Meeting in Switzerland this summer were two consultation groups which, otherwise unrelated, were linked by a common theme. One was called “World Consultation on Evangelism” with the World Council of Churches as its aegis; the other, “Twentieth Century Evangelism,” whose convener and chairman was Dr. Billy Graham.

Evident in the World Council group was the tendency (often noted) of the “Continental” members to be heavy on the side of the academic and the theoretical, and of the “American” section to be articulate on the side of the pragmatic and the mechanical. Generally recognized was the need of getting to grips with evangelism far more seriously and lucidly than could possibly be claimed hitherto, at least so far as wide sectors of the Christian front are concerned. The “theology of evangelism” evoked lively discussion, as it should. But when this is taken to mean that an evangelism which is contemporarily valid must be poured into the thought form and the vocabulary matrix of Kirkegaard, Barth, Brunner, Bultmann and Tillich, sympathy is generated for one member of the group from the United States, who asked: “Is this to be followed by another brand which we must understand before we can get busy to win people in a nation desperately fighting for its soul?” This query was not offered, it should be made clear, in contempt of the importance of a basically biblical theological underpining for all evangelism that is Christian.

The brethren in the World Council gathering gave some of their longest thoughts to Dr. Graham and the “mass evangelism” which he so influentially represents in today’s world. Two things emerged, one concrete, the ...

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