The Mail Room
Letters from Volume 27

Welcome to the Mail Room for Present Truth Magazine! This is where we post some of the interesting letters which we receive from our viewers. All of our viewers are invited to E-mail us your comments and views and we will post these views for all to consider!  

Sola Scriptura!

Some of the critics whose letters you have been honest and fair enough to print in your "Letters" section should consider more carefully your remark about throwing down your magazine "the moment they run into anything that will challenge a single point of their sacred traditions." How often we unknowingly (or even knowingly) make tradition the real basis for our beliefs instead of searching out truth for ourselves! How many of us swallow "hook, line and sinker" what our denomination or pastor or our favorite magazine says instead of studying the Scriptures for ourselves to see if it is true! We need to remember the experience of Paul and Silas at Berea. "The Jews here were more civil than those at Thessalonica: they received the message with great eagerness, studying the Scriptures every day to see whether it was as they [Paul and Silas] said" Acts 17:11, NEB). You are right when you suggest that "we judge truth on its own merits irrespective of who said it."

Glenn Salisbury

"The Legal and Moral Aspects of Salvation"

Sir:   Having come out of the Roman Catholic Church, I really appreciate your emphasis on imputed righteousness. And I certainly agree that the Protestant movement is rapidly becoming Roman Catholic in its view of the legal and moral aspects of salvation.

William G. Boggess

"Why Existential Theology Is Bankrupt"

The title of Jon Zens' article, "Why Existential Theology is Bankrupt", attracted me because several years ago I wrote my master's thesis on the subject of "Existentialism of Albert Camus' The Stranger Compared with New Testament Teachings." I noticed that Mersault, the main character of Camus' book, violated nine of the ten commandments. The only one he did not violate was: "Thou shalt not bear false witness." In spite of the fact that Mersault had killed a man, his existentialism had him beating his head against a prison wall, thinking that because he was honest, society should not be punishing him with imprisonment. How different from the New Testament teaching: "If you trespass in one point, you are guilty of all"! Jon Zens is accurate in his evaluation of existential theology as being bankrupt.

Ellis J. Gerber

"Nothing But the Gospel"

Your May issue on "Nothing But the Gospel" was 100% tremendous—another blow at American salesmanship in evangelism and subjectivism in church life!

Donald R. Vroon
New York

Your magazine is frightfully narrow and divisive. The Good News is more positive in my estimation.

Hans Rollmann

For years I thought it was odd that the gospel meant "Good News." It was something everyone talked about but never really explained the beauty of. However, as presented in Present Truth Magazine, the gospel is certainly "Good News."

The May issue, "Nothing But the Gospel," was especially clear. With a proper understanding of the gospel, I can now see how everything in the Bible ties together consistently and with deeper meaning. I only wish that more people could understand and accept the true meaning of the "Good News" gospel.

Mike Shearer

Geoffrey J. Paxton has been gifted in being able to take a very difficult subject and then make clear what he wishes to say to his readers. I was greatly helped by his answer to "What Is the Gospel?". It helps greatly to have someone of his ability make so clear in words what one believes to be the true gospel as proclaimed in God's Word.

George S. Honour

"The Old Testament"

I was impressed by your evaluation of dispensationalism as stated by Graeme Goldsworthy in his article entitled "The Kingdom of God and the Old Testament": "Dispensationalism, to its credit, treats the Old Testament very seriously." Men and women who take very seriously what God has written in the Old Testament! May we all be dispensationalists in this sense.

George W. Zeller, Minister

Your issue included the section by Ronald R. Lambert, "Solomon on the Meaning of Life." The material was very fine, but there is one point that may have added strength to what Mr. Lambert was saying. The word in Ecclesiastes which is commonly translated "vanity" or, as in the New English Bible, "emptiness," is better translated "mystery." This was first brought to my attention by Dr. Toyozo Nakaral and later confirmed by an article in the Journal of Near Eastern Studies (11:2:95, an article by W. E. Staples entitled "The 'Vanity' of Ecclesiastes"). Since then I have found this in other sources.

"Mystery, mystery, says the Preacher, mystery, all is mystery. What does man gain from all his labour and his toil here under the sun? Generations come and generations go, while the earth endures for ever."

Those who would claim, on the basis of the term "vanity" or "emptiness," that Solomon has a pessimistic attitude toward life would be left in the cold. This book reflects the thrust of Solomon's inquisitive nature. It is only natural that he should question the mystery of life, the injustice of the wicked man prospering while the just man suffers, the ultimate end of human existence—death. The final words of the book would also have a more significant meaning. Life is a mystery . . . unless you know the Creator.

"The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. Because God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil."

Richard L. White
West Virginia


I am horrified at your emphasis on the new birth. You say that your magazine is dedicated to the restoration of New Testament Christianity in this generation. As far as I am concerned, it is more of a distortion of New Testament Christianity. Your magazine certainly cannot aid in the sharing of the Good News of the kingdom when your emphasis on the new birth is so radical and offbeat.

Gerald L. Stanley, Baptist Minister
North Carolina

A Vote for Present Truth

I have been receiving Present Truth Magazine for a couple of years now and consider it the most important magazine I have ever encountered. I am currently doing a series of doctrinal studies to present to my church and have just glanced through your special issue on "Sanctification". What a tremendous work it is! I believe God has used this magazine in my life to keep me from drowning in the sea of subjectivism—to which I was heading. This does not mean that I agree with everything I read in your magazine. No one would or should do that. However, Present Truth Magazine puts the emphasis where it ought to be—on Jesus Christ and the centrality of the doctrine of justification by faith in Christ. This letter is written as a "vote" to keep your magazine in print.

James B. Hensley, Baptist Minister

A Limited Scope

I want to call attention to the limited scope of your periodical. After three or four issues you have said all you are going to say: "Salvation is by grace." That is just a small part of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Bible encompasses a much greater area of living. I prefer discussions on them all. In short, a "life system" covers how we are to live after we have accepted the truth of salvation by grace.

Jake Fenenga
South Dakota

Monumental Efforts

I especially appreciate the strong stand your magazine takes on the implications of justification by faith—i.e., sanctification. Thank you for your monumental efforts.

Wayne Jamison, Evangelical Free Church Minister


Sir: I can only say "Thanks to God" for the vastly important service you are rendering to the Christian community. Yours is the only Christian periodical I am familiar with that has any content whatsoever that could be classified as meat. Your publication has had a great impact on my theological thinking, especially in the areas of justification and sanctification. Understanding the truth about sanctification has completely freed me from the "yield" theology so prevalent in the overwhelming majority of Christian teaching today. Present Truth has also been instrumental in showing me the value of reading Reformed literature, which has been one of the greatest blessings God has ever brought into my life.

Richard L. Woodward

From South Africa

Sir:  I am sorry that you have to start a new publication just to be anti-Pentecostal and anti-charismatic. I have glanced through Present Truth, and I see that you have done a lot of twisting of the truth. I think you could find more profitable things to do than attacking others and would strongly suggest that you search for the truth rather than try to make everyone believe the way you do.

M. Fynn
South Africa

Thank you for the work you put into your magazine, making it a most stimulating publication. I often refer to Present Truth Magazine for sermon and Bible study material. There is a desperate need for the truth of justification by faith to be taught and understood in South Africa, as we are being carried away by experience-centered Christianity.

Peter Smallbones, Minister
South Africa


I find your presentations stimulating, controversial and most edifying.

Richard Olson, Student


I find your material enjoyable and inspiring. You do a fine job of education on those of us who thought we were already educated. Keep up the good work.

Michael D. Vlad, Church of God Minister

In my 75th year, in the ministry since 1925, I have been "in the books" a great deal. But it is my regret that I did not have your clear presentations coming to me until this late date. It is certain that there would have been less confusion.

Stanley Hunt, Minister

Old-fashioned Thinking

I appreciate your magazine. What you are attempting to do is greatly needed in these days of hyper-emotional cultism. I do not always agree with what you say, but it is refreshing to be challenged to do some honest-to-goodness, old-fashioned thinking.

Jim Bryant, Baptist Minister

Willing to Dig

I have appreciated Present Truth Magazine. I'm a retired policeman with only a high school education, and sometimes I find your material quite heavy. However, with a dictionary, Strong's concordance and the Bible I am able to extract many useful and thought-provoking ideas.

Samuel H. Hower

Mail Room index

Volume 27 index