In the January 1st issue of the Standard Bearer undersigned gave a brief treatment of “The Evils of Calvinism,” a little pamphlet written by the Rev. Mr. Frank B. Beck.
Rev. Beck, who is a regular reader of the Standard Bearer and who tells us that he enjoys it thoroughly, also read our article reflecting on his pamphlet in condensed form in our rubric.
He also asked me if it would be permissible to inform our readers that his little pamphlet has been reprinted in a more attractive format, a copy of which he also sent me. These little pamphlets are obtainable at 10 cents each, or 12 for $1.00 by writing to the Rev. Frank B. Beck, PO Box 184, Millerton, New York.
Moreover, he also called my attention to an error I unwittingly made in my article, which I now gladly correct. I spoke of him as “an independent evangelist.” Pastor Beck now informs me that he is “no longer an independent evangelist” but “a pastor of this church (North East Baptist Church—M.S.) for over 6 years.” We trust that brother Beck will take note of this correction, and we invite him to correspond with us again.
A friend handed us a clipping taken from one of the recent issues of the Grand Rapids Press that was entitled “Approves Women In Role Of Pastors.” The brief article reads as follows:
“Milwaukee—The Milwaukee presbytery has voted to open the ministry to women by concurring in a proposed change in the constitution of the Presbyterian Church in the United States.
“Clergy and lay delegates from 40 churches in the Milwaukee region voted, 38 to 18, in a secret ballot to approve the constitutional change which would permit the church to ordain women to the ministry.” When one reads a report like this, he cannot help asking the question: Is there no longer a man in Israel? and, Is this not the destination of Women’s Suffrage in the church?
We have before pointed out that Women’s Suffrage in the church, if it consistently follows through, must end up with women also filling our pulpits.
I know of a minister, who is now retired, whose wife would nod her head in approval and shake her head in disapproval of the things her husband would, say while he was preaching. Thus the minister would know whether he was saying the right thing or not. Maybe the above mentioned church has a lot of ministers like that who are weak on their two legs or who have been dictated to so much that they would just as soon have their women take over also in the ministry.
Aside now from the question of whether this is right or wrong, it seems to me that it would be a bit humiliating for me to have my wife serve our church in the role, say of assistant pastor. But then, everyone does not have the same opinion, does he?
Such is the title of a brief article appearing in The Guardian News Commentator, a section of the Presbyterian Guardian of January 16, 1956.
Writes the editor of this article, “Shortly before Christmas Adlai Stevenson; who has been a member of a Unitarian church, was received into membership of the Lake Forest Presbyterian Church. Some Unitarians criticized him for having deserted his former faith. Some Presbyterians criticized him for insincerity.
“But four local ministers soon took the play away from him. Two Presbyterian and two Unitarian ministers joined together and issued a statement in which they said that it was perfectly all right for Stevenson to be a member of a Presbyterian Church and still be loyal to his Unitarian heritage.
“In the minds of the National Council of Churches, the Unitarian body is not acceptable, because it refuses to acknowledge Jesus Christ as God and Savior. But apparently some Presbyterian ministers in Illinois find no problem involved. Presbyterian in membership. Unitarian in faith. Why not?”
My interest in this article is not in what Stevenson did, nor to conjecture his motive for doing so. We may leave that to the politicians to null over. We are interested particularly in the last statement of the writer of this article and the peculiar title he placed over it. “Presbyterian in membership. Unitarian in faith. Why not?” and “Unitarian Presbyterians.”
The reader will understand, of course, that the reason for the editor’s last statement as well as the peculiar title of his article is the fact that the Presbyterians referred to have long ago thrown overboard the doctrine of the deity of Christ. Therefore they are essentially no different than the Unitarians who, like their historical progenitors (Arms, Servetus, Laelius and Faustus Socinius) denied the deity of Christ not only but also the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. Presbyterians, who once in the hoary past embraced both of these fundamental Scriptural doctrines, are joined with those who have always denied them. That is significant, indeed. It is not difficult to understand how easy it is for churches which care nothing for their denominational and doctrinal distinctiveness to be so enthused with the idea of ecumenicity. Disturbing is the thought that there are so many people who are pleased with this spiritual indifference. More disturbing still is the fact that this indifference is fast creeping in upon the Reformed churches which stand closer to us.
The Movies Go to School
The February ’56 issue of Reader’s Digest presents an interesting and informative article under the above named subject. My purpose in referring to it is only to call attention to what should be obvious to all of us that we are living in a rapidly developing and changing world. When I think back just a few years ago; say thirty-five or forty years, how we used to attend a small, decrepit school building, where all the students of eight grades were stowed away in one room with a pot-belly stove and one teacher for all grades and with teaching methods which today would be scoffed at, one begins to imagine he is in a new world when he reads an article like the one referred to in Reader’s Digest.
The impact of modern electronics upon education staggers the imagination. And we are told that “Schools have only dipped their toes into the electronic age.” More and wonderful things are in the oiling.
The article is not interested in the so-called Hollywood movies, though I suppose that these are also used rather promiscuously; but the educational movie which, with the assistance of proficient technicians, is able to inculcate the facts of science, etc., into the minds of pupils more efficiently and profoundly than teachers well-trained for the job can do it. And we are told that “more than 90 percent of our high schools today are using movies to teach everything from algebra to zoology;” i.e., a to z. We are also told that “in most school libraries about half the films come from a single source—Encyclopaedia Britannica Films.”
Here are a couple of illustrations of the films Britannica produced:
“Here’s how Britannica filmed the way the human ear works. The ear of a man who had willed his body to science was kept alive while a camera was placed where the brain had been. It took a close-up of the tiny hammer, anvil and stirrup bones, and of that miracle the anatomists call the cochlea, responding as in life—stirring slumbrously to gentle sounds, quaking frantically to loud sounds. Now school children can see an exciting event that some of even our greatest medical men have never observed.
“Here’s the story of another kind of movie. The Monarch Butterfly, an outstanding ten minute film that tells the story of the butterfly from parent to egg to caterpillar to parent again. It took William A. Anderson 1200 hours spread out over 18 months to make the picture. One of his problems: the female Monarch squirts out an egg so fast there is no time to focus a camera, so Anderson had to point his lens at a logical leaf and hope for the best. In all, it required 14 field trips, each involving a six-hour wait, to get the shot.
“But it was worth all the trouble. You see a caterpillar busy with its own affairs suddenly halt and lift as if to hear some great, inaudible summons to depart from its life. It obeys busily, even frantically. It works a white glue from its mouth, wriggles and thrusts desperately from its hanging place to fashion a shroud around itself. There it lies still as in a grave. How somber is this moment: You remember how active the caterpillar was and mourn for it. But suddenly it stirs; its day of resurrection has come. It thrusts numbly from the grave, then unfolds as a thing of perfect loveliness—with wings! To see it all happening is to know, unforgettably that this humblest of creatures has been commanded throughout by God.”
The article goes on to say that T.V. may one day replace the movie as the more effective medium of education. In fact, in some instances it has proved already its superior effectiveness.
As we see it, there can be no objection to these media of education being put to use in our Christian Schools provided they are scrupulously censured by capable Reformed critics, and applied by teachers thoroughly trained in the art of teaching the sciences from our Protestant Reformed perspective.