Billy Graham Center
Collection 421 - Arthur F. Glasser. T8 Transcript
to listen to an audio file of this interview (91 minutes)
This is a complete and accurate transcript of the fifth oral history interview of Arthur Frederick Glasser in the Archives of the Billy Graham Center (CN 421, T8). No spoken words have been omitted, except for any non-English phrases which could not be understood by the transcribers. Foreign terms which are not commonly understood appear in italics. In very few cases words were too unclear to be distinguished. If the transcriber was not completely sure of having gotten what the speaker said, "[?]" was inserted after the word or phrase in question. If the speech was inaudible or indistinguishable, "[unclear]" was inserted. Grunts and verbal hesitations such as "ah" or "um" were usually omitted. The transcribers have not attempted to phonetically replicate English dialects but have instead entered the standard English word the speaker was expressing.
Readers should remember that this is a transcript of spoken English, which follows a different rhythm and rule than written English.
... Three dots indicate an interruption or break in the train of thought within the sentence on the part of the speaker.
.... Four dots indicate what the transcriber believes to be the end of an incomplete sentence.
( ) Words in parentheses are asides made by the speaker.
[ ] Words in brackets are comments by the transcriber.
This transcript was made by Bob Shuster and Kevin Emmert and was completed in September 2011.
Collection 421, T8. Interview of Arthur Frederick Glasser by Bob Shuster, April 21, 1998.
SHUSTER: This is an interview with Dr. Arthur Glasser by Robert Shuster for the Archives of the Billy Graham Center. This interview took place on April 21st 1998 at the campus of Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, California. Dr. Glasser, just before we turned on the tape recorder you were mentioning about Donald McGavran who was also, of course, a professor here and was the founder of the Institute on Church Growth, his expectations for students.
GLASSER: Well, Dr. McGavran felt that the problems facing missions today, missionaries who have field experience, they could appreciate them, but young candidates who‘ve never been overseas, they would ask the wrong questions and would occupy a lot of the time that could be sp...put to better purpose. So, he said, “Therefore, if a person wants to study at Fuller and he wants to be a missionary, well, just get your general theological training in the School of Theology. But we want a School of World Mission in which we can really research the work that has been done, and see whether or not changes need to be made so the person...the missionary would be able to return to the field and really hit the moon.” A mid-course correction, that sort of an idea. Now, and so for a...for...when I was here, a person could not get a degree from School of World Mission unless he had first shown that he had broken with his home ties and had served in a culture different from his own, he had learned that language, and he had been useful in preaching the gospel. So, yeah....
SHUSTER: So he had already been an experienced missionary?
GLASSER: Now, every once in a while there would be a person who would not quite meet those requirements but Dr. McGavran would admit him anyhow. And we would sort of growl a little bit, but then the idea was we’re not gonna award your degree until we get a work from your field superintendent that you have learned the language, and you have preached the gospel, and you spa...you’ve survived at least three years of missionary service. [chuckles] Dr. McGavran... but you see, then bit by bit people wanted to come to Fuller. People who had heard about fuller at the Urbana missionary conventions [in Urbana, Illinois].
SHUSTER: Which are the tri-annual conferences held by InterVarsity [Christian Fellowship] for students...
GLASSER: InterVarsity, that’s right.
SHUSTER: ...on mission opportunities and mission service.
GLASSER: Because you...you contact a person there at an Urbana missionary conference, that’s quite different from the Christian student you meet on an ordinary campus. Why? Because to go to Urbana, students weed out themselves. They know it’s gonna be concerned with the work of the Lord throughout the world, and they’re desirous of knowing just, you know, whether or not God wants them to get into that sort of thing. So that they come and (we say in then...we say in our School of World Mission parlance) they...they’re going through a second sowing, or they’re thinking about a second sowing. You know, there’s a primary sowing of taking out the gospel and preaching and the sowing....
SHUSTER: Sowing as in seeds.
GLASSER: As in seeds. But when a seed becomes ripe, you know, and the sickle is applied, it’s taken to the barn. Why? Well, some of it is gonna be ground into meal, food or all this. But there’s always gonna be some seed that’s saved for the next sowing. In other words...
SHUSTER: Seed corn.
GLASSER: ...the second sowing. Now when you go through Matthew 13, the study of the parables, and you get to that parable, you find that the parable of the sower changes. First, it’s anybody goes out and sows the good seed, but now the sower is the Son of Man. The seed are the children, the sons of the kingdom. The field is the world. So it’s a second sowing that demands a...a more rigorous attitude of yourself as living under the control of Christ, and you’re willing to break...burn your bridges, everything that’s past, and go out into something new. If he wants you in Timbuktu, you’re going to Timbuktu. Now that’s the....
SHUSTER: Or Chicago.
GLASSER: Yeah, or Ch...well, now...today, you see, it used to be the world was the world out there. We used to se...make out the little-old U.S.A. and a great big world outside.
SHUSTER: Outside the continental limits.
GLASSER: But we don’t say that now. Today in America we have our unreached peoples. We have unreached areas. We have churchless societies. We have all sorts of subgroups that have not really been penetrated with the Evangelical gospel. So, therefore, you’ve...would not be surprised to know that every so often (in fact even today at our faculty meeting), “Should we change the name of the School of World Mission?” Because the word “world” in the minds of the student is something out there, foreign, it’s something out there. Whereas “global mission” is...global, that doesn’t s...the word “global” doesn’t catch you. You have to have words that really grip you. So, there we were talking about that. You know, that’s the situation.
SHUSTER: But you found at Urbana students were more committed?
GLASSER: Oh, you ask students, “How many of y...” we ask our, “How are you gonna..?” (American students) “Got a touch for missions at Ur...Urbana?” The hands go up. Yeah, they do. Course, a lot of our ove...international students, they would not know what we’re talking about. But today, that’s why people are saying, “The students that are going overseas for...for Christ, they’re not the students from Christian colleges.” They said, “You know, you guys ought to be l...don’t loose sight of the Bible college movement. The Bible, you know, the Bible institutes, because there you’ll find kids who already had, in a sense, have broken with the pattern of America.” To go to Bible school, that doesn’t sound very, you know, doesn’t sound like that Ivy League. So they’ve already come to a commitment to Christ that makes them think, you know, rather, “Well, I’m gonna risk my life in something that may not be high priority....
SHUSTER: Not so popular.
GLASSER: Yeah, the popular thing. So, it’s rather interesting. We just recently had Ted Ward with us. He’s faculty person at Trinity. Very skilled. Just to put his fingers on the pulse of the School of World Mission for a whole week, interviewing faculty, students. Asking all sorts of questions to find out, you know, “Do we really know who we are? Do we know what we’re trying to do today as against what we tried to do, say years ago when I was...in the ‘70s? And you figure on that...
SHUSTER: Well, why don’t we go back to years ago.
GLASSER: Oh boy.
SHUSTER: Now, and I just wanted to ask you about some of the conferences and events that you’ve been involved in to get some idea of what you thought their significance is or their...maybe they were not s...that significant and some of the atmosphere at the time. Why don’t we start with the 1966 Wheaton Congress...
GLASSER: The Wheaton Congress.
SHUSTER: ...on Church...on Churches...Congress on the Church’s Worldwide Mission...
GLASSER: A ch...cong of the Church Worldwide Mission.
SHUSTER: ...at which you were...gave a presentation.
GLASSER: Yeah, yeah. The interesting thing then was they would...didn’t want McGavran because he was a member of a denomination that was part of the World Council of Churches. [Shuster chuckles] There was already that split, you see, in the thinking of people when they planted. And they didn’t really know what they were aiming at. There had never been previous to that any sort of a declaration, you know, any sort of a united expression. Here were people...and it was largely....
SHUSTER: United expression by Evangelicals?
GLASSER: Yeah, by Evangel...what they believed and why they believed in mission, see. And so that it was a...all the faith missions were there, and some of the denominational missions like the Conservative Baptists, and few other. But that was the tenor of it, and we had good representation, we felt. But at the same time there were real limitations. And I remember the...we had some people from the World Council who attended. Eugene Smith, and others, from the Methodist Church and this and that. And they said, “You know, the...the atmosphere, the hostility is for the World Council of Churches.” It was...and they said rather ill-informed, I mean, that we didn’t really understand what the World Council of Churches was all about. But it was through them that some said like, Dit Fenton, Horace Fenton, he was the leader who le...in the Latin America Mission, and Ken Strachan and some of those guys. The cease...after that was over they said, “You know, would you like to meet the leaders of the World Council of Churches, and the councilar movement?” Which the council...the councilar movement. And so as...after Wheaton I started to meet with these guys once a year. And read papers...here we were six, maybe fifteen or twenty of us, but reading papers to one another. Real Evangelicals and real World Council people. Never any publicity of that. But that was something that, you know, it touched our minds in many ways. I remember John Howard Yoder. You remember him?
GLASSER: He died recently. He was one. I met him through that. I met a lot of people who were denominationally related but really concerned about the world...concerned about evangelism in the Evangelical sense.
SHUSTER: So, effect of the congress for you personally was that the hostility there to the World Council of Churches suggested to you that maybe some contacts should be made.
GLASSER: Well, to me, and you know, and even...I spoke...I spoke on St. Paul’s ministry in Athens and the implications of that for the present day or something. I’ve forgotten de...the details. And...and there were those who said, you know, “You guys...you guys just, you’re...y...y...so far as you’re concerned you’ve written off the World Council. You out to be exposing yourself to it.” Now, we did come up with a declaration. I was in a plane and there was something about how the Declaration of Independence was formed. And that was the thing. I said, “Hey, this is interesting. Notice the format that they use and...let’s use that.” So we got [Harold] Lindsell. He was the main architect of this. And others, they thought it was a good idea. So the result was we made a statement of where we stood at...on, you know, on evangelism and church growth, etcetera, etcetera. And on the insidious World Council, etcetera, etcetera. Well, you know, in 1966 was the same year that Billy Graham had a conference in Berlin. And that conference in Berlin, you know, there were those who were at Wheaton who were going to Berlin. I had been asked to present a paper at Berlin. I wrote the paper out, but then the mission that I was working for (the Overseas Missionary Fellowship), they didn’t see any point in going to these conferences. So, I was not financed, so I did [laughs]...I just sent the paper. But Billy....
SHUSTER: They weren’t opposed to the conferences, they just didn’t want to finance you?
GLASSER: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. It wasn’t the best use of mission money. China Inland Mission, and that sort of thing. Well, the...the interesting was, of course, that, this is after not...the Overseas Missionary Fellowship. And those were the days. I...I remember, boy when the ‘60s trying to promote missions, going among IV [InterVarsity] groups before they went to an Urbana situation. I remember going to Wellesley [College]. I was in the Boston area, MIT, Harvard, and this and that, going to various IV chapters, and going to Wellesley and one of the girls says, “I...I..,” the leaders, she met me, “I know what you’re gonna speak tonight, but I don’t want you speak about that. Tell us why we’re in Vietnam.” And, you know, talking missions in the ‘60s to college students, you got that question again and again and again.
SHUSTER: Why we were in Vietnam?
GLASSER: Yeah, why we’re.... Well, I said, “I was in China. I went through the communist revolution. Yeah. I went through the communist revolution. I know what happened. I remember the people being shot, people taken outside the city gates.” When I was questioned, my wife questioned in another room they’re asking the same questions to see if our stories would jive. This was in the second year after the revolution had taken place in China. We stayed there quite a while. And...and, you know, they were checking on us back and forth, and there in the, you might say the foyer, outside there were about thirty guys and their arms strapped behind them, and big...like a big canoe paddle stuck behind them, and on the paddles Chinese characters written of a particular crime. They were taking guys out and shooting them. And of course great excitement. People vending peanut brittle...(peanut brittle is one of China’s FAVORITEcandies), [laughs] and...and, you know, and that sort of thing. Well, now, you go from that experience to...to...to Wellesley and Vietnam, and, you know, and you could see a lot of reason why Americans felt they ought to stop the growth.... We were told that all Singapore, southeast Asia was going communist. You know, believe what Time magazine says. And that was the ‘60s, and....
SHUSTER: And how does the...how did the Congress on Church’s Worldwide Mission fit into all of this?
GLASSER: Well, you see, they were talking about much more social issues. And they were bringing...brou...we had a very personal, individualistIC approach to...to personal evan...and of course, I saw the church in China, you know, when the communists came, you know, were...what happened was the young people just left [the church]. “Those guys Are...want make a new China. You people in the churches never told us about making a new China. It was always getting personally converted.” You know, the mood of the ‘60s...the mood of the fif...this was the ‘50s, of course, the [unclear] right after World War II, and....
SHUSTER: This was in China?
GLASSER: In China, yeah. The...I...I saw churches just fold up in China. China Inland Mission churches. Good, warm , Evangel...but they had never been taught such things as the Kingdom of God. So, when I came here to Fuller, boy, first thing I tackled was this whole matter of...of the theology of the Christian mission. Mission and Kingdom. Kingdom means God’s rule, G...now, and we are to be signs of God’s tomorrow when the Kingdom shall be fully displayed in the world of today. Therefore, the concerns that are on God’s heart for tomorrow – justice, righteousness, you know, all of this sort of thing, care for the poor, this, that – those things should be our concern in the world of today. We are to be signs of God’s tomorrow in the world of today, signs of the Kingdom.
SHUSTER: First fruits.
GLASSER: And we developed, you know...you know, that...and so, therefore, the book of...the first book I wrote, you can see it up there, while I was here was missions...Kingdom and Mission, going through the Scriptures to show how this theme is unfolded. So that we speak today at Fuller Theological Seminary, our whole mission theology is Kingdom theology. See, because of that Jesus Christ wants us to be salt, and he puts salt on that which is dead to keep it from going rotten, you know, [chuckles] and...and light, and you’re supposed to be hands and feet to service as Christ .... Christ touched every aspect of the hum...human condition. And so forth and so forth. Being a prophetic presence. That was...that was...well, now, when we went...Billy Graham, you see, it wa...it was still the old pattern, but that Berlin Congress was a great success. But....
SHUSTER: In what sense?
GLASSER: In what sense? Well, it showed a greater willingness...Billy Graham was willing to draw in people. They would make the series [?] of confession, “I believe in Jesus,” you know, that’s enough. Th...forget about the groups with which you were associated, you know, that sort of spilling over so that ...and it was there that Billy got a vision. I remember one of our faculty members saying, “You know what Billy Graham has done? It’s not the number of people he has led to Christ. It’s the fact that he got Evangelicals to work together.” And that’s what Lausanne 1974 was. When they brought people together. I met my first large groups of charasmatics of various sorts. There were people from some of the Orthodox groups, you know, all this. Quite a...and that was a great thing. His money made that possible. Now, mind you , it so happened I was the dean here at the time and we got some big gifts. They just came through. It was very wonderful. So that our faculty as a faculty was able to attend, and we had, oh, about sixty or seventy School of World Mission people at...at Lausanne. And...and when he got there and you started to break out and the people, boy, it was exciting.
SHUSTER: So that would...that’s what you would say would be the greatest significance of those two congresses...
GLASSER: Was that....
SHUSTER: ...Berlin and Lausanne was that they brought the Evangelicals together.
GLASSER: The Lausanne Declaration that came out of that. Where at long last Evangelicals of all shades and colors and associations could say, “This is what we believe.” And yet I went through a personal crisis at Lausanne, and that was, you know, what...before I.... When I went through seminary I worked for the New York Bible Society weekends and summers distributing Scriptures. A lady made a generous gift to the Bible Society, said, “Do something for the Jews.” And boy, they did something. They built...they published around 70,000 copies of the Gospel of Matthew. Well, when you’re young you’re venturesome, so another guy and myself, we said, “We’re gonna distribute those.” [chuckles] So, weekends [we would] go up to up to a Jewish person, make his acquaintance, be friendly, and then ask him whether or not he’d ever read the life of Jesus written by a Jew who knew him. That was our approach.
GLASSER: And, so, we didn’t necessarily distribute a large at large numbers, and maybe you might be on the streets all evening and give away thirty copies.
SHUSTER: What were the different kind of responses you got?
GLASSER: Oh, oh, you know, that was being done when I was going through seminary. That was during the war years.
SHUSTER: So, what were some of the kind of things that y...how did some of the...what...?
GLASSER: “Hitler’s...Hitler’s stuffing our bodies into ovens. You’re destroying our souls.” I had a woman beat me up physically in New York because I was doing this. And every once in a while though you’d find a person who was really a seeker. So we couldn’t say we had many decisions, but at least here were Gentiles among the Jews sharing the...only one story all the time that I did that in three years going out from seminary, catching a train, going up to New York, only once did I meet someone else doing the same thing, and that was a black. He said, “These people need to know our Jesus,” and so forth. That’s what he was doing [chuckles], so, he said that. This is all in Manhattan.
SHUSTER: Mo...so the response that you mostly got was hostility? Would that be fair to say?
GLASSER: Nos...hostility, yes. And very clever answers. Jewish people, you know, they ask very tough questions. They are thinking people, and it’s very stimulating. I realized, boy, I don’t have the IQ to do this sort of work. And so, by the time I got out of the seminary I went into the chaplaincy. You know, I spent the last part of the war, yeah, okay.
SHUSTER: I wonder if the black man found a greater responsiveness.
GLASSER: I wouldn’t be surprised. I don’t know. You can’t tell. The Je...the blacks, you know, don’t have the...it’s a funny thing, Israel today does not feel they have enemies in black Africa. They say, “Black Africa has never known the anti-Semitism that we have known as a result of people from other parts of the world. So that’s why [coughs] some of our students here at Fuller from black Africa where there are terrible s...you know, drought and bad crops, and this and that. We got to know some of the people (this is later) in Israel and saying, “Listen, you need friends in black Africa. We want to provide some people for you.” And they said, “What sort of people?” “Leaders of churches. They’re our graduates. When they go back to is...to Africa, could they spend, say, two weeks with you leaning something about desert agriculture? You know how to conserve water, and there’s water in Africa but it’s not conserved. They don’t know how to use it.” And so they said, “Well, let us make a deal with you. We’ll take these guys and give them two weeks of exposure, but then when they go to their churches, the people who really are agriculturists, send them back and we’ll give them five months of training.” And so that was one of the things we did in those days. That was a, you know...a.... But to get back to...to Lausanne, there was a.....
SHUSTER: Well, before we do that could we just jump back brief to the ‘66 Wheaton Congress? Overall, would you say that this was significant meeting, or did it have an impact or not?
GLASSER: Well, you know that there was a conference that took place shortly thereafter, and I can stand up and reach for the book. [pauses] In 1960, see, fifty years after 1910. In1960, the IFMA [Interdenominational Foreign Mission Association] had a conference in Chicago.
SHUSTER: And you’ve got a book which is entitled?
GLASSER: That is called Facing the Unfinished Task.
SHUSTER: Facing the Unfinished Task.
GLASSER: And I’ve written here, “It was the last attempt of IFMA dispensationalist separatists to dominate the American missionary movement. That would be my judgment of it.
SHUSTER: And this was published in...a...19...
GLASSER: ...’61. Now...and you can....and one of our friends who were in IFMA missions like CIM.... I didn’t go to this. But some of the men.... It was...it was an interesting conference. But the trouble was it...it didn’t...people needed more than this.
SHUSTER: So ‘66 was an attempt to give more....
GLASSER: [interrupts] ‘66 was an improvement on ‘66, see.
GLASSER: And ‘74 [Lausanne Congress] was an improvement on ‘66.
SHUSTER: So you see all these as stepping stones?
GLASSER: [interrupts] Absolute stepping stones. You...you...for instance, I don’t know whether I’d have the.... Some of the things you find here [in Facing the Unfinished Task], where they talk about a...a....a...where they talk about, you know, [reads from book], “All Africa’s going communist in a short time.” You know, wild statements of that sort. Yeah, see. Speaking about the whole movement for revolution throughout Latin America, see. “It is the revolutionary spirit or what the Bible calls the spirit of antichrist, which is against all authority. It’s causing unrest...behind that is the pushing of Communism. Which is always agitating among the young people, see.”
SHUSTER: So the emphasis was almost more anti-Communism...
GLASSER: Oh, that...oh, oh, anti...Communism’s wrong.
SHUSTER: ...than on Christianity or growing in the faith.
GLASSER: Yeah. And that a...you know, see? “I’m afraid Latin America’s already lost to the communists,” see?
GLASSER: We are not even sure that any Latin Americans were good Communists, but we never believe for a moment that any part of it would go Communist. And today Cuba’s in the hand of Russian and Red Chinese technicians who are masterminding a Communist totalitarian revolution and the only....just off the coast of Florida.” [finishes reading from book] That was the mood, see? And the realization...we had to go past the IFMA, even thought the CIM was in the IFMA, see.
GLASSER: And then go to the....so that...these conferences, each one was a further step. But to get back to....
SHUSTER: Because they caused people to think about these....
GLASSER: [interrupts] Think...think...think....
SHUSTER: ...problems and to think what...how they...bring contact [?].
GLASSER: And to listen to one another and to say...yeah. If you were to go through here, you know, Alan Fleece. He later became the President of Columbia Bible [College]....
SHUSTER: And right now, for people listening to the tape, if you’re going through the table of contents for this volume you mentioned for ‘61 [Facing the Unfinished Task].
GLASSER: Oh yeah. David Adeney. Vincent Brushwyler [?]. William Culbertson, who became the President of Moody Bible Institute.
SHUSTER: [aside] Moody Bible, yeah.
GLASSER: Theodore Epp, you know, Back to the Bible [a radio program] man. You think of a Dr. [Albert D.] Helser, Sudan Interior missionary, South Africa General Mission. L. E. Maxwell from PBI, Pra...Prairie Bible Institute. You know. And so, great....
SHUSTER: And you mentioned....now you mentioned out of the 1966 conference there was this very informal group of fifteen or twenty people to read papers to each other.
GLASSER: Oh, that was something that developed privately. Where some of the people....
SHUSTER: Who were some of the people involved in that?
GLASSER: Well, Eugene Smith was the one who was just a guest observer at Wheaton. But he saw....
SHUSTER: [interrupts] At the Wheaton conference?
GLASSER: Yeah, at the Wheaton conf.... So he came to Horace Fenton, Dit Fenton, who was the president of the Latin American Mission. And me, and a few others there....
SHUSTER: Where was Eugene Smith from again?
GLASSER: He’s a Methodist. He’s the head of Global Missions. The Methodist Mission, you know. Deep into the World Council and...and he was the fellow that told me. I said...no, he didn’t tell me, he told a...Dick Fenton. Dit Fenton said, “Tell us about your spiritual experience.” He said, “Ah, I was converted through the apostate World Council of Churches.” [both laugh] He said, “They were having a meeting in Europe,” and he had to attend, sent by his Mission. And they...what they do at those World Council meetings in those days, is that they would sit in a circle. And a theme would be suggested. And people would make a personal comment without preparation. And so he said, “There I was seated, eager to [pauses] participate, and they said, ‘The theme tonight is Jesus Christ. Who is Jesus Christ?’” And he said, “When it got around to me, well oh, I talked about some...” he said, “some blather, some sentimental stuff. And these German theologians said, ‘Who is Jesus Christ? Don’t you know?’” He said, “I went to my room that night and thought ‘Boy, isn’t this something? Here I am, the head of Methodist missions, and I don’t know the story.’” [laughs] So Gene Smith, he’s all right. But, but he....
SHUSTER: Who were some of the other people in the group?
GLASSER: Well, see he got...he got Jeff...well, as I say, John Howard Yoder. But...and Yoder wasn’t with us at Wheaton, but he got all of them.... He got Fenton, me, and...oh, I don’t know. I’d have to go back.. But anyhow, he got a few of us. And it was a small thing. We met year after year, and bit by bit we got to know key people. Like a....
SHUSTER: [interrupts] What are....
GLASSER: Key people like Leslie Newbigin. They would...he would bring in key people, we could meet them.
SHUSTER: From [World] Council [of Churches].
GLASSER: From Council. And that was a bit of wonderful grace on his part, to try and deal with us. There we were, you know, hard-shelled Evangelicals. And so, by the time we got to Whea...to Lausanne, 1974, oh, by that time I was quite committed to the fact that if I have a chance to go represent Fuller at the...at any World Council gathering I’m going. No problem.
SHUSTER: What were some of the actual topics you talked about at these sessions? What were some of the things you’d debate about, and talked about?
GLASSER: Well, we’d talk about if...talk about a...I remember this fellow, Eugene Smith, on one occasion he wanted to talk about...his sort of meandering in the field of universalism. “Why you’ve gotta...you gotta believe that everybody eventually is gonna make it.” That sort of thing.
SHUSTER: Everyone will be saved.
GLASSER: Yeah, everyone will be saved. And that sort of thing. I remember I had to give a talk on...on what did it mean to be salt in the earth? And of course, I was fresh in my own China experience to salt then. Where the places where we were not salt in the earth. Things of that sort. We dealt with issues of....
SHUSTER: [interrupts] Tied in with the...?
GLASSER: Communism, you know? “What are the positive values of Communism?” You know, there was a time when you could find in some of these papers that, you know, the Communists were looked upon as the real wave of the future, in many ways. There was a lot...and of course, Evangelicals are absolutely suspicious of that. But at the same time we listened and so forth. But...but the important thing for me at...at Lausanne though, in all the excitement of the drafting of a declaration that was going to unite and speak about justice as well as salvation. You see, it was the Berlin Congress and some of the influence perhaps of Wheaton in 1966 that got...that...that John Stott realized that when they....
See, he’s the architect of the Wheaton Declaration. That they would have to put in something about social justice....
SHUSTER: [interrupts] Of the Wheaton Declaration?
GLASSER: No, no, I was speaking of the Lausanne Declaration.
SHUSTER: The Lausanne Declaration.
GLASSER: Lausanne. Lausanne. Lausanne Covenant, I think they call it.
GLASSER: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Now [clears throat] at Lausanne, I was with a small group of Jewish guys from Israel. And we were told, “Now everyone wants...anyone who wants to, if you have a suggestion for the drafting of this Lausanne Covenant, push...submit it!” So we worked and (there, I’m just looking to think of it) we worked and came up with a...with a declaration to the effect that Israel should be mentioned. You cannot talk about the theology of the Christian mission without thinking about Israel, God’s purpose for Israel, and about the Jewish people, see.
SHUSTER: And you...by that you mean a....
GLASSER: Jewish evangelism.
SHUSTER: But Israel throughout history, not just the modern state of Israel.
GLASSER: Yeah. Not the.... We weren’t...weren’t thinking about the modern state of Israel at all. But just the fact that...that there is a movement...the...a loyal remnant within Israel that believes in God, and they are part of God’s ongoing purpose. God’s not through with the Jewish people. God...the Jewish people have been commissioned, originally, etcetera. So you know, just something about the Jewish people. Well, what happened was we drafted a statement. And then John Stott rejected it. So you find no mention of the Jewish people in the Lausanne Covenant.
SHUSTER: You think there was a mistake?
GLASSER: Oh, later on he was so sad about this. And so that’s why we had a meeting. I don’t know whether you heard about it, but a meeting in...in Bermuda at Willowbank. Called the Willowbank conference. And if you look at 1980, or 19.... Six years, it was just after...we had a second Lausanne meeting in Manila, the Philippines [in 1989]. And at that meeting we put through a....a statement so that it was a...the Manila Manifesto, that supplements and completes the earlier Lausanne declaration.
SHUSTER: That includes the statement about Israel.
GLASSER: About Israel, yes. And then a large statement about suffering and about this and that. It’s just so that....Lausanne I and Lausanne II, boy, they...they...they were both necessary. And since then, of course, the way in which the...those...those documents have been translated into every language among Evangelicals. As students come here, they all know about these documents. That was...it tied us all together.
SHUSTER: Do you think they know more about these documents, Evangelicals in other countries, than they do in the United States?
GLASSER: I guess, I wouldn’t be at all surprised they would know more about them overseas. Because you see, here’s a little church in the middle of nowhere. What does it believe? Here is this statement of what we believe, you see? For instance...and when...when we were in Manila, the ideas: “John, you’ve got to insert the Jewish people, you know.”
SHUSTER: Saying this to John Stott?
GLASSER: John Stott. “The World Council [of Churches] people, all of their churches are saying, ‘Jewish missions is a no-no. That’s an aberration.” Is it, or is it not in the midstream of Evangelical Christianity, a concern for the Jews? Jewish evangelism?’ And so, what it did, it gave...see, that...and that was the Pattaya [Thailand], the 1980 deal [Consultation on World Evangelization]. At Pattaya, the big thing then....
SHUSTER: Pattaya was the World Council....?
GLASSER: No, no.
SHUSTER: No, I’m sorry. After Lausanne....
GLASSER: The Lausanne...the Lausanne Theological Commission where....we formed there at Pattaya the Lausanne Consultation for Jewish Evangelism. And then we had one...a consultation on Chinese Evangelism. And of all the various groups, those two have survived in remarkable ways. I don’t know whether you know, but there are maybe eighty...or no, maybe about forty Bulletins (just a second, I’ll go across...) See, here are the Bulletins.
SHUSTER: And for those people listening on the tape, this is a...two Bulletins that Dr. Glasser gave me. [reads] “The Lausanne Consultation of Jewish Evangelism” and from ‘96 and ‘97, so...[reads] ”Issue 49,” so it’s obviously still going.
GLASSER: Oh, it’s still going. Yeah.
SHUSTER: Going strong.
GLASSER: And here is one of our students. But the...it...solid stuff now. Also, a theological journal has been stimulated in Israel called Mishkan, which is a technical, theological journal. And things like that. But they would...none of them would have gotten off the ground if it hadn’t been for the Lausanne movement.
SHUSTER: Now was the journal in Israel intended for Jewish Christians? Or was it intended for...?
GLASSER: Jewish Christians. Scholarly reflection on everything they’re encountering. Mishkan, it’s called. I think I have copies here to show you.
SHUSTER: Oh, that’s okay. We can...get those later.
GLASSER: Yeah. It’s called Mishkan which is the Hebrew word for tabernacle, you know, the dwelling...the tabernacle in the wilderness.
SHUSTER: So...um...you do see a continuing impact from Lausanne?
GLASSER: Yeah. From Lausanne via the....
SHUSTER: The declarations?
GLASSER: The 1980 meeting in Pattaya.
SHUSTER: How...how have these...how have these declarations been shaping the church? Have you seen them shaping the church?
GLASSER: Well, of course the thing is....
SHUSTER: You’ve given one example, but I mean....
GLASSER: Well, the example I’d use here [at Fuller Theological Seminary]. If you’re gonna ju...discuss any subject in your dissertation, you want to see did these documents refer to it? And how did they refer to it? Now, on [sic] hindsight, do we wish more had been said than this and that? So that very often, we make our students look at these documents and see what was said then by say, fifteen years ago or twenty years ago. Now...and a...what can we say about...? And some of those documents have just been absolute gold.
SHUSTER: And you think on the level of the...average congregation, either in the U.S. or in other countries, it’s also had an impact?
GLASSER: Well, John Stott, you know, has been the one who’s written several books on the Lausanne Covenant. And these get widely scattered. See, there’s a lot of churches in the world that don’t have confessional statements. They know they’ve come to believe in Jesus, but they don’t have a Westminster Confession of Faith, they don’t have a Heidelberg Catechism. But they have now the Lausanne Declaration or the Manila Manifesto. And...and...this is, we try to promote the use of this.
SHUSTER: And it’s being...it’s being used that way in churches....
GLASSER: Well, missions would use it that way. See, missions would use it. You know, like for instance the O...the OMF would have adopted it, and of course, everyone uses it in his or her place. Because it’s an expression of what...of Evangelicals far more numerous and beyond yourselves and in more countries, this is what they felt and why not identify with that? This is the...in other words, the mainstream of Evangelicalism. And that’s...I think these conferences they had their permanent contribution. Now how a...effectively they’re being used today, I don’t know. But I know that the...the jobs that I give students here – dissertations – I make them, you know, check up. See what’s done. Because some of the things in those documents are very well expressed. John Stott, you know, is this [laughs]...a very good phrase maker. Now for instance, when we were documenting this...this...trying to draft something at Willowbank in...in anticipation of Manila so that they would not forget the Jewish people.... Well, J.I. Packer and a few others were the ones who helped us draft that Willowbank declaration. And when it got to Manila, they just took a paragraph out of it that was balanced and made that part of the thing. So that one document leads to another and one is developed.... And that’s....
SHUSTER: What I....
GLASSER: That’s...I think that was...that’s a post-war phenomenon.
SHUSTER: What is?
GLASSER: This...the idea of producing documents of this sort. And each one is an improvement of the previous ones, and people are beginning to say, “Yeah! I’ll go down in flames for that! That’s where I stand!” [laughs] You know. And the validity of missionary societies separate from churches, not separate in the sense of “Having nothing to do,” but that within a church a...an apostolic man such as the Apostle Paul had, you know, is there a biblical validity? Well, these documents refer to things of that sort. And on the matter of the Jews, the Jewish leadership said, “Oh, that’s...that sets us back, you know, scores of years.” We ran into real trouble. In fact, Dr. [David] Hubbard...Dr. Hubbard as the president of the Seminary, some of the local rabbis, “Is that what Fuller believes?” “Sure, I believe in Jewish missions.”
SHUSTER: That’s what he said?
GLASSER: Oh yeah. And...and you know Rich Mouw, he wrote an article that appeared in Christianity Today [magazine].
SHUSTER: He was also on the faculty at Fuller.
GLASSER: Yeah on “Why I Believe in Jewish Missions.” And when a leader takes a point like that, position, you know, that strengthens everybody. There is a validity to this and....
SHUSTER: Do you have....
SHUSTER: ...any particularly strong personal memories from Lausanne...I mean Lausanne, the first one or the Manila conference?
GLASSER: Well, the first one, of course, we had a...McGavran, and we had [Peter] Beyerhaus, and we had [C. Peter Wagner] Wagner. I did not speak there. I was with the Jews. But you know, to....
SHUSTER: All people from Fuller?
GLASSER: Yeah, but here was Beyerhaus speaking about the Kingdom of God, here was McGavran speaking about church growth. And you know, to hear these men and talking about E1, E2, E3 evangelists and all of that you know. Evangelism within your own community and so forth. And everybody was talking in that way. People got excited. The...the terminology of church growth burst on the scene at Lausanne I. By Lausanne II, people weren’t so sure, you know. They were thinking maybe you guys...maybe you’re simplistic in certain things. But it was at the Lausanne II that we saw serious attention be given...being given to the issue of power. Satanic power, demonic...demonic...demonized situations. See, because out of the missionary world, people say, “How do you cope with this?” And the average American trained missionary candidate or missionary doesn’t know beans about this. Only a few schools, [Merrill F.] Unger from Dallas, he would write a little bit on this. But I remember at Wheat...at...at...Laus...at....
GLASSER: At Manila, Chuck Kraft and Pete Wagner both and in a sense came into their own and they conducted workshops. And practically everybody went to those workshops. Other workshops, I had to meet...one workshop with some Jewish people and we were rather small, [laughs] ’cause everybody was learning about the devil upstairs! [both laugh] It was that sort of situation. But see...but the issue of power, for instance the issue of authority. The number of times in the Gospels. “I give you authority.” Now, authority you...you want to say you have it. But then you gotta exercise it. How do you exercise it? And in what ways? Well, you know [knock and door opens] there are a lot of weird ways in which it’s done. [tape turned off and on again]
SHUSTER: We had a brief...a brief interruption there [Glasser laughs] but...and you were talking about the interest in authority. That Christ gave his disciples a....
GLASSER: [interrupts, speaking quickly] Yes, gives it to his disciples...yes, and people were...and here people were saying, “If you have authority, you have to know how to exercise it. And you have to exercise it wisely....”
SHUSTER: Like in the New Testament?
GLASSER: Yes, wisely. What does it mean? How do you, you know.... “First bind the strong man, and then spoil his goods.” [paraphrase of Luke 11: 21-22] What does that mean? Questions like that first came to the fore in large gatherings at that conference. And there, of course, the...a lot of the...the charismatics, they knew something about this that the average Evangelical hadn’t thought much about, was afraid of. [both laugh] He was afraid he might be turned into a charismatic and tossed out of his church. Whereas that was a...and so there was a greater toleration of things like that.
SHUSTER: So the congresses were effective means for sharing information, for one tradition training another in strengths and....?
GLASSER: Yeah. A bold and prominent person in one tradition who obviously had the, you might say the glow of the Lord about him, for him to go and speak about this, then people will say, “Hey, the things that I have been thinking about this but have been not daring to speak out for feeling I might be going up a her...a heretical tree, now I can see maybe there’s justification.” So the...and that was a....it’s that sort of accomplishment in these conferences, you know. And of course in...and so are, we went away quite pleased that at last the Jewish people were not...we who were involved in Jewish missions, we were not a bunch of boo-boos. [both laugh]
SHUSTER: You...we talked a little bit about these informal groups that you had, informal meetings with theologians and leaders from the council on sharing. And of course, later in the ‘70s and ‘80 you attended the World Council of Churches Theological Commission in Thailand and Bangkok and later in Melbourne. Can you talk a little bit about those experiences? How they came about and a...
SHUSTER: ...what happened at them? How you perceived them?
GLASSER: Well, you know the Commission on World Mission and Evangelism, that was a structure within the World Council fabric. And it was formed, oh, shortly after 1910, you see.
SHUSTER: After the Edinburgh conference.
GLASSER: After the basic Edinburgh conference. And the...they formed the International Review of Missions, they launched that journal at that time, and this CWME, Commission on World Mission, was to meet every seven years. Well, it didn’t always meet every seven years because of war, interruptions. But, bit by bit it started to tackle situations. And a lot of missions were quite active in it. If you look at the missionary representation, that’s a...among the delegates who’d attend CWME gatherings, they were there quite early. Because Edinburgh in a sense, 1910, there was a gu...rather basic agreement as to what the Gospel was. And so now when they...now when the missions were being brought in and given that recognition, well, why not keep going so that...but then....
SHUSTER: What kind of things would they talk about?
GLASSER: Well, they would talk about theological issues, and biblical issues, and....oh, issues of women and issues of all sorts of things related to missionary...missionary problems, see.
SHUSTER: So the idea was to strengthen people in evangelism?
GLASSER: Missionary...uh...strengthen...it was the missionary movement! Here, let’s keep it going. Well, but there was pressure you see. In the World Council, on this and this.... “What do you mean a mission organization that is separate from an ecclesiastical organization? See, there is something irregular. Isn’t the church called to mission? Isn’t the church mission?” You see...so....
SHUSTER: So they would be particularly concerned with faith groups like CIM....
GLASSER: [interrupts] Yeah...they thought that...we were....
SHUSTER: ...which did not have a denominational base.
GLASSER: Yeah, we had no denomination. Now, when I was in CIM, our leader was a bishop of the Anglican church. But he was a missionary chur...he was a missionary bishop, which means he got his credentials in Szechwan Province in China. So that...but there was that separation. They felt that that was wrong. That taking mission away from the church was weakening the church. The whole church....
SHUSTER: Who were some of the people who were spokesmen for that point of view?
GLASSER: Well, there were some good spokesmen in the World Council. Key people...key....
SHUSTER: Who were some of them? Do you recall any?
GLASSER: Well, Max Warren. Max Warren put out a letter. He was the leader of the Church Missionary Society. The big Anglican society throughout Africa. And early through David Adeney, I heard about this and we were all subscribers of Max Warren’s comments. He had a little letter. I wonder if I have any copies?
SHUSTER: When you say subscribers, you mean you were in agreement with him? Or that you...you were getting....
GLASSER: [interrupts] No...it was a...it was a publication he put out. And it had to do with a... [searches for copies of the newsletter] (Well, let me see. I thought there might be a.... Oh...no, that’s from...)
SHUSTER: Well, that’s okay. People listening to the tape can’t see anyway.
GLASSER: Let me have...yeah. But, but anyhow...Max Warren was one of our best thinkers in the World Council. And of course, in those days, Leslie Newbigin. He was deeply up to his ears in the World Council. He was a bishop. And there was this whole business of the...the church of South India, you know, where all the various denominations merged. And there was one church of South India. And then there’s a church of North India. Well, all of those things were taking place. And a...and the idea of mission had to be brought in. So, a...a....it’s really tragic to realize how in the World Council, they were moving increasingly to a....just disintegrating this Commission on World Missions. And just make it sort of an adjunct of the church. And [tape cassette on which the interview was being recorded reaches it end and is flipped over and begun on the other side]
SHUSTER: So you were saying there was a movement to a...to a...lower the importance of the Commission on Evangelism and Missions.
GLASSER: And make sure that mission was absolutely inherent within the doctrine of the church. And not a meshed [?] , separate, apostolic band such as Paul had going all over the place in the Mediterranean. And it’s...it’s interesting to read the debates. Some of our students have written even masters theses just on the debate. “Should we or should we not?” Some felt if you did that miss...if you turned missions over to the church, the missions would cease to exist.
SHUSTER: Why would that be?
GLASSER: Well, they would feel that, you know [sniffs], it’s...it’s competition, and a...and a....there were a lot of arguments, some theological, some sociological. But there were those who felt, for instance [Olav G.] Myklebust of Norway, and some of the writers in those days were saying, “You can’t trust the churches with the missions.” Missions have to be a measure of autonomy. Committed and then go. Recruiting, and admin...financing and all of that. If you let the churches...the churches tend to...to be so concerned with maintenance activity, that they lose the evangelistic edge, you see. And so there was that behind it and there...and of course, McGavran was very hot against any...any diminishing of the missions. Because he was in a denomination that was up to its ears in the World Council of Churches. And he saw missions in his own denomination fade away. So he was very strong against that.
SHUSTER: How did...how did your participation in the Bangkok and Melbourne come about?
GLASSER: Well, at first I was invited to go. And it was called “Salvation Today.” That was the one.
SHUSTER: That was Bangkok?
GLASSER: That was the Bangkok one. And a...and by that time, you see, 1980, by that time there was a lot of....
SHUSTER: Bangkok was ‘72.
GLASSER: Yeah. Oh, Bangkok, yeah. Well, you’re right. Yeah. I’m getting these dates mixed up, you’re right. But the whole a...thrust was getting toward liberalism. 1939, the meeting of the World Council of Churches, CWME [Commission on World Mission and Evangelism], that was one of the great ones when a...the great book, The Christian Message in a Non-Christian World by [Hendrik] Kraemer, that was the great book. We use it here [at Fuller Theological Seminary]. The a...you know, the excellent theological background. But the influence of Barthianism coming in and a sort of getting people to think differently about certain matters. But the time you got to Bangkok, you know, “Salvation Today.” What is salvation today? Well, where anything such as God endorses is taking place. You know, if they’re improving governments, calling for more participation, you know, help for the poor, well, that must be God’s activity. Therefore, the kind of us...universalism started to creep in. You could be saved by Mao. There’s one article, I have it in here. “Saved by Mao,” or saved by [laughs] you know, and all of this. And those of us who had lived in communist countries, “saved by Mao,” was kind of an anathema. And that’s where, you know, McGavran and the Fuller was starting to lose their patience. “Salvation Today?” Oh, there is some very nice people. But they wanted to have the Buddhists in Thailand come, and we were all to listen to them and discern signs of the Holy Spirit. If they are community-spirited. That’s evidence of the Spirit of God at work. Therefore, “How can you say these people are not in touch with the living God?” You know, and it was all that sort of very careless....
SHUSTER: So it was putting general revelation about any kind of special revelation?
GLASSER: Oh, gen...oh, very, very...yeah, that’s right. That’s the good way to describe it. So I came away thinking, “Boy, this is hopeless.” But then, shortly thereafter, of course, we had the a...the a...second Lausanne , and after that, of course, by ‘80, we were into Pattaya. I went to the Melbourne World Council, it was the last one I went to.
SHUSTER: How would you characterize that one?
GLASSER: Well, that was a...it was a...again, more of the same thing. There were some excellent speakers. You know, within the World Council you ran into quite a range of a different perspectives. There were a...you know, great speakers and a...and it was my first real contact with the Aboriginals movement in Australia. And knowing something of the mission of the churches, the Anglican church particularly, and Presbyterians amongst these people. Oh, there were some things that were great. But you see the next...the next World Council meeting would be in Scandinavia at Uppsala [Sweden], which was the complete...that to us, was the death-knell. Dr. Hubbard represented the seminary there. And he said, “It was so hard, when they were defining salvation, to get in a word that spoke specifically of the redemption through Christ, etc. etc..” His report on that meeting, and of course, Dr. McGavran was fed up. We...we largely represented Dr. McGavran’s position on these things. He was our senior...he was retired but he was our senior man around. And that’s the tradition. You retire from your office but you [both laugh], you know, hang around. So that, Uppsala was the end. We saw that there’s...there’s no future here for mission as we understand it. And so then, by then though, there was enough momentum from Lausanne II [sic. The second Lausanne congress in Manila did not occur until 1989] to have the Pattaya meeting and the formation of these groups. One to study Buddhists. And of course, the sad thing about the Evangelical move today...they still are not seriously studying the Buddhist world. We’re studying the Muslim world. We started the Samuel Zwemer Institute, you know, and that has gone through the vicissitudes, the ups and downs of that haven’t been the always...nice to watch. But then our...our Jewish group has moved wonderfully, and the Chinese have moved. So some groups among major groupings were started.
SHUSTER: Some of the scattered seeds have grown?
GLASSER: Oh...yeah...yeah...and by this time, he thinks.... The idea is we felt at these last gatherings, the 1980 gather.... “Listen, let’s not have anymore of these large gatherings. The time has come to decentralize and work on things.” Today....
SHUSTER: Not large gatherings like the Lausanne Commission?
GLASSER: Yeah...well, yeah. Not...let’s...let’s...the Lausanne movement today is very strong in Europe, because there it has a unique function. I don’t think it’s very strong here in America.
SHUSTER: What would you say its function is in Europe?
GLASSER: Well, its function is in Europe where there’s such a smaller percentage of quote, “Christians” or “Evangelicals.” It’s holding the...it’s holding before the public the, you know, the Evangelical position. Whereas in America, that is not....we have so many Evangelical churches, we have a little bit of everything here. It just...it just hasn’t flown in this country. But it has...it has there. And that’s one of the things. Decentralization. Save the money that has to...see, Billy [Graham] through his financial resources was able to launch these things. But a...and a...needs a lot of money to throw a conference so....that’s a...that’s a four...four thousand people gathered at the first Lausanne, you know. That takes a lot of money. Or as Billy...his one in Berlin took a lot of money.
SHUSTER: Did you have any involvement at all with his two Amsterdam conferences, the....?
GLASSER: No. I...but we...we studied them. And we had...I have a book on them. So I knew what was taking place there, yeah. Bit by bit we...I started personally to draw back, feeling that others who should be more active see...now, for instance take Fuller today. Our theologian, the School of World Mission, is Chuck Van Engen. He’s the moderator of the Reformed Church of America today. He’s the top honcho. And a...and so, we have our contacts in our own churches, and that’s about where it is. Today there...the...here.... I would say today in the School of World Mission, the themes “Contextualization,” “Islamics.” Our dean is an Islamics expert. And then...the church growth, it’s not quite the way it was when McGavran was here. But unreached peoples. And the issues of power. How do you teach...the...you know. And so there’s a diffusing...diffusing of the subjects. We don’t.... It’s not this nice simplicity that we once had. Because the world is more complicated. The more you get into it, the more you real....you realize you have to do ver...there have to be variations to applications. No two churches have the same agenda, you know, because they’re in different situations. Then...if the churches all repeat the same agenda, the probability is they’re not very effective, you know. You gotta be here, close to the ground. And that’s what the situation is today.
SHUSTER: Well, is there anything else you want to say about the various conferences and congresses that you’ve been at?
GLASSER: No, I thank God that that period was a period that had to take place, and it brought us together. And Billy Graham, thank God for Billy. Brought us....every once in a while, he’d make statements, you know, like he wants to forgive Clinton this and that. And it gives you shivers. But bless him, he’s a consistent guy and he’s...[laughs] he’s kept purity and loveliness in his life and his wife. And boy, we thank God for him. Yeah.
SHUSTER: Indeed. Well, let me ask you then. You’ve mentioned several times about your own interest and involvement in Jewish evangelism.
GLASSER: Oh yes.
SHUSTER: And maybe we could talk a little bit more about that.
SHUSTER: You mentioned how even before you were chaplain in the army, when you were still in seminary you’d spent some time distributing Gospels of Matthew among Jewish people in New York, so this always been something that’s been strong on your heart, you would say?
GLASSER: Yes, the man who led me to Christ was a man who’d been an engineer, as I had been. See, I graduated from Cornell and I worked for an engineering firm in Pittsburgh.
SHUSTER: We talked about that in the [previous] interview [tape T1].
GLASSER: Yeah. Okay. Now, he went to Central Asia. He resigned, went to Central Asia as a missionary. His mother was very active in the Women’s Union Missionary Union, one of the early women’s mission....ones.
SHUSTER: Woman’s Union Missionary Society?
GLASSER: Yeah. That was absorbed later. Yeah.
SHUSTER: We...we have their records at the Archives. [Collection 379]
GLASSER: Yeah. Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, that’s a good outfit. Well, she was a board member. And so he was. But he got up there and his health broke down, and he had to leave. They told him, “You’ve got to get out of Asia.” And he went back home. And he went...on his way home, I think I told you this story, he stopped in London to meet with Dr. F.B. Meyer, a prominent Baptist minister. And he said, “Dr. Meyer, you must help me explain...understand my own experience. I left business to go to...to become a missionary because I believe that Jesus Christ’s name should be named where it’s not being named.” He said, “Now my health is broken down, I’ve left, what should I do?” And he said to my...and he said...he said to doctor...to this man Fullerton, Donald B. Fullerton...he said to him, “Okay. You go back home and preach Christ where Christ is not named. What was your university?” And he said, “Princeton.” “That’s where you’re going to go and work.” This is before the InterVarsity came in, before the Campus Crusade or anything like this. And so he went there, class of thirteen Princeton, and he wandered around and he overtook an undergraduate between a couple of buildings, contacted them, and in no time at all led them to Christ. Led them to Christ. That was my brother. So my brother... and then he got me to go to a conference. Well, now this man, he felt... this man Fullerton, he wanted to be a mentor of his guys. They formed the Princeton Evangelical Fellowship. And if ever you want an interesting story, the numbers of Princeton guys who have gone into Christian work as a result of that. You know this guy that’s being considered a possible Democratic candidate for...for president? A fellow who’s a prominent basketball player? Is it Barkley? Not Barkley....
SHUSTER: Yeah. Bill Bradley.
GLASSER: Bradley was in this Princeton Evangelical.... The guy said, “That guy has such big feet!” [both laugh] I remember. We’d be studying the Bible, I’d look down...this feet.... In other words...that’s a great story. The Princeton Evangelical Fellowship. I said based on that...because of that, the InterVarsity never went into Princeton. They said, “You guys are doing a good job.” And so, they’ve never been on the unfortunate competition. The sort that would kind of get people, you know, each one putting up his own and putting down the other. But Fuller...so that when Fullerton heard that I’d went to seminary, I’d broken with engineering, he got a....he said, “You’ve got to work weekends in the New York City.” And so he occasionally would take me to a Jewish mission. And in those days, Jewish missions weren’t accomplishing very much.
SHUSTER: Why was that?
GLASSER: I don’t know. The mission...Jews, you know, Jews are an elusive bunch at best. But a....and there were some godly people in Jewish mission work. The Chicago Hebrew Mission, you know. You know of some....
SHUSTER: Whose records we have in the Archives. [Collection 546]
GLASSER: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. W.E. Blackstone, you know.
SHUSTER: We have his papers in the Archives. [Collection 540]
GLASSER: Okay. Well now, there were men like that. I once met one of the retired workers of that mission. This man tried to get me interested in Jewish missions. And so he brought me into contact with some of these. But now you should know, though, that since World War I, things started happening in Europe. One of our guys just finished a dissertation on Jewish mssions in Europe, 1900 to 1950. And the thing that impresses you is that in place after place, in Ger...in Europe, during the period between the wars, Jews started coming to Christ in significant numbers. You know, David Adeney (I guess you’ve heard that name), his father was a missionary to the Jews in Romania. Oh, under the Church of England! And...and so that this...this all a...this was growing. But the thing that is significant is that with the end of World War II, a reversal went in the minds of Jewish people who had come to faith in Jesus. They said, “You know, when we believe in Jesus, we assimilate into Gentile churches and in no time at all, we’ve lost our Jewishness. Now is that right for us to? Do we not have an obligation? If one by one, we slip out of the Jewish community into the Gentile world, marry Gentiles and all of that sort of thing, the Jews don’t know much about it.
GLASSER: What we need to do is establish congregations that are Jewish through and through in which we retain our Jewishness. And right before the rabbis show that there is a movement growing in their midst.” You know, and it’s been the last thirty years. And we have, look at this, you....
GLASSER: We have...you have seen this paper here. Messi...messi....
SHUSTER: You are pointing to the paper, Messianic Times, yes.
GLASSER: Messianic Times.
SHUSTER: Well, let me ask you about your...your personal involvement.
GLASSER: Yeah, well....[paper rustling]
SHUSTER: You talked about....
GLASSER: Well, just like.... Just a second. You can say, “He’s opening up the back of this...”
SHUSTER: “He is opening up the back of this.... “
GLASSER: “...to show the locations of Messianic congregations throughout the country.”
SHUSTER: And there’s a page here that’s a directory of....by state by state, it tells where to find Messianic congregations....
GLASSER: Yes, state by state. City by city! Yes, city by city! It goes on and on, you see. And key people and churches that are sup...in a sense, enthusiastic about this, international Messianic congregations all over the world. This is a phenomenon that has emerged and a...and.... They put out paper like this. And the thing is...I was a, you know, me. I...I went to China and after China I was not in good health. I stayed at Columbia Bible College for a while, and then was tapped to be the home director of the OMF here in America.
GLASSER: Well, I didn’t see much about the Jewish people there.
SHUSTER: Had this continued to be a strong interest? Was it...?
GLASSER: A...a basic interest. Because you’re reading your Bible, and you’re always being reminded of it. But when I got to Fuller, then I found out that there was this counter-cultural movement on the West Coast, the Jesus Freaks. Oh, all sorts of things.
SHUSTER: This would be the late ‘60s?
GLASSER: Yeah, the late ‘60s. Early....late ‘60s. Well anyhow, around ‘70, ‘71. ‘72, when I first came to Fuller, lo and behold we had a knock on the door. A guy who said, “You know....” A fellow named David Stern. He had a Ph.D. from Princeton, he had a Ph.D. from UCLA, he was a professor of economics. The first book he had written was a book on surfing, of all things. [Shuster laughs]. He tried everything under the sun, out of the hunger of his heart, and at last he tried Jesus Christ. He was a member of one of the twenty first [elite] Jewish families here in Los Angeles. And....
SHUSTER: So a social elite.
GLASSER: Socially elite, knowing almost nothing about Judaism. A...a...a non-practicing Jew. But a Jew. He knew he was a Jew. And he came, and he knocked on the door at Fuller. He said, “Tell me about my Jewishness.” See? Well, I heard about this guy. And that sort of awakened me. Now since then, he’s written all sorts of books on the Messianic Jewish mu.... He’s become more or less the theologian of Messianic Jewishness. But the two of us....
SHUSTER: Why did he come to Fuller to find out about his Jewishness?
SHUSTER: As opposed to going to a rabbi?
GLASSER: Oh no. He knew that the rabbis didn’t...so far as he was concerned, Judaism didn’t have too much. He knew what....
SHUSTER: Because he was a Christian by then?
GLASSER: Oh, he was a Christian. Oh yeah, he had tried Jesus Christ and that transformed him. Then he...I’m sure that in that period he tried the synagogue and this and that. But he ran afoul of a lot of things.
SHUSTER: Like Paul.
GLASSER: Yeah. And so...but he came to Fuller, and a....and he immediately stepped into classes and I got to know him. And I said, “You know the say....the sad thing....you can go to the typical American seminary, like this place. And you learn nothing about the Jewish people after the closing of the Old...the New Testament. We know a bit about the Jews in the Old Testament and a bit about them in the New Testament. But then, two thousand years and suddenly we’re jarred awake with the Holocaust. And in no time at all we’re jarred awake by the formation of the state of Israel.” All that happened when I was in China, so I don’t know. But anyhow, he said...I said, “You...let’s...let’s offer a course on Judaism and Christianity, and you’re the professor (but I’ll sit in the back and give it legal standing) because you have a Ph.D. [laughs] We can work out the details.” And that was the beginning of our Jewish interest. That...that exc...that deepened me. And in no time at all and then.... [Glasser stands up and knocks off his lapel microphone]
SHUSTER: Whoops. That’s okay...that’s okay. No, you’ve got the clip still there. We’ll just....
GLASSER: Just put it back.
SHUSTER: Yeah, you slip it in from the bottom like that. Yeah, here we go.
GLASSER: Yeah...okay...now, the...
SHUSTER: Let me move this.
GLASSER: Yes...yeah, here it is. [pause] First thing you wanted to do is to make a copy of....
SHUSTER: [interrupts] You handed me a copy of the Jewish New Testament, translated by David H. Stern.
GLASSER: [clears throat] Yeah. And then see....
SHUSTER: And then another book by him, the [coughs] excuse me, The Messianic Jewish Manifesto.
GLASSER: Also by him, yes. That’s the Manifesto. This is the creed, you might say, of the Messianic Jewish movement today. Now others have come and been writing in this field. Jewish person after Jewish person. All of the leaders of these congregations that you see there in the Messianic Times. And bit by bit this movement is growing. And of course, to the rabbis this is a real problem. Because here is something they just cannot deny. Now you know within the Jewish movement today in America, more than fifty percent of the marriages are between Jews and Gentiles. But more Jews...more people...more Gentiles, you would say, are becoming Jews in America than Jews becoming believers in Jesus because through this large intermarriage you know, invariably whoever gets married to a Jew, the idea is, “Let’s be Jews.” Just because they want their children to be circumcised and celebrate the holy days. That’s about what it amounts to with most of the Jewish families. There is nothing much practicing [sic] beyond that.
SHUSTER: You mention that there are a number of Gentiles becoming Jews. A lot of them because of intermarriage.
GLASSER: A wife, or a husband of, you know, a Jewish person.
SHUSTER: Is there also any significance...significant group in there that’s coming to Judaism out of spiritual search or ethical search?
GLASSER: Well, this is what Jews for Jesus, they’re in touch with. They can answer that question.
SHUSTER: I mean people be coming to Judaism for those reasons.
GLASSER: Coming to...oh, coming to Judaism. They would say that they largely come through marriage relationships. And they sit themselves under instruction, and you know, they’re introduced to the family. And there are a lot of wonderful, attractive elements to Judaism. During these days in the Los Angeles Times everyday there’s a big two page bro...brochure...publication on the advantages of Jews. What the Jews have contributed to the United States and what Jewish life is like etcetera, etcetera. Oh no, there is something very wholesome about the Jewish family life. And wholesome about, you know, the ethical c...components they give to their children, and that’s very attractive. But Jews for Jesus, of course, was...was...came into being within this counter-culture movement.
SHUSTER: Was Stern involved with that at all?
GLASSER: David Stern. Yeah, he for a while...he was with Jews for Jesus. Now he lives in Israel. Yeah. He says that the...the...the...the light has to go from Israel to the nations. So he went to Israel [laughs] so it would go forth...and he’s writing books.... I remember his wife... his mother wanted him to find a Jewish woman, and oh boy, we prayed, and lo and behold Martha came along and...and they have a nice Jewish family [laughs].
SHUSTER: She’s a Jewish woman?
GLASSER: Yeah, a Jewish woman. Yeah.
SHUSTER: What contacts have you personally had with opposition or criticisms from the Jewish community from Jewish evangelism?
GLASSER: Well, what we do is we have here at Fuller, we have had conferences with the American Jewish community where we mention some of the matters. You know, they know we have Jewish students here and we’ve had some of the leading...leading...James Rudin. He is the inter-religious leader within Jewry in America, and he’s come here and spoken several times, you know, calling for, “It’s alright to witness, but don’t...don’t you know, don’t change people. Oh, we know you’ve got an obligation to witness but don’t target us.” You know, this and that. And we’ve had him speak....
SHUSTER: How do you respond to that? I mean....
GLASSER: Well, we just...we have a Scripture, “ Make disciples,” you know, and frankly I go to China to learn Chinese. I’ve learned how Chinese think. So, to say you don’t target people, you target every person. You gotta get as...you find out...to the Jews you speak as you would knowing something about them. To the Gentiles you speak differently, you know. And we try to...to say that there’s...there’s...we’re under orders in this regard. And just...we try to say, you know, in a very loving way and friendly way. I’m in touch with a rabbi here. We have lunch from time to time. Our last lunch he was asking me, you know, experiences as a chaplain. Experiencing people coming to as...as...as he would call it, “people coming to your faith, describe them to me,” and I would described them. Then he gave me before we parted a...an article on the Holy Spirit...Spirit written by a rabbi. Wanted me to find out the...and he said, “You write me a...a report. Tell me what you think about that.” So, we’re in...we’re in touch with Jewish people.
SHUSTER: Was he a Messianic rabbi or...?
GLASSER: Oh, he’s...he’s a conservative.
GLASSER: Not Reformed.
SHUSTER: Talking about the Holy Spirit?
GLASSER: Oh, the Holy Spirit, yeah. Oh yes, he would refer to it. And...and we have...you know, we have a Jewish program here. Every summer we have Jewish leaders come and speak [reads from pamphlet]. Judaic studies and Jewish Evangelism. Those are the courses we’re gonna be teaching this...this summer.
SHUSTER: It would seem when you meet with Jewish leaders and they say, “Do not target us,” and you say, “We’re under orders to spread the gospel,” that that’s about as far as conversation can go.
GLASSER: Well, the thing is this, when they come we...some of our Jewish students stand up and do the talking too. You know, you see the sad thing is, Jews want dialogue with Christian, Christians want dialogue with Jews, but the one type of person they don’t want is a Jew who is a believer in Jesus, a Messianic Jew. You...so that, when they were here last summer, I said, “Now, you’re speaking on Jews and Christians, and, sure, we should remember that here at Fuller there are two kinds of Jews. There...rather...there...no, no, not here at Fuller but...but right now at this meeting (this was down in one of the auditoriums), there are two kinds of Jews here. There are Jews who are in the tradition of rabbinic Judaism, and there are Jews who are believers in Yeshua, Ha.Mishiach. “Jesus, the Messiah” and...and there is a difference between these two. The difference is Jesus Christ. He is the difference. But in many ways there are great similarities. The difference between the synagogue and the church is Jesus Christ. You know, there are a lot of the things...after all, when you both have the Old Testament, the Tanakh as they call it, you...there’s a lot of foundational stuff that’s just the same. But, oh the...the...it...it’s really tragic, the resistence to Jesus, and did you...did you see the latest issue of Christianity Today? Just came out.
SHUSTER: This week?
GLASSER: It talks about some of the Jewish leaders....
SHUSTER: Oh, the Holocaust Museum in....
GLASSER: Yeah, but the idea is saying that the Holocaust, that fourteen-minute audio visual you listen to is not the....
SHUSTER: The video tape that’s played at the Holocaust Museum in Washington.
GLASSER: That’s right. It is not tr...accurate. It blames Jud...anti Semitism o...on the church, you see. And now mind you....
SHUSTER: Well, it specifically blames Hitler and the Holocaust on the church.
GLASSER: Hitler, and Hitler...yeah, but...but yeah...but...but the...but it...it’s not accurate in the way it handled the Christians and so just this...the group of rabbis here gathered together a’nd they made a public statement that’s published in the latest issue of Christianity Today. And....
GLASSER: To effect that, “[We] wish you people were more accurate, most fair in your dealing with us because this...this is just not true.” Of course, this....
SHUSTER: Of course, that’s probably something that most Christ...most Jews would respond as far as any kind of evangelism effort (in fact, you mentioned yourself, when you handing out tracts in New York) - Christian anti-Semitism. How...how do you respond to that?
GLASSER: Yeah. In a sense you can’t argue...argue. You can’t give a reasoned explanation. I...I know that the church was silent in Germany ‘cause my family is part German, and I know the Plymouth Brethren. German Darbyism [?] and my family...in Germany they were silent. And they...they...they let the Jewish people be...be destroyed. And th...the church was...and I say we’re ashamed. I’m ashamed. My family...I can remember talking to my family about this. People come over from Germany during the ‘30s and have arguments with them, you know. “What does it matter that he’s given you economic renewal and new spirit that has taken away the cloud...the cloud of the Versailles Treaty and all the judgment of World War I. But this man, you know, he’s out to destroy Jews.”
SHUSTER: And of course, it’s not just Hitler, I mean...
SHUSTER: ...one has found Christian anti-Semitism...
GLASSER: Oh yeah.
SHUSTER: ...almost going back to the beginning.
GLASSER: Yeah, but you see Hitler was out to destroy the Jews as a race, and Christian anti-Semitism.... We’re anti-Jewish, Judaism, because to us Judaism is a, you know, is...it’s a distortion of biblic...the biblical data. And...and we read the book of Hebrews in the New Testament and we see that the elements that the Old Testament has that Christ fulfilled, and so forth and so forth. No, there’s no way of getting around it, just by loving and.... There’s enough spiritual hunger in Jewish people that they are willing to talk about Jesus, you know, and they’re not as sure as they used to be. We’ve had...we’ve had...one of our faculty persons on this matter of a...of a...power and demonic.... You know, when you...when you deal with some people who want what they call in-depth deliverance, you find Jewish people who feel they’re under a curse. You know, “His blood be upon us and our children.” They...they’ll...they feel they’re under a curse. “Could you remove that curse from me?” Peter...Chuck Kraft, one of our School of Mission faculty persons, he has had that experience, where he has had to, as it were, wade into them, and in the name of Christ liberate them from this. The effect of the curse. And I’ve seen....
SHUSTER: And you’re referring to the passages in the Gospels where Pilate washes his hands and Jesus killed....
GLASSER: Well no, no. Where the woman says, “His blood be upon us and all our children.” You know, that’s in Matthew. [Matthew 27: 24-25] where Pilate...and the Jewish people take upon themselves.... But I’ve spoken to this woman. I mentioned earlier this woman who was interested in psychology and psychological...a counseling center in Jerusalem. And she said, “Oh yes. Every so often we find a Jewish person who feels that he’s a member of a cursed race because of what they did to Jesus. And you have to deliver him from this and speak the liberating word of Christ, the absolute willingness of Christ to forgive and deliver them from this.” And she seen it transform them on this basis.
SHUSTER: Do you think that’s an accurate understanding of the Gospel?
GLASSER: Well, I...you know there’s a...there’s a...when you study the Old Testament, you know, curses can have a lasting effect. And curses, if they’ve been uttered need to be removed and confessed. And put aside and put....and so, for that reason sometimes Kraft would say, “Well, if it stands in the way of a person’s mind, whether or not it’s real or not, let’s deal with it.” You know. And there’s that sort of a – I don’t know if you’d call it a pragmatic approach – but you know, you deal with symptoms rather than actually know the specific demonic virus if there is that sort of a thing there...in their...in their thinking. But they...that’s done. I was....
SHUSTER: But I guess I’ve been thinking that, of course, that’s been one of the...quite apart from Hitler, it’s been one our the basis for Christian persecution of Jews through the ages. “They killed Christ.”
GLASSER: Oh yeah. Oh yeah, the church...they called them Christ killers. You know, the Catholic Church’s publications have been free about this. And so therefore, you know....
SHUSTER: One can find things in [Martin] Luther too.
SHUSTER: One could find things in Luther too.
GLASSER: Oh, oh. Luther, oh, Luther. He wanted to destroy the Jews. Because he thought that the...the...the Jews would, you know, now that the Gospel was recovered, now they would come in. And they said, “No, thank you. We’ve had enough of you guys.” [chuckles] Oh, to me the whole tr...trauma of Je...of the...of Jewry and the church down through the years, that’s something that we make our students deal with. Judaic studies but then...and Jewish evangelism. They came originally to Fuller.... Jews for Jesus said, “Hey,” to the School of Theology. “Would you teach courses for our students, for our workers in Judaic studies and Jewish humanities.” We teach quite a few of those courses now. Those are the three this summer. And a...they said, “Judaic studies, yeah!” But they said, “No, Judaic studies and Jewish evangelism.” “Oh, well, then you’d better go to the School of World Missions.” [laughs] So it sort of landed in my lap, and I’ve been the coordinator of this ever since. We’ve graduated, I’d say by now, Fuller’s graduated thirty to thirty-five, maybe getting up to forty Jews who have gotten a master’s degree In Judaic studies and Jewish evangelism.
SHUSTER: And you think that that is really the way for the work to be done? Through Jewish evangelists?
GLASSER: Well, the...actually when you study Jewish evangelism, you find far more people...more Jewish people are won through the witness of Gentiles than through the witness of Jews. Because...a...when a Jew confronts another Jew who believes in Jesus a...that person is mumar, he’s apostate, he’s this and that. The mental blockage is too great, whereas a friendly Gentile.... There’s a guy who just called me to tack something on the door out there, you saw him? I’ve been in his home, he’s a wealthy Jew. And on his...alongside of his bed is a picture of a colored lady. His family had a...one of the servants was black. And she never told him to believe in Jesus, but there was something in the quality of her life. This guy, he may be here at five o’ clock. You should meet him. You’ll...a very impressive Jew. A well-to-do Jew, he comes from a wealthy family. His parents...we just celebrated his eighty...his fiftieth birthday. He’s a student here. And a...they are...to look in his house in Sherman Oaks (it’s away from here about twenty miles) there to find alongside of his bed this woman. She’s now deceased, the maid...the... Amanda, the one who spoke to him about the living God. You know.
SHUSTER: And did he become a Christian?
GLASSER: Oh, he’s a wonderful, wonderful Christian. As a result, he just became a Christian.[laughs]
SHUSTER: Praise God.
GLASSER: Yeah, praise God. But that’s the thing. Loving Gentiles win more Jews than Jewish.... But...but increasingly, in student groups where Jews for Jesus go and I wish we could get involved in this too, boy, the Jews listen to their own people speak.
SHUSTER: So there seems to be a contradiction. You’ve been talking about people being....
GLASSER: Well, yeah. But altogether, in te...terms of total number, Jews are listening to other Jews today, and they’re going to these congregations they’re hearing, and this and that.
SHUSTER: So is that a recent change, that Jews were willing to listen to Jews talk about Christ?
GLASSER: Well, it’s...you know, it’s bad to make a generalization. They are more now than they used to be. But even so, the ones who lead them through are Gentiles. People like you and me. I haven’t...can’t say that I have been significantly used to win Jews to Jesus. But I’ve certainly...I’ve spoken to sacks of them and I...I try and get to know them and then to answer their questions and a... “Why should I believe in Jesus?” “Well, he’s the greatest living Jew.” “What do you mean he’s living?” “Don’t you...the living God? God was a living God, as he’s portrayed in the Old Testament who could do things. That’s the God that we believe in. And we have got it in...in your Scriptures, and it has come to us, you know.” And you make them jealous, in a sense, and all that sort of thing. Paul speaks about...it’s...it’s a...I wish that I knew what I was talking about. When you talk with Jews, boy, there’s so much complexity. But, as a you can see, the people who will be teaching this course...the first guy was in charge of Holy Lands Studies.
SHUSTER: That’s Dr. Walter Wiggins.
GLASSER: Wiggins. No, he’s the one. He’s...he’s the head of the Jewish missions in England, but he also...the professor at All Nations. I met him first in Tiberius years ago, brilliant guy. He’s written several wonderful books and the next guy was the...the leader I think of, the....
SHUSTER: Dr. Mark Kinzer.
GLASSER: Yeah. He’s...oh, he’s on the faculty at the University of Michigan. And he’s also a congregational leader of a....one of the Messianic congregations in Ann Arbor.
GLASSER: And here’s a guy, who for yea...he’s a...in Cal State University, but for years he was president of the Institute of Holy Lands Studies in Jerusalem. These guys...we try to spend money to get the best people. And you’ll see, we’ll have some Jewish.... We’re trying to get our Gentile to go to the Institute. Because the average Gentile doesn’t know beans about all of this. But....
SHUSTER: I wanted to ask you one last question. I know that you have work to do and you were kind enough to give me this interview, but there’s one thing I wanted to ask you before....
SHUSTER: Before we break up. We’ve talked in the past about...you went to...going to China and just after World War II with your wife to be a missionary. And been involved as a missionary then, as an administrator, as a teacher. How would you compare the situation in 1946, ‘47, ‘48 with today as far as missions? What are similarities, what are differences? What are...what...what do you see a significant, I mean, changes or similarities between the situation then and the situation now?
GLASSER: Well, I...well you know, right after World War II, a lot of GI’s who had met Christ in the military cashed in on the GI Bill. You go to Wheaton and you say, “What were the fellows like that came to you right after the war?” “Boy, they were serious. They were down to business.” Now from them, there was a real upsurge of missionary recruitment that went on for about, ten...twelve years. Great upsurge. And here on the West Coast, a lot of new missions societies were begun. New groups. A lot of the people in them....
SHUSTER: MAF [Mission Aviation Fellowship]....
GLASSER: Yeah, yeah. People with military background, you know. And that sort of thing. Now today, I...I don’t know. To me, the student today is a mystery to me, in contrast. You know, they want...they’re more interested in [pauses] personal fulfillment. Almost given way to reading books on pop psych, you know. All that stuff. [laughs] First off. And it’s quite different from the students I knew.
SHUSTER: So who is going into missions today?
GLASSER: Well, they’re going for the Bible schools. But at the same time, you have movements like a...like YWAM.
SHUSTER: Youth With a Mission?
GLASSER: Youth With a Mission. And that sort of thing. Those people are...they’re producing that same kind of person that I knew, say, right after World War II. The kind I knew in the military. People really were...they had...everything was on the line for Jesus Christ.
SHUSTER: What about the actual work that missionaries were doing? How does....?
GLASSER: Well, it’s much more complicated today. Because churches have come into existence. And you can’t just, you know, say “Pull up the gangplank, boys, I’m aboard!” You know. [laughs] There’s a sense you must...you have to respect local leadership. Which is...very often because of the absence of missionaries, they develop their own leaders. You just can’t plow into a situation like this. There you’re being asked to teach. But then teaching, if you don’t have behind it your own field experience, your teaching is bound to be very theoretical.
GLASSER: So there’s a real problem. What we have found from our graduates, we have more guys graduating from our school...School of World Mission who are faculty members if new Schools of World Missions have popped up all over the place. Teaching our courses, but through their cultural grid, so they’ve been changed. We heard...was her...it was our faculty meeting this morning. A half-hour conversation with some seminary in Korea that wants some sort of linkage with us. I sat across the table from a guy, a Korean, who started a seminary in the Philippines. Now he’s on our faculty, he got his doctorate here. He went there and started a seminary, came here, and he’s now this big..co...big, you know, the Koreans are going through upheaval today ‘cause they’re running out of money. The whole market is...is a...is against them. And missionaries are being called home, they’re not able to support them. And the Korean airlines is even giving a special dispensat... “We’ll fly missionaries home.” You know, that’s not the way to handle things. But you know, we’re running into that. Thailand, the economic crisis there. So, things are really touch and go. I don’t know as I would be a...too dogmatic in affirming what I know the future of missions is gonna be. But a....certainly the Lord is here, and the Lord is working. And we’re hearing about a...a...a city on the coast of Kenya, where in fifteen years ago there were three hundred and fifty thousand people. Now there are one million, four hundred thousand people. And a lot of churches, but are they able to cope with the great influx of growth. And China, we would like to see our resources really focus on China. Because that’s the place where people really are coming to faith. You know, one of the things I have to do here is make sure that I don’t backslide completely from China and be all up for the Jews. We have some...you know, there are seven Evangelical seminaries that have formed together a consortium. And we had been to the University of Beijing. And we’re finding in the academic world of China today, doctors...professors...scholars reading their Bibles. And so we’ve had five universities, in...in China ask us if we would send faculty members from our seminaries to help them on a short-term basis. Just to sort of straighten them out.
SHUSTER: You say reading their Bibles, is that because they’ve had some contact with church in the past?
GLASSER: Well, no, see the church in China was always a rural situation. And in the great cities, not as strong. When we left China in 1951, you could draw a straight line across China in any old direction. But every fifty miles, you’d come across some sort of an expression of the Christian movement. Widely scattered, that was great. But now people going into the cities, you know, because money. The economic miracle was taking place in China. And so therefore, the university world is the world which we’re trying to tackle. And I’ve been there to the University of Beijing. Gave a talk right there, and...and that’s one of the other things that is another wonderful gift that God has given us there at Fuller. Now mind you, Trinity [Evangelical Divinity School] has just joined us in this. And the Conservative Baptist Seminary in Denver has joined. And a...Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids. And a ...we’re working on Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi. And there’s one...Bethel, in Minneapolis, Seminary. And we’re getting more and more seminaries to participate. It’s too big an opportunity to hold to ourselves. We want more to join us. And that’s one of the things. But frankly, the Chinese with all of their stimulation, the Jewish people keep you on your toes more. They’re great. Yeah.
SHUSTER: Well, anything else you want to add?
GLASSER: No, no, no. You’ve heard enough of me.
SHUSTER: Well, I...again, I appreciate this interview and all the interviews.
GLASSER: Well, I...I...I’m sorry we couldn’t have had you with the faculty because I think it would have been good to, you know, give your plug. And my wife keeps reminding me, “What about...what about...you forget that fellow Shuster, he wants some of your stuff.” So one of these days, if the Lord gives me the grace, I hope that I can do you a good thing.
SHUSTER: Well, I appreciate all that you have given us already, so once again, thank you.
GLASSER: Well, thank you but I....
END OF TAPE
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