Second in a Series

In the first article in this series (January 16) we were noting that the flourishing evangelical renaissance a half-generation ago was not a creation ex nihilo.

Evangelical colleges and Bible institutes were carrying forward a Christian educational heritage forfeited by campuses like Andover, Harvard, and Yale. (Some liberal historians so ignored the founding of their own institutions by evangelical donors that they depicted evangelicalism as a deviant cult.) Still relatively unknown at the height of evangelistic crusades by Charles B. Fuller, Jr., Bob Jones, Sr., Paul Rood, John R. Rice, and others like Merv Rosell who came somewhat later, Billy Graham emerged with Torrey Johnson and Bob Cook in large Youth for Christ rallies. These leaders usually evangelized independently of the tightening ecumenical orbit.

Both Charles E. Fuller’s “Old Fashioned Revial Hour” and Walter A. Maier’s “The Lutheran Hour” were attracting immense radio followings long before Graham’s “Hour of Decision.” With the onslaught of such thriving evangelical programming, the Federal Council of Churches, which had preempted most of the available public-service broadcast opportunities, sought federal legislation to prohibit network sale of time for religious broadcasting.

Fuller Theological Seminary did not arise out of the blue, either. Founded with educational trust funds left by the late evangelist’s father, Fuller aimed to do on the West coast much of what Westminster was already doing on the East coast. CHRISTIANITY TODAY was preceded by magazines like Sunday School Times, Moody Monthly, Christian Herald, Eternity, and Christian Life, which on a quite different level sought to link evangelicals across denominational lines. In the ...

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