Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
February 21, 1957

The Overflow

F. Y. T.

Boys in uniform

We have lately heard of a growing sentiment among some churches, particularly in Tennessee, to refuse to let a boy in uniform participate in any public way in the worship of the congregation. He will not be asked to lead singing, to lead a prayer, to help pass the emblems, or even to act as usher. We do not know who is promoting this idea, but we sincerely hope it quickly dies. In all probability that Christian lad in the uniform is wearing it through no choice of his own — and if he and a few million others like him were not in these uniforms, it is a pretty good bet that all of us would be in a different kind of uniform — the uniform of chains and a slave nation! Brethren, think it over.

Do you think so?

One interesting side-light of the visit to Freed-Hardeman College (see editorial) was the statement to the editor (by President Dixon) that there is a vast difference between the speech and the writing of this person. Whereas the editor's speech 'is reasonable and moderate, his articles are "bitter and vicious." Is this the general feeling of Gospel Guardian readers? Of course, we are totally unaware of any such Jekyll-Hyde discrepancy; but feel with Paul that "what we are in word by letters when we are absent, such are we also in deed when we are present." But we realize how easy it is for a man to be self-deceived, and we'd like to get a sampling of the readers' Do you think the editor's writings are "bitter and vicious"? There is a reason behind this inquiry.

Going to headquarters?

We recently got a chuckle out of the story (related to us with solemn assurance as absolute truth) of the Oklahoma elder who had let the spirits of the occasion at an office Christmas party get the better of him, and who in shame and contrition felt he ought to make a public confession before the church. Which he did. The very next time he visited in Abilene, Texas.

Past perfect tense.

The way some brethren are playing fast and loose with issues of tremendous and often tragic consequences in the church reminds us of the fellow who was in a reminiscent mood about his boyhood playmate. "Yes," said he, Jim and I were inseparable boyhood companions. I remember a game we used to play called 'William Tell: Jim would put an apple on his head, and I'd shoot it off with my .22 rifle. Jim was a wonderful lad; tomorrow is his birthday. He would have been thirty-four years old."


In this issue we print the initial article of Jefferson David Tant, grandson and namesake of the editor's father, J. D. Tant. "The Problem of Suffering" is a mighty big subject for a young man to discuss, but we believe the article has merit, and we are glad to give it space as the first offering of this young gospel preacher to any religious journal among us. He has written words of truth. The lad cannot possibly realize that now as he will forty years hence. He apprehends the truth now, but will comprehend it only with age and experience.

Whose program?

Comes now to us a weekly bulletin from the "Norview Church of Christ" in Norfolk, Virginia, urging people to listen to the "Herald of Truth, International Broadcast of Churches of Christ." We've seen advertisements like this in several bulletins over the nation in recent months. Can't the "sponsors" and the "supporters" get together as to whose program it is? Why split the churches with it when they can't agree among themselves as to whose program it is?

Found, at last!

Brother G. C. Brewer was a giant among Gospel Advocate writers. Even the stoutest of his opponents acknowledged the power of his pen. Ever since his death the Advocate's editor has no doubt been desperately seeking a worthy successor to him — an intellectual prodigy (as Brewer certainly was) of unblemished character and reputation. Well, the search is ended! A recent editorial page of the Advocate featured a lengthy article by — Ira Y. Rice, Jr. Those who know Rice's lifetime record, and who also know the Advocate's recent record, can see an affinity between them that make their marriage a natural! And what is the strange rumbling noise yeti hear out in Olivet? Oh, that's just David Lipscomb spinning in his grave.

Prom a veteran editor

"The Gospel Guardian is exerting an influence in the brotherhood that comes from no other paper. It ought to be in the home of every member of every congregation."

— James A. Allen Nashville, Tenn. Preaching A Critical Study

Under the above caption we begin next week a series, of seven articles by Brother. Roy E. Cogdill, dealing in a detailed and analytical, way with some recent false theories advanced by Brother LeRoy Garrett and others. This study is exhaustive, thoroughly documented, and will prove an invaluable help to all who may ever meet the false doctrine under study. These articles should be preserved for future reference.


Thomas Gray, the English poet, wrote this simple epitaph for his mother's tombstone: "She was the mother of many children, only one of whom had the misfortune to survive her."

Good advice

One preacher to another, as he saw him coming out of a movie house showing "The Ten Commandments": "Now that you've seen the picture, why don't you read the book?"

Soon out of print

The Abilene debate between E. R. Harper and Yater Tant will soon be out of print. If you desire a copy ($3.75), you should order now. Jere Frost of Newbern, Tennessee, writes: "I have just been reading the Abilene debate, and wish to commend you for the clarity of your arguments and the complete lack of bitterness on your part. The discussion may well have marked the turning point...especially in the light of the sound to 'retreat' by Brother Harper and his later silence."