Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 18, 1957
NUMBER 49, PAGE 12b-13

The Overflow

F. Y. T.

Articles by John T. Lewis

We begin this week a series of articles by Brother John T. Lewis of Birmingham, Alabama. For more than half a century this great gospel preacher has lived and worked in the Birmingham area. It is a tribute to the soundness of his teaching and the influence of his life that Birmingham is as little troubled and disturbed by the "promotions" and "institutions" as any city of comparable size in the nation. We commend the Lewis articles to your most careful reading.

The difference

Explaining the difference between "misfortune" and "catastrophe," Disraeli once remarked, "Now if Mr. Gladstone should fall into the Thames, that would be misfortune; if someone should pull him out, that would be a catastrophe."

Cogdill and Lufkin

It was not too long ago that the good church at Fourth and Groesbeck streets in Lufkin, Texas, had some internal friction. The problem would have been settled quickly and amicably, but the Gospel Advocate seized upon the unhappy situation as an opportunity to try to embarrass Brother Roy E. Cogdill, and for several weeks filled her pages with wild charges that Cogdill was a "church-splitter," "factionist," "trouble-maker," and just about everything else uncomplimentary. The charges were completely false, as everyone in Lufkin knew. Well the trouble within Fourth and Groesbeck has long since been settled; peace and harmony of the very finest kind prevail among and between the four congregations in Lufkin. And the elders of the Fourth and Groesbeck congregation recently extended to Brother Cogdill an invitation to work with them as their local preacher. When Cogdill felt that his heavy meeting schedule made it unwise for him to go into local work at this time, they immediately booked him for a gospel meeting. Brother Hoyt Houchen will begin work with this good church in June.


We recently read a fine definition of a "total situation" expert: "one who can go smoothly and without change of gears from an unwarranted assumption to a preconceived conclusion." Which reminds us of the story of the two Danish tourists who were returning home after a visit to America. One had already boarded the ship and was standing on deck at the hour of departure when his friend rushed to the pier — just as the vessel had cast off and was moving out into the water. "Yump, Yohnnie, yump I" screamed the man on board, "Ay tank you can make it in two yumps."

"Some" disapprove

Signs of the times: A write-up of Brother Pat Boone, kingpin of the rock 'n' roll coterie, says that Pat does not like to sing in nightclubs (although he does do so) "because SOME members of the Church of Christ disapprove of them." No comment.

Cancelled meetings

This writer has had only ONE cancellation of a meeting in the last eighteen months. Prior to that we had eight or ten in a single year. We know one of the staff writers of the Gospel Advocate who has had not less than FIVE cancellations within the last four or five months. We hate to see it. We would much prefer to see brethren on both sides show restraint, good-will, and a willingness to study and discuss the issues. Surely there is some better way to solve our problems than an abrupt termination of association! Even though it was the Gospel Advocate who initiated the "quarantine" campaign (and is continuing it — see below), we still wish some other way could be found to settle things. We do NOT take pleasure in seeing the Gospel Advocate writers receiving the same kind of treatment that paper advised for others.

"Quarantine campaign" continues

Even though her own staff writers are now having their meetings cancelled in wholesale lots, the Gospel Advocate continues to plead for a "quarantine" of brethren who "oppose" the Advocate promotions. Witness this advice on the editorial page of the March 21 issue: "The number of such opposers is so small, and the simple fact that their influence is felt by a few, and their efforts are so weak, makes it seem to us that to allow them to come into our congregations and disturb (if possible) the minds of others, is and would be an act of indiscretion."

Great improvement

Overheard at a recent college lectureship: "I used to be terribly conceited, but I had a series of interviews with our preacher after he had completed his course in 'Pastoral Counseling,' and now I have the most wonderful personality in the world."

One rule

When General Robert E. Lee was president of Washington College (now Washington and Lee University) a student wrote him asking for the rules of the college. The Confederate hero wrote back: "We have but one rule here and that is that every student must be a gentleman."

Invitation song

It happened a long, long time ago in Gotebo, Oklahoma. Brother Roy E. Cogdill had just finished a powerful sermon on the subject of the Rich man and Lazarus, entitled, "A Message From Hell To Those Who Are On The Way."' In terrifying terms he described the anguish of the damned, the horrors of hell, the unmitigated misery of doomed souls in torment. Reaching a climax when the tension of the audience was at its height, he called for the invitation song. Brother L. L. Estes, now an elder at the Tenth and Francis church in Oklahoma City, was the song leader, and had posted the numbers on the board before he knew what the sermon was going to be. When Cogdill called for the invitation song, Brother Estes arose from his seat and started the song he had selected, that old time favorite, "Oh, Don't You Want To Be Ready To Go ?"

Carried Away

The new preacher was determined to make an impression with his first sermon. And he did. His oratory was superb, his diction faultless, his soaring eloquence entrancing. The audience was simply carried away. But the young brother forgot that old, old maxim of public speakers that the mind can retain no more than the seat can endure, and continued his sermon — on, and on, and on. Until finally the audience began to wish devoutly that his eloquence would have the same effect on him for the last thirty minutes that it had on them for the first thirty — and carry him away!

"Too liberal"

We wish to commend Brother Roy H. Lanier for having the moral courage to break his connection with the Gospel Advocate (he had been a staff writer for fifteen years) when he became convinced that the brethren forming the policy of that journal were "too liberal." This is a fact which has been apparent to the Gospel Guardian for several years, and will be increasingly evident to thousands of Christians as the inevitable trend toward modernism and liberalism in that journal goes on apace.

How to say it

At a conference of scholarly churchmen in England some years ago, one of the members made a speech which filled his opposition with consternation. "Incredible!" fumed an irate member, "I have never heard of such views in all of my life." "Mr. Chairman," came the soft reply, "I cannot allow my opponent's ignorance, however vast, to offset my knowledge, however limited."