Periodical Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 119:473 (Jan 1962)
Article: Periodical Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Periodical Reviews

Armstrong, O. K., “Tax Churches On Business Profits?” Christianity Today, October 13, 1961.

…When churches and agencies under their control step over into business enterprises, unrelated to their religious and sacerdotal functions, they raise pressing questions as to the justice of their favored tax position,” writes the author in a hard-hitting attack on the increasing tendency of local churches and denominational entities to operate businesses on a tax-exempt basis. Armstrong, a Baptist layman and former congressman from Missouri, has struck a controversial note but is motivated by his fear that the whole question of the tax-exempt status of American religious organizations may be endangered by such practices as local churches operating hotels, income producing buildings, restaurants, etc., all on a tax-exempt basis. This factual article will provide food for thought for all concerned with the relation of church and state.

Anderson, W. H., Jr., “Bigness and Control: the Organization in the Church,” Christianity Today, October 27, 1961.

Here is an excellent critique of the organizational trend in church life today. “Previous generations found their religious authority in the Bible, in the creed, or in both. Today, however, religious man finds his authority in the religious organization…. Is this philosophy of Operation Organization suitable for the church however? Has this trend any spiritual validity? Efficiency may be necessary in these complex times. When, however, religious organizational machinery regulates and overrides both the individual and the church, then strong protest is in order.” Anderson points out that in many denominations, “administrative groups now range alongside traditional church governments and take responsibility for more and more functions once controlled by the church government.” He asserts that dependence upon machinery often causes the people and pastor in the local church to “soon lose heart and initiative” while awaiting directives from higher echelons.” “In addition to its threat to the individual, the

organization poses two major problems for the church: first, its tendency to perpetuate itself. The first problem is a clear case of the tail wagging the dog. The administrative organization properly exists to serve the church, but the fine line between serving and controlling is blurred or altered in the course of operations.” The author suggests that at least a partial solution to the problem would be the return to the determination of administrative policy by church government rather than by the organization itself, and less dependence bv the local church on the programs sent down by t...

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