MAILBAG

Christianity—Changing, Changeless?

February 1 1954
MAILBAG

Christianity—Changing, Changeless?

February 1 1954

Christianity—Changing, Changeless?

MAILBAG

My compliments to Fred Bodsworth for his searching article, Christianity —Revival or Decline? (Dec. 15). In his reference to the “march of science” Bodsworth restates some old truths, concepts which were laid down by Herbert Spencer as far back as 1862, when he envisaged a possible reconciliation between religion and science. 1 quote in part from his First Principles:

In the devoutest faith as we commonly see it, there lies a core of scepticism; and it is this scepticism which causes that dread of inquiry shown by Religion when face to face with Science. Obliged to abandon one by one the superstitions it once tenaciously held, and daily finding other cherished beliefs more and more shaken. Religion secretly fears that all things may some day be explained; and thus itself betrays a lurking doubt whether that Incomprehensible Cause of which it is conscious, is really incomprehensible.

Maclean’s is to be congratulated for printing this frank article. It is the sort of thing that makes Maclean’s one of the continent’s top-notch magazines.

Harrison McElwaine, Brown’s Flats, N.B.

• When Bodsworth states that “geologists ... set the age of the earth at two billion years, a far cry from the Bible’s six thousand,’! he is guilty of jumping to conclusions. The creation described in the Bible is not the original creation of the earth, but a re-creation. Between the first and second verses of Genesis 1, there stands a gap in time of unknown length which would allow for the two billion year estimate of the geologists.H. L. Reeds, Lindsay, Ont.

• . . . Fred Bodsworth has rendered a considerable service both to the Christian churches in Canada and to our nation. 1 am confident the article will be both read and studied with interest and profit by many ministers of the United Church . . .—J. R. Mutchmor, MA, DD, secretary, Board of Evangelism and Social Service, United Church of Canada, Toronto.

• Bodsworth’« opening paragraph seems to keynote an anti-Christian bias. For no Christian, even in name, would ever refer to Jesus Christ, Our Lord • • • «8 merely “a Jewish mystic and reformer” and so give automatic offense to all who believe in His Name. The whole article is purposeless, and possibly may be disturbing to some of little faith, and it must give satisfaction to the Communist, evil men, and unbelievers in Christ . . . Your mealy-mouthed editorial does not excuse Or clarify your action and I feel confident that it will lose you many friends . . .—A. J. Reynolds, Toronto.

• . . . The true nature of religion is not, as yet, anyway, explainable or provable by any known means.—Mrs. Grace Ayerst, Montreal.

March of Dimes

I wish to call your attention to certain references to the Canadian March of Dimes made by Sidney Katz in his article, The Unholy Mess of Our Charity Appeals (Nov. 15).

Katz states, “In one case, that of the ill-fated Canadian March of Dimes, it was revealed that of three hundred and sixty thousand dollars collected in a campaign two hundred thousand dollars went for campaign expenses, administration and overhead.” Actually in our 1953 campaigns by our provincial chapters across Canada the collections were $433,692.79 and campaign expenses were $38,374.20 which was less than nine percent of the amounts collected.

I would appreciate your publishing this letter in fairness to our organization and in the interest of keeping your readers accurately informed.— Alex C. Solomon, national executive secretary, Canadian March of Dimes, Montreal.

In writing his article Katz was careful to distinguish betweeen the March of Dimes fiasco of 1950-52 and the infinitely better record since the fund’s reorganization. Careless cutting by his fellow editors did an injustice both to Katz and to the March of Dimes.

A Gift for the Classroom

. . . This afternoon in my classroom at school I read A Gift for the Princess (Dec. 15) to the children. I wish you could have been peeping through the keyhole. It was delightful to see the

shining eyes and open mouths of the children as they listened to another Mary Grannan story—teacher enjoyed it too. Hope the grown-ups learn from Little Crumb that they don’t have to spend a bag of golden coins to please a child.—Dorothy Loth, Barrie.

The Alien

Have just finished W. O. Mitchell’s The Alien (Sept. 15-Jan. 15). It was excellent! However, in printing the paragraph “two Mounties going to work with fists and boots on the boy for two hours, to leave him bruised and bleeding and unconscious,” you insult the intelligence of Canadians . . . who respect and are proud of t he character of their police forces. Most other countries cannot boast of such . . . — Madge Grayson, Winnipeg.

• My sincere wishes that you will print more good serial stories likt* this one in the future.—H. J. Schuring, Victoria.

• In the course of this story 1 presume The Alien is going to do good work among the Indians, and I do trust he will not be teaching them the language Mitchell is making him use. Robert W. Goodrich, Weyburn, Sask. ★