Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
January 31, 1952

"Living Issues"


"Living Issues" is the name of the new book by brother W. W. Otey which is just now coming from the press of the Firm Foundation Publishing Company. Last summer brother Otey asked us to write a word of introduction for the book; and because several thousand will read this page who will not see the book (only one thousand copies were printed), we produce herewith the comments we made after having read the book in manuscript form:


Few men now living have had the experience of the venerable W. W. Otey in seeing first hand the development, progress, and tragic denouement of the "missionary society' movement. Few are as well qualified as is he to speak with authority—the authority that can come only from experience—as to the seemingly innocuous yet dangerous and devious steps by which simple "cooperation" becomes full-fledged and undeniable apostasy. In those dark and trying days of half a century ago it was a very small band of courageous and uncompromising fighters who stopped the march of digression and saved the day for truth. By no means least among those valiant warriors was the man who has written this book. Indeed, many students of the Restoration Movement are inclined to date the real beginning of the "counter-attack" against the society advocates from the famous Otey-Briney debate in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1908. The mighty work of Lipscomb in Tennessee and of McGary and others in Texas had brought to a slow grinding halt the cyclone of destruction that had swept through the churches. With the publication of the Otey-Briney debate it became apparent to all that the destructive advance of the innovators was being contained; the counter-attack got under way, and faithful Christians everywhere took new heart and new courage.

Now in his eighty-fifth year, brother Otey's mind is as clear and quick as in days of old; his memory for details is astonishing; and his powers of logical analysis, and clear, succinct statement of issues are as precise and sharp as ever. In this book he deals with facts, basing his arguments, inferences, and conclusions squarely on documentary evidence. He makes no guesses, gives credence to no rumors, and indulges in no wild charges and complaints. But with the calm restraint and dignity that should always characterize controversy between brethren he points out what is happening, and pleads for the return to a course that is safe, scriptural, and above question. His words of warning and caution are due the very greatest consideration possible. In these pages is not only the calm, deliberate judgment of great age and experience; here also is the voice of wisdom and of learning. Brother. Otey has not lived through nearly a century of history without leaning some lessons from it. He has not been through the thick of a bitter and prolonged battle without becoming "battle wise." He knows where the dangers lies, and what are the signs of it.

In this troubled day, when many men of piety and sincerity are so intent on "getting the job done" that they are inclined to ignore the principles involved, it is highly important that such a book as brother Otey has written be carefully studied. Too many people are going along with the assumption, though unstated, that "the end justifies the means" without realizing how inevitable it is that "the means will determine the end"! In seeking to establish undenominational Christianity in foreign lands there is a very real danger that the means being used may make a denomination of the Lord's church in every land.

This is a book for study and meditation. Its material is taken from the contemporary scene, to be sure; but its principles are timeless. They will have an application in any age and in any nation where men seek after God.

— Fanning Yater Tant That introduction will serve to give some idea as to the background of the author. What it does not state, but which is of real human interest, is that brother and sister Otey earned every dollar to pay for the publication of this book after they had both passed their eightieth milestone. The book of 137 pages is printed in the most expensive type of material and workmanship, and brother Otey deliberately set the price at a figure of only one dollar, while being urged to put it at least at the $2.50 level. But he wanted the book to be available to even the humblest, and he paid for the printing job out of his own meager savings, knowing that he would never realize enough from the book to pay the charges he had incurred in producing it.

"Living Issues" covers the problem growing out of the current activity of the churches in preaching the gospel in foreign lands, and deals at length with the college and church relationship. It is in such a form that it will last and be read with profit long after the papers and journals will have been laid aside and forgotten. Brother Otey has crowned a long life of useful service for the cause of Christ by this clarion call to a distracted brotherhood to unite in a course of action that is safe, sane, and scriptural.

Those who desire to have the book may secure it by sending one dollar to W. W. Otey, Belle Plaine, Kansas, giving your name and address. It is a book that will grace any Christian's library.



NO CONTRADICTION Saving faith is working faith and saving works are works of faith. James 2:14-26; Romans 3:19-30; Ephesians 2:8-10; Hebrews 11. (Isaac)