Sparks In Canada
Nearly 500,000 persons attended 125 rallies in the first two months of a national evangelistic mission conducted by the United Church of Canada.
“It is impossible to estimate the number of persons influenced by these missions,” said Dr. W. G. Berry, crusade director, “but reports show that large numbers came forward to make personal decisions for Christ.”
The missions were held in cities across the country. Leading speakers were Dr. Alan Walker of Australia, the Rev. Joseph Blinco of England and the Rev. Leonard Griffiths of Ottawa.
Dr. Berry said the missions are “only a small part of a much larger plan of the United Church to conduct the greatest evangelistic campaign in its history.”
The crusade, he said, will “challenge every area of Canadian life and culture with the Gospel. We propose to offer the Gospel not only to individuals but also to society as a whole and attack sin not only in personal life but also in social life.”
The missions will continue through 1957. Over 300 rallies are planned during the Lenten season. Speakers from overseas will include Dr. Charles Duthie, the Rev. Tom Allan of Scotland, Dr. Donald Soper and the Rev. William Gowland of England.
Giving Goal Soars
The present goal for total Southern Baptist Convention giving in the year 1964 is $728,000,000—including $189,000,000 in missionary and benevolent work.
In 1955 the total was $335,000,000, with $35,000,000 used for missionaries and benevolences.
The following goals have been set by the SBC executive committee:
1957–$364,000,000; 1958–$416,000,000; 1959–$468,000,000; 1960–$520,000,000; 1961–$572,000,000; 1962–$624,000,000; 1963–$676,000, 000.
Along another front, a survey has disclosed some interesting facts about the average Southern Baptist minister in Tennessee. In his survey, Professor Herbert J. Miles of Carson-Newman College, found:
They agree (90 per cent or more) that Southern Baptists should not join the National Council of Churches, should not ordain women to preach, should not take part in the Lord’s Supper outside a Baptist church and should not accept by letter a non-Baptist even though he has been immersed.
They disagree on such issues as capital punishment, integration of races and performing weddings where one party has been divorced.
The average minister is 41 years old, has been preaching 14 years and has held five pastorates.
Representatives of four American Lutheran churches have agreed to proceed at once toward a goal of organic church union.
Delegates, at a meeting in Chicago, voted to form a constitution for a united Church that will include articles of doctrine as well as “practical matters of organization.”
Involved in the merger plan are the United Lutheran Church in America (2,270,000 members), Augustana Lutheran Church (536,000 members), Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (Suomi Synod) (35,000 members), and the American Evangelical Lutheran Church (20,000 members).
“We have among us sufficient ground of agreement in the common confession of our faith, as witnessed by the Lutheran Confessions, to justify further procedure,” delegates announced.
Sales On Sunday
The growing trend of Sunday selling throughout the United States received a slight setback when the New Jersey Supreme Court outlawed the Sunday sale of automobiles in the state by a 6–0 vote.
It was a victory for religious forces in the state. They have been conducting a campaign against the rising tide of business-as-usual on Sunday.
The state legislature last year enacted a law prohibiting the Sunday sale of automobiles. Its validity was attacked by two New Jersey used car dealers.
In June, Superior Court Judge Howard Ewart declared the law unconstitutional. He said it had· not been enacted to promote the general health, safety and welfare, but had as its main purpose the controlling of competition in the sale of new and used cars.
The high court’s opinion, prepared by Chief Justice Arthur T. Vanderbilt, rejected this contention. It maintained that the dealers were not being discriminated against because the ruling applied to all motor vehicle dealers and all were “protected in their businesses.”
Recent surveys prove that theological students are not being adequately trained to grapple with modern church problems, Dr. Colin Williams of Australia said at the 70th annual meeting of the Theological Faculties Union of Chicago.
Dr. Williams, new professor of historical theology at Garrett Biblical Institute, Evanston, Illinois, asserted:
“Too many unapplied content courses and too many ungospelized practical courses leave the student frustrated and floundering when he takes a church. There is a big time lag—20 years or more—between seminary graduation and the time a man gets into a church big enough to count, and by that time he has forgotten his theology.”
Dr. Williams expressed fears that American Protestantism “identifies Christianity with Eisenhower prosperity and fails to bring modern culture under the judgment of the Gospel.”
“Contemporary religion in the United States lacks an awareness of Christ’s Lordship and sovereignty, which involves a break with the world.”
The speaker urged teams of seminary professors to go out for workshop conversations with laymen of the churches in order to bring the needs of the churches and the teaching of the seminaries into better focus.
The second president of a Southern Baptist College to announce his retirement, in recent weeks, is Dr. D. M. Nelson of Mississippi College.
Exact date of the retirement was not announced.
Dr. Harwell G. Davis has reported he will retire as president of Howard College in 1958.
Dr. Nelson has been associated with Mississippi College for 50 years. A graduate there in 1907, he later served as professor of physics before succeeding Dr. J. W. Provine as president in 1932.
The college increased from 360 students to over 2,000 during his span as president.
In announcing his plans, Dr. Nelson said:
“We have thought that with the completion of the library and fine arts building and with three other buildings begun and on the way toward realization, we should transfer the responsibility of the presidency to younger and more capable shoulders.”
The board of trustees appointed a nominations committee to seek a successor.
No Giving Up
Pilot John Keenan, who replaced the martyred Nate Saint, has been flying, in recent weeks, over Auca villages discovered after the death of the five missionaries.
He reports that the famous “George,” the Auca man who visited the martyrs’ camp with his two companions, always appears friendly and that he has in his possession the model airplane last seen floating in the water near the bodies.
It has been noted that Auca houses are adorned with the tin strips used to cover the graves of the missionaries.
College To Close
Shurtleff College, Alton, Illinois, 129-year-old American Baptist College, will suspend operations on June 30, according to a vote by the board of trustees.
One of the mid-west’s oldest educational institutions, the college was founded by a famous Baptist home missionary, John Mason Peck, in 1847.
The college has been unable to finance the additional personnel and equipment necessary for accreditation by the North Central Association of Colleges. Its facilities probably will be taken over by Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois, as a branch school.
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