Many a U. S. campus became the usual holiday ghost town in the week between Christmas and New Year. But not so the sprawling campus nestled between the twin cities of Champaign and Urbana, where the vacationing student population of the University of Illinois was replaced by a visiting throng of burly lettermen and bouffant-coiffured coeds from scores of colleges from Venezuela to Newfoundland. The occasion was the Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship’s sixth International Student Missionary Convention, which emerged in 1961 as the foremost missionary recruitment effort of our time among high-caliber U. S. youth.
It was a new strain of Christian young people, the first of the World War II baby crop that braved five days of icy winds on the Illinois campus to attend an IVCF convention. It was, moreover, the first of the student missionary conventions to be held under IVCF’s new leadership, which has already revitalized a traditionally evangelical ministry and which promises a less separatist stance.
Evangelist Billy Graham reminded the 5,300 delegates that “many of the great movements in history have begun among students.” He recalled the slogan of the Student Volunteer Movement “to evangelize the world in one generation.”
“That must now be streamlined,” said Graham. “The world must be evangelized in one decade.”
The evangelist also cited the role of contemporary students in the shaping of political thought and action.
In contrast to the intents of so many recent student assemblies, the young people at Urbana made it abundantly clear that they had come to listen and to learn, rather than demand and demonstrate. They carried no placards and passed no resolutions. They used the time to meditate, to study Scripture, and to seek the advice of their spiritual elders. And they returned to their homes with a keener appreciation of the challenge of foreign missions, many to an extent which entails a personal commitment to the missionary cause.
More than 100 foreign missions boards, both denominational and independent (most notable exception: Southern Baptists), officially cooperated with the convention. Most were represented by one of the dozens of pegboard displays which ringed Huff gymnasium, where plenary sessions were held. In all, some 200 veteran missionaries were on hand to give personal counsel and to outline missionary opportunities within their re spective boards. These missionaries also led forums and workshops in at least 10 specific aspects of missionary work. Several missionary films were screened daily.
The ‘Nonprofessional’ Missionary
An American agronomist in Iran calls in the hired help at sundown. He is a Christian, and they are Muslims. He invites them to relax on the patio, to sip tea and to socialize. Later, as they chat, he may produce a Bible, and if it seems appropriate, read and explain a passage. By the time lights are doused the agronomist will likely have planted a Gospel seed.
Such a witness is being carried out with increasing frequency around the world. The agronomist might instead have been a petroleum engineer, a geologist, or even a physician. His salary is paid, not by a church or mission board, but by a commercial concern. Yet in the New Testament sense he is as much a missionary as the preacher in the bush and in some political climates far more effective. The term which is now most commonly used to describe him is “the nonprofessional missionary.”
The nonprofessional missionary (many observers feel the term to be a somewhat disparaging misnomer) is gaining attention rapidly, although efforts to prepare lay Christians for the responsibility have in the past been feeble and few. Missions leaders are beginning to think seriously of the nonprofessional missionary as a possible key to areas of the world which are now closed to official church representatives. Elementary airings of the concept took place in sectional meetings at both the Urbana student missionary convention and the Wheaton missionary medicine assembly.
The bulk of the student delegates (44 per cent men) came from secular universities.One student delegate managed to win a subsidy for the trip to Urbana by appealing to the campus council leader, a professed atheist, on grounds that a denial would betray his prejudice. They were a thinking crowd, and inasmuch as their academic training lacked a Christian dimension, many obviously sought to relate practical and ideological tenets to a biblical base. Some students actually found themselves intellectually beyond missionaries who were to be giving advice, the result being that their problems went unsolved. In scattered cases, stage panelists appeared to be ill-chosen, one or two having used their opportunity to address a university assembly to minimize education. This was viewed as excusable, for there have been missionaries in the past who were obliged to pass up formal training, and there have been others whose chances for keeping intellectually alert have been tempered by remote assignments. At least one inexcusable letdown did occur, however, when a student asked a panel of eight recognized missionary leaders to define a “missionary call.” For 10 minutes or so the panel talked around the question; none attempted a clear-cut answer.
The students who came to “Urbana,” as the IVCF convention is commonly designated, were orderly and restrained, assuredly a devout group. By and large their convictions were staunchly evangelical. Yet they represented a new temper, evangelical youth throwing off superficial fundamentalist taboos. Less than 10 per cent of women delegates shunned makeup, yet almost all who wore cosmetics did it in good taste. There was little smoking, however. The delegates united in a communion service on New Year’s Eve led by the Very Rev. S. Barton Babbage, dean of the Anglican cathedral in Melbourne, Australia.
Student missionary conventions have been a joint venture of the Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowships of the United States and Canada since 1948, when the first of the series drew some 800 persons to the University of Toronto. Subsequent conventions were held in Urbana in 1948, 1951, 1954, and 1957, with attendance increasing each time.
The U. S. Inter-Varsity organization itself dates back to 1940, when the first student chapter was organized at the University of Michigan. Lineage is also traceable to the formation in 1877 of the Cambridge Intercollegiate Christian Union, a movement which spread to other universities in Britain and became the Inter-Varsity Fellowship of Evangelical Unions in 1923. The IVCF in Canada was organized five years later. In ethos, Inter-Varsity also is said to have its roots in evangelical student societies which have been active in American college life since the Harvard group under Cotton Mather in 1700.
Strides In Evangelical Literature
Delegates to the 13th annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society were appraised of a series of major cooperative projects of conservative theological scholarship now in various stages of preparation.
The projects include four dictionaries: The New Bible Dictionary, sponsored by Tyndale Fellowship of Great Britain, Dr. J. D. Douglas, organizing editor, with contributors from the entire English-speaking world, to be published in America by Eerdmans in May; The New Pictorial Bible Dictionary, Dr. Merrill C. Tenney of the Wheaton College Graduate School of Theology, general editor, Zondervan, now in final editing, The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, revised “to strengthen the conservative element, especially by the exclusion of mediating views perceptible in the originals,” Dr. Geoffrey W. Bromiley of Fuller Theological Seminary, general editor, Eerdmans, five volumes, with Volume I due in 1963; Encyclopedia of Christianity, the complete field of religion, with a Calvinistic theological emphasis, Dr. Edwin H. Palmer of Westminster Theological Seminary, general editor, Sovereign Grace Publishers, 10 volumes, Volume I ready for printing.
Also a trilogy from Moody Press: Wycliffe Bible Commentary, Drs. Charles F. Pfeiffer of Gordon Divinity School and Everett F. Harrison of Fuller Theological Seminary, Old Testament and New Testament editors respectively, with contributors representing a cross-section of contemporary evangelical scholarship, phrase-by-phrase notes, due in the fall; Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia, Pfeiffer, general editor, with maps and illustrations, expected in 1965; An Historical Geography of Bible Lands, Pfeiffer and Dr. Howard Vos of Trinity Theological Seminary, Chicago, Old Testament and New Testament editors, respectively, to be released in 1963.
Four commentaries: The New International Commentary, Dr. Ned B. Stonehouse of Westminster Theological Seminary, New Testament editor, Eerdmans, nine of the eighteen vol umes already released; a new series “to defend the trustworthiness of the Old Testament,” similar in format, Dr. Edward J. Young of Westminster, editor, Eerdmans, 32 volumes, the first due shortly; Evangelical Bible Commentary, Dr. George A. Turner of Asbury Theological Seminary, editor, Zondervan, 40 volumes, Arminian emphasis and reflective of eighteenth-century revival thought, Mark and Acts already out, Hebrews next fall, and four volumes per year thereafter; Wesleyan Bible Commentary, Drs. Charles W. Carter of Taylor University, Wilber T. Dayton of Asbury Theological Seminary, and Ralph Earle of Nazarene Theological Seminary, editors, Eerdmans, six volumes, Volume IV due this year; The Scofield Reference Bible, with revised conservative chronology and notes clarified to stress salvation by grace through faith in all ages and a more modified typology while maintaining theological dispensationalism, Dr. E. Schuyler English, chairman of revision committee, Oxford, by 1965.
Notices also were given Tyndale Commentaries, Eerdmans; Baker’s Dictionary of Biblical Archaeology, summarizing a series of projected monographs; and Encyclopedia of Missions, sponsored by the faculty of Gordon Divinity School for its 75th anniversary, Harpers, 1965.
The latest ETS meeting was held last month in St. Louis on the campuses of Covenant College and Seminary (Evangelical Presbyterian) and Concordia Theological Seminary (Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod). Membership was reported at a record high of 635, double that of five years ago. The total includes more than 100 each in the categories of associates and student associates, established for ministers and students possessing an interest in evangelical theological research and teaching and desiring the quarterly Bulletin of ETS. Members subscribe annually to the affirmation, “The Bible alone, and the Bible in its entirety, is the Word of God written, and therefore inerrant in the autographs.”
Although local IVCF chapters are given a large degree of autonomy, overall theological orientation is readily discernible within the evangelical sphere. Chapter and national leaders accept biblical authority and “the formulations of biblical doctrine represented by the large areas of agreement in such historic declarations as the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the Augsburg, Westminster and New Hampshire confessions and the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion.”
Ultimate objective of the American IVCF organization is “to recruit and train students for the life and work of the Church.” But it is this very relationship between the organization and the church-at-large which has been a perennial sore spot. IVCF critics say its ministry has been too separatist, too aloof from large denominational structures. IVCF spokesmen will privately acknowledge a hiatus, but some protest that the image is not deserved. In defense they point to such factors as the plurality of Methodists among IVCF student adherents as evidence of denominational interplay.
Still, the image exists to an extent that is a primary concern of the trio of new faces at IVCF’s Chicago headquarters: Charles H. Troutman, 47, who started with Inter-Varsity in Canada upon graduation from Wheaton College in 1936, became one of the first U. S. staff members and moved up to the post of associate general secretary, then headed the Australian organization for six years before returning to the American IVCF as general director last spring; Eric S. Fife, 40-year-old native Briton who has been missionary director since 1958 as well as the 1961 convention chairman; and Paul Fromer, 34, who in 20 months as editor of IVCF’s His magazine has seen its circulation jump from 9,000 to 14,000.
The new IVCF leadership is determined to establish well-defined denominational relationships. Fruits of their initial efforts were already in evidence at the 1961 Urbana convention. Whereas IVCF leaders in the past have been uneasy about representation of denominational mission boards, Fife made an outright bid for their support with a visit to New York’s Interchurch Center last fall.
Remembering that one denomination in the past had sent a missionary representative who was frankly critical of IVCF work, Fife went the extra mile to stipulate that a welcome was waiting but that it would be reserved for sound evangelicals. Fife’s overture was well received. Official display space at the convention was utilized by mission board representatives of The Methodist Church, the United and Southern Presbyterian churches, the American Baptists, the Disciples of Christ, as well as Lutheran groups and others.
Under Troutman’s leadership, IVCF is out to solidify relations with churches not only on the headquarters level but at grass roots. The 50 full-time and 300 part-time staff members will be encouraged to become more active in their own parishes. Better liaison with local ministers also will be sought.
Beyond that, Troutman hopes to see IVCF broaden its ministry to include the entire university community, from the custodian, technician, and office clerk to the faculty and deans.
IVCF campus representation reached a peak in 1953 when some 15,000 students were active in local chapters. Interest tapered off in succeeding years and at one point the number of active IVCF students was down to 9,000. As of last June the total was up to 12,000 and preliminary figures for the current school year indicate that it may have again reached the 15,000 mark.
Inter-Varsity currently operates on a yearly budget of some $470,000. Its scope includes fellowships of nurses in training as well as a special department devoted to a ministry among international students. Negotiations have been proceeding on an off-and-on basis for some two years on a plan to merge with International Students, Inc. Cooperative evangelical thrusts are gaining momentum, and Inter-Varsity has disclosed plans to cosponsor with the Young Life organization a summer training institute in Colorado. Some observers would also like to see an end to the duplication of efforts by Inter-Varsity and a newer organization, Campus Crusade for Christ. Thus far, however, there have been no formal merger overtures; Campus Crusade for Christ is headed by William R. Bright, who was present at Urbana.
Delegates to Urbana had the chance to come to grips with clear-cut challenges and to realize anew the ideological void which exists on the average U. S. campus in spite of years of witness. The Wesley Foundation at the University of Illinois was the first religious foundation in America. Yet the 1961 Christmas holiday found Illinois students reflecting some of the confusion, frustration, and rebellion which plagues their contemporaries. Scrawled decoratively across dormitory windows was a theological counterpart of “Yankee Go Home”: “CHRISTMAS—BAH—HUMBUG.”
Here are additional holiday convention reports:
At Wheaton, Illinois—A host of problems beset world-wide efforts to extend needed medical aid under the aegis of Christian missions, and the Christian Medical Society’s second International Convention on Missionary Medicine represented a significant attempt to work out some solutions. The meeting, held on the picturesque, snow-covered campus of Wheaton College, drew some 500 doctors and medical students, including dozens of missionary surgeons and physicians fresh from the field.
Chief problem is lack of qualified personnel, J. Raymond Knighton, executive director of CMS, said at a press luncheon. But there were a number of other problems brought out during the convention:
—The rate of resignations among medical missionaries is said to be the highest of all among missionary personnel.
—Just as the congregation’s musicians are often described as the “war department” of the local church, so the medical arm of the foreign missions board has the dubious distinction of being a perennial source of tension. Much of the friction doubtless stems from professional medical experts having to be responsible to administrative policy makers. Recognizing the problem, many missionary agencies are now including experienced physicians in the decision-determining echelon.
—The high cost of medical facilities discourages church agencies from allocating enough funds to achieve the maximum benefit of a doctor in the field.
—A welfare state seizes the initiative of Christian medical programs.
“We are in trouble on many fronts,” said Dr. Ralph Blocksma, a plastic surgeon from Grand Rapids, Michigan, who served as convention chairman.
Blocksma, formerly a Presbyterian missionary to Pakistan and a past-president of CMS, called on the organization to use the current crisis to exercise statesmanship. He said that sentimental appeals to help the needy abroad should give way to efforts toward the working out of a high-level, centralized planning agency which could correlate world-wide medical research.
Since 1954, the CMS has offered a measure of guidance for medical missions through a set of recommendations which are revised from time to time by a specially-appointed committee. The committee’s latest move urges removal of class distinction between Christian missionaries and national workers and pleads for recognition of the practice of medicine as a witness in itself and not merely a missionary tool.
Many medical missions problems could be solved, or at least anticipated, through long-range indigenous training programs, according to Dr. V. McKinley Wiles, a New York City urologist. Wiles cited the Congo as an example of what happens when missions neglect the training of nationals. Although Christian missionaries have been working in the Congo for nearly a century, there is still not a single Congolese who qualifies as a doctor. Thus the exodus of doctors during strife left the country in dire straits.
Another convention delegate put it this way: “Every missionary doctor should be thinking of replacing himself with a national.”
Wiles also urges that Christians in the United States and Canada help to groom foreign students who are future professional people for effective Christian witness upon their return.
A veteran American Baptist medical missionary told the convention that an expanded medical aid program for the Congo could help to ward off a Communist takeover.
“We are calling for 100 doctors to serve a five-year term in the Congo,” said Dr. Glen Tuttle, who has served a term as executive director in the Congo for the Congo Protestant Relief Agency. He said the shortage of doctors has resulted in much suffering among the Congolese and that outbreaks of smallpox are now being reported.
While there were some 750 doctors in the Congo prior to independence, the number now is about 250, he added. Of the 250—approximately one doctor to
60,000 Congolese—60 are Protestant medical missionaries. Tuttle declared that many hospitals in the Congo have not even a single doctor, and that near Stanleyville alone there are six such handicapped hospitals.
CMS has worked closely with the Congo Protestant Relief Agency, which was begun in 1960 by a group of missionaries but which was brought under auspices of the Congo Protestant Council last fall. CMS has rendered some of its most significant service during the Congo crisis, but its scope is far greater. Begun informally some 30 years ago and formally in 1946, the organization now has a membership of approximately 2,800, including 530 medical missionaries or an estimated 80 per cent of the total English-speaking medical missionary force. In 1961 CMS distributed abroad drugs with a total wholesale value of $2,100,000, all donated by the industry. CMS is non-denominational, a “professional organization of physicians, dentists, medical and dental students who share the clear recognition of the necessity for satisfying man’s spiritual, as well as, his physical needs.” Theological basis for CMS rests with an evangelically-oriented, 2,500 word statement of faith, its unusual detail characteristic of the medical profession.
At St. Louis—Rabbi Samuel Sandmel, in his presidential address to the 96th annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature and Exegesis, asserted that the excitement generated by the Dead Sea Scrolls has not been warranted by the facts.
Sandmel said that the finding of the scrolls in 1947 gave rise to the “greatest exaggeration in the history of biblical scholarship.”
“The stuff that could have made them as exciting as alleged wasn’t and isn’t there,” he declared. Noting the absence from the scrolls of direct mention of known people and events, Sandmel added:
“That is why there has been no limit on the various dates proposed for the scrolls. I regard the Scriptural books and fragments as of much more value than the ‘sectarian documents’ and the ‘hymns.’ Hence, respecting the scrolls and Christian origins, I for one would gladly swap all the sectarian documents and the hymns for one tiny Qumran fragment that would contain the name of Jesus, or Cephas, or James or Paul.
“Until such a fragment is found, I shall persist in regarding the scrolls as adding a few more drops to the bucket that was already half full, a bucket enabling us to know no more than perhaps 50 per cent about Christian origins.” In noting that Edmund Wilson, who wrote a book about the scrolls, had accused New Testament scholars of “shying away” from the scrolls “because they did not want their theological premises shattered,” Sandmel asserted:
“Since I am a rabbi, I assume that no one would suggest that my skepticism about the scrolls and their supposed direct relationship to Christianity rests on any fear that my personal theology will be damaged.
“The trouble for me on going into the scrolls was not that my theology was offended, but only my academic training.”
Sandmel is provost and a professor of Hebrew Union College—Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Some 500 persons were on hand for the meeting of the society, which comprises about 2,000 Protestant, Roman Catholic and Jewish scholars, most of whom are professors in seminaries, colleges, and universities in the United States and Canada.
In a paper read at the meeting, Dr. Bruce M. Metzger described a newly discovered Greek papyrus manuscript as the earliest known copy of the Gospel according to St. Luke.
Metzger said the manuscript contains on 27 leaves and several small fragments most of the Gospel of St. Luke (except several verses at the end, notably chapter 22, verses 43–44, regarding the angel sent to strengthen Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane and his bloody sweat, and chapter 23, verse 34, Jesus’ prayer of forgiveness from the cross). The codex also contains at its close several chapters of the Gospel of St. John.
The find, acquired by the Swiss bibliophile, M. Martin Bodmer of Geneva, is the “most important papyrus manuscript of Luke known to exist,” Metzger declared.
He said it was written in Egypt probably about 200 A. D. and antedates the famous Chester Beatty Papyrus of the Gospels by at least a generation and the earliest known parchment manuscripts of the New Testament by a century and a half.
In describing the nature of the Greek text contained in the papyrus, Metzger said it agrees most frequently with the famous Codex Vaticanus of the fourth century, which, he noted, is often regarded as one of the most important copies of the New Testament in the original greek.
Metzger discussed the significance of several agreements of the Bodmer manuscript with the Sahidic version, one of the early Coptic translations of the Bible used in Egypt. The most noteworthy agreement concerns Jesus’ parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus. The Bodmer codex is the only known Greek copy of St. Luke which, like the Sahidic version, assigns a name to the otherwise anonymous Rich Man. In chapter 16, verse 14, he is called “Neve,” which, according to Metzger, was intended by the scribe to be read as “Nineveh,” the rich and dissolute city of ancient times.
The importance of the manuscript, Metzger added, goes far beyond the new textual evidence which it presents; evidence is now available, that, contrary to current views, the Church of Egypt during the second century had made unsuspected progress among scholarly circles.
A plea for churches to break out of “traditional ruts” in evangelism was voiced by speakers at the New England Conference on Evangelism.
Dr. George E. Sweazey, former chairman of the National Council of Churches’ Department of Evangelism, urged a greater participation by the laity in evangelism. He warned that the church “will die when its evangelism efforts become the special work of special people at special times.”
The Rev. Howard Keeley, executive secretary of the Evangelistic Association of England, which sponsored the three-day meeting in Boston, suggested that New England church people should be more aware of “non-traditional” methods of evangelism which are meeting with success in areas all across the country. He also asserted, however, that churches are neglecting some of the older methods that have been successful. He said that 64 per cent of the Methodist, Congregational, and Baptist churches in New England do not conduct vacation Bible schools.
Sweazey, a member of the United Presbyterian Church in the U. S. A. and a pastor in Webster Groves, Missouri, declared that “lay evangelistic visiting is by far the most successful evangelistic method of our day.”
He criticized churches where “the old members love each other so much they have no time for newcomers.”
Sweazey emphasized that the “cozy old notion that ‘heathen darkness’ applies only to faraway places with strange-sounding names is neither tactful nor true.”
“There are no Christian nations in the world today, and there are no completely pagan ones,” he said, “In the so-called heathen lands you find groups of Christians hard pressed by a massive pagan culture, and in America you find groups of Christians hard pressed by the same massive pagan culture.”
“Today in America,” he added, “every church is a mission outpost, thrust out on the frontier.”
Learning From Puritans
There is a great difference, says Dr. James Packer, between John Bunyan’s spiritual autobiography, which was very definitely God-centered and unselfconscious, and that of C. S. Lewis, which was more obviously man-centered and in which the real hero was C. S. Lewis.
At last month’s Puritan and Reformed Studies Conference in London, Packer, noted evangelical lecturer and author, added that he did not mean to be unkind to Lewis, for the contemporary approach seems to call for such a treatment. The modern emphasis, Packer declared, is upon communion with God, whereas in former times it was on communion with God.
In the discussion which followed Packer’s paper, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, minister of London’s Westminster Chapel, suggested that modern evangelicals who often give the impression that everything will be all right after people accept Christ, seemed to know very little of such things as the Puritans spoke of, like the spiritual desertion of the believer. Packer felt that this “was the result of en evil legacy of two generations of liberal theology which brought God down to man’s level.” Commenting on an assertion that 20 or 30 years ago evangelicals were insufficiently preoccupied with theology and too much with psychological experience, Packer said: “Evangelicals ceased to worry about theology at that time, and rather worshipped a God of their own experience.” He considered this was all very well for the first generation which was still living on its spiritual capital, but that in the second generation it resulted in a pathetically small view of God.
The traditional idea of the Puritans as a group of sour-faced men was derided in a subsequent paper by Dr. John Gwyn-Thomas, who added, however, that they were anxious to distinguish between a true joy, a delight in communion with God, and a false joy which often took the form of frivolity in religious matters. He cited Richard Baxter’s preaching a sermon on Christ’s curing “the diseased joys of the disciples”
who were rejoicing in the actual results of their labors and achievements rather than in the greatness of God and what he had done. “The joy of service,” concluded Dr. Gwyn-Thomas, “should be drowned in the greater joy of our inheritance in Christ.”
J. D. D.
The Seventh Revision
Officials of the Oberammergau Passion Play Committee say that the world-famous production will be revised before its next presentation, which will probably be in 1970. The 1960 production resulted in accusations that it contained some anti-Semitic passages.
The new revision will be the seventh for the play, first presented in 1634 by villagers of Oberammergau, Germany, to fulfill a vow of thanksgiving for deliverance from the Black Plague. Traditionally it has been performed every 10 years.
In announcing the revision, committee officials made no reference to the anti-Jewish allegations.
An old restaurant strategically located in the Latin Quarter of Paris is being turned into a Bible student center.
C. Stacey Woods, general secretary of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students, says French Christians have already contributed nearly half the money needed for the purchase.
Seminary For Africa
A new Protestant seminary will be opened next fall in Yaounde, Cameroons, to train ministers for the newly-independent states of West Africa.
A major effort of the founders is to disassociate Christianity from its European background and to see that it does not suffer from political reaction to colonialism.
Flying The Jungle
Lutheran missionaries in New Guinea dedicated last month a new seven-passenger plane capable of operating from small jungle airstrips.
The $36,000 craft, a German-made Dornier DO-27, is able to carry a 1,000-pound load with a short takeoff run.
Full accreditation was given by the American Association of Theological Schools last month to the Central Baptist Theological Seminary of Kansas City, Kansas, and the Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary of Mill Valley, California.
No Church Links
The Peace Corps will not enter into formal contracts with church-related agencies, according to Director R. Sargent Shriver.
At a meeting in Washington last month of representatives of private voluntary agencies, Shriver said:
“We have not signed, nor do we have plans to sign project agreements with the service arms of churches in the United States.”
Some private organization leaders apparently have appealed to the Peace Corps on the grounds that other federal agencies have set the precedent for church-state agreements with contracts to distribute surplus foods and other material overseas.
Shriver said, however, that “the Peace Corps provides people, not food, to voluntary agencies.” He added that because it is a government agency, the Peace Corps cannot restrict assignment to projects on the basis of religion.
“Just because it’s a difficult line to draw,” he observed, “we shouldn’t stop trying to draw it.”
In New York, meanwhile, the National Council of Churches announced it has established a new “Peace Corps Office.”
The office will be headed by the Rev. C. Frederick Stoerker, who will be responsible to a 14-man “Peace Corps Committee” comprised of representatives of NCC denominations.
Dr. R. H. Edwin Espy, associate general secretary of the NCC, said the office will “fulfill a liaison and educational function between the churches and the Peace Corps.”
“It must be clearly understood that the National Council of Churches does not consider itself an organization which should negotiate for Peace Corps grants or contracts,” he added.
Evangelist Billy Graham plans to go to Japan in the spring of 1963 to participate in a Baptist-sponsored crusade. He is scheduled to spend about two weeks there, speaking in four population centers. The climax will be a mass meeting in the 100,000-seat Olympic Stadium in Tokyo.
Graham currently is engaged in an evangelistic tour of Latin America. During the next month he is slated to speak in cities in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Chile.
The first stop was to be Caracas, January 20.
Personnel employed by the American Baptist Convention are beginning to occupy their new offices at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. There, for the first time, all denominational agencies will be housed under one roof. The new building, which cost some $8,500,000, will be dedicated during annual convention sessions in May.
The move has posed some personnel problems for the convention. A total of 166 employees are reported to have resigned, many of them preferring to remain in New York, where a number of offices had previously been maintained. The entire staff of the Crusader, official American Baptist periodical, has resigned with the exception of the editor and a photographic laboratory technician. Others who are leaving include Miss Faith Pomponio, secretary of the Department of Press Relations. The convention’s Department of Radio-TV will be dispersed.
Two officials of New Haven’s Planned Parenthood Center were found guilty this month of violating the Connecticut anti-birth control law. Their attorney immediately announced an appeal. The litigation is a test case to determine the law’s constitutionality (see CHRISTIANITY TODAY, January 5, 1962).
Dr. Harold A. Bosley, minister of the First Methodist Church in Evanston, Illinois, will succeed Dr. Ralph W. Sockman as pastor of Christ Church (Methodist) in New York.
Bosley, 54, has been at the Evanston church since 1950. Prior to that, he was dean of Duke University Divinity School.
Sockman retired December 31, marking the end of the longest single-church pastorate in The Methodist Church. He had served the noted “Cathedral of Methodism” for 44 years.
At a recognition luncheon shortly before his retirement, it was announced that the Methodist Television, Radio, and Film Commission (TRAFCO) has established a Ralph W. Sockman Graduate Fellowship in Communications Study. The grant is designed to “provide over the years a reservoir of leaders who, in addition to their training in religious disciplines, have specialized training in communication theory and practice.”
People: Words And Events
Deaths:Dr. Arlo Ayres Brown, 76, retired president of Drew University and former president of the Methodist Educational Association; in Wilmington, Delaware … Dr. Arthur Langan Haddon, 66, principal of the Associated Churches of Christ Theological College in Dunedin, New Zealand; in Dunedin … Dean Edgar Bergs, 83, deputy archbishop of the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church in Exile; in London.
Elections: As president of the American Association of Schools of Religious Education, Dr. Allen Graves … as president of the Evangelical Theological society, Dr. Ralph Earle … as cochairman and presiding officer of the World Association of Schools of Religious Education, Dr. Allen Graves … as president of the Evangelical Theological society, Dr. Ralph Earle … as cochairman and presiding officer of the World Association for Christian Broadcasting, Dr. Harry C. Spencer … as moderator of the Presbytery of Baltimore, the Rev. John Murray Smoot.
Appointments: As dean of Christ Church (Anglican) Cathedral, Dublin, Dr. Norman D. Emerson … as Bishop of Chelmsford, England, the Very Rev. J. G. Tiarks … as executive secretary of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod Board for Higher Education, Arthur M. Ahlschwede … as chairman of the division of religion and philosophy at Howard Payne College, Dr. H. B. Ramsour … as interim pastor of Tremont Temple, Boston, the Rev. C. G. Brownville.
Resignations: As pastor of the Second Greek Evangelical Church in Athens, Dr. George A. Hadjiantoniou. Hadjiantoniou has accepted a call to serve as pastor of a Presbyterian church in Calgary, Alberta … as minister of Metropolitan Tabernacle (Spurgeon’s), London, the Rev. Eric W. Hayden.
Citation: Dr. Stanley G. Sturges, 32-year-old medical missionary in Nepal, named “one of America’s Ten Outstanding Young Men of 1961” by U. S. Junior Chamber of Commerce.
Retirement: As pastor of Cazenovia Park Baptist Church, Buffalo, New York, Dr. J. Palmer Muntz, former president of the Conservative Baptist Association of America.
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