This Christmas—day of joy and gladness—men in Unalakleet, Alaska, and Thule, Greenland, will spend the long hours of an Arctic shadowland peering at radarscopes for any sign of hostile activity across the frigid wastes. Thus does our age create a new and terrifying setting for a fateful question which has echoed through the centuries since Isaiah’s day: “Watchman, what of the night?” The watchman said, “The morning cometh, and also the night.”

The dual response was characteristic of replies of CHRISTIANITY TODAY’s 50 contributing editors as they were asked once again to scan the horizon of year’s end for signs and portents relating to evangelical interest and concern.

The election of a Roman Catholic to the Presidency was to some the most serious development in America, reflective of a national draining of evangelical knowledge and influence. Butler University’s Gordon H. Clark declares such a development an “impossibility” in a Puritan, Presbyterian, Huguenot, or Lutheran land. General William K. Harrison, United Nations truce delegate in the Korean war, sees evidence of a “great decline in the spiritual and moral strength of American Protestantism” in the “ignorant or deliberate failure of a great number of its leaders and people to … oppose the election of a President who would be subject to the discipline of the authoritarian, intolerant Roman Catholic Pope and hierarchy who condemn doctrinally and by action (when this is feasible) all freedom of religion, of conscience and of speech.”

Professor Bernard Ramm sees 1960 as “the year of Protestant heartache.” “In a manner both uncanny and baffling the Roman Church has managed to impress the American people that any criticism of the Roman Church is bigotry.” He notes the failure ...

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