Archbishop Ramsey Hits 'God Is Dead'
Arthur Michael Ramsey, Archbishop of Canterbury, told an overflow crowd in Sanders Theatre last night the idea that "God is dead" is a meaningless concept.
The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Archbishop was picketed by an orderly, middle-aged fundamentalist group that opposed his active support of the World Council of Churches and the ecumenical movement.
In his lecture the Archbishop, who was once a professor of Divinity at Durham University, examined three species of the "death of God talk." First he attacked the notion that God--primarily concerned with religion and piety--is dead. "No such God ever existed," Archbishop Ramsey declared. "Religionless Christianity is now the spiritual reality."
Second, Archbishop Ramsey criticized the idea that it was Jesus' freedom which makes him significant for all time and that his religion and God are irrelevant. "He was not just free; He was free for a reason--to show the source of light beyond," the Archbishop answered. "Jesus was the living God of the Bible and had an existence."
Archbishop Ramsey felt that this second rejection of God was beneficial in hat it emphasized a lesson: "the call of Christian belief is not just that Jesus is Divine and we worship Him; it is also that God is Christ-like."
The third and final "death of God" talk which the Archbishop attacked was that of a diety dying and then coming to life again. This concept, he stated, is mythology. "The death of Jesus does not contradict the divine element; it explicates it," he said, adding that the divine glory of God is never more apparent than in death.
Archbishop Ramsey concluded his address by advising the audience to "learn all you can from the secular world, but beware of accepting uncritically ideologies of the secular world." He had begun his speech by describing how theories of evolution and historical criticism brought new depth to the Christian concept of God, but how it also brought "false at- tachment" to the liberal-Victorian ideollogy of secular cultural progress.
The picketers, numbering 21, paraded on the Kirkland Street side of Memorial Hall before the Archbishop's address. They were from Boston, Providence, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, and carried signs such as "One world church would be totalitarian," "God's word is true,' 'and "The World Council of Churches aids Communism."
The picketers represented the International Council of Christian Churches, which calls itself "the only militant church organization challenging the ecumenical movement and exposing the havoc wrought by modernism, Communism, and the growing power of Roman Catholicism."
Archbishop Ramsey will now return directly to London. His primary purpose in the United States was to attend the General Convention of the Episcopal Church in Seattle. He stopped in about a dozen cities and led ecumenical services in more than half of them