"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of truth." — (Psalm 60:4)
"Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them." — (Isaiah 13:2)
Devoted To The Defense Of The Church Against All Errors And Innovations
Vol.X No.II Pg.11b-12
February 1948

Wolfe's Letter To Tiner

After studying your letter of August 26th, in which you renew your invitation for me to come to Los Angeles and talk over the matters presented in my Bible Banner article, I am still of the opinion that such a talk would be fruitless and a waste of time both on your part and on mine.

In the first place, Brother Tiner, this is not a personal matter, by which I mean that it is not a matter between myself and Pepperdine College, but a matter that affects the whole church. In order for a meeting to be of any value it would be necessary to call in dozens of other witnesses who sat in the same classes I did, heard the same things I did, and understood them in the same way. It simply fell to my lot to give expression to facts that are of common knowledge and that can easily be verified if you wish to make a genuine and impartial investigation of the matter. Even if for some unimaginable reason I should be persuaded to deny the facts as I know them and retract everything I have said, your problem would not be solved, for there would still be all these others who would continue to spread the knowledge wherever they go concerning the modernism and other matters of an unsound nature being taught at Pepperdine. For me to retract or to make any statement that would lessen the force of my testimony would simply brand me as a falsifier in the eyes of all who know the truth.

If my statements are not true in the full import of the term then why are other students making the same charges in private? The first preacher who spoke to me about the article told me that he knew such things were being taught because a certain other student and friend of his who is unknown to me personally had told him the same thing in almost the identical language I had used. Also I have a letter at hand from a student whose veracity is above question fully approving my article and expressing the hope that it, together with other evidence that may be brought to light, may serve to save Pepperdine College from modernism. Other statements in the letter give strong support to my charges.

Both your telephone conservation and your letter bear strong evidence that I have already been judged and found guilty, either of misunderstanding or of deliberate misrepresentation of facts. In that case I can see no reason for any further examination of the witness. In your own estimation the case is closed. Why should I appear and repeat my testimony before a judge who has already rendered his verdict? On the other hand, if you are sincere in your desire to get to the bottom of this matter, as you stated in our telephone conversation, I shall be very glad to appear before an impartial group of preachers and elders where the whole matter may be examined carefully and at length and where other students may be called on to testify. If you are as sure of your position as you seem to be, I should think that you would welcome such an occasion as an opportunity to correct before the whole brotherhood the multitude of reports that have gone out.

Why did I not go to Brother Wilburn? Because he knows the Bible as well if not better than I do and a thousand times more about the higher criticism. There is nothing that I could tell him that would add to his store of knowledge. Should I then merely have urged him to give up his modernistic learning and return to the simple faith of the New Testament? I did not feel that I was close enough to him to do that with any possibility of success. Moreover, it is pretty generally conceded that those who become enmeshed in modernistic thought must battle their own way out of it.

Why did I not, then, go to you? Because I had been told on good authority that when other students had given information about immorality in the college that instead of going to the roots of the situation the matter had been hushed up and the students themselves who had given the information had been treated as rank offenders. You stated to me on the phone that those charges had been mere rumors and without foundation. I happen to know that such was not the case. Was there any reason to suppose that my charges would be thoroughly and impartially investigated? Is it not safe to assume that you would have taken the same course that you have taken in the present situation—consult with those who have a personal interest in the matter and then persuade yourself that I was either too ignorant to understand plain English or else that I was maliciously misrepresenting the facts?

Brother Tiner, this matter will not be decided and settled until it is settled right. It will not be settled by you or by me, nor by both of us together. It can only be settled by the enlightened opinion of the church at large who will act as an impartial tribunal, and who, if I am not mistaken, will want to have the facts in the case brought fully to the light of day. I bear no malice toward anyone, and I beg of you not to take a biased or partial attitude toward this issue, such as might cause you later on considerable grief and embarrassment.

John F. Wolfe