In 1919 a group of English undergraduates met in Trinity College, Cambridge, to discuss the possibility of merging the Student Christian Movement with the 42-year-old Cambridge Inter-Collegiate Christian Union. Eventually the vital question was put: “Does the SCM consider the atoning blood of Jesus Christ as the central point of its message?” The answer given was: “No, not as central, although it is given a place in our teaching.” Commented Norman P. Grubb, one of the CICCU men present: “That answer settled the matter, for we explained to them at once that the atoning blood was so much the heart of our message that we could never join with a movement which gave it any lesser place.” This was the real beginning of the Inter-Varsity Fellowship of Evangelical Unions.
In the inter-war years, despite predominantly liberal influences in British academic circles, the fellowship established itself in all the universities of the United Kingdom, and was signally blessed of God in conversions and in the production of mature and able younger leaders in church and secular affairs. After World War II its influence rapidly increased. Liberalism was no longer the force it had been; a generation of older students arose whose Christian faith had been tested in the armed services, and student leaders of the pre-war generation were emerging as notable preachers and teachers. The work extended to technical and training colleges, and was consolidated in theological colleges where the age and maturity of students helped them stand up to liberal professors. IVF literature was gathering momentum, and filled a long-standing need for scholarly, up-to-date, evangelical works. Few of the books currently on the fellowship’s lists existed, or had any adequate ...1
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