Someone has said, “The only hope of Christianity is in the rehabilitation of Pauline theology. It is back to an incarnate Christ and the atoning Blood, or it is on to atheism and despair.” This is very fine, and doubtless would command general agreement among evangelical Christians. Our business, it would be said, is indeed to recall the Church to the faith once delivered to the saints. What is not so clear is how the content of that faith is to be defined, especially in its moral implications. Many are convinced that, for various reasons, the primacy of the ethical basis of the Gospel is in jeopardy today, and that evangelical Christians themselves need to be recalled to a more truly scriptural position.
This does not mean that the Church’s witness has deteriorated to a barren and lifeless orthodoxy. Indeed, there is no doubt that evangelical witness is intensely active. Rarely has the Church been so magnificently equipped, or so thoroughly up to date in methods. However, whether with all our streamlined techniques we have achieved as much as our forefathers accomplished without them is a question. Ours is an era of campaigns, missions, crusades, fruitful beyond doubt; and yet the age of our forefathers was the age of revival movements that left their mark upon nations and enabled the Church to speak with authority.
The Missing Note
Is there something lacking, then, in the contemporary evangelical testimony? We believe that a definite emphasis has been lost. Once the chief concern of spiritual work was the creation and upbuilding of Christian character. The great devotional literature of past generations in Scotland reveals something solid and substantial in the Christian experience of former days. That there were giants in ...1
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