April 28: Humorous Aside

It Seems There’s Always Some Comedian

In the late 1940’s, while Dr. J. Oliver Buswell, Jr. was still the president of the National Bible Institute, Buswell oversaw the publication of an ongoing debate on the subject of apologetics, sparring particularly with Dr. Cornelius Van Til and his system of apologetics that came to be called “presuppositionalism.” In the midst of that debate, and whether trying to add some levity to the debate or a just note of rebuke, it’s difficult to confirm, the following bit of poetry was submitted by an anonymous contributor and published in the May 1949 issue of THE BIBLE TODAY.


THE following contribution is from a reader whose name is withheld by request. It may reflect the thought of others, though it does not mirror the mind of the editor.
To The Bible Today—

I do not like your Presuppositionalism controversy; it is getting acrimonious, and doesn’t show much grace, common or special. But I know you both could sing

I know not how God’s wondrous grace
To me He hath made known,
Nor why, unworthy, Christ in love
Redeemed me for His own.
But I know Whom I have believed,
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that Day.
But —
Scotch is Scotch,
And Dutch is Dutch,
But Calvin was French, you see,
And died at the age of fifty-five,
Not older than “B” or “VanT.”
He wrote in the language of 1509—
He wrote not English nor Dutch,
He wrote in the words he understood
And has been translated much.
And the mind of the Scotch interprets Scotch,
And the mind of the Dutch sees Dutch;
But God’s great grace is working on
And souls respond to His touch.
And when in the glorious crowning day
The Scotch and the Dutch shall meet,
They both will say “It is all of grace;
We have reached the Mercy seat”
But Buswell still will drive his “Bus”
And Van Til his “Van” will drive,
But whether thru tunnel or over bridge,
By grace they will both arrive.

[The Bible Today 42.8 (May 1949): 261.–Note: The Bible Today was the official publication of the National Bible Institute. ]


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