Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
March 15, 1951

Those Florida Lectures

One of the most heartening and encouraging things we've seen in years was the discussion held at the Florida Christian College lectureship last month. Brother James R. Cope, youthful and brilliant president of the school, had courageously arranged for a lectureship which would deal with some of the vital and serious problems which confront the church today. The program was planned to cover the whole field of church work and problems related thereto: message, mission, finances, benevolences, evangelism, etc., etc. Unlike the other college lectureships, the Florida lectures did not avoid or shun those particular problems on which the most serious differences exist among the brethren: institutionalism and centralized control and oversight in the matter of foreign mission work. On the contrary brother Cope arranged for a full, free, and unlimited discussion of these questions.

To say that the program attracted wide interest would be an understatement. By far the largest crowds ever to attend a lectureship at the school were present. Brethren from Texas and Oklahoma were there, along with numerous others from Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and the eastern states. And of course all the states in between, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, the Carolinas, and perhaps others, were generously represented. Gospel preachers were there in abundance, several of them flying down from their homes for the one day (Thursday) when the discussions on the two most controversial questions were expected to reach their height.

The Round-Table Discussions

We were especially impressed by the very fine spirit that prevailed during the round-table discussions. Wonderfully hopeful for the future of the church was the earnest and brotherly way in which brethren entered into the discussion of these very vital matters affecting the Lord's work. We detected not one single instance of the use of sarcasm, ridicule, or any unworthy or unbecoming speech. But with conviction and deep sincerity the brethren pressed their opposing views—opening the scriptures, speaking directly to the points at issue, reasoning and persuading. For one who loves the truth it was an unforgettable experience, and one that was deeply moving. However sharp differences might be in such discussions, one could not come out of them without an increased love for his brethren.

General Interest

It was highly significant to us that nearly every man who appeared on the program, regardless of the nature of the subject assigned him, took occasion somewhere in his remarks to express himself on the very vital issues of "institutionalism" and "centralized control and oversight," these being the two most controversial themes of the lectureship. This was a most heartening sign, for it showed that far from being asleep and unconcerned about these problems, the brethren are alive and sensitive to the dangers involved.

The editor of the Guardian along with one of the staff writers (James W. Adams) spoke on the program. Brother Otis Gatewood spoke on the work being done in Germany. Brother James D. Bales, although not originally listed as a speaker on the program, felt such keen interest in the matter that he flew down from Searcy just to get in on the round-table discussions. Since he has been so very prominent in the discussion of the problems under consideration, brother Cope very graciously cancelled a scheduled concert from the College Chorus in order to provide a special place for brother Bales to appear on the program. An extra round-table discussion was arranged following the Thursday night speech, so as to provide every opportunity for a full, free, unlimited and unrestricted discussion of the questions. Brother G. H. P. Showalter, editor of the Firm Foundation delivered one of the night lectures. Brother B. C. Goodpasture, editor of the Gospel Advocate, was scheduled to speak, but sickness prevented his being there.


We could not do justice to all the speeches in a brief report like this. But we believe there would be little disposition on the part of any who heard the whole series to differ from our judgment when we give it as our estimate that the two outstanding high-lights of the week were the magnificent presentation of the problems of "Institutionalism and the Church" by brother James W. Adams on Wednesday night, and the masterful and fair way in which brother Franklin T. Puckett presided over the round-table discussions. He did not permit the roundtable to degenerate at any time to a discussion of those matters extraneous to the question, but kept the issues sharply and clearly defined at all times. The matters for discussion were not whether it was right or wrong to preach the gospel to foreign peoples, but whether or not the methods developing in that program were scriptural; not whether orphan children ought to be cared for, but is it scriptural for the church to do that work through a board separate and apart from the church; not whether it is right for brethren to found and operate a Christian college, but whether it was within the scriptural rights of the church to contribute from its treasury to such a school.

Lectureships such as that at Florida Christian College can result only in good. It was a sad day for the cause when schools and papers among us began to shy away from such free and open discussions of our differences. We commend brother Cope for his courageous action in going contrary to the policy of the other schools among us, and providing a lectureship of the kind he arranged. We believe the brethren who participated in it will have a clearer understanding of our problems, a finer appreciation of one another, a heightened respect for the sincerity and fairness of one another, and a greater desire to press forward in the work of Christ side by side because of the experiences of that week. Good will and brotherly love were everywhere in evidence. We sincerely hope that other lectureships will be forth-coming. Let us as brethren discuss our differences, study the scriptures, arrive at an understanding of their teaching, and then together move forward in the cause of Christ. President Cope and Florida Christian College have made a tremendously valuable contribution to that end. — F. Y. T.


James W. Adams, Associate Editor

It will be welcome news to our readers that brother James W. Adams of Longview, Texas, has agreed to accept our invitation to become an Associate Editor on the staff of the Gospel Guardian.

For several years brother Adams has been writing regularly for the Bible Banner and the Gospel Guardian. He has demonstrated an unusual ability as a close, careful student of God's word, possessed of a mind that is keen and analytical. Writing with restraint and courtesy always, his stature has grown steadily in the minds of thinking brethren. His statements are careful and conservative, couched always in language that is precise and clear.

Brother Adams will not take the place on our staff of brother Whiteside; no one could do that. But he will fill his own place, and now that brother Whiteside is taken from us, we of the Guardian family did feel that we needed some additional men as Associate Editors. We believe our readers will share with us the conviction that James W. Adams' acceptance of our invitation will bring added strength to our staff. And we predict for him an ever growing and appreciative audience among the thousands of people who read this journal. — F. Y. T.


CENTRAL CHRISTIAN COLLEGE ANNOUNCES 1ST ANNUAL LECTURE PROGRAM MARCH 26-29 Central Christian College will hold its first annual lectures March 26-29. A wide selection of speakers has been chosen to appear on this program.

This is an invitation to all the friends and well-wishers of Central Christian College to attend. Meals will be served in the cafeteria at the same price charged to the students. An effort will be made to care for all visitors at night without cost. No guarantee can be made that this can and will be done, however, but a determined effort will be put forth to do so—at least for this year. The sooner you notify the college of your coming the better chance you will have of being cared for properly.

Below is a complete list of the speakers who will appear and their subjects.


"Understanding What the Will of the Lord Is." (Eph. 5:17)

MONDAY 10:00 AM New Testament Faith-- Raymond Kelcy 11:00 Training in the Home-- L. 0. Sanderson 2:30 PM Our Obligation to Society-- J. B. Kinney 3:15 Open Forum -- James 0. Baird 7:30 Inspiration of the Scriptures-- Ted Norton TUESDAY 10:00 AM New Testament Repentance -- Ernest Higher 11:00 The Sanctity of Marriage --Roy H. Lanier 2:30 PM Organizing for Effective Work--L. L. Ginger 3:15 The Beginning of Central Christian College -- Chester Grimes 7 : 30 Power of the Gospel -- G. K. Wallace WEDNESDAY 10:00 AM New Testament Confession -- Walter P. Bryan 11:00 Report on Central Christian College-- L. R. Wilson 2:30 PM Personal Evangelism -- Homer Hailey 3:15 Open Forum -- Loyd Smith 7:30 Man's Need of the Gospel -- Norvel Young THURSDAY 10:00 AM New Testament Baptism -- A. V. Isbell 11:00 Teaching Program of the Church-- Jack Meyer 2:30 PM Work in New Fields -- J. W. Nichols 3:15 Open Forum -- Clyde P. Findlay 7:30 Our Responsibility to Those Without the Gospel-- Charles Tinius