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CURRENT EVENTS AND DISCUSSIONS
The Church League for Industrial Democracy. — To establish the
principle of co-operation and the spirit of brotherhood in the realm
of industry is the general object of this new organization consisting
at present of sixteen bishops and about four hundred members of the
Protestant church. Its president is the Rt. Rev. Charles D. Williams,
D.D., Bishop of Michigan, and its executive secretary is Rev. Richard
W. Hogue, D.D., of Philadelphia.
The League's objective and present lines of activity are indicated by
the following extracts from its Statement of Principles:
We face a world in revolution. Some regret the fact; some thank God
for it. Regret and gratitude are in a sense equally irrelevant; the Church is
called to act, and the contemporary situation furnishes her with a challenge
and an opportunity unsurpassed since Pentecost.
The purpose of this organization is to unite, for intercession and labor,
those within the Episcopal Church who believe that it is an essential part of
the Church's function to make justice and love the controlling motives in all
social change, and who wish, as Christians, to promote all sound movements
looking toward the democratization of industry and the socialization of life.
We affirm our belief that only that social order can properly be called
Christian which substitutes fraternal co-operation for mastership in industry
We believe that for us as Christiansthe proper procedure is not to formulate
a social policy and then seek to justify it from our religion, but rather to start
with our Lord's revealed will and to deduce from it our social program, with no
equivocation or evasion.
In case of teachers and preachers in our own communion whose positions
are endangered by reason of their social radicalism we promise to make investi-
gation and if necessary to publish the facts; and to the limit of our ability we
intend to give moral and practical support to those who shall clearly be seen
to have incurred persecution through advocacy of social change.
Recognizing the earnest endeavor under difficulties of those working in
our theological seminaries to train our coming Clergy for useful labors in the
new age, we intend to work for such changes in management and curriculum
as shall enable theological students to know, preach and practice the Social
We pledge ourselves to investigate social and industrial programs as they
may arise, to make contact with their leaders and authors and to spread accurate
knowledge of them among our Church people.
CURRENT EVENTS AND DISCUSSIONS 311
How to Spend Sunday. — Recent discussion on the problem of keep-
ing Sunday has led the Independent to ask its readers for an expression
of opinion. A number of representative leaders of various religious
groups responded with a variety of interesting suggestions, and these
have been presented in the form of a symposium in the issue of Janu-
ary 1, 1921.
There is general agreement that Sunday is at present not what it
ought to be; commercialism and worldliness have seriously interfered
with the cultural and spiritual possibilities of the day; and that the
development of religious life is very closely connected with Sunday.
But there is much difference of opinion as to the type of Sunday we
should have and the method of getting it. The answers may be divided
roughly into three divisions though they overlap.
r. The Sunday of the legalistic religionists. Here is a strong
negative emphasis. The whole day should be given to serving God
and meditating upon the work of Christ for our salvation. The Sabbath
is said by this group to be the foundation of the church and of all that
is good in Anglo-Saxon life. Europe is immoral and wicked because it
has abandoned Sabbath observance. This group believes in the enact-
ment of severely righteous Sabbath laws.
2. The second group represents what may be described as modified
Puritanism. Those in this group believe that narrow laws would make
religion offensive to many. Sunday should be not a day of gloom and
unnatural repression, but a day of decorum and restraint. Commer-
cialized amusements should be forbidden and all noisy and exuberant
recreation should be disallowed. It should be a workless day to the
very limit of possibility, a day when the family together quietly seek
intellectual and spiritual refreshment. It is the duty of the state to
enact the kind of legislation that will make such a Sunday possible.
3. The third group represents a socially constructive point of view.
Sunday should not be monopolized by the church by using the police
authorities to close up rival attractions. A healthy church does not
require such a policy. The day should be saved from pharisaism on the
one hand and from commercial exploitation and unwholesome recrea-
tion on the other. As far as possible there should be a holiday which
men may turn into a holy day if they will. This group would make a
careful study of the complex situation that underlies the keeping of the
modern Sunday. What is the need for such a day and what has been
its history? What intellectual, ethical, spiritual, restful, constructive
program can be made for the day in our common life ? It is essential
to co-operate with the community in providing on Sunday and other
3 i2 THE JOURNAL OF RELIGION
days wholesome and unobjectionable forms of rest through recreation.
This means a varied cultural and recreational program indoors and out
of doors. Open libraries, art museums, symphony concerts, musical
recitals, high-class plays and lectures, forum meetings, and athletic
games may well form part of a Sunday program that will meet modern
needs. Religious worship will be a vital feature of the Sunday program,
but the churches must provide preachers who are better trained, more
attractive music, more varied and rewarding forms of church activity,
so that the churches may have a far more compelling magnetism than
they now possess. This group desires the minimum of legislative regula-
tion necessary to carry out such a program. The test of these laws will be
what they provide rather than what they forbid.
What Else Must Be Done to Make This a More Livable World?—
Having considered the year of freedom from the three main causes of
misery — unemployment, low wages, and drink — Justice Brandeis asks
in the Survey of January i, 192 1, pages 498-506, what else must be
done to make this a more livable world. The Survey obtained
answers to this question from publishers, teachers, judges, labor
investigators, social scientists, poets, authors, religious leaders,
artists, philosophers, and other representatives of various phases of
American life. These answers cover the following interests:
1. The checking of reactionary tendencies. — Apparently we have
forgotten what the war has taught about naval rivalries, trade imperial-
ism, and the mental preparation for war. Since reaction is in control
today both in politics and in the sphere of public opinion, we cannot do
much more than retain the gains achieved. However we must fight
reaction in legislation and industry. The relation between employer and
employee must be so determined that workers may have an interest
in their work. The big purpose of industry should be that of placing
more solid economic foundations underneath the homes of the people.
2. Scientific social research. — The increase of knowledge of human
behavior is one of the prime requirements of our time. With the coming
of knowledge is the demand for expert practitioners. The function of
philosophy is exceedingly vital. It is even claimed by some that our
technique is in advance of our philosophy.
3. Public interest in health. — All the conditions necessary for the
breeding of disease are present in great masses of huddled and unsanitary
homes, and it is a tribute to the watchfulness of parents that so many
children from such homes grow into decent manhood and womanhood.
Interrelated with the problem of better housing is the matter of regular
CURRENT EVENTS AND DISCUSSIONS 313
work. The re-establishment of the federal employment service on a
scientific basis would contribute to the solution of this problem quite
as well the operation of barring or admitting a large number of immigrants.
4. Emphasis on education. — There is a firm belief that human nature
can be changed — within limits of course — by the instrument of educa-
tion. Two generations of education in a sane sense of proportion would
cure most of the economic ills of society. Some go so far as to hold that
a new economic code based on social welfare can be developed in five
or ten years by the right use of press, pulpit, educational classes, colleges,
and conferences in industrial communities.
5. A sense of beauty and a sense of humor are vital factors in the
development of a more livable world. It is indeed joyous to be able to
appreciate the wonderful and the beautiful, and there is a real demand in
human nature for such a satisfaction. It is a narrow program either in
city and state development or in education that leaves out the aesthetic
and a warped human nature is the result.
6. We need to discriminate between our ideals and our illusions. —
These ideals should be based on remorseless research. Only on such a
quest for facts can we construct the ideals that can release the forces in
individuals for their full contribution to society. It is knowledge and
not speculation that can make feeling regenerative in action and creative
The Future of Religion in China. — What is to be the outcome of
the conflict of religions in the Chinese Republic? Paul Hutchinson
suggests an answer in the Atlantic Monthly for January, 1021. The
chief religious forces in China are Confucianism, Buddhism, Tao-
ism, Mohammedanism, and Christianity. Buddhism is losing its hold
on Chinese life because of the indolence, greed, and immorality of
the priests, who retain their position only through playing upon the
fears of the people. Taoism as a form of worship is very rapidly
disappearing, though the belief in evil spirits which it fosters is
bound to persist for generations. Islam, although numerically four
times as strong as Christianity, has never touched the real life of China,
for it has isolated its followers to a great extent.
The two remaining faiths, Confucianism and Christianity, must
form the basis of the religious life of the new China. Of these, Confu-
cianism will rightly continue to furnish the distinctive Chinese attitude
toward life and the general moral basis of Chinese thought. This will
be supplemented by the distinctive Christian ideals, which will be the
natural fulfilment of the teachings of the Chinese Sage. Such elements
314 THE JOURNAL OF RELIGION
of Chinese life as veneration for ancestors will have a due place in the
new religion. Moreover the Chinese church of the future will realize
her greatest possibilities only under Chinese leadership. When the
missionary has completely vindicated his civilization his task will be
finished. Then China, under her own leadership, will continue to develop
her own type of Christianity as modified by her heritage and her social
How Can the Missionary Prepare the Way for Political Self-
Government? — India is facing an era of reconstruction in all phases of
her life. As she is being given greater responsibility in her political con-
trol, she is seeking it in other activities. How the readjustment should
be made in the mission centers is suggested by Professor S. C. Mukerjee
of Serampore College, in Young Men of India, XXXI (1920), 648-55. He
analyzes the task of Christian missions as twofold : teaching the principles
of Christianity and building thereon the social fabric of India. This is
a task which must touch every activity of Indian life if it is to be com-
pletely effective. But the missionary forces must be unified and cen-
tralized in leadership and responsibility. At present there are two
separate organizations, the Indian church organization and the Mis-
sion organization. These must be reorganized so as to make the Indian
church the central power around which all missionary efforts revolve.
This will give the Indian church organization the same type of re-
sponsible self-government as the nation is developing politically. It
will remove all fear that Christianity attempts to denationalize India.
The missionary will have an even greater opportunity for service, for
he will not be considered a foreigner, as is often the case now. Pro-
fessor Mukerjee would even go so far as to give to this organization
many of the powers now exercised by the mission boards in the choice
and direction of missionaries for Indian service. His plan is sure to be
valuable in the stimulation of thought on this important problem.
A Stone Out of Place. — Kemper Fullerton contributes to the American
Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures, XXXVII (October, 1920),
1-50, "The Stone of the Foundation," an unusually keen and thorough-
going examination of Isaiah 28:166, 17a. This passage has rarely been
controverted as an authentic utterance of Isaiah, largely because it
seems to contain his characteristic teaching of the value of faith. But
its meaning is not clear, nor is the text certain, and there are problems
of etymology and syntax which are only complicated when comparison
is made with the versions. Moreover it offers a promise where a threat
is to be expected, and in so doing interrupts not only the thought of
CURRENT EVENTS AND DISCUSSIONS 315
the passage but also its poetic and rhetorical form. Interpretations of
these verses are almost as numerous as commentators, most of whom
agree only in attributing them to Isaiah, and in rejecting any messianic
significance. Identification of the "stone" with the Messiah as an
object of faith is, however, most probable exegetically, though most
improbable critically. Professor Fullerton favors an emendation by
Ehrlich which disposes of the Isaianic doctrine of faith in this section,
which he concludes to be a late insertion, messianic in character. It
represents a type of symbolism found elsewhere in both the Old and
the New Testaments, in which the stone stands for dependable personal
leadership, and as such is a symbol of the Messiah. Indeed, there is
evidence of what may be called a well-developed system of lithic theology
of which only fragments are preserved in the Bible.
Professor Fullerton is to be congratulated on the thoroughness of
his investigation, and the convincingness of his presentation.
The Death of an Eminent American Scholar. — Professor B. B.
Warfield of the faculty of Princeton Theological Seminary died on
February 17, 192 1. Professor Warfield was professor of theology in
Princeton Theological Seminary from 1887 until his death. He has for
a long time been one of the ablest exponents of Calvinistic theology in
this country, and up to the time of his death he was an indefatigable
defender of the ideals of theological orthodoxy. With his death the
field of theological scholarship suffers a distinct loss.
Why Not Recognize Social Responsibility in Children? — The impor-
tant question is raised by Professor George A. Coe, in Religious Education,
February, 1921. The child is a member of the community and takes
that membership seriously. Why should not part of his play be given
to the construction of his own toys from provided materials? He is
invited to take part in world-wide missions, why should he not be given
an increasing part in the tasks of human welfare near at home? Can
he not participate in the selecting of his school problems, reducing the
formal and the coercive to the minimum? Professor Coe says "Yes,"
and gives some hints as to the method to be employed. In the vital
experience of worship, childishness can be eliminated, and developing
ethical meanings can be incorporated under wise leadership. Why
should there be an extended use of unappreciated formal prayers? Coe
gives a suggestive list of the items we need to know from intelligent
observation in regard to the religious life of the child. Give the child
an opportunity to live and help live by the stimulation of his own real
316 THE JOURNAL OF RELIGION
interests through a graded participation in a well-rounded life. Realisti-
cally, he has already entered into the responsibilities of life and does
not have to wait to be shot into them from the mouth of an ineffectual
The Missionary Ideal in Terms of Social Psychology. — Following
certain suggestions in Hocking's Human Nature and Its Re-making,
Dr. J. H. Oldham, in The International Review of Missions, January, 1921,
declares that all the instincts, sublimated under the aegis of the Christian
ideal, converge in "the passion for souls." Ambition for Christianity
is not a striving after precedence, wealth, office, public power. It seeks
to remedy the faults of low-lying ambition, and the quest of ambition
turns out in the end to be indistinguishable from service. It is the
passion for the spread of the new community of giving or adding to the
being of another. In this sense it is a passion for souls. It lays hold
of the ideal world in such masterly fashion that it weaves its quality
and principle into the fabric of human history. Saving one's soul as
far as psychology can deal with the matter is the achieving of this
passionate ambition to confer spiritual benefits upon another. Of course
this is presumptuous, but has not Christianity ever been such? It is
a presumption in the following terms: "Yet not I, but whatever I have
found visibly divine in the world, worketh in me."
The Mother's Confessional. — A fruitful suggestion for religious
training is given by Henry S. Curtis in the International Journal of
Ethics, February, 1921. Psycho-analysis is simply the method of
confession to the doctor. This new psychology has put the confessional
on a new basis. Mr. Curtis gives instances of the troubles and fears
of childhood, many of them groundless, but they are none the less
harmful on that account. The mother is the safe confessor of childhood
and she should aim to fill this position as perfectly as possible. The
time for the mother to establish this confessional is the fifteen- or twenty-
minute period before the child goes to sleep. The events of the day
and the plans of the morrow can be talked over that the child may have
a peaceful sleep and greet the new day with an untroubled conscience.
If she is to be a real mother-confessor she must cultivate from the earliest
years the practice of intimacy and show an interest in all the little events
in the daily lives of children. If she does not show interest or is too
much horrified, she will not be told. To maintain an attitude of con-
structive criticism the mother must always be in perfect sympathy with
the child. This may solve many of the problems of delinquency and
much of the unhappiness of childhood.
CURRENT EVENTS AND DISCUSSIONS 317
A Humanistic God. — "The Humanism" which is "an effort to put
man in his rightful place in the world" has struggled on for centuries,
and more recently finds its spirit expressed in the term Democracy —
political, industrial, social, and religious. This is the observation made
by L. L. Leh in his article, "The Influence of Humanism on Theism"
(Reformed Church Review, XXIV, Oct., 1920). Though "the God
of our Fathers" may have certain emotional value, he is in reality
not a "lovely figure" to modern men but stands for many of those
characteristics which they hate and which oppose Democracy. "As a
living force he has passed away. People have lost interest in him. He
is out of harmony with their new outlook on life."
The war evoked a "new religious fervor." Despite "an absence of
pious phrasing to a delightful degree .... God could be felt," not
a mean, petty God concerned with trifles, but one who "was interested
in big things — in freedom and justice and man's struggle for a larger life
and a better world."
For a long time the widely felt need has been for "a God as wide
as life, .... large in spirit, powerful without being arbitrary, ....
close to man and with a purpose for man which could move man to
enthusiasm .... who would be worth while for modern man." Truly
there is a reaction at present, not, however, to "the God of the Fathers,"
but away from God altogether, and this because "the new idea lacks
the proper organization, leaders, and institutional backing that would
make it effective among the masses at a time like this."
"The modern man wants a God that he can believe in" "a God who
is doing things." This characteristic will exclude the ornamental
superlatives of the traditional God. Instead, the modern, humanistic
God must console and inspire men, fight with them against evil, take
an active interest in the life-struggle everywhere, and so far from
condemning men must be their friend.
The Heterodoxy of Esther.— Jacob Hoschander discusses "The
Book of Esther in the Light of History" in the Jewish Quarterly Review,
(XI [Jan., 1921], 307-44). Names like Mordecai and Esther show the
influence of the civilization of Babylonia rather than of its religion, which
the exiles strenuously opposed; they were more favorable to the Persian
religion which was more like their own. The heterodoxy of Mordecai's
attitude on intermarriage, on which the whole book hinges, accounts for
the exclusion of the religious element.