Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 26, 1950

The Overflow

F. Y. T.

Coleman Overby

Sixteen years ago Coleman Overby preached one night in Fort Smith, Ark., while the writer of this page was living there. From that brief visit there developed a friendship that the years did not diminish. That first visit, somehow, set the tone for every subsequent contact we had with him. After the service that night he talked of many things— but mostly of Rachel, his lovely daughter, who had died only a year or two previously. "There never lived a sweeter, purer girl than Rachel. God being my helper, I shall meet her in heaven." Common words, to be sure, words that one might expect from any bereaved father. But as Coleman Overby spoke them that night, tears flowed unashamedly down his cheeks, they made an impression that time will not efface. We will carry many memories of this godly man through the years, but none will be deeper nor more profoundly moving than the memory of that night. And now that he is gone, the sharp sorrow we feel at his loss cannot but be tempered by the confidence we have that God was his "helper", and that his life made certain that meeting in heaven for which he yearned.


New Problems?

"A new interest in the redeeming grace of God is promising to revitalize American Protestantism. We are faced with new issues, new problems, new decisions. The Restoration pioneers can help us but little. We are on our own. What shall we do?" This is a quotation from a church bulletin published by brother R. E. Box, preacher for the Cornell Avenue Church in Chicago. We call attention to it because it is typical of the "new" type of thinking that characterizes a certain group of our younger brethren —mostly though not exclusively, those who have come under the influence of Pepperdine College. We remind brother Box and others that the "restoration pioneers faced in essence exactly the problems we face today: modernism (remember McGarvey?); sectarianism and denominationalism (the Campbell's and Walter Scott ought to be of some help); institutionalism (how about Ben Franklin and Moses E. Lard?); the nature of the church (has brother Box ever read the writings of F. D. Srygley?); and as for the fight against the attractions of this world—secularism—we still can't think of anything our modern preachers and writers have produced that will be of greater help than the sermons of T. B. Larimore. Yes, we still prefer these brethren over all the erudition of Neibuhr, Barth, Fosdick and all the rest.


Box Versus Hailey

Brother Box says, "The Restoration pioneers can help us but little." Homer Hailey, Bible teacher in Abilene Christian College, says "Second to the Bible, a study of this period... will do more to enlighten and strengthen, to warn and direct the Christian than any other literature known to the present writer." (Introduction to Earl West's new book).


Search For The Ancient Order

While we are on that subject, we will say that Volume 2 of Earl West's "Search For the Ancient Order" is a book that ought to be in every Christian's library. It gives an insight into the struggles, the heart-aches, the failures, and the triumphs of godly men of the last century who were facing the awful task of trying to maintain the true church of God and build it up in the face of adversaries and problems that were formidable indeed. Our own judgement is that Volume 2 is superior in many respects to Volume 1, particularly in the matter of literary composition. The books may be had (at $4.00 each volume) from Earl West, 25 N. Layman, Indianapolis.


He's Agin' Smoking, No Doubt

One of the Texas churches until recently was supporting a gospel preacher in the Northwest. They thought it would be good to have him come down and hold a meeting for them, so that all might get to know him and thus be more interested in supporting him. He came; He preached; and out of a ten night meeting he preached six (count 'em, six) nights on the subject: "The Tobacco Evil." Result: this Texas church no longer supports this gospel preacher in the mission field.



We had no idea our editorial "A Personal Statement" appearing in the September 21 issue would bring in such a deluge of mail. All we can say is "Thanks"; and —assure our friends of our deep appreciation for their fine letters. We especially treasure the several letters that came from members (including some elders) of some of the churches whose activities we have most seriously questioned.

"I Appeal To The Balcony"

Then there is that hilarious story they tell of the preacher boy from over Freed-Hardeman way. Seems he had memorized a few sermons out of a book of sermons, and was giving them with vim and vigor in his summer meetings. In a little brush arbor way back in the hills of Mississippi, he rose to heights of fervor and eloquence in delivering his memorized sermons, thumb hooked in trousers' pocket, head moving rhythmically to emphasize and punctuate his remarks. Following word for word the sermon of the book, he pleaded that "not only those on the main floor, but also those in the balcony" would accept the invitation!


Good Or Mountain Music

The leader taught them sharps and flats,

Admonished them to sing:

"With spirit, understanding,

let us Make the rafters ring."

By "spirit" he meant whoop-te-doo

By "understanding", notes:

"Let's show these sec-er-terins

That we really know our oats!"

So all sopranos learned to wail

And tenors how to soar,

The bass to gallop,

altos scream,

And all to stomp the floor.

They may have fumbled on the words

But how they had that rhythm!—

Those syncopating after-beats

And lots of bass-runs with 'em.

They missed the meaning, skimmed the text

But loudly sang, and antical;

They vowed their songs were scriptural

For they were non-mechanical! — Jack G. Dunn


"Lest You Forget"

We congratulate brother Showalter on his eightieth birthday this month. He and brother Davis have said they would like to make October "Banner" month for the Firm Foundation. Hm-m-m-m have they forgotten that the "Banner" is now being published as the "Guardian?"