Christianity and War: A Plea for Pacifism

All will agree that a sermon pleading for a Christian Con¬science About War, delivered in the Cathedral at Geneva, at the League of Nations Assembly Service, ought to have first place in any book. The occasion, the preacher and the theme made it memorable, alike for the opportunity and the magnifi¬cent manner in which the preacher met it—himself a “heretic,” denouncing war as the supreme social heresy of civilization. Never did the challenging words of Jesus have a more pictur¬esque and poignant setting. A sketch of Dr. Fosdick appeared in Best Sermons 1924; since that time he has been offered fellowship in the Presby¬terian Church and declined it, accepting, instead, the pastorate of the Park Avenue Baptist Church of New York City—which will no doubt again change its name when it moves to its new home on Riverside Drive. Besides, he has written two very brilliant books, Twelve Tests of Character, in which we see the practical spiritual philosopher dealing with the stuff of life and how it may be shaped for use and beauty; and The Modern Use of the Bible, being the Yale Lectures of Preaching for 1925—a book encouraging or disappointing, according to the point of view of the reader. He also conducts a regular department, discussing Religion and Life, in Harper’s Magazine. As the clouds of controversy are lifted, men of all faiths will the more rejoice in a ministry so extraordinarily influential in behalf of the best things—popular but never cheap, at once stimulating and challenging; and its further unfoldment will be followed with gratitude and joy.