Eleven hundred Asians from twenty-four countries gathered in steamy Singapore November 5–13 under the banner “Christ Seeks Asia.” Their congress, sponsored by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, was an outgrowth of the 1966 World Congress on Evangelism in Berlin.
The Asian Congress met to implement Berlin proposals, define biblical evangelism, stress the urgency of proclamation to Asia’s two billion people, assess the obstacles to evangelism in Asia, develop effective techniques, evaluate evangelism programs in the light of changing conditions, and challenge churches and Christian organizations to a bold and cooperative program.
Unlike the World Council of Churches conclave at Uppsala last August, which devoted itself mainly to social, political, and economic issues, the Asia-South Pacific Congress concentrated on winning men to personal faith in Christ. While some attention was paid to the theology of evangelism, the delegates spent most of their time devising strategy.
From the outset, the Asians said plainly that they wanted to stand on their own feet and be independent of the West. While grateful to Graham for making the congress possible, they wanted it known that it was an Asian congress run by Asians. Some delegates said there was too much western involvement. But the Asians had problems of their own: Chinese from Singapore complained they had inadequate representation.
Asians have grave doubts about the theological stability of the West. Dr. Jong Sung Rhee of Korea charged that. Western Christianity has been infiltrated by humanism, liberalism, syncretism, and universalism. Spontaneous and prolonged applause greeted his statement:
“If our guilt-conscious western friends cannot stand firm against the danger of religious ...1
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