Religion: Bell's Broadside

"I do not know if men will understand. I am persuaded that God understands, and that He is telling me to go ahead."

Thus Bernard Iddings Bell, gadfly of the Episcopal Church, introduces his latest book, The Church in Disrepute (Harper; $1.50). Bell is a modern Episcopal Jeremiah who, speaking in cultivated accents, excoriates the thing he loves—the Church —and has attracted his own, modern version of the prophet's unpopularity.

Bell absolves man from blame for the world's dilemmas. After all, he is "a small and unreliable creature . . . erratic, frequently fooled by his five inaccurate senses, largely irrational, unduly...

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