Dear Law-Abiders:

The Seventh Street carnival was going full tilt as I walked through the heart of the spectacle produced by the soul brothers of Washington. Brilliant flames curled high in the sky and black smoke belched forth from stores recently set ablaze. Other buildings now were smoldering black skeletons. Looters still crawled through jagged store windows to claim their prizes. As police valiantly manned their corner posts, the long blocks were a conglomeration of revelry and rubble. Washington’s Mayor Washington persistently called it a “civil disturbance”; the people “told it like it was”: a riot.

It was beautiful to be black in the riot area, and my white skin did not enhance my popularity there. “You devil paleface!” shrieked a Negro youth. He then threw a bottle that smashed an inch away, showering my shoes with glass. In another block a man motioned as if he had a pistol in his pocket and said, “I’m going to kill somebody.” I moved on. My eyes smarted and my nose ran from tear gas. I had been twenty yards away when a policeman fired it point blank at youths stealing liquor, scattering them instantly. When I stopped to observe thieves loading men’s suits into a waiting panel truck, its driver waved and called out to me, “Soul brother!” Not wanting to invite violence (I’m a real coward when it comes to opposing a mob singlehandedly), I raised my hand and meekly replied, “Soul brother.” Seventh Street was finally cleared as masked police eight abreast tear-gassed their way down to New York Avenue, where troopers were stationed.

In Baltimore that night I observed fires and looting all over town. My teen-age son and I approached one gigantic blaze not yet reached by firemen. In its flickering light a group of youths saw us and said, “Let’s get those two honkies!” Realizing that my press card provided inadequate protection, we beat a hasty retreat to our old Dodge to watch the action.

An elderly Negro asked me the question that bothered many other responsible black and white citizens: “Why is it that they go crazy like this?” I attempted no simple answer. But my sermon the next morning included Christ’s first words from the cross: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”


With malice toward none,


A masterpiece! Even such praise does not do justice to the March 29 issue entitled “Rebirth.” It is difficult to narrow my comments to any one article in that each one so convincingly presents the “good news” to the “neglected frontier” of non-Christians. And as a Christian, how I was stirred by Dr. Henry’s moving personal testimony of his conversion! My prayer is that the Holy Spirit will use this issue to bring about many spiritual “happenings” among non-Christians.

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Rice Memorial Baptist Church

Northborough, Mass.

It deserves a place of honor in your files. You have hit a new low in theological understanding which is several pegs below your usual fuzzy thinking on doctrinal issues. You speak of “rebirth” as if it is faith and repentance and of faith and repentance as if it is regeneration. According to the Scripture it is God who regenerates and it is regeneration that enables the dead heart to exercise faith. Did none of your contributors take the time to read John 3:7, 8? Or did you make a colossal mistake in preparing the cover of your issue?


First Reformed Church

Aberdeen, S. D.

By far the best I’ve seen. There are some real gems all the way through it, notably “Confessions of an Editor,” the introduction to Anderson’s article by Nicholi, and the piece by C. S. Lewis.

I could not agree more that it is God who searches for man. Keep reminding us of this. It’s so easily forgotten, perhaps because we like to imagine that we are courageous explorers on the trail of the Divine instead of the cowardly escapees from God that we are.


Associate Editor


Philadelphia, Pa.

It looks to me that Dr. Henry is giving the final touches of his services as a master artist.… I am asking my staff here in the office and as well in India to keep this issue for their deep personal uplift.



India for Christ Evangelical Assn.

Evanston, Ill.

May I express gratitude for Dr. Henry’s eloquent and winsome testimony.… Tedd Seelye of WMBI read it over the air to his listening audience, just one indication of how well this essay has been received.



Wheaton College

Wheaton, Ill.

“Confessions of an Editor” is a living and vivid testimony to the new birth, and the living of the new life in Christ in the present world, and in the firm hope of the blessings of the life to come. It is invigorating and delightful, refreshing and encouraging, that such witness can be had in this generation. Indianapolis, Ind.



My most sincere thanks for your excellent editorial, “The Loss of Personal Religion” (March 29). I have sat in a good number of these sessions in two different study groups, and you have most accurately expressed my conclusions. I am so glad that someone who can reach believers at large has sounded a note of warning.

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West Unity and North Charlestown

Methodist Churches

Charlestown, N. H.

The editorial rightly points out the need for renewal of personal devotion to Christ.… But how is this to be done?…

You imply that the objective could more simply be accomplished by dumping a Bible, a copy of the Articles of Religion, and a glossary of theological terms into the laps of our people. Let me say that for fifty years or so The Methodist Church tried this approach, and that is exactly why the adults who are to study this new unit are “bumbling and groveling about faith and its meaning”!


Christ Methodist Church

Federalsburg, Md.

While from your point of view it may be possible for you to fault our divergence from fundamentalistic presuppositions, you show irresponsibility in ignoring the systematic, coherent, highly readable, and vital treatment of faith in our times.


Mountain View Methodist Church

Taylors, S. C.


Two items concerning the United Church of Canada in your March 29 issue were of great interest to me.

The first was the news item, “Kangaroo in Canada?” … Could it be that Mr. Reynolds might be finally seeing the hard, cold facts of ecclesiastical life in the United Church? Surely, the eventual outcome of this situation will determine, to a significant degree, whether an evangelical can, in fact, be allowed to co-exist with liberals in the United Church of Canada.

Secondly, I turned to Current Religious Thought and read with mixed emotions the Rev. Mr. Steacy’s interesting discussion of the “United Church Renewal Fellowship”.… In view of the action taken against Mr. Reynolds there is a certain irony [here].… Does Mr. Steacy really believe that evangelicals can have peace of mind in a denomination where over 75 per cent of the churches use a curriculum which questions the virgin birth and the literal interpretation of the resurrection, and tosses large sections of Scripture to the mythological scrap heap?…

Evangelicals in the United Church, and indeed other conciliar churches, must prayerfully consider their status.… They must not automatically believe that grouping together in “fellowships” to contend for the faith will necessarily move these churches in a more conservative direction. This totally naïve notion has already proved to be unfounded, as liberals continue to ignore the prime spiritual mission of the Church.

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As long as ecumenically aligned evangelicals continue to avoid constructive discussion of this vital issue, so long will the Church be sapped of its full strength, which it so desperately needs to reach “this present evil world” with the glorious treasures of the Gospel.


Watertown, Mass.


In thinking over the issues presented in “Assault upon the Living God” (Mar. 15), the thought struck me (I’m no theologian) that the protagonists of the “God is dead” idea have had no experience with the revivifying and transforming power of God. They all, I imagine, have lived their lives in a so-called Christian community and under the benefits deriving from it. The resulting viewpoint is that from a completely theoretical and intellectual stance. They should live for at least a year, and preferably longer, in a heathen society, and see what Christianity can do to individuals raised in such a society. For eight years I lived in Korea under the Presbyterian Mission in Pyengyang (now Red headquarters) and saw and talked with demon-possessed persons (after their conversion), with sorcerers, and with others who had personally experienced the power of the Evil One. Such experience is the only way, I think, by which anyone raised in the comfortable conditions of life here, can fully understand what it is to come under the saving influence of Jesus Christ.


Redlands, Calif.

With pleasure and profit we read the discussion.… Every minute every man is confronted with the living God. When we do not want to believe this, we, of course, want to do away with him; and the latest assault is that “God is dead.”


Oak Lawn, Ill.


Re “NCC Board Passes Sweeping Political Policies (March 15): I cannot express my horror at the issues passed by this board of so-called churchmen who run this organization which is supposed to represent the majority of the churches in America. It’s true they do some good, but no amount of good could even the scales on this list of issues.… Why don’t ministers read the proposals of this group to their churches? We have no idea what is going on.… I fail to see how any pastor or Christian can proclaim God’s Word and at the same time uphold that list of proposals and the group that stands behind them!


Jacksonville, Ore.

With mixed feelings I read of the role played by fellow Missouri Synod clergyman Richard Neuhaus in support of civil disobedience by conscientious objectors to the draft. His recent public utterances on this general topic are not shared by all Missouri clergy, to be sure!

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St. Paul Lutheran Church

Emmetsburg, Iowa


I have been an admirer of your magazine for only a short while, but I have seen that in the midst of controversy it has upheld a truly Christian perspective. What is perhaps even more impressive about CHRISTIANITY TODAY is that it has avoided endorsing political (not necessarily Christian) views. I must say, however, that “Report from Viet Nam” (March 15) repelled me. This “article” is filled with half-truths, i.e., that negotiations with the Viet Cong will “ultimately” mean a Communist takeover, or that crossing the DMZ, invading two sovereign nations (Laos and Cambodia), and chancing nuclear disaster will bring “peace” to Southeast Asia.… The author further states that those individuals who oppose the present administration’s Vietnamese policy are “aiding the enemy.” (Shades of McCarthy! Joe, not Gene.) In short, then, I am really disappointed in CHRISTIANITY TODAY. I simply expected more from you. Viet Nam is a complex situation, and you insult your readers with such short-sighted, simplistic dribble.


Bellevue, Wash.

The Communists believe in “wars of national liberation,” which is their [euphemism] for a war to take over a country by the Reds, and the war in Viet Nam is such a “war of national liberation.” Unless we want the Reds to expand their tyranny over more and more people, we must oppose them.…

I am very well acquainted with the Reds. I spent ten months as a missionary in territory they had captured, and then over four years and six months in various ones of their prisons. There I was subjected to much of their propaganda.


Cherry Grove, Ore.

Dr. Ockenga’s report provides interesting reading, especially … alongside the Fellowship of Reconciliation’s leaflet “Chaos in Saigon”: …

It must be clear to everyone that the people are not supporting the war effort of the Government, the Americans and the Allies. The Viet Cong are still in strength throughout the country and in Saigon, not because the people are communist, but because there is such strong resentment of the foreigners who are prolonging the war.


Dept. of Religion and Philosophy

Westminster College

New Wilmington, Pa.


The approval of your application for the second-class mailing privilege … is exciting.… It is an excellent example of how dedication in unique areas can be extremely meaningful in presenting the Christian message.

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Los Angeles, Calif.


For some time I have been of a mind to write and express my profound gratefulness for CHRISTIANITY TODAY and for Dr. Henry’s expert and devoted piloting of it. A warm Christian faith pulses through its pages, and yet there is no blunting of intellectual honesty or vigor.… The Christian Century, which once had stature, seems sterile, drab, and sad by comparison.… I have never found anywhere else the treasure in conviction or ideas which I have been finding recently in CHRISTIANITY TODAY.…

But now I read that Dr. Henry is leaving.… I cannot shake the feeling of deep sadness which hit me when I first read that.… I pray that he will have many more productive days among us.


St. Paul’s Community Church

Claremont, Calif.


The news about Harold Lindsell is most exciting. I think he is a fine choice. He is a fine scholar in his own right and speaks a language that will be understandable to the average reader. Moreover, he is so warmly evangelical that his presence at the editorial helm will insure the continued strong gospel witness of the magazine.


Nashville, Tenn.


I meant to write a few weeks ago and congratulate John Lawing on his [cartoon] reprint in Time.… [He does] a fine job.… As an editorial cartoonist myself I can really appreciate his efforts. His sense of humor is outstanding, and I marvel at it. I am looking forward to what he’ll offer in the months to come.… [The cartoon] is the very first thing I turn to.


Chicago’s American

Chicago, Ill.

CHRISTIANITY TODAY has been on our table in the living room since its start.


Pittsburgh, Pa.

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