Ten evangelical Christians traveled to Barrytown, New York, recently for a weekend of dialogue with fifteen students of the Unification Theological Seminary and a faculty member described as a nonmember of the Unification Church (U.C.), the controversial sect led by Korean evangelist Sun Myung Moon. The no-holds-barred encounter was convened by Richard Quebedeaux, a United Church of Christ member who has written several books on evangelical trends.
Mennonite scholar Rodney Sawatsky, church historian at Conrad Grebel College (University of Waterloo) in Ontario, moderated the discussions. The evangelical panel included Quebedeaux, two seminary professors (Missouri-Synod Lutheran and United Presbyterian), two college religion instructors (from Canada and Pennsylvania), two West Coast InterVarsity Christian Fellowship staffers, a religion books editor (Roy Carlisle, a Presbyterian, of Harper & Row), and Campus Crusade for Christ executive Paul Eshleman, a Presbyterian. Several of the participating “Moonies,” as Moon’s followers are known, were formerly state directors for the U.C.
Eshleman, who directed the nationwide “Here’s Life” campaign for Campus Crusade, on the eve of the conference addressed one-third of the seminary’s 106 students in a voluntary-attendance session. The lecture included an explication of Campus Crusade’s “Four Spiritual Laws,” an evangelism tool that charts the Christian plan of salvation. The next morning, when the twenty-six conferees introduced themselves by relating their religious testimonies, one Moonie told of being moved by Eshleman’s talk and meditating in the woods alone for four hours in the darkness of night until at last ...1
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