Our Defensible Faith -- By: William M. Anderson
BSac 102:407 (Jul 45) p. 335
Our Defensible Faith
[Editor’s Note: The following sermon was preached by a distinguished churchman, author, radio Bible teacher and preacher, and Seminary professor. Dr. Anderson, vice president of Dallas Seminary (then known as Evangelical Theological College) from its inception in 1924 until his sudden death in 1935, was pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Dallas. The message reproduced here was delivered March 16, 1930, and taken down stenographically, then printed for distribution by order of the church session.]
The matters that I wish to speak to you about this morning have been largely brought into my own mind and thinking by this letter which some of you heard read over the radio a Sunday or two ago, which is signed “Mrs. X,”—one of the most interesting and suggestive of all the letters that have come into my hands in the several years that I have been speaking to the Radio Bible Class each Sunday evening. And I am impressed by it because I think it must be typical of the frame of mind and attitude of heart of a great many people. I wish to read it to you. It is addressed to me: “I have just listened with much interest to your exposition of the lesson, as I do every Sunday at this hour. Under a cover of anonymity I wish to tell you my troubles, which are very real to me. Several years ago my faith suffered a mortal blow upon reading H. G. Wells’ Outline of History. This caused me real unhappiness, for losing a faith upon which the whole superstructure of one’s life is built is a major operation. Later, feeling that a truth that could not bear inspecting and testing was not worth while, I read all that pertained to the life of Jesus, including Bruce Barton’s interpretations, Sinclair Lewis’ Elmer, sundry articles in Harper’s magazine, etc., all leading me on to utter collapse of my dear old Presbyterian training.
“Tonight you spoke of Satan as a real personality, when any modern psychologist would classify him differently, and affirmed your belief in spirits about us. I heard you two weeks ago naively claim that you had no difficulty in believing in the Virgin Birth, claiming that any birth is miraculous. When Satan tempted the Lord in Job 1:10, in
BSac 102:407 (Jul 45) p. 336
his move to secure permission to experiment on Job, the Lord yielded him the chance. Would it be better if Job had continued to be ‘hedged about’? This infers that our lives can be protected, or hedged about, from temptations, does it not?
“Anyhow, somebody has let down the gate in my life, and now I have no sweet peace and assurance that all is well like I used to have.
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