Editorial Keynotes

Thoughts from the editor's desk.

L.E.F. is editor of the Ministry

The Glory of Truth

It is the glory of truth that it is invulnerable. Genuine, ultimate truth cannot be overthrown. Its ad­herents need never fear for its life. It is bound to triumph. Partial aspects are, of course, faulty, and may be assailed; but pure, unalloyed truth is the expression of the very mind and purpose of God, and is unassailable. God Himself watches over and pro­tects it.

Men may come and men may go. They may prove loyal or prove untrue, but the truth of God goes marching on. Sometimes it may seem that God has forgotten and man has forsaken. But remember! many a battle is lost in the war that wins. A temporary re­verse is not a permanent failure. "Truth crushed to earth will rise." Though many a wave breaks upon the shore, the tide is bound to win. Thank God for truth, for there is nothing so glorious, timeless, and invulnerable. It is but an expression of the very thought of God.                              

L. E. F.

Christian Scholarship

Just what encouragement are we giving to real Biblical scholarship? The great Protestant Reformers of the sixteenth and later centuries were giants in learning and mighty in the Word. But we are throwing chief em­phasis on the prosecution, the adminis­tration, and the support of a world task, and scholarship languishes. Our work must go on, and many of our most faithful workers are straining to the breaking point. They are so pressed with multitudinous drafts upon time, effort, and ingenuity that little time or strength is left for forti­fying intensively and adequately against the delusive perils that are destined to arise. Are we wisely pre­paring to meet these issues? We must not fail. And this is an individual as well as a general problem.                 

L. E. F.

Wisdom or Foolishness

The wisdom of God's gospel, whereby  men become godlike, is foolishness to the world. It is reckoned foolish because it is so simple. It does not pander to human pride. It is made effective by a simple act of faith in the God-man Christ Jesus—faith in His perfect life, vicarious death, tri­umphant resurrection, heavenly inter­cession, just judgment, and imminent second advent to end the experiment of sin.

It is as accessible to the simplest child as to the most learned savant. It is as available to the untutored native as to the intellectual giant. It is fool­ish because it offers salvation by grace and faith instead of by works, and therefore as of debt, works and obedi­ence being the inevitable result and accompaniment of genuine salvation by faith.

The devil's first and fatefully suc­cessful contact with the human race went straight to the heart of this pri­mary principle. Through the serpent he said, Only put forth your own hand and take, and yourself eat of this tree, and you will be as God. The hellish scheme worked, only man did not be­come godlike. The devil lied and de­ceived, and through the centuries man's age-old enemy has operated along the line of his primary decep­tion, astutely varying the approach to meet the objects of his wiles, or in ac­commodation to the times.

But the just shall live by faith! Such is the eternal truth and provision of God, lost through the Dark Ages, recovered through the Reformation, and to be triumphantly reaffirmed, ex­panded, and consummated in these last days ere our Lord shall return. Such, with its complementary truths, is the heart of the everlasting gospel.

L. E. F.

Patience and Permanence

This writer lives within sight and sound of one of the great railroads of the East. And there is a stiff grade for a mile or so past our house. Fre­quently a long freight train will la­boriously climb the grade, and it is fascinating to hear the slow, ponder­ous rhythm of its huge engine. But occasionally an impatient engineer, anxious to quicken the pace, will open the throttle too wide, and the big drive wheels will slip and speed around to no purpose. Then he will have to close his throttle and begin anew, so the wheels will grip; for the engine connected with the train can go no faster than it can move its quota of cars.

It is interesting and instructive to hear the labored but steady chug-chug —chug-chug--chug-chug give way to the rapid, fruitless chug-a-chug-a-chug­a-chug as the wheels slip on the rails because of the engineer's attempt to speed up too fast for the load.

Is there not a helpful lesson here for us? Reforms are usually slow in their movement, at least they seem so to man. We are fretful over making the grade. We are creatures of time, and we want immediate action and result. We want precipitous changes. The old must go; the new must come and hold sway. Hours and days mean so much to us. But to Him who inhabiteth eternity these seemingly long stretches are but as a moment.

It is well for us to ponder back over the stretches of time. Not to speak of the thousands of years between the first premise of a Saviour and His in­carnation, think of the long centuries of the Christian era when, during the Dark Ages, error reigned supreme and iniquity was enthroned. But in God's predicted, prophetic time the Reforma­tion came. Error was unmasked and the banner of truth was again un­furled.

And now we have reached the hour of consummation. Let us in the last movements of the everlasting gospel build wisely and constructively, sub­stantially and steadily, for we are building for an eternity that is right upon us. Better to gain a yard and hold it than to spurt forward a rod and lose virtually all of it.                 

L. E. F.

The Lesson of Affliction

The divine purpose of God's testing furnace fires is to draw us as work­ers to Him in greater dependence, that we may receive of His purity and power. They are to foster clearer vision, stronger faith, and more inti­mate fellowship with Him. These af­flictions for our good may come in the form of broken health, shattered dreams, deferred hopes, thwarted plans, unfulfilled desires, or in other ways. But whether directly brought upon us, or merely permitted to come, they should be received by us as tokens of divine love; for He who knows all things, past, present, and future, and who reads the inmost intents of the heart, permits them for our good.

Sometimes God must change our field of labor or line of work. Some­times He must place us in obscurity for a while. The form of discipline is immaterial; it is our understanding and acceptance of the intent that is important. These measures are de­signed to separate us from subtle self-dependence, from pride of opinion, from dangerous lines of speculation, or some other path of peril. Let us seek our lesson. Let us not ask Him to cool the purifying fires nor to spare the strokes of the chastening rod. They are not humanly pleasant for the time, but they are for our good, and are tokens of divine love and watch­care—if we will only receive them as such.                                               

L. E. F.

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L.E.F. is editor of the Ministry

March 1931

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