All Around Us

The only Theology the Bible Knows.”

Under the above title the Rev. H. J. Kuiper presents a well-written article in the December, 1959, Torch and Trumpet Rev. Kuiper is reflecting on another article appearing in this same issue of Torch and Trumpetwritten by Dr. J. I. Packer, an English Calvinist. The latter asserts that the only theology the Bible knows is the Reformed Faith. Kuiper not only agrees, but magnifies this concept in his Timely Topics

We liked especially the emphasis Rev. Kuiper evinces in the following quote: “It is the only theology which does full justice to the most basic of all truths: that God is God ―the self-contained, self-sufficient, absolutely sovereign God who works all things after the counsel of his will; who is supreme over all, has the right to do in his world and with man as he pleases; whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom from generation to generation . . . who doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?’ (Daniel 4:34-35).” This, according to Kuiper, is basically the only theology the Bible knows. 

We liked this emphasis because it expresses succinctly our Protestant Reformed theological conception. To depart from this concept in the slightest detail, we are convinced, demands the judgment that one is neither Reformed nor Biblical. 

But we are not so pleased with what Rev. Kuiper further declares in his article when he says: “Reformed theology is the only theology which does justice to the work of the Holy Spirit in the unsaved, in whom he checks the full development of their sin. Common grace is one of the unique teachings of the Reformed faith.” 

This, the Rev. Kuiper cannot prove from Scripture, nor can he prove it from the Reformed Creeds. We challenge him to produce one article of Reformed faith that shows common grace to be one of its unique teachings. All we can discover in the Reformed Creeds, which express our Reformed faith, is the condemnation of common grace. Our creeds know of only one common grace, the one embraced by Arminianism. Perhaps Rev. Kuiper knows of creeds we have never perused. If that be the case, we shall be happy to be instructed. 

Moreover, we would be especially delighted to have Rev. Kuiper show us the harmony between these two concepts: namely, between the concept that God is God on the one hand, who creates the wicked for the day of wrath, who counsels that sin shall develop until it reaches its acme in the man of sin; and the other concept, that that same God restrains the full development of the sin of the ungodly. Or, would Rev. Kuiper tell us perhaps that here we have to do with another mystery? 

“Needed: A Philosophy of Christian Education.

In the same issue of Torch and Trumpet referred to above, Walter A. De Jong seeks to answer the question: “Do We Really Need Christian Schools?’ Pointedly he discloses the facts that while the Christian School movement is still making considerable progress, there is a growing disinterest in respect to Christian education. He deplores the facts that many teachers are seeking employment in the Public School System, that the present Christian Schools do not have their own text-books, and that apparently the present Christian School System has as yet no set philosophy of Christian Education. 

It is especially with a view to this last fact that he writes:

“From the above it is sufficiently evident that we as supporters of Christian schools are not clear on what we mean by a Christian education. It seems to me that if we want to justify the tremendous expense of maintaining separate schools we ought to strive for a clearer understanding of their distinctive function. We cannot accomplish this unless we are serious about wanting to formulate a philosophy of Christian education. No school can formulate its goals without a basic philosophy behind them. The Christian school is no exception in this matter. 

“It has been said that we shall never arrive at a philosophy of Christian education. If this is true, we shall find it difficult to justify our schools on the basis of a Christian education per se. Unless we strive toward a formulation of a philosophy of Christian education we shall always be at a loss to defend the existence of our Christian schools beyond that of practical expediency.”

Mr. De Jong notes further that he plans to give the readers of Torch and Trumpet in future articles some indispensable basic tenets for Christian education. We will be looking for these articles, especially to see whether they will express views that can be acceptable as basic tenets for Christian education. 

If my memory serves correctly the National Union of Christian Schools published some years ago a rather large volume which intended to set forth a philosophy of Christian education. It was concerning the philosophy set forth in this book that the teaching staff of a local Christian School in the community where I was serving requested that I criticize the philosophy for them. Pleased with the invitation I did not hesitate to accept, and I had pleasure of meeting twice with them. 

Two things especially I recall that brought me no little amazement. The first was the predominant tenet set forth in the book which I severely criticized, and the second was the abounding ignorance the staff evinced in respect to both the principles of Christian education and the application of these principles. 

The book, as I recall, posited as a fundamental principle of Christian education that the child must be considered a disintegrated image-bearer. Further, it is the duty of Christian teachers to rebuild that disintegrated image-bearer. I distinctly recall that I informed the teachers in no uncertain terms that they had better get busy with the reformulation of a sound-Scriptural philosophy of Christian education, and that they had better first be instructed themselves in the application of principles before they attempt to apply them. One teacher showed me a book which contained almost throughout pictures of so-called pre-historic animals, dinosaurs, etc, and asked me how she could teach the children from that book. I told her that if I were she I would throw the book out the window and never look at it again. I advised her that if she had no better text book she could much more profitably use the Holy Scriptures. 

Yes, indeed, Mr. De Jong is right. The great need for Christian education today is a philosophy of Christian education. But let it be heeded, that that philosophy must not be a philosophy of man. 

For the Next Census.

U.S. News & World Report of December 21, 1959, p. 6, reveals: “What The Census Taker Will Want To Know,” when the 1960 census gets under way. 

“In the latter part of March, each household will receive an advance census report by mail. This is a four-page form to be filled out in advance of the census taker’s call. It will ask, for each member of the household: name, address, sex, color or race, birth date, marital status, etc. Also requested is information on the size of the dwelling, number of bathtubs and so on. In some big cities, homeowners will be asked how much they think their homes are worth, and renters how much rent they pay. 

“On April 1, 1960, census takers will visit 55 million households to collect the information. 

“At every fourth house visited, the enumerators will leave an additional form to be filled out and mailed. It will ask, among other things, the income of members of the household.” 

On the same page of the above mentioned magazine we are informed that Congress has been told that the average self-employed American reports only .75 cents of each dollar he earns when making out his federal income tax return. Further, that tax cheating by farmers, professional persons and business proprietors is costing the Government about 10 billion dollars a year. 

Perhaps the above mentioned plan for taking the next census is a subtle detective maneuver to crack down on some of the chiselers on income tax. At any rate, the maxim: “Always tell the truth and you don’t have to remember what you say,” had better be studied by those who tell big lies about April 15th of each year. 

Drug Price Investigation.

First it was Quiz Programs, then it was Payola, now it’s Drug Prices that Congress is investigating. A revealing article appears on pp. 43, 44 of the December 21, 1959, ,i>U.S. News & World Report under the caption: Are Drug Prices Too High? 

First it was Sulfa, then it was Penicillin, then it was Cortesone. Now they tell me there is a new Cortesone out, much more potent than the older model. Drugs, drugs, drugs, we all need drugs. There is a drug for this and drug for that. Indeed, the pill factories are busy these days, not only in the preparation of already marketed drugs, but also in the invention of new ones. 

According to the report of the investigation, we are paying dearly for these pills. Here is the story on one of the newest drugs used in the treatment of rheumatic disorders, including arthritis, Meticortelone by name. 

“The Subcommittee’s counsel and staff director said that Meticortelone could be produced by its manufacturer, Schering Corporation, of Bloomfield, N. J., at a cost of just 1.6 cents a tablet. Yet, he said, its cost to druggist is 17.9 cents a tablet and the maker’s recommended retail price is 29.9 cents a tablet. 

“Another Subcommittee staff member testified that the markup over manufacturing costs is 1,118 per cent to druggists and 1,883 per cent to patients who buy the pills on prescription. 

“The Senators were told that another smaller drug manufacturer sells the same drug under a different name for 2.7 cents a pill.” 

The companies who make the pills explain that they have to have what they ask for their products because they spend huge sums in making these discoveries. Moreover, the cost of labor is considerably higher in this country than in others. For example, “Druggists, it was testified, must pay $170 for 1000 Deltra tablets (used for treatment of arthritis ― M.S.) whose ultimate cost to consumers is $283. At the same time, the Subcommittee was told, a Mexican firm is able to prepare and sell 1,000 prednisone tablets (the same as above ― M.S.) for as little as $13.61.”

It was also revealed that the same drug under a different label was sold in Britain “for the equivalent of $7.53 for a bottle of 100 tablets, as compared with a price of $17.90 in this country.” 

It looks to me like an investigation is necessary alright. In spite of the need for pills, it hurts me to think that everyone I swallow has been helping these transgressors of the Sixth Commandment take more of my money which could be put to much better use. 

M.S.