Emerging from the horrors of World War II, men wondered whether another cycle of uneasy peace would smoulder into further world conflagration, or whether somehow, through the purging of affliction, they had unknowingly passed through darkness toward the dawn. Since the first postwar flush of victory, the latter possibility seems less live than ever. Whatever purging or cleansing effects war may have, they lack enough potency to accomplish the desirable end. Social evils are such that some evangelicals find themselves wondering whether there yet remains on earth the equivalent of “ten righteous in Sodom.” But the so-called “prophets of doom” are not confined to the pulpit. Eminent physicist Edward Teller predicts Russia’s unquestioned world leadership in science ten years from now and sees the world modeled after Russian ideas rather than Western by the end of the century. Men are asking, “For earth, what time is it? Are these still her evolutionary birth pangs, or are we hearing the final cadence of God’s countdown for her history?”

In such an hour CHRISTIANITY TODAY’S 50 contributing editors, scattered around the globe, have been asked to assess the past year’s impact of a purifying Gospel laboring within the toils of a world system with a vast capacity for evil and to relay portents for the immediate and more distant future.

Light shimmers from a distant corner as several contributors rejoice over the signal triumphs of grace manifest in Billy Graham’s Australasian crusades. From the antipodes, Principal Stuart Barton Babbage, of Melbourne’s Ridley College, sounds an apocalyptic note: “In Australia, through the Billy Graham Crusade, we have seen afresh the power of the Gospel, and we have seen the citadels of unbelief challenged ...

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