Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 22, 1951

The Overflow


Eldership Succession

Brother E. C. Rockliffe of St. Mary's, West Virginia, (half-Scotch, half-English, and half-American—a most unusual man) tells us of a quaint custom some of the congregations in West Virginia have worked out to solve the vexing problem of the appointment of elders. They just hand the "office" down from father to son! That's one way to do it. And one doesn't need to bother one's head about such troublesome things as "qualifications," "selection," and "appointment," etc.

Valiant champion of orthodoxy.


In order to restore the brotherhood's shaken confidence in George Pepperdine College, brother Hugh Tiner announced that he "personally" would head the Bible Department until a suitable teacher could be found. H-m-m-m.


Meles mephitica Pepperdine College's unhappy experience with brother Wilburn, and their present efforts to divest themselves of the odor growing out of his modernistic teachings there remind us of the delightful little jingle Oliver Herford wrote when he discovered that "metes mephitica" was the scientific name for a skunk:

"Said a man to a melee mephitica,

'I'd give all I own for your pretty fur.'

Now, he'd barter a throne For some eau de Cologne;

And all he can say is 'Gee Whittaker'!"


Versatile preacher In London, Ontario, a few months ago one of the swank cock-tail lounges of the city put on a contest to see who could submit the best design for a new bar they wished to install. Obviously whoever won the prize would have to be someone thoroughly familiar with cock-tail bars, lounges, devotees, and the general needs of such an establishment. Well, the prize was won by —the preacher of the Church of Christ! But don't get excited; as you might have suspected the "Church of Christ" in London, Ontario, is a modernistic, digressive Christian church—and the preacher who won the prize is a former preacher for the United Church of Canada, who was released from his United Church pastorate Neo-orthodoxy: a definition.


Dr. Cornelius Van Til who has made a most careful study of the whole historic and philosophical background of the theology of Karl Barth and Emil Brunner, has come up with the best single-sentence description of it we've seen. He says it "is a vague idealistic personalism using Christian terminology for the expression of essentially non-Christian concepts." Dr. Van Til, incidentally, dislikes the name "neo-orthodoxy" for the Barth-Brunner theology; he says it is better designated as "neo-modernism," when he was married for the third time, following two divorces.


Could be we're prejudiced against the word, but we always hate to hear a sermon described as a "masterpiece." It smacks too much of admiration of a man's artistic or pulpit ability rather than of deep appreciation for the truths which have been set forth. Or maybe our prejudice has some connection with the story Mrs. Amos Pinchot, wife of Governor Pinchot, used to tell of her "masterpiece." In a troubled, sleepless night she was struck by a magnificent inspiration for the greatest poem of all the centuries. It was a "masterpiece" to end all masterpieces. Even in her sleepy half-daze she realized that it would be an unspeakable tragedy if this incomparable literary gem should be lost to the ages. So she stumbled out of bed and jotted down on a piece of paper the deathless, immortal lines. Next morning, in the cold light of dawn, she looked at the scrawled "masterpiece" she had written:

Hoggamus, higgamus, Men are polygamous.

Higgamus, hoggamus, Women monogamous.


Motley team We get scores of church bulletins, and one that always catches our eye is "Good News" edited by Wendell Broom, who until recently was working with the Wilmington, Delaware, congregation. Brother Broom said a recent quotation from Sam Jones in his bulletin did not describe the Wilmington congregation, but it does describe a congregation or two we know: Sam Jones said, "If a man came to me to haul logs with a team made up of a mule, a goat, a bumble bee, and a skunk, I would think him crazy. But the average preacher has just such a team in his congregation to help (?) him: a kicker, a butter, a stinger, and a stinker. He may get his own personal load to heaven, but he will never get his team in!"


Harry Truman and Mark Clark Harry has tried to do it again—appoint an ambassador to the Pope. Strong protestations and oppositions seem not to deter him at all. To avoid Protestant ire the President was careful to appoint the representative to the "State of Vatican City" (a temporal "state" of 108 acres); but such a half-way measure is vastly displeasing to Catholics. They insist that the appointment be to "The Holy See," thus bringing our government to recognize the spiritual sovereignty of the pope. Mark Clark, the selected envoy, is an Episcopalian. Final decision will not be left to the United States Congress. If you don't like the idea, let your congressman know about it.


Gift subscriptions What could make a nicer gift than a years subscription to Gospel Guardian? Why not follow the example of many others and send the journal to some friend for a year?


The Dream Ah, great it is to believe the dream As we stand in youth by the starry stream;

But a greater thing is to fight life through, And say at the end, "The dream is true."

— Edwin Markham


Where is that tract?

We're still waiting for that tract brother Showalter promised of the Cecil N. Wright articles. If he has thought better of it and decided not to publish, we commend him for the decision. But we think a statement to that effect would be in order—with a retraction of the endorsement he gave the Wright argument.



"The reason why the Ten Commandments are short and clear is that they were handed down direct, not through several committees."

— Dan Bennett