The year 1972 promises to be memorable for evangelical Christianity. Many signs suggest we are on the verge of a major spiritual awakening that will benefit not churches alone but the whole of civilized culture.
But will this movement be characterized by a greatly intensified focus upon people as people and by fresh recognitions of individuality? Both Christians and non-Christians in our highly sophisticated technological society sometimes have the feeling that they are statistics lost in a chart or anonymous respondents in an opinion poll. Christianity must be presented as that which brings out the best in a person. Our faith needs to be seen more in the light of the value it assigns us in one another’s eyes. Regeneration through Christ and control by the Holy Spirit should bring us to a respect and love for people as they are that has no parallel in the world. It seems, hearteningly enough, that the revival is indeed shaping up in just such a way. This may be the year of the person!
A good example of the attitude to be sought after appeared in the December issue of Faith at Work in a testimonial by Peter Larson, a student at Northwestern University:
I have always been, or tried to be, a vocal crusader against injustice. But when I became a Christian, I saw the realm of social change in a different light. It was always easy for me to lash out against intangible evils like “the establishment” or the “fascist, racist nation.” But through Christ I’ve come to see that the problem is personal. The “establishment” is my next-door neighbor, my teachers, my employer.
I’ve come to see that the most effective and lasting change comes through relating to people, changing the portion of the world that I, as a seventeen-year-old Christian, ...1
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