In a day when everyone’s cause is a “holy crusade,” when a cacophony of voices shrills the latest “ism” continually through the mass media, when no one can finish a sentence without being interrupted, and when false christs appear on five continents at once, there remains a constraining and compelling need for one more voice. It is the voice of God which, Scripture tells us, is as the voice of thunder and of many waters.

“So long as the Church pretends or assumes to preach absolute values, but actually preaches relative and secondary values, it will merely hasten the process of disintegration (of our civilization). We are asked to turn to the Church for our enlightenment, but when we do so we find that the voice of the Church is not inspired. The voice of the Church today we find is the echo of our own voices.… When we consult the Church we hear only what we ourselves have said.… There is only one way out of the spiral and the way out is the sound of a voice, not our voice, but a voice coming from something beyond ourselves, in the existence of which we cannot disbelieve. It is the duty of the pastors to hear this voice, to cause us to hear it, and to tell us what it says.” This comment is from one of the most provocative editorials ever published in Fortune magazine (gauged by reader response), appearing in January, 1940. It dealt with the churches and the tensions of peace and war, and the basic tenet of the editorial is as valid today as it was at the beginning of World War II. When all maxims of Christian education, techniques, of visitation evangelism, skills of linguistics and other forms of outreach have been exhausted, the truth remains that it is by “the foolishness of preaching” that men believe and the Church is ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.