Do christians have insights into the world of events that are superior to those of other persons? And do evangelicals, because they take seriously the claims of Scripture, have a sensitivity to the meaning of their age that is at least as great as that of those who sit more loosely to scriptural authority? It would seem that the answer to both of these questions should be a clear yes.
The world is only beginning to think into the long-range effect of the current set of crises upon our lives and upon our ways of thinking. Quite possibly the energy crisis is but the tip of the iceberg. More specifically, we may be approaching the end of an era, not only of prodigality but also, it is to be hoped, of a grotesque distortion of emphasis.
Evangelicals ought not to be the last to perceive the possibilities in the present time of crisis for a decisive correction of our Western point of view. The purpose of this essay is not to survey what evangelicals are saying at this point but to suggest from the responses of others what we ought to be thinking and saying.
Events of our day clearly portend less availability of many resources and many forms of consumer goods. Secular sources at present outrun religious agencies in asking questions and seeking possible ways of coping with shifts in life-styles that seem inevitable. Some look stoically to a future of shortages. Some sensitive young people are asking whether, not having had the experience of the Great Depression, they will be able to adjust to a life of diminishing amenities.
Most of the secular forecasts are bleak. Could it be that the anxieties of our era will offer to the Christian Church a great opportunity to function prophetically and creatively? Does the pattern of uncertainty ...1
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