Full Text for CTM Theological Observer 14-2 (Text)

Q!nnrnrbia m~tnlngtral :tInn1lJl Continuing LEHRE UNO VVEHRE MAGAZIN FUER Ev.-LuTH. HOMILETIK THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY-THEOLOGICAL MONTHLY Vol. XIV FebnJary, 1943 No.2 CONTENTS Page Toward a Lutheran Philosophy of Education. Paul Bretscher _.... 81 Study 00 Z Cor. 3:1%-18. Th. Laetsch ......................... _ ....................... _._.. 96 Luther: A Blessing to the English. Will. DaUJIUUlIl .. _ ..... _ .... _ .. "" .. _ 110 Outlines 00 Old T~tament Texts (Synodical Conference) .. _ ............ 117 Miscellanea ..................................... ""_"'_"' __ ........... ""'_""_'_'_""'_""." .. _ 125 Theologieal Observer .......... _ ... _ .. _ ................. __ ... _ ....... _ .. _ .... _ ............... __ ..... _ ... 133 Book Be, Ie . .... _ .................................. _ .......... __ ......... _ ... _ ......... _ ........................ 153 Ein Prediger mU88 nJcht alIeln wet· den., alIo dasa er die Schafe unter- weise. wle ale rechte Christen sollen seIn. dern aUCh cbnebfon dell Woel- fE'n well...,. . 1 die Sc.h.af~ nJcht mgreI!en und mil f Jscller I .ehre "er· fuehrt.n und !rrlum elnfuehrl!'ll Luthe-r Es 1st keln Ding. daa die Leute mehr bei der Klrche behaelt denn die gute Predigt. - Apologie, Arl;.24 If the trumpet i1ve nIl UIU:ert.Jn sound. who 1 prepare h1moielt to the battle? -1 Cor. 1 .S P u lW1cd tOI thP Ev. L Ith, Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and Other States . JA PUFLb . "G HOUSE, St. Louis, Mo. Theological Observer 133 1 ,logical (bserv The Fellowship Question in the Lutheran Church. - The Lutheran Companion of December 10 prints an article by Dr. L. W. Boe, president of St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minn. His article has the caption "God's Moment." The fundamental idea of it is that now the time has come for Lutherans in the United States to become united. He opposes the attempt to form a federation at present; what he advocates is the estab- lishment of church fellowship between the various Lutheran bodies. The exigencies of the situation created by the war, he thinks, loudly call for such uniting. "Today we find 97 per cent of the 4,750,603 baptized mem- bers of the Lutheran Church of America grouped in three large bodies of practically equal size, two of which, the United Lutheran Church and the American Lutheran Conference, have qualified official relationships based upon the clearer understanding brought about by the exigencies of the war and experiences thereafter." As the next step he visualizes mutual recognition and the application of the principle of pulpit and altar fellowship. According to the official records he thinks there exists enough "unity of faith" to warrent such a step. The only excuse for refusing to grant fellowship would be "an open and notorious negation in practice of the official confession." He adds, "Just where the line is between sins of weakness and an open and notorious negation of the faith on the part of a synod or general body is not always easy to estab- lish." Then, in looking at conditions as they confront the observer, he states that "between the United Lutheran Church and the American Lutheran Conference there is factual fellowship, the individual member practicing, or maintaining his right to practice, fellowship with members of the other group with whom he comes in contact, except with indi- viduals and in instances where he is convinced that the official confession is openly and notoriously called into question." The question whether membership in a synod denies to the indi- vidual the privilege of practicing fellowship with individual members of a related synod before full altar and pulpit fellowship has been officially established, he answers negatively. He does not wish to have too much emphasis laid on synodical lines. "Synodical lines do not belong to the 'unchanging things.''' "There must be a reasonable flex- ibility about formalities so as not to compel a denial of realities." The word of Jesus "Beware of false prophets in sheep's clothing," he holds, has reference to members of the kingdom of darkness. At the same time Dr. Boe does not think that one has to practice fellowship with everyone who belongs to the same synodical group. There may come a situation when one cannot practice fellowship with a synodical brother because of the latter's unfaithfulness. "In reality, is not recognition by a synod an approval of fellowship with a veto left to be applied in individual instances?" As to present-day tendencies Dr. Boe says, "The history of the Lutheran Church in America has pretty much been the history of the country. Out of the welter of racial origins there is gradually emerging 134 Theological Observer an American type. As new relationships and fellowships are being established, there is emerging out of the welter of racial origins, differing tendencies, and doctrinal controversies an American Lutheran type which more and more agrees with the spirit of the Lutheran Reforma- tion. The common Lutheran character IS breaking through. Our com- mon spiritual heritage will not be denied. The very ugliness with which we sometimes criticize and attack one another proves that we ourselves recognize our spiritual relationship." As to the value of mutual recog- nition, he states, "Recognition today will, first, make it possible for individual Lutherans to move from one end of the Lutheran Church in this country to the other, freely. Secondly, it will place us in that brotherly relationship in which we can do for one another that which is not possible as members of hostile or opposing camps. Thirdly, it will center the weight of Lutheran public opinion effectively on those prac- tices that today are causing trouble and keeping us apart." There is another paragraph of Dr. Boe which we must quote in its entirety. "What is the actual situation as far as practice is concerned? Does the United Lutheran Church in practice openly and notoriously negative its officially declared faith? Do the members of the American Lutheran Conference openly and notoriously negative its declaration of faith? Are they Scripturally justified in refusing full recognition to the United Lutheran Church; and Missouri or the Synodical Conference to the American Lutheran Conference and the United Lutheran Church? One who really knows the actual situation and the present tendencies within these bodies and judges justly and with understanding will, in my assumption, have to answer, No, that such is not the case. That individual, and perhaps many, instances can be pointed to both in the United Lutheran Church and in the American Lutheran Conference, and even in the Synodical Conference, which may seem to justify a statement to the contrary, can readily be conceded, but an honest esti- mate of the whole situation justifies making the declaration that the three groups can recognize one another on the basis of the present record." Finally Dr. Boe, in discussing the implications of fellowship says, "There are matters of practice that must be faced and settled if union or merging is to take place, which it is perfectly legitimate to leave unsettled as long as each body retains its own household. If the Lu- theran Church of America has the courage and initiative now to crystallize into form the fellowship which actually is being practiced with good conscience in accord with Scripture between individual mem- bers of the United Lutheran Church and the American Lutheran Con- ference and in lesser degree between them and the Synodical Confer- ence, we can look forward to a tremendous development the next few years. We should not be sidetracked by dreams, or discussions of union, mergers, or federation, or by any of the practical questions of co- operation and co-ordination. The decks should be cleared so that Lutherans may move freely from one end of the Lutheran Church to the other." Dr. Boe thinks that this clearing of the decks will be accom- plished if recognition and fellowship come about between the various synodical bodies. Theological Observer 135 Before evaluating what Dr. Boe has written, we should like to submit the comments which Dr. Ryden, the editor of the Lutheran Companion, makes on Dr. Boe's article. He states that he is not in agreement with the view of Dr. Boe that a federation of all Lutheran bodies should not be attempted now. But he goes on to say that he is in full agreement with the general thesis of Dr. Boe and with the premise on which it rests, to wit, that there exists a sufficient "unity of faith" among the Lutherans of America to bring about the recognition and the fellowship relations spoken of. The official doctrinal declarations, found, for in- stance, in the constitutions of the various church bodies, will show when examined that all these bodies stand on common ground. "Where deviations exist, they do not represent the official position of any Lu- theran body; rather, they represent the intransigency of the type of free lances which are found in all communions." In this connection Dr. Ryden, who until the recent American Lu- theran Conference Convention was the president of this body, discusses the resolution passed by this convention in which its constituent bodies are urged "to invite other Lutheran bodies into pulpit and altar fellow- ship with themselves." The methods, how that should be done, were not prescribed. Why not? Dr. Ryden says, "(The Conference) was fully aware of the fact that these bodies are not willing to enter into inter- minable doctrinal discussions with other Lutheran groups to bring this about." He holds that these bodies will insist that the basis for fellow- ship must be the official declarations of each Lutheran group. Concerning the relations between the American Lutheran Con- ference and the United Lutheran Church, Dr. Ryden agrees with the view expressed in the Lutheran Witness (November 10,1942), that actual fellowship has long existed between these bodies since they have jointly carried on what must be regarded as distinctly church work. Dr. Ryden adds, "Therefore it seems rather inconsistent, not to say hypocritical, to work in closest harmony with other Lutheran groups and still refuse to acknowledge the existence of full spiritual fellowship with them." Peace and harmony, Dr. Ryden says in the course of his editorial, can be brought about only "when we acknowledge each other as Lu- therans, cease our endless bickerings and misunderstandings, call a halt to our destructive competition and duplications, seek mutual forgiveness for our petty jealousies and unchristian recriminations, and learn to worship and pray together as brethren in the faith." No one will deny that the views expressed by Dr. Boe and Dr. Ryden" touch important issues and that everyone who loves our Lutheran Zion here in America must frankly face the questions raised by the remarks of these two representative Lutherans. To avoid all unnecessary ver- biage, we shall put our reaction into a few brief propositions. 1. The establishment of fellowship between the various Lutheran bodies here in the United States is highly desirable and should be prayed for and worked for by all of us. 2. Establishment of fellowship will be an evil instead of a blessing if it will hinder the full proclamation of the Gospel and a consistent Christian practice. 3. The establishment of fellowship will likewise be an evil if it takes place on an insufficient foundation 136 Theological Observer leading to misunderstandings and confusion which would probably be worse than the present divided state of Lutheranism. 4. That a body confesses the truth on paper is not sufficient if it is well known that a large part of it both in doctrine and practice deliberately disregards the doctrinal platform officially confessed by the body. 5. It is well known that with respect to an important matter the U. L. C. A. is a house divided against itself, namely, with respect to the verbal inspiration and the inerrancy of the Scriptures. We do not see with what justification a person could say that deviation from the old Lutheran teaching on this point occurs only in a few instances where some free lances go their own way unwilling to listen to their brethren. 6. On the question of lodge membership and pulpit and altar fellowship with members of Reformed Churches, it seems there is such a big difference of opinion between the various branches of the Lutheran Church that a good deal of ground work will have to be done before it can be stated that in this respect there is sufficient unity for the establishment of fellowship relations. 7. The interesting point made by Dr. Boe that the practice of fellowship should not be made dependent entirely on one's synodical connection has some truth in it. We of the Missouri Synod hold that it is possible to fellowship with a person belonging to an erring Church if he opposes the errors of his church body and testifies to the truth; such a person is then in what has been called the status confessionis. This view rests on the principle that, after all, synodical and other ecclesiastical lines are a matter of human origin and that there is some- thing higher than outward membership in an orthodox church body, and that is, to be a consistent, loyal disciple of Jesus Christ. 8. The same truth applies in a negative way to a member of one's church body who has proved altogether disloyal to the Savior and whom one can no longer fellowship without denying the truth. In such a case dis- ciplinary measures, of course, should be initiated, if possible. The justice of the remarks of Dr. Boe in that respect must likewise be acknowl- edged. Sorrowfully we append in the proof sheets the note that Dr. Boe shortly before Christmas departed this life. A. Meeting ()f the Amel·ican Lutheran Conference. - The sixth biennial convention of the American Lutheran Conference met in Rock Island, IlL, November 11-13, 1942. Quite naturally, the subject of Lutheran relationships was given much consideration. In the Lutheran Companion the editor, Dr. E. E. Ryden, states that the "conclusions of the convention on this topic might be summed up as follows: 1. The American Lutheran Conference must keep its door open to other Lutheran bodies; 2. the Columbus Conference of 1942 set a direction and goal for American Lutheranism when it suggested the enlargement of the American Lu- theran Conference; 3. co-operative endeavors, both within the American Lutheran Conference and the National Lutheran Council, should be encouraged and extended; 4. the executive committee of the Conference was instructed to 'negotiate with other Lutheran bodies, looking toward the eventual goal of an organization whose constituency shall be truly representative of the Lutheran Church in America'; 5. the constituent Theological Observer 137 members of the American Lutheran Conference were urged to 'invite into altar and pulpit fellowship those Lutheran bodies with which they are not now in fellowship.''' Dr. Ryden further reports that the Amer- ican Lutheran Conference "took cognizance of the expanding program of the National Lutheran Council and willingly surrendered some phases of its work to the Council. Thus the Commission on Home Missions was abolished in order that its work might be absorbed by the new department of the Council known as the Commission on American Missions. Likewise the Commission on Inner Missions was discontinued in view of the establishment of the department of Lutheran Welfare by the Council. Other commissions and committees discontinued by the Confel'ence by recommendation of the Committee on Reorganization are: Commission on Foreign Missions, Commission on Hospitals, Com- mittee on Adjudication, Committee on Stewardship. In abolishLng these groups the Confel'ence voted to strengthen the work of other commis- sions and committees whose activities have tended to promote the spirit of unity and co-operation which exists within the Conference. The Conference refused to receive into direct membership congregations which are not affiliated with anyone of the constituent bodies of the Conference. It approved, however, the arra.l'lgement by which pastors may serve at the same time congl-egations belonging to two or more constituent synods. The question of whether a congregation may belong to more than one synod was left to the judgment of the synods involved." The president for the next biennium will be Dr. H. L. Yochum of Detroit, Mich., a member of the American Lutheran Church. In what we have stated above we have not incorporated several paragraphs of Dr. Ryden's report in which he mentions statements made by Dr. Conrad Bergendof'f, president of Augustana College, and Dr. Em. Poppen, president of the American Lutheran Church, and Dr. Ralph H. Long, executive secretary of the National Lutheran Council. Dr. Bergen- doff insisted that unity and identity must not be confused. "The Lu- theran Church is big enough to have differences within itself." Dr. Poppen complains that Lutherans have been hiding their light under a bushel and that as a result we are misunderstood by other groups. He stated that Luther differentiated between faith and theology, as- serting that "Luther never refused to worship or take Communion with associates with whom he had theological differences." Dr. Long "urged fraternal recognition and greater co-operation among the various Lu- theran bodies." He likewise spoke of "the necessity of closer relations with other Protestant groups." The report, of course, is fragmentary, and on that account one hesitates to pose as critic of the proceedings. To us it seems that the deliberations concerned themselves with generalities, the desirability of fellowship between the various Lutheran bodies and with other Prot- estant denominations, and that the 'matters which really call for study, because they divide the Lutheran Church in America into various camps, were too much kept in the background. We hope that more complete reports will show that our impressions of the nature of the convention wer'e unnecessarily gloomy. A. 138 Theological Observer Anent Lutheran Union. - In its issue of October 29, 1942, The Lutheran Companion publishes a lengthy editorial in which it discusses the topic "Lutherans Move Closer Together." The editor, Dr. Ryden, reports the steps taken by the American Lutheran Church in its recent convention in Mendota, nlinois, declaring itself ready for fellowship with the United Lutheran Church of America and with the Missouri Synod, provided the doctrinal statements that had been drawn up were fully accepted and adhered to. An error has slipped in through the confusion of the Brief Statement of the Missouri Synod with the Decla- ration of the A. L. C. What the A. L. C. expects the Missouri Synod to accept and adhere to is the Declaration made by the A. L. C., and not the Brief Statement issued by the Missouri Synod itself. Concerning the action of the A. L. C. Dr. Ryden says, "It is clear from the action taken by the Mendota Convention of the American Lutheran Church that its real purpose is to encourage the groups who are striving for Lutheran unity both in the United Lutheran Church and the Missouri Synod, in order that they might redouble their efforts to create condi- tions favorable "for unity within their respective groups. No distinc- tion was drawn between the two bodies; on the contrary, the American Lutheran Church made it plain that it is ready to establish fellowship relations with either or both of them, when it is satisfied that they have fulfilled the necessary conditions." Dr. Ryden is aware that "there is a large and influential group in the United Lutheran Church which is still in disagreement with the Pittsburgh document." The editorial further dwells on the proposal made by the A. L. C. to call into being an American Lutheran Convention, which should be a sort of free conference for the Lutherans of this hemisphere. Dis- cussing this feature, Dr. Ryden states, "The plan for an all-American Lutheran Convention is an outgrowth of the action taken by the Na- tional Lutheran Council at Pittsburgh last January and of the second Columbus meeting the following May. In a memorial to the National Lutheran Council presented by the Lutheran editors in January urging definite steps toward Lutheran unity it was proposed that a study be made of the 'feasibility of setting up an all-Lutheran federation which could make use of the National Lutheran Council as its working agency.' And the editors' letter added, "Such a federation might well bear the name of the American Lutheran Convention and as such it could constitute the American section of the Lutheran World Convention." Dr. Em. Poppen, president of the American Lutheran Church, subse- quently developed the idea of the American Lutheran Convention to embrace a Western Hemisphere organization, its membership to include Lutherans of the United States and Canada as well as Mexico, Central America, the West Indies, and South America. Dr. Poppen's proposal was studied at the second Columbus conference in May, but no action was taken. Instead it was the consensus of opinion of the representatives present that the scope of the American Lutheran Conference should be enlarged. Dr. Poppen has now revived his plan, and the convention of his body at Mendota requested him to submit the proposal to other Lutheran bodies and, if the plan is found acceptable, to request the Theological Observer 139 National Lutheran Council to proceed with arrangements for creating such an organization. According to Dr. Poppen's plans, the convention would not function as a legislative body, but as a free conference, meeting at intervals of three or four years. The aims of the proposed convention would be 'to provide and strengthen joint testimony for the pure doctrine of Jesus Christ and for the true faith as confessed by the Evangelical Lutheran Church, to foster Lutheran unity and solidarity in the Americas; to promote co-operative efforts in foreign missions, in missionary work among various racial groups, in Christian higher education, in charity or welfare work, in the publication and dissemina- tion of Christian literature; and to aid Lutherans in distress, wherever they may be, particularly in the Americas.''' Dr. Ryden adverts to one more point, saying, "The American Lu- theran Church also took a step in the direction of Lutheran unity when it gave approval to the proposal to set up a new department in the National Lutheran Council to be known as the Commission on American Missions. . . . The function of this commission will be to carry on emergency home mission work among unchurched Lutherans who are now employed in the great war industry areas." That we are in favor of the holding of .free conferences we stated in our Foreword in the January issue. Dr. Poppen's plan ought to be altered so that nothing is proposed but the holding of free meetings of Lutherans in which the issues which now divide the Church can be discussed. A. RelP'ensions.-The amount paid in pension benefits by the major Protestant denominations during the past year totaled $11,292,932, it was reported at the annual meeting of the Church Pensions Conference several weeks ago. Every communion in the Conference except the United Lutheran Church puts its pension plan on a "contributory" basis. Congregations contribute annually to the pension fund in proportion to the salaries of their pastors. In most cases pastors also contribute a percentage of their salaries. In the Episcopal Church the minimum pension is $1,000. Each con- gregation contributes annually a sum equal to 7.75 per cent of the rector's salary. Clergymen make no contribution to this fund. American Lutheran and Missouri Synod congregations pay 4 per cent of the pastor's salary, and the pastor pays an equal amount. In the Norwegian Lutheran Church congregation and pastor each pay 5 per cent. Large pension funds have been accumulated by various churches. Presbyterians, U. S. A., have $43,675,448. The Episcopal Church has $35,650,459. The Missouri Synod has $4,191,126; United Lutheran, $3,422,748. - The Lutheran. Resolution of the U. L. C. A. Pertaining to Students Preparing for the Ministry. - At its meeting in Louisville last October the U. L. C. A. passed the following resolution: "1. WHEREAS, Congress has recognized that divine worship and re- ligious guidance and education are vital to the welfare of the Nation, both in our home communities and in the armed forces, and 140 Theological Observer "2. WHEREAS, There is a shortage of persons properly trained and qualified as regular or duly ordained ministers of religion, and "3. WHEREAS, There has been a gradual decline in the number of students registered in our theological seminaries, and "4. WHEREAS, It is recognized that in order to maintain an adequate supply of students in theological schools it is necessary to assure a sufficient number of students with the prerequisite training and prepa- ration in recognized colleges and universities, and "5. WHEREAS, It is evident that Congress is about to lower the draft age to include the youth of 18 and 19 years of age, "Be It Resolved, That the United Lutheran Church in America in convention assembled petition the Selective Service System to permit the local draft boards to defer young men of the age of 18 and above who have declared themselves as desirous of entering the ministry of the Church, provided such youth produce certificates from recognized Church authorities to the effect that they are pursuing their academic studies in recognized colleges or universities under the direction and supervision of such recognized churches, and also certificates from recognized theological schools to the effect that upon the successful completion of their prerequisite academic studies they will be accepted and enrolled in said theological schools." The Lutheran adds, "It will be noticed that the resolution is ad- dressed to the Selective Service System and that this authority acts through the local draft boards. Pastors, congregations, and young men to whom the petition applies should take note of the method of procedure." It is well known that the students in the college classes of our own synodical schools who have the ministry in view have been granted the deferment which is spoken of in the above resolution. A. Lack of Navy Chaplains.-It seems that an item in the Christian Century pertaining to this subject should be brought to the attention of our clergy. "Speaking in Buffalo, Lieutenant W. O. Robertson, U. S. N., said that the Navy has been "'very much concerned and disturbed by the failure of the clergy as a whole' to respond to the appeal for 400 Navy chaplains. He said, 'If we don't get chaplains, either the morale of the Navy will crack, or chaplains will have to be drafted.' Addressing Buffalo ministers, the officer noted that only 14 applications for chap- laincy have been made in that area in more than four months, adding, 'some denominations have not responded at all. The most important man aboard ship or at a naval training base is a chaplain. He is the only man to whom both enlisted men and officers can talk on the same plane.' " A. The Biennial Meeting of the Federal Council. - The meeting of the Federal Council of Churches and seven interchurch groups at Cleveland in the week ending December 12 is of more than passing interest. Two items of major importance were before the convention: The position of the Church in the present war and the merging of eight interdenomina- tional agencies into the largest and most influential church agency in the Theological Observer 141 Western Hemisphere. The Federal Council presumes to be the official voice of American Protestantism on all social, economic, moral, and spiritual problems. Naturally, this convention would devote considerable time to a discussion of the issues in the present conflict. However, it is a well-known fact that the leaders of the Federal Council are com- mitted to the social gospel. The statement on the war adopted at Cleve- land clearly reveals this. This statement was presented by Dr. J. F. Dulles, noted Presbyterian layman and chairman of the Committee for the Study of Bases of a Just and Durable Peace. A synopsis of the statement as printed in full in the Living Chm'ch of December 20 fol- lows: If the present war were a conflict only between national self- interests, then the Church as a supranational ecumenical fellowship would have nothing to say. The issues in the present conflict, however, are moral. There is a sharp clash between two different conceptions of the meaning and purpose of human existence. The Axis powers aim 1) to subject personal freedom to the tyranny of the State; 2) to abolish the democratic processes of law and justice by substituting a dictatorial and arbitrary regime; 3) to establish the domination of a so-called master race; 4) to make free nations vassals of a supreme military power; 5) to train the present youth in the totalitarian philosophy of life. This is, according to the Federal Council, not only unchristian, but definitely antichristian. The principles of the Axis powers are diametrically opposed to such Christian objectives as freedom of thought and of economic opportunity; equal opportunity for all races; a system of justice based on law; a world order expressing the unity of mankind as one family of God; education of the youth to an understanding of and personal commitment to Christian objectives. The statement as finally adopted points out, that, of course, an Axis victory would not necessarily mean that God could not accomplish His ends, nor that a United Nations victory would automatically guarantee the achievement of the stated goals. But Naziism and Shintoism are hostile to the Chris- tian ecumenical ideal. Therefore the aim of Christians in this conflict is a just and durable peace based on the principles enunciated in the Delaware (Ohio) Conference of March 3-5, 1942.1 ) We believe that the findings of the Delaware Conference and the statement adopted at Cleveland clearly set forth some of the issues at stake in the present conflict. These documents present an ideal world order which, if adopted, would eliminate or at least ameliorate many of our present social and economic inequalities. As a contribution to a political and economic philosophy the findings of the Delaware Conference and the statement adopted at Cleveland deserve attention. But the basic error of the proposals is the utter confusion of Democracy and Christianity. Democ- racy is a social and political philosophy, which suggests to most people, and especially to our people, the best system of ordering men's behavior in their social relations. But democracy concerns itself exclusively with man's attitudes toward his fellow man, while Christianity concerns itself 1) The ChuTches and a Just and Durable Peace, a handbook of 80 pages, may be ordered from Christian Century Press, 407 S. Dear1:,orn, Chicago, for 15 cents. This booklet sets forth all the findings of the Delaware Conference. 142 Theological Observer primarily with man's relation toward his God. The thinking of the Federal Council leaders as well as that of the Anglican Church in England under the leadership of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Wm. Temple, is along the lines of the social gospel. The second important matter before the Cleveland convention was the proposed merger of the following agencies: The Council of Church Boards of Education, the Federal Council of Churches, the Foreign Missions Conference of N. A., the Home Missions Council of N. A., the International Council of Religious Education, the Missionary Education Movement of the U. S. and Canada, the United Council of Church Women, and the United Stewardship Council. The merger is to be known as the North American Council of Churches of Christ. Dean Weigle, retiring president of the Federal Council, was chairman of the committee which had studied the implications of the merger and whole- heartedly recommended "the creation of an inclusive co-operative agency to continue and extend these agencies of the churches and to combine all their interests and functions, to be known as North American Council of the Churches of Christ." 2) According to the proposed constitution some of the objectives are as follows: "to manifest the essential oneness of co-operating churches in spirit and purpose; to carryon such work of the churches as they desire to be done in co-operation rather than in separation; to encourage devotional fellowship and mutual counsel concerning the spiritual life and religious activities of the churches; to foster and encourage co-operation between two or more denomina- tions." 3) The Council shall consist of the following four divisions: Church and Community, Christian Education, Home Missions, Foreign Missions. "Each division may establish and maintain direct relations with the denominational Board and Agencies corresponding to its field of operation, including those denominations which are not constituent members of the Council." There are to be interdivisional commissions, which will serve the four divisions in such areas as stewardship, evan- gelism, social and race relations, international justice and good will. We take this to mean, that, for instance, the commission on social and race relations may work out the philosophy and the procedures for the Division in Foreign or in Home Missions. The plan also provides for the establishment of Service Bureaus which will serve as outlets for official expression on all religious and moral, social and political ques- tions within the community, the country, and the world through such media as the radio, the press, and other means of publicity. While not all of the eight agencies involved were ready to vote approval of the plan and to accept the proposed constitution, it seems very likely that the plan will be approved at the next convention in 1945. What are the implications for our Church? According to the proposed plan, the various denominations and their respective boards will deal with the public and the Government through the Council as a recognized unit. Take the field of religious education. The trend toward introducing religious education in the public schools on a broad 2) Report of the Committee, p.8. 3) Report, p. 10 f. Theological Observer 143 interdenominational platform is gaining momentum. Will this movement take on still greater proportions when the present International Council of Religious Education becomes part and parcel of the North American Council of Churches? Will Federal, State, and local school officials deal only with the three recognized church bodies, the North American Council, the Jewish bodies, and the Catholics, in determining the school's participation in religious training, or will we be able to have the Government recognize our Church as a fourth group, or will we have to line up with minorities which are not represented in any of the groups? The trend toward unionism is terrific at present. Such out- standing leaders as E. Stanley Jones advocate a union of all churches similar to our Federal union, i. e., all denominations would be no more than branches of the one Church, "The Church of Christ in America." 4) How will our Board of Foreign Missions deal with our Government and with the governments in which our missions are located, if the Foreign Missions Conference becomes a functionary of the Federal Council? Will the Government recognize our Church and its program and grant our missionaries the necessary passports? Will the use of the radio for religious broadcasts ultimately come entirely under the domination of the successor to the Federal Council? These are some of the problems which agitate the minds of the leaders of our Church. May God help us to find such a solution that we shall be able to continue to do our work without compromising any of our doctrinal principles and without in any way diminishing our zeal in spreading the Gospel in these trying times. F. E. M. Two Councils Organized in Opposition to Federal Council. - Be- cause the modernistic Federal Council has been accepted in wide circles as the official mouthpiece of the Protestant churches, the Fundamen- talists have felt the necessity of an organization which would adequately represent those groups in the Protestant churches which could not sub- scribe to the program of the Federal Council. This led to the organiza- tion of the American Council of Christian Churches by the Rev. Carl McIntire of Collingwood, N. J., in 1941. Prominent among the original sponsoring committee besides Mr. McIntire were Dr. J. O. Buswell of the National Bible Institute; Mr. Ernst Gordon of the Sunday School Times; Dr. Wm. Houghton of the Moody Bible Institute. The purpose of the council is "to enable evangelical Christians to accomplish tasks that can better be done in co-operation than separately, including joint witness to the glorious grace of Christ the Savior and steadfast testimony to precious souls against denials or distortions of the historic Christian faith." A second purpose is to challenge the claim of the Federal Council of Churches that it speaks for all the Protestant churches, par- ticularly in the field of religious broadcasting, and in making contacts with the various Government offices. The American Council points out very correctly that the Federal Council has monopolized the outlets for public expression on the question of Protestant faith and life in the interest of its social gospel and its soul-destroying Modernism. The American Council hopes to unite all Bible-believing Christians in an 4) Christian Century. Dec. 16, 1942, p. 1554 fl. 144 Theological Observer actively "militant pro-Gospel and anti-Modernist" council, which will speak for that part of the Protestant churches which does not support the program of the Federal Council, particularly its social gospel. The doctrinal basis follows: "The full truthfulness, inerrancy, and authority of the Bible, which is the Word of God; the holiness and love of the one sovereign God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; the true deity a!ld sinless humanity of our Lord Jesus Christ, His virgin birth, His atoning death, 'the just for the unjust,' His bodily resurrection, His glorious coming again; salvation by grace through faith alone; the oneness in Christ of those He has redeemed with His own precious blood; and the maintenance in the visible Church of purity of life and doctrine." At the present time six communions numbering approximately 350,000 members constitute the American Council. The Christian Beacon, a weekly published by Mr. McIntire, and literature prepared by the exec- utive secretary, Dr. Griffiths, contain the needed information. The plans of the founders of the American Council to unite all Fundamentalists in one united council were blocked, when another group met in St. Louis April, 1942, and organized the National Associa- tion of Evangelicals for United Action. Whereas the American Council representatives at the St. Louis meeting demanded a clear-cut confession against the Federal Council, the sponsors of the new organization refused to take issue openly with the Federal Council. Men like Mr. McIntire and Dr. Griffiths belong to the group of Presbyterians who with Machen had fought Modernism in the Presbyterian Church and were finally expelled from this body because they had organized the Independent Board of Missions and refused to support financially the official Board which had sent out modernistic missionaries. But there are many Fundamentalists who have retained membership in the historic denom- inations in spite of the Modernism so rampant in these groups. These men could not see their way clear to condemn the Federal Council as long as their denominations retained membership in this body. Like the American Council the Evangelicals for United Action want to break the strangle hold of the Federal Council on all legitimate outlets for statements concerning Protestant thought. Like the American Council their membership is composed of Fundamentalists, many of whom are represented in the organization founded by Dr. W. D. Riley and known as the World's Christian Fundamentals. But the Evangelicals for United Action did not want to enter upon a militant antimodernist program. If we interpret correctly the report published in book form and entitled Evangelical Action,l) the Evangelicals for United Action en- deavored to avoid two clashes, the one with the Federal Council and the other with dissenting groups in their own midst. The fact is, of course, that the Federal Council does not determine the doctrinal position of any of its constituent members. But as long as the control of the Federal Council of Churches is in the hands of out-and-out Modernists, it will in reality be the organ of Modernism. Any organ- ization which presumes to speak for that part of the Protestant Church which is Fundamentalist must of necessity denounce the Federal Council 1) Published by United Action Press. 160 pp. Price $1.00. Theological Observer 145 by name and must openly declare its opposition to the attempt of the Federal Council to foist its social gospel upon the churches and to concern itself primarily with economic and political questions. The strangle hold which the Federal Council has at present on the Protestant churches cannot be broken by silence. (Mr. McIntire's testimony at Cleveland failed to receive recognition.) In the second place, the Evangelicals for United Action belong to those denominations which are now represented in the Federal Council. They are attempting to rally all those within these various denominations who are opposed to the Modernism within their respective groups. The sad spectacle of the Protestant churches is, of course, that the lines of cleavage run not only vertically but also horizontally. Any group or organization which at- tempts to bring together such divergent groups for united action must be planted on a rather broad and latitudinarian principle. In his opening address at the St. Louis meeting the chairman of the temporary committee, Rev. J. E. Wright, said: "We must not allow our fellowship with each other to founder upon the rocks of profitless controversy over issues which are relatively unimportant, except as a matter of our own conviction." He advocated a doctrinal basis along the lines of the broad doctrinal confessions of the Fundamental League, stressing the inspira- tion and infallibility of the Bible, the Trinity, the deity of Christ, the Vicarious Atonement, and the personal return of Christ. And Dr. Stephen Paine of Houghton College, recognizing the difficulty of uniting "Christians of strong convictions" on a common basis and warning against superorthodoxy as Satan's instrument, suggested that the Evan- gelicals for United Action must seek "some least common denominator upon which Bible-believing Christians can unite"; must "avoid questions of sectarian doctrine which are not necessarily involved in the orthodox evangelical stand"; and "must shun the spirit of controversy and oppo- sition to existing organizations, even when we question their orthodoxy."2.) The Association of Evangelicals for United Action was organized not so much to oppose the Federal Council, but to supplement its program. According to Dr. W. D. Ayer the Federal Council "is strong and competent in certain religious fields or religious activities, but does not represent the great body of evangelical Christians in faith and doc- trine .... I would not deny the Federal Council its proper existence, but I feel that it does not represent me in many of its programs and pronouncements." This is the case particularly in the manner in which the Federal Council controls and uses the free radio time for religious broadcasts.B) Nor does the Federal Council represent adequately the churches in its dealings with the Government. Believing that the Gov- ernment is becoming increasingly paternalistic and attempting to direct the activities of all phases of our national life and in this attempt is recognizing only three groups, the Catholic, Jew, and Protestant, it is necessary that the Protestant representation be not made exclusively through the Federal Council. In the Preamble to its temporary constitution we read: "We propose to organize an association which shall give articulation and united voice 2) L. c., pp. 50, 59, 60. 10 3) P.43. 146 Theological Observer to our faith and purposes in Christ Jesus." The constituent members (denominations, organizations, churches, or groups of churches) shall subscribe to the following doctrines: The inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible; the doctrine of the Trinity; the deity of Christ, the Incar- nation, His sinless life, His miracles, His vicarious death, the Resurrection, the personal return in glory; the exceeding sinfulness of human nature and the necessity of regeneration; the resurrection of all, both to life and eternal damnation; the spiritual unity of all believers. The fields of endeavor are to be: evangelism; relations with the Government; national and local use of the radio; public relations; preservation of separation of Church and State; Christian education; freedom for home and foreign missions.4 ) The Constitutional Convention is scheduled for April 27, 1943, to be held at Chicago. F. E. M. Christian Ashrams. - Hulda Fritzemeier in the Christian Advocate (Oct. 1, 1942) reports on several Christian ashrams held this summer at various places in our country. We have had institutes, conferences, conventions, retreats, and now we are having ashrams. Names, of course, mean nothing in themselves, but what matters is whether they stand for things that can be approved or not. Ashrams, too, may be reformed and purified so that despite their outlandish name they stand for something which also Lutherans may hold. But as Hulda Fritze- meier describes the Christian ashrams that she attended, they stand for and express a type of sectarian enthusiasm which Lutherans cannot countenance. She writes: "As it originated in India, the ashram was a forest school where a spiritual preceptor, with his disciples, would go aside in a disciplined search for fellowship with God. When placed in a Christian context, the ashram differs from the conference and retreat in that, instead of trying to find verbal answers, it tries to produce in individuals and in the corporate life a miniature kingdom of God [italics our own]. The idea was introduced in this country six years ago by two missionaries returning from India, Maurice and Esther Ballinger. Since 1940 the ashrams have been sponsored by the Department of Evangelism of the Federal Council of Churches in America with Rev. E. Stanley Jones as the inspiration, teaching the technique. This past summer four American Christian ashrams were held, each lasting two weeks, at Occidental College, Los Angeles, Cal.; Blue Ridge, N. C.; Winnipesaukee, N. H.; and Lake Geneva, Wis. There was a total attendance of 800 persons representing most of the Protestant denominations. Dr. Jones spoke twice daily at each place. His latest book, probably to be titled Abundant Living, although still in manuscript form, was used in the morning meeting. Other speakers, each out- standing in some phase of religious work, composed the leadership group, each emphasizing the theme of the ashram, 'Christ is the Answer.' The motto, 'Unbreakably given to each other and unreservedly given to God,' is achieved in several ways. All titles are forgotten, and mem- bers are referred to as 'Brother George' or 'Sister Anna,' and all must work for an hour each day at some manual labor. The men paint, do carpenter and repair work, or repair the terraces. The women sew, 4) L. C., 101-115. Theological Observer 147 Inend, knit for charitable organizations, or type. Each member is enrolled in one of the seminars which undertake to study particular problems confronting the Christian today. From nine o'clock in the evening until seven-thirty in the morning a period of silence is observed as a time to 'recharge one's spiritual batteries.' Once during the ashram an all- night prayer vigil is held in two-hour watches. There are also many hours of frank sharing of personal problems, with prayers for guidance and help. The whole program of the Christian ashram is planned to help the members catch the habits and spirit of the Kingdom so that they may carry this new light into their everyday living." It is not difficult for a Lutheran to see why the ashram lends itself so easily to the use of liberal Calvinism and why it cannot be adopted in the form current among the Federal Council adherents in our own churches. Calvinism's basic principle that the Holy Spirit reacts upon the soul immediately and not through the divinely appointed means of grace has something in common with the fundamental principle of Hindu pantheism. Both can "recharge their spiritual batteries" (only they are not spiritual, and there is no charging that way) by periods of silence. Both can seek solace and strength in "all-night prayer vigils" (apart from what all Christians believe to be the efficacy of true prayer). They resemble each other also in their views of the "kingdom," which to both means nothing more than "brotherly living" or, more simply, "kind deeds" and "good works." Lutheranism with its emphasis on the spiritual nature of Christ's kingdom and on the objectivity of the appointed means of grace, the Word and the Sacraments, as the only media salutis by which to "recharge our spiritual batteries," would place into the center of the "ashram" the study of the Word of God as the only means of spiritual blessings and the only justifiable purpose of such conventions. But in that case the convention would not be an ashram! Both the pagan and the Federal Council ashrams are outbursts of antiscriptural enthusiasm. J. T.M. Parallels to Bible Precepts in the Religious and Moral Literature of the East. - Under this heading Dr. H. Hamann in the Australasian Theological Review (January to June, 1942; pp.12 if.) presents an in- teresting study of some of the "maxims of righteousness" taken from the sacred books of the ancient Hindus (e. g., the Bhagavad-Gita), which in some respects are similar to the moral precepts of the Holy Bible. A Buddhist beatitude, for example, reads: "To abhor and cease from sin, abstinence from strong drink, not to be weary in well-doing: these are the greatest blessing." (Cf. Gal. 6: 9.) Hinduistic literature, more- over, knows of a "golden rule," teaching: "Do naught to others which if done to thee would cause thee pain; this is the sum of duty." Or: "A man obtains a proper rule of action by looking on his neighbor as himself." (Cf. Matt. 22: 39.) Nevertheless, as Dr. Hamann writes in his concluding paragraph, "the unique moral grandeur of the Christian reli- gion remains for all that." He says: "One thought leaps to the mind of all Christian readers who peruse these and other examples of Eastern morality and reflect on their occasional marked similarity to some Scripture precepts. How far from understanding Christian truth are all 148 Theological Observer they who find the essence of Christianity in the Golden Rule and the teachings of the Sermon on the Mount! If that were really the gist of Christ's message, we could not even call Him the unique moral teacher; for in that case He merely said a little better, somewhat more com- pletely, a little more fully, what others said before and after Him. Then our blessed Savior is degraded to the position of a Buddhist sage or a moralizing Hindu philosopher; the Gospel is but an earlier Gita, and the Gita, the Gospel in Eastern dress. Another thought that will be suggested to all who have followed this little inquiry is that Christian preachers should beware of saying, whether in the pulpit or elsewhere, that specific maxims and rules of Christian morality are absolutely unique in the sense that they are found nowhere else. The unique moral grandeur of the Christian religion remains for all that. For the morality of the Bhagavad-Gita is not that of Hinduism generally, and the lofty precepts of early Buddhism do not represent ordinary Buddhist morality. The moral teachings of the Bible, however, are uniformly of the same high excellence and perfection, just because they are the moral law, the Law of God; they are, moreover, the holy and im- mutable will of God with respect to all men, and are therefore not intended for the select few, for the choice spirits who rise above the common level of humanity, but are meant for all and are binding upon all. Finally, a study of the best that pagan moralists could pro- pound serves to give added emphasis to the quickening, vivifying, re- generating power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is one thing to discover noble moral maxims, to frame beautiful rules of behavior; it is quite another thing to put them into practice. The most earnest sages could not follow their own counsels of perfection; and their teachings could not save Roman, Greek, Indian civilization from cor- ruption. Neither, for that matter, can a mere repetition of moral precepts from the Bible save our Western civilization from decay. In whatever form the moral law - the divine Law - may be enjoined upon sinful man, he is simply incapable of true conformity to the Law and hence of true morality. Only the Gospel of Christ gives effect to the Law in all hearts that receive the message of salvation through sincere faith in the Savior. This is the special glory of the Gospel of Christ as far as the Law of God is concerned: Lex praescribit, evangdium inscribit." The article is directed especially against the statement made occasionally also in Lutheran pulpits that "the excellence and the essen- tial truth of the Christian religion can be demonstrated by its superior moral teachings." This argument, Professor Hamann admits, is of some value in apologetics; but those who think that pagan religion cannot produce any beautiful epitomes of personal morality or any noble precepts at all are treading on dangerous ground. The real difference between the teachings of Christianity and those of pagan cults lies in the points which are so strikingly summed up in the closing paragraph we quoted. J. T. M. R"~w n~s Compulsory Chapel Attendance Work? - A correspond- ence in the Christian Century from Canada states, "Sons and daughters of the Church now in military camps and training centers report, while on leave at their own home places of worship, that enforced church Theological Observer 149 attendance is viewed with disgust among the trainees. At the same time, despite the high quality of the chaplains, only from one to two per cent of military youth attends worship when attendance is volun- tary." The difference between the broad way and the narrow way cannot be removed by force. One cannot make people Christians by compulsion. A. The Statement of the Roman Bishops. - In the Christian Century of December 2, 1942, a notable editorial appeared with the title "The Catholic Manifesto." This manifesto had the caption "Victory and Peace." It was issued by the Catholic bishops in November and was given a great deal of publicity. Its chief features were the declaration that the war which our country is waging now is a religious war, and some social and economic observations, such as a note of concern in view of "the unprecedented number of women in industry." The Christian Century admits that there is much in this manifesto which deserves approval and commendation, but it adds, "There can be no doubt that the Catholic Church is steadily gaining prestige in the po- litical sphere of American life. Its strategy is shrewdly conceived and ably administered. The press, the radio, the movies, all play into its hand. Its grip on the educational process is becoming steadily stronger. Its relations with the Government - national, State, and local- are more comfortable and rewarding than at any time in our national history. The pseudo-ambassadorship of Myron Taylor to the Vatican has borne its desired fruit in the increase of Catholic prestige, even if nothing else has come of· it. The Church has good reason to feel that it is well on the way toward a relation with the Government in which it will be entitled to make political demands in its own interest. This latest manifesto of the American hierarchy is a part of this strategy of accord. To read it without keeping this strategy in mind is to read it naively." Comparing this position of the American bishops with attitudes as- sumed by Roman Catholic leaders elsewhere and at other times, the editorial says, "There is nothing new in this, for the Catholic Church has generally yielded its 'catholicity' to the claims of nationalism in countries which were at war with one another. But there is at the top of the hierarchy an authority which symbolizes the whole Church which is slow to take sides in an international war, which deplores a war and works for peace, and which waits until its own ecclesiastical interests are clearly known to be involved on one side or the other before it surrenders its catholic position. This is where the Papacy stands in this war. It vacillates between its hatred of Communism on one side and its failure to come to satisfactory terms with Hitler on the other. Moreover, it is not sure which side will win! So long as this uncertainty and apprehension exist concerning the side upon which its own ultimate interest lies, the Papacy maintains its neutrality and exhorts the faithful to pray for peace. Thus the Catholic Church is able to maintain the fiction of catholicity or ecumenicity while its national branches are allowed to fight on both sides of the conflict. What would not the United Nations give for a statement from the Vatican like that of the American prelates! How can these prelates make such a decisive decla- 150 Theological Observer ration as 'this conflict of principles makes compromise impossible,' while the Holy Father himself is vacillating and will continue to vacillate until he is satisfied which side is going to win?" That the bishops' statement was not an unselfish effort to aid the cause of true patriotism is likewise brought out in this editorial. "The bishops and archbishops could not refrain from revealing their strategic motivation even in the text of their manifesto. The document reaches its climax in an implied but unconcealed reference to Protestant mission work in Latin America. On this subject the resentment of the hierarchy has been gaining in frankness of expression in recent years .... In the prelates' manifesto it is brought to focus in a fashion which clearly bids for Government favor in return for the hierarchy's support of the war. This appears in a subtle but unmistakable attempt to link the Catholic pretension to a monopoly of religion in Latin America with a 'good neighbor' policy of the American Government, which seeks to create a solidarity of all the democracies in this hemisphere .... The bishops are quite frank about it. They are conscious of having already secured such a privileged position at the center of America's political life- a position which they now hope to make more secure by imperceptibly blessing the nation's war (despite the Vatican's neutrality) -that they boldly suggest action by the national Government to restrain Protestant activity in Latin America, because it is 'disturbing international rela- tions.' The strategy of their profession of patriotism comes unmistakably to the surface at this point. It is the strategy of quid pro quo, which reflects the policy of the hierarchy in every land where the Catholic Church is not established but is seeking establishment. The hierarchy has put the Church behind the Government in fighting the war; now let the Government make payment by putting pressure on Protestant missions to withdraw from South America, leaving that continent as an exclusive Catholic preserve. The bishops do not say this in so many words, but that is what they mean, and no careful reader of their manifesto can mistake it." In the light of history, who will say that the Christian Century editor is going too far in his interpretation of the designs of the Roman Catholic hierarchy? A. The Federal Council and Rome's Claim to Exclusive Rights in South America. - The recent bold claim of the Roman hierarchy to all priority rights in South America and its complaint of "intrusion" by American Protestant missionaries as "a disturbing factor in our inter- national relations" and "offensive to the dignity of our Southern brothers, their culture, and their religion" induced the Federal Council at its meeting in Cleveland to make a reply. However, instead of pointing to the spiritual neglect of the millions in South America by the Roman clergy and to the hopeless superstition which the Roman religionists have encouraged among their members, the Federal Council passed the following resolution: "It is with deep concern . . . that we have wit- nessed an effort now publicly endorsed in the U. S. by the archbishops and bishops of a sister Christian communion, which constitutes a re- ligious minority in this country, to set the relation of Protestant Chris- tianity to Hispanic America in a perspective which ~oes violence both I Theological Observer 151 to hi: "ical truth and contemporary fact. We deplore the pretension of the Roman Catholic hierarchy to circumscribe the religious freedom of Protest~t Christians in the proclamation of their faith, while by implication reserving for themselves the right to the universal proclama- tion of their own." The resolution includes the following affirmations: The Federal Council will insist on the principle of religious liberty and the rights of religious minorities throughout the world; the churches will continue to avail themselves of the constitutional freedom which the republics of Hispanic America grant to the representatives of every faith; the Protestant institutions have been regarded favorably by the governments of South America; and lastly, the Protestant and Roman Catholic Christians should combine their influences in these critical days to work for religious freedom and to bear common testimony to the guiding principles of the Christian faith in relation to the postwar world. President Vargas of Brazil was reported by Dr. Howard to have said that he had two sons, one named Luther and the other Calvin, and that this indicated that he would not permit anything to handicap the Protestant missions. F. E. M. E. Stanley Jones on the Fellowship Question. - It is well known that E. Stanley.Jones, prominent among missionaries in India, is an advocate of the union of all Christian churches. How utterly indifferent he is with respect to the teachings that divide the churches becomes apparent from a few sentences which we shall quote from an article of his in the Christian Century of December 16, 1942. "I am not interested in, in fact, I would oppose, anyone church overtly or covertly trying to absorb the rest. In the first place, that will never happen; so the attempt might as well be given up. And if it did happen, it would lead to impoverishment, for no Church has the whole truth. The truth is in Christ, who is 'the Truth.' What we, as denominations, hold are varying approximations to Christ, who is the Truth beyond us all. We need, therefore, to pool denominational emphases so that the sum total may be a closer approximation to Him who is the Truth." Evi- dently Dr. Jones does not believe that his own denomination (the Methodist) is in possession of the whole truth. We pity the man who sails under a flag to which he cannot give wholehearted allegiance, A. Brief Items. - At a Public Education Association meeting in New York it was definitely stated that juvenile delinquency is on the increase. In a number of instances mothers of children are working on full-time jobs, often not returning till eight or nine o'clock in the evening, and one can easily visualize the disorganized state of their homes. The suggestion has been made that the schools should take charge of children during the time that the mothers are away. In New York one meets the strange situation that bunco and sim- ilar games of chance are forbidden everywhere except in churches. The stipulation has been issued that if such things are carried on by churches, the people in charge have to be non-professionals. It has been discovered that professional promoters operated such affairs on a commission basis. The whole subject is unsavory and not to the credit of Christian churches. 152 Theological Observer The central problem which Japan presents is religious. It grows out of the supposed divinity of the emperor. So long as the head of the State maintains his pretensions to godhood this claim creates a pool of absolute and irresponsible power which militarists will seek to control.-From an editorial in the Christian Century. The distress in China beggars description. Among the gravest con- ditions now being ma.de known are, first, terrible devastation wrought by the Japanese during their recent retreat from the provinces of Kiangsi and Chekiang, during which they systematically looted the towns and burned farm animals and implements; second, floods from the Yellow River, now announced to have killed 3,000 persons in one district and destroyed the homes of 40,000; third, famine in the provinces of Honan and Kwantung, threatening nine million people with starva- tion, with no relief in sight until next spring's harvests." This informa- tion is based on a report of the Church Committee for China Relief. A strange educational situation obtains in Montreal. A correspondent of the Christian Century writes that "Seven thousand Jewish pupils are enrolled in Montreal Protestant schools, and taxes for this purpose are paid by their parents to the Montreal Protestant Board of School Com- missioners." Evidently the Jewish people have to choose between Protestant and Catholic schools. We see here the difficulties existing in countries where Church and State are not kept separate. Last fall the press stated that the oldest Protestant church in St. Louis is the First Presbyterian Church. It was founded with eight members November 15, 1817. The Catholic Church, of course, was the first one to establish itself in this city. It is almost incredible how fast some of our large cities have grown in the last years. A report before us says that according to figures published by the Census Bureau in Washington, Detroit in the last two years has gained 336,000 inhabitants, Los Angeles 313,000, Washington 231,000, and Chicago 149,000. What mission fields! At its meeting in Cleveland last December the Federal Council elected Bishop Henry St. George Tucker, presiding bishop of the Epis- copal Church, as its president. He succeeds Dr. Luther Weigle. Evi- dently there is no doubt about Bishop Tucker's unionistic tendencies; otherwise he would not have been elected. It is worth noting that an Episcopalian prelate was elected to this position after the Episcopal Church has been in the Council not more than two years. According to the religious press a prominent Protestant leader in Mexico belonging to the Northern Presbyterian missionaries, Robert A. Brown, has relinquished his post and retired from the work in the foreign field. His educational endeavors, according to press reports, will long be remembered both because prominent Mexicans received their preparatory training in a school of which he was the principal and because he interested himself definitely and successfully in the rural school problem of Mexico. A.