The theme for the twenty-ninth annual convention of the National Association of Evangelicals was “Jesus Christ, Lord of All.” Indeed, before the convention was over, the evangelicals made it unequivocally clear where they stand in matters of faith and in acknowledging Jesus Christ as sovereign over mankind. “There can be no real humanity and no true life apart from him,” their statement of purpose said.
They called for individual Christians to make Christ, therefore, Lord of life. “Jesus the Lord is calling his people to full surrender, non-conformity, radical self-denial, and servanthood in identification with the brokenness of the world,” their statement proclaimed.
But before the last delegate boarded his plane homeward to expound for the locals the impact of the NAE Los Angeles convention, if his mind had been open to new movings of the Holy Spirit, a new meaning in the words “Lord of All” had been confirmed.
Especially from evangelist Billy Graham there had come persuasive evidence that the word all might include more than the “thus-and-so” breed of Christians NAE has under its aegis. Graham spoke convincingly of what he recognized as the Spirit’s moving among the off-beat, New Testament-type Christianity springing up spontaneously among youth across the land.
The evangelist had his information first-hand. He told of going incognito down Hollywood Boulevard and the area around Sunset Strip to see for himself these “way-out” happenings he’d been hearing about. He said he had entertained some doubts when he set out but had come back a believer. “These youth tried to get me down on my knees,” he said.
Graham’s endorsement of the basic soundness of this type of “street Christian” was one of the key developments of the convention, ...1
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