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RESTORATION HISTORY Part II. Internal Issues 1906-1930 n By 1909 struggle for internal direction was well under way. n Two men represent the search in.

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Presentation on theme: "RESTORATION HISTORY Part II. Internal Issues 1906-1930 n By 1909 struggle for internal direction was well under way. n Two men represent the search in."— Presentation transcript:


2 Internal Issues 1906-1930 n By 1909 struggle for internal direction was well under way. n Two men represent the search in churches of Christ. – Robert H. Boll introduced the study of prophecy, leading to an open avowal of premillennialism. – In 1927, H. Leo Boles accepted task of debating millennial ideas with Boll.

3 Internal Issues 1906-1930 n R. H. Boll and premillennialism. – For 50 yrs. he led the movement from Louisville, KY. – Born 1875 in Germany; baptized 1895; enrolled at Nashville Bible School 1895, graduated 1900. – Was present for L. S. White-Charles T. Russell debate--enamored by Russell’s style.

4 Internal Issues 1906-1930 n Boll & premillennialism. – B. shortly became front-page editor for GA. » Soon began writing articles on biblical prophecy. » But was not until 1915 that premillennialism appeared on front page. » GA removed Boll from his position, but reinstated him by the end of 1915 with explanation that all differences had been resolved. » But it quickly became clear Boll would not abide by restrictions on speculative topics.

5 Internal Issues 1906-1930 n The Highland church in Louisville, KY became the center of pre-m movement. – E. L. Jorgenson the preacher. – R. H. Boll and Don Carlos Janes members. – Moved the magazine Word and Work from New Orleans to Louisville. – Now Boll and Jorgenson had a voice for their views from Louisville.

6 Internal Issues 1906-1930 n A side issue--relationship of missions and premillennialism. – By 1920 some missionaries in China had defected to Seventh Day Adventists. – J. M. McCaleb (Japan) continued close relationships with Jorgenson and Highland. – Firm Foundation carried articles by McCaleb and Don Carlos Janes.

7 Internal Issues 1906-1930 n By 1918, GA had decided not to publish anything written by Boll. n FF didn’t treat pre-m until 1925. – J. B. Nelson wrote several articles on the kingdom and second coming. – C. R. Nichol and R. L. Whiteside published small book on Boll’s speculations about the same time.

8 Internal Issues 1906-1930 n H. Leo Boles vs. Premillennialism. – Born 1874. – Great-grandson of Raccoon John Smith. – Edited GA in early 1920s. – President of David Lipscomb 1913-1920 and 1923-1932. – Enrolled in Nashville Bible School in 1903, stayed 7 years under tutelage of David Lipscomb.

9 Internal Issues 1906-1930 n After graduation, Boles continued at Nashville Bible School as faculty member. – David L. recommended Boles for presidency in 1913. – Boles led in name change to DLC. – Until 1932 he involved himself deeply in school work and writing.

10 Internal Issues 1906-1930 n 1927 Boles inherited task of debating R. H. Boll on premillennialism. – From May to Nov. B. & B. filled the GA with arguments on the various facets of the question. » 1) The restoration of Israel. » 2) Had the kingdom been established. » 3) Is Christ now reigning? » 4) The premillennial return of Christ.

11 Internal Issues 1906-1930 n Debate ended amiably. n Boles believed that enough agreement existed between the two that they could “fellowship each other as brethren in the Lord.” n In 1930s same topic would be discussed at greater length, but feelings of mutual accord would not exist.

12 War and Peace n The pacifist position. – Tolbert Fanning strong proponent of the Christian remaining aloof from political involvement, including war. » As early as Mexican War, expressed view. » As Civil War approached, he urged Xtians to stay out--it was not the Xtian’s battle.

13 War and Peace n David Lipscomb was staunchly patriotic during Franklin College days and early years of adulthood. – Democracy “the first fruit of Christianity.” – The ballot box was sacred. n As years passed into Civil War, his views changed dramatically.

14 War and Peace n Now DL could not participate in any government. – Like Anabaptists saw govt. existing for those who refused the rule of God. – Thus, war was not the obligation of the Xtian. – God’s people must give allegiance only to Him. – “If my kingdom were of this world, then would my disciples fight.”

15 War and Peace n DL’s study of Xtian and govt. during war became lead articles in GA in 1866. – Years later appeared in Civil Government. – Many, especially students of Nashville Bible School, accepted his ideas. n Was no uniform position among churches of Christ. – When WWI approached, most positions were expressed in papers. – DL’s views widely, but not totally accepted.

16 War and Peace n World War I: A Clash of Ideas – Daniel Sommer at other extreme. » God forbids murder, therefore he “commands someone kill the murderer.” » Was ashamed of his German ancestry when the Kaiser ignored treaties with other nations. » Urged Xtians to treat the government as we would want the government to treat Christians.

17 War and Peace n World War I: A Clash of Ideas – A. B. Lipscomb represented pacifism. » Why was he a pacifist? “Because Jesus was.” » Pacifists (at WWI) called “slacker,” “mollycoddle,” “milksop.” » In response, L. urged, “dare to be called a coward for Jesus’ sake!” » L. did not oppose noncombatant service.

18 War and Peace n World War I: A Clash of Ideas – 64,693 citizens asked for noncombatant status. – Only 4,000 finally applied. – 1,060 were total objectors to war. – 634 of those from Mennonites, Quakers and Brethren. – CofC had 31; Jehovah’s Witnesses 60. – CofC had 200,000 members in 1917, 6th on list.

19 War and Peace n World War II: Changing Views – 12/7/41, G.H.P. Showalter prepared way for many in churches of Christ to take an active part in the recently declared war. » What brought on the horrible war? » Haters of God gained control of aggressor nations. » S. followed this line of reasoning to make WW II a just war. » G. C. Brewer could not see any war as a good war.

20 War and Peace n World War II: Changing Views – T. B. Wilkinson carried Showalter’s line further. » “Just as long as criminals are allowed to go scot free and be made national heroes...we will have wars.” » Pacifism on the part of Christians made this possible. – Greatest opposition to Christians in combat came from H. Leo Boles and J. N. Armstrong in the pages of the GA.

21 War and Peace n World War II: Changing Views – One matter of debate was whether to support men placed in Civilian Public Service Camps. » Camps authorized by the government. » But supported by and operated by historic peace churches--Quakers, Mennonites, United Brethren. » B. C. Goodpasture --“It is generous of the United Brethren to support our boys, but we should not let them do it. It is our responsibility.”

22 War and Peace n World War II: Changing Views – 73 young men from CofC were in camps by Oct. 1942. – By end of war, 199 had served in 67 CPSCs. – This total out of nearly 12,000 American conscientious objectors.

23 War and Peace n World War II: Changing Views – By 1943 was organized response to needs of conscientious objectors. » I. B. Bradley (Dickson, TN) agreed to forward funds. » Firm Foundation received and forwarded some funds. » Californians responded; early meeting in LA area raised $300 per month. » Cost per man $35 a month.

24 War and Peace n World War II: Changing Views – Not everyone supported the COs. – Foy E. Wallace, Jr. (Bible Banner) could not support those who would not support their country. – W. W. Otey (in Firm Foundation) asked “how long would it be till the Japs and Germans would be here murdering, robbing, raping women and girls and binding all in barbaric slavery.”

25 War and Peace n Foy E. Wallace, Jr.’s influence – Wallace (following O. C. Lambert’s lead) suggested that Lipscomb’s view of government was basically the same espoused by most premillennialists. – “...his book (Civil Government), beyond the possibility of reasonable denial, contains the seeds of that system.”

26 War and Peace n Foy E. Wallace, Jr.’s influence... – Since W. so anti-premillennial and such a strong advocate of participation in WW II, the two positions made pre-mill the vehicle of the anti-war sentiment. – W. attacked both total pacifists and those who accepted noncombatant roles. – W. (1936) had taken a noncombatant view, but by 1942 took the total involvement view.

27 War and Peace n World War II: Changing Views – B. C. Goodpasture (GA) opposed Wallace. – There were harsh exchanges from their respective papers. » Goodpasture--Gospel Advocate » Wallace--Bible Banner – Fact: The majority of young men accepted military duty during WW II.

28 War and Peace n World War I: A Clash of Ideas – Most strong pacifists were graduates of Nashville Bible School. » H. Leo Boles (NBS, later Lipscomb). » J. N. Armstrong (Harding U.) – Abilene Christian--a different direction. » Participated in Student’s Army Training Corps. » “Our school is for genuine ministerial students, not for slackers.”

29 1930-1939 n 1936 religious census would indicate a religious depression--in CofC too. – 1931, 1932, 1933, Firm Foundation reported 13,715, 14,329, and 13,370 baptisms. – 1938 Gospel Advocate reported 17,945 baptisms. – Why the decline in the census? Probably failure to respond to census.

30 Evangelism--1930s n Remained strongest in regions of earlier strength--South and Southwest. – Few churches in Northeast. – P. D. Wilmeth (supported by Hillsboro) began work with the small Manhattan congregation. – Few churches in Northwest. – Early 1930s saw foreign missionaries grow to 57 adults and 52 children. – George Pepperdine urged Far East missions.

31 Evangelism--1930s n War stifled foreign missions, but aided growth in areas outside South and Southwest. – Military and defense work scattered Christians to other areas. – Dupont (Old Hickory, TN)--Richland, WA built from transfers from Old Hickory plant. – Churches in places like Detroit and Chicago populated by people from South.

32 Radio Evangelism--1930s n Central, Nashville, 1925 WDAD. n Little later WLAC, owned by A. M. Burton’s Life & Casualty Ins. Co. – Broadcasting so extensive was said WLAC=We Love All Campbellites. n Pearl & Bryan (Dallas), WFAA. n Number of chs, 1939, XERA, Del Rio, TX. n By 1940 100 separate programs.

33 Higher Education--1930s n Abilene, Harding, DLC, Freed. – Financial difficulties for all. – But record enrollments. n George Pepperdine (1937) endowed a new school in California. n Leading preachers were more and more graduates of Christian colleges. n Colleges training preachers and missionaries.

34 GA & FF: Rivals n GA sub. list in TX had dwindled by 1930. n Perhaps the reason GA went to TX for its new editor in 1930--Foy E. Wallace, Jr. n FF had begun in 1884 over rebaptism (sect baptism)--rivalry continued. – Under Wallace, GA led in opposition to pre-millennialism. – FF strong emphasis on evangelism.

35 Foy Wallace & G. C. Brewer n Wallace (1896-1979). – Southwestern Christian C. & Thorp Springs Christian College. – But always questioned support and place of Christian colleges. – A “preacher’s preacher” with textual (chap. & verse) emphasis. – His sermons increasingly dealt with issues facing the church.

36 Foy E. Wallace, Jr. (1896-1979)

37 Foy Wallace & G. C. Brewer n Becoming GA editor in 1930, W. became issue conscious. – Believed individual can, but church cannot support Christian schools. – W. & Brewer had their first disagreement on this issue. – Pre-mill became most imp. issue in GA. – W. & B. both opposed, but disagreed on methods of opposition.

38 Wallace & Brewer n Brewer born 1884, Giles County, TN. – Student at Nashville Bible School. – Tremendous influence through evangelistic meetings, debates and weekly articles in GA. – Many earlier leaders had died by 1930 and B. was left to continue work of Lipscomb, etc.

39 G. C. Brewer (1884-1956) Grover Cleveland Brewer

40 Wallace & Brewer n B. debated frequently with wide variety of opponents. – Judge Ben B. Lindsey, 1928, “companionate marriage.” – Evolution and atheism. – Baptists 35 times. – SDAs 15 times. – Universalists, Mormons, Pentecostals.

41 Wallace & Premillennialism n Issue of the early 1930s was pre-mill. – Wallace editor of GA. – 1932 “Teaching Things Essential” » “They use more paper and ink teaching these things which they admit are not essential than they do teaching things that are essential--strictly essential.” » “The plea we have to offer the unsaved world is too great to allow dreamy brethren to dwindle it down to phases of Adventism, Russellism, and a lot of stray guesses under the guise of prophesies.”

42 Wallace & Premillennialism n 10/20/32 W. printed a challenge from Charles Neal of Winchester, KY. – “The Bible clearly teaches that, after the second coming of Christ and before the final resurrection and judgment, there will be an age, or dispensation, of one thousand years in duration.” n Wallace responded: – “We think he should be accommodated, so his challenge has been accepted.”

43 Wallace & Premillennialism n Wallace vs. Neal, Jan. 2-6, 1933. – At times caustic, but W. not yet telling people they could not believe pre-mill as a private judgment. – “Here is my hand, Brother Neal...Here is my hand brother Boll. We will not tell you to quit believing them. We only ask you to quit pushing them on us. Will you do it?” – Only later would W. call in question those who remained noncommittal.

44 Wallace & Premillennialism n Some questioned Wallace. – F. L. Rowe, Christian Leader, wished that some Bible house would publish a Bible without the book of Revelation. – G. C. Brewer, “A Plea for Unity,” ACC 1934 lectureship (in a time slot originally given to W.): » Some will “press (a single issue), emphasize it and almost idealize it.” » “A radical never converted anybody. A ranting partisan never reflected honor upon any cause. A bitter, bickering, contentious man is not welcome in any company of sane souls.”

45 Wallace & Premillennialism n W. was offended: – “The injury to the cause of truth could not have been greater had R. H. Boll appeared on the program in person instead of being represented by Brother Brewer.... It means that Brother Brewer cannot be relied on to protect the church from speculation and opinionism.”

46 Wallace & Premillennialism n For W., Brewer now became a “Bollite,” not a pre-mill, but one who would not condemn the doctrine. n For W., the prophecy question was equal to the missionary society issue and the instrumental music controversy that brought the 1906 division.

47 Wallace & Premillennialism n 1934, L. L. Brigance, FHC, promised W. that all Bible teachers there stood as one against “Bollshevism.” – Same article: called movement “Boll Evil.” n Editorially in GA, F. B. Srygley asked where other schools stood. – E. H. Ijams (DLC) & Frank Cox (ACC) endorsed B’s positions. – J. N. Armstrong (Harding) was silent.

48 Wallace & Premillennialism n 1935, Armstrong announced that he too opposed speculative teaching. – But he denied any responsibility to report to anyone. – Also, he thought pre-mill too much an issue. – Conflicts were going to bring division. n Srygley thought Armstrong’s opposition to Boll was too compromising.

49 Wallace vs. J. Frank Norris n Nov. 5-7, 1934. n Norris a fundamentalist-Baptist, Ft. Worth. n Huge crowds, 6,000-7,000, as many as 800 preachers from CofC. n Both men wanted the debate published, but could not agree on particulars. – Norris finally pub. his speeches. – “Read the debate that so thoroughly annihilated the opponent that he refused to have his side published.”

50 Wallace vs. J. Frank Norris n 1944 (10 yr. later) W. pub. an entire issue of Bible Banner filled with the exchange of letters and telegrams concerning the debate’s publication. n Norris several times invited pre-mill members of CofC to the podium. – E.g., Dr. Eugene V. Woods, Frank M. Mulllins. – N. even called Mullins to speak in defense of pre-mill.

51 Wallace Condemns Neutrals n After Norris debate, W. made his strongest statements on the neutrals. – “When the line has become so radically drawn that college presidents and prominent preachers will have to “go on record” definitely one way or the other, instead of trying to hide as neutrals in no man’s land, they shall then deserve no credit and should receive no respect for taking a stand after the battle is over.”

52 Wallace Condemns Neutrals n W. included Brewer. – Said B. had only read half of the Wallace-Neal debate. – “We are set for the defense of the truth.” – “It is imperative that a firm policy of dealing with this premillennial movement be maintained.”

53 Wallace Condemns Neutrals n J. D. Tant supported W. – “It is a general impression among the churches where I go that the Harding College as well as the Central church in Nashville with few exceptions is in full sympathy with the Boll foolishness.” – “If we blot out the past and ignore their (Boll) departures, I will yet live to see R. H. Boll editor of the Gospel Advocate or president of Harding College.”

54 Gospel Guardian/Bible Banner n 1934 W. released from editorship of GA. n Without a public forum he began the Gospel Guardian in Oct. 1935. – Attacked neutrals or “Bollites” with ungloved hands. – “We shall attend to apologists and neutrals who carry water on both shoulders and as often as they appear we aim to see to it that they either take one bucket off or spill them both.”

55 Guardian/Banner n Others spoke out-- – Boles said of Boll & followers: “They have gone beyond the boundary not only of truth, but of reason and brotherly love.” – Fanning Yater Tant: “We must keep the church militant.”

56 Guardian/Banner n Jan. 1936, Guardian had a red cover. – Entire issue on pre-mill and Boll. – Called Boll and friends “wolves in sheep clothing.” – W. included a one-page criticism of G. C. Brewer: “Brother Brewer has not done one thing to strengthen the defense of the truth on these issues but has said and has done many things, both publicly and privately, to weaken it.”

57 Guardian/Banner n Before Guardian ceased publication in 1936, W. listed a number of men in a special group: “All the neutrals in the church are Bollites--that class of members among us led by J. N. Armstrong, G. C. Brewer, Claude F. Witty, Flavil Hall, et. al., who say that they do not believe the doctrine and whose sympathies seem to lie wholly on that side.

58 Guardian/Banner n Between end of Guardian (1936) and beginning of Banner (1938), W. wrote for Firm Foundation. – FF had taken over sub. list of Guardian. – One article condemned use of Great Songs of the Church, edited by E. L. Jorgenson. – Any association, even use of a hymnal, made churches and schools suspect and even Bollite.

59 Guardian/Banner n 1938-1949 W. pub. the Bible Banner. – William Wallace, W’s son said, “The Bible Banner helped shape attitudes and form loyalties destined to crystallize into a movement of dissent in the 1950s.” – Pre-mill was always a concern, but not the only one.

60 Guardian/Banner n First issue-- – “The present generation has not enjoyed the thorough indoctrination accorded former generations under the giants of early restoration days. There must now be a general return to militant preaching, the old type of preaching--and the old type of journalism--plain first principle preaching and teaching and writing that defends the truth against all errors, teachers of error and institutions of error by name, make, model, and number.”

61 Guardian/Banner n Same year BB began (1938), pre-mill the topic of 4th Hardeman Tabernacle meeting. – F. B. Srygley: H. “thinks that premillennialism is connected with the taproot of all of our differences and troubles at the present time.” – Central (Nashville) did not support the meeting, adding fuel to allegation that it was at least Bollite.

62 Wallace Back To Nashville n April & May, 1939 W. returned to Nashville for meetings. – Preached at Chapel Avenue. – Also gave special lectures on Sunday afternoons. – 1st drew 3,000 to the Dixie Tabernacle. – Subject: “What the Church in Nashville Must Do To Be Saved.”

63 Wallace Back To Nashville n GA reported that W. – “condemned institutionalism, modern Judaism, and a compromising attitude toward truth. He stressed the necessity of keeping the church evangelistic, rather than missionary. He condemned one- man missionary societies, and said the name ‘missionary’ was ‘borrowed from the denominational garbage can.’”

64 Wallace Back to Nashville n 2nd Sunday--Premillennialism. – W. “cited instances of calling on sectarians to lead prayer, affiliation with ministerial alliances, and similar evidences of a softening attitude toward error. Among his suggestions for remedying the situation were these: The elimination of soft preaching from the pulpit, distinctive preaching on the radio, purging the schools of sympathizers with premillennialists, and a sturdier type of religious journalism.”

65 Effects n William Wallace (W’s son)-- – “The victory was not without tragic implications for the brethren who were active in the opposition to millennial theories. Attitudes, alienations, resentments, methods, policies and procedures growing out of the thirties lingered to plague discussions of other issues in the 1940s.”

66 Effects n F. L. Rowe-- – “I am glad to have you express yourself regarding the tactics of Brother Wallace. I don’t know what in the world he hopes to accomplish by circulating such stuff among the brethren. It only serves to embitter good brethren instead of trying to bring them together. One of their group of writers held a meeting in my home church. He preached four very forceful sermons, largely pugnacious, and

67 Effects n I asked him at the supper table to preach a sermon on the Prodigal Son. He hesitated a minute and then said, ‘Brother Rowe, I cannot do it. I never have studied that subject.’ From my way of thinking, we need a little more of the love of God among our brethren and a little more of the spirit of the publican in humility, and then perhaps we can have a united church and renew our plea for unity.”

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