Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
July 19, 1956

The Overflow...

F. Y. T.

Letters to Lanier

Recent announcement that Brother Roy H. Lanier is to teach Bible in the new college at York, Nebraska, revives interest in the matter of Lanier's fitness as a teacher of the Bible. His wild-eyed "interpretations" of certain passages dealing with congregational cooperation place a very serious question-mark upon his worth as a teacher of God's word. In this connection, we publish (the first in this issue) a few letters written to Brother Lanier by Brother C.E.W. Dorris last winter when Lanier's fanciful "interpretations" were being given a big play in the Gospel Advocate.

Radio, TV study

The National Council of Churches of Christ, U.S.A., under the supervision of Yale Divinity School, has made a two-year study of radio and television and their relation to religion. Among several interesting items of the report is this: "Only one person, among the 3,559 families interviewed, said he was brought into a church through the direct influence of a television or radio program." We believe programs of gospel preachers, Bible centered and teaching rather than inspirational in nature, will have a better result than the survey suggests.

First law-suit?

By the time this appears in print it is likely that a decision will have been rendered in the first law-suit involving property (so far as we know) in the new digression now ominously threatening the church. Because the elders of the East Bakersfield (California) church did NOT include regular contributions to the orphan homes in their budget, some of the members of another congregation in Bakersfield entered suit against the elders for the church property, charging that the "nonsupport" of orphan homes was contrary to the "fundamental doctrine" of the church of Christ! That is, no congregation can be a faithful "church of Christ" unless it has an orphan home in its budget! We are sad to report that the editor of one of our gospel papers was one of the active agitators and promoters of the lawsuit, and urged the institutional brethren in Bakersfield to sue for the property, even promising to help raise a fund to finance them in the court action!

Series on "church"

'Beginning in this issue we will run a series of articles on the true meaning and significance of the word "church." Brother George P. Estes has made an exhaustive study of the subject, and will write some ten or twelve articles on it. They are worth careful study.

Wallace versus Wallace

Several brethren have called to our attention that when G. K. Wallace was debating with Carl Ketcherside and Julian Hunt he vigorously argued that the "disciples at Troas" (Acts 20:7) meant nothing more nor less than the church at Troas; but when denying there is any pattern for congregational cooperation he just as strongly argues that the "disciples at Antioch" (Acts 11:27) can NOT mean the church at Antioch, but must be understood simply as the individual saints, acting as individuals and not as a congregation. No comment.

California writers

Scheduled for early appearance will be an "all California" edition of the Guardian — that is, all the articles (or nearly all) will be written by California preachers. Among the writers: Wright Randolph, Bill Fling, Floyd Thompson, Thomas Allen Robertson, Ford Carpenter, Lloyd Moyer, Randy Dickson, Steve Butters.

"It's in the English"

Our congratulations to Brother J. W. Roberts for his valiant efforts to give Biblical authority for the "sponsoring church" cooperative endeavors. Almost alone among the institutional fraternity he keeps appealing to the Scriptures. His latest "A Footnote to Acts 11:26ff" appearing in the Firm Foundation last month is a labored and desperate effort to harmonize Paul's statement that he had preached "throughout all the country of Judea" with Robert's firm and unyielding conviction that he could NOT have done this preaching at the time he delivered the benevolence of Acts 11:27-30 to the "elders" among the Judean saints. We will have more to say about Robert's article after we've studied it further; but meanwhile, it is downright refreshing to have somebody on the other side attempt to give a Bible argument in response to one of our editorials.


J. D. Tant was one of those gospel preachers who liked his coffee strong. He lived in the days when most housewives ground their own coffee beans in the old-fashioned "grinders." Eating with a family one day, Tant turned to the housewife to ask, "Sister, have you any coffee beans in the house?" "Why, yes, Brother Tant," she replied. "I just bought some a few days ago." "Well," replied Tant, "if you'll bring me a coffee bean, I'll lay it here on my saucer and smell of it while I drink this lukewarm water you've poured in my cup.

Harper, Highland, and San Antonio

Some have asked us if the fact that E. R. Harper's work at Highland church is being terminated will have any effect on the San Antonio debate which has been agreed upon. Not at all. A debate in San Antonio was proposed by Harper at the Abilene discussion, and was promptly accepted by this writer and by the San Antonio elders. Correspondence is under way trying to arrive at a suitable date for the discussion, and announcement will be made as quickly as possible. But the debate WILL take place. So keep it in mind, and plan to attend.

"It's the church!"

One of these modern churches (in East Texas) was planning one of their "fellowship" banquets in the "fellowship hall," but couldn't quite get all the members to go along with the festivities. Trying to persuade one reluctant brother, the argument was made, "It's just the same as if we all had a party at somebody's home; there's nothing sacred about the building, you know." Replied the brother, "All right; I'll come if you will move in a piano, and let us have some real good dinner music played for us while we eat." "But, oh, we can't move an instrument into the building!" was the response. "After all, it is the church!"