Amazing Grace

In the New College at Edinburgh in 1934, young divinity students stimulated themselves by turning over old and new ideas: Calvinism, Barthianism, the role of the body of Christ in the world, the form of the liturgy, the purpose of missions—in other words, the same issues that, mutatis mutandis, have sparked theological discussions since the Church became Resh. At the same time that these earnest young ministers to be were absorbing themselves in the finer point of good Scots Presbyterian doctrine, another group of youths seek ing to found a new order based on less ancient assumptions were playing lurid pranks on some of their countrymen and singing drinking songs which, how ever similar musically to those of their fathers, contained lyrics proclaiming a bright future in which "Jewish blood would run in the gutters." These two groups, so symbolic of the clash of ideas in the 20th century, have at least one common denominator: David H. C. Read, now pastor of Madison- Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City, witnessed both. He has recorded his impressions of the surrounding events in his autobiographical This Grace Given.

One of the problems with contemporary religious books is that their authors frequently yield to the temptation to make inspirational mountains out of molehills. Because our communion with God involves the highest faculty of the soul, writings concerning that relationship ought to...

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