Sidney James Wells Clark, for many years intimately connected with the World Dominion Movement, has been described as “the man who saw the truth about Foreign Missions.” One of the guiding principles which he laid down was to the effect that the work being done had always to be carried out in the light of the work to be done. The unfinished task of tomorrow, he insisted, should always determine the activity of today. He defined and advocated the doctrine “that all missionary work ought to be done with ‘the Big End’ always in view, directed consciously to that end, and that whatever was done which did not assist directly to advance that end was wrongly conceived” (Roland Allen, Sidney James Wells Clark—A Vision of Foreign Missions, The World Dominion Press, London, 1937, p. 54). Time and the judgment of God upon missions in the Orient would seem to have vindicated his views.
We are entering into a new era in Latin America. Profound changes are taking place. The consciousness of these new directions invades all our missionary thinking even as it also lies near the surface of the growing self-consciousness of the Latin American evangelical church. The bearing of this upon the missionary movement is of particular concern to those of us who serve in Latin America, because in this particular area the world’s social and technological revolution is taking place amidst a population that is increasing two and a half times faster than the rest of the world.
We do not know what this will mean to us in terms of scientific advance, military and political alignments, economic conditions, and religious pressures. But in terms of evangelism, should the Lord tarry, it means that where today we are seeking to reach approximately 175 million ...1
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