Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 28, 1957
NUMBER 30, PAGE 8-9a

Reading The Bulletins

Charles A. Holt - P. O. Box 493 - Florence, Alabama

East Lake Brawl

It's reported that there was a neighborhood brawl out our way the other day, the like of which hasn't been seen in many a day. It all began while a ten-year old boy and his nine-year old neighbor were playing.

One of the older women in the neighborhood came down the street dressed (or un-dressed) in her shorts. As she passed along the sidewalk, the ten-year old boy stopped his play and sized her up with an experienced eye. When she was out of sight, he turned to his playmate and remarked cryptically, "Well, Johnny, I had always thought YOUR mother had the worst looking legs on our block, but I do believe that Mrs. Smith's look worse than hers."

Whereupon, Johnny came valiantly and loyally to the support of his mother's legs, demanding, "Have you ever taken time to look at YOUR mother's legs?"

They say that the argument waxed hot and was joined by older brothers and sisters until the melee which followed was terrible to behold.

Well, they finally calmed everyone down, but it never was settled as to who owned the worst looking pair of legs in the neighborhood. I suppose everyone can be his own judge in the matter for the mothers are still parading in their shorts.

(The names in the foregoing have been changed to protect the innocent .... if any.)

— Hugh W. Davis, Birmingham, Ala.

Christian Controversy

There are many "tolerant" souls in our modern 20th century that abhor controversy among professed believers in Christ. It is said that controversy is not the spirit of Christ, and it is argued that we should be "tolerant" enough to grant to every man the right to believe as he pleases. There is no one who believes more zealously in the right of every man to believe and worship as he pleases than we do. But this is not the point. It is not a question of the "rights of individuals," but the rightness or wrongness of one's belief. Jesus did not take away the "right" of the Pharisees to continue in the distorted and deceptive views of the Law of Moses which they maintained; but he debated with them vigorously, and pointed out to them the inconsistency and error of their religion every time the opportunity presented itself. He was not a love-sick and starry eyed sentimentalist when it came to opposing error, and especially religious error. The most scathing rebukes that ever came from the lips of man were administered by our Savior when he denounced the error into which the religious people of his day had fallen. This was one of the greatest characteristics of his ministry, and it was this which finally brought down the wrath of his own people upon him and cost him his life.

Notwithstanding this, the great majority of religious people of our day, including a great many of our own brethren look upon Christian controversy as a sure sign of ill breeding, and also smacks of an intellectual deficiency which in turn creates "an intolerant spirit in the poor unlearned follow." The result is that the church for which Christ died is dangerously bloated with a bunch of milk-fed sectarian minded members that have all but destroyed the church of our Lord in many localities. Worldliness in the church goes unopposed, while false doctrine stalks the aisles of the church houses and becomes comfortably seated in the over-stuffed chairs in the pulpit, and it is intolerant to debate.

— Jesse M. Kelley, The Apostolic Voice, Blytheville, Ark.

The Ever Changing "Total Situation."

I am not as educated as some of the brethren and possibly not as skilled in matters of logic and various forms of reasoning but there are a few things I believe I know. One is that the value of "TOTAL SITUATION" argument (the whole is equal to the sum of all its parts) depends on ALL of the "constituent" elements" and "component parts" being present and in their proper relationship one to the other. Brother Tom Warren recently admitted that the value of such an argument did depend upon ALL of the parts being in evidence. And yet the TOTAL SITUATION" argument, produced by the Deaver-Warren combine, has made its appearance during the past year and a half in many places and in various forms. It has been published and handed out in pamphlet form in several places, beginning at the Eastridge congregation where Bro. Warren preaches, but also at the Abilene and Houston Debates. It has also been used by these men and others in various speeches over the country and in at least five debates (Abilene, Houston, Indianapolis, Ind., Paragould, Ark., and Fort Smith, Ark.) And yet the "Total Situation" is scarcely ever the same. It has appeared under many different forms and arrangements. It has been presented where the TOTAL situation involved 8 component parts," it has had 7 TOTAL "constituent elements, it has been presented with 9 parts and even reduced to where the TOTAL situation only involved 4 elements or parts. Now if the "Total Situation," as presented in the Houston debate, with its component parts, was a complete and true situation and a valid argument, then the arguments set forth in debate and in various pamphlets, containing only 4,7,8 elements or parts are then worthless. These brethren wasted their time, breath, paper and ink in the compiling such an argument when some of the NECESSARY "constituent elements" or "component parts" were missing. Yes, "the whole (Total Situation) is equal to the SUM OF ALL ITS PARTS," but when can we be sure these brethren have all the parts? They have seldom presented the same number twice. At which time did they have too many or too few? How do we know that possibly even now some of the vital parts are still missing and the "Total Situation" may appear tomorrow with 12 elements and the next week with 15 parts? Is a thing equal to the SUM of More than its parts? Is it equal to the sum of LESS than all of its parts? When did these brethren have LESS than a TOTAL SITUATION and when did they have MORE than a TOTAL SITUATION? It is absurd to contend they had the same "Total Situation" every time because the component parts have NOT been the same. When Bro. Warren presented in his pamphlet a total situation with 8 component parts, if this were a complete, true, and a valid argument, TOTAL SITUATION, (whose value he admits depends upon ALL of the parts being present), then these brethren had a SUB-TOTAL SITUATION when they only had 4 or 7 and a TEE-TOTAL SITUATION when it suddenly appeared having nine. We have no confidence in their TOTAL SITUATION. WE are leery of it for we never know the form it may take and the changes it may undergo. We have no way of knowing whether or not several component parts and constituents elements are still missing and may appear any time. No wonder one of our greatest Bible students and debaters of the past several generations said the whole thing was based on "sophistry." Another who ranks with the one just mentioned said, "a lot of people refer to this thing as a SILLYGISM and that is what it really is." Another great Bible student and scholar said the entire thing was supposedly based on logic and reasoning but was about the most unreasonable and illogical thing he had ever read. Then this quote is taken from another well known gospel preacher: "Are many of the churches there pleased with the Warren and Deaver 'situation'? I can't get over how otherwise logical and clear thinking brethren can tolerate an effort like that and call it reasoning. Considering the knowledge of the Bible brethren have this "component parts' business is the most stupid and idiotic effort at an argument I have ever seen, and I would have thought that the most fanatical promoters would have been ashamed of it." So, anyone who can be led to accept the Deaver-Warren "total situation" with all of its changes, knowing that on some occasions, without doubt, some of the NECESSARY parts have been missing, can be persuaded to believe anything. The BIBLE is NOT so variable and insecure. It reads exactly like it did before these brethren's "Total (?) Situation," "Component Parts," and "Constituent Elements' were introduced, it still reads the same way after their elements and parts have changed, and it will read the same way after this argument (?), based on the ever changing "Total Situation,' is forgotten.

— Paul Foutz, Christian Thoughts, Fort Worth, Tex.