Full Text for CTM Theological Observer 13-7 (Text)

Qtnurnr~tu UJ4rningiral Sn111lJly Continuing LEHRE UND WEHRE MAGAZIN FUER Ev.-LuTH. HOMILETIK THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY-THEOLOGICAL MONTHLY vol.xm July, 1942 No.7 CONTENTS Page Verbal Inspiration - a Stumbling-Block to the Jews and Foolish- ness to the Greeks. Th. Engelder . __ . _______________________________________________ 481 Leading Thoughts on Eschatology in the Epistles to the Thessa- lonians L. Fuerbringer ____________________ __ _________ . ________________________________________ 511 Outlines on the Wuerttemberg Epistle Selections _________ .. _________________ 519 Miscellanea __________________________________________________________________________________________________ 528 Theological Observer. - Kirchlich-Zeitgeschichtliches ______________________ 541 Book Review. - Literatur ________ __ __ __________________________________________________ _ 553 Eln Pred1ger muss nicht alleln tori- 114m. alao d811S er cUe Schafe unter- weiae. wle de rechte Christen sollen aeln. aondern auch daneben den Woel- ten toehrlm. dass ale cUe Schafe nicht angreUen und mit talscher Lehre ver- tuehren und Irrturn elntuehren. Luther Es 1st kein Ding. das cUe Leute mehr bel der Klrche behaelt denn cUe gute PrecUgt. - Apologle. Art. 24 If the trumpet glve an uneertal.n sound. who shall prepare hIIwelf to the battle? -1 COT. 14:8 Published for the Ev. Luth. Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and Other States CONCORDIA PUBLISHING BOUSE, St. Louis, Mo. Theological Observer ,\tircf)Hcf),;Seitgefcf)icf)tHcf)es 541 Theological Observer - 5tifdjIidj~geitgefdjidjtIidje~ What Does the U.L.C.A. Teach on Inspiration?-Dr.Henry Grady Davis, professor at the U. L. C. A. Seminary in Maywood, Ill., has pub- lished an article in the Lutheran Church Quarterly which is of more than passing interest. It was written immediately after the U.L.C.A., at its convention in Omaha in October, 1940, had, by majority vote. adopted the Pittsburgh Agreement with its paragraph on the inspiration of the Scriptures. On account of the importance of the issues dwelt on we reprint the article in its entirety. Dr. Davis writes thus: "Two conceptions of inspiration or approaches to inspiration are present in historic Lutheranism. Both these conceptions were defined at Omaha in the discussion of the Pittsburgh Agreement. and both were recognized as being present in sound Lutheranism. "The first of these two conceptions has to do chiefly with the com- position of Scripture. The process of inspiration is so far defined that it can be given a descriptive adjective; it is verbal inspiration. It means that the words of Scripture stand as they are because the Holy Spirit put them there, just as they are. This conception of inspiration is set forth in the Brief Statement of the Missouri Synod (quoted in the Balti- more Minutes, p. 468). It appeals to certain prooftexts and interprets them in the light of this conception. "The second conception is harder to give a name to, precisely because the mode of inspiration is not defined at all. It is based on a more general view of the whole process of revelation which culminated in Christ and the Gospel. In this conception, inspiration is accepted as a fact, the writers being the agents God chose and used, and the product being God's Word, without any attempt whatever to define the mode of inspiration. It is set forth in the Baltimore Declaration on The Word of God and the Scriptures (Baltimore Minutes, 472 ff.). "In America up to now, the United Lutheran Church has been, if not the chief exponent of this second conception, at least the mightiest champion of a Lutheran's right to hold it. Our own Commission has called it our view and has contrasted it with the other view. I quote their words (Baltimore Minutes, p. 469): 'It is not our judgment that we can regard their views as outside of a Lutheran conception of the Scriptures, much less that they can so regard our views.' "In his appeal at Omaha for the adoption of the Pittsburgh Agree- ment, the President of the United Lutheran Church stated truly that there has never been agreement on the conception of inspiration and that these two conceptions have existed and do exist. The reason why both can exist in Lutheranism is that no definition of inspiration, and no descriptive adjective as applied to inspiration, has Confessiohal standing. It will be noted that we have not contended that 'verbal inspiration' is outside of actual Lutheran belief, but that it is extraneous to Confessional Lutheranism. This means our Confessions, ending with the Formula of Concord. Neither 'verbal' inspiration nor any other species of inspiration is in our Confessions. Inspiration-yes. That Scripture is God's Word-yes. That Scripture and nothing else on earth can define doctrine - yes. That Scripture is the only infallible rule for faith and life - yes. But that inspiration is this or that or any- thing else - no. "The Pittsburgh Agreement goes beyond this. It says a unique operation 'is called inspiration.' Is it rightly called inspiration? Then it is inspiration. 'Operation is inspiration' - 'Inspiration is operation.' Inspiration is 'a unique operation ... by which the Holy Spirit supplied content and fitting word.' Does it mean to say He could supply fitting words without supplying words? Does this singular, 'word,' mean He supplied only one word? Are there, then, other words in the Scriptures which He did not supply? On its face value, this statement means that the Holy Spirit supplied all the words of Scripture, that the words of Scripture stand as they are because the Holy Spirit put them there, just as they are. This is verbal inspiration, and it was properly called verbal inspiration at Omaha. But it is only one, the first, of the two legitimate conceptions of inspiration. We make it official in our agree- ment with the American Lutheran Church; and this agreement gives no recognition at all to the second conception which was called 'our view' at Baltimore. "Did we express 'our view' in the Baltimore Declaration? Is the Pittsburgh Agreement also 'our view'? Are they the same? Our Com- mission considers them so (Omaha Bulletin, p. 224): 'The Commission considers these Articles (Pittsburgh) nothing more than the application to present conditions of doctrine and principles already contained in the aforesaid Confessions and Constitution (U. L. C. in A.) and in the accordant declarations and resolutions (Washington, Savannah, Balti- more).' Yet the President said in his appeal at Omaha that there was something more, 'something in the Pittsburgh Agreement not in the Baltimore Declaration,' namely, 'recognition that there is such a thing as verbal inspiration,' and said he had told the American Lutheran Com- mission as much in the last meeting together. There is something more, then, and it is 'Verbal Inspiration.' It is the first of the two legitimate conceptions, openly avowed by name. And this is not 'our view.' It is 'their view,' called by the name they use, 'Verbal Inspiration.' The one thing in the Pittsburgh Agreement not in the Baltimore Declaration is the view that all along we have been contrasting with our own view; it is the opposite view to the one set forth in the Baltimore Declaration. It would have been in order for us at Omaha to recognize 'their view' as within sound Lutheranism. What we did, however, was to adopt 'their view' as our own. Does anybody suppose that we have really changed from 'our view' to 'their view' in two years? Or do we really hold either of these views? Or perhaps .there are not two conceptions at all, but only one! Any supposition can hold now! "So now the doctrine of verbal inspiration stands canonized in our latest (and, if the Commission's judgment prevails, our last) doctrinal pronouncement as one prerequisite for any move toward closer relations. It stands without qualification of any sort. It is unqualified by any acknowledgment that there is a second legitimate conception within sound Lutheranism. It is unqualified by any word of denial that mechanical dictation is meant; and what more could dictation supply besides content and words? It is unqualified by any hint that this is an extraconfessional agreement for practical purposes. It must be remembered that not the Commission's report but only the text of the Agreement will be promulgated. "The word 'errorless' likewise stands unqualified. It is spoken here of the Bible just as it stands. It is not qualified by any hint to the unwary that it doesn't mean the Bible as we have it, but means only the originals - a qUalification the strongest believers in verbal inspira- tion are careful to make. Dr. Reu says it (In the Interests of Lutheran Unity, p. 71): 'We repeat, the inerrancy is to be ascribed only to the original copies. Not a few wonder about this limitation, but hardly with good reasons. We speak here of the operation of the Spirit upon the holy writers called inspiration, and this was active not in the preservation of the existing copies, but in their production.' (He goes on to show an obvious error of fact in the Bible and to admit others.) There is no such qualification as this in the Pittsburgh Agreement. It is all stated as of our present Bible just as it is, and will of course be so understood. "Finally, the Pittsburgh Agreement was adopted as one which, in the Commission's judgment (Omaha Bulletin, p. 225), we should now adopt and faithfully abide by. It was stated at Omaha that adopting it would make no essential difference. Do we not mean to abide faithfully by this agreement? Will faithfully abiding by it make no difference? Will faithfully abiding by it in the classroom mean ceasing to teach or countenance the more general conception of inspiration, and teaching verbal inspiration as here set forth? Will it mean closing our publication channels to all literature that smacks of the second rather than the first conception of inspiration and Scrip- ture? What else that usually goes with verbal inspiration will it mean? The Convention at Omaha did not discredit its Commission or its head. The issue at Omaha was carried, but it was not settled. The issue in classroom and parish is now raised for the first time. If this Agree- ment stands, it will gall the shoulders of faithful teachers for decades to come. "In view of these things, some of us claim the right of holding the other of the two conceptions 'within the scope of historic, Confessional Lutheranism,' the second conception as defined in the Baltimore Declaration, not the verbal conception. We reserve the right to repudiate the Pittsburgh Agreement as a statement of our belief about inspiration and as the required basis of any closer relations to other Lutheran bodies. We feel that it is a surrender by ourselves, and on demand, of that one of the two legitimate conceptions which we have called our own, without any recognition of it whatever. We claim the right to retain this view and to teach it. We stand ready to acknowledge the other view as legitimate for those who hold it. But we should refuse to enter any relationship that denies an equal right to ours. , "Ardently desiring Lutheran unity, we take this position in the firm conviction that the Lutheran Confessions themselves afford the only basis on which unity is possible, and that to bring in issues which do not have Confessional standing makes for confusion and disunity rather than peace." From this article it is clear that in the U. L. C. A. there is no uniformity of teaching as to the doctrine of inspiration. The question that arises is whether Dr. Davis correctly defines both the Missouri Synod position and that which he himself holds together with others. When he asserts by implication that the Missouri Synod view includes an attempt "to define the mode of inspiration," we demur. We believe in verbal inspiration, but that merely means that we believe every word in the Scriptures is divine. It does not mean that we say we can state in which way God inspired the holy writers to give us His Word. A more correct description of the two views would be to say that the Missouri Synod teaches the inerrancy of the Scriptures, while Dr. Davis and his associates hold that there may be errors in the Scriptures in matters not pertaining to the doctrines. When Dr. Davis says that the Lutheran Confessions do not give us a definition of inspiration, he is technically right, because it is true that there is no paragraph or sentence in the Confessions in which a definition of inspiration is submitted. But it can be confidently asserted that there are numerous statements in the Confessions in which verbal inspiration is implied and presupposed. What interests the Lutheran reader in particular is that Dr. Davis repudiates the Pittsburgh Agreement, asserting that it teaches verbal inspiration. Evidently he holds that if the Pittsburgh Agreement contains loop- holes where a denier of verbal inspiration may find a means of escape, these are not sufficient. Dr. Davis believes that in spite of what the Commission of his Church stated as to the full agreement between the Baltimore Declaration and the Pittsburgh Agreement, it must be said that the Pittsburgh Agreement contains something which is not con- tained in the Baltimore Declaration, namely, "verbal inspiration." He thinks a person is justified in finding in the Pittsburgh Agreement an acceptance of "mechanical dictation" - a view which, of course, we cannot share. Another criticism which he voices is that the Pittsburgh Agreement does not state that inerrancy can be predicated merely of the original manuscripts and not of any manuscript as we have it today. It is true that the Pittsburgh Agreement does not make mention of this particular fact, but was it necessary? It has often been stated in recent years that whenever plenary, verbal inspiration is asserted of the Scriptures and inerrancy is claimed for them, it is the original manu- scripts of the prophets, apostles, and evangelists that we have in mind and not the productions of the copyists. Dr. Davis might just as well find the Pittsburgh Agreement objectionable because it says nothing about the evaluation which we put on translations of the Scriptures. In one respect Dr. Davis is right. A doctrinal issue of this kind cannot be settled by the fiat of a ,convention composed of representatives of a church body. If a doctrinal promulgation is to have value, it must represent the convictions of all the members of that church body. If such conviction cannot be at once attained concerning a teaching of God's Word, then there should be a process of patient instruction, con- tinning till final unanimity has been reached. Special cases, where on account of weakness of understanding there will continue to be a divergence, are not here considered. The fathers of our Synod were right when they insisted that in matters of doctrine there would have to be unanimity if the resolutions in question were to have validity. Bearing this in mind, one must say that the U. L. C.A. makes a grave mistake if it holds that it has satisfactorily disposed of the controversy on inspiration. Consciences cannot be coerced. Any attempt to browbeat a minority into assent to doctrinal propositions by the weight of superior numbers and other external considerations must be absolutely discouraged. We hope that the article of Dr. Davis will not be brushed aside in the camp of the U. L. C. A. as representing merely the views of a small group of people in that church body, but that his Church will deal with him and those who are likeminded and not rest till unanimity in this important matter has been achieved. A. Race Fanaticism. - A missionary serving the Baptist Church in Burma reports an incident that happened in Arkansas which shows to what lengths race fanaticism will go. Writing in the Christian Century, he says, "Sixteen years ago my father, who shepherded a Baptist flock in a forsaken Arkansas town, was asked by the Negroes near our home to come and preach to them. As he walked along a dark street on his way home from the service, a white man, self-appointed guardian of proper distances between the races, knocked my father to the ground with a blow from behind. He then shot his pistol twice - perhaps not to hit· my father, but only to frighten the Negroes-and beat his fallen victim to unconsciousness with blows across the face from a loaded inner tube. When my father regained consciousness several minutes later, he stumbled into a friendly home and with the aid of its people back to us." Undoubtedly the assailant thought that he was rendering the cause of truth and justice a real service. What blindness prejudice will :produce! A. An Association of Evangelicals. - "The National Association of Evangelicals for United Action" was recently organized in St. Louis. Dr. Harold Ockenga of the Park Street Congregational Church, Boston, was elected president, and members of a variety of Fundamentalist denominations are on the new board of directors. The purpose of the organization is to give expression to those aims of Protestant, evan- gelical churches at present not given voice by the Federal Council of Churches. Member denominations and individuals must subscribe to a set of fundamental doctrines: 1. The Bible the inspired, infallible Word of God; 2. One God, eternally existent in three Persons; 3. The Deity of Christ, the Virgin Birth, His sinless life, the Vicarious Atone- ment; Christ's Personal Return; 4. The need of regeneration in every human being; 5. The resurrection of the saved and of the lost; 6. The spiritual union of all believers in Christ. The sharply polemic attitude of the recently organized American Federation of Churches toward the Federal Cfluncil was rejected and the invitation to join the American Federation declined. R. R. C. 35 546 Theological Observer stirc!jHc!j<8ettgefc!jic!jt!ic!jes "If They Do Not Believe Moses and the Prophets." In the Christian Century we find in the correspondence from Chicago this peculiar para- graph, "Repeating the Lord's Prayer and saying, 'Clarence Darrow, I am here in fulfilment of the pact that we made with each other,' Claude Noble waited last week in Jackson Park for the fourth time for Darrow to speak. It was the fourth anniversary of the death of the great lawyer and agnostic. Noble was keeping a pact made in 1937 in which Darrow promised that if he found an afterlife, he would try to communicate with Noble on the anniversary of his death. Asked whether he had any results, Noble replied, 'No, but I am going to keep on trying as long as I live.''' "This is an evil generation; they seek a sign, and there shall no sign be given it but the sign of Jonas the prophet." Luke 11: 29. A. A Real Logomaehy. The Sunday School Times last fall printed a letter written by a West Virginia pastor who violently objects to the term "being born again," holding that the right expression to use would be "to be begotten again." The Sunday School Times correctly states that to make the distinction which its correspondent has in mind would make the work of Sunday-school teachers, child evangelism workers, and parents needlessly difficult. We fully agree with the editor. It strikes us that the discussion proposed by the West Virginia pastor would lead to altogether unnecessary refining and should definitely be assigned to the category of logomachies against which the Scriptures warn us. Paul has some hard things to say about the person who "is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words [lit.: logo- machies], whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings," 1 Tim. 6: 4. A. "Priests Teach the Antithesis of Protestant Christianity to Protestant Youth in a Presbyterian Endowed College" - From The Catholic Tele- graph, organ of the archdiocese of Cincinnati (Roman Catholic Church) The Christian Beacon (April 9, 1942) quotes a news article showing how the Church of Rome is exerting its power in the Presbyterian Lincoln College, Lincoln, TIL We read: "A unique Catholic educational program, devised for a local emergency, is meeting undreamed-of success in marked influence upon non-Catholic students and faculty members. Lincoln College is a Presbyterian institution attended by some Catholic students. When a situation arose that curtailed the religious freedom of those Catholic students and imperiled their graduation chances, the Catholic clergy of the city rallied under the leadership of the Very Rev. W. P. White, pastor of St. Patrick's Parish, and the Rev. Leo P. Henkel, pastor of St. Mary's Parish. An unusual program was devised that not only secured the religious liberty of the students and cleared their path toward graduation, but also developed into an opportunity for the presentation, by priests, of Catholic truths to audiences of non-Catholic students and educators. "Lincoln College is supported to a great extent by endowments made by Presby~rians with the expressed stipulation that religious education be made obligatory under penalty of losing the endowments. Quoting the college bulletin: 'Each student is required to take three Theological Observer .ftird)nd)~3eltgefd)id)tnd)e~ 547 semester hours in this department (religious education) . for gradua- tion. . .. The Rev. H. F. Prendergast, assistant of St. Patrick's Church, who has been closely linked with the undertaking, says that Catholic students objected to being instructed in non-Catholic doctrine. They were warned that religious instruction was necessary to graduation. They carried their complaints to Father White and Father Henkel, who presented the Catholic side of the picture to the college authorities." The result was that an arrangement was made by which the religious instruction could be conducted by priests. The report continues: "The Catholic clergy conduct their classes with complete freedom and inde- pendence. The classes, which meet regularly in a classroom of the college assigned for that purpose, have been operating since September, 1941. Every Catholic student of Lincoln College has purchased a copy of the recently revised edition of the New Testament and copies have been placed in the college library. The priests of Lincoln have been given the opportunity of addressing the whole student body of the col- lege and the members of the faculty on matters of religion." In righteous indignation The Christian Beacon comments on this report: "There is reproduced on page two the story of a Presbyterian college opening its doors to a Roman Catholic priest and of his going in and preaching the Catholic doctrine and winning the support and approval of many of the students. This story is reproduced from a Roman Catholic paper sent to us by a Protestant. It gives some idea as to what the Roman Catholics really think about the weakness and foolishness of the Protestants. This talk on the part of Protestants about being broad-minded is ridiculous to Roman Catholics. Can you imagine for a minute a Roman Catholic school opening its halls to a real, true Protestant and permitting him to come in and explain the doctrine of justification by faith and the Protestant position concerning the priest- hood? They would not think of it. But a decaying and apostate Prot- estantism, which forgets all about the horrors and tyranny of Catholi- cism through the centuries, which closes its eyes to Martin Luther and John Huss and to the struggles of England, will open its doors and let in that doctrine which exalts the Pope. Our Presbyterian and Prot- estant forebears would do more than turn over in their graves if they could read such an item. Where has American Protestantism gone? We certainly can respect the Roman Catholics and those of any other religion which differs from ours, but that does not mean that we must open our doors and let them come in and teach our young people their false doctrines. God forbid! How are the mighty fallen!" When aggressive Romanism meets flaccid modernistic Protestantism, it is not hard to tell on which side the victory will be. Nor is it hard to find the lesson which this news story teaches orthodox Lutheranism. Standing on principles always pays. J. T. M. Church Conditions in Spain. In the Lutheran, Julius F. Seebach, in his page called "In the World's Eye," gives the following information on conditions in Spain: ''The Protestants in Spain wish the days of the Loyalist Government were back again. During the time that was blackguarded by Franco and his backers as 'the rule of the Red satellites 548 Theological Observer Ritd)Iid),,aeitgefd)id)Uid)e!J of Russia,' though it was really a government elected by the first free vote of the people of Spain, Protestants had their first freedom of worship in that unhappy land. Even the Catholic Church had more liberty of conscience and worship than it has had since. At least Basque priests were not slaughtered by the hundreds by the Loyalists, as they were by Franco's Moors, because they sided with the people. Against Franco's solemn promises to the Protestants on the eve of his triumph, he has closed all Protestant churches and schools, and their ministers are subject to all kinds of humiliating and distressing re- strictions. All soldiers and public service employees, whatever the form of their faith, are compelled to attend the Catholic Mass, but, for all that, the parish priests are not happy under the pressure of Franco's totalitarian government. Resentment is piling up behind the scenes, and all classes are waiting for another revolution to break through the present tyranny." Science vs. Seance. - Under this heading The Calvin FOT"ttm (April, 1942) publishes a helpful article on spiritualism, which, owing to the un- certainties and anxieties of the Second World War, is again flourishing and against which pastors must warn their parishioners with new em- phasis. When Luther in his explanation of the Second Commandment declares that God here forbids also the use of witchcraft, and when our synodical Catechism speaks of "conjuring, fortunetelling, consulting the dead, and similar satanic arts," we are by no means treating of super- stitions of an unenlightened past, but there is in all these things a satanic element of which we must beware. Among the "abominations" which God's Word condemns are the works of him "that useth divination or a charmer or a consulter with familiar spirits or a wizard or a necro- mancer." (Cf. Deut.18:10-12.) The article in The Calvin Forum holds that in most cases "the phenomena [of spiritism] are not in any sense objectively real, but are all produced by the medium fraudulently." It says: "This has been the opinion of professional conjurers virtually without a break from the time of the Frenchman Robert Houdin, who first became suspicious of the Davenport Brothers, and the team of Kellar-Fay, who exposed their methods after first spending a time in collaboration with them, all the way down to Houdini, Thurston, and Blackstone of contemporary fame. There is no doubt that the majority of professional mediums are cheap mountebanks. There is very little that a clever artist in sleight-of-hand cannot do, especially in the semi- gloom of a seance cabinet, aided by the intense 'will to believe' of the average bereaved sitter." But not everything in the realm of spiritualism can be reduced to downright fraud. The article goes on to say: "However, it is rather striking that a life-long scientific student of psychic phenomena, utterly unbiased by spiritualistic faith, namely Harry Price, does not speak so highly of the argument of the magicians. In commenting on the Carl Murchison symposium published under the auspices of Clark University, he said: 'I think the scientific standard of the book is lowered by the reprinting of the chapters from Houdini's A Magician Among the Spirits, a collection of mediumistic tricks most of which no fake medium out- Theological Observer - RitdJlidJ,{jeitgefdJidJtndJes 549 side a lunatic asylum would dare to use.' (Price, Fifty YeaTs of Psychic ReseaTch, p.69.) It is true that the fraud hypothesis is not a compelling argument. The fact that someone can produce sights and sounds that look very much like spiritualistic phenomena, does not prove that the other phenomena are not real and caused by an utterly different in- fluence." Under the subheading "Seeking New Horizons" the article goes on to say: "When we go from physical to mental or psychic phenomena, the facts are not so easily deflated. . .. Even fraud holds possibilities of interesting speculation. Fraudulent mediums may not only be self- deceived into thinking that they wield supernatural power, but they may even begin by exercising carefully planned methods calculated to de- ceive, thinking all the while that they are executing every step of the process, only to find that they delve into it so deeply that they find themselves convinced that they are actually wielding a supernormal power. Mulholland began as a purely fraudulent stage mind reader, and at last, he says, it began to 'get' him until he began to believe he was exerting supernormal power. Seabrook begins by explaining all black magic as purely psychological and ends by admitting that there is something mOl"e, something hellish. [Italics ours.] I think we need not doubt that many spiritualistic mediums wield a real power, whether consciously or unconsciously. We need not say that the power is super- natural; let us say that it is 'supernormal' or 'paranormal.' That is the careful conclusion to which more than one reputable scholar working through the years in the field of psychical research has come." Touching on the "new psychology," the writer says: "This leads us to the tentative conclusions arrived at through the recent experiments in the field of the mysterious powers of the human mind, which may go far to explain some of the phenomena of spiritualism. Some of these experiments and conclusions fall in the sphere of psychology or 'para- psychology.' They are derived from experiments in hypnosis, autosug- gestion, and telepathy. Other conclusions lie rather in the terrain of metaphysics and are the result of observations in the field of precognition, clairvoyance, and like phenomena. . .. It seems that we are groping on the edge of a whole realm of mental potentialities about which we knew very little before and not very much yet. The thing that is so baffling, is that in order to study anything with scientific, laboratory certainty, it should be capable of regular control, but the very effort to tie these fleeting phenomena. down to planned occurrences, means that they will escape us. Raupert [a Catholic research worker in this field] would make answer that it 'proves that we have no right to seek such revela- tions, but have the right to accept only those that come to us un- solicited. It seems to the author that these dimly seen but apparently real increated powers ought to be studied thoroughly before relegating them either to spirit or demonic influence." We have quoted enough of the article to impress on our readers the necessary warning "Hands off!" This, of course, is nothing new, but the new approach may inculcate the more emphatically the old lesson learned from God's Word. It was not a Christian believer that went to the witch at Endor. J. T. M. Theological Observer - Bitd)Iid)~.sdtgcfd)id)tHd)es 551 not find it impossible to present a united front, their differences not- withstanding. He forgets that the churches have a divine, infallible rule which they must follow, the Word of God. In Presbyterian circles the plan has been advocated to make the retirement of ministers who have reached the age of 73 compulsory. A countermove has been started requesting that adoption of such a retirement rule be postponed for the present because on account of the war there is a real shortage of clergymen. The religious news from Norway deserves more than passing notice. The details of the struggle between the Lutheran clergy and the Quisling government, we hope, can before long be presented to our readers in a special article. A writer in the Presbyterian states that of the 1,204 foreign mis- sionaries of the Northern Presbyterian Church only 100 more are in America at present than is normally the case, and he states that half of these missionaries on furlough are the wives of missionaries that are still in the field. These people evidently intend to carryon mission work in spite of the war. In the Lutheran we read a statement to the effect that in Wash- ington, D. C., properties belonging to 13 Roman Catholic orders have been declared to be subject to municipal real-estate taxes. The situation is in part described in the following paragraph: "The Marist Seminary and College, with properties valued at about $300,000, have 19 occupants of the seminary and 65 pupils in the college. Said the District Real Estate Tax Exemption Board: 'We could never bring ourselves to believe that property of this great value can be exempt from real-estate taxes for this number of students.' " According to the Religious News Service, which is quoted in the Lutheran, the Mississippi Legislature has passed a bill making it a felony to preach against U. S. participation in the war. The bill is said to be directed against such groups as "Jehovah's Witnesses." It is not intended to brand as wrong criticism of conduct of the war. The Buffalo Y. M. C. A. received a large bequest from George B. Matthews, a business man of Buffalo. After he had given the organiza- tion $150,000 during his lifetime, he presented it with a gift of $350,000 through his will. The money is to be used for the benefit of the Negro people of Buffalo and vicinity. Not long ago Dr. Otto A. Piper, who until 1933 occupied the chair of Karl Barth as professor of theology at the University of Munster, Germany, became professor of New Testament literature and exegesis at the Princeton Theological Seminary. His theology is that of the Reformed churches. George S. Counts of Columbia University's Teachers College re- minded the educators that "British sociologists tell us that the first don't of the war is: Don't close the schools. They have found that the cost of taking care of juvenile delinquency is much greater than the cost of keeping children from becoming delinquent. Britain found that closing the schools produced 'a terrible rise' in juvenile delinquency." - Chris- tian Century. Brief Items. - On April 23 (the feast of St. George) Dr. William Temple "was enthroned 98th Archbishop of Canterbury" to occupy a place once held by his father. The ceremony took place in Canterbury Cathedral, which thus far has escaped serious injury through the bombing operations of the enemy. War conditions, however, were reflected distinctly, for "many windows had been removed and the statuary was protected with sand bags." 62 Anglican bishops attended. One can hardly pick up a religious journal from the Reformed camp without seeing in it an article having to do with the question of what the peace aims of the nations at war should be. While it is not for the Church to dictate to the State, it is quite proper that the Church preach the attitude pointed to by Jesus in His Sermon on the Mount saying: "Blessed are the peacemakers." In proclaiming and enlarging on these words of Jesus the Church is altogether within its proper sphere. From the religious press we take the information that the Y.M.C.A. is endeavoring to raise a large sum of money for work among prisoners of war. The budget set aside for this work is $600,000. Work is to be begun for the American prisoners taken by the Japanese. The Living ChuTch comments, "Such welfare work on behalf of war prisoners is provided for in the Geneva Convention of 1929, and this treaty the Japanese have agreed to respect." This paper continues, "As it is a reciprocal treaty, the program of the Y. M. C. A. must include not only the 210,000 prisoners of the United States whom the Japanese prime minister claims have been captured but also such Japanese prisoners as are in American and British camps." From New York comes the sad news that a ship carrying interned German missionaries and other prisoners of war from one of the Dutch possessions in the East Indies to India was sunk by Japanese bombers. The tragedy happened near Sumatra. The bulletin says that among the 328 victims there were a number of missionaries. The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary at Louisville, Ky., this spring graduated the largest class in its history, numbering 130 students. On that occasion Dr. John R. Sampey, who served the school as president since 1929 and who is 78 years old, presented his resignation. Arch Oboler, a radio dramatist, is reported to have delivered an address in which he urged that radio programs be put on the air which would stir intense hatred in the minds of the American people for their enemies in the war. His address aroused a good deal of opposition, and at a meeting sponsored by Ohio State University a resolution was adopted stating "that religious broadcasts in wartime as well as in peacetime should not only avoid stirring up hatred against human beings of any race, nation, or creed, but should seek to contribute to the understanding and good will which are basic to a just and durable peace among the peoples of the world." Southern Baptists are still outside the Federal Council of Churches, but one of their journals pleads in a contributed article that the course of the denomination be changed. The argument advanced is that since nations can unite in spite of such grave differences in political outlook as separate Russia and the United States, certainly the churches should As a curiosum we reprint this little bit of news from the Ckrlstia.n Century: "The pastor Irving D. Wilday [of the Kings Highway Con- gregational Church, Brooklyn] resigned last Monday night, giving as one of his reasons the objection of the majority of the members of the church to agree with him that 'The Star Spangled Banner' be sung every Sunday morning." Before a group of Lutheran students in Chicago, Dr. Conrad Bergen- doff, president of the Augustana College and Seminary at Rock Island, made the statement that the Lutheran Church of Germany is not responsible for Naziism. To prove this statement, he pointed to the fact that there are three large church groups in Germany: Roman, Reformed, and Lutheran; with what right does anybody single out the Lutherans as having fathered Naziism? Besides, so he emphasized, in the Scandinavian countries Lutheranism evidently has not led to Naziism. And finally, everybody will have to admit that the brand of Naziism which dominates Japan was not created by the Lutheran Church. He might have pointed to Italy and reminded his hearers that the Italian brand of totalitarianism, Fascism, certainly cannot be blamed on the Lutheran Church. The church press reports the death of Prof. George Adams Smith, who from 1909 till 1934 was principal of Aberdeen University, Scotland. He is known for his two-volume work on Isaiah and especially for his well-known work "The Historical Geography of the Holy Land." He got to be eighty-six years old. According to a report in the Presbyterian the Northern Presbyterian Church is beginning to feel a shortage in its supply of ministers. "In the last five years our ordination of men has been only 83 per cent of our deaths in the ministry. During the past ten years our ministry has decreased about forty per year and our churches at the rate of forty-eight per year. The total for the past four years is a net decrease of 193 in the ministry and 202 in the number of churches." The shortage may soon be very serious. Joseph C. Brown, pastor of Broadway Methodist Church, located on the Near North Side (Chicago), on last Sunday adorned his pulpit and illustrated his sermon with hundreds of whisky bottles picked up recently on the lawn of his church. - Christia.n Century. William Paton of London, secretary of the World Council of Churches, recently declarild in an address at Hartford, Conn., that Christianity survives in Russia and is no longer interfered with by the government. One indication, he said, is the number of Christian funerals, which are no longer banned. - Christian Century. A. •••