Sermons, 1919-1924

Document Type




Download Full Text (8.2 MB)

Download Dilemma of the Minister_ECD1921_Original.pdf (8.0 MB)

Download Dilemma of the Minister_ECD1921_Transcribed.pdf (178 KB)




A response to an article by Lewis Lowry in the New Republic, "The Plight of the Thinking Minister", which demands that you either conform or get out. Davis explodes two myths: (1) There is a transcendent thing, "The Church." No, there is a human institution of churches. If they serve needs, they thrive and persist. If not, they don't. (2) The teachings of Jesus are transcendent or have "magic significance." No, the teachings are one insightful man's powerful attempts to say the truth; but they too need to stand the test of time and in each each.

Davis asserts that a minister's job is to "lead in maintaining, or creating an institution where faith in truth holds sway; where people may breath the atmosphere of integrity and come to understand that men may have standards of conduct beyond the reach of expediency; where honest opinions may be exchanged with frankness and candor; where there is a broad generous tolerance; where the whole nature of man may reach out without fear into the vast mysteries of life's meaning and values."

Date refers to Date Given.

The primary downloadable document contains the original document followed by the transcription. The bottom of each item page also features the primary document as an embedded pdf for browsing.

Transcription by Davis Baird. Item description based off writing and context provided by Davis Baird.


Earl Clement Davis, sermons, minister, Unitarianism, religion, philosophy

Rights Statement

The Dilemma of the Minister



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.