Altizer: Protestants must either turn radical or ‘submit to Rome’

Bennett: Christians have no monopoly on the saving grace of God

Cushing: Preaching of God’s Word is ‘at the center of our mission’

Graham: The Cross remains man’s ‘only hope of redemption’

Evangelism is the lifeline of Christianity. Since apostolic times it has been hard, controversial work. And it has always produced opposition outside the Church.

Today, however, there is a struggle over evangelism within the Church. Methodists were informed at a recent evangelism conference that revival services are now ill advised, in fact unchristian. The speaker, the Rev. Dr. Edmund Perry, a religious historian at Methodist-rooted Northwestern University, told the Miami Herald’s Adon Taft, “I abhor the notion of individual salvation.”

CHRISTIANITY TODAY, which is preparing a World Congress on Evangelism for Berlin next fall, has asked a wide variety of famous churchmen: “Is the traditional apostolic concept of Christian evangelism still valid? If not, how must it be revised in the next decade?”

The most radical of the new death-of-God spokesmen. Thomas J. J. Altizer, gave the symposium its first and longest response, saying Protestants must either accept his radicalism or “submit to Rome.” In stark contrast were words on evangelism from leaders like Richard Cardinal Cushing (“Nothing will ever take the place of preaching”), Archbishop Iakovos (“the truest and most valid basis of Christianity”), and Eugene Carson Blake (“the source of the power of the ecumenical movement”).

The highest official in world Methodist circles, Fred Pierce Corson, said “I most assuredly believe that there is a greatly needed place for the proclamation of the evangelical message of Christianity. It should ...

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.

Tags:
Issue: