On this day in 1919, just before a large convention of Baptists was to take place, the Canadian Baptist, that country’s largest Baptist journal, published an article entitled: “The Inspiration and Authority of Scripture.”  The worthy title belied its true purpose: to reflect the growing trend toward allegorizing the scripture, denying its miracles and even the deity of Christ.  The article declared that “acrimonious disputations” between the modernists and the conservatives in Europe had “ceased to interest or influence intelligent Christian people,” but the churches in North America were still quarreling over which Bible should be read and how it should be studied.  “Especially in the United States where some crude theological views still prevail in many quarters” (doctrines like the verbal, plenary inspiration of the Word of God) “in which some partially educated but very dogmatic preachers are still making loud proclamations of views and theories as to the scriptures, which were laid aside years ago in England and Scotland” and which had killed evangelism in the rest of Europe.

Immediately, upon seeing the article, T.T. Shields, the pastor of the most important church in Canada at the time, the Jarvis Street Baptist Church, sought permission to speak to the convention.  Permission was granted.  On October 24, Pastor Shields spoke for ninety-minutes in defense of the Word of God, after which the audience was filled with loud amens and hearty applause.  There was a small, temporary victory that day for the truth, but the liberals continued the war until most of the churches in Canada and across the American north gave into the liberal interpretations of the Word and the denial of its Holy Spirit inspiration.