Better Newspapers—A National Necessity -- By: H. H. Marlin

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 087:346 (Apr 1930)
Article: Better Newspapers—A National Necessity
Author: H. H. Marlin


Better Newspapers—A National Necessity

H. H. Marlin

Part One: The Appalling Need

If this article happens to fall under the scrutiny of a veteran newspaper editor, the title, “Better Newspapers,” will doubtless cause a frosty smile to gleam momentarily upon the glacial editorial countenance, and then, when he sees that the article has been written by a preacher, his amazement at such effrontery may cause him to indulge in a loud ironic snort.

Many editors have expressed their ideas on preachers, dwelling ofttimes with manifest satisfaction on their many shortcomings, their ineptness, the general futility of their efforts to exercise any considerable transforming influence on a perverse and crooked generation, all of which the preacher has ordinarily received in a spirit of patience and amiability, even if there might be, possibly, a slight wrinkle of interrogation on his pallid brow, and the suggestion of a slightly ironic smile flickering around his immobile lips.

The ignorance of the average preacher about the practical operation of a daily newspaper could not well exceed the ignorance of the average newspaper editor about a preacher’s true business in this world of sin and sorrow, and how the preacher may best achieve the divine objective he has in view. The preacher’s real business is to make this world God’s world and his method of approach to this greatest of all projects is precisely the approach of Jesus. And the Nazarene never contented himself by merely scratching on the surface of problems. He found the remedy for everything that is wrong with us: he found the answer to all the eternally perplexing problems of life in one all-embracing formula. This is the formula: Human nature must be changed and then everything will be changed. And human nature is changed when man opens wide the door of the temple, the temple of his body, of his mind, of his will, of his affections, to the spirit of God. The transformation which follows such a surrender

is the new man, and the new man signifies a new son, a new father, a new husband, a new citizen, a new community, a new world.

Casting about for help in this great work of transforming humanity, and of changing this world into God’s kingdom, the preacher clearly perceives that the most powerful ally in view is the daily newspaper, the transformed newspaper, the ideal newspaper whose supreme objective will be wholly identified with that which the preacher keeps steadfastly in view. This article, although dealing frankly with some of the obvious shortcomings of the average newspaper, is in no sense confined to that field of observation, but is an attempt to consider the very grave moral responsi...

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