SO MANY VOICES by Gertrude Schweitzer


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For better or for worse, the clergy seem to be much on the griddle these days in matters of social concern, and here is the story of one minister's wearying round in guiding his flock to cope with the realities and moral urgencies of the present. When Luther Wellman, minister of the Chestnut Hill Church (obviously liberal Protestant), became aware that a Negro surgeon and his white wife were seeking membership in the ""white"" church, he anticipated trouble on several fronts. Dr. Joshua Withers, accomplished, forceful, purposive, certainly had reasons for joining which went beyond his wife's purely spiritual-practical motivation. Coming at a time when factions were already forming over the question of building a new church, 'affaire Withers was sure to call forth an opening of latent hostilities. Luther supports the Withers' membership while dissensions seethe, and personal problems abound:-one mentally ill boy wreaks havoc; a young girl's reputation is ruined; pillars of the church clash; and Luther's wife faces a crisis. Throughout the minister strains after answers to the many voices, and finds not the ultimate ""right"" answer, but the human solution -- complicated, difficult, but evolving from his belief in the dignity of man. A bit mundane in treatment -- upbeat in message.

Publisher: Prentice-Hall