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sel to the one man in town who, he since you 've been here," said the old felt, would understand him-old Dr. doctor. "Why don't you give us a Ambrose, who was of that passing series on 'The Modern Point of View type of “family physician" to whom in Theology,' or something like that? one instinctively turns for counsel, You 'd help a lot of us to straighten although the matter may lie outside out our thinking. There 's a lot of medicine or health. He went to the rubbish in the attic that a fresh, clear old doctor's home one evening.
mind like yours could help us clear "Well, well, my boy, what 's up out.” now?” queried the old doctor as Gor- "Because," Gordon answered dedon entered the room. “Been burning cisively, “that is n't my idea of the the midnight oil and not playing fair preacher's job. It is n't bad theology with stomach and nerves?"
that 's hurting the world and ham"No, not that,” Gordon replied. “I stringing the church most; it 's too was never more fit in my life, but I'm much theology. The doctrine-makers up against something that involves my have disfigured Christianity almost bewhole future. It's about my church." yond recognition. They 've put into
The old doctor had been watching the mouths of us preachers a vocabuyoung Gordon's career with sym- lary that has little more relation to the pathetic interest and suspected what original Christianity of the Carpenter was coming, for he knew the town and than the Greek alphabet has to the the atmosphere in which Gordon had Chinese language. Sooner or later we to work. But, from long experience, preachers will have to scrap that vohe knew that the first thing to do with cabulary." We can go on trying to a troubled mind is to lead it to un- pour new meanings into the old burden itself of its story.
phrases, but there's a limit to that sort "Have n't begun to doubt the gos- of thing. Stripping ancient dogmas of
" pel, have you, my boy?” he angled. their superstition may be a wonderful
“Far from that, Doctor,” Gordon intellectual sport, but there's a bigger replied quickly, "but some of the men thing to be done. What good does it of my church and some of my fellow- do to modernize' a lot of doctrines ministers think I have n't been preach- that are themselves perversions of ing it."
Christianity? What we need is n't a "And what is it that you 've been reconstruction of theology, but a redissaying now that they object to?'' covery of Christianity."
"Oh, they don't seem to object to “But, my boy,” argued the old docwhat I 've been saying. It's what I tor, "that can't be done without a have n't been saying that worries frank handling of these doctrines that them," explained Gordon. "They you say have disfigured Christianity. say I 've left Christianity out of my You can't lay the foundations for a preaching. They say that what I 've new building, you know, until you 've been preaching is all right in its way, wrecked the old and removed the but that it is n't Christianity. They debris." want more 'doctrinal' sermons.'
"You 're right, of course," Gordon "Come to think of it, it's a fact; you said thoughtfully, "but that can't be have n't preached a 'doctrinal' sermon done from the pulpit. Let the scholars
do that. The people are so wedded to idea of God as a vindictive baby-killer. the old catch-words that the preacher But we have to do a lot of fresh thinkwho attacks them simply stirs up an ing not only about Christianity and antagonism and distrust that prevent the hereafter, but about Christianity his exerting any positive influence. and the here and now as well. ChrisThe only thing we preachers can do, iftianity has something to say to society we want to restore original Christianity, as well as to the individual man. is to ignore this mass of theology and That 's where the shoe pinches. It's allow all that is unreal to die of its own Christianity's message to society that's unreality. But, I must admit, such been side-tracked for so long. And tactics have failed in my case."
that 's the message that will most "Well, Gordon, my boy,” finally quickly get a man into trouble with his counseled the old doctor, "you 're board of trustees." ahead of your time in a community "Is n't it a challenge to your personlike this. What you 'll have to do is to ality, tact, diplomacy, technic?” I get out of this sort of community and asked. out of the denomination you 're in and "A smooth, diplomatic manner," he go to one of these independent liberal countered, "will often succeed in putchurches in a larger city."
ting over ideas if the ideas conflict with Young Gordon had not thought of men's beliefs only, but when your ideas this possibility. Maybe here was a conflict with men's interests, it 's a way out.
But some months later, different story. I am about convinced when he had the opportunity to go that it is impossible for a man to to an independent liberal church which preach the original Christianity of the conducted its services in a down-town Carpenter in all its naked challenge to theater of a certain large city, he saw modern society and long remain the the matter differently. I talked with popular and enthusiastically supported him when he was considering the offer. head of any organization. I don't be
"I am afraid," he said, "that this lieve that the Carpenter himself would is n't the happy solution it looks. A last six months as pastor of this liberal few months, a year maybe, in this lib- church to which I 've been invited. eral church, and I'd have this fight all Not that he'd preach the old theology over again. It would only postpone they 've left behind. He would n't. the difficulty.”
He did n't. But they would regard “Would n't it be different in a liberal him as a dangerous agitator." church?” I asked.
The upshot of the affair was that "No," he said, “I don't think it Gordon entered a secular profession. would be in the long run. This city "Why did you leave the ministry?" crowd is liberal, but in one direction somebody asked him several years only. They 've revolted against the later. impossible dark doctrines about the "I did n't," Gordon replied. "I left hereafter, but they 're still thinking the pulpit and entered the ministry." of Christianity in terms of a set of doc- Was it cowardice or clarity of intrines to be believed. They would n't sight that dictated his decision? Opinwant me to preach infant damnation ion will differ widely. I leave the or anything like that; they ’re past the story to the reader, without comment.
111E HOMFOID FRESA
The CENTURY MAGAZINE
GLENN FRANK, Editor
Contents for October, 192 1
The Black Hand. A story
M, L. C. PICKTHALL 803 Drawings by George Bellows Who Will Succeed Lloyd George?
A. G. GARDINER 813 Drawing by Ralph BARTON Messer Marco Polo. A story. III.
820 Drawings by C. B. Falls White Currants. Verse.
834 The Balance-Sheet of the Russian Revolution
MOISSAYE J. OLGIN Birthright. A novel. I .
T. S. STRIBLING Drawings by F. Luis MORA “Where there Ain't No Ten Commandments
E. ALEXANDER POWELL
868 Cecco Remains. A story
ADRIANA SPADONI 880 Drawings by Kerr EBY The Movies versus Motion Pictures
RALPH BLOCK 889 Modern Wood-Block Prints by American Artists .
893 The Decoy. A story
899 Sunk Lyonesse. Verse
WALTER DE LA MARE 912 Drawings by DorOTHY P. LATHROP The Struggle for Constantinople
HERBERT ADAMS GIBBONS 914 Mr. Pottle and the South-Sea Cannibals. A story
Drawings by John Held, JR. Easternmost America
HARRY A. FRANCK 933 Drawings by John R. Neill The Crystal Heart. A novel. VI.
PHYLLIS BOTTOME 944 The Tide of Affairs .
THE EDITOR 953 Trailing tbe Robin Hoods of Medicine Investment and Banking
JOHN K. BARNES. Advertising pages
The Index for Volume CII, May to October, 1921, inclusive, will be sent free of charge, on request.
"VTURY MAGAZINE; Published monthly; 50 cents a copy, $5.00 a vear in the United States, $5.00 in Canada,
all other countries (postage included). Publication and circulation office, Concord. N. H. Editorial and aaveriising offices, 353 Fourth Avenue, New York, N. Y. Subscriptions may be forwarded to either of the above offices. Pacific Coast office, 327 Van Nuys Building, Los Angeles, California. W. Morgan Shuster, President; Don M. Parker, Secretary; George L. Wheelock, Treasurer; James Abbott, Assistant Treasurer. Board of Trustees: George H. Hazen, Chairman; George Inness, Jr.; W. Morgan Shuster. The Century Co. and its edilors receive manuscripts and art material, submitted for publication, only on the understanding that they shall not be responsible for loss or injury thereto while in their possession or in transit. All material herein published under copyright, 1921, by The Century Co. Title registered in the United States Patent Office. Entered as second-class matter August 18, 1920, at the United States post-office, Concord, N. H., under the act of March 3, 1879; entered also at the Post Office Department, Ottawa, Canada,