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The Doctrine of Evolution has quite 
unexpectedly become an occasion of pop- 
ular interest in religion. The selection 
of this particular doctrine as a battle- 
ground shows an admirable courage. 
The outcome of the controversy will be 
decisive. For so well intrenched is the 
evolutionary hypothesis in modern scien- 
tific thinking that if it can be success- 
fully challenged in the name of religion, 
the possibility of religious dictation in 
almost any conceivable situation will be 
established. On the other hand, if Mr. 
Bryan's campaign fails, a revision of his 
conception of the authority of the Bible 
will be imperative. In this issue of the 
Journal of Religion three articles are 
devoted to aspects of this current 
controversy. 

Is Catholicism more progressive than 
Protestantism? On this particular issue 
as to the legitimacy of the evolutionary 
hypothesis, Catholic scholars are taking 
pains to indicate that the church is not 
trying to dictate to science. The April 
issue of the Catholic World contains a 
commendatory review of Professor H. H. 
Newman's recent book on evolution. 
The reviewer declares that the doctrine 
of special creation "was the older 

Protestant theory It was never 

the teaching of the Fathers of the 
Church from St. Augustine down to 
St. Thomas Aquinas, and from Suarez 
down to the present day." The dis- 
cussion plainly implies that Catholicism 
does not dogmatize on the subject. 

The Protestant Episcopal Church in 
Kentucky expressed disapproval of the 
attempt to outlaw the doctrine of evolu- 



tion on religious grounds. The Episco- 
pal church is much closer to Catholicism 
than the distinctively Protestant bodies. 
And it, too, recognizes that there is no 
necessary opposition between the con- 
ception of evolution and the exercise of 
Christian faith. 

The historical continuity of Christian- 
ity is stressed by both Catholicism and 
Episcopalianism. The living church is 
the primary means for the cultivation of 
Christian faith. In spite of the strong 
grip of traditionalism on these com- 
munions they cannot eliminate the 
consciousness of that long and fruitful 
history in which Christianity has always 
been active in relation to developing 
culture. The knowledge of this his- 
torical process gives to the churchman 
a quiet confidence that Christianity will 
continue to maintain positive and cordial 
relations to the best learning. Patience 
and faith will eventually triumph. 

The weak point in biblical literalism 

is its virtual ignoring of history. The 
Bible is treated for the most part without 
regard to the religious history of which 
it is an expression. Statements which 
are uplifting and inspiring when read in 
relation to the historical events which 
they were originally intended to inter- 
pret may create perplexity and dismay 
if cited in relation to totally different 
events occurring centuries afterward. 
To a historically minded man it is 
preposterous to suppose that the inter- 
pretation of modern life and thought 
shall be ultimately determined without 
taking into consideration the entire 
development of human thinking. Those 



The Editor's Page 



who identify Christianity with the 
specific conceptions expressed in the 
Bible, ignoring the history between 
biblical times and ours, are thus really 
not so well equipped to interpret religion 
in our age as are those who conceive 
Christianity in terms of the living 
church. A Protestantism identified with 
biblical literalism will seem to open- 
minded men a less enlightened form of 
religion than Catholicism. 

The historical interpretation of Chris- 
tianity is imperatively needed in these 
days. It alone can save us from the 
alternative of an ecclesiasticism which 
reads history in support of a policy of 
church control over individual thinking, 
and a literalistic theology which ignores 
history. The man who has learned to 
interpret documents of the past in vital 
relation to the life of that past will be 
equipped to suggest religious convictions 
for today in relation not only to the past 
but also to present needs. The present 
popular interest in the conception of 
evolution is an opportunity for giving 
an interpretation of Christianity which 
will conserve the spiritual power of our 
biblical and historical inheritance in 
such a way as to promote the enrich- 
ment of our religious life by a cordial 
attitude toward science. 

Who's Who in this issue of the Jour- 
nal? Alonzo W. Fortune was formerly 
professor in Transylvania College, and is 
now pastor of the Central Christian 
Church, Lexington, Kentucky— Car/ 
Zollman is a Milwaukee attorney who 
has published several studies on the 
legal aspects of religious institutions. — 
Francis Crawford Burkitt is Norrisian 



Professor at Cambridge University, 
Cambridge, England, and a Fellow of 
the British Academy. — Clarence M. Case 
is professor of sociology at the State 
University of Iowa. — F. L. Hawks Pott 
is president of St. John's University, 
Shanghai, China. — Laurens Hickok 
Scelyc is lecturer on psychology and 
philosophy in American University, 
Beirut, Syria, formerly known as Syrian 
Protestant College. 



IN THE NEXT ISSUE 

The Conservative Reaction in China, by 
Dr. Paul Hutchinson, gives a careful 
interpretation of an issue of much 
concern to missionaries. 

The Value of the Social Survey for 
Religion, by Dr. Worth M. Tippy, 
indicates the valuable aid which 
religious leaders may find in this 
form of social exploration. 

The Present Status of the Psychology of 
Religion, by Professor E. L. Schaub, 
of Northwestern University, furnishes 
an inventory which is of especial 
interest and value. 

The Motive of Theology, by Professor 
George Cross, of Rochester Theo- 
logical Seminary, will be suggestive 
to all who are concerned with the 
formulation of religious convictions. 

Did Jesus Call Himself the Son of Man ? 
by Dr. Carl S. Patton, of Los Angeles, 
is a suggestive contribution to our 
understanding of Jesus.