"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.I Pg.11-12
August 1943

Birds Of A Feather

(C. E. W.)

The Bible Banner tries to keep up with the times in at least one respect. We believe in the ancient order of things in religion as established by Christ and his apostles, and it is a part of our business to observe and comment on developments and rapprochements in religious groups which affect that divine order.

What is commonly known as the Boll Movement has from time to time been analyzed and criticized. Its center of influence is in Louisville, Kentucky and it has cast its shadow over adjacent territory. It threatened for a time to spread rapidly among the churches and got a toe-hold as far as Dallas and Abilene, Texas and in some of the schools. The opposition to this materialistic theory among us has been so effective, that most of the defenders of Brother Boll spend so much time assuring everybody that they do not believe his future-kingdom theories, they have little time left to talk about him. At times they have shown more of a disposition to jump on us than they have to defend Brother Boll, which is quite natural under the circumstances. All the talk about his character, how devout, humble and scholarly he is, is beside the point. Some prominent Baptists and other graduates of the Moody Institute can be found to match him in these virtues. What does all that have to do with the issues involved? Nothing! Some seem to think that the issue can be settled by telling the world how good Brother Boll is, and how bad we are. Personally, I'm inclined to view things rather calmly, even in a fight, and I have never accepted the thesis that Brother Boll is as transcendent as some of his friends claim he is, or that we are as devoid of principle as some of our enemies declare that we are. I have an idea that Brother Boll is lovely to them who agree with him, and some who disagree with us have been subjected to a hearty shaking. Of course some who are being tousled about a bit are crying "foul" and complaining that we are "nasty" about it, but that is to be expected and can be charitably charged up to the disheveled condition of their nerves. Some personalities are unavoidable, because they are bound up in issues. They should be dealt in without malice, even if circumstances make them sharp at times. The issue is the thing.

There is no secret about how the Boll influence got a toe-hold in Dallas. Brother Boll himself has made many visits to that city "since 1901." He was touted as a scholar,

a paragon of piety, an advanced thinker along Bible lines, and the set-up was so impressive that many seemed inclined to think such a man could not be wrong about anything. Many, who have since had their eyes opened, went for him in a big way.

Really, the antics of some of Brother Boll's followers had more to do with the decline of his influence in Texas and elsewhere than they have been given credit for. Some of us have exposed the weakness and falsity of his theories, but it has been left for him and his admirers to demonstrate the dangers of them. They have shown where such things lead to. For one thing, it is impossible for an out and out "premillennialist" not to be an extremist and in many instances the fruit of it, a bit over-ripe perhaps, is downright fanaticism. The extremes to which some of his admirers have gone in forsaking the fundamentals of revealed truth and going off into this, and that and the other, appear to be more than a coincidence or an exception to a general rule. With them "premillennialism" seems to the thing and if a "premillennialist" happens to be a Baptist, a digressive, or what have you, such a circumstance may be considered unfortunate but not necessarily a fatal handicap to fellowship. It was shockingly noticeable in the Fort Worth debate when our editor met J. Frank Norris, a "pre-millennial" Baptist, that Dr. Eugene Wood and others of Brother Boll's persuasion, were scotching for Dr. Norris throughout the debate. They were not nearly as enthusiastic over the truth about baptism and apostasy as they were over the error of "premillennialism." When our editor met Chas. M. Neal in Winchester, Kentucky, the whole Boll shebang was there and their coalition with digressive forces in that affair is a matter of record. They deprecate a sectarian spirit with their lips, and uplifted hands of protest, but have unmistakably shown that spirit when they have been faced with the smoke of battle. Brother Boll himself became so exercised as an observer at the Winchester debate, that at times he could not keep his seat. Chas. M. Neal has followed some of the other Boll followers clear out of the church, while Foy E. Wallace (Jr.) is still preaching the truth of the gospel with his accustomed power. And I might add so is Foy E. Wallace (Sr.)

And now I come to a late episode in the career of Brother Boll himself. He has been and still is the chief apostle of a subversive movement among us, writes manifestos denouncing the sectarian spirit among us, and this late episode may be construed as an effort on his part to demonstrate to the rest of us just how to behave in a nonsectarian way. His latest visit to Dallas, one of his many comings "to Texas on Bible tours since 1901" is heralded in a display advertisement in a Dallas paper. The two things that instantly catch one eye, then the other, then both, is Brother Boll's picture at the top and "CENTRAL BAPTIST CHURCH" at the bottom. Luther C. Peak, LL.D. the Baptist pastor, and a dyed-in-the-wool "Premillennialist," embellishes the picture with some lengthy remarks about Brother Boll. It makes interesting reading and I'm passing it on to the readers of the Bible Banner, free of charge. Unfortunately, we do not have Brother Boll's picture to go along with it. He has never sent us one. Incidentally, it is a very good picture, and reveals Brother Boll as a very benign looking old gentleman, with hair just about as gray as mine. He smiles with his eyes, as though enjoying the prospect of meeting a huge Baptist audience in thorough sympathy with all he would have to say. It has been reported to me that he did not smile that way at Winchester. But here is how Dr. Peak introduces Dr. Boll to the people of Dallas, and what the Baptist pastor has to say about Boll himself:

In connection with the church at 712 Parkview, we are happy to present a Bible lecture, THE WORLD OUTLOOK IN THE LIGHT OF GOD'S WORD," by Dr. R. H. Boll, editor and publisher of The Word and Work and one of the outstanding Bible teachers of America, Sunday evening 8:00.

1. It is always a joy to bring to our audiences men who have a stirring testimony and message true to the Word.

2. Dr. R. H. Boll is such a man; a Bible teacher of rare skill, known and loved by thousands for his work's sake; he has been coming to Texas on Bible teaching tours since 1901.

3. Brought up in Europe, a Catholic until he was 20, he speaks out of a life, mature and rich in experience and deep in sincere devotion to God.

4. Dr. Boll has never claimed to be a minister of any sect that might be called the "Church of Christ," but he recognizes the true Church, of the Lord, the Body and Bride of Christ to which all Christians belong.

5. Through the years he has labored incessantly, preaching the doctrines of Grace, and the Second Coming of our Lord, as taught in the Scriptures.

6. His magazine, The Word and Work, is known and read throughout the world and has been the means of enlightening thousands in the things of God.

7. We say, without hesitation, that Dr. Boll is one of the most scholarly, humble, saintly and Spirit-filled men we have ever known. All Dallas will do well to hear him Sunday night.

Luther C. Peak, LL.D. CENTRAL AUDITORIUM Opposite Medical Arts Building on St. Paul St.

Dr. Boll's message, advertised above, will be steno graphically reported and published in The Evangelist. This weekly paper will come to you for a whole year for $1. Remit by cash, check or money order to The Evangelist, 1014, S. Ervay St., Dept. T-H, Dallas, Texas.

"The Unity of the Saints in Heaven With Those Upon the Earth" will be the pastor's subject for the Sunday morning message at 11:00.

Bible School classes at 9:45; then the morning hour at 11:00, when there are always conversions; auditorium filled Sunday after Sunday in Dallas' most victorious church.

The Bible broadcast hour will be heard Sunday, 10:0510:45, direct from the church auditorium ...

Central Baptist Church

Now, Dr. Boll really knocked Dr. Peak over, so to speak! I know what the gospel preachers in Dallas and churches of Christ in Dallas think of all this. I have been to Dallas too, "since 1901." The Boll movement in Dallas has been so closely cornered that if it gets much attention it has to look to the Baptists. It is obvious in what direction it breaks out when it has to, or smother. Do the "signs of the time" portend a new rapprochement? We shall see and comment from time to time accordingly. I have no desire to misrepresent Brother Boll, or anybody else, but I'm willing to lend some assistance, in view of his "outstanding " position, in getting him before the public as he is. Even he should not object to that. I'm just helping Dr. Peak advertise him.

Baptists are a queer people in some respects and traditionally sectarian. In view of the battles of both past and present, they naturally look with suspicion on "any sect that might be called Church of Christ.' Brother Boll must have reassured Dr. Peak along that line and he passes it on to his own people. It appears that "any sect that" is called the Baptist Church or Baptist denomination scares Brother Boll a lot less than "any sect that might be called Church of Christ' " scares the Baptists. It is generally known that Baptists are not overly insistent on Bible names for Bible things. If the thing they belong to was a Bible thing, they would not be under the necessity of giving it a denominational name. Dr. Peak goes out of his way, and pays advertising rates to do it, to assure his public that Brother Boll is a very broad man and will not invade their sectarian rights in any way. Of course "he recognizes the true church, of the Lord, the Body and Bride of Christ to which all Christians belong." Well, that is the church of Christ--and God. It is not a "sect." It does include all the people of God. That is what I am "a member of." It is not the Baptist, or any other, denomination. Dr. Peak seems to be under the impression that Brother Boll thinks the Baptist denomination is a part of it, and evidently Brother Boll has not gone out of his way to teach him any different. I am afraid he was so busy preaching "premillennialism" that he did not get around to it in that lecture he delivered in "Central Auditorium." Obviously, Dr. Peak wants to get the idea over that anything, currently called the church of Christ is a "sect" and Dr. Boll has nothing whatever to do with it. And it looks like Brother

Boll is smiling as benignly at the Baptists as he did at the camera.

Dr. Peak is a pretty shrewd sort of a fellow. He doesn't like what Baptists generally designate as "Campbellism." He is an avowed "premillennialist." He knows his "premillennialists." That is the reason he cabbaged on to Brother Boll. Don't think for a minute that Dr. Peak did not scan all the angles of the case. "The Second Coming of our Lord, as taught in the Scriptures" as Dr. Peak views it, is "premillennialism" pure and simple. Dr. Boll is a twin-pea in the same pod on that question. But Baptists hold rather violently to "doctrines of Grace" that exclude baptism, or any other act of obedience, as a condition of salvation. Salvation by grace with them means a direct operation of the Holy Spirit on the heart of a totally depraved sinner. Dr. Peak virtually told the people of Dallas in a paid advertisement that Dr. Boll agreed with him on "the doctrines of Grace." He doubtless knows that he doesn't, but he also knows that when a "premillennialist" faces an audience to speak on his hobby that he has a one track mind. He knew Brother Boll would not let him down, and I spect he didn't. He no doubt embellished the occasion by handing out another bundle of the same sort of tares they had regularly been getting from Dr. Peak from the pulpit and over the radio. A fitting climax to such a session would have been for Dr. Peak, Baptist, and Dr. Boll, Christian to have put their arms around each other and sung a duet. "When We ALL Get To--Jerusalem." The hope "whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel" is "laid up for you in the heavens." Christians look for "an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you." The Peak-Boll coalition in Dallas is revealing, even if it is not very surprising. Wonder what sort of a speech Dr. Brewer of Lubbock, Texas could make about it? Wonder if he still thinks the churches should use Brother Boll for meetings? If Brother Boll doesn't watch his step he may embarrass some of his friends.

Dr. Peak advises the public that "Dr. Boll's Message, advertised above, will be stenographically reported and published in The Evangelist." The Evangelist is Dr. Peak's weekly paper. It occurs to me that "the doctrines of Grace, as taught in the Scriptures" rate some importance as well as "The Second Coming of our Lord, as taught in the Scriptures." Since Brother Boll is "a Bible teacher of rare skill," it might be well for Dr. Peak to hold him in Dallas awhile longer and give him an opportunity to develop "the doctrines of Grace" and explain fully "the true church" he is "a member of. It would be interesting to observe whether the "rare skill" Brother Boll possesses would be equal to the task of pleasing the Baptists on these things, as well as he appears to have done on "The World Outlook." He and his friends have insisted that he is solid as a rock on fundamentals, such as the conditions of pardon and the like. I think both Brother Armstrong and Brother Brewer would stand sponsor for him here. Dr. Peak, who thinks "Dr. Boll is one of the most scholarly, humble, saintly and Spirit-filled men we have ever known" would possibly change his mind, and decide that the Spirit of the Lord had departed from him, like Saul of old, should he open up and preach "the doctrines of Grace, as taught in the Scriptures." Or is it possible that Dr. Peak is right about Brother Boll, and that Brother Brewer and Brother Armstrong have been deceived? According to Dr. Peak Brother Boll is a very fair specimen of "Premillennialist Baptists" in everything except name and "sect" membership. However, that does not seem to disturb the fellowship to any great extent. Maybe Brother Witty will tell us what he thinks of this new sort of Unity Movement where Brother Boll takes the spotlight.