We are repeatedly hearing the statement that we are living in the post-Christian, and especially the post-Protestant era. The data adduced to support this analysis are sobering. But to generalize from them is to be blind both to history and to the current global situation. Indeed, the opposite is true. If mankind is viewed as a whole, never has Christ been as great a force in the human scene and never has Protestantism played as large a part in the human drama.
One Side Of The Story
The evidence for the sombre diagnosis is obvious. If we are to appraise the world situation in its full dimensions we must not dodge it. We must face it in all its stark reality. The march of atheistic communism across much of Europe and Asia and now with its footholds in the Western Hemisphere is a grim fact. Within the past 45 years, communism has brought approximately a third of the human race under its sway. Wherever it has control the Church has been beleaguered and has lost in numbers. Less spectacular but in some respects more ominous is the growth of what we call “secularism”—the dismissal of religion and especially of Christianity as irrelevant and intellectually untenable. In Western Europe, the traditional heartland of what we have been accustomed to call Christendom, church attendance has sharply declined. That is true not only in the cities, where the forces of the revolutionary age in which we are immersed are centered, but also in many rural districts. It is common to both Protestantism and Roman Catholicism. In Latin America the process of de-Christianization of what in an earlier era was seemingly the most successful Roman Catholic mission field has continued. The overwhelming majority of the population regard themselves as Catholics, ...1
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