Leading Issues Faced By The Union 1923-24 -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Central Bible Quarterly
Volume: CENQ 07:3 (Fall 1964)
Article: Leading Issues Faced By The Union 1923-24
Author: Anonymous

Leading Issues Faced By The Union 1923-24

The Southern Baptist Convention met in Kansas City, May 16-23, 1923, and seems to have registered little notice of the Bible Union. Many men in the South were trying to believe that in their section there was no modernist-fundamentalist controversy. The Northern Baptist Convention met at Atlantic City, May 23-29, with the moderate Frederick E. Taylor presiding. The convention sermon that year was by W. W. Bustard, pastor of the Euclid Avenue Baptist Church, Cleveland, and a signer of the call to the 1920 pre-convention conference. The only prominent Bible Union man present was Straton, and he offered the only pyrotechnics in an otherwise calm week. Taylor was about to introduce the keynote speaker, Dr. W. H. P. Faunce, president of Brown University and an outstanding modernist, preaching on the subject, “Thy Kingdom Come.” Straton got on a chair, at the front of the hall and protested before the three thousand people there that Faunce should not be permitted to appear. When the roar of jeering and hissing subsided, Taylor ruled that Faunce was a guest of the convention and would be permitted to speak. As Straton returned to his seat and Faunce gained the platform, the cheers and applause for Faunce lasted several minutes. From this point on the convention of 1923 was termed a quiet one .

The resolution sent to committee at Indianapolis, denying the vote to churches who fail to support the convention and its agencies, appeared again at Atlantic City. The fundamentalists attempted to table it, but the resolution carried easily. Dean Vichert, of Colgate, then proposed a plan that would replace the Board of Promotion

with a weaker board and give the churches complete freedom of designated gifts. Massee heartily endorsed the plan. It had the effect of easing the consciences of the fundamentalists as they continued to support the convention, without actually depriving any of the workers or agencies to whom the fundamentalists objected. The fundamentalists actually felt they had won a victory. They then presented no opposition to the convention slate of nominations, and they made no attempt to launch a floor fight for a creed. Several of the leaders left early; Straton, Massee, Goodchild, and Dean had all gone at least two days before the end.

Executive Committee Business

In mid-June, 1923, the executive committee of the Bible Union met in Grand Rapids. They elected E. C. Miller, a layman of Straton’s church, as a member and wired him to come. They considered Straton’s suggestion of a merger of his group, the Fundamentalist League, with the Bible Union and wired him their approval, adding the hope that Straton would urge Miller to accept. They discussed the matter...

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