What is Happening in Colleges, Universities, Theological Seminaries in America?
by Carl McIntire
This Christian Beacon pamphlet is dated 1966.
by Carl McIntire
The wide publicity that has been given to educators and clergymen in the protest against the U. S. involvement in Vietnam also has alerted the American public. The large ads that have been carried in papers with the names of professors and clergymen have brought out into the open an alarming situation that obviously exists. Emory University in Atlanta, Ga., a Methodist institution, finds that Thomas J. J. Altizer has become a world-wide figure with his "Death of God" theology. "Christian Atheism" has been coined as a respectable term to describe his views and others of similar thought. But how could a Methodist university support financially a professor whose views and thesis are that God is dead? Yet the president of the University on a CBS interview, coast to coast told the entire country that under no circumstances would Altizer be removed, that to do so would deny academic freedom, which would discredit the University in the field of learning. Thus a school that was started by Methodists to train Christian leaders is now not merely defending but also presenting a Christian atheist!
The conflict and contradiction is apparent, and Christian people thereby are alerted to the fact that something tragic has occurred. Since when does academic freedom require a Christian institution to employ on its faculty and pay the salary of atheists? But this is exactly the new philosophy. There is actually no truth any more, one viewpoint is as good as another, and there is no place for Christian schools as such!
The University of Rochester in Rochester, N. Y., has just seen the majority of its faculty and a large segment of its students rise up and protest an honorary degree being presented to the former vice-president of the United States, Richard Nixon, because he objected to a Communist and Marxist professor, Genovese, being employed by the state university in New Jersey, Rutgers University at New Brunswick. They accused the former vicepresident of not being in favor of academic freedom. Thus academic freedom requires a taxpayer to pay the salary of a Marxist professor!
"Studying God on Campus" was the subhead of an article under the General Curriculum division of the section on Education in Time magazine, February 4, and it was apparent from this story that God was having great difficulty on the college campuses.
Time reports, "At Michigan State Dr. Robert T. Anderson, a conservative Methodist theologian, begins Religion 220 by telling his students: 'The Bible is the greatest collection of mythology in the history of Western civilization Students who were fundamentalists in September frequently are demthologizers by January."
The leader in the movement to provide a new confession of faith for the Presbyterians, called the Confession of 1967, is none other than a theological professor of Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, N. J., Prof. Edward A. Dowey. In fact, the entire Princeton Seminary has made a complete about face as far as its defense of the Christian religion is concerned. It was Princeton back in 1929 that was reorganized by the Presbyterian Church to make it conform to the general condition of the church, and now it has been completely changed around until it is one of the leading liberal institutions, cooperating cordially with Union Theological Seminary in New York. These two seminaries in earlier years were at odds because Princeton was a stronghold of orthodoxy and fundamental belief, while Union was a stronghold of liberalism and modernist belief. Now both are on the liberal and modern side and work together harmoniously.
Thus, John C. Bennett, president of Union, writes the article for Look at Easter and he brushes aside completely any 'proofs of God and discredits the revelation of God in Jesus Christ, offering to the world simply four intimations that there might be a God. just plain humanism is all he has to offer. These great schools, founded by Christians and endowed with funds that came from men who wanted the Christian faith preserved and proclaimed, are now using these funds to deny the Christian faith and to subvert the great doctrines of Christian belief.
One of these widely publicized "God is dead" theologians is Dr. Paul van Buren of Temple University, Philadelphia. A local Philadelphia publication featured his activity under the title, "Is God Obsolete? - A theologian at Temple feels Christianity can be made relevant to Twentieth Century man by eliminating God."
This university, it is pointed out, was established by "The golden-tongued Baptist preacher," Russell Conwell, with seven theological students for the purpose of raising up an institution that would present the Christian religion and train Christian ministers, primarily for the Baptist ministry.
Describing the situation that now prevails, the article says, "Currently the Department of Religion and Philosophy of the School of Arts and Sciences, headed by an ex-Orthodox Jew who has been initiated into both Zen and Islam, and including an ecumenical array of professors like a leading Quaker theologian, an existential philosopher from Union Seminary, a Roman Catholic who teaches the rest of his time at Villanova a Zen master, a master of the Sufi Brotherhood of Islam, and a Methodist minister - has prominently on its roster an Episcopalian priest, Paul van Buren, who has been identified nationally as the foremost writer in the school of the 'New' theology which headline writers and magazine pundits have dubbed the 'God Is Dead School."'
The story then says, "Five guiding principles characterize the new theology in most of its present forms:
"1. The unreality of traditional concepts of God for our age - His absence from our current experience, the irrelevance of all that we may say about Him." The last of these says, "The tendency to dispense with all mythological, Suprahistorical divine or otherwise nonvisible phenomena as unnecessary to a religious orientation." Thus, the atheists have triumphed.
It is in the departments of religion in these various schools, all over the Country - state universities, and particularly in the denominational colleges, the colleges that are associated with the major denominations that are a part of the ecumenical movement or the National Council of Churches - that one finds this unbelief.
The Sunday Gazette Mail, Charleston, W. Va., February 20, 1966, featured an article, "New Theology of Christian Atheism Finds Comfort in Area." A local reporter called upon certain ministers. He wrote: "Dr. Robert H. Emery, professor of religion at Morris Harvey College:
"On the virgin birth: 'I regard it as a myth. It's an attempt -to say something about the uniqueness of Jesus, but it's certainly not to be taken literally.'
"On the divinity of Christ: 'I regard Jesus as a man - a man who was fully open to recognizing and receiving the love of God, and who allowed this to become the sole motivating force in his life. . . . He was a unique man, but this doesn't make him in my mind a divine or semidivine figure."'
The entire Methodist denomination is permeated with this same poison. Dr. Richard N. Bender, director of religion in higher education - Methodist colleges, Department of College and University Religious Life, Board of Education of the Methodist Church, Nashville, Tenn., wrote a feature for The Adult Student, May, 1966, entitled, "Constructive Responses to the Fact of Communism." In this article, which was placed in the hands of these Sunday school leaders throughout the entire 10 million member denomination, Dr. Bender rejected outright what he called extreme rightist reactions to Marxism-Leninism which he says are, "hysterical, irrelevant, and confused." This, of course, simply means the historic position of Christianity in its opposition to Communism, that there can be no peaceful coexistence between the two systems of thought. He concludes his article, however, by calling for increased "international student exchange programs with M-L [Marxist-Leninist] countries, sponsorship of study-travel programs for students and adults in M-L countries with a view to genuine exchange of ideas and achievement of understanding of persons in those countries."
This means nothing more than bringing the Communist students into the United States, and none can come unless they are steeled Communists, here to carry on their propaganda; and it means that the students are to become the leaders of revolution in changing the whole attitude of the West in its resistance and opposition to Communism.
The changing of the church into the leader of a social revolution is indeed the goal of much of this that we now confront. Dr. Bender says, "It is intolerable that we should continue to permit the Marxists to pose as the liberators of the downtrodden while the church seeks to protect the status quo in which it may be far too comfortable."
In line with this we see this steady stream of Marxist propagandists and theologians and professors coming to the United States from Czechoslovakia, particularly, with their Communist line.
So-called Dr. Zdenek Trtik was reported in the Lancaster, Pa., New Era, Tuesday, April 5, 1966, under the headlines, "No Need to Fear Communism Czech Theologian Says Christians Must Accept Marxist Revolution." And the story is that this so-called professor was lecturing to the students at the Lancaster Theological Seminary. His line was that humanism "has its roots in the Biblical message," and that "There are clear elements of humanism in Marxist philosophy," also, So, on the basis of humanism, Christianity and Marxism have something in common and they can work together for the good of mankind. This is the basis of the dialogue between Marxism and Christianity, which be says must now be carried on. But Dr. Trtik could not possibly leave Czechoslovakia and come to the United States unless he was a spokesman for the Communists. He has taken the oath required by the government, that be support and promote the cause of the Communist government.
There seems to be no let-up in all this activity that helps the Communists - the peace missions.
20TH CENTURY REFORMATION HOUR
Dr. Carl McIntire, Director
Sponsored by Christian Beacon,
Collingswood, N. J.