Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
September 24, 1953

Dunne - Pickup Debate On Catholicism

We have two announcements of great importance. First, beginning with our issue of October 15, the Gospel Guardian will effect a merger with Son-Light, the fine gospel paper which has been edited by Brother Harry Pickup, Jr. and Brother Robert F. Turner for the past two years. These men are among the most talented in the church today, and much as we value the approximately 6,000 readers they will bring to us, we value even more the addition of these two truly outstanding gospel preachers to our writing family. Their articles will be appearing regularly on the pages of the Gospel Guardian after the papers merge.

Our second announcement is in a way of even greater interest than the first. After long months (two years, in fact) of negotiations, Brother Harry Pickup has at last concluded arrangements for a written discussion on Roman Catholicism with one of the outstanding Jesuits priests of the nation, George H. Dunne, S. J. This is the man who debated Paul Blanchard at Harvard University after Blanchard had exposed Catholic power with his devastating documented books on the subject. There is probably no sharper and more analytical mind in modern Catholicism than that of this Jesuit scholar. He is a champion of the hierarchy who is in every respect in the same class with Purcell and Cardinal Newman.

This written discussion (which is already well under way at this writing) will be carried in its entirety in the Gospel Guardian, beginning with the issue of October 16. We will give as much space as possible to it in each issue, and will probably conclude the discussion in about four or five issues. It will be one of the outstanding discussions of our day, and one of the finest in print. It has advantage over an oral discussion in that all the time needed can be taken to study an argument, discern the exact point at issue, and reply to it with careful and precise reasoning and evidence. There is none of the confused playing to an audience which sometimes mars an oral debate. Each man is free to take his time, calmly and carefully analyze the arguments of his opponent, and then counter with the very best of which he is capable.

We have read the first article on each side, and we feel that Brother Pickup has done, and will do, a masterful job in upholding the truth and exposing the fallacies of Catholicism. Carefully documented material is presented, and the points advanced are considered one by one. This discussion should be a body blow to the pretensions of the hierarchy.

How You Can Help

We are happy to be able to bring this discussion not only to our own regular readers, but also to the 6,000 or more who have been readers of Son-Light. In addition to that, the debate will be available to the six hundred to eight hundred young gospel preachers in the various Christian colleges over the land. By the middle of October, as is our custom each year; we hope to have every young gospel preacher in each of the schools on our mailing list.

But there is a way you, our regular readers, can help. Will you not make a special effort to secure a club of new subscriptions for the Guardian before this debate begins? Our club rate is only $2.50 each in groups of six or more; and this counts either for new subscriptions or for renewals. There is scarcely a single reader of this page who could not secure a club of six in a days time if you worked at it — and in a week's time even without working, but by just keeping it on your mind! Ask your friends to subscribe; tell them of the forth-coming discussion. Seek to get those who are already subscribers to renew. See what you can do toward building a regular club of subscribers in the congregation where you worship. If the paper is worth your reading, it is worth your support.

We make no apology for the controversial nature of this journal. It is controversial to the very core. For wrangling we have neither the time nor the temperament nor the talent. But for honest and open controversy, in which men of honor and integrity come to grips with their differences, we have not only a taste but a real appetite. It is by such honorable discussions that truth can be arrived at, error exposed, and the cause of Christ advanced.

Brother Pickup tells us that Mr. Dunne is a man of great personal charm. He commands respect from all who know him. His defense of Catholicism will be brilliant and able. It will be waged by a man who sincerely believes in his cause. This is the kind of controversy no Christian should miss. We look forward to it with the keenest kind of anticipation. Are you with us? Will you help us get the paper into the hands of others? Are you willing to put out a little time on the telephone, or by personal visitation, to enlist the interest of your friends? The time is short; if you plan to do anything about this request, do it now!

— F. Y. T.