Protestants: Pastor to the World

"Daily I repeat to myself 'I believe,' " the Rev. Daniel Alfred Poling once said. "I could say, 'I doubt, I deny,' but that is negative." The beliefs of Poling—who died last week of a heart attack at the age of 83—could serve as a compendium of what classic American Protestantism used to stand for.

A Christian activist of unflagging energy, he nonetheless believed that it was the business of the church to change the hearts of men, not to change society. Although frequently engaged in politics—he was the Prohibition candidate for Governor of Ohio in 1912 and four...

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