The Religious World Adrift

Countering the view that the Bible is no longer reliable.

By J. F. Simon

Reference to the so-called findings of modern research has apparently con­vinced the popular college and uni­versity students of this country that they can no longer follow the teaching and example of their fathers in plac­ing dependence upon the Bible. A leader among such students recently said, " You can't mention the Bible to a group of university students these days — they would just laugh at you! The Bible today has no higher claim upon truth than have the writings of Fosdick." But there are some serious minded and honest students in the uni­versities of the land who are bewil­dered, and are inquiring, " How do you tell truth from error? " Such was the exact question which Dr. Soper, of Duke University, was called upon to answer at the time of the Student Vol­unteer convention, referred to in pre­vious reports appearing in the March and May issues of The Ministry.

In answering this question, while claiming belief in the Bible, Dr. Soper made bold to assert that the final test, in distinguishing truth from error, was brought about through one's own inner conception of what is right and wrong. In other words, the individual must himself " think it out to a finality." In support of this suggestion, one student referred to personal experience in hav­ing reached the advanced stage where no difficulty was experienced in the final determination of truth. This stu­dent said, " I merely apply the theory of coherence: If the spiritual and the material cohere, then it is truth! "

Another question put to Dr. Soper was in effect like this: " What is your attitude toward the Bible teaching that God will condemn all who do not know the historic Christ? " Here is his an­swer: " If the Bible taught that, I would have to give up my faith in it, for it does not correspond with my sense of justice." In every instance the conclusion seemed to be an appeal to reason for the answer to all prob­lems in distinguishing truth from error.

In view of such teaching, it is not surprising that we find the motive for missions shifting from the gospel com­mission, " Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature; he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned," to that false and deceptive motive of preaching the gospel to the heathen simply because it affords an easy and more comfortable way of reaching the kingdom which they are destined to reach anyway.

The rising generation of theological students, and of university and college students in general, is evidently adrift on the sea of modernistic thought.

Nearly all Protestant denominations were represented in the student dis­cussion groups with which I came in contact, and while It would not be fair to suggest that these denominations are all adrift, it is safe to say that the leaders of the rising generation are most certainly adrift. No longer do we find the student groups humbly seeking God and studying the Bible for light and divine guidance. Instead of this, they are being directed to human wisdom, to man-made doctrines, and to their own ability to find the way.

Who, then, today must respond to the commission, to preach the everlast­ing gospel to all the world? Herein lies a mighty challenge to Seventh-day Adventist youth. With the religious world, about us drifting away from the gospel of Jesus, leaving us standing almost alone as the messengers of sal­vation from sin, not only to the hea­then world, but to the so-called Chris­tian nations, we face a mightier issue than ever confronted a rising genera­tion of Christian youth.

Shall Seventh-day Adventist youth be kept unsullied by the subtle influ­ences of a weakening Protestantism? Will their leaders hold steady in the crisis, and sound the clarion call of the threefold message as the only an­swer to the subtle philosophies which threaten to sweep away the founda­tions of the Christian religion? Or will their leaders seek to meet philos­ophy with philosophy, human reason­ing with human reasoning, and thus be found on the same premise as their opponents?

Surely, Seventh-day Adventist young people have come into existence for just such a time as this. Into their hands has been committed the torch of truth, which they are to hold aloft, and at the same time reach out after those of their generation who are groping in darkness, and calling, " Where is truth? " " How are we to tell truth from error? " Our young people must not fail in their witness for truth at this crisis hour. Upon ministers and teachers there rests a grave responsibility to hold firmly to the Bible, and so fully establish our children and youth upon the word of God that the subtle errors of the day cannot deflect their lives from God's purpose,— the giving of the gospel to all the world in this generation.

Glendale, Calif.

Ministry reserves the right to approve, disapprove, and delete comments at our discretion and will not be able to respond to inquiries about these comments. Please ensure that your words are respectful, courteous, and relevant.

comments powered by Disqus

By J. F. Simon

July 1928

Download PDF
Ministry Cover

More Articles In This Issue

Trenchant Truths

Love, not knowledge, is the test of discipleship.

Editorial Keynotes

Of all essential qualities for the gospel ministry, spirituality is the underlying, intertwining, predominant principle.

The Spirit of Advance

A lesson in the experience of David for all of us ministers.

Spiritualizing Our Money-Raising Plans

How can we increase the mission offerings or our people?

Prisoners of Sin

A report on Sing Sing.

Successful Evangelism

Counsel on conducting a evangelistic campaign.

The Inner-Life Experience

A personal testimony.

Art Applied to Evangelism

Applying art for the beautifying of Christian service.

Shall I Study Greek?

Does it pay to study Greek?

Bible Workers Exchange

Paper read at the Bible Workers' round table, Lake Union quadrennial session.

View All Issue Contents

Digital delivery

If you're a print subscriber, we'll complement your print copy of Ministry with an electronic version.

Sign up

Recent issues

See All

Latest Videos

See All
Advertisement - SermonView - WideSkyscraper (160x600)