Full Text for CTM Theological Observer 21-12 (Text)

• J f'+.). (l1;~. . 11. _ L~ ., • -.. Concou()io Theological Monthly DECEMBER • 1950 ARCHIVE THEOLOGICAL OBSERVER DR. SCHUH NAMED PRESIDENT OF AMERICAN LUTHERAN CHURCH The Lutheran Standard (October 21) reports the following regard­ing Dr. Henry F. Schuh, who was elected president of the American Lutheran Church in the opening session of its convention held in Columbus, Ohio, October 5 to 12: Dr. Schuh's election came on the third ballot, when he received 91 votes as compared with 48 votes for Dr. S. C. Michelfelder and 21 votes for Dr. Emmanuel Poppen .... Dr. Schuh was born in Tacoma, Washington, on May 30, 1890. He is the son of the late Dr. 1. H. Schuh and his wife, Mary Loy Schuh. Henry Schuh received both the A. B. and B. Sc. degrees from Capital University. He received the A. M. degree from Toledo (Ohio) University. Pastor Schuh was ordain,ed on July 4, 1915. Sixteen years of his service to the church has been spent in congregations and nineteen years as director of stewardship and finance. He was pastor of Peace Lutheran Church, Ashland, Ohio, 1915-16, and a pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Toledo, Ohio, 1916-31. In February, 1931, he became director of stewards hi p and finance in the ALe. Dr. Schuh is active in the United Stewardship Council and has served as president of the organization. He served one term as a councillor of the ALC to the National Lutheran Council. In con­junction with Dr. R. E. Tulloss, of Springfield, Ohio, Dr. Schuh worked on the revision of the constitution of the National Lutheran Council. At present he is a member of the Commission of Public Relations of the NLe. According to the rules of the Church, Dr. Schuh will take office on January 1, 1951. The term of office is six years. Dr. Schuh succeeds Dr. Emmanuel Poppen, who has served as presi. dent of the American Lutheran Church since 1931. May the Lord of the Church grant Dr. Schuh a large measure of His Spirit, so that his first concern in the discharge of his many duties will at all times be "that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ" (1 Pet.4: 11). P. M. B. DES MOINES AND COLUMBUS While the weekly and biweekly church papers have reported the chief happenings at the conventions of the U. 1. C. A. and the A. 1. c., the readers of CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL MONTHLY will expect to 938 THEOLOGICAL OBSERVER 939 find in these columns a brief account of those events that have theo­logical implications. Pastors and theologians in general will be interested to know that the U. 1. C. A. at Des Moines (October, 1950) gave final approval to the liturgy which had been compiled by a com­mission representing six church bodies of the National Lutheran Council; the chairman of the commission is Dr. Luther D. Reed of Mount Airy Seminary. The new liturgy contains the so-called Eucha­ristic Prayer (a prayer of thanksgiving inserted in the Communion service). In the form in which the prayer was submitted in 1948' it aroused a great deal of criticism. The objectionable features, we' are assured, have been removed. An alternative form is included which omits this prayer. The hymnal and the new service book will not be ready till 1954, if then. What fills conservative readers of the convention news with real. concern is that the U. 1. C. A. voted to join the National Council of Christian Churches in the United States of America, formed in Novem­ber of the current year. It is to be a joint agency replacing the Federal Council of Churches, the Foreign Missions Council, and several other auxiliary branches of joint church work. In the past the U. 1. C. A. belonged to the Federal Council of Churches, but held in it merely a consultative membership. The opposition to the joining of hands with church bodies of the Reformed persuasion in whose ranks are found outspoken radicals was so definite and strong that full member­ship in the Federal Council of Churches was not accepted. Now, it seems, the inhibitions of the past have been discarded, and full mem­bership and responsibility are assumed in the new comprehensive agency. It is true that the National Council of Christian Churches in the United States of America is not a "church," and it would be wrong to say that the U. 1. C. A. is merging or forming a federation with Reformed bodies. But the dangers which lurk in such member­ship are only too patent, and the question of loyalty to our Lord and His teachings definitely arises. As this observer sees it, the U. 1. C. A. through this action is drawing farther away from the conservative Lutheran bodies and widening the gulf now existing. It must, however, also be stated that, owing to the representations of the U. 1. C. A., stip­ulations were included in the Constitution of the new Council which are to aid in safeguarding the autonomy and confessional position of the associating bodies. The Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Danish Lutheran Church have likewise decided to join the new Council. For members of The Lutheran Church -Missouri Synod the most important news coming from the A. 1. C. meeting in Columbus (like-940 THEOLOGICAL OBSERVER wise in October, 1950) is that the Common Confession, drawn up jointly by committees of the A.l. C. and The Lutheran Church­Missouri Synod, was approved. Concerning fellowship questions in general the floor committee suggested that these three principles be kept in mind (and the convention, as its vote showed, agreed). "1. We recognize it as the Lord's will that there be unity in His Church, and that our responsibility begins with those who are of the Lutheran household of faith (One is your Master, even Christ: and all ye are brethren. Matt. 23: 8). Therefore we are committed to the ultimate unity of all Lutherans in America and pledge our whole­hearted support to efforts in that direction. "2. We recognize that this involves more than external organiza­tional relationships, but requires an inner unity of faith, practice, and spirit. Therefore Lutherans may rightly expect of one another re­assurance of their fidelity to the Word of God and the Confessions of their Church. This may call for more than a re-affirmation of con­fessional statements of the past and may also necessitate formulating our Church's teaching in the light of current developments and needs. (Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear. 1 Pet. 3: 15. ) "3. We recognize it as our foremost duty to seek the glory of God, the unity of His Church, and the extension of His kingdom. There­fore, in our evaluation of all proposals for Lutheran unification, the attainment of these objectives must remain our primary consideration." These are excellent principles, reminding one, in the objective having to do with the uniting of all Lutherans in America, of the Constitution of the Synodical Conference as drawn up in 1872. Based on these guiding principles, the following resolution w~ :submitted and adopted: "We call upon all our pastors, congregations, .and officers to examine themselves in the light of God's Word with regard to their faith and life, so that we may be led to repent of .our sins, in order that all hindrances may be removed and that each may make a positive contribution to the attainment of the Lord's will with respect to the unity of His Church." The resolution in which the convention approved the Common Confession reads: "We adopt -the Common Confession as submitted by our Committee on Fellow­;ship and the Committee on Doctrinal Unity of The Lutheran Church­Missouri Synod as a correct and concise statement of our faith in the .doctrines herein confessed. We rejoice that agreement has been attained therein regarding doctrines that have been in controversy between our Church and The Lutheran Church -Missouri Synod." THEOLOGICAL OBSERVER 941 Since The Lutheran Church -Missouri Synod had previously approved the Common Confession, unity in doctrine with respect to the areas treated (the areas not treated are not of vital importance for the fel­lowship relations) can now be said to have been reached by the two conventions. The first condition for fellowship, as loyal children of the Reformation see it, unity in doctrine, has been fulfilled.. The Lutheran Church cannot remain true to herself without the study of, and insistence on, Scripture doctrine. Whether fellowship will result will depend on developments. If there is enough sincere praying on both sides, the desired consummation will be achieved. The A. 1. C. voted in favor of the merger with the U. E. 1. C. and the E. 1. c., the former of Danish, the latter of Norwegian antecedents. The U. E. 1. C. and the E. 1. C. have sanctioned this move, and thus it appears this merger will become a reality. The Augustana Synod and the lutheran Free Church will be invited "to participate in negotiations toward organic union." Concerning a closer approach to the U. 1. C. A. it was voted to state that "Any negotiations for organic union must begin with discussion of doctrine and practice." The A. 1. C. declared itself opposed to merging the bodies forming the National Lutheran Council and likewise to changing its character into a federation. Its principle is: First unity, then union. But it resolved to do joint mission work with the other bodies of the National Lutheran Council in South America and among the Negroes of the U. S. Here there is an area of tension between the Synodical Conference and the A. 1. c.: The fellowship question with its many ramifications enters here, which should be discussed in a calm, amicable fashion on the basis of the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions. Perhaps God will grant grace that here, too, finally positions will be arrived at which arc Biblical and express the sincere convictions of both church bodies. W.ARNDT TWO ITEMS FROM THE L. W. F. NEWS BULLETIN The executive committee of the 1. W. F. reports that 41 Lutheran Churches are now members of the Lutheran Word Federation. A num­ber of Lutheran Churches have submitted their application for mem­bership, but action approving such membership is still pending. The following Lutheran Churches have signed the constitution of the Lutheran World Federation: 1. The United Evangelical Lutheran Church in Australia 2. The Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession, Austria 3. Federa ao Sinodal, Brazil 4. Evangelical Lutheran Church in British Guiana 5. Evangelical Augsburg Confession Church in Slovakia 942 THEOLOGICAL OBSERVER 6. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark 7. Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church 8. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland 9. Eglise Evangelique Lutherienne de France 10. Eglise de la Confession d'Augsbourg d'Alsace et de Lorraine 11. Evangelical Lutheran Church of Bavaria, Germany 12. Evangelical Lutheran Church of Braunschweig, Germany 13. Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hamburg, Germany 14. Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hannover, Germany 15. Evangelical Lutheran Church of Luebeck, Germany 16. Evangelical Lutheran Church of Mecklenburg, Germany 17. Evangelical Lutheran Church of Saxony, Germany 18. Evangelical Lutheran Church of Schaumburg-Lippe, Germany 19. Evangelical Lutheran Church of Thuringia, Germany 20. Evangelical Lutheran Church of Wuerttemberg, Germany 21. Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Kingdom of the Netherlands 22. Lutheran Church in Hungary 23. Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church, India 24. Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Central Provinces, India 25. Gossner Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chotanagpur and Assam, India 26. Jeypore Evangelical Lutheran Church, India 27. Tamil Evangelical Lutheran Church, India 28. Lutheran Church of Italy and Trieste 29. Latvian Lutheran Church 30. Lithuanian Lutheran Church 31. The Church of Norway 32. Polski ego Kosciola Ewang. Augsburg W. R. P. 33. The Church of Sweden 34. American Lutheran Church, U. S. A. 35. Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church, U. S. A. 36. Danish Lutheran Church, U. S. A. 37. The Evangelical Lutheran Church, U. S. A. 38. Lutheran Free Church, U. S. A. 39. Suomi Synod, U. S. A. 40. United Evangelical Lutheran Church, U. S. A. 41. United Lutheran Church in America Of special interest is the resolution which instructs the executive committee of the 1. W. F. to prepare and publish the Lutheran World Almanac. The executive committee plans the publication for 1952. The last edition of this publication appeared in 1937. F. E. M. RELIGIOUS LIBERTY IN CATHOLIC SPAIN The Federal Council in its Information Service (October 29, 1949) published a report in which it denied that there is religious liberty THEOLOGICAL OBSERVER 943 in Spain. This report is now confirmed in the Federal Council Bulletin of September, 1950. It says that in response to a plea for religious liberty presented to General Franco by representatives of Spanish Protestants, the head of the Spanish cabinet referred them to a letter of instructions which had been sent to all provincial governors in Feb­ruary, 1948, though it was not made public at that time. The letter of instructions is an authoritative interpretation of religious liberty as conceived by the Spanish government. It makes it clear that the Sixth Article of the Spanish Charter as thus interpreted actually denies any religious liberty worthy of the name, though apparently it assures Protestants in Spain a measure of religious freedom. Article VI declares that no one shall be molested for his religious beliefs or the private practice of worship. Such private practice of worship, however, according to the letter of instructions, may in no case have outward or public manifestation, because then it would be no longer private, in which unique form it would be allowed. Outward manifestations or ceremonies which are permitted are those only of the Catholic Church. "Consequently," the official interpretation concludes, "there is no place for the practice of any act of proselytism or propaganda whatsoever by the non-Catholic religions, whatever methods may be used, as, for instance, the founding of educational institutions, gifts having the appearance of philanthropy, recreational centers, and the like, for this would necessarily involve an outward manifestation, which is not permitted." Thus while the Spanish constitution apparently assures Protestants of religious liberty, there is no freedom of religion for those outside the Roman Catholic Church. The United Lutheran Church at its convention in October protested against Government representa­tion at the Vatican, just as our own Church and many other evangelical denominations have done before. Catholic writers of late have ex­pressed their resentment at this "narrow" view of Protestants, but Catholic intolerance, as it is practiced in countries like Spain and others, justifies the Protestant stand. Recently someone has said: "You cannot do business with Stalin." But neither can anyone do business with the Pope unless he submits to papal authority. J. T. MUELLER ORTHODOXY AND NEO-ORTHODOXY In an incisive editorial titled "No Other Way," which appeared in a recent issue of The Presbyterian Guardian (October 16), the editor articulates a number of essential differences between "the Christian faith in its historic, Biblical, orthodox character and content" and Neo-Orthodoxy. Of the former he writes: 944 THEOLOGICAL OBSERVER The Christian faith in its historic, Biblical character consists of a personal trust in certain realities which are objective to the indi­vidual. Central in such objective realities are the absolute, super­natural God of the Scriptures, the creation of the world, the fact of God's exhaustive providence, of His revelation of Himself in nature and in the infallible Scriptures, the fall and consequent sinfulness of man and the finished work of redemption wrought out according to the purpose of God In the person and work of His eternal Son, Jesus Christ. Neo-Orthodoxy also stresses some sort of objective reality. But it is not a return to the realities of the historic faith. As the writer puts it: The existence of objective realities would be asserted, yes, but their true nature would be all vague. And the historic, temporal realities of traditional faith would be considered merely as the symbols of something beyond. The Bible is not itself revelation, but the record of events in which revelation somehow took place. It merely points to, and does not itself constitute, revelation. The fall of man as recorded in Scripture is not itself historically signifi­cant, but symbolizes something non-historical which happens to every man. The incarnation, resurrection and especially the atoning work of Christ are but symbols of something outside of history. Whether they themselves happened or not is of relatively little import. Perhaps they did. Under this system the Christian faith consists not in the relation of the individual to the historical realities, but to that which these are supposed to symbolize, to something in the last analysis vague, shadowy, unknown and unknowable. Traditional Christian termi­nology can be easily used in such a system, but it is meaningless. Neo-Orthodoxy has frequently been described and defined. But seldom have the fundamental features of this movement in Christian thought been stated with such precision and accuracy as in the above paragraphs. P. M. B. THEOLOGICAL OBSERVER 945 ITEMS FROM "RELIGIOUS NEWS SERVICE" According to the National Lutheran Council the total number of Lutherans in the United States and Canada for 1949 numbered 6,133,627. During the past year The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod gained 60,149 members, or 3.7% over the previous year, while the United Lutheran Church in America increased by 32,747 mem­bers, or 1.7%. The Methodist Publishing House at Nashville, Tenn., reported net sales of $13,533,309.72 for the fiscal year ending May 31. The report also listed the value of the publishing house properties as more than $12,000,000, double the value of ten years ago. Dr. James A. Pike, chaplain at Columbia University, feels that parochial schools may be the "last ditch" solution to the problem of religious training for young people who cannot have religion classes in the public schools. In addressing a conference of Episcopalian lay­men near Hartford, Conn., Dr. Pike said that young people are entering college these days with a "nursery-school rating" in religion but a high school rating in other subjects. The archdiocese of Los Angeles opened twenty-one new Roman Catholic schools this fall; three new high schools and eighteen new grammar schools, raising the total number of schools in the arch­diocese to more than 200. Nearly 70,000 pupils are enrolled in these schools. The Catholic Biblical Association heard the Rev. Joseph O. Donnell of Emmittsburg, Md., stress the study of Scriptures as living matter and their application to modern problems at its recent general meeting in St. Louis. Among the papers read at the meeting were: "The Basic Aspects of Patriarchal Religion"; "The Pauline Privilege"; "The Cajetan Controversy"; "The Forms of Israelite Law"; and "The Spirit of God." At a public meeting the topic "The Sacred Scriptures and the Spiritual Life" was discussed under the leadership of the Most Rev. Joseph E. Ritter, archbishop of St. Louis. The Confraternity of Christian Doctrine has issued a modern authorized Roman Catholic translation of the book of Psalms based directly on the Hebrew of the Masoretic Text. A group of Roman Catholic laymen in Kansas City, Mo., began the publication of a new daily newspaper, the Sun Herald, October 10. The editor, Robert Hoyt, said the paper will not be a "Catholic angle" 60 946 THEOLOGICAL OBSERVER paper, but will presuppose that its audience is in need of news treat­ment that takes into account the existence of God, grace, and morals. The new daily will be issued five mornings a week with a national and a local edition. It has placed its own reporters "strategically" all over the world and will use United Press wire, Religious News Service, Labor Press Association, and the National Catholic Welfare Conference news circuits. The Catholic Church celebrated the centenary of the restoration of the Roman Catholic hierarchy of England and Wales at a special congress in London, September 27-0ctober 1. In September, 1850, Pope Pius IX issued the Brief of Restoration as a Letter Apostolic in which he decreed that "the Hierarchy of Bishops Ordinary, taking their titles from their Sees, should, according to the normal rules of the church, again flourish in the kingdom of England." The Livi1zg Church, an unofficial weekly of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States, published the result of a study on converts from the Roman Catholic Church to the Episcopal Church. The study was made by the Rev. Frank 1. Carruthers of New York and the Rt. Rev. S. Harrington Littell, a retired bishop of Honolulu. Accord­ing to this study, 26,242 adults had left the Roman Catholic Church and become Episcopalians. The motive for this survey is expressed in these words of the authors: "We have felt that the clergy and laity of our church were sometimes disturbed by the commonly asserted claims that the Church of Rome is making great inroads upon not only our membership, but upon the membership of all non-Roman com­munions and denominations. . . . We have no way of ascertaining the number who have left the Episcopal to journey in the opposite direction, but the number reported would seem to indicate that we gained ten for each one lost." The Roman Catholic Church is making some progress in Japan. According to the latest figures, the Roman Catholic population has increased 9.07% over the previous year. The total number of Catholics is 141,638, with 63,170 in Nagasaki, 14,670 in Tokyo, and 13,712 in Fukuoka. After ten years of collaboration by the late Dr. Herman Feldman of Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business Administration and Dr. Roy B. Chamberlain, the chaplain of Dartmouth College, the "Dartmouth" Bible was published by the Houghton-Miffiin Company on Septem­ber 23. This Bible has been designed to afford "a supremely readable Bible for all creeds." THEOLOGICAL OBSERVER 947 The American Bible Society has issued a report statmg that the sale of Scriptures is increasing in all parts of China except the central and northeast regions. According to the report, 578,406 copies of the Scriptures were circulated within a recent six-month period. The Society report also revealed that the China Bible House is preparing to issue the Gospel of Mark in a "Latinxua" transliteration, a method of printing Chinese in Roman characters fostered by the Chinese (Communist) People's Government. The world's Bible societies issued and distributed nearly 20,000,000 copies of the Holy Scriptures including Bibles, Testaments, and por­tions of the Testaments. The United States received 4,727,688 of these copies, China, 2,684,262, Japan, 1,918,478, and Great Britain 1,744,045. 322,988 copies went to countries behind the Iron Curtain. The scholarship committee of the Inter-Church Aid Department of the World Council of Churches has made arrangements to enable 121 theological students from fifteen European countries, Syria, and the United States to study at colleges and seminaries in other countries during the 1950-51 academic year. Fifteen American, British, French, Swedish, and Swiss students will study at German theological semi­naries and universities, nineteen students will go to England, six to France, eight to Scotland, seven to Sweden, twenty-seven to Switzerland, one each to Greece and the Netherlands, thirty-six European students to the United States, and two to Canada. Among the 7,490 Protestant and Roman Catholic theological students in the German Federal Republic (Western), there are 614 women. Finland has shown its gratitude to the people of the United States in an unusual way. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland presented President Truman with a facsimile copy of a first edition of the Bible in the Finnish language, dated 1642. In addition to the Bible the people of Finland gave Mr. Truman a desk for reading the Bible, an easy chair, and a ceramic crucifix. The famous Book of Kels, which contains the Four Gospels in Latin, the Eusebian canons, and a fragment of Hebrew names, will be issued soon by the Ursgraf Verlag, Bern, Switzerland, in an edition of 400 photographic copies. The 678-page manuscript is considered the best existing relic of ancient Irish art. No other manuscript com­pares with this one in the many series of illuminated miniatures which include pictures and symbols of the Evangelists, representations of the Virgin with the Child Jesus, and Jesus' temptation and arrest. The 948 THEOLOGICAL OBSERVER culminating example of Irish art in the manuscript is a full-page monogram, "XRI," in the text of the Gospel of St. Matthew. Some experts claim that in some respects this monogram is the most remark­able example of workmanship the world has ever produced. The 400 copies will be sold to seats of learning throughout the world at $252 each for advance subscriptions and $336 for those who order after the date of publication. The cost of the book has been held to this low figure because only 48 of the great pages and a few of the less famous ones have been reproduced in color to show the original illumination in the book. The rest of the pages are being reproduced in black and white. The American School of Oriental Research at Jerusalem unearthed the site of the New Testament city of Jericho. It lies one mile west of modern Jericho and two miles from the location of the Old Testa­ment city. The ruins of large buildings uncovered near modern Jericho point to a style of architecture used by wealthy patricians of Rome and indicate that they were part of the city which Herod the Great built for his winter capital. Archaeologists are concerned over a new ruling which has been issued by the Israeli Ministry of Religion. The Ministry decreed that ancient tombs containing human remains must be resealed immediately. This ruling, if upheld, will virtually put an end to all major excava­tions, for it is tombs that have produced many of our best archaeo­logical treasures. The Communist government of Czechoslovakia has abolished all Roman Catholic and Protestant seminaries as independent institutions and replaced them by State-controlled theological schools. It has con­centrated Catholic theological training in two State-controlled semi­naries at Prague and Bratislava and will operate two Protestant sem­inaries in Prague. The Vatican fears that the Hungarian government will likewise set up State-controlled seminaries for the training of Catholic and Protestant theological students. The new school year has seen an increased program behind the Iron Curtain in which Communist regimes have intensified their efforts to eliminate religion from school syllabuses. Pre-war textbooks have been destroyed and new, Communist-edited ones substituted in their place. In a radio speech at the beginning of the new school year the Polish minister of education J arosinski called for "materialistic education of children" free from "clerical-reactionary influences." ALEX W. C. GUEBERT