting Con- 
vention got under way. As it proceeded the re- 
joicing was heightened for the United Lutheran 
Church made outstanding contributions in the 
realm of personnel. The president of that body, 
Dr. F. C. Fry, presided at the first plenary busi- 
ness session. He managed that occasion with vigor, 
precision, comprehensive understanding of what 
was going on, and charm. On Thursday evening, 
after a very short notice. Dr. Frederick Nolde gave 
what most came to believe was the greatest address 
of the Convention. He contributed to a disquieted 
world words of realistic hope. This Lutheran Body 
obviously brings to the forces of American Prot- 
estantism an invaluable gift of moral and personal 
power and is a most welcome addition. 

Henry Noble Sherwood. The National Council of 
Churches is a Protestant achievement. It marks 
the high point in cooperation of more than 31,000,- 
000 church people holding membership in twenty- 
nine separate denominations and sponsoring eight 
interdenominational agencies. When church or- 
ganizations that carefully guard their identity, doc- 
trine, and program enter an over-all agency, after 
eight years of effort, a major event has taken place. 

It is an achievement in cooperation. All the de- 
nominations are as sacerdotal, as sacramental, and 
as contentious for their ecclesiastical structure as 
ever. In these matters they continue to go alone. 
They have agreed to go together in a new func- 
tional experience. The comradeship that will fol- 
low this praiseworthy decision ultimately should 
soften the points of friction in the body of Christ 
and heal the sores of division that estrange its 



The National Council is such an achievement in 
cooperation that Protestantism can now speak with 
power. It can now pool the findings of its spe- 
cialists on such matters as social welfare, racial 
tension, religious education, economic problems 
and international relations. Albert Bushnel Hart 
used to tell us that the great newspaper had ceased 
to be a voice and become a property. He stimu- 
lates us to say that Protestantism by using the Na- 
tional Council may become a voice, having been 
weaned away from the defense of its doctrinal and 
creedal properties at the breast of which it has 
already fed too long. 

We must not expect too much, too soon, from the 
Council. It is only organizational machinery. 
Neither the League nor the United Nations has 
brought us peace. The Union that called our war- 
ring states together to be a nation under God, after 
a century and a half, has not given us ideal citizen- 
ship. The Council can function only in terms of 
its personnel. And this group will be unable to 
set a program at variance with the officialdom of 
the cooperating denominations. Were Amos here 
he well might caution us about the externals of 
brotherhood and demand now as he did centuries 
ago that 

. . . judgment run down as waters 
And righteousness as a mighty stream. 
This Hebrew prophet knew that social control in 
terms of high religion must have its roots embedded 
in just and righteous persons. 

As the churches enter into this functional ex- 
perience made possible by the National Council 
let them bring along those qualities of life which 
have brought mankind such blessings as family life, 
contractual relations, and other tested civilizing 
agencies. Then in patience, hope, and prayer they 


can move along in keeping with the principle that 
two can walk together when they are agreed. 

George Walker Buckner, Jr. One heartening fea- 
ture of the new form of interdenominational coop- 
eration through the National Council of Churches 
is its greater inclusiveness. The United Lutherans 
are in the new body as regular members, whereas 
they were a consultative member of the Federal 
Council. Other Lutheran bodies also are members. 
The Lutherans are a great force in the life and work 
of American Protestantism and they belong in any 
cooperative endeavor which aims at inclusiveness. 
A weakness which remains is the absence of the 
Southern Baptists who constitute such a prepon- 
derent part of the strength of Protestantism in a 
large section of the country. 

Another observation is that in a broad sense the 
National Council has taken its pattern not from 
the experience of authoritative ecclesiastical bodies, 
but from the principle of free association to which 
Disciples have been committed. It is to be hoped 
that the Council will be able to resist successfully 
any attempts to limit it with restrictive creedal 

W. M. Forrest. The National Council of Churches 
in the U.S.A. in uniting in one organization 29 com- 
munions and 8 interdenominational agencies has 
done what our U.C.M.S. did for Disciple churches 
and societies. There were lions in the way in both 
cases : legal obstacles, fear of bureaucratic bigness, 
theological theories, human recalcitrancy. Despite 
all such, the spirit of Christ has shown the way to 
limited action in a broad field of common endeavor. 
"A wide door for effective work has opened." Of 
course, "there are many adversaries." Let us thank 
God and take courage. 


It was interesting to note that the flurry over 
deciding whether to refer to Jesus Christ as "Lord 
and Savior" lor as "God and Savior" occasioned 
mutterings among the Disciple delegates as carry- 
ing theological hair-splitting too far. Long may 
they mutter, -but not split off. 

M. E. Sadler. It seems to me the major signifi- 
cance of the newly constituted National Council of 
Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. is that it keeps 
before the religious world the idea and possibility 
of cooperation and unity. If this idea can be kept 
continuously before the people, Protestantism will 
sometime achieve effective unity. 

Economies in time, effort, resources and leader- 
ship are achieved through the lorganization of the 

The Council will become a more effective voice 
for Protestantism than we have hitherto had in 
the United States. It may be many years before 
this voice becomes as effective as it should be, but 
at least this is one more step in the right direction. 

Of all people, the Disciples of Christ sho.uld re- 
joice in these developing movements toward increas- 
ingly effective unity and should use an ever larger 
proportion of their resources for the work of these 
cooperative agencies. 

Edgar Dewitt Jones. I have had two letters from 
you within three weeks, and I am very proud of 
that fact. First of all let me thank you for your 
letter and the clipping enclosed concerning the ar- 
rival of a Bushmaster at the Chicago zoo. That 
is an event! The next time I am in your city, if I 
can possibly find the time, I want to go out and 
take a look at his snakeship. He belongs to the 
inner circle of the most highly venomous in the 
snake world. 


You ask me about the big meeting at Cleveland. 
It impressed me greatly. In a way it seemed 
epochal. It is the most practical Federation enter- 
prise and covers the most ground our American 
Protestantism has yet known. Twoi or three things 
especially impressed me: 

1. The large number of representatives of our 
own Communion — over two hundred I should say. 
Whatever our failings, anything that looks toward 
unity captivates our imagination and inspires our 

2. The event was full of color and impressive in 
pageantry. It surpassed anything of the kind I 
have witnessed through the years. The session at 
which the Federal Council passed over into the Na- 
tional Council was staged beautifully. 

3. The most prophetic speech made, as I recall 
it, was that of Bishop Ivan Lee Holt. He called 
attention to the fact that while this was a glorious 
milestone in Protestant co-operation, there was 
something beyond it toward which we should strive, 
namely, actual unity. I don't think he spoke more 
than twenty minutes, and he was singularly effec- 

Hampton Adams. I shall try to summarize my 
convictions about the new National Council in the 
following paragraphs. 

The new National Council of the Churches of 
Christ in the U.S.A. is an evidence of the vitality 
of the ecumenical movement. It is not an experi- 
ment. It is the outgrowth of the successful coop- 
eration of the major denominations and eight well- 
tested interdenominational agencies. 

The new National Council reflects not only the 
growing ecumenical spirit, but also the growing 
conviction that the total program of the church 
should be more closely related than it could be with 


the former separate organizations. 

There is no danger of this new Council, that is 
composed of twenty-five Protestant denominations 
and four Orthodox churches, becoming a super 
church. That is safeguarded by the nature of the 
organization. No church loses its identity. The 
Council itself names no members. All members 
are duly appointed by the member churches. 

This new Council will give the churches of 
America a stronger voice than they have had 

Benjamin F. Bums. The birth of the National 
Council of Churches is the most significant advance 
of the movement for Christian unity since the for- 
mation of the World Council of Churches. 

The Council represents an advance first because 
it brings the spirit, the fruits, and the problems of 
Christian unity lone step nearer their ultimate des- 
tination — ^the local church. 

The Council represents a significant advance be- 
cause it is shirt-sleeve ecumenicity rather than text- 
book ecumenicity. The new Council is chiefly a 
working fellowship functioning in the major fields 
of church life and work rather than a talking fel- 
lowship floundering in the quagmires of church- 
ology and theology. 

The Council represents for Disciples of Christ 
a significant advance because our participation in 
it forces us to become a responsible body working 
with others within a concrete united effort. We 
can no longer point to the outstanding role of indi- 
vidual Disciples in cooperative Christianity and 
ask to be judged as a people on their labors. We 
must now be judged as a Brotherhood — the fifth 
largest in the Council and the most vocal champion 
of Christian unity. That means we must produce 
from the Brotherhood, resources personal, finan- 


cial, and spiritual which represent faithfully our 
hope "that they all may be one, that the world may 

Arthur Azlein. The analogy between the National 
Council iof Churches and the United Nations is rea- 
sonably clear. Each has its General Assembly and 
its "secretariat," and there are other more or less 
obvious similarities. (Let us be thankful that the 
National Council seems not to need a Security Coun- 
cil, with or without veto!) But the analogy goes 
deeper to a principle of structure which already 
seems to be a fatal weakness in the U.N. and may 
prove a handicap in the National Council. 

The U.N. is based on "the principle of the sover- 
eign equality of the member states"; the National 
Council recognizes the principle of the "sovereign- 
ty" of its member denominations. In the U.N. 
this principle means, among other things, that the 
ultimate loyalty of the citizens of each member 
state belongs to that state, not to the U.N. Al- 
though the Preamble to the Charter of the United 
Nations begins, "We the peoples . . . ," it concludes, 
"Accordingly, our respective Governments . . ." 
A publication of the U.N. declares, "The United 
Nations cannot of itself fail or succeed; its future 
depends on how effectively the peoples, through 
their governments, use it as an instrument to pro- 
mote peace . . ." In other words, the success of the 
U.N. depends upon a large scale transfer of sover- 
eignty, i.e., loyalty, from member states to the U.N. 
This transfer of loyalty has not been and is not 
being accomplished. The principle of the sover- 
eignty of the member states not only does not en- 
courage it, but actually prohibits it. 

In the National Council, th^ principle of the 
sovereignty of each member denomination means 


that the ultimate loyalty of an individual Christian 
belongs to his denomination rather than to the 
Council. Thus, we can paraphrase the U.N.'s state- 
ment: "The National Council cannot of itself fail 
or succeed; its future depends on how effectively 
Christian people, through their denominations, use 
it as an instrument to promote" their common pur- 
poses. The success of the National Council de- 
pends upoin a large scale transfer of loyalty, i.e., 
sovereignty, from denominations to the Council. 
And since such a transfer is likely to have a direct 
effect upon such mundane things as denominational 
promotional organizations, jobs, investments and, 
to a certain extent, denominatidnal solidarity, it 
will face considerable hurdles. Nevertheless, the 
hurdles must be leaped, for the effectiveness of this 
further venture in Christian unity ' will be deter- 
mined by the measure of Christians' loyalty to it. I 
say "must be leaped," for I believe "that although 
the Church of Christ lupon earth must necessarily 
exist in particular and distinct societies, locally 
separate one from another, yet there ought toi be 
no schisms, no uncharitable divisions among them," 
and the alternative to the National Council is un- 
charitable divisions more uncharitable. 

John Harms. American Protestantism is moving 
toward organic unity via the highway of functional 
unity. That is the real meaning of Cleveland. 

The lOirganization of the NCCC will give the idea 
of functional unity a tremendous impetus and there- 
fore marks the longest struggle step yet taken by 
the denominations toward unity. 

For the first time the denominations have a com- 
plete laboratory in which they can face together 
the practical ongoing problems of unity. Out of 
this laboratory will come a higher degree of func- 
tional unity, and it will develop much more rapidly 


in the new council than it could have done through 
eight separate independent interdenominational or- 

Many peOiple look upon the cooperative organiza- 
tions, city, state, national and world-wide as transi- 
tional in character, and in a sense they are correct. 
But the conciliar principle at the heart of their 
structure will almost certainly be the most distinc- 
tive characteristic of whatever organic unification 
takes place in Protestantism in the future. 

The Disciples should look upon the new National 
Council as the 20th Century counterpart of Thomas 
Campbell's Christian Association of Washington. 
The Council is an advance projection on the na- 
tional level of the Christian Unity idea as advocat- 
ed by the Campbells and the movement which they 
launched back in 1809. Neither the little associa- 
tion of 1809 nor the Council of 1950 is a full ex- 
pression of Christian Unity, but both were func- 
tional in character and both marked a significant 
step toward that goal. 

Stephen J. Corey. I rejoice in the new Council 
of Churches. It is a great accomplishment in co- 
operation and understanding. What a change since 
we dared to organize the International Missionary 
Council in 1919, when the wounds of World War I 
were deep! Now our people (Disciples) will have 
to greatly quicken our pace to keep in hailing distance 
with the Christian Unity movements of the times! 



The American Mind I 

E. S. Ames 

This is the title of a new book, dated 1950, printed 
by the Yale Press, written by Henry Steele Com- 
mager, professor of History in Columbia University. 
The subtitle is, "An Interpretation of American 
Thought and Character Since the 1880's," contain- 
ing 443 pages and costing five dollars. Such a big 
and expensive book is difficult for ministers tO' buy, 
and hard for them to read. To read it requires con- 
centration in quiet hours, an open and unharried 
mind, and a quick sense of humor. But it will pay 
good interest on the investment for years to come. 
It is really lively and fascinating, and is all about 
ourselves, about our ways, our magic country, our 
homes, schools, churches, politics, culture, careless- 
ness, waste, love and labor. But it is not the kind of 
history that records dates, battles, statistics and de- 
tails. These things find their place in the movement 
and meaning of a living story full of vital events 
and crucial destinies. 

The history of the American people before 1880 
shows the effect of the new continent upon their 
spirit. The spaciousness of their surroundings regis- 
tered itself in their outlook and undertakings. They 
were stimulated to mobility, independence, enter- 
prise and optimism. "Progress was not to the Ameri- 
can a philosophical idea but a commonplace of ex- 
perience." He lived in the future. He saw in every 
barefoot boy a future president or millionaire. His 
familiarity with great distances made them seem 
trifles. The immigrant no sooner breathes our air 
than he dreams of schemes he would not have thought 
of in his own country. He met hardship with forti- 
tude, industry, shrewdness and luck. Shiftlessness 
was a vice. Quantitative valuation was common. 


What is a particular man worth, required a bank 
report. Education, democracy, and war yielded to 
numbers. There was pleasure in sheer size — ^Great 
Lakes, Niagara, the Mississippi River, Texas. The 
American was intensely practical. Theories and ab- 
stract speculations disturbed him. Benjamin Frank- 
lin was his great man. Mechanical solutions were 
sought. Hence the cotton gin, steamboat, harvester, 
sewing machine, telegraph, typewriter and number- 
less other inventions. Even his religion was practi- 
cal rather than devout. Salvation was by works. 

Sundays he was troubled by a suspicion of sin but 
by no racking sense of evil. He did not believe in 
the Devil. Denominations multiplied as organiza- 
tions rather than as dogmas. The average Ameri- 
can could not distinguish between Methodist and 
Presbyterian theologies. His two most original 
religions were Mormonism and Christian Science, 
and their significant aspects were practical. Like- 
wise in politics. No party whose appeal was intel- 
lectual got his support. He had greater political 
maturity than the Englishman, German or French- 
man, for his maturity in democratic ways was old- 
er than theirs. His political instruments were as in- 
genious as his mechanical contrivances, for instance, 
his federal system and his Declaration of Inde- 

Even "Culture" should be useful. He wanted 
poetry he could recite, music he could sing, paint- 
ing that told a story, education that prepared for 
life. Manners were flexible and careless. They ad- 
vertised a classless society. Etiquette books were 
numerous but they failed to establish uniformity in 
social conduct. "Yet Americans had a passion for 
titles. Honorary colonels littered the landscape even 
outside Kentucky." Such titles were easily avail- 
able and equally useless. They were an expression 


of carelessness and good humor. There was a 
rugged, lunfinished quality in his culture. He had 
little pride in a finished job. Railways and houses 
had to be rebuilt every few years. He came to be- 
lieve in the unfinished nature of the universe. 
Habits of waste were tolerated. More damage was 
done in a century than nature could repair in a 
thousand years, evidenced in forests, soil, coal, oil 
and gas. 

As the American had created his church and his 
state, he took it for granted that he could create 
all lesser institutions. Romantic and sentimental, 
especially on the Fourth of July and Decoration 
Day, an inexhaustible fund of humor accompanied 
such optimism and carelessness from Benjamin 
Franklin to Mark Twain, American philosophy car- 
ried the systems of puritanism, rationalism, and 
idealism, but here also a "certain carelessness" ob- 
tained. The names of Jefferson, Emerson, and 
James, were honored but their ideas were embraced 
without rigorous inquiry, and held lightly. Calvin- 
ism was never formally repudiated, but important 
features of it, like the depravity of man, were not 
believed. "Alas, he was hard up for villains." 

In the nineties, great changes took place in 
American life. That decade was a watershed be- 
tween two eras. Before 1890 an agricultural mode 
of life had been dominant for centuries. After that 
date an urban society arose which involved new 
ways of life and brought radical changes in popu- 
lation, in the growth of cities, in social institutions, 
in technologies, in politics, morals and science. The 
emancipation of women, smaller families, women 
in industry, in business and politics, knowledge of 
contraceptives, birth control, new freedom, and the 
consciousness of their numbers and power in school 
and church, gave them a new importance in this 


democratic society. The eld, familiar universe of 
philosophy, morals and religion was disintegrat- 
ing. Traditional philosophy was challenged by the 
new doctrines of Evolution, Physics, and Biology. 
Within a decade came great leaders in these natural 
sciences and in the social sciences. James, Veblen, 
G. Stanley Hall, Dewey, Henry Adams, Josiah Royce, 
furthered the process of coming of age, by tem- 
pering the traditional optimism with scepticism and 

The transition from the 19th to the 20th centu- 
ry was made in a period of great depression and 
confusion. Hard times, drouth, strikes, and panic 
created issues that held attention for fifty years. 
The problems and moods generated by these changes 
were registered in the national literature. There 
were marked changes in Journalism. The New 
York Times and the Hearst papers appeared and 
showed the best and the worst developments in re- 
porting and interpreting the news. The Ladies 
Home Journal combined qualities of the old and 
the new eras under the notable influence of Edward 
Bok and G. H. Lorimer. "The impact of Darwin 
on religion was shattering, and on philosophy, 
revolutionary." "Evolution banished the absolute, 
supplanted special design, challenged not only the 
Scriptural story of creation but creation itself, and 
revealed man not as the product of beneficent pur- 
pose but of a process of natural selection that, by 
defying the interposition of the Deity, confounded 
the concept of omnipotence. Yet it was a blow to 
Man rather than to God who, in any event, was 
better able to bear it, for if it relegated God to a 
dim first cause, it toppled man from his exalted 
position as the end and purpose of creation, the 
crown of Nature and the image of God, and classi- 
fied him prosaically with the anthropoids." 


The author g-ives critical surveys of the great 
periods of literature which developed under the 
changes in outlook in the first half of the century. 
Determinism had its expression in Jack London, 
Theodore Dreiser, and in the subjectivism and 
romanticism of James Branch Cabell, which Cabell 
shared with Santayana. A chapter is given to The 
Cult of the Irrational, which includes discussions 
of Freud, Proust, and Aldous Huxley, Hemingway, 
and O'Neill. "Of all the impulses that animated 
men, the sexual was the most powerful, and the 
new school of literature was drenched in sex." An- 
other chapter is given to The Traditionalists, Edith 
Wharton, Ellen Glasgow, Willa Cather and Edward 
Arlington Robinson. "It is significant that the most 
profound of American poets of the twentieth centu- 
ry should have been so preoccupied, obsessed even, 
with failure, frustration, desolation, and death . . . 
content with a mournful faith in some glimmering 
ideal of truth whose very nature must mock and 
elude us forever." 

There is an illuminating chapter, the ninth, on 
Religious Thought and Practice. The strange fact 
of professed adherence to religious doctrines which 
are conspicuously neglected in daily life stands out 
in these luminous pages. "For three hundred years 
Calvinism had taught the depravity of man without 
any perceptible effect on the cheerfulness, kindli- 
ness, or optimism of Americans." Unitarianism and 
Universalism were rigorous and logical in their dis- 
sent from Calvinism, yet theirs were the only well 
established churches whose membership declined 
during the twentieth century. Religion prospered 
while theology went bankrupt. "Religion became in- 
creasingly a social activity rather than a spiritual 
experience." Union for practical interests rapidly 
developed under able leadership since "there were 
no intellectual or social differences between Baptists, 
Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Disciples and 
others, save those of the local mores." 


Religion of College Teachers 

Henry Noble Sherwood, Louisville, Ky. 

One percent of the teachers in Protestant church 
related colleges are atheists. Of the three atheists 
one is a church member and another regards him- 
self as a Christian. Ninety-five percent of all col- 
lege teachers are churchmembers. One-half of this 
group carry special responsibility in their churches. 
These findings are true of 440 teachers who reported 
their theistic concepts. 

Dr. R. H. Edwin Espy of Yale University has 
assembled these facts and many others in a study 
of "The Religion of College Teachers." This study, 
sponsored by the National Protestant Council on 
Higher Education, is now in process of publication 
in book form by the Association Press. Dr. Espy 
obtained his information by sending a question- 
naire to faculty members of seventy-three institu- 
tions of higher learning representing twenty-nine 
denominations. The institutions were well dis- 
tributed as to geography, size and other criteria. All 
were four year undergraduate colleges. The ques- 
tionnaires went to teachers of English, physics and 
sociology-economics. No teacher of religion received 
one. The questionnaires returned and used in the 
study numbered 440. 

The faculty members reporting (they are related 
to 34 denominations) generally regard themselves 
as conventionally religious. This is evident because 

14 percent reject the Bible as religiously author- 
ative ; 

13 percent do not regard prayer as necessary to 
the Christian life; 

14 percent do not believe every one is in need of 
divine salvation through Christ; 


36 percent do not believe church membership is 

necessary as a part of Christian life; and 
56 percent do believe church membership is neces- 
sary as a part of Christian life ; and 
73 percent believe that "what makes a Christian 
is neither his intellectual acceptance of cer- 
tain ideas nor his conformity to a certain rule, 
but his possession of a certain spirit and his 
participation in a certain life." In other words 
they do not identify the Christian life vdth 
institutional or doctrinal expressions. 
Where did these faculty members get their re- 
ligious concepts? Largely from the period of their 
adolescence. Of these college teachers 58 percent re- 
ported that their religious views were determined 
before they went to college. Their denominational 
background, they held, was a significant influence 
in determining their beliefs and practices. Teach- 
ers with conservative religioius concepts found de- 
nominational affiliation more influential in this 
matter than teachers with liberal concepts. The 
latter reoognizie academic influence as also im- 
portant in shaping their beliefs. 

When it came to the elaboration of basic beliefs 
of these 440 teachers in terms of educational in- 
sights and methods 34 percent thought their college 
training did it, 27 percent gave the graduate school 
the credit for it, 24 percent found it in their experi- 
ence after completing graduate work. This data 
reinforces what students of religious education have 
long told us; namely, that basic religious patterns 
are formed in early years. What comes later in 
academic life or in vocational experience, for the 
most part, will modify or enrich viewpoints already 
held rather than bring about a fundamental change 
in intellectual concepts. In evaluating the influ- 
ence of the graduate school these teachers reported 


that study in the department of education or re- 
ligion did more than study in any other department 
to modify previously held beliefs. 

What caused these faculty members to become 
teachers in church related colleges? For the most 
of them the appeal of teaching itself and the special 
attraction of working with college students. Half 
of this group of teachers believe teaching in a 
church related college is a strategic Christian vo- 
cation. The major influence in their vocational de- 
cision was that of their own college professor. Their 
minister or other religious leader was an influence 
in the decision of less than one tenth of the teach- 
ers reporting. 

What complaint about their work do these teach- 
ers have ? They complain about three things : the 
handicaps lof the institution they serve due to lack 
of financial support; understaffed faculty and ad- 
ministration; lack of opportunity for self-improve- 
ment. It is apparent that these three things are 
only one — the financial limitation of the college. 
With added income the staff could be enlarged, extra- 
curricular duties could be more widely spread, and 
teachers could have time for research and for im- 
proving themselves through reading, meditation and 
other refreshments of the spirit. 

This study, covering only 440 faculty members, 
must be very nearly true in its findings for the entire 
body of church related college teachers. The sam- 
pling process used by Dr. Espy was set up to secure 
information about them all. The study, therefore, 
gives conditions prevailing in around 1,000 colleges, 
served by approximately one-half the college teach- 
ers of the nation, and attended by about one-half 
of the students of the country. In book form the 
study is a 600 page report. 

From this pre-publication statement it can be seen 


that the recruitment and preparation of college 
teachers is a major problem of the church colleges. 
Since the basic pattern of religious belief and 
practice is formed in early life before youth enter 
college the church related colleges and the churches 
must work closely with one another on the solution 
of this problem. Ministers of today are more in- 
terested in the church college than those of yester- 
day when the present teachers were in secondary 
school or in college. Those responsible for the ad- 
ministration of the church college understand the 
advantage of cooperation with the churches more 
than their immediate predecessors. Leaders in 
both college and church know that we can not find 
the solution of contemporary national and interna- 
tional problems without advancement in the moral 
and spiritual thinking not only of those in politi- 
cal authority but also of those who make up the 

Moreover, having recruited the teacher, he must 
be properly prepared for his work. The training 
program must bring together religion and educa- 
tion; it must integrate Christian faith with educa- 
tional philosophy and practice; it must insist that 
high religion is essential to complete living. It 
follows that the church college has a responsibility 
for shaping the social order in terms of justice. 
To meet this responsibility its teachers must be 
sensitive to those issues in society not only bearing 
on their special fields of teaching but also touching 
life in its entirety. To obtain teachers prepared to 
meet this challenge may mean a thorough-going re- 
vision of graduate study and teaching, and a change 
in the outlook of those responsible for the program 
of graduate institutions. 

Finally, without a supporting word, church colleges 
must find relief for any financial embarrassment. 


'"Religion in Alabama in the 1860V' 

Richard L. James, Dallas, Texas 

In general, religion in Alabama followed the 
same trends that it did in other southern states 
during the 1860's. Southern church leaders had 
rationalized their pro-slavery position until it had 
become a religious conviction and previous to politi- 
cal secession, many of the churches had gone on 
record as favoring separation from the abolition 
groiups. A group of Methodists assembled at Craw- 
ford, Alabama, advocated secession from The 
Methodist Episcopal Church if Bishop Andrew 
were deposed from his episcopal functions. This 
action was followed by other Methodist Episcopal 
groups throughout Alabama. In 1844, the Alabama 
Baptist State Convention resolved not to send money 
to the national agencies until they were assured by 
an "explicit avowal that slaveholders are eligible, 
and entitled equally with non-slaveholders," to the 
privileges of membership in these organizations. 
The Protestant Episcopal Church divided over con- 
ditions arising from political secession rather than 
issues involved in slavery. Presbyterians, however, 
were greatly agitated over the question of slavery 
and men like the Rev. James Bannister and the 
Rev. Fred A. Ross gave strong arguments in favor 
of the southern position. The Cumberland Presby- 
terians, The Christians, The Disciples of Christ, 
The Roman Catholics, and the Lutherans took very 
little active part in the controversial side of the 
slavery question in Alabama. The majority of the 
churches in Alabama were in thorough accord with 
this action so that when the split in the national 
organizations occurred, it received hearty support. 

When political secession occurred, the majority 


of the Protestant churches of Alabama, through 
their state organizations, pledged their support to 
the Cionfederacy, although numerous congregations 
remained loyal to the Union. Alabama ministers 
invoked God's blessing upon the Confederate lead- 
ers in opposing the "tyranny of northern radicals." 
The opinion in Alabama churches was not unani- 
mous in favor of church divisions, just as the 
opinion was not unanimous throughout the state in 
favor of political secession. At the beginning of 
the political secession movement there was a great 
deal iof pro-union sympathy in north Alabama which 
favored a separation from south Alabama and the 
formation of a loyal state. Likewise, throughout 
the northern section there were numerous congre- 
gations which opposed separation from the north- 
ern church organizations and political secession 
from the Union. 

However, the majority was in favor of both church 
division and political secession and the ministers 
of Alabama became an important factor in support- 
ing the "Southern Cause." Churches were urged 
by their ministers to support the Confederacy and 
many of the ministers organized the men of their 
congregations into companies and marched off with 
them to war, some ministers serving as officers, 
others as chaplains or private soldiers. Alabama is 
reported to have furnished 40,000 men to the Con- 
federate armies. This exodus of the men from the 
local communities to the camps and battle fields 
had a devastating effect upon local churches. Mis- 
sionary organizations gave their attention to the 
necessity of caring for the religious welfare of the 
soldiers and those ministers who had not volun- 
teered as chaplains in the armies, were asked to 
serve for short periods of time in conducting re- 
ligious work in the camps and hospitals. The 


Huntsville Democrat, The Tuscaloosa Observer, and 
The Southern Observer, and other Alabama papers, 
carried vivid accounts of the battles; praised God 
for the victories and invoked his mercy in defeat. 
Near the close of the vi^ar, the churches kept the 
people in the spirit of hopefulness when their social 
and political order was falling to pieces. The large 
number of casualties caused by the war left a heavy 
burden upon the state charity organizations in 
caring for the widows and orphans. When the state 
could no longer care for them, the churches formed 
societies to aid in the work. The Methodist Orphan's 
Home of East Alabama, The Orphan's Home of The 
Synod of Alabama, The Preacher's Aid Society of 
The Montgomery Conferences of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church South, and other similar organ- 
izations, some of which are still in existence, had 
their origin in this period of need during and im- 
mediately following the war. 

The Methodists, Presbyterians, Baptists, and 
Congregationalists sent missionaries and teachers 
intO' Alabama to work among the negroes and 
among the whites who remained "loyal" in their 
sympathies. The American Missionary Association 
established nine schools and supported forty-four 
teachers in this state. More than a hundred thou- 
sand copies of the Bible lor New Testament were 
distributed to the Confederate armies during the 
war by the American Bible Society. These were 
distributed through agencies of the Southern 
churches or local organizations of the American 
Bible Society. During the war, however, Alabama 
ceased contributing tO' the American Bible Society 
until 1866, when relations between it and the local 
societies were renewed. 

Considerable animosity was exhibited between 
northern missionaries in the South and the south- 


em church leaders. The southern white churches 
accused the missionaries of creating resentment of 
whites on the part of negroes, and the northern 
missionaries complained of the harsh treatment they 
received from the native white people. After the 
war, the Protestant Episcopal Church experienced 
difficulty over the use of the prayer for those "in 
civil authority," and ministers of other denomi- 
nations also came into conflict with the military 
authorities on the same issue. Several Alabama 
ministers refused, for a long time, to take the 
amnesty oath and offer a prayer for the President 
of the United States and were forced to cease 
preaching until they reconsidered and decided to 
comply with the regulation. 

A large number of the soldiers who had been 
stationed in Alabama during the period of the mili- 
tary government, remained there and secured politi- 
cal positions when their military commissions ex- 
pired. Sumter and Perry counties were especially 
troubled with the soldiers entering politics. All the 
offices of Perry County were filled by the soldiers 
of the 8th Wisconsin Regiment which originally 
had been sent there for garrison duty. Some of these 
men did not have qualifications for holding such 
positions and greatly misused their power. 

Through the influence of the "scalawags" and 
"carpetbaggers," a few negroes also entered the 
political field. In counties like Dallas and Autauga 
where the negroes were predominant in numbers, 
they succeeded in gaining control of a number of 
prominent positions. In 1869, one negro was elect- 
ed to the Senate and thirteen to the House of Repre- 
sentatives of Alabama. 

Activities of such groups as the Knights of the 
White Camelia and the Ku Klux Klan were to sup- 
press the activities of "carpetbaggers," "scala- 


wag-s," and negroes in the politics of the state, and 
they were particularly hostile to negro churches in 
which religion and politics were mingled. A. S. 
Lakin, a missionary of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, reported that he personally knew of 332 
cases in which negroes and whites were punished 
by masked groups. In thirty-nine of these cases, 
the punishment resulted in the death of the victim. 
When the leadership of these secret organizations 
was conferred upon persons of unworthy character, 
there were many outrages committed upon northern 
whites and the negroes. 

The majority of the slaves remained loyal to 
their masters until the close of the war and a few 
even served in the Confederate armies. Others, 
however fled to the concentration camps of the 
Union armies, where they would be safe from the 
control of their masters. There were two such 
"contraband camps" in Alabama and the work of 
the Presbyterians in conducting schools in these 
camps was a valuable piece of service. After the 
war one of these schools was reorganized and main- 
tained at Miller's Ferry, Alabama. Some of the 
runaway slaves were used in the Union Armies. 
The free negroes were divided in their allegiances: 
some offered their services to the state and others 
joined the Federal armies whenever the opportu- 
nity appeared. 

At the close of the war there was a general 
wave of church founding on the part of the newly 
freed negroes. The right to separate himself from 
a church controlled by white men and establish his 
own form of worship was considered one test of a 
negro's freedom. Some divisions were accomplished 
under a friendly and cooperative arrangement where- 
by the mutual benefit of both whites and blacks 
was advanced. Such was the case of the First Bap- 


tist Church of Montgomery where the white mem- 
bers in cooperation with the colored members con- 
tributed the building for the latter. Biut in many- 
cases the break was accompanied by resentment 
and antagonism to the detriment of both groups. 
The Civil War entirely changed the status of both 
the white men and the negro. The status of the 
"poor whites" was greatly enhanced by the free- 
dom of the slaves, while' the plantation owners 
were faced with the problem of running their 
plantations on hired labor. Outstanding problems 
confronting Alabama in 1870 were: 1, an adjust- 
ment in race relations upon the basis of freedom 
for both races; 2, a remodelling of the educational 
systems that the poor as well as the wealthy could 
receive educational advantages; 3, the formation of 
a new system of labor and different wage scale; 
4, economic rehabilitation of both the plantation 
owner and the ex-slave. 

People — Places — Events 

F. E. Davison, South Bend, Indiana 
"Who is the speaker at this session?" I asked for 
it was my first International Convention and I had 
not yet learned how to read a convention program. 
"Some young man from Cincinnati," came the re- 
ply. Since I knew Cincinnati was the center of or- 
thodoxy and I was taking subscriptions for a 
journal published there I decided to stay for the 

When the young man was presented it was ex- 
plained that he had recently been called to be Broth- 
er McLean's associate in the Foreign Christian 
Missionary Society. In my favorite journal I had 
read some uncomplimentary remarks about Broth- 
er McLean and the Foreign Society. However, I 


decided to stay and spy out the heresy of this 
young man whose name had been announced as 
Stephen J. Corey. 

The speaker was not only young but he was tall, 
dark and handsome. Before he opened his mouth 
he had me in the hollow of his hand. He spcke on 
world problems and the need of Christian Missions. 
His kind and appealing voice plus knowledge of 
his subject soon had me sitting with opened-mouthed 
wonder. His great soul and missionary passion so 
thrilled me that had they passed the hat for Foreign 
Missions I would have put in my remaining five 
dollars and gone without food for the rest of the 
Pittsburg convention. 

Forty years have now passed but Steve Corey 
has grown sweeter as the years have rolled by. 
He and I were on the same program a year or so 
ago at the Florida convention in Jacksonville. I 
guess he is a bit older than when I first heard him 
but at each of his devotional talks I could still 
see and hear the man who so greatly influenced 
my life four decades before. 

Coming back from Europe on the Berengaria in 
1935 I asked Dr. Corey if he could give me a few 
minutes to talk over my president's address for the 
Illinois State Convention. Instead of a few minutes 
he gave me two or three hours and helped pick 
many of the burrs out of that address. He was one 
of a few friends with whom I went over my presi- 
dent's address for the Cincinnati convention. Again 
he gave encouragement and many helpful sugges- 
tions ad thus proved himself a friend indeed. 

While Dr. Corey was president of the United 
Christian Missionary Society I became a member 
of the Board of Trustees and had a chance to see 
the untold hours and agonizing prayer that went 
into his work as an executive. Three times he has 


tried to retire but each time a job shows up that 
demands his time and leadership. 

When the true history of the Disciples is written 
I suppose Dr. Corey will be listed as a missionary 
executive, a college president, a church leader, and 
many other titles. For many of us whoi have looked 
to him for shepherding care he will always be 
thought of as a "Saint." When we start naming our 
churches after saints I want to be pastor of St. 
Stephen's Church. 

January 1951 

Willis Parker, Asheville, N. C. 
Each 'New Year' is the season to subsume 
All tasks unfinished — all regrets review- — 
All vows we've broken, and the same renew. 
All — is the token, once each year assume 
The scope and temper of The Absolute 
Toward the unspoiled future: plant for fruit 
We failed to gather from each earlier tree 
That bloomed, but withered in futility. 

Now is the time to pay debts overdue: 
To speak just words unspoken — if kind fate 
Has spared us guilt of speaking them too late. 
Now is the time for singing songs unsung 
In praise of heroes: hanging rogues unhung! 

It is the time to act, or aye regret it: 
Deserving Heaven: to be it is to get it. 


Foundation Stones 

A. C. Brooks, Indianapolis, Ind. 

Dr. George A. Crane says the foundation stones 
of our nation are God, The U. S. Constitution, The 
Free Enterprise System, and this Republic. Many 
people point up the evidences of our greatness such 
as the numerous gadgets and labor-saving devices 
which our inventive genius has produced. It is the 
contention of some that the U. S. is unique in that 
material goods and prosperity are made available 
to the common man which is true in no other nation 
in the world as it is here. It must be admitted that 
this is not something to be brushed aside as having 
no merit. If this is God's world and if He is its 
Sovereign Ruler and we are His stewards, then 
physical progress, expansion, prosperity, and power 
are germane in registering a phase of our great- 

One of the common errors of preachers and re- 
ligious leaders is to brand all wealthy men and large 
business corporations as demonic and evil, and yet 
those same branders spend much of their time try- 
ing to get their hands on the very wealth they con- 
demn. Wealth is not of itself evil. It is not neces- 
sarily evil to make money. The acquiring and use 
of wealth determine character, Jesus insisted that 
a man's life does not consist in the abundance of 
things which he possesses, but He never said it 
was evil to possess. Personal and corporate in- 
creases in material prosperity accentuate the need 
for honesty, moral rectitude, and integrity of char- 
acter. God's basic requirement of a steward is that 
he be found faithful, and it is required of a five- 
talented steward that he be five times as faithful 
as the one-talented stew^ard. 

All true Americans are justly proud of our 


achievements. Our progress in science, technology, 
prosperity, and power are perhaps unparalleled in 
history. What is the secret of this phenomenal ex- 
pansion? There are numerous opinions, but none 
more stimulating than that of Senator Elmer D. 
Thomas of Utah, who, in his book. This Nation 
Under God, shows the significant part the Christian 
religion has played in the life and progress of this 
nation. His thesis may be summarized in three 
parts ; 

First, religious men and women have defied ma- 
terialism, the divine rights of special groups to rule 
other groups, and they have supported the brother- 
hood and mutual responsibilities of man. 

Second, backed by faith and religion, weaker 
sides have won against stronger sides in their 
struggle, and these victories are the real history 
of the United States. 

Third, this government of ours is set up for an 
ultimate purpose even greater and more important 
than those current purposes for which America 
apparently exists today. The American people must 
never think that this land is ours in the sense that 
we can mutilate and shamefully use it and live 
thoughtlessly as though we do not respect America's 
meaning and destiny. 

Mr. Thomas not lonly shows what religion has 
done but what it must continue to do in the hearts 
of men. He is a strong exponent of self government 
but says self government is impossible unless you 
believe in something wordless and wonderful about 
man in the universe. In tracing the influence of 
religion in American life he points out that the 
United States was the first nation on earth to fully 
recognize the dignity, rights, and privileges of each 
individual, and to protect the individual's rights to 
freedom and religion. It was the first nation to 

deny that any person or body of people possesses a 
divine right to rule over any other person or body 
of people. He believes that "there must be faith 
without proof and hope beyond reason and love 
above advantage, or mankind will indeed perish." 

The great ideals and the good things in our 
American life- are products of a vital faith in God. 
In George Washington's first inaugural address 
April 30, 1789, he said, "No people can be bound 
to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which 
conducts the affairs of men more than those of 
the United States. Every step by which they have 
advanced to the character of an independent nation 
seems to have been distinguished by som-e token of 
providential agency." 

John Tyler said in his annual message to Con- 
gress on December 5, 1843, "If any people ever 
had cause to render up thanks to the Supreme Be- 
ing for parental care and attention extended to 
them in all the trials and difficulties to which they 
have been from time to time exposed we certainly 
are that people. From the first settlement of our 
forefathers . . . the superintendence of an over- 
ruling Providence has been plainly visible." 

President MiUard FiUmore, in his annual message 
ix) Congress December 2, 1850, concluded his 
message by expressing "thanks to the Great Ruler 
of Nations for the multiplied blessings which He 
has graciously bestowed upon us. . . . Our liberties, 
religious and civil, have been maintained, the foun- 
dations of knowledge have all been kept open, and 
means of happiness widely spread and generally 
enjoyed greater than have fallen to the lot of any 
other nation." 

Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation March 
30, 1863, in which he said, "Those nations only 
are blessed whose God is the Lord . . . We have 
been the recipients of the choicest bounties of 
Heaven; we have grown in numbers, wealth and 
power as no other nation has ever grown." 



A Fireside Chat 

E. S. Ames 

I want to talk very informally tonight about us, — 
meaning The Scroll and our readers. Maybe we 
would all understand everything better if all the of- 
ficers of the Campbell Institute had expressed them- 
selves more freely. As editor I may have been too re- 
served, too proper, too cautious. For twenty-five 
years and more I have edited The Scroll and have 
enjioyed doing it for the members of the Campbell 
Institute, and other readers around the world, and 
for posterity. The half century since the Institute 
was organized (1896) has been epoch making for re- 
ligion as well as for all cultural interests. The bound 
volumes of The Scroll, on the shelves of private li- 
braries, and among the periodicals in college reading 
rooms, bear witness to significant changes taking 
place in religious thought. The writings have been 
those of educated men, not of partisans or sectarians. 

The Institute was organized by the first generation 
of Disciple men who went from their colleges to 
the great universities and their schools of religion 
to prepare more adequately for the ministry. In 
1896, there were less than a hundred such students 
in all the universities of the land. Since then the 
number has steadily increased. The Institute has 
invited all ministers and teachers and laymen inter- 
ested, to join and cooperate in contributing their 
wisdom and suggestions to the furtherance of the 
three ends we seek to serve — comradeship, exchange 
of ideas, and Christian union. 

This year has been particularly difficult for THE 
Scroll. Printing costs went up sharply last fall, and 
then the mails were delayed by railroad strikes, while 


impending war, and higher taxes, and the call of 
ministers to the chaplaincy slowed down remittances 
of dues. Our good treasurer, Ben Burns, has been 
doing all he could against these odds to pay the 
printer. If all members and subscribers paid their 
three dollars a year promptly, things would work 
more smoothly, and every one would be happier, 
especially the editor. The editor feels responsible be- 
cause he was elected by the Fellows, without salary 
and without rewards of any kind except an oc- 
casional word of appreciation by some old friend. 
More personal letters to the editor, 5722 Kimbark 
avenue, Chicago, would help. He likes applesauce of 
all kinds, with items of news ! 

The editor knows that he could raise money 
enough to support The Scroll in a larger format, 
and to circulate it among a more numerous circle of 
readers, but he thinks the dues of members and the 
subscriptions at three dollars per year should amply 
pay the costs. The ten numbers of The Scroll each 
year (July and August are its vacation months), 
run up to 320 pages, and that is the equivalent of a 
good sized book! It would also be possible to secure 
profitable advertising, but we prefer to keep away 
from the temptations to become too big and too 
prosperous. The following letter from one who has 
served his time as editor of The Scroll is the kind 
that renews faith in our youthful dream and gives 
bone and sinew to those who carry the load. 

My dear Ames : "It is bad enough to do the work 
of editing The Scroll for all of us fellows without 
worrying about paying the bills with the fifty cent 
dollars which we have been sending you lately. I 
am glad you told me about a deficit with the printer 
for I want to do something about it. Please use the 
enclosed ten dollars . . . tell a hundred of the "old 
boys" about the situation. I am sure your work is 


appreciated enough that they will help. The Camp- 
bell Institute is not just a sentiment with me, but a 
real part of my life experience. When I write my 
autobiography for my children, as I hope to do some 
day, I shall speak of the courage the Institute gave 
me to withstand those that would muffle free speech 
among us. It gave me guidance in the jungle of new 
books, and gave me some of the most wonderful 
friends any man ever had. There is a lot more to 
tell, but this is enough to let you know why a man 
who is a bit 'Scotch* parts gladly with ten dollars. 
It is an installment on a debt." 

The Cmnpbell Institute is not just a sentiment with 
me, but a real part of my life experience. Scores of 
men will join with Pastor Jordan in that declaration. 
That is the spirit which has given strength to the 
Institute and enabled it to outlive the misrepresenta- 
tion and the opposition of critics and defamers. 
Some day the story will be written of the beginnings 
and the development of this organization, its spirit, 
its leaders, and the long list of the members who 
carried it along singing their marching song of 
freedom and aspiring faith. 

It is natural and most gratifying that men of the 
Institute should write as they do in The Scroll Sym- 
posium in support of the National Council of Church- 
es. Many of them were present when the consum- 
mation was atained in Cleveland last December. They 
feel that what was there achieved in pagentry and 
prayer is in principle what every local church should 
labor to become, a fellowship of earnest Christian 
people conscious of essential oneness in practical re- 
ligious devotion, sharing in a common task of inter- 
preting the religion of Jesus effectively in every 
country K)f the world, by every means that money and 
organization can devise in keeping with the spirit of 
Christ. One of the great merits of the Council is that 


it allows freedom and independence in the constitu- 
ent bodies which make for tolerance and enrichment 
and growth for all who cooperate. 

Fortunately those most concerned to promote the 
Council of Churches realize that it presents problems 
to be solved in its onward way. There is always the 
danger that some of the limitations and foibles of 
human nature may get in the way of progress. But 
the encouraging thing is that these limitations are 
no longer viewed as fixed obstacles to improvement. 
When the old notion of sin as inherent in human 
nature and subject to control kdt elimination only 
by miracles of conversion or supernatural power 
there seemed to be no understandable method by 
which the good could be achieved. But this problem 
has been subjected to careful religious and scientific 
inquiry until now there are systematic efforts being 
made to see in unspoiled childhood the qualities 
which can be developed into maturity without so 
much of the conflict and tragic tension of traditional 
religion. It is a growing hope among psychologists 
and sociologists that ways may be found to enable 
society to outgrow war, gross forms of selfishness, 
and to cultivate happier community living in the 
smallest and the largest groups of persons. A pamph- 
let from the Harvard Research Center in Creative 
Altruism announces "that the main task of the 
Center is to study the chief properties and functions 
of creative, altruistic love and, especially to investi- 
gate and invent eflficient techniques for the creative 
altruization of persons and groups, or find efficient 
ways for the production, accumulation, and circula- 
tion of creative love in the human universe." 


Economics and Christian Ethics 

By Harold E. Fey 

Part of an address given at the Disciples Divinity House, 
Chicago, March 1, 1951. 

When we Disciples of Christ humbly take our 
place by the side of other evangelical Christians, we 
are confronted by the problem of translating the 
Christian faith into the forms of workingday be- 
havior which are possible in the modern economic 
order. Our biggest ethical problem is how to make 
the kind of daily work we have to do a Christian 
vocation. The Christian is committed to give his 
life to Christ, but he is forced, generally against his 
will, to give the major part of his life to serving a 
machine. Sometimes the two are not antithetical, but 
that happens when a man can clearly see how his 
work, inconspicuous as it is, definitely serves human 
need. Generally the only need a man feels he serves 
is his own need for sufficient income to support his 
family, and perhaps his employer's need for sufficient 
income to support his race horses in the style to 
which they are accustomed. 

An ethical orientation to making daily work a 
Christian vocation ought to include the following 
considerations, :among others. 1. Every worker is 
entitled to respect as a child of God and as a co- 
worker with him in the ministry of creation. To the 
extent of the worker's abilities and capacities, he 
is entitled to express his own sense of divine calling 
in his daily labor. He should have a share, either 
directly or through representation, in the decisions 
which affect his welfare and the use of the fruits 
of his labors. The church should recognize the sacred- 
ness of the high calling of men and women who 
do their work as unto the Lord, providing that work 
is constructive and is done with a sense of dedication. 

2. Since men can be co-creators with God, their 


duty and right to employment should be recognized 
by society. Workers are entiled tO! a living wage 
which will support a family living in wholesome sur- 
roundings and give sufficient leisure for participation 
in religious and civic activities. Hours and con- 
ditions of labor should be such as to give the worker 
full lopportunity to contribute his best service to God 
and his fellows in his labor and yet to conserve his 
health and make it possible for him to participate 
in the life of his family and community. 

3. Right fellowship between man and man being 
a condition of man's fellowship with God, every 
economic arrangement that frustrates or restricts 
peaceful and creative relationships between people 
should be modified. This applies to relationships 
within unions as well as between workers and man- 
agement ; between the workers of different countries 
as well as those of different races or occupations. The 
right of labor or the professions or any other groups 
to organize and bargain collectively should be rec- 
ognized in practice and in law, but the right of the 
community and nation to be protected from the 
paralysis of their essential functions by strikes must 
also be recognized. No Christian can permit himself 
to be separated from his fellows by conceptions of 
class war, or the dictatorship of one class over others 
or the segregation of jobs along racial lines. And 
none can relinquish his responsibility as a minister 
of reconciliation, no matter what the conflict or what 
his station in life. 

4. Regardless of race or class, every child and 
youth should have opportunities for education suit- 
able for the full development of his particular ca- 
pacities. Every adult should also have opportunities 
to develop hitherto latent or undiscovered capacities. 
The church can play a much greater role in develop- 
ing these capacities, particularly among older people. 


who are often capable of entering into a new and 
useful life after they are retired from regular em- 
ployment. It is the particular responsibility of the 
church to unlock the capacities which have been 
locked up because of spiritual attitudes which blights 
ed creative possibilities. 

5. Persons disabled from economic activity by 
sickness or age should not be economically penalized 
on this account, but should be cared for by their 
families, their churches, their former employers and 
the community, with special effort being made to 
find new if restricted means by which they can con- 
tinue their creative identification with Grod and their 

6. "The resources of the earth should be recog- 
nized as gifts of God to the whole human race and be 
used with due and balanced consideration for the 
needs of the present and future generations," as the 
Oxford World Conference of Churches said. 

7. We should recognize that production is a social 
process which implies that distribution should also 
be social. This means that no person is without re- 
sponsibility to share and to account for the wealth 
which may come to him. Payment of taxes and other 
compulsory forms of sharing ought to be sanctified 
by the second mile of voluntary sharing of all surplus 
above honestly audited needs. The function of the 
church as a week by week prompter of this process 
is a very important part of its responsibility. 

The fact that this prompting has been going on 
year after year in the churches of this country helps 
to account not only for the 4 billion a year which is 
given voluntarily for religion and education and be- 
nevolence in this country (60% by incomes under 
$3,000, 80% under $5,000) but also for a public 
opinion which sanctioned since the war the American 
gift of $40 billions to people in other countries. Even 


more important, it helps to account for certain quali- 
ties in the American character for which we have no 
reason to apologize. This is a part of the distinctively 
Christian heritage of this land. What has often been 
called the Christian communism of the early church 
was nothing miore than giving in response to the 
faith that it is the duty of Christians to share in love 
what they have. 

How can a Christian live ethically in relation to 
the economic order? (1) Only by seeking first the 
kingdom of God, not by seeking first to fill his barns 
lor to swell his profits. (2) By making sure that in 
any relationship or bargain, he gives more than he 
receives in one way or another. (3) By leading in his 
relations with those with whom he works, "a life 
worthy of the calling with which he has been called, 
with all lowliness and meekness, with patience, for- 
bearing one another in love, eager to maintain the 
lunity of the Spirit in the bonds of peace." (4) By 
developing the priesthood or mutual ministry of 
believers by professions, trades, special economic and 
social interests into specialized ministries, standing 
within the churches, yet offering a Christian fellow- 
ship and concern which channel the spirit of God. 

People — Places — Events 

F. E. Davison 
To stand in the pulpit of Christian Temple in 
Baltimore is like standing on holy ground. It was 
there that Peter Ainslee of sainted memory min- 
istered for so many years. It was there that my long- 
time friend H. C. Armstrong gave many years of 
faithful service. It is there that Fred Heifer now 
ministers with such effectiveness and leads the 
church forward in a great new venture. Recently it 
was my privilege to preach in that pulpit on Sunday 


morning and that same evening address a mass meet- 
ing of Baltimore Disciples from the same rostrum. 

It is the story of the "Great New Venture" that 
I want to tell in these few paragraphs. Around 
Christian Temple there is much of sacred history 
and delightful tradition. In the congregation there 
are a number of people who have lived through most 
of this history and helped in the building of Christian 
Temple. Elders Barnette and Lane are two of those 
people. One would naturally expect such men to op- 
pose any new project that looked toward leaving 
these sacred surroundings. However, these two 
elders are both in the forefront of the church's new 

No doubt by the time this gets into print (if it 
does) the congregation of Christian Temple will have 
moved out and turned over the building they love to 
one of our aggressive Negro churches. The Temple 
congregation will meet for several months in a hall 
some four or five miles from the present location. 
They have purchased a beautiful 12 acre wooded 
tract as the site for their new church. They hope 
soon to break ground for the first unit of the new 
Christian Temple. Pastor and people are determined 
to carry over into the new location much of the 
worthy traditions of the past. 

The stalwart soldier who has led in these past 
several years of careful planning and money raising 
activities, is none other than Dr. Frederick W. 
Heifer. His good spirit keeps everyone bouyant and 
hopeful — his deep consecration challenges all to seek 
spiritual undergirding for the venture — ^and his keen 
vision produces dreams of beauty and abiding reality. 

Disciples who have inherited an ecumenical mind 
inspired by the teachings and practice of Peter 
Ainslee should not only watch this venture with in- 
terest, but should pray for its success and give it 


financial assistance. The new Christian Temple could 
well be made a Brotherhood shrine to which Disciples 
make periodic pilgrimages to bide awhile in the 
atmosphere of an inclusive Christian faith. 

If I were asked to write the words of a plaque in 
the new church honoring past and present pastors, 
I would borrow the words of Edwin Markham and 
write : 

He drew a circle 
To shut me out 
Heretic, rebel, 
A thing to flout. 

But love and I 

Had the wit to win 
We drew a circle 

That took him in. 

The Validity of Preaching* 

Hunter Beckelhymer, Kenton, Ohio 

The fact that we feel called upon to reaffirm the 

validity of preaching indicates that there may be 

reasons for doubting it. And there are. It was the 

dean of American preachers whO', only half jokingly, 

once likened preaching to leaning out of a fifth 

story window with a dropper full of eye medicine, 

hoping to hit someone who needed it in the right 

place when he was looking in the right direction. It 

is not as bad as that, of course, but the difficulty of 

getting a healing word to those who need it, when 

they need it, is a great one. And we may seriously 

question whether we do it with any frequency. 

St. Anthony was a Franciscan monk. Legend has 

it that, like the founder of his order, St. Anthony too 

preached to God's wild creatures. But instead of 

birds, he chose fish for his congregation. Comment- 

*A paper read at the annual meeting of the Campbell Insti- 
tute, 1950. 


ing on this incident, a poet has written : 
"The sermon now ended, 
Each turned and descended. 
The pikes went on stealing, ; 

The eels went on eeling. 
Much delighted were they, 
But preferred the old way. 

Delighted congregations who prefer the old way is 
certainly a discouragement that all preachers know. 

There is another discouragement, too, that has 
plagued preachers ever since the night when the 
apostle Paul preached too long in a stuffy third story 
room in Troas. (Acts 20:7-9). But thanks to the 
modern pioneers of pedagogy this humiliating phe- 
nomenon has lost some of its sting. I have read 
recently that the French language has been success- 
fully taught to a student by playing French records 
through a tiny speaker attached to her pillow by 
night. Perhaps old deacon Snoringham has absorbed 
miore of the gospel than we had supposed, these many 

It is easy to become disheartened — even cynical — 
about the preaching role in our ministries. The ser- 
mon seems a frail weapon with which to attack the 
massive evils of the common life. Such force as we 
can pack into it often seems to have been dissipated 
upon the inertia, complacency, and superficiality of 
many of those who heard it. The temptation, there- 
fore, is to strive for the spectacular, or the entertain- 
ing, or the pleasant hodge-podge of anecdote. "Mind 
you, let Action have its share!" says the cynical 
theater manager to the sensitive poet in the prologue 
to Goethe's Faust : 
"Mind you, let Action have its share ! 

They come to watch, but they prefer to stare. 

If you will only spin off all you can. 

So that the wondering crowds gape with delight, 


The goal will virtually be in sight, 
And you will be a popular man. 
The masses by mass alone an author swings, 
Each one eventually selects his fare ; 
- He who brings much, something to many brings, 
Then each one leaves contented with his share. 
If giving a piece, give it in pieces now! 
Such hash I'm sure you can prepare ; 
Easy to give, it's easily invented ; 
Why bother with a whole, when what's presented, 
The public will pick to pieces anyhow !" 
The preacher has often said as much to himself. 

And yet, after he has expressed his misgivings, 
and indulged his doubts, the preacher knows that for 
his task his best is not good enough, and his utmost 
is too little. For before him weekly are fifty or five 
hundred who pay him the compliment of their 
presence, and confront him with the challenge of 
their attention. They are there not because of public 
opinion, but rather in spite of it. In most localities, 
the canons of respectability may encourage a man 
to be a Church member, but they do not encourage 
him to attend. So every congregation is a part of a 
small minority in its community — a sort of remnant 
of the most concerned. 

At no other hour of the week is it likely that their 
minds are so receptive to divine influences. For they 
have sung and prayed together. They have broken 
the bread and drunk the cup of remembrance. They 
have shared such beauty, symbolism, and sacred 
associations as the sanctuary affords. The competi- 
tive spirit and def ensiveness of discussion and argu- 
ment is not there. And for half an hour the preacher 
has such a privilege as no man is equal to. It is mot 
the importance of what he is doing that the preacher 
can doubt, but rather his fitnes to do it. The validity 
of preaching — of course ! But why is it valid. 


Preaching is valid, in the first place, because it 
is valid to remind. I say "remind" because miost of 
those who hear us are already aware of the truths 
that we afRrm. They have heard them many times, 
and partially confirmed them from time to time in 
their own experiences. The preacher reminds, then, 
not by dreary repetition, but by illuminating, as 
freshly and as timely as he can, the great constants 
of life. 

We live in a dependable universe. In it, man can 
choose among numerous courses of actiion, but he 
cannot choose where a given course will take him 
if he elects to follow it. The Creator has determined 
that. Man can build a house on sand if he likes, but 
he can't make it stick. He can fashion elaborate struc- 
tures of evil if he chooses, but he can't make them 
stay glued. Conversely, man can choose among 
numerous goals, but to reach one he must take a 
course that leads there. And God has determined 
those too. Men have often chosen peace, but they 
have yet to reach it by a course of mutual intimida- 

The universe abounds in such predictables. It 
lays upon those who would flourish in it some abiding 
imperatives, moral as well as mechanical. It is the 
prophets and saints who have seen these imperatives 
most clearly, and have stated them each in the 
manner of his day. History illustrates them; bi- 
ographies bear them witness. By them each of us 
reaps either results or consequences. And of them 
each of us needs reminding. 

I know that it profiteth a man nothing to gain 
the world and lose his soul. But I need to be reminded. 
I know that by hoarding life we lose it, and by in- 
vesting it in the Kingdom we find it. But I need 
to be reminded. I know that the meek shall inherit 
the earth, that without love I am a sounding brass 


or tinkling cymbal, that truth makes men free. But 
of all these I need to be reminded — reminded in 
terms which are familiar and by references to ex- 
periences that I understand. 

A common criterion of the validity of preaching 
has been its effectiveness in producing "changed 
lives." But what of unchanged lives? What of those 
good Christians in every congregation who have gone 
through the worst life can do to a person without a 
change for the worse? What of those who have suf- 
fered the "slings and arrows of an outrageous for- 
tune" and have not gone to pieces? The widow un- 
afraid, the combat veteran unembittered, the spinster 
unhardened, the public servant uncorrupted, the 
newly-rich unpretentious, the invalid unscarred by 
self-pity — surely these unchanged lives also testify 
in some measure to the validity K)f preaching that 

In his introduction to the book by the Norwegian 
author, George Brochman, entitled * "Humanity and 
Happiness," Lewis Mumford writes, "Each genera- 
tion lives, as it were, by the platitudes and often 
brings itself close to suicide by its originalities." 
Then he adds, "But each generation, likewise, must 
discover these funded truths for itself, as if for 
the first time." Preaching is valid if it helps this 
generation discover keenly, vividly, intimately, the 
truths it already knows. 

Preachings is valid, furthermore, becaiise it is valid 
to sow good seed. That is, to sow seeds of sug- 
gestion in the minds of men. For some of it falls 
on good ground and brings forth fruit forty, sixty, 
or a hundredfold. In fact, Jesus likened the King- 
dom's coming to the growing lof mustard seed. And 
again he likened it to corn planted and growing, 
we know not how — first the blade, then the ear, then 

* Viking Press 


the full corn in the ear. So the preacher has the 
opportunity not only of reminding men of what they 
know, but of planting and cultivating new germinal 

The power of ideas is not to be underestimated 
any more than the power of seeds is. Just as a 
growing seed will sometimes split a boulder, sio 
growing ideas from time to time have destroyed 
some of civilization's monolithic institutions and cus- 
toms. Carlyle, it is said, once sat listening to some 
common talk about the ineffectiveness of ideas. 
Then when a pause came he remarked, "Gentlemen, 
there was once a man called Rousseau. He wrote a 
book which was nothing but ideas. People laughed 
at it. But the skins of those who laughed went to 
bind the second edition of the book." 

Douglas Steere has observed that between men 
and their institutions and customs there always 
exists what he calls the "cord of consent." This cord 
of consent or appproval may be tacit, passive, un- 
critical, perhaps even unconscious. But it is always 
there. When something takes place in the hearts 
and minds of men that severs or weakens this oord 
of consent, the institution or custom supported by it 
withers and dies. And then in time new institutional 
expressions develop, nourished in turn by the newly 
constituted cord of consent. Thurman Arnold, com- 
menting on the organized violations of the 18th 
amendment has bluntly commented that when people 
want something done, the apparatus will develop 
to do it for them. Emerson, however, has put it more 
lyrically and positively: 

"Let man serve law for man; 

Live for friendship, live for love. 

For truth and harmony's behoof ; 

The state may follow how it can, 

As Ol3nnpus follows Jove. 


Call it what you will — ^the cord of consent, the 
climate of opinion — it is the area in which impor- 
tant things happen. It is the liveliest battlefied in 
the world. And it is the one ion which the preacher 
is best equipped to fight. There is something patheti- 
cally humorous in the Communists working fever- 
ishly to spread the idea that ideas don't matter. Any 
group of determinists, be they economic determin- 
ists like the Communists, or theological, or sociologi- 
cal who seek to oust reason from its role in human 
affairs, to the degree that they succeed cut the 
ground from under their own arguments. Ideas do 
matter. Belief matters ! Faith matters ! The whole 
outlook with which man confronts his environment 
matters ! For as a man thinketh in his heart, so is 
he. It is valid to sow seeds in human minds and 
hearts. "The state may follow how it can, as Olym- 
pus follows Jove." 

Moreover, preaching is valid becaiose it is valid to 
interpret — to clarify. I am profoundly suspicious 
of the ineffable. I seriously question whether a per- 
son comprehends a thing until he comprehends it in 
terms of words, concepts, metaphors or myth. Of 
course no words or myth are ever perfect to con- 
tain a truth. But any words or concepts or meta- 
phors are either relatively adequate or inadequate — 
relatively illuminating or misleading. It is the 
preacher's opportunity to put such truth as he sees 
into articulate, recallable, communicable form. Un- 
less he does this for his congregation his sermon 
does not clarify an idea, it merely elongates it. 

What, other than this, did Jesus do when he spake 
in parables. The prodigal son coming to himself 
and turning back to a father who had never ceased 
to love him, the good shepherd leaving the ninety 
and nine safely in the fold to seek the hundredth 
that had strayed, the ungrateful servant forgetting 


in his role as creditor the mercy his master had 
shown him as a debtor, the three stewards each 
with his talents to use in his master's service — no 
wonder the people heard him gladly. 

It is the peculiar genius of Harry Emerson Fos- 
dick to communicate truth so vividly and yet so 
simply that we feel he is saying just what we had 
been wanting to say. Actually he is helping us to 
comprehend truths for the first time. We don't 
really grasp an idea until we can say it. And often 
we can't say it until we have heard it said, or 

"Are you a part of the problem or a part of 
the answer?" Dr. Fosdick asks in one of his ser- 
mons. And the frustrating fuzzyness of the "social 
gospel" becomes as sharp as a lance in our minds. 
By a single question he makes the social dimension 
of lOur faith no longer a vaguely guilty conscience 
and a bewildered good will, but rather a factor in 
every personal decision. Alan Watts speaks of the 
"playfulness of God — a colossal gaiety in the heart 
of the universe." And the prodigal extravagances 
of nature blaze with a new meaning. Harry Over- 
street writes of the "linkage theory of maturity" 
— that is, that one matures by progressively deeper 
involvement in his environment. He becomes linked 
to the past by learning, to the present by responsi- 
bility and liability, to his fellows by empathy, to 
God by faith. And the meaning of growth becomes 
observable and measurable. In fact the whole recent 
concept of maturity versus immaturity is a tre- 
mendously helpful key to human behavior. These 
thinkers have done superbly what it is the preach- 
er's opportunity to do regularly. They have clari- 
fied commionplace experiences by interpreting them. 
By putting them into words, concepts, and meta- 
phor, they have made truths that we never really 
comprehended seem familiar friends. 


In his little book *"Nervous Disorders and 
Character," John G. McKensie cites with approval 
Dr. Renyard West's contention that "most mental 
illnesses are rooted in misconceptions." Professor 
McKensie warns that it is of course an oversimpli- 
fication to think of psychotherapy simply as remov- 
ing intellectual misconceptions. But he adds, "there 
is a very great deal of truth in Dr. West's con- 
tention. Misconceptions regarding God, ethical de- 
mands, and human nature undoubtedly play a large 
part in neurotic trouble." Insofar as the preacher 
can help persons to comprehend the natural, social, 
and spiritual worlds in which they live he is minis- 
tering to them at a point of critical need. 

Whittier's best known hymn includes this stanza : 

Sabbath rest by Galilee, 

O calm of hills above. 

Where Jesus knelt to share with thee 

The silence of eternity 

Interpreted by love. 
Eternity means not only infinite time. It is the 
master frame of reference, the realm of ultimate 
meaning. It intrudes upon men's consciousness 
when they lay loved ones away, but not then alone. 
It confronts man whenever he pushes to the limits 
of human knowledge, and then asks "why?". It con- 
fronts him when he probes to the core of matter 
and finds nothing material. It confronts him when 
he ponders the spectacle of humans using their in- 
telligence and hard won skills to destroy each other 
and themselves. It confronts him when he seeks 
to reconcile the evil he can't escape with the God 
he can't deny. It confronts him in moral decisions 
he is afraid to make and can't postpone. 

But eternity is silent. No unmistakable voice from 



its depths answers the questions it imposes. Jesus 
faced eternity, often. In Gethsemane he faced it in 
all of its stark chill, and again on the cross. And 
he interpreted it — interpreted it by love. "Father, 
not my will but thine be done." "Father, forgive 
them for they know not what they do." To many, 
eternity is an uncommunicative abyss. To Jesus, 
who interpreted it by love, it was his Heavenly 
Father. The minister of Jesus Christ falls short 
of his opportunity if he be not an "interpreter of 
eternity" to those who face it. 

But above all, preaching is valid becatcse it is 
valid to worship. More than all else, men need a 
real awareness of God. Awareness of God, not as a 
permissible hypothesis but as the most important 
factor in every human situation. Awareness of 
God, not as a "that which" but as their Heavenly 
Father. *Dr. Sockman recalls that Professor Johns- 
ton Ross of Union Seminary used to stress that "the 
primary purpose of every sermon, as well as of 
the worship service, is to make men aware of God." 
For, he said, if they could feel the divine presence, 
most of their problems would assume a different 
aspect. Then Sockman adds, "Seeing God imparts 
a strength to find solutions and thus renders un- 
necessary so many specific pulpit prescriptions." 

I believe that. At their best, sermion and worship 
service are one. Together they can make God seem 
as real as He is. Worship should make the wor- 
shipper listen. Listening should make the listener 
worship. Together they can make men aware of 
their Father in Heaven. Anthropomorphism, I 
think, is by no means the low point in men's con- 
ceptions of God. A more sophisticated terminology 
may really conceal a lower religious awareness. In 
making just this point, C. S. Lewis tells of class- 

*The Higher Happiness — Cokesbury 


room conversations with some of his students at 
Oxford. He asked them to give their definitions of 
God. One girl, who had apparently completed the 
course Philosophy la, replied that "God was Per- 
fect Substance." When Lewis asked her what her 
definition suggested to her, she stammered with 
some embarrassment that it suggested a sort of 
massive tapioca pudding. To make matters worse, 
she didn't like tapioca pudding. 

Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, 
and it suflficeth us. Jesus saith unto him. Have 
I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not 
known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen 
the Father. It was in the words and deeds of Jesus 
that his first followers saw God more clearly than 
ever before. And it is in the same presence that 
moderns can find Him most satisfying. "Sir, we 
would see Jesus," said some Greeks to Philip in 
Jerusalem. And later, scripture tells us, when an- 
other seeker approached Philip, Philip "opened his 
mouth . . . and preached unto him Jesus." When 
the modern preacher meets that cry with that re- 
sponse, he is ministering to men at the point of 
their deepest need. 

Somewhere in one of his books Walter Horton 
tells of seeing the stage production of Drinkwater's 
"Lincoln." As he watched Lincoln suffering with 
the nation he was trying to preserve, as he ob- 
served Lincoln's tenderness, compassion, and love 
rise above the tides of hatred, brutality, and venge- 
ance that threatened to wash him down. When he 
saw Lincoln steer the steadfast course of reconcilia- 
tion on seas of ruthless passion. Dr. Horton said 
that a feeling of religious certainty and aflfirmation 
surged through him as seldom before or since. And 
he was at worship. He said to himself, "This is it." 
This is God at work. This is the vast tenderness 


at the heart of the universe suffering to victory- 
through the waywardness and sin of men. This is 
how God redeems His world. 

We preach one greater than Lincoln. And those 
who see him see the Father. Those who know his 
mind know the mind of the Father. Those who feel 
his love know the love of God. Those who serve 
him serve the Father. And those who are drawn 
to his feet kneel at the feet of God Himself. 

Dr. C. F. Wishart, former minister of Second 
Presbyterian Church in Chicago, and now Presi- 
dent-Emeritus of Wooster College tells this story. 
A college class held their first reunion on the twen- 
ty-fifth anniversary of their graduation. There 
were the usual happy greetings and reminiscences 
as old half forgotten friendships were renewed. 
One classmate, however, was recognized by no one, 
for the years had not been kind to him and his 
appearance had changed much more than in most 
of them. The stranger refused to identify himself 
despite the embarrassed feelers of his friends. Fi- 
nally he called out, "All right, son, come in," and 
from an adjoining room a young man of eighteen 
lor twenty years came into the group. The class- 
mates looked at the boy, and gasped. Then turning 
to the stranger they said, "Bill, why, it's Bill. We 
would never have known you," and all of the other 
happy greetings that come when old friends reunite. 

"You see," said Dr. Wishart, "they recognized 
the father in the face of the son." Preaching is valid 
when it helps men recognize the Father in the face 
lof the Son. 


T. Hassell Bowen. Certainly the Disciples, who 
have inherited the ecumenical passion of their 
founding fathers, should be the first to greet with 
enthusiasm the National Council of Churches as the 


long-delayed, though only partial fulfillment of the 
Disciple visiion of the united church. Even though 
the Disciples would have preferred as the doctrinal 
basis of the Council the more Biblical idea of "Jesus 
Christ as Lord and Savior" to the more theological 
and exclusive conception of "Jesus Christ as Grod 
and Savior," the Disciple delegates v^isely did not 
make this a divisive issue. Satisfaction should be 
realized in the fact that churches with such diverse 
traditions and theological persuasions found it possi- 
ble to unite on the basis of such a theological mini- 
mum. Hence, it is now incumbent on all loyal Dis- 
ciples to' become creative and cooperative partici- 
pants in the fellowship and work of the National 
Council of Churches. In this manner our Brother- 
hood will give concrete evidence of their desire 
to practice the unity they have so eloquently advo- 
cated for more than a century. 

Charles B. Barr. The formation of the National 
Council of Churches is indeed a great step forward 
along the road to Christian unity by uniting Chris- 
tians about their common tasks. It is not a super- 
church, uniting Christians by theological uniform- 
ity or the coercion of ecclesiastical pressures. It is 
an agency of churches, designed to hold before 
Christians great needs. The spirit of Christ will 
move to meet these needs without regard to the 
denominational affiliation of the house in which the 
Spirit is resident. 

Some of us at Cleveland felt that the constitu- 
tional provision that at least half of the represen- 
tatives of a member communion be nominated by 
the boards and agencies of the communion made 
:the representation less democratic than it should 
have been. Perhaps, though, nominees of the agen- 
cies will be more sensitive to the proper and ef- 
ficient functioning of an agency. 


A. C. Brooks. The announcements about the for- 
mation of the National Council of Churches 
aroused widespread interest and concern among 
Christian leaders across denominational boundary- 
lines, but particularly among Disciples of Christ, 
who have preached Christian union for so long. 
Many of us looked forward to the Cleveland meet- 
ing, and some were disappointed that funerals and 
other engagements prevented our attendance at this 
history-making convocation. The new Council 
journal has just come to my desk, and it fulfills 
many of the high expectations we had for the 
Council. We are assured that the Council will make 
a distinct contribution to the growing ecumenical 
spirit in America and elsewhere. It is our prayer 
that this may be realized. If we could have more 
significant achievements like this and stop the di- 
visions which continue to invade the ranks of Chris- 
tendom we would help the prayer of Jesus that "they 
may all be one" to be realized. This would be 
genuine Christian progress. 

A. T. DeGroot. The formation of the National 
Council of Churches is a cause for much rejoicing, 
but is not the new thing that must come for a true 
forward step in church union. Effective federation 
on a national scale is 43 years old, and is a blessed 
achievement, for which the N.C.C. is the capstone 
in America. But, as the Archbishop of Canterbury 
said in his Cambridge sermon of 1946, "We do 
not desire a federation: that does not restore the 
circulation" (he had likened denominations to 
barriers in the bloodstream of the body of Christ) . 
The Conference on Church Union (Cincinnati, 1951) 
holds the pattern for real progress in church unity. 
The N.C.C. is John the Baptist. 

H. Gavin. The brief commentaries by twelve 
Disciple leaders printed in the January SCROLL 


form a heartening display of the reasons for rejoic- 
ing in the achievement of the Cleveland Constitut- 
ing Convention. Though not without very sobering 
reservations, reminders, and warnings, the writers 
all hail a major event in the annals of American 
Protestantism and a coming day of challenge and 

In these considered words of men of experience 
and learning, one finds some answers to the question 
which many laymen are asking: What will the 
Council with all its intricate ordering and its able, 
devoted leaders signify to the 31,000,000 assorted 
members of churches in whose name distinguished - 
churchmen have been speaking radiant words ? More \ 
specifically, for this brief proposed glance at too 
large a question, how far will the new creation stir 
the minds and hearts of some ten million of these 
laymen who belong to locally independent religious 
societies? We members of such groups know too 
well how strong is the habit of dwelling in our own 
problems and routines, with only vague and usually 
sentimental contemplation of the wider horizons 
and far-flung influences of a world-embracing 
Church. Attending to the dates on lour own calen- 
dars with whatever zeal in spending our resources, 
we are scarcely conscious of the greatness of our 
own traditions, and not even mildly informed of 
other great traditions. 

Suppose lone goes through the twenty-five or thir- 
ty (count 'em!) points made by the contributors to 
The Scroll symposium seeking especially opinions 
or intuitions that may be clues to the "inward 
strengthening" and the outgo of power which several 
of the writers envision as outcomes of the new 
emergence of cooperation. There is space for bare 
mention of three or four perspectives which seem 
to promise growing solidarity and deeper mutual 


concern within the free and not-united congrega- 

There is first the matter of bringing home to the 
"grass roots" the drama of the great merger itself, 
expressed so far most effectively in the "pageantry" 
which the delegates at Cleveland found very moving 
. . . "For the first time I am seeing the Church — not 
in its perfection perhaps and not yet complete — 
but the Church visible in proportions many times 
greater than I have ever seen it before." There will 
be other occasions no doubt for great staging and 
symbolism. Everyone who has come home filled 
with new appreciations from an inspiring assembly 
of congenial spirits has felt the inadequacy of any 
attempt to communicate the experience. But we 
have now some fine technical instruments to aid 
this business of reporting — ^television, radio, films. 
We may hope that a very special effort will be made 
to transmit new visions to the people. 

Again, the enterprises in which the denomina- 
tions will work together in the National Council's 
many agencies are of the kind that now draw men 
of good will together from many walks of life. The 
delegates, members of commissions, conferences, 
etc., will find themselves joining forces with those 
of differing creeds in ways that discount the creedal 
differences, "In such enterprises Protestantism can 
now speak with power. It can now pool the findings 
of its specialists in such matters as social welfare, 
racial tensions, religious education, economic prob- 
lems, international relations." Conclusions and pro*- 
nouncements will undoubtedly attract wider atten- 
tion and carry greater weight with the public, both 
lay and secular. 

Ohio State Journal — Sometimes it seems that in- 
dependent action and home rule in the broadest sense 
are being lost in the shuffle in a day when the trend 


is increasingly toward organization of individuals 
into groups, and the groups into super-groups, for 
the purpose of accomplishing some end. 

Meeting in Columbus this week is a branch of 
an organization which is meeting this problem 
nicely. It is the Division of Christian Education of 
the National Council of Churches of Christ in the 
U. S. A. 

The National Council is an organization of 29 
Protestant denominations numbering over 31,000,000 
people. Yet its spokesmen are scrupulously careful 
never to let it be said the Council "speaks for 
31,000,000 people," and scrupulously careful to let 
it be known the opinion of any one of the 29-member 
communions is not necessarily its view, nor is its 
voice necessarily that of a given member. 

Yet the Council affords the advantages of col- 
lective action to its Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, 
Presbyterian, Episcopalian, Congregationalist and 
other members without interfering with their 
special doctrines. 

This can be done because there are basic Chris- 
tian beliefs which are held by all, and the Council 
restricts itself to finding means to swell the potency 
of these beliefs in the world's affairs. Further, it 
can exchange data and information and make studies 
in fields — such as missions — which present common 
problems to all denominations. 

Certainly there is a need for strengthening the 
overall influence of the churches with regard to 
today's hectic affairs. It is laudable that the Na- 
tional Council's members have found a way to do 
this without sacrificing the individuality which is 
also needed in our society. 

Richard James. "Division among Christians is a 
horrid evil, fraught with many evils. It is anti- 
Christian, as it destroys the visible unity of the 


body of Christ ; as if he were divided against him- 
self, including and excommunicating a part of him- 
self ... in a word, it is productive of confusion, 
and of every evil work." So wrote Thomas Camp- 
bell in The Declaration and Address in 1809 and 
delivered it to the meeting held at Buffalo, August 
17. Campbell's heart would be made glad today to 
read of the progress which his propositions were 
making among the denominations of our time. Many 
communions have actually combined their work in 
recent years. In almost every state of our union 
there is some type of activity by which Christians 
of various faiths may work together on common 
causes. The most significant happening in the past 
few years is the organization of the National Council 
of the Churches of Christ in the U. S. A. To date 
there are twenty-nine denominations working to- 
gether in this organization. This council will help 
us all get a better view of the American church and 
to cooperate in the task of Christianizing our land. 

Brady Brown, St. Joseph, Mo. Space will not allow 
me to express in full my appreciation for 
the trip to Columbus, Ohio, where I attended 
the Christian Education Division of the National 
Council of Churches. It will suffice to say, 
however, that this was grand inspiration and edu- 
cation for me! I met with several thousand leaders 
of Christian education who came from all parts 
of the U. S. and Canada. There were plenary ses- 
sions where we met together to hear our greatest 
leaders, but there were also smaller divisions such 
as leaders of youth, adult, and of children. It seems 
to me our Christian Education program of our 
nation is stronger. I felt there was a greater im- 
pact this year than last. The theme this year was 
"United for a Ministry of Teaching." 


Professor W. C. Bower, Lexington, Ky. Every 
Disciple must find great satisfaction in the con- 
summation of the organization of the National 
Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. The 
accomplished purpose is in direct accord with the 
genius and tradition of the Disciples of Christ. While 
it does not accomplish the organic union of all Chris- 
tendom, it is a long step in that direction. It is in 
fact a functional unity on a non-theological basis 
of the major part of American Protestantism around 
common purposes and common practical concerns. 
This also is in accord with the best in Disciple tradi- 

Parker Rossman, 222 Downey Ave., Indianapolis. 
As one contemplates the new National Council of 
Churches, one is impressed by the fact that the 
World Council, the National Council, state and local 
council of churches, are the most significant phases 
of the Church Union Movement in our time. Their 
existence now raises for us a new and most pressing 
question: Are these councils to be dead ends along 
the road to union? Are they to be merely large ma- 
chines for cooperation which in time become ends 
in themselves ? Or are they to be the method through 
which churches come to know one another and love 
one another and learn to know and love Christ more 
together? If the latter is the case then we shall find 
union through the councils and not around them. 

We need a philosophy of cooperation, obviously, 
for we have not yet learned really how to work to- 
gether in these organizations. But we must move 
beyond cooperation. There is to ecumenicity a sig- 
nificance that is deeper and richer than is implied by 
the term cooperation. When one cooperates he with- 
holds a part of himself and cooperates only in areas 
that do not conflict with his sovereignty. But the 
union for which Christ prayed is a union in which 


all would give up everything to Him. 

When the Student Christian Movements federated 
for the first time five years ago some of the move- 
ments — the Lutherans and others — entered the fed- 
eration with great hesistancy and suspicion. They 
were uncertain that they could cooperate, they were 
uncertain to what it would lead. And the hesitation 
was not just on the part of conservative groups, 
some of the most liberal groups wondered why in 
the world they were getting mixed up with the con- 
servative, almost fundamentalist, groups. It has 
been interesting therefore to watch the growing 
confidence that has resulted from work together, 
association together and most important from com- 
ing to know one another as Christians. A most im- 
portant factor in this has been the way in which our 
National Student Council has given the first and 
foremost part of its time at each lof its annual meet- 
ings to a retreat where we came to know each other, 
where we searched the scriptures together and 
prayed together. After such an experience as that 
when we came to points of impossible diificulty, 
when we knew we were not going to be able to agree 
at all we could still say in the spirit of Amsterdam : 
"We intend to stay together even though we cannot 
agree at all on this most difficult point." 

Actually this philosophy of working in a council, 
the matter of making councils function is to me 
a thing no more complicated than being a Christian. 
In fact it is merely applying Christian ways of work- 
ing to the machinery of councils. We cannot have 
forced marriages of churches. It is foolish to talk 
about wedding ceremonies until there has been a 
long and happy period of courtship, of coming to 
know one another most intimately, and when such 
a courtship matures then marriage may become in- 
evitable. When such union becomes inevitable, I am 


in favor of it — even with the Baptists. And mean- 
while I am certainly in favor of the courtship, which 
basically must be a great expansion of what Ben 
Burns has called "Shirt Sleeve Ecumenicity." 

Annual Meeting of Campbell 

July 23, 24, and 25, 1951, in the Disciples Divinity 
House in Chicago will occur the annual meeting of 
the Campbell Institute. Professor S. Marion Smith, 
of the Butler School lof Religion, is the President of 
the Institute, and has taken his office seriously, and 
vigorously. That is his way. He will have an ex- 
cellent program and will instill new interest and 
aggressiveness in the members. He taught New 
Testament in Phillips University for several years 
but always with open eyes upon developments in his 
field. He had done work at the University of Chi- 
cago as vacations and lother opportunities made it 
possible until he won a fellowship in the Depart- 
ment of New Testament. Then he came to Chicago 
for a year, carried on the exacting work of a Fellow, 
preached every Sunday for the North Side Chris- 
tian Church, and cared for his wife and five chil- 
dren at the same time. Some lone asked me whether 
Smith had "executive ability." I said, "look at that 
year's record." If that does not reveal executive abil- 
ity, nothing would! 

He is enthusiastic about the Campbell Institute. 
He does not seem to know that there ever was any 
danger connected with membership in this order of 
inquiring spirits, or in the high place of leadership 
among them. He has chosen for the general topic 
of next summer's meeting, "Preacher and Seminary 
Face Their Task." This is a good year for this sub- 
ject. Edgar DeWitt Jones has just published 


through Harpers a notable book on, "The Royalty 
of the Pulpit." It is the history of the Lyman Beecher 
Lectures on preaching given at Yale since 1872. In 
this issue of The Scroll is a notable paper on "The 
Validity of Preaching" by Paul Hunter Beckelhymer. 
A glimpse at the other side of the question, for spice, 
may be seen in the article in the recent Pulpit, by 
John R. Scotford, under the title, No More Great 
Preachers ! 

The membership of the Institute will also be in- 
creased under the new administration of Marion 

Response to Treasurer's Lament 

In a recent Scroll the treasurer lamented that 
the muse was mute because he had not received 
those verses which have been characteristic of the 
dues-paying members of the Institute for many 
years. His lament brought in a number of dues 
payments but only one printable poem. We print 
it below as an encouragement tO' you to send in your 
verse and also as an encouragement to you to send 
in your dues and subscription payment. The rather 
startling reminder which you received with your 
last copy of The Scroll is evidence that we are 
making an effort to clear up our K)bligations incurred 
in the printing of The Scroll and we trust that 
every member will take upon himself the responsi- 
bility of replying. It makes all of our lives much 
more enjoyable if you will send along some notes 
with your $3.00 indicating your interest in the In- 
stitute or your appreciation of the work of the editor 
and his company. It makes the treasurer's life hap- 
pier if you will send in good poetry like this but, 
for heaven's sake, please forget the Latin. I was 
educated without benefit lof classical studies. If 


there are some translators in The Scroll mem- 
bership, please, please send a translation of the last 
line of Mr. Osborn's contribution along with $3.00 
to the treasurer of The Scroll. Mr. Sharpe's prose 
contribution is for the benefit lof non-poets. 




For returns. 

Here's Osborn's! 

Eheu poetica exanima est! 

— G. Edwin Osbom 

I see by the September Scroll that you are "It" 
for the next decade or two, for gathering the fuel to 
keep the home fires burning for the "printer" of 
The Scroll if that much pressed functionary still 
has the breath of life in him. 

Though the heavens fall and the earth cave in, 
this organ of religious life and light must keep on 
functioning ! 

I have been sending iron men for a long, long 
time to keep The Scroll coming — even sometimes 
when we knew only by faith that it would ever 
come again. Just now my faith is strong that it 
will keep on vigorously for a long time to come. I 
can read but little, but I manage to read The 
Scroll — every line of it. 

Enclosed my 3 bucks or iron men for current 
year's dues ! Good luck ! 

— Charles M. Sharpe 


\0L. XLIII MARCH, 1951 No. 7 


E. S. Ames 

The new Year Book lists among the deceased min- 
isters the following who were members and friends 
:f the Campbell Institute: W, Garnet Alcorn, Bo- 
gard. Mo. ; Clark Walker Cummings, St. Louis ; 0. R. 
Deihl, Chicago ; J. Arthur Dillinger, Grant City, 
Mo. ; Stephen E. Fisher, Urbana, 111. ; J. H. Goldner, 
Cleveland, 0. ; R. W. Hoffman, Springfield, Mo. ; A. 
LeRoy Huff, Monmouth, 111. ; Robert C. Lemon, 
Irving Park Church, Chicago ; William Oeschger, 
Rensselaer, Ind. ; Milo J. Smith, Berkeley, California ; 
J. J. Turner, Hiran, Ohio; Edward McShane Waits, 
Fort Worth, Texas ; Clifford S. Weaver, McKinney, 
Texas; Frank Garrett, Nanking, China. 

Cromwell C. Cleveland, Newport News, Virginia, 
sends us a well arranged and mimeographed direc- 
tory and guide to the church in that substantial city. 
It shows careful planning and organization in all 
departments and types of work. There is an inter- 
esting page on, "What your Secretary does." Twenty- 
five activities and duties are listed which are vital 
to the eflficiency cf a church. Important among these 
are "keeps church rolls up-to-date," "makes finan- 
cial report to Treasurer each Monday," "sends out 
financial statements and letters." This church has 
a membership of 558, of which 479 is resident and 
79 non-resident. The current expense budget is 
$11,254, and the total budget is $17,254. Congratula- 
tions ! 

John Cyrus in Omaha, Charles Phillips in Des- 
Moines, and Robert Smudski in Meadville, Pa., are 
new pastors of Unitarian Churches. We Disciples 
who stay around the home base wonder what these 


men think of the new National Council of Churches, 
organized in Cleveland last January. It happens 
that all of these men did their graduate work in 
the Disciples Divinity House and we know them to 
be fine fellows. What attracts men with this back- 
ground to Unitarian pulpits? Why do Unitarian 
churches invite men from such training into their 
pulpits? Such questions arise in considering the 
significance and possibilities of the functional union 
which the Council cultivates. 

Our oldest-youngest member of the Institute, at 
ninety-five, is concerned that the often abused snake 
family be given its rightful place in biblical history 
and in evolutionary history! W. J. Lhamon is al- 
ways surprising! 

A card from W. E. Garrison, mailed in Havana, 
Cuba, March 12, says : We had a few busy days of 
speech-makirg and visiting in Dallas, Fort Worth, 
and Houston, a day of sight-seeing in New Orleans, 
and then flew over to Havana yesterday evening. 
The weather is mid-summer, and we like it. This 
evening we go to Kingston, Jamaica — about a two 
hours flight. We both send best regards." 

Roy O'Brien, after a short but successful pastorate 
at Palo Alto, California, ha& resigned to become a 
chaplain with the Veterans' Administration in the 
Veteran's Hospital in Palo Alto. Roy O'Brien is 
one of the most gifted of our Disciple ministers in 
this country, and we trust he will continue to make 
contributions by his pen for our quickening and 

It is an accomplished event of real significance 
when a Disciple minister reaches his thirtieth year 
in the successful service of one pastorate. Hayes 
Farish has achieved that distinction in the Woodland 
Church, Lexington, Kentucky, and the congregation 
celebrated the day by presenting a gift of $660 


toward the completion of their Crusade Fund of 
more than $11,000. Only a small balance remains 
to be met. 

Years ago at a large convention of Disciples, I 
heard Hugh McLellan preach a sermon. The ser- 
mon was carefully prepared, delivered with ease 
and power, in the tone and manner of an accom- 
plished incisive thinker. I have not seen or heard 
him since that day, but I have urged him to write 
and speak his telling message to reach beyond his 
church in Winchester, Kentucky. It is too bad that 
he is not more widely known and appreciated. He 
is one preacher who is appreciated in his own coun- 
try. The Kentucky Christian says, "Dr. McLellan 
is recognized as one of the outstanding pulpit men 
of the Brotherhood and has spent 55 years preach- 
ing in Disciple churches." We trust his health may 
improve and that he may yet give us a volume of 
his pithy sermons. 

Sterling W. Brown of New York gave us a flying 
visit one evening last week. He told me of the good 
fortune that has come to the National Council of 
Christians and Jews. A recent cash gift of a million 
dollars will provide a building for the Council 
close by the new building of the United Nations. 
It is a good omen that far seeing representatives 
of Judaism, Roman Catholicism, and Protestantism 
are vigorously seeking to understand each other 
and to cultivate practical methods to increase tol- 
erance and brotherhood in the world. Mr. Brown 
has been appointed to represent the State Depart- 
ment of this country for three months in the near 
future in Germany where he has spent more than 
two years in educational and social work in re- 
covery work. As evidence that he still believes in 
the Campbell Institute, he made a gift like Pastor 
Jordan's toward the new age! 


The members of the Campbell Institute are pub- 
lishing books faster than The Scroll can get them 
adequately reviewed. McCasland has written about, 
The Finger of God, Curtis Jones about Being Your 
Best, and Edgar De Witt Jones about The Royalty 
of the Pulpit. There are other books by our men 
that have gone so long and so well without the 
help of a review in The Scroll, that we hesitate 
to offer our comments at this late day. 

Speaking of these books leads to an exhortation 
which all should heed. It is that every member of 
the Institute, and every friend of the cause, should 
remember that contributions to these pages are 
always welcome. This publication is a cooperative 
enterprise, ar.d members should not wait for a 
personal invitation to write for it. The editor is 
just a copy and proof reader among his brethren, 
a kind of voluntary Printer's Devil ! ! 

Pres. S. Marion Smith announces that the annual 
meeting for 1951 will be held in the Disciples Di- 
vinity House July 23, 24, and 25. Pleasant weather 
is predicted ! 

A Letter From Mrs. A!bin Bro 

Valentine's Day, 1951 
USIS, American Embassy, 
Djakarta, Indonesia 
Dear Friends, 

As I sit and watch the western monsoon, wind, 
big wind and more wind, bending the motherly palms 
and fatherly pines in parental solicitude over the 
trembling banana and avacado trees, I figure I 
might as well take my pen in hand. This is a sunny 
day, good for a neighborly chat; last week we had 
terrific rains and our roof leaked in ten places and 
the tile skipped around merrily. However, we who 
live only one family to a house, can move away from 


the wet spots. Most dwellings in Java house many 
families and the persnickety Americans have to sit 
in hotels and cool their heels month after month 
because there is a law that people cannot be dislodged 
from their dwelling place, no matter who has bought 
the house, unless the occupants are offered another 
house just as good. The population of Djakarta and 
Bandung has quadrupled since the war. Albin was 
lucky to find this five-roomed house in Bandung's 
most beautiful suburb, Bandung being only a hun- 
dred miles — half an hour by air — from Djakarta. 
Cool here, too; we sleep under blankets. Week ends 
Albin leaves the sticky heat of Djakarta and comes 
here and we entertain madly almost the clock 
around; there are so many who need to know the 
inside of an ordinary American home. And if I do 
say it as shouldn't, our long living-dining-room 
with its many bookshelves, made from packing boxes, 
is about the homiest place I've seen. When we came 
our garden was a tangle of marigold and cosmos 
much higher than my head and completely impene- 
trable so that we had to cut everything to the ground 
and start over, but flowers and bushes grow over- 
night here and we will soon have a gay place. We 
must have twenty pines in our yard with papayas, 
limes, bamboo and some immense banyan trees 

This whole city is beautiful; miles of attractive 
houses, each with its flower boxes and garden; the 
wealthy Indonesians and the thrifty Dutch keep 
things spruce. Sudden steep hillsides are terraced 
with tiny rice fields; the city is really cupped in a 
high valley and rimmed by blue and lavender moun- 
tains, one of the near mountains being a live volcano 
over which watchmen preside, taking a daily reckon- 
ing of the height of the spurt of the lava. But all 
across and around the city are the little kompoons 


or native villages where, since the Dutch have lost 
supervision, the poor Indonesians live in stark pov- 
erty. Nevertheless there is a fair public health serv- 
ice with decreasing typhoid. Although the Dutch — 
as patriotic citizens continually point out — did take 
hundreds of millions of dollars out of Indonesia and 
left the people, after 300 years, 80% illiterate, still 
all the education does not come in schools and the 
poorest people are bath conscious. To be sure they 
bathe in the same open ditches and narrow canals 
which are used for clothes washing and public toilets, 
but the water runs swiftly, directly toward the nu- 
merous small rice fields. 

The need of schools is almost the first problem in 
this country; thousands and thousands wanting to 
go to school but not enough teachers nor buildings. 
Part of Albin's job is selecting a few teachers and 
advanced students to go to the USA for varying 
periods of training. If you could hear the enthusiasm 
with which they return ! Recently we Tiad as dinner 
guest a man fresh back from three months in the US 
and his regard for the open-minded, open-handed, 
diligent, exuberant way of life is worth more than 
years of talk on our part. Always, however, there 
is one blight on the bloom of regard for American 
democracy; the color barrier. If America could do 
away with color discrimination, I now think — after 
having visited eight Far Eastern countries and hav- 
ing previously lived for six years in China — we could 
save one-fourth the world's peoples for democracy, 
thereby putting the quietus on Russia's expansion 
and allowing our sons to live to a ripe old age in- 
stead of becoming bullet stops. This is no figure of 
speech but a practical actuality. Every instance of 
color discrimination finds a ready sounding board 
among these sensitive proud peoples. 

In Bandung, as in all the other cities of Indonesia, 


there is a large Chinese population ; the Chinese are 
the business men, the prosperous citizens, the bal- 
ance of power. Bandung is the oommunist head- 
quarters, although their sizable embassy is of course 
in Djakarta. The other day I was gaily exercising 
my fluent Chinese in a grocery when the proprietor's 
son began giving me a pep talk about the Red gov- 
ernment in China. A sight-seeing party of promi- 
nent women is now being arranged for a trip to 
Peking. And officially we do not have one American 
working in this city, either among the university 
students or the general population. If we had half 
a dozen Americans, two or three of them young and 
forthright like Son-Andy, I'd wager that the attitude 
of this important city could be changed in a year. 
And the first three months of the year would have 
to go onto language study, which same absorbs a 
lot of my time. Andy has a gift for friendship and 
people will speak out to a young chap as they won't 
to older, more official representatives of democracy. 
I think he is worth a regiment of soldiers ; meaning 
that he may save the necessity for the regiment later. 
The Dutch have left this country by the thousands 
since the War and more are going to Australia and 
New Zealand all the time. They say that Java was 
a heaven on earth before the movement for inde- 
pendence; no doubt it was — ^for the Dutch! The 
Indonesian government has taken over so rapidly 
that there is a consequent breakdown in law enforce- 
ment; the road to Djakarta in only now beginning 
to be safe. 

Yesterday the former premier asked us to take 
his twelve year old son, who is bright as a gold 
button and talks good English, to live with us and 
educate. Just like that. I wish we had room and 
a better set-up ;i it is tempting. There is not one 
single first-rate boarding school for Indonesian 


children. Albin ought to be quadruplets. It makes 
me ill to think what the price of one atom bomb could 
do here. 

For all the fact that we are absorbed in the job at 
hand, there is no doubt but that we lead a double 
life, half our minds in Korea. A triple life, really, 
for certainly one's concerns and joys abide with the 
home-folks. And then there are the places we vis- 
ited on our way out here. Just a few days, at most 
a week, in Japan, Formosa, Honkong, Indo-China, 
Siam, the Philippines, Singapore, but in each place 
we met such alert and vigorous nationals that we 
could have moved in happily. 


W. J. Lhamon, Columbia,, Mo. 
I am sending you something quite new, as I judge, 
for your pages in The Scroll. It is truly a biblical 
theme, so your more orthodox readers need not be 
disturbed by it. Of course the Campbell Institute 
people are familiar with the "rib story" as it is 
humorously called in proof that woman is simply 
a "side issue." However a lady friend of mine in- 
sists that the snake (serpent) was really befriending 
Mother Eve when he directed her to the Tree of 
Knowledge, and that for that good deed he got the 
worst of the deal, and was condemned to travel "on 
his belly" the rest of his days. How he travelled 
previously one can only guess. However, he took to 
his divine destiny with seeming zeal and good sense. 
And he has been sticking to it for a long while, 
probably for some thousands of evolutionary years. 
History has it that in ancient Egypt there wasn't 
a beast or a bug, or any other living thing but was 
an object of worship. So the snake god must have 
had his rightful place among the Egyptian gods 
with their human bodies capped with cows heads, 
and sheep heads, etc. There must have been in 


Egypt a human body crowned with a coiled snake's 
body, his head high — as it must have been when he 
tried to befriend Mother Eve by introducing her to 
the tree of wisdom. Gen. Ch. 3. Indeed our Savior, 
in his proverbial way recognized the snake's wisdom 
when he exhorted his disciples, saying, "I send 
you forth as sheep among wolves. Be ye therefore 
wise as serpents, and harmless as doves." Mat. 10-16. 

Indeed he is wise in several ways. Rather than 
"pick a quarrel" he virtually "turns the other cheek" 
and runs away. He fights only in self defense, like 
most of the rest of our animal friends, and "brithers," 
as Robert Burns would say. 

He has some unusual personal habits. When his 
coat gets dusty or muddy in his earthen den, or too 
old and badly worn he slits it longitudinally along 
each side, and dextrously slips out of it; thus he 
suddenly appears with a brand new coat — ^and no 
thanks to the tailor. Also he plays a great role in 
supporting "the balance of nature." He devours 
mice, gophers, grasshoppers, frogs, and even other 
smaller reptiles. . . Some snakes can be tamed so 
far as to be harmless, and even friendly. One can 
roll them up and carry them in his side pocket for 
display to his admiring friends. There are but a 
few of his tribe that are dangerous, such as the 
viper of India, and the rattler of our own country. 
But they can be rendered harmless under the hyp- 
notism, or the surgery of professional "snake 

This leads to an interesting fact here in our own 
land. Every two years the Moqui Indians of Arizona 
hold their "snake dance." It is the culmination of 
their nine days of secret rites. They dance till they 
drop on their knees, and seize the snakes with their 
teeth. In their dance they finally throw the snakes 
from their mouths, and then indulge in a general 


scramble to recover them — till finally they release 
them into the brush or the jungle. 

There is much more of a defensive kind to be said 
for the much dreaded, and too often abused snake 
family. However in this short essay I have tried to 
give him his rightful place both in our biblical litera- 
ture, and so far as we know in evolutionary history. 
He is surely "one of God's creatures," as we say, and 
surely also he is deserving of his rights. I rise to 
his defense. 

Sketch of Reformer Zwingli 

Robert A. Thomas, St. Joseph, Mo. 

The reason for the modern lack of interest in 
Zwingli is that five years after he died there began 
at Geneva the memorable career of John Calvin. 
To him and not to Zwingli the Reformed Church 
looks back. From him and not from the earlier 
founder the Reformed people now date their exist- 
ence. (See biography of Huldreich Zwingli by S. M. 

In connection with the Reformation two Swiss 
cities became especially prominent. The first was 
Zurich under the leadership of Zwingli, and then 
Geneva under the masterful authority of John Cal- 
vin. Zurich was on the through route of travel and 
trade and exposed to German influence. 

The pope perraiitted certain things to happen in 
Switzerland which he did not stand for anywhere 
else because of the fact that he was so dependent 
on the mercenaries of the country for his army. 
Half his palace guard came from Zurich. He em- 
ployed thousands of men from this country to fight 
his battles. Other governments also bid for the 
services of the legions from Switzerland and the 
mercenary business was a source of revenue of 
great inportance. The Great Council insisted on re- 
ports from the nunneries and cloisters within its 


territory. It required the clergy to make reports and 
come up to certain standards. In effect, it took over 
the control of ecclesiastical matters from Rome. And 
all this -before the Reformation was even thought of. 
Huldreich Zwingli was born the first of January, 
1484, at Wildhaus, the highest village in the Toggen- 
burg Valley. He was the third in a large family of 
eight sons and 2 daughters. His father was the 
headman of the commune (chief magistrate and 
farmer), and his uncle, Bartholomew Zwingli, was 
the parish priest. Huldreich's education was super- 
intended by his uncle, who became Dean of Wesen 
in 1487, and took the small boy with him to his 
new sphere of work. Zwingli was sent to school in 
Wesen where he made such rapid progress that his 
uncle soon discovered that his nephew was a pre- 
cocious boy, and deserved a fine education. One au- 
thor remarks that it was the providence of God that 
put the child in the keeping of his uncle, for Bar- 
tholomew was something of a scholar with progres- 
sive ideas. It was due to the positive influence of 
this uncle that Zwingli was kept out of a monastery, 
to which he was invited because of his musical talent. 

In free Switzerland, the connecting-link between 
Italy and North Germany, the Humanistic studies 
had early taken root and had given rise to a decided 
ecclesiastical liberality, which had great influence 
on Zwingli's early culture. At Berne his teacher was 
Henrich Wolfin, the talented founder of the classical 
schools in Switzerland. It was while he was at Berne 
that the Dominican monks tried to enroll him in 
their order. In 1499, at the age of 15, Zwingli went 
to the University of Vienna where he was well 
schooled in all Humanist accomplishments such as 
modern Latin prose and poetry. Then he returned 
to Basel where he had as teacher the courageous 
theologian, Thomas Wittenbach who ventured openly 


to preach that the whole system of indulgences was 
a delusion and that Christ alone had paid the ransom 
for the sins of mankind. Wittenbach exercised so 
powerful an influence over Zwingli that while at 
Basel he resolved to devote himself entirely to the- 
ology. In 1504 he received his A.B. degree, and in 
1506 his Masters. The time spent in these Humanist 
schools resulted in his coming to early manhood a 
cultured Humanist and not a monk or a hide-bound 
scholastic or a fanatical ignoramus. 

But Zwingli's real education began when he be- 
came the Parish Priest at Glarus in 1506. For ten 
years this important charge made it necessary for 
him to really exert himself, and his scholarly am- 
bition incited him to diligent use of every oppor- 
tunity to increase his learning. During all these 
years he was absorbed in a study of the history 
of his native land, music, and classical studies. Learn- 
ing Greek enabled him to go to the sources of much 
information which in more or less imperfect form 
had been brought to his attention in Latin transla- 
tions. Being Humanist, he sought the company of 
Humanists, and so his contempt for medieval teach- 
ing was increased. Part of this time he spent in 
Italy with the mercenary troops from Glarus (as 
chaplain) and his contact with the church there un- 
dermined his belief in its authority. It was while 
he was at Glarus that he discovered Erasmus, and 
under the instruction of this prince of the Humanists 
he came to common-sense views in theology and some 
knowledge of monastic arrogance and ignorance. 
Erasmus led him to a contempt for the whole scholas- 
tic system of theology, and to the idea that the true 
Christian philosophy is found in the moral teachings 
of Jesus and Paul. Immediately on publication of 
Erasmus' Greek New Testament Zwingli began to 
study it and saw how far the "unchanging" church 
had strayed from the Church of New Testament 


Impressed on a visit with the advantages in the 
way of study at Einsiedeln, he applied for a position 
there and was successful. From 1516-1518 Zwingli 
was curate of the abbey there, which at the time was 
in the hands of a free-thinker. Strange to say, the 
place itself, with its wonder-working image in St. 
Meinrad's cell, was the center of the worst sort of 
superstition. It was known as the great pilgrimage- 
resort of Switzerlard. Here Zwingli came to know 
at first hand superstition, idol-worship, relic-worship, 
saint-worship and the abuse of indulgences. And 
here fcr the first time he began to preach the gos- 
pel — steadily advancing toward the Reform position. 
There are many who believe he had already reached 
that Reformation position and thus anticipated 

When the position of Peoples' Priest became va- 
cant in the Great Minster in Zurich, Zwingli was 
immediately a candidate. His friends worked hard 
for his election to the pest, and were successful, so 
that in December of 1518 Zwingli became chief 
preacher in perhaps the most important city in 
Switzerland. He came to this post a broad-minded, 
highly educated independent, thoughtful, determined 
man, turned in the direction of ecclesiastical free- 
dom. In Zurich he played from the beginning an 
important part in the life of the town and in the 
progress of the whole Reformation movement. The 
Scriptures became of more and more account to him 
and the Church Fathers and Schoolmen less and less. 
Almost his first act was to inform the chapter that 
he intended to begin a preaching program in which 
he would expound the Scriptures, book by book, 
chapter by chapter, beginning with Matthew (which 
was favored by the Humanists because it includes 
the Sermon on the Mount) , continuing through Acts, 
Galatians, First and Second Timothy and so on. By 


1525 he had preached through the whole New Testa- 
ment, but long before that the Reformation had been 

Zwingli was a man of stalwart frame, above mid- 
dle height, of a ruddy countenance and pleasing 
expression. He made a good impression on specta- 
tors, and when he spoke he soon showed that he 
was an orator who oould enchain the attention. The 
preaching was fresh, full of new ideas, and the 
preacher's fame spread rapidly. Crowds of people 
thronged the Great Minster. Not only the town 
people, but the country people listened to him with 
delight, and for their benefit he preached every 
Friday in the market-place — taking the Psalms for 
continuous exposition. 

Perhaps the subject which first introduced the 
Reformation into Zurich was that of tithes. Zwingli 
declared that they were not of divine authority, and 
their payment should be voluntary. No wonder 
oposition developed ! This struck at the heart of ec- 
clesiastical revenue and the support of the cathedral. 
The next step was the simplication of the breviary 
as used in the Great Minster. This began in the 
Spring of 1520, and was accomplished with nothing 
more serious than a resolution passed by the Small 
Council against "novelties and human invention" 
aimed at him, but in such general terms that nothing 
practical happened. 

The more definite move came in 1522 during Lent, 
when a number of Zwingli's disciples decided to take 
seriously what he had been saying and publicly ate 
meat during the Lenten Fasts. They were immedi- 
ately called before the city Council, justified their 
acts on the grounds of Zwingli's preaching, and he 
came to their defense. The Council dealt leniently 
with the offenders and the Bishop of Constance, in 
whose territory Zurich belonged, let fire a blast con- 


demning the Council and calling everyone concerned 
to task. So it was that in August Zwingli issued the 
first of his serious works, called the Archeteles 
(meaning 'The Beginning of the End") which was 
a defense against the Bishop's charges. He wanted, 
at one blow, to win spiritual freedcm, and in this 
work exposed the unbiblical and anti-biblical nature 
of the exclusive claims and post-New Testament 
doctrines and practices of the Roman Church, 

In the Spring of 1523 the first of several public 
disputations was held before the Great Council of 
the City. Its occasion was the charges which had 
been leveled against Zwingli and he persuaded the 
Council to call the disputation to bring together 
the accused and the accusers and come to some de- 
cisions. In preparation for this public debate Zwingli 
drew up a list of Sixty-seven theses containing a 
summary of his dcctrinal teaching. These articles 
insisted that the Word of God, the only rule of faith, 
is to be received upon its own authority and not on 
that of the Church. They are very full of Christ, 
the only Savior, the true Son of God, who has re- 
deemed us from eternal death and reconciled us to 
God. They attack the Primacy of the Pope, the 
Mass, the Invocation of the Saints, the thought that 
men can acquire merit by their good works. Fasts, 
Pilgrimages, and Purgatory. Of Celibacy he said : 
"I knew of no greater nor graver scandal than that 
which forbids lawful marriage to priests, and yet 
permits them on payment of money to have concu- 
bines and harlots. . ." 

A second disputation was held in October of 1523 
and for this he drew up an elaborate commentary 
on the articles written in German. It was intended 
to enlighten the people and it admirably served 
that purpose. In it he indicates that he and Luther 
agree on many points, but asserts his entire inde- 


pendence of Luther, while confessing his great debt 
to Erasmus. 

Wiien the 67 Articles and the Commentary were 
published, Erasmus cut his relationship with Zwin- 
gli. There is not much evidence Erasmus had ever 
had any real affection for Zwingli, but they had 
much in common, and to young Zwingli there was no 
scholar like Eramus. They were b:th devoted stu- 
dents of the Greek and Latin classics and had many 
common friends among the Humanists. Religiously 
they both had come to the truth through culture 
and reflection, and were strangers to any sort of 
violert conversion. But when Zwingli went en to 
carry out to their logical conclusions the teachings 
of Erasmus and proposed to abolish the evils of the 
Roman Church, Erasmus was much alarmed and 
claimed that the time was not yet ripe. He tried to 
dissuade Zwingli frcm doing anything. 

The result of the first public disputation was a 
triumph for the Reform party. The Great Council 
announced that the charges against Zwingli were 
unfounded. He was to continue to preach the Gos- 
pel. Furthermore, other pastors througout the dis- 
trict were not to preach anything except what could 
be established by Holy Scriptures. The victory of 
the Reformation in Zurich was thus assured. 

The second disputation in October, 1523, resulted 
in a committee of laymen and ministers bemg ap- 
pointed to devise means for moving forward the 
v/ork icf Christ. This committee functioned until 
the Reformation was complete and a synodical or- 
ganizat'on was set up in 1527. By 1525 public wor- 
ship in Zurich consisted in prayers, public confession 
of sins, recitation of the Lord's Prayer and the 
A^iostle's Creed, and preaching. Ministers wore 
crdinary dress in the pulpit. The Sacraments of 
the Lord's Supper and Baptism were administered 


with the liturgy in the vernacular and stripped of 
everything reminding of the pomp and splendour 
of the Roman Church. 

On Tuesday, April 11, 1525, Zwingli appeared 
before the Council and demanded the abolition of the 
mass ar.d the substitution therefor of the Lord's 
Supper described by the evangelists and the Apostle 
Paul. This was debated and carried. The first evan- 
gcilical communion service took place in the Great 
Minster on Thursday of Holy Week, 1525. The fol- 
lowing description appears in Jackson's books: 
"A table covered with a clean liren cloth was set 
between the choir and the nave in the Great Minster. 
Upon it were the bread upon wooden platters and 
the wine in wocden beakers. The men ar.d the wom- 
en in the congregation were upcn opposite sides of 
the middle aisle. Zwingli preached a sermon and of- 
fered prayer. The deacon read Paul's account of the 
institution of the Sacrament in I Corinthians. Then 
Zwingli and his assistants and the congregation per- 
formed a liturgy, entirely withe ut musical accom- 
pan'ment or singing, but translated into the Swiss 
dialect from the Latin mass service, with the intro- 
duction of appropriate Scripture and the entire 
elimination of the transubstantiaticn teaching. The 
elements were passed by the deacons through the 
congregat'on. This Eucharist service was repeated 
upon the two following days. "The impression made 
upon many by this service, so radically different 
from the Latin one to which they were accustomed, 
was at first painful, but as a class the Zurichers 
accepted it and saw without protest the removal of 
the altar, now meaningless, since there was no sacri- 
fice, and of the organ, now useless since there was 
no longer to be music in the churches." 

His belief concerning the Mass involved him in 
considerable diflficulty with Luther. They never got 


along. Each was jealous of the other from the 
beginning. They came to a knowledge of the essen- 
tial truths simultaneously, and should have rejoiced 
in the fact. Instead, Zwingli was anxious to assure 
everybody that he had discovered the Gospel before 
Luther was heard of in Switzerland. One author has 
indicated that, they attempted no serious contact 
and it was a good thing! They were popes in their 
own way — Luther ruling a nation and Zwingli a 
city-state. Each was sure he had found the truth. 
Each had no belief in the bcnesty or capacity of 
anyone who differed from him. Luther considered 
Zwingli a heretic because of his attitude on the 
question of the Mass. For years they carried on a 
protracted and abusive controversy, disgraceful to 
both of them. And the practical effect was to divide 
and weaken Protestantism. They met only once 
and that was at Marburg in a discussion between 
Lutherans and Reformed arranged by the Prince of 
Hesse, in 1529. Each group enlightened the other 
about what it believed, but both had determined not 
to change, and each expressed contempt for the 
other's argument. The principal point of disagree- 
ment had to do with the construction of the words 
"This is my body." 

Zwingli defined the Lord's Supper with special 
reference to the Greek word "eucharist." He spoke 
of it as a festival of thanksgiving among those who 
proclaim the death of Christ. It involves also the 
element of self -consecration, and is an act more for 
the community of Christians befcre whom the com- 
municant professes thus his faith in Christ than for 
the communicant himself. He believed the Lord's 
Supper to be a symbol, and he adopted the tropical 
interpretation of the word "is" in the institution — 
paraphrasing it, "This represents my body," thus 
sweeping away at once the whole theory of what 


is called consubstantiation, as well as transubstantia- 
tion. The Eucharist is not a mystery, but a ministry, 
he said, and its atmosphere is not awe but love. 
The result is not infusion of grace, but of enthusiasm. 
We remember Christ, and the thought of his presence 
stirs us to fresh exertion in his service. 

Zwingli's view was that baptism is a sign that 
lobligates the one baptized to the Lord Jesus, but 
salvation is not dependent upon it. It cannot wash 
away sins. It is not necessary to rebaptize those 
who were baptized in the Roman Church, because 
infant baptism is itself valid and because we may 
be reasonably certain of our baptism. Baptism is 
essentially a single act, not to be repeated. He be- 
lieved that there was nothing against infant baptism 
in the New Testament and that it probably began 
in the time of Christ. 

Zwingli was the one who urged a resort to arms 
while his group was the strongest, and the Protes- 
tants were successful without any battle at all. 
Zwingli reached his heights of prestige. He planned 
a revolution at Geneva and pushed the opposition 
of the Catholics. But the Forest Cantons rallied, 
defeated the ill-prepared army of Zurich at Cappel 
in 1531 and Zwingli was slain. It was a sad end 
to the pacifist patriot, and the leadership of the 
Reformation in Switzerland passed soon to Calvin 
at Geneva. 

Jackson says we cannot put Zwingli in the front 
rank of the great men of the world nor give him 
equality with Luther and Calvin. His literary work 
is marred by haste. He was prejudiced and cruel 
in his treatment of the Baptists. His jealously of 
Luther was a mark of weakness. He was more of a 
politician than he should have been. And yet he was 
a generous, self-sacrificing, lovable character. He 
was a stalwart Swiss who could not be bribed into 


silence, who saw clearly the cause of his country's 
decline, but who loved her greatly. He was a never- 
tiring worker, a broad-minded scholar, an approved 
player of a large part on a small stage. 

He and Luther were closer than they would let 
themselves believe. Zwingli had not the same all- 
transforming, world-renewing experience to drive 
him onward. His theology was more Biblical than 
experimental. He had a desire to explore the sources, 
get back to the simplicities of primitive Christianity, 
to the pure untainted church of the New Testament. 
His Biblicism resulted in a more radical Reforma- 
tion. A humanist. Biblical scholar, Protestant, lib- 
eral, patriot he lacked the passionate earnestness 
and driving force of Luther. But Jackson says : 

". . . if the four great continental Reformers — 
Luther, Melanchthon, Zwingli, and Calvin — should 
appear today, the one among them who would have 
to do least to adapt himself to our modern ways of 
thought, and the man who would soonest gather 
an enthusiastic following, would be Huldreich Zwin- 
gli, the Reformer of German Switzerland." 

Hoover Lectures, October, 1951 

Dean W. B. Blakemore 
Dr. Charles Clayton Morrison, Editor Emeritus 
of The Christian Century has accepted the invitation 
of the Disciples Divinity House of the University of 
Chicago to deliver a series of lectures on Christian 
Unity next Autumn. W. B. Blakemore, Dean of the 
Disciples Divinity House, has announced that the 
lectures will take place Monday, October 29, through 
Wednesday, October 31, in Mandel Hall at the Uni- 
versity of Chicago. They will constitute the Fourth 
Series of Lectures that has been sponsored by the 
William Henry Hoover Lectureship on Christian 
Unity, which was established by the Disciples Di- 


vinity House in 1945. Previous lecturers on this 
FiQundation have been the Right Reverend Angus 
Dun, Episcopal Bishop of Washington, D. C, Walter 
Marshall Horton, Professor of Theology, Oberlin 
School of Religion, Oberlin, Ohio, and G. Bromley 
Oxman, Bishop of the New York area of the Nev^ 
York Methodist Church. 

Dr. Morrison is a foremost American participant 
in present day efforts to reunite Protestantism. He 
participated in the great ecumenical conferences 
held at Oxford and Edinburgh in 1937 and was 
present at the formation of the World Council of 
Churches of Christ in Amsterdam in 1948. Dr. 
Morrison has also played a leading role in the Green- 
wich and Cincinnati meetings of the Conference on 
Church Union which has recently submitted to eight 
denominations a Plan for Church Union. His lec- 
tures next October will deal primarily with the re- 
lationship between religious unity and national des- 
tiny, and will pay particular attention to the problems 
of uniting American Protestantism. 

In conjunction with the lectures a series of work- 
shops will 'be held under the auspices of the Church 
Federation of Greater Chicago. These workshops are 
being organized by the Federation's Commission on 
Ecumenical Education, whose chairman is Robert 
L. Beaven, President of the Baptist Missionary 
Training School, Chicago. In conjunction with the 
lectures there will also be meetings of the Associa- 
tion for the Promotion of Christian Unity, an or- 
ganization among the Disciples of Christ, which is 
Dr. Morrison^s denomination. The lectures and the 
meetings to be held in conjunction with it will con- 
stitute a Conference on Christian Unity at the local 
level. It will be the first major attempt in America 
to hold such a local conference devoted to furthering 
unity in Protestantism in the local community. 


Science and Morals 

S. Morris Eames, University of Missouri 
It seems that mankind likes to think in terms of 
opposites, and it appears that this is none the less 
true when it comes to theories of moral behavior. 
We tend to revolve between moral scepticism on 
one hand and absolutism on the other, with no inter- 
mediate path between these two extremes. While 
atomic warfare, intense racial hatred, capital-labor 
conflict, widespread human starvation, economic 
crises, international wars, and conflicting ideologies 
mount to make our current social and moral prob- 
lems emerge with unheard of comprehensiveness of 
scope, we appear to be at loss to develop any new 
principles of conduct to help us out of K)ur con- 
fusion. Undoubtedly, the moral problem is the deep- 
est problem of our age. 

Many moralists of our day seem to think that 
iQur present confusion stems from the fact that 
morals are viewed as simply a "relative" matter. 
Most of the time the particular meaning of "rela- 
tive" is taken in the Protagorean sense of "what is 
good for me is good for me." This attitude results 
in an extreme type of scepticism, for it follows 
that there can be nothing objective in moral be- 
havior and each man sets a standard for himself. 
If the standards of individual men, whereby each 
looks for his own advantage, happen to clash with 
one another, the simplest means of reconciliation is 
that of conflict and war. 

A contemporary example lof one type of interpre- 
tation of "relativity" in moral behavior can be 
found in the works of Arthur Koestler and in par- 
ticular in his novel Darkness at Noon. Here com- 
munism is treated as an outgrovd;h of Renaissance 
Man, which Man has no moral theory of an absolute 


or objective sort to guide him. In a way it is 
Koestler's way of attacking a certain brand of 
humanism which he thinks has originated with the 
Renaissance Age, But Koestler has no way out of 
this situation when one of the characters in the 
novel mentioned above simply says that a new Man 
is arising, different from Renaissance Man, but he 
cannot see what his characteristics will be. 

One of the contributory factors to the emphasis 
upon the "relativity" of morals has been the in- 
fluence of Sumner^s Folkways, which is now re- 
garded as a classic work in sociology. It was Sum- 
ner's thesis that mores are folkways with a moral 
meaning or the folkways which any particular 
group held to be inviolable. Societies have ways of 
punishing those who break the mores and ways of 
rewarding those who keep them. When the term 
"relativity" is used in this sociological sense, it 
means "relative to the group." This meaning is dif- 
ferent from the one mentioned previously, for the 
former grows out of philosophic subjectivism and 
moral egoism. When we say that morals are rela- 
tive to a group-culture, it does give some "objectivi- 
ty" to moral behavior, but now that great clashes 
of groups and cultures the world over are increas- 
ing, we are led to re-examine whether "loyalty to 
the group" is an adequate moral guide when these 
conflicts become overwhelming in their scope. 

One of the reactions to moral scepticism is to run 
to the other extreme and to land in the arms of 
moral absolutism. It might be said that scepticism 
was a general reaction to the notions of an eternal, 
unchangeable morality lof the middle ages, and now 
with current social and moral problems emerging 
on a grand scale, it is easy for some to cry out that 
we should try to "get back" to what is called "fund- 
amentals" in morals and religion. 


Interpretations of moral absclutism have taken a 
variety of expressions, but a fev^^ of them will suf- 
fice to show the consequences of this general po- 
sition. Sometimes it is held that the truth of 
morality cannot be wholly and perfectly known be- 
cause man is finite and God is infinite. This notion 
interprets man's calamity in such a way that there 
is no way out through his own works, or motives, 
or moral decisions, but he is doomed by the very 
nature of his existence. Modern neo-supernatu- 
ralists in religion, and especially those who follow 
Kierkegaard, are saying that the salvation of men 
primarily if not wholly is in the hands of God and 
that it is through God's grace that man is lifted out 
of his predicament. Some of the existentialists 
who follow Jean Paul Sartre are saying that there 
is "no exit" to man's condition. The new philoso- 
phies of pessimism, whether they are neo-supernatu- 
ral or existentialist, doom man to failure on his 
own account. 

What these new philosophies of moral pessimism 
produce is really a new type of moral scepticism. 
Since man cannot understand his own predicament, 
or even attempt to reconstruct his life, there is 
little use to experiment in moral behavior or to 
observe the life patterns cf individuals or the cul- 
tural processes of peoples in order to develop new 
moral theories. This attitude stagnates inquiry, 
closes the door to the opportunity to learn any- 
thing new in m.oral behavior, and discourages real 
moral effort in the attempt to solve personal and 
social conflicts when they take on moral signifi- 

Another attempt to tighten the belt of moral ab- 
solutism is found in those people who desire to lift 
specific moral patterns which have evolved for the 
most part out of human trial and error living and 


to dogmatize them into "eternal" moral forms and 
laws. It is held that moral laws are as inflexible 
and immutable as the laws of science. This appeal 
to the return to moral law is an interpretation of 
moral law which grew up with the ideas of science 
in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries when 
laws of nature were regarded as mechanistic, thus 
immutable and inflexible. No attention is paid to 
the contexts out of which these so-called laws of 
morality arose, the particular problems, conflicts, 
needs, desires, and goals 'of the peoples of near- 
primitive times are ignored and the moral prescrip- 
tions which they developed are sometimes held to 
be "eternal" and "lasting" for all peoples in all 
times under all conditions. The contemporary 
counterpart of scientific law in morals would speak 
of moral law as probable, not absolute; objective, 
not sceptical. 

The revolt against scepticism has forced some 
moralists into a type of authoritarianism which 
seeks for security and assuredness in moral behavior 
in contrast to the slippery ways of individualistic 
creeds. But analysis shows that authoritarianism in 
morals is built upon some "authority," whether it 
be a particular person, church, or school of thought. 
Authorities are human, subject to error, and when 
the methods of attaining moral principles are based 
upon faith and intuition, then there is no way to 
check or to verify the truth of the principles. 

The most disastrous attack upon moral absolutism 
can be found in the consequences to human life 
which psychiatrists like to call "guilt feelings." 
Guilt feelings may occur in a variety of ways, but 
one of the most significant ways is by the feeling 
that one has violated some absolute moral standard 
which has had religious sanction. The circumstances 
of life under which moral decisions are made are 


ignored and there is "plastered" down upon the 
human situation a principle which in no way can 
be kept, or if it is kept, creates disturbances in 
other areas of living which are catastrophic and 
fundamentally demioralizing in their effects. Long 
ago William James pointed out some of the conse- 
quences to human life of entertaining certain bcr 
liefs, and moralists today surely should be aware of 
how the principles they advocate are going to ef- 
fect human personalities. Awareness lof this might 
help to correct some of the conditions that are lead- 
ing to more and more numbers entering our in- 
stitutions for the mentally disordered. 

It is unfortunate that so many theories about 
moral behavior revolve between scepticism and ab- 
solutism. A clue to this dilemma might be found 
in modelling moral procedure and study upon the 
scientific method which has worked so well in the 
physical and natural areas. Science in these areas 
of life is neither sceptical in the extreme sense nor is 
it absolutistic in the rigid sense. It is objective in 
the sense that it avoids the position of "what is 
true for me is true for me"; and it is not absolu- 
tistic in the sense that it claims that its laws are 
not open to revision, reproof, or even radical change. 
This does not mean that science has no certain be- 
liefs, but they are certain in a new sense. They are 
certain in the sense that they are the most dependa- 
ble. Human life can act upon scientific beliefs and 
come out with favorable consequences. I believe 
that much of our moral confusion stems from the 
failure to adopt the attitude lof "objectivity." The 
point made here is merely suggestive and not con- 

Men of religion and the church should be deeply 
interested in trying to ground their moral principles 
on an objective basis, avoiding the extremes of 


scepticism and absolutism, tor it is possible to con- 
ceive of morality without religion, but I have never 
been able to see how one could be religious without 
a morality. Religion without a morality cuts the 
nerve of prophetic action, turns preaching into edi- 
fication without prescriptions for conduct or moti- 
vational appeal, and ignores the heritage of Chris- 
tians being the leavening power of society. If we 
look upon the church as the supreme moral agency 
of our civilization, then its leaders must be aware 
of the moral problems and conflicts of our people; 
they should observe carefully the moral practices of 
both individuals and groups; and they should pro- 
ject hypotheses of moral action to fit the times. 
This means that we need the sensitivity of a 
scientist, the radical attitude of the prophet to 
project new principles, the conservatism of the 
priest to preserve the tested values, and the in- 
telligence of an educator to fit the material to the 
human need. 

The world looks to the church as the supreme 
moral agency and the initiator of moral principles 
to fit the needs of the moment, but if the church has 
lost its savor, its leavening power, its purifying 
influence in the moral life; if it produces more 
scepticism in morals by continuing to laud the ab- 
solutistic principles handed down by authority and 
convention, then we are headed for more confusion 
than we have had in the past. Atomic warfare, 
racial and economic conflicts, international wars, 
tremendous social crises and human struggle and 
death are only preludes to the awful state that is 
ahead for mankind. 


Persuasion vs. Coercion 

A Sermon By Rev. J. Robert Smudski 
The Independent Congregational Church- 
Unitarian, Meadville, Pa. 

Pick up any newspaper, listen to any newsbroad- 
cast, or read a current novel, and the fact of human 
conflict stares you in the face. There is a continual 
parade of persons pitted against their fellows. There 
is murder, labor trouble, broken homes, war, law 
suits, and a hundred other types of human conflict 
with which we have regular mental contact. In ad- 
dition to these items that make news in our papers, 
there are other tensions that fill all lof our lives, 
even though they are known to few beside our- 
selves. Social and personal conflict is widespread 
among us. I know of no one who would claim to be 
free of conflict in his life. 

The existence of conflict among men is not a new 
situation. In all probability it has existed since the 
beginnings of human society. Certainly it has been 
in existence since the advent of our great religious 
systems, for all of them are concerned with the con- 
flicts among men. Not only are they concerned, but 
each makes recommendations about the resolution 
of such conflicts. 

The outstanding religious leaders of the world 
have given much of their time to this situation of 
human conflict. Although their teachings may ap- 
pear to be primarily concerned with a new interpre- 
tation of divinity, the actual emphasis of their teach- 
ings have been a concern for the elimination of ill 
will among men. This is one of the reasons for a 
continuing study of the ancients. Not that we shall 
learn something about the universe, or God, from 
their teachings, but that we may learn something 
about resolving human conflicts, for the personal 
conflicts of today are basically the same as they 


were centuries ago. 

I am impressed with the unanimity of thinking 
on the part of the ancient teachers in this area of 
better human relations. Through all of the promi- 
nent writings there is a similar trend ; persuasion 
in human relations is advocated, while coercion is 
condemned. Equally impressive is the substantiation 
of this understanding by modern students. Coercion 
in human relations tends to drive men apart, and 
to sever the ties they have in common, while the 
use of persuasion in a situation of differences tends 
to preserve the togetherness of mankind. 

It is also notewiorthy that this development, on 
the part of both ancients and moderns, occurred in 
societies largely dominated by the use of power. We 
of the modern world are very conscious of the use 
of brute power. Terrible as the use of that power 
may be, the influence of power groups in ancient 
civilizations was even more prevalent than it is to- 
day. Yet in the midst of both of these situations, 
men have come to the conclusion that persuasion 
among men is a better way of living than is coercion. 

Today, I want you to think with me about the 
respective merits of persuasion and coercion in 
human relations. I want this examination to take 
place on a very elementary level, for until we under- 
stand it on a simple plane, we cannot hope to under- 
stand it on a complex plane. By an elementary 
level I mean our own personal lives and the immedi- 
ate social groups in which we are involved. We shall 
proceed then by asking the question, "What are 
some of the common ways in which we find coercion 
destroying our relations with others?" Once we 
have gathered some thoughts on this question, we 
will then proceed to ask ourselves, "Would a tech- 
nique of persuasion, or compromise, or talking it 
over, eliminate this conflict from our lives?" 


There is no doubt in my mind that every human 
life is immersed in conflict situations. Since people 
are different, and we have every right to expect 
them to continue to be different, we can expect 
human beings always to be involved in conflict situ- 
ations. Since this is so, our concerns are twofold. 
One would lead us to a study of ways in which we 
could lessen the number of conflict situations, and 
the other would be the development of a technique 
for living in a conflict situation. I think the latter 
is the most important of the two, because we can 
always do something about the way in which we 
meet a conflict, while we cannot always control the 
development of a conflict. 

Probably the best way to approach such a sub- 
ject is to explore some of the possible ways in which 
we ourselves use coercive methods, either deliber- 
ately or unconsciously. I consider these techniques 
as coercive because their use is for the purpose of 
forcing a one sided decision, rather than for the 
resolution of honest differences. 

All of you have been in discussion groups where 
the discussion has suddenly been taken out of the 
realm of logical reasioning and placed in the realm 
of emotion through the use of a label, or an emo- 
tionally loaded word. If the discussion is political, 
words like "radical new dealer," or "reactionary 
Republican," or "red," are almost certain to make 
tempers rise, and to strain the relationships between 
people. With the injection of such labels men im- 
mediately become defensive, and their personal 
honor becomes the issue instead of the ideas previ- 
ously discussed. The same kind of a thing happens 
in religion when the terms "humanist," or "funda- 
mentalist," or "Bible-Christians" are used. Once 
the labels are issued, personalities are involved, and 
tensions increase. 


The use of such words is' coercion, just as patri- 
otic slogans are so often coercive. Their use in any 
discussion is for the purpose of forcing a person to 
comply who cannot be convinced by the arguments 
presented. It is the attempt to decide human issues 
by human passions instead of reason, with the re- 
sult that the situation is not resolved, and the ten- 
sions present are magnified by injured personal feel- 

Much marital friction can be traced to the same 
thoughtless use of words. Name calling always ag- 
gravates any difference of opinion that exists, and 
problems that could be resolved through an intel- 
ligent discussion between a married couple are made 
almost insolvable through the development of in- 
jured feelings. This also is coercion, the kind that 
rarely succeeds, for marriage is a cooperative ven- 
ture, and although a point may be temporarily 
gained by one partner through such coercion, a scar 
is left in that relationship which will prevent it 
fricm ever again being the same. 

Ridicule is another form of coercion just as dis- 
astrous for good human relations as is the label. 
To scornfully laugh at a person for the assump- 
tion of any honest position is to jeopardize your re- 
lations with that person. This technique is the same 
as labelling, for the intention of the ridicule is to 
force a person to change his position, not because he 
is convinced that the new position is correct, but 
simply because he does not like to be the object of 
laughter. The victims of ridicule do not easily get 
over their embarrassment. Too often such victims 
develop hatred where before only a difference d 
opinion existed. 

Closely allied to the direct coercion of ridicule is 
the indirect coercion created through malicious jokes. 
There is much damage done to good human re- 


lations by thoughtless parents who tell jokes ridicul- 
ing a race or religion. The effect of such ridicule is 
not felt immediately, but is very often felt in atti- 
tudes of prejudice developed by children who grow 
under such conditioning. In many ways, such joke 
conditioning is a double barreled coercion, for it 
not only creates a prejudice which in turn creates 
a coercive social situation, but it also coerces the 
child to accept attitudes which he might not want 
ta accept, but does simply to maintain his status 
of belonging through conformity. 

Coercion also exists in Churches. All of you are 
familiar with the attempts to force decisions through 
the threat of resignation from membership, cr the 
board of control, or through the announcement that 
if such and such a thing comes to pass, financial sup- 
port will be withdrawn. Such coercion occurs in 
democratically organized churches as well as in 
churches with a clerical hierarchy. Countless have 
been the examples of this kind of coercion. Any 
church that has tried to be a social force for justice 
in a community has encountered this kind of force. 
It is rare that a church can survive if it tolerates 
this kind of coercion. 

Another kind of coercion that exists in churches, 
but also exists in all types of social organizations, 
is the ultimatum. This is the kind of a situation 
where an individual or a group will say, "Either 
you do this, or I will do something else." No attitude 
is so apt to produce an explosive situation as this 
one. I well remember the incident related the other 
day by a friend of mine. He was telling about a 
minister who had just taken over a new parish. 
The second Sunday on the new job he preached a 
sermon about race relations. The next day at a 
board meeting, one of the members of the board who 
was a real estate dealer said to him, "Pastor, if we 


followed your recommendations I would be out of 
a job." Whereupon the minister drew himself up in 
a righteous manner, and said, "Mr. Jones, your 
attitude is unworthy of a Unitarian layman. Either 
you resign your membership from this church, or 
I shall resign as minister." The result was that Mr. 
Jones bristled and said, "Well I certainly have no in- 
tentions of resigning." To which the minister re- 
plied, "I'll have to think this matter over." 

What oould have been a real opportunity for 
mutual give and take of ideas on an explosive ques- 
tion, was made impossible by the use of an ultima- 
tum. I imagine it would take a long time for the 
healing of such a breach between a minister and 
one of his parishioners. Of course, the same kind 
of a breach can occur in any social situation where 
an ultimatum is issued. There is something within 
the human personality that automatically resists 
such an attempt at force, and it inevitably leads 
to a rupture of friendly relations. 

At the opposite extreme from the ultimatum is 
the coercion of silence. This may also exist in any 
isocial group, but it probably is most prevalent in 
families. Husband and wife will not speak to one 
another, or a child in the family will not speak to 
the parents. The result is a straining of ties, and 
unless a deliberate effort is made to resolve such a 
situation, silence can be just as destructive as the 
ultimatum. This too is force, for generally the one 
who uses the silent treatment is attempting to force 
the other person to meet his terms in order that 
a resumption of fellowship may occur. How often 
has the thought flitted through your mind, "I won't 
speak to him, or I won't speak to her, until I am 
approached with an apology." This too is coercion, 
because we attempt to force an acceptance of our 
point of view in order that some degree of mutual- 
ity may be resumed. 

These are some of the very common techniques 
for coercion that we all use. Through them we 
attempt to force others to accept our position, and 
in so doing we foster the many frictions in living 
that drive people apart. Every time such a coercive 
measure is used we deny our belief in the worth 
and importance of the individual personality. In 
effect this is the message of the great religious 
thinkers. The use of force in human relations de- 
stroys the respect for other people upon which good- 
will and human happiness depends. This is the rea- 
son religious leaders liave insisted that a new method 
is necessary for the brotherhood we say we want. 
It is imposible to build a brotherhood by force, and 
such coercive techniques as I have described make it 
just as impossible as the use of the sword. Good- 
will among men can only be built upon a mutual 
respect for individual differences, and the resolution 
to peacefully compromise a situation of conflict. 

In a large measure, this is the message we have 
for men. Coercion in human relations must be re- 
placed with the technique of persuasion, or confer- 
ence, or discussion. If we are to eliminate much of 
the friction from our lives, there must actually be a 
new way in which we approach our problems. This 
need provides one of the great opportunities for 
our church. We are an organization of individuals, 
banded together for a mutual purpose. As such, it 
is inevitable that differences shall arise among us. 
When they do, we must see that the conference 
technique is fostered, so that subtle, or blunt, co- 
ercions do not become involved. May I repeat 
a recommendation I have made on previous occa- 
sions. One of the most valuable services our or- 
ganization can render its members is to provide a 
social laboratory in which we try out the things 
we say are important for human living. In this 
way we can foster an understanding among our- 
selves that can be apprehended in no other manner. 


VOL. XLIII APRIL, 1951 No. 8 

The Way Forward 

E. S. Ames 
In The Scroll for January, 1944, there was an 
article under my name which bore the title, "Dis- 
tinctive ar.d Unifying Traits of the Disciples of 
Christ." Fourteen pcints were enumerated. These 
were as follows : 

1. They are a large protestant body of American 

2. They began and developed in the quest for 
Christian union. 

3. They are neither trinitarian nor unitarian 
but see God in many ways. 

4. They have no required official creed or theol- 

5. They believe in the dignity of man and in 
great possi-bilities of growth. 

6. They observe the Lord's Supper weekly as a 
memorial and fellowship. 

7. They have a democratic policy which is con- 

8. They do not differentiate between clergy and 

9. They teach conversion as turning of mind 
and heart to a new way. 

10. They hold to an evolution through stages, 
called dispensations. 

11. They regard the New Testament as the pri- 
mary guide for Christians. 

12. They stress the right of private interpretation 
and freedom of opinion. 

13. They believe salvation is a process of growth 
in knowledge and love. 

14. They encourage a functional attitude in ideas 
and forms. 



The Disciples share with other Christians loyalty 
to the Scriptures as a collecticn of books cherished 
through the ages of man's quest for the good life. 
These bocks, written by many authors, under very 
diverse circumstances, are books of wisdom, devo- 
tion, and inspiration. They are to be seen and felt 
as carrying at their depths a light which illumines 
the path of man's ascent. There is a profound cor- 
rective in them which shows the evils as well as the 
gO'Cds of life. It is like the fine quality of a good 
life which serves in the long run to differentiate the 
better from the worse, the noble from the base, the 
beautiful from the vulgar. The Bible is to be under- 
stood as any other book by the use of definition, 
grammar, syntax, intention, criticism, and consensus 
of opinion. Coleridge said the greatness and value 
of the Bible is shown by the fact that "it finds me." 

The Disciples share with other denominations the 
missionary spirit and enterprise. They promote 
church federations, religious education, and great 
practical social movements such as those for peace, 
elimination of race prejudice, crime, partisan poli- 
tics. They use religious literature from all sources, 
sing the great hymns of all churches, and cherish 
the devotional books of all faiths. In increasing 
numbers their students for the ministry are at- 
tending great universities at home and abroad with- 
out regard to denominational affiliation. 


Ministerial interpretations of religion, in every 
denomination, tend to emphasize the things in which 
they differ from others, or the things in which they 
agree with others. The danger in proclaiming dif- 
ferences is that it may contribute to division and 
alienation; the danger of emphasizing agreements 
is that real and important developments may be ob- 


scured. Rightly conceived and stated, both similari- 
ties and criticisms are important to note. It is a 
shallow view which asserts that "one church is as 
good as another." Some are narrow and dogmatic; 
some proclaim beliefs that are absurd and silly. 
There are instances, however, of distinctive charac- 
teristics which make for enrichment of the religious 
life and are not divisive. For example, the Quakers 
have witnessed a quiet faith and most generous 
service for suffering and oppressed humanity. Mo- 
ravians have exemplified sacrificial missionary zeal. 
Congregationalists have been leaders in education 
and tolerance. Methodists have been conspicuous 
for zeal and song, and for work among the under- 
privileged. All of these are sharable traits and have 
radiated their influence through all communions. 
They prove that it is possible for groups to dis- 
tinguish themselves by their ideas and achievements 
without being exclusive or dogmatic. 


Another trait of the Disciples has been the culti- 
vation of their converts in the knowledge of the 
elements of the faith of their leaders. Alexander 
Campbell and the early leaders associated with him 
were biblical preachers, and knew the key passages 
of the New Testament by heart. They quoted from 
memory scripture passages in support of their cen- 
tral ideas. The Calvinism common in the leading 
denominations was answered -by texts offering the 
water of life freely to all who were athirst and 
would come to the fountain and drink. "Whosoever 
will, may come." The doctrine of inherited evil, and 
of human helplessness to escape it, was rejected 
as untrue to human nature and unworthy of a good 
God. The attitude of Jesus toward little children 
whom he took in his arms and blessed, contradicted 
the horrible Calvinistic saying that there are "in- 


fants in hell a span long" doomed there by the 
secret divine decrees ! No more terrible immoral 
behavior was ever attributed to a supposedly benefi- 
cent deity than the doctrine of election by which 
persons were doomed to hell or assigned to heaven 
before they were born, or before even the earth was 
created. Common sense morality and ordinary hu- 
man decency revolted against such doctrines, though 
it is amazing that the whole of Christendom did not 
rise in rebellion against them. It is no wonder that 
great numbers of individuals in early American 
society, gave up that kind of religion entirely. The 
wonder is that any religion tainted with that back- 
ground could maintain itself at all. It was a religion 
of fear, of Old Testament legalism, of almighty 
arbitrary power, cf superstition, and of measureless 
harm to millions of human beings, and to the cause 
of Christianity itself. 


It is little wonder that the Disciples in the days 
of the "American Frontier" attracted great numbers 
of converts by their protests, in biblical language, 
against such doctrines, and by their reasonable ap- 
peal, also in biblical language, on behalf of a gra- 
cious ethical, and beautiful faith in the value of , 
human personality, and in the possibility of devel- | 
oping Christian faith in man and in a "working 
religion" of the spirit. Members of churches need 
to cultivate acquaintance with the history and teach- 
ings of the movement to which they belong. They 
need to know the "fourteen points" that are distinc- 
tive, and also beliefs and attitudes shared with other 
denominations. There should be a revival of "tracts" 
and pamphlets which fit the pocket as well as the 
mind. Every church should have a literature table 
at its door for the display and easy accessibility of 
the writings designed to furnish information con- 


cerning- the church and its work. New pamphlets 
for these times are needed. It may too easily be as- 
sumed that the path has been laid out and the di- 
rections made adequate for the guidance of all 
souls. But the religious world has taken on new 
aspects. More people have high school and college 
education. Science has illuminated and refashioned 
much of everyday life. Papers and magazines load 
down all crowded terminals of transportation. New 
religions have their monitors there. Old occult cults 
offer strange faiths. How seldom does one see in 
such places a sane, sober, and vital message of the 
Christian religion for modern man ! That this modern 
man is hungry of heart for something to meet his 
religious needs is as true today as ever, but it is 
also true that this modern man is more sophisticated, 
less subject to impassioned emotional appeals, eager 
to learn and ready to listen to ideas about religion 
that make sense. 

The last half century has seen a great enhance- 
ment of reasonableness in religion but it has not 
had popular expression. It is still too academic, too 
much limited by old conservative types of thought 
which have a deep hold through memories of child- 
hood, and social influence. Better understanding 
throug-h competent scholarship is needed. Such un- 
derstanding brings conviction, and the courage of 
conviction founded on knowledge wins men. More- 
over, the way forward is well illustrated in the cause 
of Christian union. For almost a century the Dis- 
ciples were the only organized body advocating union. 
They have now lived to see that cause carried out 
on a great scale by practical, functional methods. 
The Federal Council of Churches, and now the Na- 
tional Council of Churches, has had amazing success 
in developing working plans by which millions of 
church leaders and members of churches are work- 


ing together more effectively than ever to promote 
religious education, world missions, organization, 
finances and many forms of cooperation. This is 
often called "functional" union rather than doctrinal 
union, because it is more concerned to get people 
and churches to cooperate in good works than to 
make them think precisely alike. It is interesting 
that on mission fields different denominations have 
drawn closer together in combined efforts to pro- 
mote Christian ways of life than has been the case 
"at home." The people who give their money for 
church purposes appreciate seeing practical results, 
such as additions to churches, building chapels, 
printing bibles and literature for training children 
and youth, building schools, sending teachers, doc- 
tors, engineers, farmers, and many kinds of social 

The Disciples had the initiative to launch the idea 
of union when there was little interest in it, and 
much opposition to it. Now when there is great and 
growing interest in it, and real desire for it, the 
Disciples have a unique opportunity to further it. 
Protestantism is haltingly seeking "ecumenicity" 
through a minimum of doctrine, and is discovering 
that union develops faster and more inclusively 
when great practical enterprises are undertaken 
in the name of Christ for the whole of mankind. 
This functional appeal has already united millions 
of people and secured millions of dollars, and en- 
listed Christian leaders who are proving themselves 
geniuses in releasing and directing the vast spiritual 
forces resident in all churches. This functional fel- 
lowship is the sure means for the union of spirit and 
of deed. Love is the true ground of fellowship, love 
of Christ and love of man. This is no more revolu- 
tionary in these times than it was a century ago 
to say to the religious world that they should give 


up their man-made creeds and take the New Testa- 
ment alone as their rule of faith and practice. 


This is no time for Disciple ministers, young or 
old, to lessen their loyalty to the cause to which 
they have dedicated themselves. This is the time 
of hope and promise for trained men of ability and 
ardor. Some of them go into what they think are 
more "liberal" denominations. The real pathos of 
this is that in many such changes the individuals 
are not aware of the larger history and deeper 
meaning of the Disciple cause. They did not get it 
in college and they could not find it in Yale or Union 
or Harvard. Until recently they could not find it 
even in Disciple Bible Colleges! This ignorance of 
the Disciple position and teaching on the part of 
Disciple ministers and educated laymen has very 
naturally made them susceptible to an "inferiority 
complex" concerning the "plea." They dO' not know 
that the groundwork of that "plea" was laid in the 
philosophy of Francis Bacon and John Locke in the 
seventeenth century, the century which Whitehead 
calls "the century of genius." The philosophy of 
Locke dominated the eighteenth century in England, 
and the University of Glasgow where Alexander 
Campbell was educated, and the University of Edin- 
burgh where Walter Scott graduated. The impor- 
tance of the eighteenth century for religious and 
ethical thought is recognized and made clear by Al- 
bert Schweitzer. 

Protestantism was a product of the sixteenth 
century. Both Luther and Calvin date from that 
century, and it was in the seventeenth and eighteenth 
centuries that scholasticism, creedal theology and 
a legalistic conception of the Bible and Christianity