Full Text for CTM Theological Observer 10-1 (Text)

arnurnr~ta m~tnln!lital Atn1l}ly Continuing LEHRE UNO ~EHRE MAGAZIN PUER Ev.-LuTH. HOMILETIK THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY-THEOLOGICAL MONTHLY Vol. X January, 1939 CONTENTS Foreword. W. Arndt _ __ - _ 0 ___ _ 0 _ _ 0 ___ 0_ 0 0_ Pilgrims of Hope. Victor Bartung ____ 0 .···0· ••• • _. _ No.1 ... e . 1 ._ 10 Dr. Walther's Boolt "That the Ev. Luth. Church Is the True Visible Clturch of God on Earth." Paul Schulz _ 0 _ .0._ 25 Predigtentwuerfe ueber die Thomasius-EvangeIiemeihe __ ___ .. _ 37 Intersynodical Documents _ .. _ 0 • • • __ _ • • 00_ • • _ . 0_ __0 •• ___ . 48 Theological Observer. - KirchIich-Zeitgeschichtliches ._. 62 __0_ 72 Book Review.-Literatur ___ _ . ___ 0_ ·· __ .0_. _ _ _ _ EIn Predfger muss nlcht alleln wei- den, also dass er die Schafe unter- weJse. wie sle rechte Chrfsten sollen seln. sondern such daneben den Woel- fen wehren, dass sfe die Schafe ntcht angreifen und mit falscher Lehre ver- fuehren und Irrtum einfuehren. Luther. Es 1st keJn Ding. das die Leute mehr bet der Kirche behaelt deIIn die gute Predigt. - Apologle, An. 'C. If the trumpet give an uncertain sound who shall prepare himself to the battle? -1 Cor. 14, ,. Published for the Ev. Luth. Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and Other States CONCORDIA PUBLlSIDNG BOUSE, St. Louis, Mo. 62 Theological Observer - ~itd}nd}~3eitgefdjid)tnd)e~ lntel'synodical Ministel"ial Conferences. - In the resolutions of Synod pertaining to the establishment of church-fellowship with the American Lutheran Church there is a paragraph which urges the pastors of our Synod to hold conferences with the pastors of the American Lutheran Church: "Until church-fellowship has been officially established, the pastors of both church-bodies are encouraged to meet in smaller circles wherever, and as often as, possible in order to discuss both the doctrinal basis for union and the questions of church practise." In reply to repeated requests for hints as to what might be dis- cussed at these conferences, which here and there have already been inaugurated, the Editorial Committee of the C. T. M. submits the following suggestions: 1. It might be well to start in the discussion with a study of the Minneapolis Theses of the American Lutheran Church, which are very brief and will make possible a rapid survey of important Christian doctrines. They were printed in the September, 1930, issue of the CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL MONTHLY and are contained in the brochure called Doctrinal Declarations, which can be purchased at Concordia Publishing House for 25· cents. 2. Next the Brief Statement of the Missouri Synod might be studied. It was printed in the May, 1931, issue (German) and the June, 1931, issue (English) of the CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL MONTHLY and is likewise con- tained in the brochure Doctrinal Declarations, just referred to. Coming chiefly from the pen of the sainted Dr. Pieper, who was noted for the clarity of his doctrinal utterances, this document deserves to be studied again and again, and our own pastors, who have studied the document before, will benefit from repeated perusals of it as well as those of the American Lutheran Church. 3. In the third place, the Declaration of the American Lutheran Church Representatives should be studied and the resolutions which the Missouri Synod and the American Lutheran Church passed concern- ing it. The importance of these documents is obvious. And since very properly a great deal of interest is shown in these various declarations, the CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL MONTHLY will soon offer a discussion of cer- tain points in them concerning which questions have been asked. It is hardly necessary to add that all concerned will have to guard against misunderstandings pertaining to some of the points involved. 4. Above all, the matters of Christian practise referred to in the resolutions of the Missouri Synod should be given attention. The re- spective resolution says very correctly: "Resolved, That, since for true unity we need not only this doctrinal agreement but also agreement in practise, we state with our synodical fathers that according to the Scrip- tures and the Lutheran confessional writings Christian practise must harmonize with Christian doctrine and that, where there is a divergence Theological Observer - ~itc9lic9'.3eitgefc9ic9mcges 63 from Biblical, confessional practise, strenuous efforts must be made to correct such deviation. We refer particularly to the antichristian lodge, anti-Scriptural pulpit- and altar-fellowship, and all other forms of unionism." It may be wise if conferences will assign papers on the topics of practise mentioned in this resolution in order to have a basis for dis- cussion. These papers need not be long. What is important is that the principles of the Word of God touching these questions of Christian life be carefully looked at and their application to present conditions be courageously undertaken. 5. In conclusion, it seems self-evident to us that the meetings should not be given a controversial character. While fellowship cannot be estab- lished as yet, there should be cordiality in the treatment one side accords the other. The purpose of these meetings would be to arrive at a deeper understanding of the unity in doctrine which has been pronounced by the resolutions both of the American Lutheran Church and of the Mis- souri Synod. There should be joint contemplation of the great truths of the Holy Scriptures, and in this way the Holy Spirit will create the unity of all the individual members for which we are praying. Here, too, one must remember the importance of the Word. The sweet Gospel of the Savior has to bring us together and keep us united. It is our firm conviction that, if the great essentials of the Word of God are studied and unity has been found to exist with respect to them, questions of practise and differences in non-fundamental teachings will be easily adjusted. THE EDITORIAL COMMITTEE The United Lutheran Church seems to be a stumbling-block in the way of a closer v.nion between the larger Lutheran church-bodies in America. At their meeting at Baltimore, according to newspaper reports, the United Lutheran Church gave no sign of weakening on its stand on the inspiration of the Bible. This church-body does not uphold the verbal inspiration of the Bible and is not willing to declare in unmistakable terms that the Bible does not and cannot err. On the doctrine of the inspiration of the Bible the American Lutheran Church, a church-body distinct from the United Lutheran Church and our Synodical Conference, has come to a tentative agree- ment with the Missouri Synod but not with the United Lutheran Church. The Rev. Dr. Carl Wolf of the American Lutheran Church, at a meeting of the United Lutheran Church held at Baltimore, outlined the difficulties in the way to a closer union with the U. L. C. He stressed the variant views of the inspiration of the Bible, conflicting attitudes towards mem- bers being admitted to secret orders, and different rules on admission to Communion and to the pulpit. In other words, the U. L. C. welcomes lodge-members with open arms and permits preachers from sectarian churches to occupy its pulpits. Dr. Wolf said that his Church, together with the Missouri Synod, hold rigidly to the verbal, or word-for-word, inspiration of the Bible. If these newspaper reports are reliable, Dr. Wolf did a good service to the U. L. C. He bore witness to the truth before a gathering of Lutherans who have departed far from the Lutheran standards. And 64 Theological Observer - Jl:ird)ltd)'3eitgefd)id)tlid)e~ if this testimony was a direct result of the getting together with the Missouri brethren or at least inspired by it, we have reason to be thankful. The truth boldly proclaimed is in the hands of God and will not return void. Is. 55:11. We are not so keen for the general union of all synods, but we always rejoice when the truth of salvation is preached to the people. - Northwestern Lutheran, Nov. 6, 1938. ''Verbal'' Inspiration No "Theory." - Dr. Dell writes in the Journal of the Am. Luth. Conference, September issue, p. 2 ff.: In our March issue a Lutheran writer of the U. L. C. A. was quoted: "The Lutheran Church . . . has never subscribed to a verbal theory of inspiration." In the Lutheran of June 8 the subject "Growing Unity" was discussed on the young people's page. There it was said: "The differences that keep American Lutherans from complete unification are more on the surface than real. All agree that the Scriptures are inspired. But some insist that some certain method of inspiration should be accepted, while others, as in the United Lutheran Church, declare that the fact of inspiration must be accepted while the method may be a matter of opinion." And recently I heard an Augustana Synod pastor say: "1 do not believe in the verbal theory of inspiration." It seems to me that there is need for some clarification of thought and expression here. The second quotation above distinguishes between the fact of inspiration and the method. It says: "All [Lutherans] agree that the Scriptures are inspired." That is the fact of inspiration, to which the Scriptures themselves testify so abundantly. 1 am not going to repeat the passages here; you probably know them as well as I do. As to the method, however, God has revealed nothing. Why should He? It is something which He did, and therefore He had to know how it could be done; but it is not necessary to our salvation and therefore we do not have to know how it was done. What we have to know is that the Scriptures are inspired, and this much we are clearly told. It is not correct when that second quotation goes on to say: "But some insist that some certain method of inspiration should be accepted." That is not true. To insist that some certain method was used would be to prescribe to God how He must do something which He tells us He has already done. No Lutheran would be so presumptuous. Concerning the method none of 'US knows anything, and therefore concerning the method there can be no argument among us at all. No Lutheran body makes any pronouncement as to how inspiration was accomplished. Concerning the fact of inspiration, however, there can be no theory. To say that "others, as in the United Lutheran Church, declare that the fact of in- spiration must be accepted while the method may be a matter of opinion" is to claim a virtue for the U. L. C. A which is not peculiar to that body. We all declare that the fact of inspiration must be accepted, and we all hold that the method must be a matter of opinion since it is not a matter of revelation. If there is so much agreement among us, what is all the argument about? All the argument is about the fact of inspiration, and there is none at aU about the method. The difference among 'US is that, while we all say, "The Scriptures are inspired," we do not all seem to mean Theological Observer - S(itcl)fict)~3eitgefcl)icl)mcf)cs 65 the same thing. For some seem to wish to reserve to themselves the right to reject some of the Scriptures or some portions of some of the Scriptures as uninspired and unreliable. You can see that this denies the fact of inspiration as concerns those rejected portions and has noth- ing to do with method. The point is, What is inspired? That quota- tion from the Lutheran says: "All agree that the Scriptures are in- spired." The Scriptures, which means "the writings." That is verbal inspiration; nothing else. If they are inspired w1·itings, you have verbal inspiration; for writings are words. What Scriptures? The various synodical constitutions say that the bodies accept "the canonical Scrip- tures of the Old and New Testaments." These are the Scriptures which we hold to be inspired. Of course that applies to those writings in their original fcrm. Copyists must have made mistakes; for different copies of the same text will show variant readings. It is the province of textual criticism, to approach the original text as closely as possible. But there is a vast difference between textual criticism and the so- called "higher" criticism, which applies arbitrary and subjective standards to various portions of the Bible and denies the fact of inspiration as far as those portions are concerned. This sinister distinction between the fact of inspiration and "theory" of inspiration is very prorninent in the report of the commissioners of the U. L. C. A. to their synod at its convention at Baltimore in October. For that reason we have submitted Dr. Dell's editorial. According to the Lutheran of October 5 these commissioners had reported to the Columbus convention in 1936 that "the third cause of difference on which agi'eement was not reached had to do vvith the Word of God; that is, with a theory of the inspiration of Holy Scripture. The commissioners of the American Lutheran Church supported what is titled the 'Verbal Theory of Inspiration.''' The l'eport presented to the Baltimore conven- tion quotes "Missouri's definition of 'Verbal Inspiration.' It reads: 'We teach that the verbal inspiration of the Scriptures is taught by dillect statements of the Scriptures: 2 Tim. 3: 16; John 18: 35; Rom. 3: 2; 1 Cor. 2: 13. Since the Holy Scriptures are the Word of God, it goes without saying that they contajn no errors or contradictions but that they are in all their parts and words the infallible truth, also in those parts which treat of historical, geogl'aphical, and other secular matters, John 10: 35.' To that declaration the U. L. C. A. commissioners reply: 'Our com- mission was unable to accept the statement of the Missouri Synod that the Scriptures are the infallible truth "also in those parts which treat of historical, geographical, and other secular matters." We find the words quoted not in accordance with our Lutheran Confessions (see Formula of Concord, Epitome, Introd.) nor with the Scriptures themselves.''' The report of the U. L. C. A. commissioners next points out the differ- ence between the U. L. C. A. and the A. L. C. teaching on inspiration by paralleling these two paragraphs: "American Lutheran Church: Never- theless, by virtue of a unique ope!"ation of the Holy Spirit ... the sepa- rate books of the Bible are related to one another and, taken together, constitute one organic whole, witho'U.t contradiction and en"or, John 10:35. United Lutheran Church: Nevertheless, by virtue of a unique operation 5 66 Theological Observel' - ,~trcf)[hlJ'3eitgefd)icljtlicl)es of the Holy Spirit, . . . the separate books of the Bible are related to one another and, taken together, constitute a complete, pe1·fect, un- bTeakable whole, of which Chj·ist is the CenteT, John 10:35." The italics are in the original. That indicates that the U. L. C. A. commissioners re- fuse to accept the declaration of the A. L. C. commissioners that there are no contmdictions and eTT01'8 'in SCTiptuTe. That means that the "in- spiration" of Scripture which the U. L. C. A. men teach carries with it contradictions and errors, The Luthemn continues: "The U. L, C, A commisioners' own report resumes after the paralleled paragraphs: 'They are rightly called the Word of God. This unique operation of the Holy Spirit upon the writers is named inspiration. We do not venture to define its mode, or manner, but accept it as a fact.''' When these men de- clare that inspiration is a fact, they do not want to be understood as saying that there are no contradictions or errors in Holy Scripture. To say that, would be defining the mode, or manner, of inspiration. It would mean accepting the "theory of verbal inspiration." In the document "The Word of God and the SCTiptm'es," submitted for the convention's approval, the statement is made: "VII. We believe that the whole body of the Scriptures is inspired by God. . .. We do not venture to define the mode, or manner, of this inspiration, since God's ways cf using hunum insh'U!Ilents are past our finding out, But we accept the inspil"ation of the Scriptures as a fact .... " In the light of the preceding pronouncements of the U. L. C. A. commissioners this fine statement "Vie believe that the whole body of the Scriptures is inspired by Gcd," which would be accepted by the Missouri Synod 2nd the American Lutheran Church, means that not every statement of Scripture is insIJi:'ed in such a way th2.t all contradiction or error is precluded, It meC.ns that the distinction between the fact of inspiration and the "theoTY" of inspiration (verbal, plenary, inspiration, absolute infallibility or Scripture, being a mere theory) is a clumsy form of sophistry. It deals with an "inspiration" which is not real inspiration, E. p", New Discussion of the Auburn ACi':;:1:itirm. - In the PTesbyterian of September 15 an editorial introduces an analysis by a layman of the destructive Auburn Affirmation. The layman prefaces his study, which consists of nothing but excerpts made from the respective documents, by a few paragraphs giving the historical background. We quote a few sentences: "In 1923 the General Assembly, in view of the public proclamations of Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick of the First Presbyterian Church of New York City and in obedience to the duty laid upon it by our constitution (FoTm of Government, XII, v), namely, that of 'reproving, warning, or bearing testimony against error in doctrine in any church, presbytery, or synod,' reaffirmed the 'five points' of the Assembly of 1910 and 1916, declaring that these five great foundational truths which Dr, Fosdick had publicly denied were 'essential doctrines of the Word of God and our Standards.' Within a few months there appeared a vigorous protest, signed by 1,293 ministers of our Church, entitled 'An Affirmation.''' The author shows by quotations that the signers of the Affirmation charged the Assembly with having 'con- demned a Christian minister without using the method of conference," Theological Observer - ,IHtd)HdH3eitgefcE)id)tlid)es 67 with designating doctrines as "essential doctrines of the Word of God and our Standards" without having a right to do so; with elevating theories to the rank of doctrines and with attempting to amend the constitution of the Church in an unconstitutional manner." It will be recalled that the "five points" refer to the inspiration of the Scriptures, the virgin birth of Christ, the atonement, the miracles of Jesus, and His bodily resurrection. The layman employs with good effect the method of placing in parallel columns the respective statements of the Auburn Affirmation, supplemented by Dr. Fosdick's utterances, the West- minster Confession (called the Confession of Faith), and the Holy Scriptures. A part of the editorial mentioned above should be quoted here: "The Auburn Affirmation was an unofficial pronouncement. It never reached the General Assembly. It was a protest, a rebuke to the General Assembly, for its declaratory deliverances of 1910, 1916, and 1923. Because of the large number of signers, the wide publicity it received, and, most of all, because of the intrinsic character of its doc- trine, it constitutes an attempt to alter the clear reading of Scripture and our Standards by a fiat assertion on the part of an unauthorized and rebellious minority in the Church. Time has removed from the roll of the Church's min;stry a surprisingly large proportion of the signers. Possibly some who signed. and are still in our ministry would not sign it again today. We heard that said. We have no personal animosity against the signers. We deplore the doctrine they exalted. They charged that the Assembly was attempting to create new tests without due process of the Law. If that were true, their technical point was well taken; but it was not true. The General Assembly in 1910, 1916, and 1923 simply stated the well-attested position of the Church on the basis of Scripture and our Standards. The Assembly said: 'Here is the way; walk ye in it.' The Affirmationists said: 'The way is too strait; we protest, we refuse; we assert that there is an equally good way with more latitude for the skeptic, and we propose willy-nilly to walk in that way.' The Presbyterian stood against the Affirmation from its appearance. It testifies against it today. The Church can never prosper on a Creed of Incredulity. We believe this has been demonstrated. The Affirmationist proposal to ignore doctrinal matters, to blur the lines of revealed truth, and to take it easy in the matter of Church teaching has neither blessed the Church nor helped the world nor honored the Lord. Today in this hostile world the Church is winning God's blessing and stirring human hearts where it is standing firm. There is no consistency in glorifying Continental Christians who have to flee their land or go to prison and glorifying American Christians who are willing to sell out precious truths for nothing more than the approbation of unbelievers." A. Ina(\equate - - The unionists are ever busy constructing doctrinal platforms sufficiently elastic to cover the greatest possible number of conflicting beliefs. The trouble with these elastic platforms is that they soon break down. For one thing, those who are honest in their beliefs refuse to stand on them. The men of the World Council who met at Utrecht made their platform as broad as possible. 68 Theological Observer - ~itcf)I1c(),,scitgeir()ici)md)es They defined the World Council as "a fellowship of churches which accept our Lord Jesus Christ as God and Savior." Would anyone refuse to come in on this fine doctrinal declaration? There are two classes of men who refuse to accept it as the doctrinal base for fellowship. First, there are the liberal churches. They are too honest to subscribe to the statement that Jesus is true God. Chl'istendom states in the autumn volume of 1938: "Announcement of the theological basis of the proposed World Council of Churches has caused surprise and disappoint- ment among Christians of liberal persuasion. . .. We hold that the writing of any theological doctrine into the structure of the World Council does not comport with the liberty that is in Christ." Th2 Christian Century publishes a number of violent protests against the Utrecht formula of concord. One says: "I am a Congregational minister, eighty- four years old. . .. I confess to a deep disappointment that the more forward-looking sections of present-day Christianity were not propor- tionately so well represented at Utrecht that a less divisive, sharp-edged initiatory slogan might have been agreed upon. I am asking myself, vVhy some such expression as 'which accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior'?" Another: "The Utnccht brmula is nothing more or less than an ancient dogma forged anew on the anvil of an antiquated the- ology; it may unite the churches outwRl'dly, but it "will do this at the price of perpetuating hypocrisy, confusion, ard cb;ylicity amOll:" ti"3m." Shailer Mathews, Dean enwTitus of Chicago University Divinity School, writes in The Church ancI the Ch?'istian, p.73: "That the centering of ecclesiastical interest upon sacrificial morality is as yet only partial is to be seen in the Iir Eon of the meTnbeTs in the newly established iN arId Council of ChurcJ to those who accept Jesus as 'God and Savior.' Such reproduction c£ 1 ancient Catholi:::lsm may be advisable as a way of breaking dow:.'l j century-long enmities of Christian groups, but it shuts out from cooperation churches that seek to perform their religious function by making the example and teaching of Jesus their final moral idealism." The Utrecht basis is not broad enough. The second class says it is too broad. The term "Jesus is God" is, unfortunately, too elastic. The liberals in the Christian churches have stretched its meaning sufficiently to cover their denial of the true deity of Christ, very God of very God. The Living Church of Aug. 10, 1938, says: "Cooperation in matters of life and work may be possible with Unitarians, Christian Scientists, Swedenborgians, and others who do not hold the orthodox Christology, or even with Jews and other non- Christians. Christian unity, however, is quite a different thing and is possible only if there is a common basis of agreement as to the natt~Te of God and of His Son Jesus Christ." And we go a step farther than the Living ChliTCh, many steps farther. The acceptance of the doctrine of the true deity of Jesus is not a sufficient basis for church-fellowship. There are a number of other Christological questions wp..ich are funda- mental. There can be no union, for instance, between those who accept, and those who reject, the communicatio majestatis. And many other questions call for settlement, the doctrine of the Sacraments, etc., etc. So we cannot come in under the Utrecht agreement. Neither can the Unitarians. The dishonest Liberals in the Christian churches may Theological Observer - Sl'ircf)ficL),,(Jeitgefd)io)tlid)es 69 come in. But how long will the union between the dishonest Liberals and the honest Presbyterians and honest Lutherans last? If the Lu- therans who enter the WorId Council remain honest, how soon will the clash come? If the union lasts, what has happened? "The Utrecht formula may unite the churches outwardly, but it will do this at the price of perpetuating hypocrisy, confusion, and duplicity among them." So said the liberal correspondent of the ChTistian CentuTY, and we agree with him on this point. Here is the theological basis on which the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians are trying to unite. "The two churches, one in the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ, the incarnate Word of God, recognizing the Holy Scripture as the supreme rule of faith, accepting the two Sacra- ments ordained by Christ, and believing that the visible unity of Christian churches is the will of God, hereby formally declare their purpose to achieve organic unity between the respective churches." This resolution was adopted by the General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in October, 1937, and the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in U. S. A. in June, 1938. These two churches can never unite- form a real union - on such a basis. It does not cover enough ground. It does not speak out plainly on controverted points. It is not sufficient to "recognize the Holy Scripture as the supreme rule of faith." In this day and age a formula of concord, if it is to clarify and unify, must have a statement as to whether Holy Scripture is the Word of God, given by verbal inspiration. There are many Presbyterians, and there are some Episcopalians, who believe that Scripture is the Word of God. Others do not believe it. The formula "'Ill e recognize Holy Scripture as the supreme rule of faith" does not unmask the errorists. The most extreme Liberal will subscribe to it. In the Proposed Statement on Reunion, agreed upon in October, 1938, by the Presbyterian and Episcopal Com- mission, on the basis of the Resolution given above, paragraph 1 states: "The conferring churches find themselves agreed in their acceptance of the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as containing the Word of God and furnishing the supreme standard of faith and morals." The commissioners felt that the statement of the Resolution needed to be amplified. But saying that the Scriptures "contain the Word of God" does not help matters. The conservative Presbyterians will not stand on such a platform. And there will be so many Liberals rushing to stand on such a platform that it will break. Then there is that much-debated point of the Episcopal succession. The Resolution is silent on that. But something has to be said. And so the Proposed Statement on Reunion states in paragraph 5: "The conferring churches are agreed that the ministry is the gift of the Lord Jesus Christ to the Church; that in accordance with His purpose it is a ministry not of any section of the Church but of the Church Universal; that He calls to this sacred service whom He wills; and that admission to it is through prayer and the laying on of hands by persons commissioned thereto, in the faith that God will bestow enabling grace on those whom He has called through His Son." That will never do. Is there, or is there not, an episcopal succession? Those who believe there is will never accept this vague, this equivocal declaration. Those who are true Presbyterians will not 70 Theological Observer - ~itdjHdv3eitgefC!)ic!Jmc()cS accept this vague, this equivocal declaration. And if the two churches do unite on this basis, it will not be an honest agreement. The Proposed Concordat that goes with the Proposed Statement provides: "In the case of a minister of the Presbyterian Church, the bishop of the diocese concerned . . . shall lay his hands on his head and say: 'Take thou authority to execute the office of a presbyter in this Church now com- mitted to thee by the imposition of our hands. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.' In the case of a min·- ister of the Protestant Episcopal Church the moderator of the presbytery concerned shall proceed in the same manner and use the same sentence." With reference to this straddling procedure the Living ChUTCh, of Nov. 9, 1938, writes: "The question naturally arises whether or not the use of this sentence, together with the laying on of the bishop's hands, constitutes ordination - conditional, supplementary, or otherwise. It is an important question, on which it is essential that a clear understanding be had if future negotiations are not to be wrecked. One of the Pres- byterians at the conference rightly objected to what he termed 'sur- reptitious ordination.' . .. If we are simply receiving a Presbyterian minister without recrdination, t'~" whole structure of our catholic order is in jeopardy; if on the other hand we are reordaining him, our inten- tion to do so should be clear to him, to the officials of the Presbyterian Church, and to the entire Christian world. Otherwise the act is so ambiguous as to be definitely misleading and certainly lays us open to the charge of 'surreptitious reordination.''' The platform is already crumbling. "We know that only upon a solid foundation of common faith can we realize unity," said the Protestant Episcopal bishop of Chicago, Dr. Stewart, at Utrecht. And a doctrinal declaration which does not speak out on all doctrinal divergences, which does not establish that there is a common faith, cannot serve as the basis for establishing fellowship. True, such a formula of concord will, as matters lie, be a lengthy document. The Formula of Concord could not say what it had to say in a few paragraphs. Doctrinal statements that aim at establishing unity may have to contain forty-eight and more sections. But the cause of union is served only then when all doctrines in dispute are considered and when not a single doctrine of Scripture is treated as a matter of indifference or an open question. E. Erief Items. - In Athens, Archbishop Chrysostomus, the head of the Greek Orthodox Church and reputed to have been the most prominent theologian of his Church, died recently, seventy years old. The church-papers report that the vacancy in the seminary of the American Lutheran Church at Dubuque, Iowa (Wartburg), has been filled by the election of Dr. John C. Mattes of Scranton, Pa., one of the most conservative members of the U. L. C. As we see from the Allgemeine Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirchen- zeitung, Rudolph Thiel, a brilliant writer, whose professional field is not theology but the natural sciences, has produced a new Life of Christ having the title Jesus Christus und die Wissenschaft. He has "discovered" that Mark's gospel shows traces of the use of three sources Theological Observer - ~itd)lic0'2cUgeld)id)mcf;e~ 71 by the author: the account of Peter, the Gospel of the first Church in Jerusalem, and an Urmarkus. Professor Oepke of Leipzig, though him- self a higher critic, presents an annihilating examination of Thiel's theories. When the Episcopal house of bishops met in Memphis a few months ago, the resignations of a dozen bishops were presented. The cause was illness or advancing age. On September 20 there died Dr. Calvin W. Laufer, who has been called "Minister of Music of the Presbyterian Church." He is said to have been the composer and author of 125 hymns. Concerning the situation in India, a writer in Zion's Hemld, Jashivan Rao Chitambar, utters this word of warning: "Let us bear in mind that, unless we bestir ourselves, the followers of other militant faiths will leave no stone unturned in trying to win these depressed classes. In fact, they are already carrying on vigorous campaigns to win them. They are the Sikhs, the Arya Samajists, the new Hindu Missionary Society known as the Shuddhi Movement, the Mohammedans, and the Roman Catholic Church. Our great need therefore is immediate reen- forcement of both missionary and national workers." And our answer is, "Empty treasuries!" In various circles discussions are going on looking to the equalizing of ministerial salaries. One of our exchanges gives this report of action taken by the Toronto Conference of the United Church of Canada: "Considerable feeling was evoked in the Toronto Conference of the United Church of Canada when its committee confronted it with the finding of the Expired Conference declaring that churches which tolerate wide discrepancies of salary for similar ministries hinder the Christianiz- ing of the world. Another committee carried through a proposal for a General Council effort to collect from every congregation an amount proportionate to its own ministerial stipend to lessen the distance sepa- rating that from the stipend of poorly paid ministers and declaring the principle that the support of the ministry is a responsibility of the whole Church, whose authority invests the ministers with ordination." While we cannot accept the latter principle, the endeavor to bring about an improvement of ministerial salaries has our hearty endorsement. The religious press reports that at a recent World Conference of Liberal Churches held at Bentveld, Holland, and attended by representa- tives from twelve countries, those assembled expressed their joy at "the progress made toward the formation of a World Council of Churches." They regretted, however, that in the basis of membership in the World Council as drawn up at Utrecht the wording is such that it fails to in- clude "all who profess and call themselves Christians and who are work- ing for the kingdom of God in the name of Christ." It will be remem- bered that the Utrecht statement simply says that the World Council is to be "a fellowship of churches which accept our Lord Jesus Christ as God and Savior." Unitarians necessarily balk at this. A.