Is There Really A God?
Lewis T. Oldham (1903-1985), received his formal education in Harper College, Harding College, and Oklahoma State University. With George S. Benson he planned and prepared for work in South China. There he spent ten years doing evangelistic, education, and publication work. He assisted in translating and publishing quite a number of books, including McGarvey’s Commentary on Acts, translating and writing many tracts and articles, and publishing a quarterly magazine that had a good circulation throughout China.
After spending much time in reading and research, Mr. Oldham selected and compiled from many sources a great deal of material on Science and Religion and on Evidences of Christianity, which has been published in several countries and languages. With Mr. So, Tin Wong, a leading Chinese Christian, he spent months in making a good translation into the Chinese language of this material. This was then used for lecturing and writing for several years. He gained much help through correspondence with some outstanding Chinese scientists concerning the “Peking Man” find, and evidences concerning the “Flood” of Noah’s time.
In association and work with both Chinese Christians and University students and graduates, he made plans to give a series of special lectures on “Is There Really a God?” in English with Mr. So giving the Chinese translation. These were stenographically reported by two Chinese stenographers, and arrangements were made to have the Chinese edition printed. While setting the type, the printer became quite interested and insisted that English edition also be published. Mr. Oldham told him that he had neither the money to publish such an edition nor the time to put the English manuscript in order. The printer insisted that he would wait for payment until copies sold brought in the money. The stenographer corrected his transcription of the English text against the quoted sources. In making corrections of the Biblical quotations he used his own copy of an English version which differs slightly from versions used by most American readers.
Both the Chinese and the English editions sold well, and have now been out of print from some time. The Chinese edition with the other works which Mr. Oldham published in Chinese brought to him the citation in the Chinese Book of Who’s Who for considerable and outstanding contributions to Chinese Christian Literature especially in the field of Science and Religion and in Christian Evidences. This prompted the management of one of China’s largest newspapers to reprint serially the whole of the Chinese text of “Is There Really a God??” for its readers. In Japan, much if not all of the text, was reprinted with Japanese annotations. In a number of places in the Far East translations were made into local dialects.
Much of the material was rewritten by Mr. Oldham and published as a column in American newspapers. A group in Harvard used that column for a number of years. A teacher in the University of California at Berkley used quite a number of copies of the original English edition with classes of College young people.
As the authors quoted are still authorities in their fields and are still representative of clear-thinking scientists as can be seen from “forty American scientists declare their affirmative views on religion” in the book, The Evidence of God in an Expanding Universe, edited by John Clover Monsma, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1958, it was thought good in response to requests to reprint the original English edition. The title page of the Chinese edition and a page announcing sale also of The Commentary on Acts through six other publishing houses is included.
Lewis T. Oldham has been my friend for more than a third of a century. His very name stands for sacrifice for the cause of Christ. It has been a pleasure to know and be associated with him. I am glad to put into print again his wonderful little book Is There Really a God?
George W. DeHoff
Is There Really a God? (DeHoff: 1965)