To the editors.
I am not a constant reader of your worthy periodical. The few occasions on which I have examined it, however, showed you to be a distinctly "alternative bunch" and I liked that. By purest happenstance, I stumbled on a copy of the Friday Oct. 14 Issue, and was utterly flabbergasted by the lead story [on religious tracts]. The fact that so far-out a paper as Reader would run such a feature was astonishing enough. The more I read, the more astonished I became, at the evenhanded, nonjudgmental tone of Pick's remarks. His willingness to treat evangelicals as just another interesting special-interest group was refreshing. So much of the communications media is poisoned by an antievangelical bias, that a lot of us take a defensive stance when approached by them. Pick's detailed examination, and explanation of the subject was most gratifying.
Evangelicalism is only now, after sixty years, recovering from the near-mortal blow of the Scopes trial. The long night of retreat into the cloister, the fortress mentality of the thirties, and forties and fifties, is over, and the evangelicals are carrying their ideas out into the marketplace to compete with the rest of the theological-philosophical systems.
David S. Landon