Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
February 1, 1951
NUMBER 38, PAGE 4-5b

We Are Not Surprised



Brother Showalter continues to insist through the pages, of the Firm Foundation that there is no cause for concern or alarm in the present "missionary" set-up. He is certain that all things are just about as' they ought to be, and that a lot of bother and confusion has been stirred up by a bunch of bad boys crying "wolf, wolf!"

We are not surprised at our good brother's complacency. He has a rather uncanny ability to minimize dangers to the church. Maybe that "P" in his initial stands neither for "power," nor for "Pryor," but for "Pollyanna." Anyhow, just to refresh the brethren's memories (which they probably don't need), here is a wee bit of past history:

1. Premillennialism

Our brother editor saw nothing at all in the premillennial fight to be concerned about. He continued to give a medium for publicity and promotion to Don Carlos Janes right up to the last. In a letter to Leon McQuiddy, dated May 6, 1946, brother Norman Davidson reported that,

"In a long phone conversation with Bro. Showalter, he said he thought the thing (premillennialism) should never have been an issue; that it had always been a matter of personalities, and not of convictions; that numerous preachers had made capital for their own gain, thereof.

2. Modernism

Three years ago many brethren got aroused over modernism in Pepperdine College. Brother Showalter went out to California and looked the situation over. He came back to give Pepperdine College a glowing recommendation, and a one hundred percent clean bill of health.

He assured his readers that there was no cause for alarm; all was lovely and serene. The brethren who thought they smelled modernism out there were just excited and falsely charging some loyal and faithful brethren. No modernism was anywhere near Pepperdine College; the "bad boys" just dreamed it.

Then came the evidence—overwhelming, incontrovertible, and documented. Brother Showalter beat another hasty and embarrassed retreat under a cloud of "ifs." "If Pepperdine is all wrong it should be corrected;" "if modernism is there, it should be exposed;" "If the situation is not corrected... (the teachers of modernism) should be relieved of their connection with the school," etc., etc.

3. Institutionalism

After much prodding, brother Showalter finally came out with a declaration that he thought it was wrong for the churches as such to contribute to the colleges. He felt this was a violation of scriptural principles.

And now look what happens! Brother Showalter says, "Brother McMillan was, and hence is, in position to know, with accuracy, what was done by the Union Avenue Church," (F. F. January 9, 1951) A/W-Brother McMillan says that the Union Avenue Church was spending a part of the money sent to it by other churches "TO HELP THE SCHOOL WORK IN JAPAN." (F. F. December 12, 1950)

All right, brother Showalter, it's time for you to back up on this like you did on the Norman Davidson conversation and the Pepperdine College modernism. For brother McMillan says Union Avenue Church has been doing the very thing you are on record as believing to be contrary to scriptural principles! Do you still insist there is nothing to be concerned about ?

— F.Y.T.


I'll Remember This

Men of the stature of Robertson L. Whiteside are not a common and ordinary thing among the children of men. His deep insight into the scriptures, his quick and incisive reasoning, his penetrating analysis of a situation, and his complete honesty of mind combined in such a way as to make a veritable giant among Biblical exegetes. He will be remembered for years to come, and his writings will be carefully studied and pondered by earnest Bible students. It is said that David Lipscomb regarded him as the most brilliant student of the Bible ever to sit in his classes. That Lipscomb's judgment of him was not mistaken has been abundantly demonstrated by the wonderfully fruitful years of the life that has now closed.

Some will remember brother Whiteside for one thing; some for another. But to me, one memory will dominate all others—the memory of an aged and noble saint, ill and suffering, painfully writing a letter of apology to one whom he feared he might have wronged. He really had not wronged me at all; so slight was the occasion and so trivial the circumstance that I have even forgotten the particulars of it. But it was not a trivial-thing to brother Whiteside. He had spoken or written some criticism of me. A few weeks later he became convinced that the criticism had been based on misinformation, and was not fair. Although I did not know of the criticism, and very likely" never would know of it, brother Whiteside could not rest until he had written me a letter of regret and apology. He felt he had made a mistake, and that, should I know of it, I might be hurt by it.

I am not by nature an emotional person, and tears are not often found in my eyes; but I wept as I read that letter. I felt his apology was wholly unnecessary; and I was embarrassed by it. But it was a mark of the man's greatness that he was simply incapable of allowing even the most trivial mistake he had made, or thought he had made, to go uncorrected. His own conscience was so tender that he could not rest, no matter what the cost in pain and trouble to him, until the thing was righted.

Through the years to come I shall continue to read and profit by brother Whiteside's writings as they are preserved in the various journals and books. But the thing I'll remember about him when all else grows dim by time will be the absolute humility of the man, the total absence of any spirit of pride, or vanity. He was a man who "had been with Jesus." The desire to serve Christ and to be acceptable in his sight was not only the compelling motive of his life, but during the years I knew him, it seemed to be about the only motive of his life.




Every paper receives letters from its readers of course. We are no exception. And we appreciate deeply the encouragement and the "backing" these letters bring us. In this issue we give a fair sampling out of two or three days mail. Most of these letters enclosed subscriptions or renewals for the writer or for others. We are grateful.


Wm. J. Shackelford, 323 W. Sherman, Neosho, Mo., Jan. 22: "Two have been baptized and a number placed membership as we enter the new year. Our 1951 directory lists 225 members. Our budget for 1951 requires $12,368.88. For the first three weeks of the year this budget has been exceeded by more than twelve percent. This congregation is working and growing. Foster Ramsey of Tipton, Okla., will preach in our spring meeting March 12-22."