Concordia Theological Monthly

Publication Date


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evangelical churches, world council, christian, reformed, christendom, unionism, luther, methodist, doctrine

Submission Type

Bible Study; Lecture; Sermon Prep


Unionism is the order of the day. In an address delivered at Valparaiso on Sept. 23, 1942, Dr. J. W. Behnken declared: ''The things which are happening on earth in these days are not merely rocking the very foundation of our vaunted twentieth-century civilization, but are also causing dreadful difficulties for the Church. But far worse than this havoc is the alarming indifference to the Word of God as it manifests itself in the mighty movements to unite all churches professing the Christian name into one large body. Within very recent months some very ominous statements have been made belittling doctrinal cleavage between the different denominations as mere 'petty differences.' Here are a few: 'Ancient creeds and hoary practices divide us as Christ's followers into exclusive groups.' 'Modern scholarship has shot the old convictions full of holes.' 'Smash down the walls.' 'Our little sects have had their day and must cease to be.' Unionism is the order of the day. Like a mighty devastating flood tide it is rising to work havoc among the churches. . . . It is my honest conviction that we must again be ready to defend soundness of doctrine. The next major controversy in our Lutheran Church of America apparently will be on the question of unionism.''


Practical Theology

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Submission Audience

Laity; Ministers; Scholars