The Open Door at The Christian Century

by Ronald R Johnson (www.ronaldrjohnson.com)

Lloyd Douglas didn’t win the Christian Century’s essay contest in the summer of 1920; he took second place. But it didn’t matter…

From the July 22, 1920, issue of The Christian Century, p. 22. Available online at The Online Books Page.

…because his participation in the contest had excited the interest of the editor, Charles Clayton Morrison, and Morrison invited Douglas to submit another article to the Century – right away. “Our readers will be particularly interested in an article from you just now when their attention has been put on the qui vive [on the alert] by your taking one of the honors in the series,” Morrison said. “I hope you will feel not only free, but strongly prompted, to write for us at any time.”

Letter from Charles Clayton Morrison to Lloyd C Douglas, July 22, 1920. In 1918 Scrapbook, Lloyd C Douglas Papers, Box 5, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan.

Douglas accepted the invitation immediately. And he didn’t just send one article; he sent Part One of a three-part series. It was called, “Wanted: A Congregation,” and it was some of the finest writing he had ever done up to that time.

Letter from Charles Clayton Morrison to Lloyd C Douglas, August 3, 1920. In 1918 Scrapbook, Lloyd C Douglas Papers, Box 5, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan.

Upon receiving the first installment, Morrison gushed, “You write splendidly.” He wasted no time publishing it, even announcing it on the front cover (August 5, 1920), and he encouraged Douglas to send the other two installments as soon as possible.

Notice that Douglas now shares the front cover with John Spargo.

Douglas did better than that: he sent three more installments. But first he asked the editor’s permission. Morrison wrote back pretending to be “quite offended that you felt any inhibition at all in the matter of writing a fourth installment when you were prompted to do so.” He wasn’t really offended; he was delighted that Douglas had been “prompted,” either by his Muse or by the Spirit, to add another installment to the series. “The chances are 102 per cent that whatever you write will be available [he probably means ‘accepted’] for publication in The Christian Century.”

So… now Douglas not only had a series running in the Century, but he also had an open invitation from the editor to send him an article anytime, and to expect to see it published in that magazine.

Elesha J Coffman has written, “In 1920, the Century was not yet a magazine that other papers envied or a place where writers could make their names. By the end of the decade, through savvy and serendipity, it would be both.” (The Christian Century and the Rise of the Protestant Mainstream (NY: Oxford University Press, 2013), p. 63.)

That being the case, Douglas and the Century grew up together, for his frequent contributions beginning in 1920 made his non-fiction writing well-known among America’s Protestant clergy, and at the end of that decade, The Christian Century would play a major role in making him a world-famous novelist.

For a free PDF copy of the booklet, The Secret Investment of Lloyd C. Douglas, fill out the form below:

Lloyd C Douglas, Contestant

by Ronald R Johnson (www.ronaldrjohnson.com)

I’ve been telling you about the essay contest that Lloyd Douglas entered at The Christian Century during the Spring/Summer of 1920. The contest was prompted by John Spargo’s article, “The Futility of Preaching,” published May 20, 1920, in the Century.

Douglas’s response, “Preaching and the ‘Average Preacher'” was published anonymously, along with the essays of five other contestants, on July 1, 1920. The issue included a ballot for readers to choose the three best essays.

From the July 1st, 1920, issue of The Christian Century, p. 28. Available online at The Online Books Page.

Meanwhile, the Century’s editor, Charles Clayton Morrison, asked John Spargo to read the six anonymous essays and write a follow-up article in response. Spargo’s reply was published in the July 22nd issue. Notice how Morrison took a single submission (Spargo’s initial article published May 20th) and kept his readers interested in that one article all the way through July and beyond. He paired this with an advertising campaign that told potential readers what was happening. It was this kind of maneuvering that made the Century grow into a successful magazine.

For the most part, Spargo’s reply was general, telling his readers more about himself and his views. He only got angry at one of the contestants. Guess who!

Of course, in this discussion, as in every other, we have the quibbler who is less concerned to establish the essential truth than to score debating points. Shall I confess that I was amused by the sophomoric intensity of one of the writers in his attempt to demonstrate that my use of the term ‘average preacher’ was unscientific and an evidence of the fact that my views were not entitled to serious consideration?

John Spargo, “More about Preaching and the Ministry,” The Christian Century, July 22, 1920.

Amused? I don’t think so. His irritation is clearly displayed in his next remarks:

Of course, this is the characteristic spirit of the Medieval schoolmen that made theology such a terrible incubus upon religion. In the practical affairs of life, this good brother, not animated by sectarian dogmatism or pride, would not think of invoking such a rule. If his neighbor declared the day to be an ‘average’ one, he would not demand that the statement be accompanied by a statistical analysis of the meteorological records. Similarly, if a brother minister declared that he had a good ‘average’ congregation, the writer in question would not think of demanding verification of the statement in statistical terms. I emphasize my reference to this quite incidental and essentially irrelevant criticism because it illustrates the vicious narrowness of a mind fostered by ecclesiasticism. The plain, forthright speech and straight and direct thinking characteristic of honest men in their ordinary intercourse and business relations do not suit a certain familiar type of theologian or an equally familiar type of ecclesiastic.

Ibid

Ouch! He’s right, up to a point: his use of the term “average minister” wasn’t as important as Douglas made it out to be, and Douglas did use it to “score debating points.” But this wasn’t Douglas at his best. On any other occasion, Lloyd Douglas was nothing like the Medieval schoolmen, nor was he guilty of “the narrowness of mind fostered by ecclesiasticism.” It’s unfortunate that these two gifted men were pitted against each other so that it was practically impossible for them to appreciate each other’s talents.

Meanwhile, readers were now encouraged to await the results of the vote, in which they would discover exactly how many “debating points” each of the anonymous contestants had won.

To be continued…

For a free PDF copy of the booklet, The Secret Investment of Lloyd C. Douglas, fill out the form below:

Preaching and the ‘Average Preacher’

by Ronald R Johnson (www.ronaldrjohnson.com)

In his response to John Spargo for The Christian Century’s essay contest in the summer of 1920, Douglas began by trying to make Spargo look ridiculous. He claimed that Spargo wrote his article during “what was evidently an hour of utter exasperation” and that the piece “must have been composed while under stress of very strong emotion. So wrought up is he that he indicts the whole profession.” (I disagree. Spargo’s essay comes across calm and dispassionate; it is Douglas who seems fired up.)

Next, Douglas takes on the manner of an attorney in a courtroom. He harps on Spargo’s use of the term “the average minister,” and uses the following analogy:

Suppose that, instead of attacking the ministry, this author had pointed out the weaknesses of the medical profession. Suppose that he had said, ‘The average doctor is no more competent to diagnose a case or write a prescription than the average patient.’ …. [H]e would be obliged to show precisely how he had arrived at his ‘average.’ …. To the impartial prosecution of the case he should investigate all the various types represented among medical men, as, for example,—specialists (bona fide); specialists (bogus); specialists suspected of being quacks; specialists known to be quacks; doctors who would send a patient to an unscrupulous and unskilled surgeon on the latter’s promise of a ‘split fee’; doctors who work eighteen hours out of every twenty-four, and die poor; surgeons known to be extortionists; surgeons known to be generous; surgeons willing to venture with the untried; surgeons willing to delegate a critical case to a more experienced colleague; general practitioners of good intent but poor training; general practitioners with good training but no conscience; general practitioners who know little and care less; a host who have excellent training at school but very little experience, and as many more who have had wide experience but meager educational advantages.

Lloyd C Douglas, “Preaching and the ‘Average Preacher'”

Notice that Douglas’s analogy is from the medical profession. This is just one example of how science, and especially medical science, has come to dominate his thinking. But it’s also somewhat tedious. This isn’t Douglas at his best. He behaves like someone who’s trying to win a debate. Here’s where he’s going with the analogy:

Having secured all the accessible facts relative to these widely divergent types, a general ‘average’ might be computed. But before Mr. Spargo would dare to predicate any quality, attribute, state of mind, strength or weakness, of ‘the average doctor,’ he would have to be prepared to define and describe this typical medical man. By no means would it be an impertinence if the offended M. D., reading these contemptuous words hurled at ‘the average doctor,’ should inquire of the author, ‘What manner of home produced the average doctor? You ought to know: you struck the average. How old is he? What has been the nature of his experience? What about his training? Did he finish high school—this average doctor? Does he exhibit an interest in the general welfare of his community?’ And—if Mr. Spargo were to decline answering on the ground that no man could collect enough facts to warrant his attempt to answer such direct questions concerning ‘the average doctor’—the indignant medical man would then have a right to reply, ‘That being true, by what rule of audacity do you presume to speak of an “average doctor” at all?’

Ibid

A direct answer to Spargo’s objection would show why laypeople need well-trained ministers to help them understand the Bible and apply it to their lives. But Douglas doesn’t do that; instead, he tries to catch Spargo on a technicality: his use of the term “average minister.”

Douglas’s main point is that the type of minister Spargo describes is not average at all; he’s only talking about pastors of big-city churches, which Douglas says constitutes no more than 10 percent of the Protestant clergy in America. Even at that, Douglas says, Spargo contradicts himself, for he (Spargo) says at one point that these big-city ministers do preach from the scriptures and at another point that they do not. (I honestly don’t see where Spargo contradicted himself, but Douglas insists that he did.)

Believing that he has succeeded in making Spargo look ridiculous, Douglas changes tactics. (Remember, the editor of the Century gave Spargo’s article the provocative title, “The Futility of Preaching,” even though Spargo never actually used that word.)

Heigh-ho-hum! Let us talk about something else.

Let us talk about ‘futilities.’

When, in 1897, the first successful operation ever performed upon the heart was completed, one of the operators is said to have remarked: ‘The path to the human heart is only one inch long, but it has taken surgery twenty-four hundred years to travel it!’ One almost envies a man his proper pride who is able to say that he belongs to a profession possessed of enough faith and perseverance to continue its apparently futile efforts, for twenty-four centuries, undaunted by a consistent record of one hundred per cent failure, until, at length, it has registered a single success.

Ibid

Another medical analogy! His point this time is a bit more relevant, but we have to wait for it. Acknowledging that, throughout those centuries, physicians did succeed at other things (“setting broken bones, amputating crushed fingers, removing malignant growths, and straightening crippled feet”), he says that preachers, too, have had their successes: motivating cities to build hospitals (as Douglas himself had done in Lancaster, Ohio), as well as “the asylum, the orphanage, the home for the indigent and the aged, the reform of the prison, and philanthropies of all sorts.” It was preaching, he says, that finally won women the right to vote. (This was 1920, the very year in which that happened.) The popular conception of “the Brotherhood of Man” originated in the pulpit, and most of the nation’s colleges and universities were started by ministers.

Some day we will contrive to mend the very heart of society. Meanwhile, we will continue to perform such work as we have learned to accomplish. If the surgeons could sustain their faith in the possibility of mending hearts, for twenty-four hundred years, with an unbroken record of failure behind them, we ministers may indulge the hope that our efforts are contributing to the successes of them who take up our instruments after we have put them down, refashioning and readapting them to the needs of a rapidly changing world.

Ibid

Although it wasn’t Douglas’s best work, it caught the eye of the editor, Charles Clayton Morrison, who wrote this in reply, on May 29, 1920:

“My dear Doctor Douglas:

“I thank you very cordially for your communication concerning Mr. Spargo’s article. I have just read it through cursorily and am much impressed with the manner in which you handle him. This is to advise you that the article will appear in an early issue of The Christian Century and will be a candidate for the little premium we are offering.

“Very sincerely yours,”

Letter from Charles Clayton Morrison to Lloyd C Douglas, May 29, 1920. In 1918 Scrapbook, Lloyd C Douglas Papers, Box 5, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan

Morrison calls him “Doctor” Douglas. There were times when people assumed (in error) that Douglas had a doctorate, even earlier in his life, but in this case Morrison was right: Douglas received an honorary doctorate from Fargo College that same year (1920). Notice also the phrase “the manner in which you handle him,” meaning Spargo. Morrison has set this contest up as a prize fight, and he is choosing the submissions that he thinks will bloody Spargo’s nose.

The top six essays were published in the Century without by-lines on July 1st. Readers were asked to vote for the top three, without knowing the authors’ names. This was Morrison’s clever way of getting a lot of mileage out of Spargo’s essay, making it a topic of discussion throughout the summer and into the fall. But it also ended up being very good for Lloyd Douglas.

To be continued…

For a free PDF copy of the booklet, The Secret Investment of Lloyd C. Douglas, fill out the form below:

The Writing Contest

by Ronald R Johnson (www.ronaldrjohnson.com)

I’ve told you that Douglas began writing for The Christian Century in 1920. It started with a contest, centered around an intellectual named John Spargo.

Spargo, an Englishman, had begun preaching in the Methodist Church at the age of 14, and his sermons were printed in the newspapers. But he became aware of social inequities and eventually left the church to become a socialist lecturer and writer. He moved to America, and it was there that he developed “an evolutionary, spiritual understanding of the processes of social change” that put him at odds with other socialist thinkers. He never gave up his faith in God, and he insisted on combining socialism with Christianity, “a true synthesis” that “was his most unique contribution to socialist theory in America” (Markku Ruotsila, John Spargo and American Socialism (NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006), pp. 61, 68).

In the May 20, 1920, issue of the Christian Century, Spargo published an article that was meant to bolster the confidence of Christian leaders. The main point of his wide-ranging essay was his belief that the church would never be obsolete. He admitted that, in earlier years, he and his socialist friends had wondered what use they would make of the elaborate cathedrals “after the revolution,” when there would no longer be a need for churches. But now Spargo realized that the church would always be a vital and necessary part of social life, even if capitalism ceased to be.

That was the point he was trying to make.

Unfortunately, he digressed near the end of his essay to say that preaching, at least as it was being done in most mainstream churches in 1920, was relatively insignificant and would not endure. In predicting that the church would live on after the revolution, he did not mean that the typical Sunday morning church service would endure. He felt certain that preaching would no longer be necessary, because it was already proving itself worthless. Music and worship were vital to Christian life, but preaching wasn’t:

The pulpit is an anachronism in the modern world. Preaching comes down to us from a past age, when few possessed Bibles and fewer still could read them for themselves. It was necessary then when the believers assembled together to have someone read and explain the Word to them. Today when almost every person can read for himself, when Bibles can be purchased for a few cents, there is no need for such a service. The average man in the pew is quite as capable of reading the Bible and interpreting any passage which interests him as the average minister. That is probably the reason why the old-fashioned expository sermon and the sermon on doctrinal subjects are rarely heard in our cities nowadays…. The old hour-long interpretation with its illustrations arranged as ‘Firstly,’ ‘Secondly,’ ‘Thirdly,’ and ‘Finally Brethren’ has given place to the fifteen minute ‘snappy talk’ upon some topical subject or some abstract question. The old time ‘Lyceum’ lecture has supplanted the sermon.

John Spargo, “The Futility of Preaching”

Not only did he say that the “average man in the pew” could read the Bible as well as “the average minister,” but he went on to say, “The average minister is a poor guide in matters sociological,” meaning that sermons now tended to be on subjects that were best left to the sociologists. He was really just trying to say this: that the church’s role was not to meddle in politics and social reform, but to remake people into followers of Jesus; and if people became followers of Jesus, then they would behave in socially-responsible ways (Ruotsila, pp. 138-139).

I say this digression was unfortunate because the editor, Charles Clayton Morrison, seized upon it and made it the primary focus, ensuring that readers would misunderstand Spargo’s comments and even take offense. Morrison was good at his job. He was trying to increase the circulation of his magazine, and one of his methods was to identify potentially controversial statements in the articles he published, then provoke his readers into responding. He wanted the magazine’s articles discussed for weeks afterwards in the “Letters to the Editor” section, and you can see him stirring the pot again and again, throughout the 1920s.

I don’t know what title Spargo had originally given to his essay, but he did say later that Morrison changed it. The piece was published under the provocative heading, “The Futility of Preaching.” Morrison put it on the front page, and he included a quotation that would surely anger his readers (most of them ministers or lay leaders):

It is very doubtful, to my mind, whether all the preaching that will be done in America during the next twelve months, let us say, will add as much to the well-being of America as the work of one honest, efficient farmer, or as that of a humble schoolteacher in some ‘little red schoolhouse.’

Ibid.

And if that wasn’t enough to get his readers’ attention, the editor announced a competition:

Mr. John Spargo in his extraordinary article on “The Futility of Preaching,” in this issue of The Christian Century, has flung down the gauntlet to tradition and to those who hold that it is by ‘the foolishness of preaching’ that the Kingdom of God is to be brought in. Without doubt the article will arouse decided if not violent reactions from our readers. These reactions should be directed into rational formulations, and in order to encourage such a discussion of the radical question Mr. Spargo has raised, The Christian Century will give a prize for the strongest and most effective article it receives on the other side. The article should be not a detailed reply to Mr. Spargo but a constructive, non-controversial setting forth of the essential place of preaching in the life of the church and in social and ethical progress…. For the best article the prize will be $50. For the second best, $25. For the third best, $10…. It is hardly imaginable that this brilliant and original utterance of the distinguished socialist philosopher will fail to stir to their roots the convictions of the ablest writing men—and women—among our readers.

Charles Clayton Morrison, The Christian Century, May 20, 1920

Over sixty readers took the bait, out of which there were six finalists. One of them was Lloyd Douglas.

To be continued…

For a free PDF copy of the booklet, The Secret Investment of Lloyd C. Douglas, fill out the form below:

Lloyd Douglas and the Christian Century

by Ronald R Johnson (www.ronaldrjohnson.com)

Over the past few posts, I’ve been telling you about the periodicals in which Douglas’s writing appeared during his Ann Arbor years (1915-1921); but his big breakthrough came in 1920, when he began writing for The Christian Century. And that fact is ironic, because in 1920 the Century was still struggling to become an important magazine. To some extent, Douglas added distinction to the Century even as it helped him become more prominent on the national scene.

(For most of what follows, I am indebted to Elesha J Coffman, The Christian Century and the Rise of the Protestant Mainline (NY: Oxford University Press, 2013).)

The Christian Century began as an unimposing little Disciples of Christ paper. In fact, the Disciples of Christ itself began as a nineteenth-century religious movement that was so democratic, it lacked a hierarchy and therefore didn’t have an official “organ.” There were hundreds of papers published throughout the United States in the 1800s by people of that persuasion, most of them with a very small circulation. The Christian Century was just one of many, many such periodicals. And, like most of the others, it had to fight hard just to survive financially.

In 1914, the magazine’s young editor, Charles Clayton Morrison, made the decision to seek a wider audience outside of his denomination: specifically, Protestant ministers and laypeople who valued education and who were willing to think deeply about religious matters. The weekly magazine was published in Chicago, and the people who ran it, including Morrison, were well-connected with professors at the University of Chicago, in both the religion and the philosophy departments. It made sense for them to seek out the more intellectual members of the Protestant clergy and to publish articles on topics that would be of interest to such a group.

Charles Clayton Morrison, editor of The Christian Century from 1908 to 1947. Although he looks young in this picture, he was several years older than Douglas. (Image from LibraryThing)

I’m unable to say when Douglas began to read the Century. I do know that he was just the kind of reader Morrison was aiming at: one who was committed to higher education and to rethinking the gospel in terms of what was being taught in America’s state colleges. As I told you in an earlier post, Douglas was already following the work of Shailer Mathews as early as 1909, and Mathews led the Department of Religion at the University of Chicago. (He also wrote articles for the Century.) In fact, Mathews’ teachings had prompted Douglas to “go back to school” (first the University of Illinois and then the University of Michigan) and to revise his ideas about God; so Douglas’s career path made him a perfect fit for The Christian Century, not only as a reader but also as a contributor.

In 1919, a few wealthy members of the Disciples of Christ (including William H. Hoover of vacuum-cleaner fame), created an endowment for the magazine, and Morrison initially used these funds to begin advertising in a number of periodicals, including denominational organs like The Congregationalist and secular magazines like The Atlantic Monthly, both of which Douglas was writing for at the time. If the Century wasn’t on his radar prior to 1919, it probably was now.

At any rate, in the spring of 1920, Morrison announced an essay contest. This was just one of the ways in which he tried to increase his list of subscribers. He hoped to inspire ministers and thoughtful laypeople to write on the proposed subject. He would pick the best six entries, then readers would choose the first, second, and third-place winners from those six. (First prize was a whopping $50, second was $25, and third was $10. In fairness, Morrison himself apologized to the contestants for this pitiful remuneration.)

The event may or may not have increased the Century’s readership, but Morrison did snag a talented writer from Ann Arbor, Michigan, who was not yet known on the national stage. It was the beginning of a mutually-beneficial relationship.

To be continued…

For a free PDF copy of the booklet, The Secret Investment of Lloyd C. Douglas, fill out the form below:

Douglas’s Long Road to Fame

by Ronald R Johnson (www.ronaldrjohnson.com)

Lloyd C. Douglas self-published his first book-length work of fiction in 1905, but it took almost thirty years for him to become known as an author of fiction. Through all the intervening years, he produced a steady stream of non-fiction articles, books, and booklets, as well as writing morning and evening sermons each Sunday and speeches during the week. (Douglas always wrote out his sermons and speeches even though he delivered them as if they were extemporaneous.)

That first work of fiction was More Than a Prophet, and it was unlike anything else he ever published. The book abounded in dialogues between angelic beings, and it was more of a prose poem than a novel. (And yes, Douglas wrote poetry as well as prose.) He borrowed the money to self-publish it, but few people were interested in buying it and it took him years to pay back the money he borrowed. Since Douglas was the kind of man who always preferred to be on the giving rather than the receiving end of loans and gifts, the failure of More Than a Prophet was deeply humiliating to him. He is often quoted as saying that More Than a Prophet was “less than a profit.”

But while the book was gathering dust, Douglas was making a name for himself as a frequent contributor to the Lutheran Observer. His articles on biblical subjects were thought-provoking, down-to-earth, and eloquent. Mostly because of the reputation he had earned through his writing, Luther Place Memorial Church in Washington, DC, made him their Senior Pastor in 1909, although he had only been an ordained minister for six years.

From DC he went to Champaign-Urbana and headed the religious side of the YMCA on the campus of the University of Illinois. While there, he wrote a weekly column in the campus newspaper, as well as some features in a monthly magazine. Next he moved to the University of Michigan, and as Senior Pastor of the First Congregational Church of Ann Arbor, he wrote articles for the North American StudentThe Congregationalist, and other periodicals. He also self-published a new Advent booklet each Christmas season, exploring different aspects of the Christmas story.

In the summer of 1920 his writing career advanced considerably when he entered a writing contest sponsored by the Christian Century and was chosen as one of the semi-finalists. Although he won second place, the editor of the Century, Charles Clayton Morrison, liked Douglas’s writing and asked him to contribute another article. Douglas responded by sending not one but a series of articles on what we would now consider “church growth.” The series was provocative, and when it was finished, Christian Century Press published a book-length version of it under the title, Wanted: A Congregation. (The articles were non-fiction, but the book version presented the same material as a set of dialogues among a cast of characters.)

Not only did Douglas continue on as a frequent contributor to the Century throughout the 1920s, but he now became known as an author of non-fiction books about the ministry and/or about Christian faith: The Minister’s Everyday Life, These Sayings of Mine, and Those Disturbing Miracles. During these same years he submitted several articles to the Atlantic Monthly that were published without a by-line.

But Douglas had always wanted to write a novel, and in the late 1920s he did so. It was turned down by two publishing houses (one of which had published his non-fiction before), but was accepted by Willett, Clark, and Colby in 1929. Magnificent Obsession took a few years to catch on, but when it did, it made Douglas a household name, and his subsequent novels dominated the bestseller lists throughout the 1930s and 40s.

Headlines proclaimed him a novelist who didn’t start until he was 50 years old, but that’s inaccurate. He was always at his typewriter, from very early in life, tapping away. The volume of his published work is impressive, considering the fact that he was a full-time minister until after his second bestselling novel, Forgive Us Our Trespasses, was published. But what is most impressive is the fact that he didn’t quit, even though he felt the pain of More Than a Prophet every time he moved from one locale to another and had to carry all those boxes of unread books with him, storing them in the attic each time.

For a free PDF of the booklet, The Secret Investment of Lloyd C Douglas, fill out the form below:

Introducing the Lloyd C Douglas Page

by Ronald R Johnson (www.ronaldrjohnson.com)

Lloyd C Douglas was a bestselling novelist in the 1930s and 40s. For three decades before that, he was a minister, a lecturer, an author of non-fiction books, and a frequent contributor to Christian CenturyThe Congregationalist, and other publications.

I have been studying Douglas’s private papers for a number of years. Those papers, including scrapbooks and correspondence, are housed at the University of Michigan’s Bentley Historical Library.

At this site, I will share what I have learned from my many trips cross-state to Bentley (from Kalamazoo, Michigan) over the past 14 years.

Lloyd Douglas and I don’t agree about everything, but he asked the right questions – or at least the ones that I believe are important for well-educated Christians in the twentieth (and now the twenty-first) century to consider. I have also found him endlessly entertaining, thought-provoking, and a wonderful companion. As you get to know him through these pages, I hope you will understand why I keep coming back to his writings for inspiration, solace, and human warmth.

For a free PDF of the booklet, The Secret Investment of Lloyd C Douglas, fill out the form below:

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