Full Text for CTM Theological Observer 17-3 (Text)

(ttnurnrbta (Uqrnlngical .itntttl}ly Continning L E'HRE UNO WEHRE MAGAZIN FUER EV.-LUTH. HOMILETIK THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY-THEOLOGICAL MONTHLY Vol. xvn March, 1946 No.3 CONTENTS Page Was Luther Needed? William Dallmann ........................ ..................... 161 The Interpretation of Difficult Bible Passages. W. Arndt ........ _ .. _ 181 Outlines on the Standard Epistle Lessons ......... ..................... ............ 198 Rescued to Serve. An Exegetical Digest. W. F. Beck ... .................. 210 MiJ;ccllanea .......... _ ..................... _ ............... _ ........... _ ......... _ .......................... 215 Theological Observer ............ _ ....................................................................... _ %23 Book Review ... _ .... _ ........................... _ ..... .............................. _ .... _ ................. 235 Ein Predtger muss nicht aHein wei- den, also dass er die Schafe unter- weise. wle sle rechte Christen sollen seln. sondem such daneben den Woel- fen weh1'en, dass sle die Schafe nicht angrel1en und mit falecher Lehre ver- fuehren und Irrtum elnfuehren. Luthe1' Es 1st kein Ding. das die Leute mehr bel der Klrche behaelt denn die gute Predlgt. - Apologle, Arl. 24 J1 the trumpet give an uncertain sound. who shall prepare hiIlUlelf to the battle ? -1 eM. 14:8 Published by the Ev. Luth. Synod of MIssouri, Ohio, ODd Other States CONCORDIA PUBLISIIING BOUSE, St. Louis 18, MOo '1U Df 11.8 • .i. Theological Observer An Important Statement from the A. L. C. Committee on Fellowship. - The Lutheran Standard for December 1, 1945, carries this news item: "Selective fellowship was advocated as 'the most promising immediate means' of promoting the cause of Lutheran unity at a meeting of our Committee on Intersynodical Fellowship, held in Columbus, Ohio, November 8, 9. "Dr. L. Ludwig, a member of the committee, read a paper on the subject of selective fellowship at the meeting. The committee adopted the following statement of policy, which covers both the matter of selective fellowship and the Doctrinal Affirmation that is now before our Church: " 'The Committee on Intersynodical Fellowship of the American Lutheran Church, conscious of the responsibility laid upon it to promote the cause of Lutheran unity in the most effective way, and in response to inquiries as to the policies and specific procedures to be pursued in the attainment of this end, has adopted the fol- lowing principles for its own guidance and to give clarity and direction to this movement among the brethren in the Church: "'1. We believe that, under the providence of God, the Ameri- can Lutheran Church has been given favorable opportunities to promote the cause of Lutheran unity in America, and therefore should put forth energetic efforts to consummate such unity with the United Lutheran Church in America and with the synods of the Synodical Conference. "'2. We believe that the most promising immediate means of working toward this end is the adoption of the principle of selective fellowship, and therefore we advocate the adoption of this principle at the next convention of the Church. "'3. In view of the fact that the Doctrinal Affirmation is offi- cially before the Church for study as a possible instrument for establishing unity with the Missouri Synod, we advocate that this document be given serious study by all our brethren, to determine whether they can approve it, either in toto or as to its doctrinal content. The committee believes that the approval of its doctrinal content will suffice for the establishment of doctrinal unity with the Missouri Synod (cf. the action of the Church in 1938 with reference to the Brief Statement of the Missouri Synod, Minutes, 1938, pp. 11 and 255).' " . What Bibie Vers,ion Should We Adopt? - Under this heading the Lutheran Companion (January 23, 1946), official organ of the Augustana Synod, discusses a problem which the Church is now facing because years ago it adopted for public worship the American Standard Version. The editorial states the problem as follows: "The fact that the Augustana Synod was one of the very few church bodies that adopted the American Standard Version as [223] 224 THEOLOGICAL OBSERVER its official text has resulted in much confusion and considerable difficulty when the attempt has been made to make the liturgy, the worship forms, all devotional literature, and all parish education material of the Church to conform with that rendering of the Scriptures. It has set us apart as different from other Christian groups - even other Lutherans. When it finally became a definite issue as one of the problems that had to be solved in the publica- tion of joint Sunday school literature with other Lutheran groups, it was the Augustana Synod that had to give up its position and agree to the use of the King James Version. But once the children of the Synod begin to memorize the King James Bible, it is easy to see how confused the situation will later become if the Synod insists on retaining the American Standard Version in the re- mainder of its literature." The writer draws some comfort from the fact that "the revision of the American Standard Version of the New Testament has been completed by the group of scholars who have been laboring on this project for fifteen years, and that the first copies of the new translation will be on sale at book stores throughout the country on February 11." Of this revision the writer says: "It is our considered opinion that the new translation may provide the answer. According to advance notices, it has eliminated both the archaic language and the inaccuracies of the King James Bible, while, at the same time, it retains the simple, classic English style of the latter. Moreover, the copyright on the new translation, instead of being held by a private publishing house, as was the case with the American Standard Version, is owned by the International Council of Religious Education, with which some forty Protestant denominations are affiliated. . . . The only flaw in this possible solution lies in the fact that the revision of the Old Testament is not yet completed, and it may be four or more years before the entire Bible in its new translation will be available." The matter discussed is indeed one of great importance, since in the use of Bible translations no Church can go its own way without creating problems difficult of solution. Here perhaps is an "external" which, in particular, the Lutheran Church in our country might study together. The Augustana Synod may not be the only Church looking forward to the new revision, but if that revision is adopted what shall become of the liturgies, worship forms, devotional literature, and the like, which are based on the King James Version? The whole matter certainly deserves careful study. J. T. M. On Conditions in Central Europe. - A person that is well informed on conditions in Central Europe is Professor Otto A. Piper of Princeton Theological Seminary. Recently he sent to interested persons a bulletin in which he submits detailed in- formation on what is going on in the various zones of occupied Germany. An aged woman writes from the territory controlled by the Russians that her bank deposits on which she depended have been blocked and confiscated, with the result that now she THEOLOGICAL OBSERVER 225 is absolutely without means of support. - Charitable organiza- tions are still barred from Germany. "While London has granted to the American Lutheran Relief Work to start immediately with its activities in the British occupied zone of Germany, our Govern- ment refuses to permit the shipping of food, clothing, and medicine that have been collected for this purpose by church agencies and charitable organizations." In the French zone conditions are worse than in that which is controlled by American forces. The British have made "a mar- velous record for themselves in caring for all the needy in their zone, but Britain has no surplus food to offer." "Worst of all are conditions in the Russian zone." "All the butter is confiscated by the Red Army. According to official sources 75 per cent of the population of the province of Branden- burg are living exclusively on bread and potatoes. As a result of the ruthless confiscation and slaughter of cattle, milk is prac- tically unobtainable in most places. For the city of Sterneberg (population 10,000), for instance, 15 milk cows are available. Ac- cording to official estimates of the State Employment Service the loss of physical strength in the working class amounts to 50 per cent, the loss of weight among adults averages 50 pounds. Doc- tors are disturbed about the frequent cases of diphtheria among adult people, which result in paralysis of the limbs. Infantile mortality varies from 55 to 100 per cent, caused mainly by mal- nutrition of the mothers, lack of milk, and lack of fuel in the destroyed houses. A number of counties report that for months no living child was brought into the world. Forced labor, forced migration, without shelter and food, and diseases take a terrible toll, especially among the refugees from the East. As a result of this frightening death rate there are uncounted thousands of or- phaned children, who are not taken care of by anybody. They populate the roads and roam around begging and stealing. The Russians estimate that in their own eastern sector alone these juveniles number no less than 10,000. The population gives to foreign visitors the impression of utter exhaustion and apathy." The bulletin closes with an appeal having the heading, "Be humane! Act now!" It is suggested that the Secretary of State be written with a request that something be done to change con- ditions. Likewise one's Senators should be written to and urged to make the sentiments of Christian citizens known to the President of the United States and to the various departments of the Gov- ernment. Who can deny that here we have definite obligations as citizens and as Christians! A. Will Christian Denominations Become United? - The subject of Christian unity is discussed by the well-known Protestant Episcopal writer, Dr. Bernard Iddings Bell, in the January issue of the Atlantic Monthly, where some of our readers may have seen it. The comments of the Christian Century, submitted in an 15 226 THEOLOGICAL OBSERVER editorial, quite well summarize the contents of the article, and we herewith reprint this editorial. "Although tolerance is growing and co-operation is reaching out in widening circles, Bernard Iddings Bell believes that the possibility of organic church unity is more remote today than it has been in any recent period. In a brilliant article in the January Atlantic Monthly he tells why. He finds the difficulty less in the horizontal differences between denominations, which he rightly sees as having largely lost their relevance, than in a vertical conflict within denominations. This struggle 'makes rela- tively meaningless any amalgamation on the horizontal level.' The vertical conflict 'is not over such minor matters as the verbal errancy or inerrancy of the Bible, science versus religion, forms of worship. It goes to the very bases of faith. The struggle is between historic Christianity and what may be called neo- Christianity.' Dr. Bell defines historic Christianity as a religion of redemption - divine redemption of man through faith from an otherwise inevitable inanity and frustration through sin. Neo- Christianity holds that 'man is by nature potentially good and that he will inevitably get better if only education is made more generally available and social environment improved.' Jesus is a great moral teacher who portrays the good, the true, and the beautiful. Historic Christianity holds that participation in salva- tion is made possible for man by God within His Church - 'the mystical body of believers who are sealed to Him by Baptism, who are fed by grace . . . and are guided and made strong by God in the Holy Spirit.' Neo-Christianity looks on the Church as 'a voluntary association of people who wish to be like Jesus; the Church is not essential to Christianity but is good to belong to, provided one understands its necessary limitations.' While we do not subscribe to everything said by Dr. Bell in his article, we believe he has placed his finger on the central obstacle to Christian reunion. This is the issue which will be debated in scores of church assemblies in coming months. The debate will be greatly clarified if Dr. Bell's article gets the wide and careful study it deserves." So far the Christian Century. We are happy to see that Dr. Bell's views are published far and wide and that people are made aware of the cleavage between the message of the Gospel and the teachings of Modernism. One regrets to notice that while apparently there is discernment of the central place held by the doctrine of the atonement, the position taken is made weak because the inerrancy of the Scriptures is not accepted. Our testimony is needed more than ever. A. A Word of Praise for Pastor von Bodelschwingh. - The Chris- tian Century (Jan. 23,1946) deserves commendation for giving due recognition to Pastor von Bodelschwingh for his anti-Nazi stand. It writes: "It would be a shame if the death of Friedrich von Bodel- schwingh should pass without notice in other than Lutheran circles. THEOLOGICAL OBSERVER 227 For Pastor von Bodelschwingh stood out in the darkness of Hitler's Germany as the embodiment of all that is finest in the Lutheran tradition. He was a tower of strength in the days when all who longed for a revival of Christian culture in Germany were looking for a leadership that would not compromise with Nazi paganism. If he did not gain the world fame that came to such a man as Pastor Niemoeller and one or two of the Catholic bishops in the Third Reich, he probably had a greater influence than any of them in closing the ranks of the churches against any compromise with Nazi ideology. Pastor von Bodelschwingh came to prominence in German Lutheranism as the successor of his father as minister and director of the great church, theological seminary, orphanages, and asylums at Bethel. Thus he represented that warm humani- tarian interest which has always characterized German Lutheranism at its best. In 1933 he was elected the first Evangelical Reichs- bischof, only to be forced out of that office when Hitler insisted on seating his personal candidate, the former army chaplain Ludwig Mueller. (By the way, whatever became of Mueller?) From that time on Dr. von Bodelschwingh led the opposition to penetration of the Protestant ranks by the so-called German Christians, until about six months before the outbreak of the war, when Hitler could stand it no longer and summarily closed von Bodelschwingh's church and the theological seminary at Bethel. The asylums were kept running, however, throughout the war. When Nazi officials gave orders for the gassing of all defective inmates, von Bodel- schwingh defied them, declaring that he would lead an open revolt if anything of the sort were attempted. Not a single inmate of Bethel fell victim to the brutal Nazi theories of race purification. It is to be regretted that, worn by the heroic part which he had played ever since 1933, Pastor von Bodelschwingh did not have strength left for the tasks of leadership which he was so fitted to assume in the German Church's postwar period of rebirth. But he has left a record which shows that German Protestantism con- tains ministers who measure up to the highest stature of courageous servants of God." J. T. M. A Catholic View Concerning Impediments to Christian Unity. - Writing in America (R. C.), Frank H. Sampson, a convert to Romanism, sketches what he thinks are the difficulties in the way of uniting outward Christendom. His subject is "Road Blocks to Christian Unity." In the first place, he asserts concerning Protestants, "It is they, not we, who broke that remarkable unity which for centuries existed in the Western world," to which we here merely reply that it was Rome that excommunicated Luther and forced his adherents to found congregations of their own. The second point which Mr. Sampson makes should receive our special attention. He says, "The reasons put forward by the reformers in justification of their schism are in whole or in part rejected by most present-day Protestants." He presents this analysis: "There were four key points of doctrine at stake in the 228 THEOLOGICAL OBSERVER Reformation, from which all other differences stem. They are: predestination, justification by faith alone, the Bible as the sole rule of faith and practice, interpreted in accordance with the rule of private interpretation, and the teaching that the Church is essen- tially invisible. The first of these was a pet doctrine of Luther, while Calvin made it the key doctrine of his theological system. Yet how many modern Protestants accept the gloomy dogma of unconditional predestination? All, or nearly all, have come to accept the Catholic doctrine of Free Will against which the reformers railed. As to the second point, 'Faith Alone,' many Protestants openly reject this doctrine. Not a few have gone to the opposite extreme of virtually teaching justification by works alone, and those who still profess to adhere to it usually so explain it as to explain it away. If the average Protestant, lay or even cleric, were shown statements on this subject by Catholic authori- ties and did not know the source of these statements, I am quite sure that he would accept them as expressing his own views. As to 'The Bible, and the Bible only,' a considerable minority, among Anglicans and others, have more or less adopted the Catholic doctrine of the authority of the Church; while a much larger number have discarded the idea of authority in matters of religion altogether, be it of Church or Bible. Thus the only key doc- trines of the reformers which still enjoy general acceptance among Protestants are those of the invisible Church and of private inter- pretation, and it is precisely these doctrines which have been responsible for the chronic disunity of Protestantism. The former did away with the necessity for union and took away the sin of schism, while the latter was responsible for splitting Protestantism into literally hundreds of warring sects, and has prevented and will prevent any general reunion." Here there is a jumbling of truth and error which really should be treated in a longer article. Yes, Luther believed in predestina- tion, but for him it was not that gloomy doctrine which one finds in the system' of Calvin, because he did not teach the so-called double predestination, one to life and the other to death. Further- more, it was not this teaching of predestination which brought on the clash between the followers of Rome and their opponents. Among Roman Catholic theologians of the Reformation era there was by no means agreement on this doctrine. It played a role in the controversy between Erasmus and Luther, but otherwise it did not have much bearing on theological developments between 1517 and 1546. Sad to say, it is true that very many Protestants have accepted the doctrine of free will; that is, Arminianism has made frightful inroads in the non-Lutheran world. But Lutheran theologians who are still loyal to their Confessions have not sur- rendered on this point. On the subject of justification by faith, it is true, there is much confusion, but where Protestants have not become modernistic, the old teaching is adhered to. THEOLOGICAL OBSERVER 229 How about the authority in the Church? Rationalism has been undermining the position of Protestantism which holds that the Bible is our sole authority in matters of faith and morals. One says this with deep sorrow. But at the same time there are millions of Protestants who cling to the old position which recognizes the Bible as the supreme authority. Mr. Sampson grants that the teachings of the invisible Church and of the right of private interpretation are still universally held by Protestants. It is wrong to say that it is the fault of these doc- trines that there are so many divisions in Protestantism. A wrong use has been made of these great truths. In the third place, Mr. Sampson stresses that "the Catholic theory of union works in practice." He maintains that Romanism has "both union and unity: union, since all the faithful are united by bonds not merely of courtesy, but of government; unity, since all profess the same faith and use the same essential rites." He illustrates what he means in this fashion: "Non-Catholics may have union or unity, but rarely both. Thus the various Lutheran groups in America have a considerable measure of unity, since all adhere to the Book of Concord, though with sharp differences of opinion on a few points; but they do not have union, since they are split up into a variety of synods and church bodies. On the other hand, Episcopalians have union, since they form one body; but they are far from possessing unity, since one can find all varieties of belief among them, from non-Catholicism to rank Unitarianism." The Roman Catholic system works, Mr. Sampson says. He disclaims being a pragmatist, but since the Catholic theory does succeed, he says, "It is likely it does so because it is the true one." Our view is that the Catholic system does not succeed. There is a semblance of unity, but not the reality of it. The union that is achieved is a merely outward one. As to the actual fruits of the Roman Catholic system, we merely have to point to countries like Mexico and Spain and ask the impartial observer to judge for himself. When the author in his concluding paragraph calls on all of his readers to pray for Christian unity and says, "It is a common human failing to think only in terms of mass movements; not so are the ways of God," we agree with him. But certainly we are not willing to pay the price that Rome demands. A. The New Cardinals. - On Christmas Eve, 1945, Pope Pius XII took a step which received the widest publicity - he created 32 new cardinals. At the time the college of cardinals, which is supposed to have 70 members, numbered no more than 38. Of these the majority, that is, 24, were Italian. It had been the policy to let the majority of cardinals be citizens of Italy. That policy has now been put on the shelf. Of the total number of 70, only 40 per cent are Italians. That the Pope named four churchmen from the United States as cardinals (Archbishops Glennon of St. Louis, Spellman of New York, Mooney of Detroit, and Stritch 230 THEOLOGICAL OBSERVER of Chicago) is an indication that he is aware of the importance which falls to America in the support of the Roman Catholic system. Among the new cardinals for the first time is a man who does not belong to the Caucasian race, Bishop Tien of China. Thus a strong effort is put forth to make the machinery of the hierarchy more efficient. The world is impressed. Whatever spells glamor and power is to its liking and admired. The Bible Christian recalls the words of Jesus "My kingdom is not of this world." A. Episcopalians Strongly Opposing Marriages Performed by Roman Priests. - A recent issue of the Living Church (Protestant Episcopal) says: "The convocation of North Dakota and the bishops and executive council of the Sixth Province have all united to urge that a canon be passed 'which would make it unlawful for any member of this Church to sign a pre-marital agreement binding the signatory to bring up children in any other religious instruction than that of this Church.''' After some discussion of what kind of law should be passed and what kind of penalty should be fixed for transgression and other details, the Living Church continues: "The problem of marriage between church people and Romanists is a thorny one. We believe that the Episcopal Church should adopt vigorous measures to safeguard young people from iniquitous commitments made in the mental fog that so often accompanies approaching marriage. But the measure should be well thought out and effective, not merely doubtful gestures. Perhaps matters are at the point where this Church must simply refuse to recognize the competence of Roman Catholic priests to perform marriages, on the ground that the pre-marital agreements required by Roman canon law are spiritually destructive. Then, any communicant contemplating marriage with a Roman Catholic could be candidly informed that the marriage will not be recog- nized by the Church if it takes place on Roman terms. The Epis- copal Church is fully competent, theologically and canonically, to make such a ground for ecclestiastical nullity. And it will strike at the root of the abuse." This, it seems to us, amounts to fighting violence with violence, fire with fire. To declare that a marriage entered upon on the basis of the promise in question is null and void, is going too far. Sinful circumstances attaching to a certain act do not necessarily make the act itself a wicked and heinous one which has to be undone. But it is a good thing that the Protestant world has become awake to the arrogance of Romanism and refuses to dance after the melody of the Pope. The publication of the pamphlet of Dr. F. E. Mayer, To Sign or Not to Sign, is helping to promote a sound and much-needed trend. A. An Important Statement from Charles Clayton Morrison.- Dr. Morrison, the editor of the Christian Century, when speaking before the Sunday Evening Club of the Centenary Methodist Church in St. Louis on "Religion in the Schools," said, according to the January 9 issue of the Christian Century: "The educational THEOLOGICAL OBSERVER 231 system which purports to reflect the major interests of its society and which excludes the study of religion is falling short of its own theory, and falling short at its most vital point .... If inclusion of religion in the public school curriculum cannot be worked out, I see for Protestantism only one conceivable alternative - a drastic one. I see nothing for the Protestant churches to do but to estab- lish their own schools, somewhat on the model of the Roman Catholic parochial schools, and to withdraw their children from public schools. This would mark the collapse of the great Ameri- can ideal of a liberal democracy, providing its children with the kind of education citizenship in a democracy requires, and would be a terrific price to pay for the blindness of both our educators and our clergy." In the last sentence the renowned editor slips into an error. In general he seems to sense the abyss of destruction into which the American youth is falling. A. Brief Items. - The action of Bishop Manning (Protestant Episcopal) in declaring Elliott Roosevelt ineligible for the office of vestryman in Hyde Park Church for the reason that Mr. Roose- velt has been twice divorced and is now married a third time, has been followed by a bishop in California, who refused to give per- mission for the marriage of Actress Bette Davis (a divorcee) and William Grant Sherry. The Lutheran Companion, from which this notice is taken, properly commends the Episcopal authorities for taking a firm stand in this matter. The Memphis correspondent of the Ch1'istian Century writes: "This column has reported the charge that two Memphis police officers raped a Negro girl, and the amazing delay in indicting the two, When the case came to trial and a jury was being chosen, the attorney general asked each of the 35 veniremen, 'Could you give a Negro justice in a case involving a white man?' not one of the 35 answered in the affirmative, and a special venire of 250 men was called. The case has not yet been tried," That conservative Lutherans are not the only people who protest against unionistic endeavors is evident from a letter in the Christian Century written by a French Methodist, who pro- tests against the slogan voiced by one of the correspondents of the journal mentioned, "Millions for a united Protestantism of England and Europe, but not a penny for denominationalism," The writer says that he knows of churches that "do not believe that loyalty to the doctrine, spirit, and discipline of their de- nomination is bigotry or narrowness of mind," More power to him! The Living Church reports that when the general convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church will be held next fall the present Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr, Fisher, will be present. We are wondering here whether he will be asked to apologize for the statement of the Dean of Canterbury, Dr. Hewlett Johnson, who, when he returned to London after a brief visit here in America, is reported to have said that "America is one hundred years behind the rest of the world in everything except religion, and 232 THEOLOGICAL OBSERVER in religion it is 150 years behind." Perhaps by and by the "Red Dean," the title commonly given Dr. Johnson, will explain his language. On December 5, 1945, Dr. Cosmo Gordon Lang, who was Archbishop of Canterbury before Dr. Temple held that place, died in London, 81 years old. With sorrow one reads that the government of Holland has issued a decree dissolving the marriages contracted between Dutch and Germans during the time of the Nazi regime. That is a strange way of taking revenge. The Roman Catholic archdiocese of Chicago is said to be the richest in the United States and to contain more people than any other. Was that the reason why its archbishop, Samuel A. Stritch, was made a cardinal? The new college of cardinals will comprise 28 Italian and 42 non-Italian members. Representation for Italy rises from 24 to 28; for France from 4 to 7; for the United States from 1 to 5; for Germany and Spain from 1 to 4 each; for Argentina, Canada, and Poland from 1 to 2 each; for Brazil from 0 to 2; Belgium, Austria, Portugal, and Syria retain one each; and Turkish Ar- menia, Australia, Chile, China, Cuba, Peru, England, Hungary, Africa, and the Netherlands, which have been without representa- tion, will each have one member of the new college. - Amer- ica (R. C.) Our daily press tells us that the pronouncement of the Em- peror of Japan in which he rejects the divine status heretofore accorded him will open the door for democracy. Let us hope that, in addition, it will open wide the portals of that country to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Christians in Japan find it interesting that on the list or Japanese war criminals there is not one Christian "in good standing," although there are five so far who have dabbled in the faith and are now considered apostates. - Religious News Service. The public consistory [held for the installation of the new cardinals] will open with requests for the beatification of the Venerable Bernardina Realina, famous Jesuit preacher, who died in 1616; Jeanne Elizabeth Bichier des Ages, co-founder of the French Order of Daughters of the Cross; and Venerable John Britto, Portuguese Jesuit who suffered martyrdom in India during 1693. - Religious News Service. The long-standing dispute between Roman Catholic and leftist groups over the issue of state aid for church schools entered a new phase in France when the Constitutional Committee of the French Constituent Assembly rejected by a 24---15 vote a proposal by the popular republican movement in favor of subsidies. - ReLig- ious News Service. THEOLOGICAL OBSERVER 233 Methodists and Monnons report an enormous increase in at- tendance at Sunday schools. The Methodists state that their enrollment increased by 96,685. The Methodist Church gained 250,000 new members last year, of whom 151,000 were furnished by the Sunday schools. The Mormon Church last year had the highest enrollment in Sunday schools in the history of the body, registering 109,337. - Religious News Service. The Russian Orthodox Church clergy in our country at its recent meeting in Chicago decided not to acknowledge the au- thority of the patriarch of Moscow. The eight bishops and arch- bishops who were requested to bow to the Patriarch in Moscow are willing to recognize the Russian patriarchate as the spiritual head of the Church, but as far as the administration of their con- gregations is concerned, they insist that it must remain with them. Purchase of 500,000 of United States Army surplus stores in EUrope to be used as relief supplies has been authorized in New York by Dr. Robbins W. Barstow, director of the Commission for World Council Service. . .. The transaction involves 20,000 pairs of shoes and 12,000 blankets as well as quantities of clothing, underwear, cooking utensils, medicines, and several jeeps.- Religious News Service. According to figures submitted at a meeting of the Home Missions Council (a body representing 23 denominations) "out of 23,000 Protestant Negro ministers in the United States, 18,000 have not gone beyond the fourth grade in school." Cf. Christian Century for January 23, 1946. The Home Missions Council conducted in- stitutes last year in which several thousand of these colored preachers were given instruction. At Didalia, Ga., a Negro Baptist preacher, James Walter Wil- son, died December 22, 1945, 120 years old. He had been a slave. His ordination as a Baptist minister occurred after he had come to be one hundred years old. Cf. Watchman-Examiner of Jan. 3, 1946. Comparing the 1943 and the 1945 editions of the Yearbook of American Churches, one finds that the Roman Catholic Church in these two years experienced a net gain of 474,454, while Prot- estant denominations of 50,000 or more in the same period chron- icled a net gain of 5,149,443. The Roman Catholics' boast that Protestantism is fighting a losing battle is not corroborated by these figures. Cf. the Protestant Voice of Dec. 7, 1945. When Prof. H. P. Van Dusen recently was inaugurated as president of Union Seminary, representatives of many schools had come, among them the following: Oxford University, founded in the 12th century; University of St. Andrews, Scotland, founded 1411; Swiss universities, founded between 1460 and 1873; Uni- versity of Aberdeen, founded 1500; University of Edinburgh, founded 1583; Harvard University, founded 1636; Yale Univer- sity, founded 1701; University of Pennsylvania, founded 1740; 234 THEOLOGICAL OBSERVER Princeton University, founded 1746; Washington-Lee University, founded 1749; Columbia University, founded 1754; Brown Uni- versity, founded 1764; Rutgers University, founded 1766; Dart- mouth College, founded 1769. We list these schools because the dates of their founding are interesting. According to Religious News Service, in a period of 18 years ending in 1944, the Southern Baptist Convention gained 60.8 per cent.; United Lutheran, 39.2; Missouri Lutheran, 30.4; Roman Catholic, 25.9; Disciples, 21.4; Northern Baptist Convention, 20.6; Protestant Episcopal, 19.8; Methodist, 19; Jewish Congregation, 13.7; Congregational, 8.1; Presbyterian Church U. S. A., 7.7. In this same period the advance in population was 17.9 per cent. The large gain of the Southern Baptists, we ought to add, is said by some people to be due to mergers and to poor keeping of records prior to 1926. "There is one Lutheran Church in Europe which may never again be restored. For almost thirty years no accurate statistics have been obtainable, but until the outbreak of World War I there were more Lutherans in Russia than there are at present on the entire continent of North America. What happened to these mil- lions? How many survive? And what is the outlook for possible restoration of that faithful company?" - The Lutheran of Dec. 19, 1945. In the present drift towards a government-controlled life in America, we may well take to heart the words of some of our Presbyterian forefathers. In 1776 the Presbytery of Hanover, in Virginia, antedated Jefferson in speaking out for complete re- ligious freedom. In so doing it framed a remarkably clear state- ment of the ideal relationship of Church and State as follows: "We would also humbly represent that the only proper base of civil government are the happiness and protection of men in the present state of existence: the security of the life, liberty, and property of the citizen, to restrain the vicious and encourage the virtuous by wholesome laws, equally extending to every in- dividual, but that the duty we owe to our Creator and the manner of discharging it, can only be directed by reason and conviction and is nowhere cognizable but at the tribunal of the universal Judge." At the time when this was written, 9 of the 13 colonies had state-established churches. - The Presbyterian. "Personally I am always grateful when Dr. Samuel G. Craig, a former editor of The Presbyterian, issues a new number of Christianity Today. The November issue gives a definitive an- swer to The Christian Answer, recently published by a group of prominent Modernists of several denominations, including our own. A book that rationalizes away the direct supernatural ele- ment of the Christian faith and the vicarious nature of Christ's death has no right to claim to represent evangelical Christianity." Dr. D. D. Burrell in The Presbyterian. A.