Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
January 24, 1957

The Militance Of Modernism

Paul K. Williams, Akron, Ohio

I received in the mail recently a very attractive magazine entitled RESPONSE. This is a preview issue of the magazine, which is proposed to be a monthly publication. On the inside front cover it says, "RESPONSE, is a publication initiated by members of Central Church of Christ, New York City. This venture in Christian expression is begun with the encouragement and assistance of people throughout the country. The plan is for it to grow into a monthly publication. Price: 25c per copy; $3.00 for 12 issues. Copyright, 1956, by Central Church of Christ." It appears that this church has gone into business.

Upon reading a few paragraphs in the first article and seeing the names of the editor and contributors, I realized at once that this was a publication of our "modernist" brethren. I examined the magazine with great interest and was astonished at the cleverness and boldness with which their modernistic ideas are propagated in its pages. Throughout, the graces of humility, love, and "spiritual thinking" are eulogized, while at the same time the writers with a complete lack of humility castigate those who would dare to teach we can know the truth. For instance, the editor, O. H. Tallman, writes on page 18: "The sins that crucified Christ are still here like a roaring lion seeking whom they may devour. The illusion of having capsuled the truth, done his will; the presumption that God approves us, that we know who are his enemies — all these are still with us. Prejudices are more esteemed than God's call of love to all men. We are preachers of creeds rather than fishers of men. By the strong enemy's fire we deny our Lord." Thus he boldly affirms that we cannot know we are approved of God, nor can we know who are his enemies! In true modernist style he denies the possibility of knowing the truth that will make us free.

Brethren, this magazine will have the widest circulation that these brethren can manage. Its attractive style and sweet-sounding words make it doubly effective. Such as this can lead the unwary astray. Its subtle insinuations concerning "formalized worship," "worshipping a little God," and "rituals of admission and worship" can weaken the faith of the new-born babe in Christ. It is a tool of satan's ministers to infiltrate the church with their God-defying doctrines.

I have long been aware of the dangers of modernism in the church, but it was not until I read this magazine that I fully appreciated the militance of those who adhere to its faith-destroying creed. Let us warn against it and label those who preach its doctrines that brethren will not be led astray by it.