Evangelical leaders speaking at the 19th annual convention of the National Association of Evangelicals, held in Grand Rapids April 10–14, conveyed the feeling that the NAE has come of age and that the time is opportune for the organization to present a positive front on church and world issues, rather than to be known in the public mind as merely an anti-Liberal, anti-Catholic, and anti-Communist movement.
Dr. Carl F. H. Henry, editor of CHRISTIANITY TODAY, struck the keynote when he said the evangelical movement “must face the theological, social, political, and economic trends before us, rather than seeming to be resigned forever merely to react to the world’s initiative” in these areas. And, speaking on “theological trends facing the evangelicals today,” he challenged the NAE to promote a “comprehensive evangelical exposition of three great concerns—the problem of religious authority, the mission of the Church, and the nature of the Church.”
The twentieth-century battle against the enemies of the Christian faith will either be won or lost at the level of the local churches, the convention was warned by Dr. Henry Bast of Western Theological Seminary.
“There must be a basic return to an emphasis of Christian fundamentals in the local churches,” Dr. Bast said. “This means the emphasis must be placed on Gospel preaching, the sincere proclamation of the Word of God.” He said that too many church leaders of the day are “running around with a great deal of concern about the church in general, overlooking the church in particular.”
Liberal leaders in the modern Protestant ecumenical movement have surrendered and sacrificed scholarship and objectivity in their effort to build one great world church, said Dr. George L. Ford, NAE executive ...1
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