"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.VI No.XIII Pg.12
July/August 1944

Inside Information

113 1/2 Broadway, Fargo, N. D., November 12, 1934.

Dear Brother Wallace:

I am taking this opportunity to let you know how much I appreciated the way you handled the subjects for debate last week at Fort Worth, at the First Baptist Church. In order for you to recall just who I am, I am the man from Fargo, N. Dak., who spoke to you just after the debate, mentioning the distance I had come to hear you.

I have been brought up in the Baptist Church, and naturally from my earliest recollections I was taught the doctrines that you denied, and also the one you affirmed in regard to the possibility of a saved soul sinning so as to be finally lost; that is, I was taught that this is impossible. I came down especially to hear you discuss these subjects, and I am sure that my mind was open and without any prejudice. I weighed the arguments carefully, and I was forced to this conclusion that the Truth lay on your side of the argument. In spite of the fact that I have greatly admired Dr. Norris, and also the many courtesies he showed me while at Fort Worth, I must register my decision on the side of Truth and not personalities.

In your discussion on the subject of Baptism, personally, I do not see eye to eye with you. However, even on this subject you seemed to have the best of the argument. During the forenoons I attended the Premillennial Bible School sessions. During one of these periods there was a remark made in regard to the debate that revealed clearly to me that un-Christian principles would be resorted to on the part of Dr. Norris and his co-workers. This statement is an exposure of Dr. Norris and all his associates, and should you like it for publication, I would be glad to give it to you as I am prepared to state it verbatim, and I am positive that no one can call it in question. It was made by Rev. John Rice. When I heard the statement, the character of the men was revealed, and I was prepared for what was coming. This morning I received Dr. Norris' paper giving a full report by these men of the debate, and showing up Dr. Norris as the easy winner. Of course, we know where the information comes from.

I would like to receive a copy of your paper that carries a report of this debate. Inform me as to the price of the paper, and I will send remittance as I would like to have it come regularly.

Yours in the interests of Truth,

(Rev.) A. R. Scherling

P. S. You have my permission to use this letter in any way you choose.-A.R.S.

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This letter from a former Norris Baptist minister offers valuable evidence. I immediately wrote Mr. Scherling a request for the information, and received the following reply.

* * * *

113 1/2 Broadway, Fargo N. D., November 26, 1934

Dear Brother Wallace:

I shall herewith give you the statement at the Premillenial Bible School at Fort Worth. This statement was made by John R. Rice during the morning session, Monday, November 5th, hour from eleven to twelve. Due to the lapse of time and the fact that I have not a written statement of what was said, I think it would be best for me not to attempt to give this as verbatim. However, I believe I could come very near doing so. I am sure that none will ever call in question the fact that Mr. Rice made the following statement in substance:

"Now in regard to the debate. The Church of Christ folks do not like to hear any "Amens," and Dr. Norris will have to get up from time to time and request that you make no response in the way of approval with your shouts and "Amens." But, you are to pay no attention to him. He wants your shouts and "Amens," and nobody can stop you. This is a free country."

Now, Rev. Wallace, this statement did not strike me as being necessarily improper until after I learned that there was a mutual agreement between the two contestants in the debate that there should be no manifestations of approval or disapproval. But you can readily understand by this that his shouting crowd was informed beforehand that when Dr. Norris got up before that great crowd and requested that they would not manifest their approval, they were to understand he did not mean it.

As stated in my previous letter, when men who name the name of Christ--or any other for that matter--do resort to such tactics, they forfeit all my confidence in them.

I shall give my attention to the booklet on Baptism that you are sending me. Under separate cover I am also mailing you one that I would like your candid opinion upon.

Yours in Christ, A. R. Scherling

Testimony Down-To-Date

Fargo, North Dakota

August 8, 1944

The Bible Banner Box 1804

Oklahoma City, Okla. Sirs:

I am gratified more than words can express in knowing that the facts related to the publication of the Norris-Wallace debate will at this late date be made known to the public.

I have for a number of years had it on my mind to make this request, and especially so when at various times I notice by Dr. Norris paper how he misrepresented the facts as I knew them personally to be. I together with a friend made a trip to Fort Worth, Texas to hear this debate, traveling some 1400 miles. I was reared a Baptist and had followed the spectacular work of Dr. Norris with much enthusiasm, and of course came to the debate very much prejudiced in Dr. Norris's favor, but I desire to leave this testimony for what it is worth. Rev. Wallace had gained my confidence from the very first lecture. I considered him by far the best debater, even upon the subjects on which I agreed with Dr. Norris. Rev. Wallace outdebated him completely, this was readily recognized by all who were fair minded. I have further evidence of trickery and unfairness on the part of Dr. Norris and his right hand assistants, that I do not care to divulge at this time, but I am now convinced that Dr. Norris is not only a strong advocate of Baptist theology, but also practices it to perfection--namely that regeneration does not necessarily renew or change the state of the heart, but that after one is saved his heart is still deceitful and desperately wicked. This of course logically justifies their doctrine. "Once saved always saved irrespective of deportment."

However, should Dr. Norris conceal the truth by continued propaganda, we might uncover the facts in regard to the incident I have referred to, it fully reveals the essential character of himself and the men who stood next to him at that time.

For the $2.00 I am enclosing, please enter my subscription for the Bible Banner. May I get all copies in which this report appears.

Sincerely yours, A. R. Scherling.

P. S. If you consider this letter of any value to you, you may use it in any manner you consider advisable.