Full Text for CTM Theological Observer 12-12 (Text)

Qtnurnr~ta: m4rnlngira:l SnutQly Continning LEHRE· UNO WEHRE MAGAZIN PUER Ev.-LuTH. HOMILETIK THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY-THEOLOGICAL MONTHLY Vol. xn December, 1941 No. 12 CONTENTS Page Verbal Inspiration - a Stumbling-Block to the Jews and Foolish- ness to the Greeks. Th. Engelder ........................................................ 881 Sermon Study on Heb.l:l-G. Theo. Laetsch ......................................... _ .. 913 Outlines on the Wuerttemberg Epistle Selections ................................ 927 Miscellanea ............. _ .......... ................................................................................ 944 Theological Observer. - Kirchlich Zeitgeschichtliches .............. _ ..... 951 £In Prediger muss nlcht alleln wei- der., alJoO dB' r die Schate un tcr- welae. w l.e de r .-ehte Chrlate.n sollen seln. sondem auch daneben den Woel- ten wehl'e1&. dass sie die Schate nleht angrelfen und mit talscher Lehre ver- tuehren und Irrtum elnfuehren. Luther Es 1st keln Ding, daa die Leute mehr bel der Klrche behaelt denn die gute Predlgt. - Apolog(e, Art. 24 If the trumpet give an uncertain sound. who shall prepare blmself to the battle? -1 Cor. 14:8 Pu bUshed for the Ev. Luth. Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and Other States CONCORDIA PUBLISIIlNG HOUSE, St. Louis, Mo. Theological Observer - ,\l'ird)ficf)<3citgcid)id)tIid)es 951 Theological Observer - 5tb:djlidj,geitgefdjidjtIidje~ Is the Pope of Rome the Antichrist? - Under this heading the Australian Lutheran (July 11, 1941) writes: "The question should really be, Is he the 'man of sin' referred to in 2 Thess. 2: 3? For some reason the 'man of sin' referred to by St. Paul has always been identified with the Antichrist to whom St. John refers [1 John 2:18] .. .. Assuming that they are identical, are the marks of them found in the Roman Papacy? Luther and the Lutheran Church have always held that they are. In the Smalcald Articles the Lutheran Church states: 'This teaching shows forcefully that the Pope is the very Antichrist, who has exalted himself above, and opposed himself against, Christ.' And again: 'On this account they ought to desert and execrate the Pope with his adherents as the kingdom of Antichrist.' In view of such an official statement it is rather astounding that our contemporary the Lutheran Herald, in its issue of July 7, boldly asserts that 'it seems contrary to the truth to designate the Pope the very Antichrist,' and this for the reason that the Papacy still upholds the doctrine of the Trinity and of the divinity of Christ. Luther had no quarrel with the Pope on account of these doctrines; nevertheless he stated: 'Therefore know that the Pope is the veritable, true, final Antichrist of whom all the Scriptures speak, whom the Lord has already commenced to consume with the Spirit of His mouth and whom He will very so~ destroy with the brightness of His coming.' That Luther held because the Pope opposes the doctrine of justification by faith as taught in the Gospel. And the eminent theo- logians of the Lutheran Church are in agreement with Luther. Even the mild-hearted Spener says: 'This [that the Pope is the antichrist] is an article to which our Church in the Smalcald Articles expressly con- fesses adherence, and it is not permissible for us to give up this truth; and the more we have to fear that this Roman Babel will pour out its final rage upon us, the more it is necessary for us to be grounded and strengthened in this knowledge that we may learn to beware of it.' And in his Commentary of the New Testament the late Dr. R. C. H. Lenski, of the American Lutheran Church, says: 'What obstructs the vision of so many and leads them to deny that the Pope is the Antichrist is a failure to appreciate in their person the fact that justification by faith alone is the soul and center of all that is true Christianity. All other doctrines have their roots in this one.' He goes on to quote the Decrees of the Council of Trent, the confession of faith of the Romanists, where in condemnation of Luther's teaching the papists say: 'If anyone should have said that men are justified either alone through imputation of the righteousness of Christ or through the forgiveness of sins, to the ex- clusion of the grace and love which the Holy Ghost has poured into their hearts and which dwell in them, and that the grace by which we are justified is alone the good will of God, let him be accursed.' Now, the conclusion that the head of an organization that pronounces a curse on the plain teachings of St. Paul and the whole of Scripture, notwith- 952 Theological Observer -- JfircljHdH3eitgefd)icljHid)es standing he, for historical reasons, still champions the doctrines of the Trinity and the divinity of Christ, is Antichrist, is surely one th"t ought. not to be objected to. The late Pastor Kavel was desirous of making some corrections to the Lutheran confessions of faith, but he never found fault with what they have to say concerning the Papacy." We quote this as a striking testimony (rendered in a truly evan- gelical way) from brethren living thousands of miles away, yet facing the same problem as we do in our own country. There are many factors today that move thoughtful men to "rethink" the historical position of our Church regarding Antichrist. Never since the Dark Ages has the "falling away" from the sola fide been as complete and general as it is today; work-righteousness is the preeminent doctrine not only of rene- gade Romanism, but also of renegade Protestantism. Why, then, should the Pope be the "man of sin"? Never, too, has there been such fierce and wide-spread opposition to the soln gratin as we find today. Why, then, should t..he Pope be the "son of perdition"? In addition, never befme has the Roman Church appeared so saintly and Christian as it does today, upholding, apparently, the historical creeds of the Christian faith with amazing emphasis and testifying against the manifestly anti- christian isms of our time with laudable earnestness. Lastly, practically all confessing Christians within Calvinistic circles are millennialists and repudiate the doctrine that the Pope is the very Antichrist. We must therefore not become impatient if today the decision of our Church, made at a time when Rome seemingly was fit its worst, is surymitted to critical scrutiny even in Lutheran circles. And yet, during all the four hundred years that passed by since the Reformation restored the true Gospel, nothing has occurred in Romanism to prove that Luther and his coworkers erred in their Christian judgment of the Papacy. Rome's detestation of the sola fide manifests itself in its recent Revised New Testament as clearly as it does in the Decrees of the Council of Trent; and the "vermin-brood of manifold idolatries, begotten by the dragon's tail, the Mass" (Trigl., p. 465) is revered as much in modern refined Rome as it was in medieval crude Rome. As some one has said: "Rome still stands today as the ecclesiastical hypocrite par excellence in Christendom." J. T. M. Professor G. J. Fritschel Deceased. - From Dubuque, Iowa, the news has been sent .out that Dr. Geo. J. Fritschel, well known to many mem- bers of our Synod through his participation in efforts to establish unity, on OctobeL 5 departed this life. He was the son of Professor Gottfried Fritschel, one of the founders of the Iowa Synod and until his death professor at the Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque. The son, who has now entered eternal rest, first served for a number of years as pastor, and then he was called to a professorship at the same seminary at which his father had taught. His chief field of theological interest was sym- holies and church history. Several books which he issued either alone or in collaboration 'NUn others " ~al VI ".+h subjec ertaiI to tl :.s sphere. In the endeavors to arrive at unity of doctrine with the Synod- ical Conference, he showed great interest and in the twenties was one of the chief spokesmen of the Iowa Synod. His pamphlets were given Theological Observer - .IT itd)!id) =;'3eitGtfd)id)tlid)cs 953 wide dissemination. In the presentation of the doctrine of election it was he who more than anybody else emphasized the so-called a- posteriori t reatment of this doctrine. We personally always regarded him as a theologian who earnestly endeavored to bring about a union of the various Lutheran church-bodies on the only proper foundation: the Word of God and the Confessions of the Lutheran Church. A number of years ago he suffered a paralytic stroke, which made it impossible for him to continue his work as professor. His physical disability he bore with exemplary Christian patience and fortitude. He was born in 1867 and became a member of the Wartburg Seminary faculty in 1906. A . Lutheran Consciousness. - In the Lutheran Standard Dr. G. C. Gast, submitting recollections pertaining to Dr. C. C. Hein, the first president of the American Lutheran Church, includes the following significant para- graph in h is article: "Later he often lamented the fact that so many of his breth ren did not seem to take their ministry as seriously as they should, that they were inclined to be lazy and slipshod in their teaching and their preach- ing, and that they seemed to have so much time for things that he never found it possible to do. Above all, he deplored the fact that apparently they were losing their Lutheran consciousness, that their sermons no longer had that Lutheran ring, and that their practice was not thor oughly Lutheran . This he attributed in a great measure to the circumstance that they read so much non- Lutheran literature and neglected to study the Lu theran Confessions and the other literary masterpieces of Lutheranism from which he himself drew so .tritely." Our comment is that the American Lutheran Church is not the only Lutheran body which should ponder the views here ascribed to Dr. Hein. A. "The United Lutheran Church Has Moved Away from the 'Pure Thinking' of the Older Orthodoxy." -This is a statement which the Luthera11 Church Qum·terly (October, 1941) makes in an article entitled "Albrecht Ritschl in Modern Thought." The writer points out that such Neo-Lutherans in Germany as Karl Heim, P . Althaus, and others, as also the theologians of Lund, Sweden, have been greatly influenced by Ritschl's "emphasis on value" (cf. Ritschl's distinction between Seins- urteil, actual value, and Werturteil, estimated value), which lies at the basis of dialectic theology, whose premises these theologians share. For them to know God is to know Him "existentially." What that means in particular the writer shows by way of illustration when he says: "Althaus consistently emphasizes that in the Bible we have the truth in 'earthen vessels' (wh ich m eans that the Bible is not God's inspired, and, therefore, not infallible Word, but a mixture of divine revelat ion and of human speculation) . The Scr iptures do not give us any infor- mation as to the 'ages of rocks,' but they are dynamis theou (power of God) to bring us to the 'Rock of Ages.' The Neo-Lutherans, therefore, are not apologists in the older meaning of the term. They do not write books on Christian apologetics as our own L. Keyser of Springfield, who fought a noble but losing battle against the encroachmen t of natural science and historical criticism on religion. It seems that the United 954 Theological Observer - .\1'ircf)ficf)~Reitgcfd)tcfJHiI:lir.s Luthemn Church has moved away from the 'pu1'e thinking' of the older orthodoxy towards an upp1'eciation - as we hope - of existential chinking and not toward a Neo-Kantian agnosticism [italics our own]. But the older type of orthodoxy is by no means dead in America. It is a vital force in American Fundamentalism as well as in some Lutheran bodies, We, therefore, feel that all negotiations for Lutheran unity will fail so long as the other Lutheran bodies continue to reject in principle the existential interpretation of the Scriptures. To a theologian thinking existentially, a Lutheran is one who confesses God to be the rVIaker of heaven and earth, to whom every human being is responsible and who says with Luther: 'I believe that Jesus Christ has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature.' But to the Missouri Synod, for instance, belief in God involves the intellectual agreement that He has created the world in the 'manner' stated in Genesis, i. e., within six days of twe' "ur hol.: hand 3.t sin came into the WOl"ld 'as described in Genesis 3'" (the words in quotation marks refer to our Brief Statement of the Doctrinal Position of the Missouri Synod). "To the former, unity of faith means primarily fellowship of those who have experienced the saving grace of God in Christ Jesus; to the latter it means, above all, agreement in the intellectual apprehension of doctrine. The1"e 'is no VIA MEDIA between these two views, C011seqtwntly no committee will ever succeed in establishing Lutheran unity tudess the one party is willing to surrender its premises in favor of the other or rather in fav01' of the truth [italics our own]." Concerning the doctrine of creation as stated in the Brief Statemc:nt, the writer says: "These sentences ['We reject every doctrine which denies or limits the work of creation as taught in Scripture. In our days it is denied or limited by those who assert, ostensibly in deference to science, that the whole world carne into existence through a process of evolution; that is, that it has, in immense periods of time, developed more or less out of itself'] imply a confusion of two different principles, of evolution as a descriptive form of nature and of evolution as a causal force inherent in nature. It goes without saying that Christian theology cannot subscribe to the latter, whereas we can see no reason why the Church should oppose, or even deny, within certain limits, the validity of the former." Practically, this means that the Christian Church must reject atheistic evolution, while it may (or perhaps should) teach theistic evolution, i. e., the theory that evolution was God's way of creating this world, As a matter ef fact, the Bible rejects both the theistic and atheistic evolution and teaches direct divine creation, as declared in the Brief Statement" But the matter here discussed deserves more detailed considel"ation. The writer of the article on Ritschl, of course, does not speak in the name of the enL _ '::_1ited Lutheran Church. We know definitely that a large number of ministers in the U. L. C. A. do not think existentially, !)c"i.l cling Lo Ute "pure thinking of the older orthodoxy," confessing not only the sola gratia, but also the sola ScriptuFa. But it is true that the group which represents the QuaTterly yields somewhat to the Ritschlian and, in particular, Barthian (dialectic) delusion, which does away with Theological Observer - ,~itd)1id)'3dtgcfd)id)tlic{)c5 955 practically everything which orthodox Lutheranism has ever taught concerning the inspiration, the inerrancy, and the authority of Holy Scripture. And the writer speaks very correctly when he says that there is no via rnedia between the United Lutheran Neo-theologs and the orthodox Lutherans in our country who still take such passages as 2 Tim. 3: 16; 2 Pet. 1: 21; John 10: 35; 1 Cor. 2: 13, and many others teach- ing verbal and plenary inspiration, seriously. But the writer is wrong when he says that to the Missourians unity of 'faith means abov'e all agl'eernent in the intellectual apprehension of doctl'ine, while to the United Lutheran Liberal it means primarily fellowship of those who have experienced the saving grace of God in Christ Jesus. To the Missourian "fellowship of those who have experienced [sic?] the saving grace of God in Christ Jesus" is extremely important; for only those who have experienced the saving grace of God in Christ Jesus are children of God and so members of the Christian Church (the una sancta). But how ' can anyone experience the grace of God in Christ Jesus apart from the Word of God, and how can we keep this Word if the Bible is robbed of its reliability? If the United Lutheran Liberals are so very fond of some of the views of Albrecht Ritschl, let them remember that he did not accept Christ's deity and vicarious atone- ment and the sola fide as essential to Chr~stian fellowship, and from the premise of his theological system he . did this consistently. Karl Barth does not go quite as far as did Ritschl, but if he halts before the modern- istic precipice of denying the Christian truth, it is only because of a "fortunate inconsistency." Brunnw, more scholarly, more logical, and more recondite than Barth, does not follow his master in this "fortunate inconsistency" but boldly espouses the "unfortunate consistency" of absolute Modernism. Dr. Reu, in rebuking certain liberal errorists in his own communion, writes in the October issue of the Kirchliche Zeitsch?'ijt (p. 607) : "Aber weiss del' Schreiber denn gar nichts davon, dass es Missouri und uns urns Wort Gottes und sein Verstaendnis geht, und dass das Wort Gottes die hoechste Majestaet ist, die es auf Erden gibt?" This is a fitting rebuke also for the present writer on Albrecht Ritschl in the Luthemn Church Q'uarterly, who ignores the fact that whatever Missourian and other orthodox theologians have written in this con- troversy regarding inspiration and kindred subjects, has been written only to preserve intact and inviolate the Word of God with all its specific teachings. The history of Christian doctrine proves that wherever the sola Scriptum has been repudiated, there also the sola gratia was no longer esteemed and confessed. Liberalism, which overthrows the Bible, must of necessity overthrow also its central doctrine of justification by faith in the blood of Christ. The battle for the Bible is the battle for the preservation of the foundation of our Christian faith. J. T. M. New Effort to Unite the Northerll Presbyterians and the Episco- palians. - On this topic the Christian Century (undenominational) re- ports in an editorial as follows: "The commissions which are conducting the negotiations for union of the Presbyterian Church of the U. S. A. and the Protestant Episcopal Church have submitted a new proposal to those two bodies. They outline a method by which joint ordination 956 Theological Observer - Stirci)(id)'3eitQcjd)id)tHd)es might be provided for those entering the ministry in the two churches. In the course of time, they suggest, the process of joint ordination would render unimportant the issue of clerical orders on which the previous negotiations have stalled and thus would make possible consummation of that organic unity of the two churches to which both are committed. 'It is agreed that in future,' says the new proposal, 'ordinations within either church of men to be set aside for the ministry as presbyters or priests (which are regarded as words of the same meaning within the scope of this agreement) shall be by the method of joint ordination herein set forth.' This method provides for ordination by an Episcopal bishop 'and the presbytery in the area in which the ordination shall take place,' with both bishop and clergy designated by the presbytery joining 'in the laying on of hands.' This ordination 'shall include, or be preceded by, a declaration on the part of the ordinand of conformity to t1..~, doctrine, c"--'~ -. . nd worship Df t' ' [rch in whi" is to be ordained, and of due regard for the doctrine and discipline of the other church: The service is to be followed by a celebration of the communion, 'a presbyter or bishop who has received joint ordination acting as celebrant.' 'Every minister so jointly ordained shall be eligible to minister the Word and Sacraments in either church,' and may transfer from presbytery to diocese or from diocese to presbytery without re- ordination. 'This agreement,' the proposal concludes, 'is to be regarded as an interim step toward organic unity between the two churches, and it is hoped that the gradual growth of a joint ministry, joint parishes and missions, and perhaps even joint presbyteries and dioceses, may bring about better mutual understanding and fellowship, and lead toward further steps until, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the two churches may become one church, in the fellowship of the one, holy, catholic, apostolic church which is the body of Christ.''' The cause of division between these two church-bodies has been chiefly man-made doctrines, that of the episcopal succession and that of the divine origin of the presbyterial organization of the church. It is a pity that the human origin of these distinctive doctrines is not recognized. A. Union of Church and State Advocated by a Pl'ominent Bxitish Clergyman. - According to America. (Roman Catholic), the Rev. Na- thaniel Micklem, Principal of Mansfield College located in Oxford, England, a Congregationalist school, made some disturbing suggestions in a meeting of laymen which he addressed in this country. He is quoted to have said, "The State has been actually Christian, but nomi- nally free. Now Christianity is no longer the accepted religion. There are new fanatical religions, such as National Socialism and Communism, which are actively antichristian. That is the new situation in Europe. There cannot be a religiously neutral education. If we do not inculcate Christianity in the schools, we will inculcate materialist, communist, nationdist. 0;: Nazi outlooks. Education is a field ;ii wi,lch Church and State must cooperate." We do not think that Dr. Micklem correctly describes the situation when he says that education is either Christian or antichristian. His remarks are too sweeping. The solution v[hich 957 he seeks is to be found not in a umon of Church and State as far as education is concerned, but in schools operated by churches, like our so-caned Christi. an day-school. The remedy which he proposes would, in the last analysis, deprive us of religious liberty and reintroduce an era of spiritual oppression. A. After Sixteen Years. - Ernest Gordon, in the Sunday-school Times (non-denominational), under this title, reports the following: "This is the title of a report in Inland Africa by Mr. Kenneth Richardson, which describes the results of his prayer and work. He says: "We remember the moonlight nights when first we came here, when sleep was impossible on account of h'.e throb of the drums and the songs and yells of drunken dancers. Those things are seldom heard now. The fetishes which were worn by all have disappeared. The very few witch doctors still in practice are ashamed to carryon their trade in public; quite a number ~ now - ers of' -'lurch' The rising generation is almost entirely literate, having learned to read at one or another of our sixty bush schools in connection with our rural chapels. There they have all been taught to read the· New Testament and have heard the Gospel preached daily. We estimate that about six thousand New Testaments are in circulation, and during the past year we have sold over twelve hundred in addition to vo::s:y mnny other Scripture portions. It is given to few in these days to start from the very beginning and see a Church of seven hundred built up in sixteen years. And there are at present • 'rty-se' -, lL!ldreCl _LL_ rs attf--"'ng classes for instruction with a view to Baptism. The native offerings during 1939 amounted to about $450, an enormous amount when ODIe considers the extreme poverty of thEOse people. Every person in the district has had the Gospel preached to him repeatedly, and there are rural chapels in reach of all. From this well-evangelized district we go to one of the most primitive parts of Kenya Colony." This report shows that the Gospel is still "a power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth," Rom. 1: 16, and that there are still men who in the spirit of St. Paul and the other apostles are willing to ca:ry it t<-- ::_'''~ living' _. ·.ritual t' --'--- :ss. Tr--- ,- a ring --" <-'_umph in the words: "From this well-evangelized district we go to one of the most primitive parts of Kenya Colony," reflecting Paul's own triumphant mis- sionary spirit in Rom. 15: 28: "When, therefore, I have performed this and have sealed them this fruit, ][ will come by you into Spain." The Sunday-school Times records another ulstanCE- v. u~ch triumphant mis- sionary spirit. First it quotes renegade Prof. F. C. Grant of Union Theo- logical Seminary as saying iIl his Haskell Lectures delivered in the School of Theology of liberal Oberlin College: "The claim to be Messiah was, we believe, never made by Jesus, but appears to be the reflection of the early Church's belief. The kingship belonged solely to God. There was no room for a Messianic king. To put it plainly, for Jesus to clain:> hi.!llSelf to he the hean of God's kingdom, after all He had said in his public teaching about the divine rule, would have been nothing short of blasphemy." Then it tells u.s how a distribution of the gospel of John to the 4,566 students in the University of Southern California 958 Theological Observer - .Rirct)ficfF8eitgefd)id)tlid)e~ has been made jointly by students of Wheaton College and the Bible Institute of Los Angeles. With each copy went a little letter com- mending the book as the inspired Word of God and guide to salvation. Students of the Bible Institute attended to the distribution. "No sooner had the books been sent," reports the King's Business, "than the return mail was flooded with replies from University of California students. On the card provided many students checked the line which read: 'I wish to know more about God's plan of fl'ee salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ.' No time was lost by BIOLA students in visiting these and making plain the way of salvation to some who had never con- sidered it. Other replies were daily received as a result of this dis- tribution." Such accounts should encourage us to continue in the proclamation of the Gospel. Are we using every opportunity we have of witnessing to Christ? .J. T. M. What Is ChrisHanHy? -The Watchman-Examiner (March 27, 1941) discusses editorially the Lyman Beecher LectuTes for 1939, deliveTed at Yale Univel'siLy by Dr. C. Morrison, editor of the Christian Century, which have now appeared in a book entitled What Is Christianity? Answering the question "What is Dr. Morrison's definition of Christianity?" the editorial says: "One gathers the impression that history is to Dr. Morrison what the Bible is to the Fundamentalist. As the latter believes the Word of God to be inspired throughout, so the former takes as his inspired conviction not any particular event in histOl'y but the 'historical con- tinuum in which it occurred.''' It next quotes Dr. Morrison as saying: "The heresy of Protestantism consisted in the fact that it transferred the locus of both revelation and salvation altogether outside of the community. The locus of revelation is placed in the Bible. A revelation in history must be of the substance of history. The Bible cannot qualify as the revelation because it is not of the substance of history. It is not the historical revelation." Commenting on this statement, the editorial goes on: "Rejecting the Bible, therefore, as the historical revelation prepared for, preserved unto, and providentially bestowed on, man by God, Dr. Morrison is driven back to "perceiving the revelation of God in specific events.' To get at the divine continuum, he must study history - such as is known - and place events as they have occurred before the bar of his judgment. We feel this would inevitably require an omniscience we would never wish to assert and lead us to a search for the sinister in past and current e .,. we would not regard as healthy. God has not yet made us the judge of all the earth. It seems to us that loyalty to the Bible, which Dr. Morrison regretfully refers to as 'heresy,' has been and is today the vital foundation of evan- gelical Christianity, the principal factor in its continuance, and the means for the enlightenment of the followers of Christ, past and present. This enlightenment he defines as 'psychological' Cbristianity. He asserts, 'Not the Bible, but the living Church, the body of Christ, is the true Word of God.' But this is like saying that an effect negatives its cause, which is not true. Such a cause and such an effect cannot be set opposite to each other. 'Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.' The Bible was given by inspiration of God to deliver us from self-assumed omniscience, to save us from self-sufficient pride and its sinister moods, to preserve us from mental, moral, and spiritual exhaustion in a. futile search to find out God. It was bestowed to 'make us wise unto salvation.' To regard it, as Dr. Morrison does, as a problem of psychology and its doctrines as only ideologies of confusion would be to remove the one sure base on which evangelical Christianity can unite and be happily blessed of God. The Bible alone is a common base for our faith." This is only a part of the fine editorial, but it shows sufficiently that there are still enough believing and confessing Christians left in the churches of our country to expose the falsehoods of liberal impostors ; and this in a periodical which is intended for the common people. J. T.M. &iHtigfeit bon ~altfen . ~uf ~nfragen iDegen lBe~anblung nidjt b:ini~ tarifdj boIIiJogenet 5taufen fteUte bet @!bangeIifdje Dlieditdjenrat feft : &runbfii~Iidj finb af§ orbnung§miif3ig boIfaogene 5taufen nut fofdje an~ iJufe~en, bie auf ben 9lamen be§ ~atet§ unb be§ @5o~ne§ unb be§ &jeiIigen &eifte§ gefdje~en . ~ie 5taufe ift ein @5a frament unb "gottIidj 2BOttaeidjen", alfo ein &janbefn be§ breieinigen &otte§ butdj fein 2Bort mit unb lid bem iillj3eren 2eidjen. ~h:djenredjtndj ift bie irinitatifdje 5taufe Die tilietaIf allein anetfannte djtiftfidje 5taufe; fie ift il1l9feidj, vtaftifdj unb redjtIidj , ba§ ofumenifdje djtiftridje @!in~eit§lianb . @!ine 5tallfe fann af§ djtiftridje nm anerfanni iDetben, iDenn bet gfauliljafie 9ladjiDei§ be§ otbnllng§miif3igen ~onaug§ etlita# ift. ~ie otbnung§miif3ige ~oma~me bet 5taufe burdj ben auftiinbigen Ianbe§l'irdjlidjen &eiftridjen ober einen burdj ~imiffotiale etmiidjtigien @eiftHdjen ift ~orau§felung fUt einen @!inirag in bie ~itdjen~ biidJeL (2!Ifg. @!bAlut~. ~irdjenileitung) Br ief Items. - According to the church press the University of Southern California, located at Los Angeles, has announced that for the first time a course on the principles of Lutheranism will be offered this year. The lecturer will be one of our brethren, the Rev. C. W. Berner of Los Angeles, Calif. Churches whose principles have been presented in former years are the Roman Catholic, the Episcopalian, the Greek Orthodox, and the Mormon. The Jews, too, have had an opportunity of presenting their religion. Under the direction of Dr. Henry Einsbruch, who is in charge of Jewish mission activity in the United Lutheran Church, the first Yiddish New Testament to be published in our country has been produced. It was gotten out in Baltimore, Maryland. The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions has announced that all its missionaries have now been withdrawn from J apa.n, leaving the Congregational churches without missionary work in that country for the first time in 72 years. The American Bible Society lately received an enormous order from the British and Foreign Bible Society. The latter requests that one million Portuguese gospels be printed and placed at its disposal. "'Few preachers use rhetoric or gesture today.' A writer in the Church Times makes this observation in some notes upon present- day preachers. He says their characteristics are far slighter than in the past, from which he takes Joseph Parker as a striking example .... The Archbishop of York stands stock still and trusts to his touch with the congregation. . .. There is little doubt that the radio has affected the style of preaching. The radio does not lend itself to rhetoric; the preacher must make the voice do all that in former days gesture and facial expression used to do. The radio may also tend to increase the demand for shorter sermons."-Edward Shillito, in the Christian Century. Catholic Action has been defined as essentially "the collaboration of the laity in the apostolate of the Hierarchy." Cardinal Maglione, Papal Secretary of State, in his letter of July 24 addressed to the Rev. J. P. Archambault, S. J., president of the Semaines Sociales of Canada, recalls the further explanation of the nature of Catholic Action given by the present Pontiff in his Encyclical Summi Pontificatus and adds the more . ~ c characterization: "Catholic Actioli is a strongly orgaliized col- laboration, differentiated according to the different categories of persons to be reached, in close union with the Bishops and their ecclesiastical auxiliaries, to whom the apostolic mandate has been specially entrusted." The application of these principles, adds Cardinal Maglione, and their adaptation to a world in perpetual disturbance, demands continual study and toil. - America (Roman Catholic). America (Jesuit weekly) writes: "Luther thought he would put religion in the vaults of private judgm.ent for safekeeping. He argued, It is not safe with Rome. . .. The followers of Luther have for the most part lost their religion." What are the facts? The Pope said, "Follow Rome." Luther said, "Follow Christ." He added that this is such a sacred matter that its performance cannot be turned over to anybody else. How can anyone who is loyal to the Scriptures take a different course? A unique piece of work is done by the members of the Pioneer Mis- sion Agency of Philadelphia. The announcement says, "Thirty-seven people are living this year in the most inaccessible regions of Mexico and are working with eighteen Indian tribes. Their work is mostly Bible translation." So reports a correspondent in the Christian Centu1"Y. Attorney General McKittrick of Missouri has thrown a monkey- wrench into plans to launch classes in religious education among four thousand children in the Kansas City elementary schools. He has ruled that pupils may not be dismissed during school hours to attend such classes. The new plan was scheduled to go into effect October 13.- Christian Centu1"Y. A. Corrigenda On page 813 (November issue), footnote 117, line 4, read "Jeans" for "Jesus." On page 823 footnote 126 should read: "It is a well-grounded hypothesis" - is it really?