The cry to “make Christianity relevant” grows more urgent each year. As humanity’s problems mount, Christian and unbeliever alike look to biblical religion with more desperation. The past year has been particularly trying for both church and society, causing many to plead inwardly, “God, do something!”

The call for relevance comes from churchmen of widely varying theological perspectives, from Unitarians to Pentecostalists. They differ on what relevance is and how to achieve it. But a large segment of the religious spectrum agrees that Christian principles must be brought to bear more meaningfully upon modern man, his problems and his aspirations. So much already has been said about the need for relevance that in many professional religious circles the topic has become trite and further mention is avoided. But the basic longing for a faith more germane to the times is getting ever more intense.

One is almost tempted to conclude that man’s problems are too many and too complex for the Christian faith to interact with them to any helpful degree. Surely this is an extraordinary age in that man has all the potential for self-annihilation. People today are concerned about mere survival, as our sophistication keeps backfiring.

Since the dawn of civilization men have promoted trade, sensing that everyone can benefit by exchange of goods. Now they transport anything anywhere—promptly. Yet there is as much if not more material imbalance as ever. Biafrans starve, not because the world lacks the means to get food to them but because of man-made obstacles. Nationalism and racial prejudices, which were supposed to wither away with the increase of education, seem instead to be on the increase.

Firearms, which for hundreds of years have enabled ...

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.