Billy Graham Center
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Interviews with Arthur Frederick Glasser - Collection 421


[Note: What follows is a description of the documents in this collection which are available for use at BGC Archives in Wheaton, Illinois, USA. The actual documents are not, in most cases, available online, only this description of them. Nor are they available for sale or rent. Some or all of this collection can be borrowed through interlibrary loan. ]

Table of Contents

Brief Description of This Collection

Title Page and Restrictions

Biography of Arthur Frederick Glasser

An Essay on the Contents of the Collection (Scope and Content)

List of Audio Tapes in This Collection

**********

Audio file and written transcript for T1

Audio file and written transcript for T2

Audio file and written transcript for T3

Audio file and written transcript for T4

Audio file and written transcript for T5

Audio file and written transcript for T6

Audio file and written transcript for T7

Audio file and written transcript for T8




Brief Description.
Oral history interviews with Glasser recorded in 1989, 1995 and 1998 in which he discusses his family, conversion to Christianity, his education, service as a chaplain during World War II, marriage, work with Dawson Trotman, service as a missionary in China with China Inland Mission, the Communist revolution in China, the 1951 Bournemouth conference to determine CIM's future, Commission on World Evangelism & Missions (WCC), his experiences as a teacher of missions at Fuller Seminary and other schools, views on ecumenicalism, involvement in Evangelcial conferences, especailly those of the Lausanne movment, involvement in Christian evangelsim to the Jewish people.
Vol: 8 Reels of Audio Tape


Collection 421
[June 22, 2011]
Glasser, Arthur Frederick, 1914-2009
Interviews; 1989-1998

Audio Tapes (.16 cubic feet)

Restrictions

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.


Biography

Full name: Arthur Frederick Glasser

Birth date: September 10, 1914 in Paterson, New Jersey

Death Date:
December 8, 2009 in Seattle, Washington

Family
Parents: John Emil Glasser and Clara (Weise) Glasser
Married: Alice M. Oliver on September 13, 1942
Children: Samuel M., Anne, Carol A.

Conversion: June 1932 while attending an American Keswick conference in New Jersey

Education:
Attended public schools in Patterson and Augusta Military Academy in Virginia
1936 Graduated Cornell University, engineering degree
1939 Graduated Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, Illinois
1942 Graduated Faith Theological seminary with a Bachelor's of Divinity Degree
1966 Graduated Covenant Theological Seminary with a Doctor of Divinity
1970 Graduated Union Theological Seminary of New York City with an S.T.M.

Career:
1936-37 Worked as an engineer for the Dravo Corporation in Pittsburgh, PA
1942-44 United States Naval Reserve chaplain in the South Pacific
1944-46 Stationed as a chaplain in southern California; after leaving the service assisted Dawson Trotman and the Navigators
1946-50 Missionary with his wife for China Inland Mission in Yunnan Province
1951 Attended CIM's Bournemouth Conference
1951 Taught Old Testament at Columbia Bible College in Columbia, South Carolina
1955-69 Assistant home director, then home director of the United States branch of Overseas Missionary Fellowship (formerly China Inland Mission). When he rejoined the staff, it was the North American branch of OMF. Canada set up its own board during his administration.
1965 Taught at Covenant College and Theological Seminary
1966 Attended the Congress on the Church's Worldwide Mission in Wheaton, Illinois
1967-69 Lectured on missions at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia
1970 Joined missions faculty of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California
1971-1980 Dean of the School of World Mission at Fuller Theological Seminary
1972 Attended the meeting of the World Council of Church's Commission of World Mission and Evangelism in Bangkok, Thailand
1972 Founding member of the American Society of Missiology
1974 Attended the International Congress on World Evangelization in Lausanne, Switzerland
1976-1982 Editor of the ASM's journal, Missiology
1980 Attended the meeting of the World Council of Church's Commission of World Mission and Evangelism in Sydney, Australia
1982-1983 President of the American Society of Missiology
1999 Retired from the faculty of Fuller and moved with his wife to Seattle, Washington
Actively involved in Jewish evangelism efforts and in the founding of Zweimer Institute for Islamic studies


Scope and Content

Arthur Glasser was interviewed by Robert Shuster for the Billy Graham Center Archives at his office at Fuller Theological Seminary on September 14 and 18, 1989; April 17 and 18, 1995; and April 21, 1998. The time period covered in the interview is roughly 1930-1998. The topics are listed in the order in which they were discussed.

Tape T1
Introduction
Description of parents and religious beliefs of his family, Christianity of his grandparents
Life and influence of Donald Fullerton
Conversion of his brother and the Princeton Evangelical Fellowship
Glasser's early education
Glasser's conversion at a student conference in Keswick, New Jersey, in 1932
The importance of the concept of God having a plan for his life, first steps in a Christian life
Example of Fullerton as a missionary
Baptism as a young boy
Contrast between his father and mother and the low level of spirituality in his home; earliest memories
The importance of Scouting and nature to him
Relationship with his father, comments about his mother
Appeal of the military life
Contacts with German relatives
A Wheaton College girlfriend
Rooming with Harold S. Wright at Cornell as a dramatic answer to prayer
The League of Evangelical Students
Living a separate life at Cornell
First contacts with Muslim and Chinese students
First experiences as a speaker
Memory of Donald Barnhouse as a speaker

Tape T2
Working as an engineer for Dravo corporation in Pittsburgh, ca. 1936-1938
Relationship between his father and older brother
Conflict between Glasser's interest in Christian work and his need to support himself
Attending Clarence McCartney's Presbyterian church in Pittsburgh; decision to enter missionary service, reaction of family members
Attending Moody Bible Institute
Being pushed into leadership positions
Classmates at Moody
Attending Faith Seminary in Wilmington, Delaware
Influence of a separatist mentality on his Christian education
Distributing Gospels of Matthew to Jewish people in Manhattan

Tape T3
Glasser's attitude about being in leadership positions
Joining Fuller Seminary's faculty
The educational and spiritual background of his future wife, Alice Oliver; marrying her in 1942
Cornelius Van Til
Alice's contribution to their work and intellectual interests
Becoming a naval chaplain with the Marines in the South Pacific, first experiences of ecumenical encounters with Christians with very different understandings of the truth
Attendance at World Council of Churches meetings in Bangkok (1977) and Sydney (1980)
Contrast between Lausanne Committee meetings and WCC meetings
Waldron Scott
Services as a chaplain with the First Marine Division in various posts in the Pacific; Sent to a base in southern California in 1944; influence on Glasser of Dawson Trotman and the Navigators
Reflections on the weaknesses of the chaplaincy
Anecdotes from his experience as a chaplain, onerous aspects of being a military chaplain
First contact with Dawson Trotman through Peter Stam III
Attack on Trotman by Orrin Bell
Characteristics of Trotman: use of Scripture, effectiveness in recruiting men for Christian work, personal qualities, leadership style Influence of the Navigators on Wycliffe Bible Translators and the church in general

Tape T4
Influence of World War II on American missions and missionaries Phil Armstrong and the G. I. Gospel Hour
Mission Aviation Fellowship
Contacts with members of China Inland Mission during the war; contacts with the Stam family; J. O. Saunders; first application to CIM before the war; quality of CIM leadership in the United States
Preparation for China through a Wycliffe language school
Jewish refugees in Shanghai
Inadequacy of the language school in Anhwei
Hans Martin Wilhelm
First impressions of Shanghai
Assignment to Yunnan province, denominational nature of geographic assignments
Transfer to Wuting, assisting tribal work
Lack of strategic planning and leadership in the mission
John Kuhn
Waning of the Victorious Life movement and Keswick
Teaching at the school for tribal evangelists; transfer of authority to indigenous leaders
Problems with the language
Learning Chinese language characters
Practice of Christianity among tribal people; differences between the Miao (commonly called the Hmong) and Naga tribes
Relations between missionaries
Methods for holding an evangelistic meeting in a new town or village
Strength of Communist support in the area; Communist emphasis on rebuilding China
contrasted to Christian emphasis on individual salvation; examples of the impact of Communist ideology on people
Avoiding politics in talking with Chinese; little immediate impact of the Communist takeover on the frontier
Growing separation between church leaders and missionaries
Effect of the Korean War on China
Missionary reaction to the Communist takeover
CIM's attitude toward leaving China
Dick Hillis
Leaving China in 1951; closing of Cheefoo school; interrogation by Communist officials before leaving

Tape T5
The Three-Self movement in the church
The house church movement in contemporary (1995) China
Participation in the Bournemouth meeting where the future of the CIM was determined
Influence upon Glasser of his experiences in China; building a theology of mission on the whole idea of the Kingdom of God
Collapse of the Glassers' plans to go to the Philippines; teaching at Columbia Bible College (CBC)
Reinterpreting his experiences in China; brainwashing techniques; revolutionary plays in China;witnessing the preparations for executions
Example of minor harassment of the church by the Communist officials
Colombia Bible College's development of an institutional philosophy
Glasser's experience as an assistant home director of Overseas Missionary Fellowship for North America
Quality of the students at CBC; contradictions then existing at CBC
Glasser's reflections on teaching, communal nature of the mission faculty at Fuller Seminary, the downside to teaching, more on the a faculty as a team

Tape T6
Introduction
Limited contacts with CIM after leaving China
Invitation to the planning conference at Bournemouth; British orientation of the mission; reason why he was invited
Tensions at the meeting; Mr. Sinton; details on the atmosphere of the meeting; independence of missionaries in the field from the authority of the CIM home boards; parts of the mission represented at the meeting
Beginning of debate and disagreements over the use of contingency funds and other matters; dissatisfaction over Frank Houghton's leadership; Houghton's expectations for the future development of the mission
Intervention of Catherine Booth-Clibborn in the meeting [mistakenly identified as Evangeline Booth on the tape]; decision to remove Houghton from leadership; decisions made in the last half of the meeting
Trying to recruit people for mission service during the Vietnam war
Move of mission headquarters to Singapore
Composition of the membership of the meeting
Talking with people about the meeting afterwards
Evaluation of Houghton's leadership and the old methods of evaluating mission work
Americanization of mission work
Need for new methods in missions after World War II
Reaction of the rest of CIM to the Bournemouth meeting; events in Glasser's life after the meeting
Phil Armstrong; attempted fusion of OMF and Far Eastern Gospel Crusade
Racial policy of the mission
Description of Inter-Varsity's triennial Student Foreign Mission Conventions (Urbana) meetings and other Inter-Varsity activities Glasser was involved in; influence of Urbana meetings on American missions
Dawson Trotman's leadership style
Glasser's appointment as assistant home director of OMF in the United States; creation of a separate home board for Canada; changes in the financial policy of OMF; responsibilities as home director; attending intra-mission council meetings

Tape T7
Growing impatience between Glasser and the mission's international leadership; Glasser's growing need for a sabbatical year to study and think; Glasser's difficulties with being an administrator
Offers to teach at Gordon-Conwell, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and Fuller Seminary; J. Herbert Kane; recommending Donald McGavran to head the School of World Mission at Fuller; reason for accepting the position at Fuller; meeting with David Hubbard; Alice Glasser's feeling about going to Fuller
Summary of his work as home director of OMF's United States branch

Tape T8 (131 minutes)
Donald McGavran’s vision of a school for experienced missionaries and the development of the School of World Mission at Fuller Seminary; InterVarsity’s Student Missions conferences; the 1966 Congress on the Church’s Worldwide Missions held in Wheaton; communication between Evangelicals and the World Council of Churches; the declaration of the 1966 Wheaton conference, relation of the Wheaton conference to the 1966 World Congress on Evangelism in Berlin; impact of the mind set of the 1960s in America on missions theology; the 1974 Lausanne Congress and Covenant; evangelism among Jewish people in New York in the 1940s; Israel and Africa; the development and change of Evangelical missions conferences from 1961 to 1974; contacts between Evangelicals and WCC members beginning at the 1966 Berlin congress; influence of the 1966 congresses on the Lausanne Covenant; Israel, John Stott, and the Lausanne Covenant; the Manila Declaration of 1989; the influence of the Lausanne movement on the church; the drafting of the Willowbrook Declaration on the Christian Gospel and the Jewish People (1989); influence of Fuller professors on the 1974 Lausanne congress; discussion of demonic power at the 1989 Lausanne congress; the Commission on World Mission and Evangelism (CWME) of the WCC and its declining influence; the 1972 WCC Bangkok meeting and the replacement of special revelation by general revelation; McGavran and the World Council of Churches; the Lausanne movement in Europe; the School of World Mission in 1998; beginnings of Glasser’s interest in Christian witness to the Jewish people; Hebrew Christians; development of Glasser’s interest in missions to Jewish people; David Stern; Fuller’s programs for Jewish evangelism and dialogue with Jewish leaders; Christian anti-Semitism; the “curse”of Matthew 27:25; Jews for Jesus; the advantage in Gentiles as opposed to Jewish Christians doing evangelism to Jewish people; comparison of missions in 1948 and 1998; developments in Christianity in China

Provenance

The interviews on the audio tapes in this collection were given to the Archives of the Billy Graham Center by Arthur Glasser in September 1989 and April 1995.

Accession 89-98, 95-66, 95-69
February 20, 1996
Robert Shuster

Accession 98-19
May 5, 2011
Bob Shuster


LOCATION RECORD
Accession 89-98. 95-66, 95-69, 98-19
Type of Material: Audio Tapes

The following items are located in the AUDIO TAPE FILE:
Item# - Reel or cassette, speed, length, number of sides, contents (title of session, participants) according to the program, date.

 #

R/C

speed

length

Sides

Contents

Dates

T1

R

3.75

65

1

First part of oral history of Arthur F. Glasser by Robert Shuster

9/14/1989

T2

R

3.75

30

1

Conclusion of oral history of Arthur F. Glasser by Robert Shuster

9/14/1989

T3

R

3.75

68

1

Oral history of Arthur F. Glasser by Robert Shuster

9/18/1989

T4

R

3.75

78

1

First part of oral history of Arthur F. Glasser by Robert Shuster

4/17/1995

T5

R

3.75

41

1

Conclusion of oral history of Arthur F. Glasser by Robert Shuster

4/17/1995

T6

R

3.75

77

1

First part of oral history of Arthur F. Glasser by Robert Shuster

4/18/1995

T7

R

3.75

17

1

Conclusion of oral history of Arthur F. Glasser by Robert Shuster

4/18/1995

T8

C

--

131

2

Oral history of Arthur F. Glasser by Robert Shuster

4/21/1998



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