Today’s Evangelical Students
Christian Collegians and Foreign Missions, by Paul F. Barkman, Edward R. Dayton, and Edward L. Gruman (Missions Advanced Research and Communication Center [Monrovia, California], 1969, 424 pp., $15), is reviewed by Donald Tinder, assistant editor,CHRISTIANITY TODAY.
Will evangelicals “keep the faith” when the present generation of college students become the leaders? Does attending a secular college lead to departure from orthodoxy? Is foreign missionary service still a live option for college students? If you are interested in answers to these and many related questions, this book is essential reading.
Almost 4,000 of the 9,000 persons who attended the Missionary Convention sponsored by Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship in 1967 at Urbana, Illinois, took the trouble to fill out properly a lengthy questionnaire. The answers were computerized and analyzed and are splendidly presented in this book. The right-hand pages usually have two clear charts, each illustrating a one-or two-line statement. The left-hand pages elaborate.
An initial chapter introduces us to the delegates, their backgrounds, views, and goals. Then successive chapters focus on the ones from among the delegates who are (1) missionary candidates, (2) already missionaries, (3) seminarians, (4) new Christians, (5) non-Christians, and (6) Christians since early childhood. Next we see the differences that age and sex make. We look at a few of the questions in depth to see what the delegates are like according to such concepts of religious psychology as punitiveness and intrinsic religion. Finally, two chapters focus on the specifically theological questions and on the more “fundamentalist” respondents.
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