Evolution, Legislation, and Separation: Correspondence between Billy Sunday and E. Y. Mullins -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Southern Baptist Journal of Theology
Volume: SBJT 03:4 (Winter 1999)
Article: Evolution, Legislation, and Separation: Correspondence between Billy Sunday and E. Y. Mullins
Author: Anonymous


Evolution, Legislation, and Separation:
Correspondence between Billy Sunday and E. Y. Mullins

E. Y. Mullins (1860–1928) was President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary from 1899–1928, President of the Southern Baptist Convention from 1921–1924, and President of the Baptist World Alliance from 1924–1928. His influence on Southern Baptists as a leader and scholar was enormous.

Editor’s Note: The following correspondence between E. Y. Mullins and evangelist Billy Sunday (1862–1935) is a good example of Mullins’s view of the link between the separation of church and state and the preservation of religious liberty. The exchange was precipitated by Sunday’s fear that Mullins was conceding the legal battle against the teaching of evolution in public schools. Although slight changes were made to standardize punctuation and spelling, the original wording has been maintained.

January 29, 1927

Dear Dr. Mullins,

I have always had the greatest admiration for you and confidence in your views and faith in your teaching, but I do not agree with you when you urge the church to cease her fight on the Darwinian theory of Evolution.

You would not advise the police to cease fighting crooks, would you? Neither would you advise the doctors to cease fighting disease.

You say the provocation is great when wanton attacks are made on the Christian Religion by teachers in state schools, but the Christian religion calls for Spiritual weapons, not legal.

What are we to do when these state schools will hire only such men and teachers who believe and teach Evolution and will not allow the Bible to be taught? The above is true even in some so-called church schools.

If the Bible can not be defended in schools, attacks upon it should not be allowed. You know as well as I that there never has been a time when the vital truths of Christianity were attacked as much in and out of the church as now.

If the Bible is worth believing it is worth defending, no matter who attacks it. And if the heads of our great schools will not defend it or are lukewarm, where will the church drift to? Evolution, if consistently believed, makes it impossible to believe in the Bible. Evolutionists as a body are almost without exception slipping into an anti-miracle religion and an anti-Bible God and Christ.

With assurance of kindest personal regards,

Sincerely yours,
W. A. Sunday.

February 1, 1927

My Dear Brother Sunday,

Thank you for your letter of recent date. I appreciate your writing me regarding the report on my spee...

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