Marking a Milestone

With this issueCHRISTIANITY TODAYmarks its twentieth anniversary. Since our first issue came out in October, 1956, we have offered our readers a total of 24,472 pages. In these pages we have sought to express principles of historic Christianity and to help evangelicals be the salt of the earth. Bound volumes of the two decades of publication take up more than five feet of shelf space.

In commemoration, we pause to reflect on how things were and how they are now. With a timely look at the current evangelical limelight we are also highlighting some articles fromCHRISTIANITY TODAY’Spast.

Evangelicals suddenly find themselves number one on the North American religious scene. Thanks to media visibility, they are seizing the public imagination. There is unprecedented interest in many aspects of the evangelical outlook.

Some pundits talk as if evangelicals were about to take over. Garry Wills, in a recent article in the New York Times Magazine, cited “the blossoming evangelical movement, now the major religious force in America, both in numbers and impact.” Michael Novak asserted earlier this year that “the most understated demographic reality in the United States is the huge number of evangelical Protestants.…”

Although these appraisals are extravagant, it is nonetheless true that evangelicals are showing a remarkable vitality. After being ignored by much of the rest of society for decades, they are now coming into prominence. Indeed, 1976 seems to be the year of the evangelical. No other sector of the Christian Church seems as vibrant, and certainly no other is getting as much attention.

How has this come about? What does it mean for the evangelical pastor and churchgoer? Will it last?

No one has any certain answers, ...

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