Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 26, 1951

We Like This Literature

The problem of "literature" is a perennial one. Like the poor it is always with us. Some of the brethren have convictions against all literature used in classes. Others have no objects to literature as such, but have been disappointed again and again in the quality of the literature that is available. It is either unsafe for the students because of errors taught or implied (as for example the Gospel Treasure literature which we wrote about a year ago—and, incidentally, we have been happy to note that the errors we pointed out, as well as many others, have been eliminated from that series), or else it is so very poor from a teaching standpoint that it is simply below the level of what most of us feel to be needful. For many years Bible school teachers and others have been stressing the need for more practical, scriptural lessons, suited and adapted to the age levels of the students by professional hands.

With that sort of background, we have been particularly impressed with two new series of literature which have recently come to our notice. They have gone on the market only within the last few months, and our information is that each of them is receiving a tremendous response. One is a series of literature for Vacation Bible Schools by Marian White of St. Petersburg, Florida; and the other is a series of literature for use in the regular Sunday morning Bible schools, and is prepared by R. B. Sweet of Austin, Texas.

Vacation Bible School Literature

The lessons prepared for the Vacation Bible School classes by sister White have already sold more than 50,000 copies. They are not so widely used in the west, but have within a very few months attained phenomenal popularity among the churches in the eastern part of the country. We had our attention called to them when we were in Florida for the Florida Christian College lectures. We have looked through this material, and feel that for a whole series, it is easily superior to anything we have seen. It is only for the level of those of high school age and under, and has no lessons for adult classes. But the material is arranged for teaching; the lessons are practical; and we saw nothing in the books we examined which either taught or implied doctrinal error.

In fact, we were so much impressed by this work that we have asked the author of it, sister Marian White, to conduct a monthly column in the Gospel Guardian concerning the particular problems that arise in the matter of teaching children the Bible. She will write under the department heading of "Talks With Teachers;" and her first column will appear next week. Many of our readers will be making plans right now for Vacation Bible schools. It might be to your advantage to look through sister White's material. If you are interested in it, you may write her as follows; Marian White, 4667 - 12th Ave. So., St. Petersburg, Florida. The Gospel Guardian has no financial interest in any way in this literature, and does not even handle it. If you care to use it, you may order from the address given here.

Journeys Through The Bible

The second series of literature that has so impressed us is the "Journeys Through the Bible" series by brother R. B. Sweet, minister of the University Church of Christ in Austin, Texas. We have been familiar with this series for some years as it was being prepared. We have often urged brother Sweet to publish it, but he has been reluctant to do so until he had it more nearly completed, and until he had tested it out under actual teaching conditions. We are indeed happy to know that the series is now available, and is beginning to be used by a rapidly increasing number of churches.

Brother Sweet's literature has been tested out by a number of teachers for the last two or three years. Corrections and improvements suggested by them have been incorporated into the lessons. And now at length the whole series is being published and made available for use in regular Bible School activities. A number of gospel preachers have looked through it, and commend it highly. So far as our own examination was concerned, we found none of the errors that were so obvious in the literature we examined last year.

Brother Sweet has published this literature himself, and if any of our readers are interested in it, you should write him for description and particulars. Address your letter to R. B. Sweet, 1903 University Avenue, Austin, Texas. The Gospel Guardian does not handle this literature, and has no financial interest in it. It cannot be ordered through us, but should be ordered direct from brother Sweet.

— F. Y. T.

"No Word Of Criticism Could Possibly Have Been Offered"

Under the above caption (a quotation from an editorial of ours in the January 25 Guardian) brother G. C. Brewer writes at considerable length in the March 8 Gospel Advocate. So far as we could determine from his article its only purpose was to try to prove that the Guardian now commended something that the Guardian of eight years ago (the Bible Banner then) had criticized.

As usual, our sensitive brother missed the point.

The Bible Banner writers eight years ago pointed out the foolish and dangerous features with which brother Brewer had loaded down and handicapped the "plan" he proposed . . . such things, for example, as the idea that the Lubbock church should "sponsor" the plan for the whole brotherhood, that no work should be attempted in foreign countries until after the war was ended, and others equally as absurd.

But against the "plan" was quoted in our January editorial, we searched the back files of the Bible Banner in vain for one single "word of criticism." For that "plan" (as the Bible Banner writers pointed out eight years ago)was nothing more nor less than a carrying out of the great commission.

As the matter looks to us, we commended in our January editorial a part of what brother Brewer wrote in 1943. He was so pleased with our compliment that he jumped to the conclusion that we approved all he had written in the article from which we quoted. On the other hand the Bible Banner writers eight years ago criticized a part of what brother Brewer had suggested, and he was so outraged that they should question anything he wrote that he jumped to the conclusion they were criticizing all he proposed.

Really, this things looks sort of childish to us. We have no disposition at all to condemn everything G. C. Brewer writes, He has written some excellent articles, and we have profited by them. But does our commendation of a paragraph or two from his pen mean we must be taken as endorsing everything he writes on a particular-subject? And does the work of brother Cled, Ted McElroy, and Allen Johnson in pointing out some obvious dangers in Brewer's proposal of eight years ago mean that they condemn all he said in his articles? We do not think nor do we think any brother who thinks will think so.

Does everybody have it straight now?

— F. Y. T.