Much is being said about making the Gospel relevant to the present world situation, particularly so that it will appeal to college and university students. One is led to infer that New Testament Christianity is so far removed from the atomic age that a new gospel must be devised, one which speaks to current needs and problems as the “obsolete” concept of God and man can never do.
One of the most frequently mentioned opinions is that students must be confronted with a Christianity geared to human need.
Furthermore, living in this scientific age we must have a gospel which “appeals to” the restless and seeking students of today.
The implication that the biblical revelation is neither adequate nor relevant for a sophisticated and technically alert new generation needs careful analysis. Should a philosophy of the Christian faith be based on this false premise, the end result can be disastrous.
Probably there should be established first of all a realization that the foundation of Christianity rests in a new and personal relationship with God through his Son. Without this there is no such thing as Christianity. Furthermore, a gospel which centers on secondary matters before the primary one is settled is itself a blind alley.
To be specific: we all recognize that we live in a world of turmoil, one in which injustice and need are found everywhere. But imagine the complete elimination of injustice, hunger, sickness, and suffering without reference to the needs of the human soul, and what have you? Humanism, not Christianity.
Christ put this difference in clear perspective when he said, “For what is a man profited, if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”
It is a disturbing fact ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 65+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more