My last lecture mission to Asia—a round-the-world mission involving seventy-five meetings in ten countries in ten weeks—brought me once again in touch with the evangelical vanguard on many twentieth-century frontiers. One noteworthy impression is that almost everywhere today conservative evangelicals, committed to personal evangelism and the missionary cause, are also probing a larger role in socio-political concerns.
The remarkable response of New Zealanders and Australians to the challenge of World Vision International, with its accelerated interest both short-and long-range for the famine areas of the globe, indicates the appeal of an agency that combines evangelical witness and social compassion. A work supported by voluntary gifts, World Vision is active in thirty countries. In a few countries—notably Cambodia and South Viet Nam—where U.S.I.A. funds intended for relief of urgent human needs were bottled up by political middlemen, the American government channeled certain programs through established and trusted voluntary agencies like World Vision so funds would swiftly reach their proper destination. It is lamentable that a spokesman for the World Council of Churches then used the Asian press to malign World Vision as an arm of Western imperialism and of U. S. government policy.
Mounting concern for participation in public affairs expresses itself in other ways as well. In Melbourne, Australia, for example, I met with a group of evangelicals who, though aligned with different parties and causes, all shared a strong Christian motivation toward political involvement and dedication to biblical perspectives.
Sharing in this stimulating dialogue—arranged by Dirk Bakker of Mission Enterprises—were Kenneth Mason, insurance executive ...1
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