In enthusiastic response to our Book of the Fortnight plan (see Eutychus, Jan. 19), offers of books from authors and publishers are outnumbering subscriptions ten to one. We are happy to review a selection of the latest offerings. Look for our seal of inspection, the coveted FB brand.

KirKit, prepared by the Interchurch Service Consultants, Hybrid, Nebraska. This amazing complete idea file has everything the busy pastor or church worker needs. Sermons, mid-week talks, dinner speeches are furnished in three forms: (1) manuscript, typed on three-ring notebook stock (with penciled annotations for authentic appearance), (2) outline notes, punched to fit loose-leaf Bible, (3) audio tape to be played on our new stereo-pillow system. No other service relieves you of all preparation. KirKit makes a master sermon part of you while you sleep! Also supplied: programs for the church year, menus for church suppers (our stocked freezer plan is extra), gala parties and hilarious ice-breakers, pastor’s salary suggestions for the board of trustees, etc. Sparkling sermon titles do double duty as bulletin board aphorisms. Example: “Whoever lives it up must live it down!”

Mgkykyii Returns, by S. S. Peters-Smith. Mgkykyii, the mysterious witch doctor, appears again on the upper Congo. Can Nkrubezi and Mwawa find Bwana Schultz before jungle drums summon the tribes? If you can’t guess the answer, this book is a must.

Inspirational Recipes, compiled by Manse Kitchens, Inc. Intriguing old-fashioned recipes are concealed in bright, sunshiny meditations. Hours of fun in discovering and testing the hidden formulas. For example: “From the lion’s carcass of slain fears, dip a spoon of sweetness”=take one teaspoon of honey. Printed on indesructible miracle-foil; may be machine-washed or roasted.

Ghost Nations of the Bible, by J. Z. Obermacht. A scholarly study of the fabulous peoples mentioned in the Old Testament. Like the “Rephaim” of the patriarchal narrative (the word means “shades”), these shadowy nations had no historical existence, concludes Dr. Obermacht. This edition is an unabridged reprint of the original translation from the German in 1868. Invaluable for O. T. criticism. (Dr. Obermacht’s demonstration of the non-existence of the Hittites may require slight modification in view of excavation of Hattusas the Hittite capital, and the growth of modern Hittitology. Similarly, the Rephaim seem to be mentioned in administrative texts from Ugarit.) Librarians will welcome this definitive work, long out of print.

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The Tweeter Twins in Dead Man’s Gulch, by J. D. Wrangler. To quote a comment from the sparkling dialogue of the Tweeters, “Ain’t dis neat, Pete?” Peter and Skeeter Tweeter run out of gas in the historic dry gulch when they borrow a parked car to investigate the strange behavior of the ranch foreman. Thrills, chills, no frills, with an outstanding message (in bold-face type). Drawings by a teenager. J. D. Wrangler is a leading juvenile author.


“The Revival of the Christian Year” (Jan. 5 issue) is strongly advocated by F. R. Webber, who lists four advantages in his closing paragraph, which he alleges are gained by following the pericopes. I wonder if all these advantages may not be recaptured by use of the verse-by-verse plan of preaching, which is suggested by Harold John Ockenga (“How to Prepare a Sermon,” Oct. 13 issue). Ulrich Zwingli was a biblical preacher, departing from the traditional selections and pursuing the consecutive Greek text. He doubted that the Bible prescribes fasting during Lent, etc., and so just preached the whole counsel of God.

I am continually thankful for your publication, which is a long-awaited boon to the considerable, yet often unvocal, out-flanked, and disheartened conservatives of the English-speaking world.

The Pearl Presbyterian Church

Jackson, Miss.

I do not so much wonder how I became one of the “slaves to a series of unrelated free texts,” i.e. the Bible in its entirety, as I do how Mr. Webber has fallen back to the observance of times and seasons every bit as binding and contrary to the spiritual worship of the Church as the observances which Paul forbade (Gal. 4:9, 10). There is something radically wrong when nominal Christians will misappropriate the Christian Sabbath and yet be utterly horrified at the thought of not observing Christmas or Easter. It is imperative for the health of Christians, the Church, and the nation that we return to diligent observance of the one day in seven which is commanded to the exclusion of times and seasons which are not commanded.

By the way, surely Missouri Synod Lutheran Webber knows better than to juxtapose these two statements: “Today Episcopalians, Lutherans, and Roman Catholics observe the full Christian Year as they have been doing for centuries,” and “It is almost impossible to hear anything but Christ-centered preaching in churches where the Christian Year is followed.” Doesn’t he observe Reformation Day?

Philadelphia, Pa.

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The minister who follows a Christian year pattern slavishly may know what he is going to preach, but he will never bother to find out what the Holy Ghost would have him to preach. Personally as a minister some of my most precious moments with the Lord in prayer have been those times when “I” did not know what to preach.

Calvary Baptist

Paynesville, Minn.

I am a United Lutheran clergyman and therefore one who follows the church calendar consistently, 52 Sundays out of all 52. However, I think Mr. Webber overlooks the vital fact that an occasional departure from the calendar enhances one’s appreciation of its features far more than the type of legalistic adherence to it that he seems to advocate. Many times I must treat texts or topics immediately relevant to the life of my people, yet not provided for at all by the appointed texts and prayers of the specific Sunday in question.

Dongola Lutheran Parish

Dongola, Ill.

Fine article.… I felt … the impression was left that the principle or chief worship service in a Lutheran parish was only that of a “preaching” service. While the sermon in the Lutheran Church certainly is important … the focus in classical Lutheranism is not only the sermon.… The Lutheran Service, or the Lutheran Mass, finds expression in Word and Sacrament. The Word is never separated from the Sacrament in Lutheran thought.

Saint John’s Lutheran Church

Antioch, Calif.

It is good to note that more and more of Protestantism is recognizing the need for a Christian year.… It wasn’t only the Puritan movement that curtailed the use of the Church year in many churches in America, but also the rise of Pietism.… In the central part of the Atlantic coast in the rise of early Protestantism the movement of Piety curtailed the liturgical movement and the pericope.… The criticism that the … Christian year does not lend itself to the Old Testament isn’t altogether true. Each Sunday has secondary lessons which include one Old Testament lesson.

Brownback’s Evangelical and Reformed

Spring City, Pa.

Very informative and interesting. The article contained ideas and information that were new to me.

Ridgeway, Mo.


As editor of a recent symposium by 40 American scientists (The Evidence of God in an Expanding Universe, 1958, Putnam) I was naturally profoundly interested in Dr. Panay’s remarks on science and evolution (CHRISTIANITY TODAY, Dec. 22 issue). Dr. Panay approves the thought processes of a considerable group of present day scientists and scientist-philosophers. I shall not discuss the larger part of his comments [but] comment on his very last paragraph. On the subject dealt with in that paragraph Dr. Panay and our 40 scientist-writers sound a different note. Here is the final Panay paragraph: “One who believes in scriptural authority should be careful not to construe the text, under pretext of interpretation, as having a meaning not derived from the text with certainty; an interpretation should not be presented as the exclusively possible one, when it is only probable, and other probable interpretations have been or can be advanced as well.”

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That is all Dr. Panay says under the head of scriptural authority. But that “all” is not enough. My objection to the paragraph (and I think I am speaking for all the writers of “The Evidence of God,” including many prominent physicists) has to do with its incompleteness, its tentativeness, its lack of express distinction between exegetically controversial and non-controversial Scripture passages. The great variety of Scripture texts related to Dr. Panay’s subject should be so divided; namely under the heads of controversial and non-controversial, so far as interpretation is concerned. An illustration of the former is the very text Dr. Panay refers to in his comments, Ecclesiastes 3:11. The English translation of that verse is poor, unprecise. Translations of it vary. So do interpretations. An illustration of the latter (non-controversial) is the very first verse of the Bible. There it stands, in serene majesty. No Bible exegete worth his salt has ever tampered with it.

For another illustration of non-controversial texts I refer to Romans 1:20, a non plus ultra among scriptural untouchables. Here the Holy Spirit states, “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they (unbelievers) are without excuse.” No exegetical capers, no philosophical fancies, no scientific ignoramus ignorabimus, can impair or in any way affect the Apostle’s straight-from-the-shoulder words. This Gibraltar rock rises sheer, unperturbed, age after age, from the turbulent waters of the strait, until the blessed amalgam is reached of knowledge “in part” and knowledge illimitable. Many of our science students long, with a really pathetic longing, to have the firmness and massiveness of that rock under their feet.

It may console and really help them to know that even today we have with us many first-rank scientists whose view of scriptural authority is clear, positive, and unqualified.

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Grand Rapids, Mich.


Cogently and concisely you have raised the voice of alarm in your editorial … on Government Intrusion Widens in American Education (Dec. 8 issue). Education is not the province of the federal government. In the division of powers set up by the Constitution the field of education was left to the states and to private institutions and individuals. That allocation of responsibility has been amply justified in these past 170 years. Education is fostered and furthered at the local level. Federal bureaucracy will prove a blight and not a blessing. Federal aid is an illusion since it is merely a return of taxes taken from the states less the staggering cost of bureaucracy. Federal aid decreases state and personal reesponsibility. No sensible American decries the need for national defense, but that program does not need federal funds for education. In this case, national defense is the wooden horse to achieve federal control of education, public and private, and thoughtful Americans should oppose such tactics.


Wheaton College

Wheaton, Ill.


Thank you very much for J. D. Murch’s judicious article, “The Church and Civil Defense” (Dec. 22 issue), an excellent contribution to a relevant but under-discussed issue. I agree with Mr. Murch that, all things considered, there is probably no critical danger to our principle of separation of church and state in an eyes-wide-open cooperation with the OCDM program as currently envisioned.

I suggest that the real, and present, danger is the very rationale which the OCDM has put forth as a basis for the whole program itself. It treads dangerously near … using religion as a means for government ends; it has hints of an idolatrous identification of patriotism and our religious faith; and it eliminates completely from our faith any notion of God’s judgment.…

Chicago, Ill.


I have just finished reading, underlining, and thanking God for … “New Light on the Synoptic Problem” (Nov. 10, 24 issues). I wish every seminary student would think it through before swallowing whole “the assured results of higher criticism.”

Mt. Pleasant Christian Church

Bedford, Ind.

I do not believe that he has solid understanding of Form Criticism. He, for example, seems to judge that Form Criticism is rather exclusively concerned with Mark. He also seems to identify the Markan Hypothesis simply with the idea of the priority of Mark. He is far from taking account adequately of the arguments which have been presented on behalf of the priority of Mark, seeming to say that it is largely a matter of words used, whereas the argument is based upon many other considerations including especially subject matter and order of materials. His contention that the theory is strongly astray in terms of percentages is incorrect since the assertion is not that 90 per cent of the words of Mark are found in Matthew but rather that 90 per cent of the subject matter of Mark is found in Matthew. My impression also is that the appeal to manuscripts of Judges overlooks the fact that we have to do with essentially different situations when, in one case, scribes copy a manuscript or even translate a manuscript and so might use many of the same words and, in the other case, authors are understood as making substantial use of another work. The use of the term “plagiarism” seems to me to be out of place in this situation.

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Westminster Theological Seminary

Philadelphia, Pa.

I found “New Light on the Synoptic Problem” … all the more refreshing since I have arrived at the conclusion that the traditional Christian view, which also Dr. Ludlum favors, is still the most satisfactory.

Concordia Seminary

St. Louis, Mo.

I was greatly pleased with the courage shown by the author.…

Medina, Ohio

• In an early issue, an article by George E. Ladd on “More Light on the Synoptic Problem” will appear.—ED.


Dr. Cording’s article on “Music Worthy of God” (Nov. 24 issue) makes me hope that you will be interested in the Wesley Hymnbook which is shortly to be published. Part of our battle for the recovery of the Wesley heritage in modern Methodism is precisely on the lines which he suggests: for the solid good hymns against the cheap “gospel song” variety. And those of us who have parishes as well as chairs realize that it is a very tough battle indeed. We have to wage it on our own—the Wesley Hymnbook had to be published privately. But we are convinced that Charles Wesley belongs to the whole Church and therefore concerned that this book should reach the church public beyond the confines of Methodism. It contains 154 hymns, mainly Charles Wesley’s, with different tunes for each (music and words interlined) and suggestions of familiar alternatives. The price is one dollar per copy, plus postage, and the first limited edition will be distributed from Drew University with the help of student volunteers. The publication date will be some time towards the end of February, and orders should be placed with Mr. Max Tow, Box 275, Drew University, Madison, N. J.

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The Wesley Society


Madison, N. J.


In 1941, Archbishop Jos. Rummel of New Orleans estimated that “4,000,000 Catholics in the United States are drifting towards religious indifference and that approximately as many lose their faith annually. Against this figure we can boast only of an annual increase through conversions to the Catholic Church of between 60,000 and 70,000 persons.” … The figures for the past 50 years do not show any appreciable change in Roman Catholic percentage of the total U. S. Population; nor do they in Canada.… Your contributor (Lowell, Oct. 27 issue) has overlooked the tremendous leakage from the Roman Catholic church through efforts of evangelical groups mainly, and from disillusionment of tens of thousands of others—mainly migrants from Europe.

Toronto, Ont.

The Catholic Church encourages each family to have a Bible, especially during the annual “Catholic Bible Week.” The Church grants indulgences for reading Holy Scripture for, at least, fifteen minutes each day.

De Mazenod Scholasticate

San Antonio, Tex.

We are living in days when the very foundations of our freedom are being challenged as never before in … America.

Philadelphia, Pa.

An incident is mentioned in connection with … Theodore Roosevelt’s visit to Rome (“Eutychus,” Dec. 8 issue). Dr. Walter Lowrie was the rector of St. Paul’s American (Episcopal) Church from 1908 and not minister of the American Methodist Church.

Crisfield, Md.

The … discussion … prompts me to add … notes written by … very wise men:

“You have no right to attack others upon a matter with regard to which you think yourself to be anassailed”—Abelard; “The man who says to me, ‘Believe as I do, or God will damn you,’ will presently say, ‘Believe as I do, or I shall assassinate you.’ By what right could a being created free, force another to think like himself?”—Voltaire.

It seems that the freedom of expression is for us Americans our greatest right. This is one right which the Roman church demands for itself in the name of democracy but denies to others in the name of the church.

Ames, Iowa

Just before the election here in Indianapolis, a local independent Baptist minister and several others called a meeting at the World War Memorial in this city at which time Joseph Zachello, a former Roman Catholic priest, was the main speaker. At this meeting his tracts were distributed. The Baptist minister subsequently printed a list of all political candidates including their religious affiliations. The local press latched on to it and made a great thing of it, calling the ministers involved bigots.… The Baptist minister, Mr. van Gilder of Devington Baptist Church, realized his mistake of printing this information on his church’s stationery. He apologized to his church board after a great furor. Things settled down somewhat until last week. Warren Frederick Mathis, minister of the Fountain Square Christian Church, and I obtained permission from CHRISTIANITY TODAY to reprint [Dr. Lowell’s] article in our church papers.… The Fountain Square paper came out first and fell into the hands of Mr. Irving Leibowitz, a local columnist for the Indianapolis Times. In his column of Tuesday, December 2, he said, “I am surprised that the Warren Frederick Mathis of the Fountain Square Christian Church has taken it upon himself to revive an anti-Catholic Campaign in his church’s official publication.” The reaction surprised Mr. Leibowitz, who is a Jew. Many letters have been pouring in this week criticizing his statement and commending the article as it was reprinted. Even a local official of the Church Federation called Mr. Mathis to commend him, to encourage him, and to assure him of his personal backing. Many other persons are requesting copies of the article for reading and distribution.

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East 49th Street Christian Church

Indianapolis, Ind.


Thank you for mentioning in “Protestant Panorama” (Nov. 24 issue) the annual meeting of the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches.… So far as I have learned, CHRISTIANITY TODAY is the only religious journal apart from the National Association’s own publication “The Congregationalist” so much as to recognize the existence of the National Association. There seems to be a conspiracy of silence both in the religious press and in the religious columns of the secular press, intended to keep the public ignorant of the fact that not all Congregational Christian Churches are giving up their heritage to get aboard the ecumenical bandwagon.


The Congregationalist

Melrose, Mass.


Nonconformists are by their teaching and doctrine heretical, having neither valid orders nor apostolic authority, yet presuming to do the work of a priest even to attempting to administer the most holy sacrament.… The Holy Roman Church, to give it its proper name, does possess all the “marks” of the true Catholic faith and is a part of The One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. There are three divisions of this—The Holy Church: Roman, Anglican, and Byzantine. There can be no Oecumenical Council until these three branches of the One Holy Church are united. Nonconformism must, by its very nature, always remain outside.… Since [Wesley’s] day Methodism has cut itself off from the Church altogether and has lapsed into a yearly diminishing sect.

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Swallow Rectory

Lincoln, England

Most of us [Anglicans] look to our Oxford Movement as the great spiritual liberation of our church, asserting her divine commission to preach the gospel. To such of us your stand for the gospel doctrines is heartening.

The Vicarage

Caistor, Lincoln, England

As an Anglican priest, in a Catholic-minded diocese, I shunned what I reckoned was an “evangelistic, interdenominational, Protestant” magazine. One day the Holy Spirit led me to give one edition serious study. As a result, I recognize this paper of yours to be of unimpeachable orthodoxy, and showing forth a theology pure and historic of our holy Christian faith. I’ve experienced new vigor in my priestly work, which I knew only study in the Word of God would give and by using the Bible with your guiding articles have set about that study. The Vicarage

Booval, Queensland, Australia

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