Rev. Judkins — Science and theology

Science and theology can co-exist, said the Rev. Charles O. Judkins, disputing the rationale of fundamentalist William Jennings Bryan.

“It is foolish to set the mind against the advances and discoveries of science,” said Judkins, speaking April 9, 1922 at the principal meeting of laymen at the annual Methodist Troy Conference at Schenectady. “You don’t jam the old type of belief down the throat of the new school of thought, and if we try to, we shall lose the most intelligent.”

Judkins, long-time pastor of Christ Church Methodist in Glens Falls, said Christians should look to the Bible primarily for spiritual direction.

“The Bible is not a good biology, it is not a good geography, and it is not a good history,” he said. “In studying the Bible we should seek only for the spiritual education.”

Judkins discounted the rationale of Bryan, who had been touring the country, including Glens Falls, lecturing against evolution.

“I don’t think we should give him any recognition,” Judkins said.

Judkins was active at the conference, the annual gathering of Methodist pastors and church leaders in the region.

He led prayer at the opening session on April 5, and convinced “a large majority” of delegates to hold Troy Conference the next year at Christ Church in Glens Falls.

“In extending the invitation, Dr. Judkins referred to the natural attraction of Glens Falls and said that the residents of the city would furnish lodgings and breakfast free of charge. Hudson Falls and Fort Edward will assist with the entertainment of delegates,” The Post-Star reported.

A Post-Star editorial said the city would benefit from hosting Troy Conference.

“This is an important announcement, meaning much to the city and the villages immediately concerned. … The city will have the opportunity to show the quality of its hospitality. … It will mean much to the city to have good reports concerning it carried to all the cities, villages and communities throughout this part of New York State and adjoining sections of Vermont and Massachusetts.”

The editorial praised Judkins.

“The people of Glens Falls will not slight the fact that the coming of the conference to Glens Falls was assured largely through the energy, personality, and reputation of the distinguished leader of Christ Church, Dr. Judkins. When a town goes after a large convention, it usually sends a ‘booster committee.’ In this case Dr. Judkin was a whole ‘booster committee’ in himself.”

Sources: The Post-Star April 6, 10,11, 12, 1922

Click here to read about William Jennings Bryan at Glens Falls in 1921.

Click here to read the most recent previous post about the Rev. Charles O. Judkins.

Freelance history writer and documentary film producer from Ticonderoga, NY

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Maury Thompson

Freelance history writer and documentary film producer from Ticonderoga, NY