Pointed Paragraphs


“Within the last twelve months foreign missions have been more talked about in the Church than at any time I can remember. The appeals made in connection with them have been frequent and importunate. The cause has been pleaded with every kind of argument. The actual condition of the non-Christian world has been presented to us with a fullness and distinctness once impossible: we have been shown in all its aspects what the life is which is waiting for the Gospel. In many parts of the globe the critical nature of the situation has been emphasized. Opportunities, we have been told, are passing—will within five years or ten years have passed—never to return. In the Far East, where great nations are awaking and coming to the consciousness of their powers, it is now or never for the Gospel. It is now or never in Africa, where every Moslem is a missionary and where Islam is advancing with giant strides. Missions have had much to do with the new movements in India and China, but what a frightful prospect it would open up if the vast populations of Asia should master the resources of Christian civilization and be left with none but pagan impulses to direct them.”

The above is taken from an address delivered by Dr. James Denney at the annual meeting of the Baptist Missionary Society, April, 1911—fifty years ago!

Another quotation with a curiously modern ring is the following:

“Which of us goes home to occupy himself in a Christian manner after church? Who takes the pains to read the books, and applies himself to discover the sense of Holy Scripture? No one will dare to say that he does his best. We find rich furniture in the houses of church-people, but we find nowhere good books, or at least among few; and those who have such books are as if they had them not,. keeping them always shut up…Which of you who hears me now would be able to say by heart a Psalm or some other part of Scripture if I were to ask this of him?”

The above is from a sermon preached by Chrysostom. sixteen hundred years ago! L.G.


According to an Associated Press news dispatch, a Cape-Canaveral electrical contractor, Henry Gable, said that “labor unions have done more damage to the nation’s missile program than the Communists ever could.” Mr. Gable spoke of “deliberate slowdowns, inflation of labor costs, and other practices which he called ‘rotten’.” Similar reports have come from other missile bases. The moral breakdown which characterizes almost all phases of American life is particularly evident in the labor world, partly no doubt because o! the corrupt leadership in many unions. The utter selfishness and the traitorous tactics of many who are identified with these unions, especially some of them, make one wonder whether such basic virtues as sense of duty, pride of workmanship, honesty, and patriotism are disappearing from the American scene.

No wonder that ex-President Hoover felt impelled to speak at last fall’s Republican convention in Chicago about “the frightful moral slump” which has come over our nation. Labor unions are not guilty alone. Recent revelations of illegal price fixing by high officials in some of our biggest industries and of exorbitant profits by certain pharmaceutical companies prove that the sin of greed, like a huge octopus, has fastened its tentacles on almost every member of our social body.

In all this we see a striking confirmation of our Lord’s prediction that in the last days “iniquity shall be multiplied” and of Paul’s statement that in those days men will be “lover of self, lovers of money…without self-control…fierce…traitors…lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:1–4). These prophecies are being fulfilled before our very eyes. These are indeed the “grievous times” of which the apostle speaks. The vices he mentions have always flourished but never so unashamedly, openly, and on so huge a scale as today. How it behooves us as Christians to shun the increasing moral contamination of human society and to be the salt of the earth! “But if the salt have lost its savor, wherewith shall it be salted?”



TORCH AND TRUMPET performed a real service to the Christian Reformed Church by printing the reactions of twelve ministers to the proposed revisions of the liturgical form for the administration of the Lord’s Supper. It showed that there is not much agreement on the revisions since each form (including the present one) was chosen by an equal number of ministers. This lack of unanimity should caution all concerned to make haste slowly.

To engage in the dangerous pastime of prognostication, we would dare predict that the proposed revision No. 1 will be chosen. The reason is that two thirds apparently are dissatisfied with the present form and want some sort-of revision. Yet two thirds do not want to go to the extreme of form No.2. Since revision No.1 holds a mediating position, recognizing that there should be a modernization of language and yet sticking close to the thoughts of the original form, we predict that most delegates at Synod will choose Revision No. 1.

We would like to suggest, however, the desirability of authorizing all three forms. This would be done, of course, only after the many valuable suggestions made concerning the two revisions had been carefully weighed and either incorporated or rejected. The main reason for suggesting this is the deadness, monotony, dullness, and formalism that tends to creep in with the reading of the same form anywhere from four to twelve times a year, year in and year out. Few things can be so refreshing as a change of pace–variety. Even the best new form will tend to become dull and uninteresting after the novelty wears off. It is a psychological fact that many find it difficult to follow intelligently and excitingly a form, when they know by heart everything that comes next. To a certain extent repetition cannot be avoided -and, in fact, it is at times desirable, for example, in the case of the Lord’s Prayer or the reading of the Ten Commandments. But excessive boredom could be partially avoided and relieving freshness could be attained by having the option of three different forms. Beautiful content takes on new meaning when it is expressed in different ways. Just as a person who has always read the King James Version finds new meaning in the old familiar verses when he reads the American Standard Version, so each one will find new, exciting thoughts in the use of another version of the Lord’s Supper Form. And this works for those who have a strong preference for one of the proposed revisions as well as for those who strongly like the old form. Let us now hope that my prediction about the adoption of Revision No. 1 is wrong and that all three will be authorized.



“I WENT ON A FREEDOM RIDE”…“If Freedom Rides are wrong, we must speak out against them. If they are right, we must support them. In prayer, yes. With money, yes. BUT ALSO WlTH ACTION” Gordon D. Negen in The Reformed Journal (July, August issue).

“Even some clergymen, who are supposed to teach reconciliation and certainly are not supposed to do anything remotely to promote violence, actually participated in the Freedom Rides without getting a single letter of reprimand from the institutions, religious or educational, with which they are associated. Does this mean that ‘the end justifies the means’ after all, that if the cause one believes in is a worthy one, it’s all right to engage in a demonstration notwithstanding that it is likely to incite mob violence?” David Lawrence in the Grand Rapids Press, Sept. 25, 1961.



We are all deeply concerned about the inroads which communism is making in the world today. Should we be less concerned about the drift to socialism in our own country? Russia calls itself a socialistic state. The only difference between consistent socialism and communism is that the latter favors revolutionary methods while the former seeks to attain its goal through peaceful means. Few seem to realize that there is no basic difference between the two economic systems. Neither are many of our American people aware of the fact that other nations which are farther advanced on the path of the socialization of their national life are already retreating from this evil and impracticable system. Even Russia is veering more and more in the direction of capitalism.

If we want to be consistent Christians in our economic life, let us resist the encroachment of socialism. But this requires that we recognize it especially when it appears under misleading labels. The remarks we found in an article from NOTES FROM FEE (published by The Foundation for Economic Education, Inc.) bear on this very point. We quote:

“Few people are able to recognize the nature of socialistic practice once it has been Americanized. They think of a policy as socialistic only as and if it is practised by such avowed socialists as the Russians. To uphold freedom effectively one must be able to identify and understand local socialism. Every American practice has to be brought under rigorous inspection and scrutiny and examined in the light of socialism’s definition: Government ownership and control of the means of production.

“I am not suggesting that it is possible or practical to divorce oneself completely from socialistic influences. Complete separation would demand no use of the mails, no eating of bread, no riding of planes or ships, doing without an economical supply of power and light in more than 1800 of our cities, no selling of goods and services to socialistic institutions, and so on, ad infinitum. To live, one must accept the facts of this world, at least to a large extent. But it is possible to so live as never to sponsor a single socialistic invasion into the social and economic structure.

“One further thought: Do not underestimate the enormous influences set in motion by a person who refuses to sanction or promote any wrong action. Pronounced exemplary qualities have unbelievable radiating powers.”

How true—that last sentence. We Christians do not realize the tremendous influence we can exert, both as groups and as individuals, through our testimony and consistent opposition to the evil forces in our nation and community. And that holds not only for socialism but as well for such sore spots in our local communities as filthy literature, low grade radio and TV programs, lying advertising, smutty theater ads, and so forth. We often think of the speech ex-president Eisenhower made a couple of years ago over a closed television circuit to groups of diners in various cities. Most of that address was devoted to answering some questions which had been sent to him by a young woman who had just become a voter. Little did she realize what influence that letter would exert.

We Christians are called “the salt of the earth and the light of the world.” But are we that really?



We found some very worthwhile articles in the Golden Anniversary issue of the Christian Sanatorium Quarterly. This Sanatorium, as most of our readers know, is located in Wyckoff, New Jersey.

Two of the articles in this booklet are by the hospital pastor, Rev. Theodore J. Jansma. We appreciate the emphasis in both articles on the need of a distinctive, Christian approach to psychiatry. The first quotation is complete; the second is only part of the “Editorial.”

Carl Gustav Jung

“Carl Gustav Jung, the last of the three founders of modern psychiatry and psychoanalysis, died on June 6 at the age of &5 in Kuesnacht, a village near Lucerne, Switzerland. Freud, Adler, Jung—these three, and the greatest of these…Well, that remains to be seen. It may well turn out that all of them put psychiatry and psychology on a wrong road. For a while they traveled together, with Freud setting the course. But Adler was the first to strike out in a different direction, and soon Jung also decided to blaze a new trail, both of them incurring the displeasure of ‘father’ Freud.

“Jung’s ideas were especially welcome to many religious people who recoiled from Freud, not only because he advocated, as they thought, free love, but also because of his outspoken atheism and his well known assertion that religion is an infantile illusion which must retreat before adult maturity. Freud thought of man as a biological organism driven by innate impulses, especially sex, and that mental illness arises from the repression of these impulses. Jung, while acknowledging the power of the sexual drive, is credited with giving back to man his soul, and advocated the need for some sort of religiOUS commitment and ultimate life purpose for sound mental life. But this does not mean, though he descended from a long line of Swiss Reformed pastors, that he returned to the Reformed principles of his fathers. Jung’s concept of God, religion and soul were by no means rooted in Biblical thought, but rather in a ‘racial unconscious’ a sort of universal ‘feeling’ which finds expression in the myths and dI”Cams of all peoples. He believed that people need a religious attitude. but he seemed to mean by that a respect for the dignity of human life and a belief that it has meaning. He also postulated a fundamental theory of behavior according to which a person’s vital energies Bow either outward, creating the ‘extrovert’ or inward, creating the ‘introvert’ terms which are now familiar in common speech.

“Theories and those who create them come and go. And now there seems to be a stirring in the field of psychiatry that may well mark the decline of psychoanalysis, whether Freudian, Adlerian, or Jungian. There is a growing concern with the conscious life instead of the psychoanalytic emphasis on the unconscious. And some are even beginning to speak of sin, moral transgression and real guilt as significant factors in mental illness. Is it possible that one of these days psychiatrists will concede that there can also be a distinctive Christian approach to mental illness?”

Guilty or not

“Extreme guilt feelings are generally prominent in mentally disturbed people. The reason given for these feelings is often inappropriate, e.g., failure to wash something, or irrational, e.g., sin against the Holy Spirit. However, it is a proven fact that the offered reason turns out to be a substitute or cover for the real reason, that the guilty feeling attaches to an actual moral transgression which the· patient is loath to face. There is thus a difference between guilt feelings and real guilt, and the latter may have more· to do with mental ‘illness’ than is generally thought…

“The Bible gives us at least one clear example of personality disintegration due to unrepented sin in the case of Saul, the first king of Israel. He showed symptoms which would indicate a manic-depressive reaction, and the record makes clear that his overt wickedness, which he tried to cover with a false piety, lay at the root of his troubled spirit. The great difference between Saul and David was not that David was less a sinner, but rather that David knew how to repent while Saul did not.

“Perhaps we have been thinking too much in terms of ‘sickness’ with its implication of ‘not responsible: and not enough of ‘sin’ with its implication of ‘responsible.’ It may be that the whole truth does not lie exclusively on one side, that the line can not always be sharply drawn. But sin, in its Christian meaning, is undoubtedly the basic disrupter that alienates man from God, self, and others, and it must have a place in the psychiatric vocabulary from which it has been banished too long.”


Rev. Carl Reitsma of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church of Cedar Grove, Wisconsin, wrote an article in the August number of The Presbyterian Guardian in which he reports on a meeting of 500 aroused Missouri Synod Lutherans held in a Milwaukee hotel last May. The purpose was to “discuss and denounce Modernism in their own Church,” says Mr. Reitsma, who was an observer at the meeting. Most of those present were pastors though some were laymen.

Each delegate to this meeting, to which 10,000 had been invited, received a 200-page Book of Documentation containing photostatic reproductions of clippings, articles, and correspondence as proof that the Church “is on the verge of being taken over by the liberals.” Thirteen excellent papers were read on Scripture, the Church, the Ecumenical Movement, Youth, and Education. Each speaker, writes Reitsma, showed how the faith was under attack and how the Church was yielding more and more ground.

What were the complaints? First, that periodicals and theologians in that church speak approvingly of Tillich, Barth, Bultman and other liberals. One of their own ministers, Martin E. Marty, is an associate editor of the Christian Century. H. Richard Niebuhr, speaking at the Missouri Synod’s only university, at Valparaiso, uttered a warning against “putting our confidence in churches, doctrines, and bibles.” The Board of Missions sought and obtained membership in the Home Missions division of the National Council of Churches.

Concordia Seminary was charged with “doctrinal heresy.” One of the professors, Dr. Martin H. Scharlemann, professor of New Testament Interpretation, speaking on Scripture, stated: “In this paper I propose to defend the paradox that the book of God’s truth contains errors.” (This reminded us of some things that have been written in a few of our own periodicals.) This professor stated among other things: it is this particular emphasis (on the verbal inspiration of the Bible) that has misled many Christians into believing that Christian faith is faith in a book…it ,ought to be obvious that the word ‘inerrant’ can be and usually is a very misleading term to use of the Scripture…It is dangerous because it is a word that makes sense only in the light of a false view of inspiration—one that got into the Church from an ancient paganism and has been perpetuated by the Reformed-Fundamentalist tradition.”

We do not intend in this article to comment on the amazing statements of Dr. Scharlemann. Our purpose is, first, to express our great sorrow that the large and influential Missouri Synod, composed of more than two and a half million members, is succumbing to the insidious encroachments of modernism. We said to ourselves: Is this the Church which in the days of the late Dr. Walter Maier was so staunch in its defense of the Christian faith? Second, we observe that in our day of multiple means of communication and of close contact with men of divergent religious convictions churches are more easily influenced by the winds of false doctrine than in former times. It does not take long for a denomination to turn from orthodoxy to heterodoxy. What is happening to the Missouri Synod Lutherans, where the power of tradition is exceptionally strong, can easily happen to us. Third, we see that in our day errors do not enter a church singly. They come in as a Hock. When one has gained an entrance the others are sure to follow. And one more observation: Just as soon as a church dilly dallies with a doctrinal error and fails to administer discipline promptly, when the sin is unconfessed, the battle for the purity of that church has already virtually been lost.

The Milwaukee Conference adopted a number of brave resolutions. We fear these will prove to be a waste of breath unless those in authority exercise discipline regardless of the consequences, and that would probably mean a serious schism. May the Head of the Church grant wisdom and courage to those who seek to strengthen the dikes against the rising flood of modernism.


PARTAKERS OF CHRIST Bible Reading: John 15 For we are made partakers of Christ. Hebrews 3:14

“What is Jesus Christ to you?” a friend once asked Lord Tennyson. Pointing to a cluster of violets at the roadside, Tennyson replied, “What the sun is to these flowers. Jesus Christ is to my life.”

“We are made partakers of Christ.” That is not a mere figure of speech; it is a statement of fact. As the Violets, in Tennyson’s illustration, partook of the sun, and owed their life, their beauty, their sweet fragrance, their all, to its bright, warm shining, so the believer owes his existence as a Christian, and all the beauty and fragrance of his Christian life, to the fact that he is made a partaker of Christ. “Of his fulness,” writes John, “have all we received. and grace for grace.” Vital Christianity is more than a creed; more than a system; it is a life which has its origin in Christ, and that is fed and maintained by Christ. “For to me to live is Christ,” writes Paul. And again, “I live, yet not I, but Christ that liveth in me.” What the sun was to Tennyson’s violets, that, and infinitely more, Jesus Christ became to Paul. The “sun of righteousness” had arisen upon him, and the former blasphemer and persecutor underwent a complete transfiguration.

And Christ has not changed. The soul that comes under his influence is “changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

Let us approach him with the prayer of God’s ancient people, “Turn us again, O Lord God of hosts. cause thy face 10 shine, and we shall be saved.”

–Rev.G. N. M. Collins, Edinburgh, Scotland in Daily Manna Calendar. Courtesy of Zondervan Publishing House