The other day brought a letter from a student in one of our leading Christian colleges. “I ‘explode’ because I don’t feel I want to identify myself with it,’ he wrote of the way our evangelical cause is addressing—or rather, failing to address—the world crisis. “Perhaps that is my biggest reason for not going into the ministry,” he added. “As I look at the world situation I wonder if it is even worth giving one’s life to the Church anymore. In terms of long-range prospects, I am sure the answer is yes. But I now find that those who think make the mission held or ministry the last thing on their agenda of possible vocations.… I don’t think Christian education is going to succeed.… My heart is really in politics.… If one has a real passion for the world and for lost souls, he must pick a medium which interacts with society and people.”

That letter didn’t come from a young radical. It came rather from the son of a seminary professor and Christian editor. It came, in fact, from the writer’s own son. He is a symbol of a generation of evangelical youth who feel that organized evangelical structures today are so unconcerned for the world dying around us that legislative and political dynamisms now seem more potent channels of social change than our sacred evangelical and spiritual dynamisms. He writes: “I realize that politics is not the ultimate factor in changing society” (and I am thankful that he well realizes that regeneration is the decisive factor), but, he adds—and this mood is to be found among quite a few of our young evangelicals—“the organized church as we know it today has had ...

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