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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
               Friday, July 12 2002 

McIntire - 4

The most beautiful sights in Pennsylvania are seen from its open highways in green valleys and rolling hills. In New Jersey, it often seems there are no "open" roads and the beauty is found, by contrast, in the small towns, many of which preserve homes and civic buildings dating to colonial and American Revolution times, and its shore ocean vistas and inland waterways. Collingswood, McIntire's headquarters town "five miles from Independence Hall in Philadelphia," as he often reminded his radio audiences, represented a sea-change for me. It could have been a set for the movie The Truman Show, so neatly it was ordered and how accessible it was by foot.

Bible Presbyterian Church, Collingswood, NJAnd the church, McIntire's Bible Presbyterian Church, was awe-inspiring both in its colonial-style architecture and its congregational programs. Though I'd been raised in Baptist doctrines all my life, McIntire's preaching and writing soon won me over. Within months, I became a Presbyterian. By June, I was enrolled in the Reformed Episcopal Seminary (ironically not qualifying for enrollment in McIntire's seminary) and declared as a pre-min student under care of the New Jersey Presbytery.

Unfortunately, my earlier comparison of Collingswood to the Vatican proved more apt than even I expected. It may be the propensity of fundamentalist leaders to acquire autocratic authoritarian and even totalitarian traits. Though my "honeymoon" with the Reformation Movement lasted for several years, it gradually became apparent that Dr. McIntire's personal doctrine of infallibility exceeded that of the Roman Bishop, though he never owned up to that. Though he created a dozen or more temporarily effective institutions, he insisted on virtually total control over all of them, to the point that, beginning with International Christian Youth (ICY) and soon after the other board members of the American Council of Christian Churches in the late '60's, his colleagues felt constrained to leave him.

Though I was employed to run the Christian Beacon, I was soon elected to the governing board of ICY, which was more independent than most of the other McIntire creations by virtue of being limited to members in the 15- to 30-years age range. When the good doctor ran interference in ICY's programs, his own son, C.T., defected both from the organization and the larger "movement." And although I was entirely supportive of C.T.'s position, I succeeded him (with his blessing) for a while in ICY's top post. He happened to have a better employment offer at the time, I was still in seminary and college, so had to bide my time for a while and continue seeing whether the "Reformation" could be reformed. Long story short: it couldn't.

Were he still putting out the Christian Beacon, Dr. McIntire would now say, "Aha! They want to change us." And of course we did want that. We wanted to give credit to the thinkers like Abraham Kuyper who advocated ongoing reformation in the generation before McIntire. We wanted to be able to cross-reference, at least, the contributions to apologetics of Francis Schaeffer, who had been an early disciple of McIntire but had been early forced out of the fold. We wanted to make lasting contributions to the faith and faith community, and believed the Reformation worldview had much to offer the academic and political spheres of life.

In truth, Dr. Carl created nothing that's lasted. The last published interview with him seemed to find him upbeat about his accomplishments, even though the congregation that he once built had been virtually decimated and the International Council of Christian Churches was little more than a nameplate on the doorway to his Collingswood residence at that time.

Despite all this, on Tuesday we'll look at some of his positives.

—Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Dumb crooks (last in series)

Kentucky: Two men tried to pull the front off a cash machine by running a chain from the machine to the bumper of their pickup truck. Instead of pulling the front panel off the
machine, though, they pulled the bumper off their truck! Scared, they left the scene and drove home. With the chain still attached to the machine. With their bumper still attached to the chain. With their vehicle's license plate still attached to the bumper. They were quickly arrested.

— Sent by Mike Harrison

Thought for today

Honest criticism is hard to take - especially when it comes from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger.

Franklin P. Jones

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