H. Leo Boles and J. W. McGarvey, part 2a

Seventh Negative

…His next reference is to the quotation from the lamented J. W. mcGarvey.  I must say that brother Clubb does himself no honor and his own cause an injury by trying to impeach the scholarship and integrity of brother McGarvey when he says that “McGarvey was not a Greek scholar.”  All know that Brother McGarvey was a Greek scholar, and that he was very careful to state facts in writing his articles.  The venerable W. T. Moore said that he was “regarded as one of the safest and truest men in the church of Christ.” (“The Living Pulpit,” page 325.)  Again, he said: “That which most distinguishes him as a writer and speaker is his clearness; there is never the slightest confusion in his ideas.  he has very little imagination, and relies [105] almost exclusively on facts for effect.”  (Ibid., page 326.)  So it does not matter what brother McGarvey’s son says about his father, nor what any one else may say about him.  the fact still remains that brother McGarvey said: “And if any man who is a preacher believes that the apostle teaches the use of instrumental music in the church be enjoining the signing of psalms, he is one of those smatterers in Greek who can beleive anything that he wishes to beleives. When the wish is father to the thought, correct exegesis is like water on a duck’s back.”

M. D. Clubb and H. Leo Boles, Discussion, Is Instrumental Music in Christian Worship Scriptural? Nashville: Gospel Advocate Company, 1927, pages 104-105.

M. D. Clubb remembers J. W. McGarvey, part 2

Seventh Affirmative

…J. W. McGARVEY is quoted.  Here is what he says: “And if any man who is a preacher believes that the apostle teaches the use of instrumental music in the church by enjoining the singing of psalms, he is one of those smatterers of Greek who can believe anything that he wishes to believe.”  professor McGarvey was my teacher for five years.  I loved him as a father, and I revere his memory.  As most people I know, he was opposed to instrumental music in the [96] worship.  But remember this: He never made it a test of fellowship, as my good Brother Boles is doing.  His son, J. T., said to his father, when he had decided to do to Chestnut Street Church: “Suppose they put an organ in at Chestnut Street, what will you do then?” He answered: “If I cannot find a place where they do not have it, I will worship where they have it.” He went to Chestnut Street because he preferred to worship without the instrument, not because he could not fellowship those who used it.

I do not believe Brother McGarvey would call men like James Moffatt, W. G. Ballantine, Dr. A. T. Robertson, Professor Bacon, “smatterers” in Greek.  These men are among the finest Greek scholars in the world.  Professor McGarvey was not a Greek scholar.  He had only a working knowledge of Greek.  President Robert Graham, a colaborer and lifetime friend of Brother McGarvey, deeply regretted his stand on the music question.  he said to me: “Brother McGarvey made the mistake of his life when he espoused the cause of the opposers of instrumental music in worship.” Robert Graham was  the equal of McGarvey in scholarship.

M. D. Clubb and H. Leo Boles, Discussion, Is Instrumental Music in Christian Worship Scriptural? Nashville: Gospel Advocate Company, 1927, pages 95-96.